• tombergie01

RaceChaser Notebook: Recapping Track Champions and First-Time Winners

Updated: Sep 23


Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes (72) won four track titles this season.

With I-94 Sure Step Speedway and Devils Lake Speedway wrapping up this past Saturday, it’s time for RaceChaser to take a look back at some of the point races and feature wins this season.


Here we go:

Jade Hastings of Grand Forks wrapped up the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint title in style with a dominating feature win on Friday. It is his first series title. Hastings had six NOSA feature wins this season.


—Speaking of the NOSA Sprints, three different drivers won features at River Cities Speedway this season, and not one was named Nygaard or Dobmeier. Winners at RCS this season included Austin Pierce (eight), Hastings (four) and Nick Ranten of East Grand Forks. It was Ranten’s first career win.


Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks rolled to the tour title of the NLRA Late Models. He bested Brad Seng of Grand Forks for the title by 112 points. Strand won eight late model features on the year and was almost equally as good in the modifieds, where he posted six wins, including a win down south over the winter.


—Of the 16 IMCA Modified features (excluding the Dakota Classic Mod Tour race won by Ricky Thornton Jr.) that were held at Norman County Raceway and Red River Valley, 11 were won by an Arneson brother. Austin won eight and Casey three. Austin was the 2020 RRVS track champion and won 10 times overall this season. He was the Dakota Classic Mod Tour champion. Both Arnesons hail from Fargo.


Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes won four track championships this year, most of any RaceChaser driver. He won INEX Legends titles at Sheyenne Speedway, Red River Valley Speedway, Norman County Raceway and Jamestown. Wilke was second in the area with 20 feature wins this season.



Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls, pictured above, won three track titles this season in the Wissota Midwest Modified class — at Norman County Raceway, I-94 Sure Step Speedway and Viking Speedway. He led the area with 21 wins.


Tyler Peterson of Hickson, N.D., won the Wissota Modified Track Championship at Casino Speedway in Watertown, S.D., for a second straight year. He has six wins overall this season including at the finale of the John Seitz Memorial.

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—It was a good year for several veteran drivers in their 60s. Tom Corcoran, 66, of East Grand Forks won the late model feature at River Cities Speedway on June 26, giving him a feature win in six different decades. He finished a solid fourth in the points at RCS and had nine top fives in 14 starts.


Ron Saurer, 67, of Dalton won the opening Wissota Midwest Modified feature at Viking Speedway in July and finished second in the points at the half-mile.


Jimmy “Nitro” Williams of De Graff, Minn., 61, won the Steffes Street Stock Tour stop at KRA Speedway in Willmar. Williams is the all-time street stock wins leader at Viking Speedway.


Roger “Pokey” Lukes of Lisbon, 67, won a Mini Stock feature at Sheyenne Speedway on June 14.


If you venture further out west, Marlyn Seidler of Underwood, N.D., 68, won six IMCA Modified features. John Corell, 65, of Jamestown also won a feature in the IMCA Mods.


Daniel Harstad’s track title at I-94 Sure Step Speedway in the Short Trackers was his second straight.


Ben Wolden of Fergus Falls has won all three Limited Late Model track titles at I-94 since the class debuted in 2018.


--The closest point race locally was the Wissota Midwest Modified battle at Sheyenne Speedway, which came down to the Reinke brothers, Nate and Zach. They tied in the final tally; however Zach won the tiebreaker by virtue of two feature wins this season.


-Brady Gerdes of Villard made a big comeback to win the Viking Speedway Mod title. Gerdes won the final points feature at Viking in late August, and that was enough to give him the title over Dusty Bitzan, who was the I-94 track champ.


2020 Track Champions

Norman County Raceway, Ada, Minn.

IMCA Modified: #3S, Jesse Skalicky, Fargo

IMCA Stock Car: #40 Rob VanMil, Barnesville

IMCA Hobby Stock: #5G Tim Gonska, Brainerd

IMCA Sport Mod: #8J Luke Johnson, Moorhead

INEX Legend: #72 Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes

Wissota Midwest Mod: #2G Brock Gronwold, Fergus Falls


Red River Valley Speedway, West Fargo, N.D.

IMCA Modified: Austin Arneson, Fargo

IMCA Sport Mod: Rich Pavlicek, Casselton

IMCA Hobby Stock: Brodee Eckerdt, Grand Forks

IMCA Stock Car: Todd Heinrich, Fargo

INEX Legend: Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes


I-94 Sure Step Speedway, Fergus Falls, Minn.

Wissota Late Model: #2 Dave Mass, East Bethel

Wissota Modified: #10x Dusty Bitzan, Brandon

Wissota Midwest Modified: #2G Brock Gronwold, Fergus Falls

Wissota Street Stock: #67 Ryan Satter Dent

Limited Late Model: #50 Ben Wolden, Fergus Falls

Short Tracker: #77 Daniel Harstad, Fergus Falls


River Cities Speedway, Grand Forks, N.D.

Wissota Late Model: #71 Dustin Strand, East Grand Forks

Wissota Midwest Modified: #2S Matt Schow, McIntosh

Wissota Street Stock: #25 Ryan Johnson, Karlstad

NOSA Sprint: #2A Austin Pierce, Grand Forks


Viking Speedway, Alexandria, Minn.

Wissota Modified: #2X Brady Gerdes, Villard

Wissota Super Stock #21 Trevor Saurer, Dalton

Wissota Midwest Modified: #2G Brock Gronwold, Fergus Falls

Wissota Street Stock: #67 Ryan Satter, Fergus Falls

Limited Late Model: #76 Dustin Johanneck, Litchfield


Devils Lake Speedway, Crary, N.D.

Pure Stock: #1CJ Joe Armstrong, Crary

Wissota Midwest Modified: #6R Nate Reynolds, Hoople

Wissota Street Stock: #4 Trey Hess, Lakota


Sheyenne Speedway, Lisbon, N.D.

Wissota Midwest Modified: #22 Zach Reinke, Lisbon (won tiebreaker over his brother Nate)

Wissota Street Stock: #46 Jonny Carter, Lisbon

INEX Legend: #72 Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes

Hobby Stock: #2 Bo Gregor, Lisbon

Mini Stock: #7X Gavin Walton, Englevale


First Win Club

The following area drivers picked up their first career feature wins in 2020. If anyone is missing please let me know!


Brodee Eckerdt — June 5, IMCA Hobby Stock, Red River Valley Speedway

Bryce Haugeberg, June 19, Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint, River Cities Speedway

Justin Hainline - June 21, Mini Stock, Sheyenne Speedway

Seth Klostreich, - June 27, Wissota Street Stock, River Cities Speedway

Nick Ranten- July 3, NOSA Sprints, River Cities Speedway

Kalvin Kesselberg - July 9, IMCA Stock Car, Norman County Raceway

Ryan Gierke - July 9, Wissota Midwest Modified, KRA Speedway

Levi Lease - July 10, Short Trackers, I-94 Sure Step Speedway

Jack Koranda, July 17, Wissota Street Stock, I-94 Sure Step Speedway

Kevin Veralrud, July 24, IMCA Sport Mod, Red River Valley Speedway

Brody Troftgruben, Aug. 1, Wissota/NLRA Late Model, Devils Lake Speedway

MiKara Johanson, Aug. 22, Pure Stock, Devils Lake Speedway

Adam Sobolik, Aug. 29, Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprints, Devils Lake Speedway


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