RaceChaser Notes: Respect Lacking at Times, Several Drivers Pick Up Big Wins on Saturday
I’ve watched several races over the last month, whether in person and online streams. I realize we are getting to the end of the racing season, where patience is about gone and tempers are short. I realize points racing is done and most of the shows offer more money.
But geez, folks.
Let me vent a little.
Some seem to have lost respect for their competitors on the racetrack. People driving through others is a big example. Here’s another — and that’s driving over your head. That means if your car isn’t handling properly, or you aren’t comfortable with your car, or don’t have a good idea what it’s going to do in the corner — that you don’t throw it hard into the corner with a half-dozen cars on your tail and end up spinning. Way too much of this, and that’s how we end up with 3-4 car pileups that take 10 minutes to separate. Respecting your fellow drivers, but also respecting the equipment, has been lost at some places.
And it’s not just the younger, inexperienced drivers who do this. I cut them a little break on spin outs because of inexperience. Some of those drivers understand not driving over your head. There are some entitled veterans who think they own the track, can plow to the front with no regard for other cars. I’ve grown very tired of those drivers and will call them out if I see stuff like this (I don't get to see everything on the track, for the record). I’m not going to single them out right now, but if you attend racing in this region, you know who they are. Unfortunately very few tracks use the black flag to deter this kind of driving.
I like good, hard racing like anybody, and yes sometimes there is contact. But there is a big difference between that and driving over people, who driving over your head and taking out 3-4 cars with you.
The last two nights I’ve watched four different tracks. I’ve seen a ton of cautions and some wrecked equipment. Feature races taking forever. I've sick of these caution fests.
We are heading into invitational season, and I hope we see good hard, clean racing. But I hope for respect as well.
OK, onto some racing notes from Saturday.
—Congrats to Rich Pavlicek of Casselton for winning Night 1 of the Mighty Axe Nationals at North Central Speedway in Brainerd on Saturday. Pavilcek held off a big challenge from Chris VanMil of Barnesville for the win. Jack Koranda of Bluffton finished second to Dylan Nelson of Merrifield in the Wissota Super Stock feature.
The Mighty Axe Nationals lasted well past midnight, and I wonder the wisdom of running nine classes in an event like that.
—Mike Greseth of Harwood is closing in on his second straight NLRA Late Model title. He picked up the win at Greenbush Race Park on Saturday. Greseth entered the night with a 102 point lead over Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks, and the win Saturday will add to that. Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks was second, Brad Seng of Grand Forks third, Troftgruben fourth and Lance Schill of Langdon was fifth.
—Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck picked up the Wissota Street Stock win at Greenbush after starting 11th. The national point leader, in a fight with Justin Vogel of Brooten for the national championship, Dykhoff is up to 23 wins this season, most of any street stock driver. Another name to watch in the national points race is Jeremy Castro of Laurel, Mont. — we used to see him race over this way quite a bit. Castro, as of Aug. 28, was third in national points and had 15 wins. Vogel, as of Aug. 28, had a remarkable 42 top five finishes in 50 starts.
—Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks won the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints feature at Greenbush.
—I-94 and Viking champion Ryan Satter of Dent was looking to move through the field at Viking on Saturday. A car lost it in front of him, clipped Satter’s right rear and sent the #67 car rolling hard in turn two. Satter was OK, but the car was really beat up. Of course, the other car was able to drive away. That was a bad deal for Satter, who has not had good luck the past couple of weeks.
The crash overshadowed a heck of a race up front between Vogel, Kolton Brauer of Rochester and Andrew Hanson of Iron River, Wis. Kolton Brauer, running the lower line effectively, picked up the win over Hanson. Interesting note: finishers second through fifth were all Wisconsin cars.
Speaking of Viking, Cody Lee of Starbuck dominated the Wissota Midwest Modified feature after getting by track champion Brendan Blascyk of Hoffman on a restart. Don Eischens of Richmond won the Wissota Mod main event, Trevor Saurer of Dalton ran away with the Wissota Super Stock feature,
Shawn Beto of Wahpeton is having a breakout season, and he picked up the feature win in the Short Tracker feature. He is the I-94 track champion and has nine wins in 14 starts this season. John Heacox of Lisbon, who picked up his first career feature win earlier this season, was second.
—Tyler Peterson of Hickson is up to 21 Wissota wins this season after winning at Greenbush. As of Aug. 31, Peterson was just 13 points behind Shane Sabraski. Those two fought down to the final race of the season in 2021 for the national title. Mike Stearns of Hecla, S.D., a former national champion, is third, just 68 points behind Sabraski.
—Seth Klostriech of Grand Forks won the Wissota Street Stock feature on Saturday at Devils Lake Speedway. Ryan Schow of McIntosh picked up his first feature win of the season in the Wissota Midwest Modified class.
—Brennon Weight of LaMoure topped Lucas Rodin of Marion for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen on Saturday. The feature was part of the Big Buck Nationals.