RaceChaser Notes: Seitz Memorial Preview, Red River Sprint Series and Drivers Having Big Years
The 17th annual John Seitz Memorial is set for River Cities Speedway this weekend. The Prelude to the Johnny, which is the NLRA Late Model finale, is Thursday. Wissota Late Models, Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks will run full shows while the Wissota Super Stocks will run qualifying heats.
Friday will be qualifying night for the Seitz Memorial, which pays $9,200 to the late model winner. The Wissota Late Models will run their heats and dashes on Friday, while the Wissota Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks will run their heat races. The Wissota Mods will race a full show with the Delaine Memorial on Friday paying $3,092 to the winner. The super stocks will run the B mains and A mains on Friday from Thursday’s qualifiers.
The Mods and supersZ will run full shows on Saturday with the streets and Midwest mods running their B mains and feature. For the streets and Midwest mods, there are two full shows over the three day span which are critical to national points.
My picks for the weekend? Let’s list some contenders in each class. Tyler Peterson (16 late model wins) and Dustin Strand (four wins) have to be considered contenders in both the late models and mods. Strand won the points title in the lates at River Cities. Three-time winner A.J. Diemel has never finished outside the top three in 11 starts at the Seitz Memorial, including 10 top threes in a row. Two-time winner Don Shaw also rises to the occasion at this event. RCS regulars Joey Pederson and two-time winner Brad Seng also are on my list as contenders. In fact I think there are 10-12 late models who have a real shot at Saturday’s big prize.
In addition to Peterson and Strand, watch Zach Johnson of Lowry in the mods, he’s a guy who knows his way around the bullring. Ward Imrie of Winnipeg is another guy I’m watching.
As far as the street stocks go, it all depends on who’s there. I do know the Wolverine Justin Vogel usually is a major contender at this event. Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks and Trey Hess of Grand Forks, two RCS regulars, are both having good seasons. I’m not sure who else will be in attendance so I don’t want to list names. In the mid mods Lance Schill, Aaron Blacklance, Jory Berg and Austin Hunter will be among the favorite.
My big worry about the Seitz Memorial every year is wrecked equipment. Some years, a few folks drive over their head and create a big mess. One year I counted six cars on the trailer that were totaled or close to it. I’d like to see that outcome avoided this year.
The inaugural Superior Customs Red River Sprint Series resumes this week with two shows Saturday and Sunday at the Corn Cob Nationals at Buffalo River Speedway near Glyndon.
Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes leads with 462 points; he has seven feature wins overall this season in 25 starts. Wilke is fifth in IMCA RaceSAver National Points.
Second-year driver Morgan Nyquist has steadily improved and is second in the Red River Sprint Series points at 414, one point ahead of Andy Pake of Felton. Nyquist has 10 top fives this season.
Pake won the Red River Valley Speedway track championship this season and has nine wins in 33 starts. Pake is third in the national points.
The finale for the series is at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Sept. 15.
Speaking of the Corn Cob Nationals, besides the IMCA RaceSaver Sprints, the annual event will also include the IMCA Sport Mods, POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints, INEX Legends, Short Trackers, IMCA Mods and IMCA Hobby Stocks. On Sunday the Wissota Street Stocks join the card.
The NLRA Late Model finale is Thursday at River Cities, and Mike Greseth of Harwood leads Brad Seng of Grand Forks by 84 points going into that event. Greseth, the two-time NLRA series champion, has six wins this season, including the Howie Schill Memorial and back to back wins at Greenbush Race Park last weekend. He also won the special at Dead Horse Creek Speedway in Morden, Man., in late August.
Rob VanMil of Barnesville is having a big-time season in the IMCA Stock Cars. He won the track title at Norman County Raceway in Ada and was second to Andrew Jochim at Red River Valley Speedway. VanMil has 15 wins in 27 starts this season and won the Dakota Classic Mod Tour. He is coming off of a win at Night 2 of the Mighty Axe Nationals at North Central Speedway in Brainerd on Sunday. VanMIl’s brother, Chris won the IMCA Sport Mod feature that night.
Rich Pavlicek of Casselton is tied for fifth in the IMCA Northern Sport Mod point standings, and is coming off of back-to-back wins at Nodak Speedway in Minot last weekend. Pavlicek has 14 wins in 37 starts and 33 top fives.
Kyle Anderson of Jamestown seems to be peaking at the right time in his #59 Wissota Street Stock. Since Aug. 3, he has five wins and 11 top five finishes. Anderson has climbed to sixth in the Wissota national points.
I can’t remember a more competitive Wissota Street Stock national points chase, and this weekend at the Seitz Memorial might shake that up even more. Braden Brauer of Rochester leads Justin Vogel of Brooten by one point going into the weekend. Brauer has 22 wins while Vogel has 20. Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks is third, only 11 points behind Brauer, with 23 wins. Kolton Brauer is 53 points back while Maria Broksieck of Goodwin, having the best season of her career with 16 wins, is 59 back.
Joseph Thomas of Fargo won Wissota Modified points titles at Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon and Casino Speedway in Watertown and is second in the national points. It looks like Shane Sabraski is on his way to the national title in that class.
Lucas Rodin of Marion is second in the Wissota Midwest Modified national points, trailing Zach Benson of Princeton, who has a division-best 19 wins. Austin Hunter of Winnipeg is third and Jory Berg of Grand Forks is fourth in the national points as this area is represented well. Corey Storck of Morris is sixth and is having the best season of his career.
Evan Hendrickson of Mapleton leads Collin Compson of Valley City by six points in the INEX Legends Semi-Pro National points. Hendrickson won two track titles and has 10 wins while Compson has 10 wins and is the track champion at Sheyenne Speedway. Kody Machart of Moorhead is fifth in those standings.
Australian Glenn Mitchell leads the INEX Legends Masters Nationals Points.
Kyle VanMil, the son of stock car driver Rob VanMil, leads the INEX Legends Young Lions National Points.