Schow, Carter and Schill Win at Prelude to the Johnny
The Prelude to the Johnny kicked off a busy weekend at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Thursday. A great field of 114 cars, including a terrific 50-car late model field, was on hand in the three classes.
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw 50 late models were signed up! Considering there’s a non-essential travel ban between the US and Canada I thought it was an excellent number.
It was also the finale of the 2020 NLRA Late Model season, and Dustin Strand put the finishing touches on his fourth series title.
The big surprise to me was Canadian Aaron Turnbull being in attendance. Turnbull hails from Saskatchewan and is the defending Seitz champion. I didn’t figure he’d be there because of that travel ban, but it’s great having him back. I consider him in that small group of favorites for the win. No driver has won the Seitz back-to-back years, by the way.
I don’t think Lance Schill of Langdon winning the Late Model feature at RCS is a surprise. He started on the outside pole and picked up his third RCS late model win of 2020. He finished fifth in the points and had five top fives at Grand Forks this season so it’s not a shock he’d win.
Turnbull looks to be a contender again in 2020, starting eighth and taking second. Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks was third while Jeffrey Massingill of Keewatin, one of my sleeper picks for the Seitz, was fourth after starting 13th while A.J. Diemel of Elk Mound, Wis., made a big-time move through the field, taking fifth after starting 22nd. Diemel should be battling for the win on Saturday which.
I don’t think there were any surprise entrants for the late models other than Turnbull. It was great to see defending Wissota National Champion and Wissota 100 winner Chad Becker of Aberdeen in the field; he started 21st and finished 12th. WOO sprint superstar Donny Schatz of Fargo also had his late model in attendance and finished eighth. Schatz won't be in attendance on Friday as he will be racing at a World of Outlaw sprint show at Dodge City, Kan.
A field of 34 midwest modifieds was on hand, and 2020 track champion Matt Schow of McIntosh picked up where he left off in the regular season with another win. Schow’s win was his third of 2020 but first since winning at Devils Lake at the end of May. It was his consistency — 10 top fives in 12 starts — that helped him win a well-deserved track championship.
Jamie Dietzler of Larimore was second, and he’s having the best yer of his career. He finished second in points at RCS and after entering 2020 with just one career win, picked up three this season.
Hunter Hougard of Warren was third. Lance Schill, who started 21st after going through the B main, was fourth while Ryan Schroeder of Devils Lake was fifth.
Jonny Carter of Lisbon picked up win #11 of 2020 in the Wissota Street Stocks. Carter, the Steffes Street Stock Tour points champion, started fourth on the 24-car field. Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck had a good run, finishing second after starting 12th.
RCS point champion Ryan Johnson of Karlstad was third while Dustin Ebensteiner of Devils Lake was fourth. Jason Havel of Rice Lake, Wis., started 21st and finished fifth ahead of Chase Boen of Karlstad.
The first day of the Seitz Memorial is set for Friday. Qualifying heats will be run in the Wissota Late Model, Wissota Midwest Modified and Wissota Street Stock divisions while full shows will be run for the NOSA Sprints and Wissota Modifieds.