Shaw, Klein, Colvin, Eckerdt and Arneson Win at Norman County Raceway
RaceChaser was back at Norman County Raceway for the Sanders Stock Car Challenge and the NLRA Late Model Show on Thursday.
It was great to see 19 IMCA Stock Cars on hand to fight for the $800 top prize, and a nice 23-car field of late models was on hand.
Passing was at a premium on this night, unfortunately with a hard and very slick racetrack. There wasn’t much side by side racing as the bottom line was the place to be for every race except the IMCA Sport Mods, who ran up top.
Randy Klein of Enderlin is a rookie in the IMCA Stock Cars but is not a rookie at all behind the wheel. He’s raced A Mods and B Mods in recent years. On Thursday, he proved to be the dominant car to win the Sanders Stock Car Challenge.
He started third on the 19-car field but went to the bottom and made the pass for the lead — and never relinquished it.
One car was on the move, however, and that was Aaron Olson of Mekinock, who was making his season debut. Olson started 11th but soon worked into the top five. After a later restart he moved into the second spot.
Travis Robertson of Moorhead was running in the top five but slid back on a restart. Trent Grager of Sykeston and Todd Heinrich of Fargo, the pole car, also were entrenched in the top five .
Klein — who was supposed to get his new car in the spring but just got it in July — looked awful good to pick up the Sanders Stock Car Challenge win. Especially impressive since it was only his third night in the car. Olson capped off a great run in second, with Grager taking third. Heinrich was fourth. Brennan Borg of Harwood, who started 14th, worked his way to fifth at the finish, ahead of Andrew Jochim of Glyndon, who started 12th.
Veteran Don Shaw of Ham Lake took the lead from the start of the NLRA Late Model feature — and weathered some cautions — to pick up the NLRA win. Shaw took the lead from the outside pole and never relinquished it.
Dave Mass of East Bethel, Shaw’s teammate, settled into second, while Cole Schill of Horace, who started sixth, moved past Ryan Corbett of East Grand Forks for third. Jason Strand of Portland settled into third.
Six laps into the 25-lap race, there was a multi-car pileup in turn four that included Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks and Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks. Strand pulled in while Troftgruben, who later had a flat tire, was able to continue.
Jason Strand of Portland was turned on the frontstretch on the next restart, bringing out another caution. For some reason, no one was sent to the tail for the caution, and the top five were intact.
Shaw was never seriously threatened in picking up his 13th career NLRA Late Model win. Mass was second, Cole Schill third and Jason Strand, a late model rookie, was a solid fourth. Shane Edginton of Winnipeg, the NLRA point leader, was fifth.
Mike Greseth of Harwood, who had a bent tie rod in his heat, started dead last on the 23-car field, but stayed out of trouble and finished a solid seventh as he was the hard charger of the race.
As far as late model races go, I’ve seen better ones. There just wasn’t much racing for position.
The IMCA Sport Mods saw Brady Moore of Ulen and Paul Colvin of Horace, interviewed above, on the front row. Colvin sped to the top line — which was the place to be in the caution-free race — and led the whole way on his way to his first win of 2021.
Colvin has been plagued with bad luck this season but on this night, all of those memories were erased. He won by 1.955 seconds.
Kelly Jacobson of Fargo ran a solid second the whole race after starting fourth. He was several car lengths behind Colvin but also several car lengths ahead of his father, Scott.
Andy Wagner of Ada put some pressure on Rich Pavlicek of Casselton for fourth but for the most part the nine-car field was spread out. Kelly Jacobson settled for second with Scott Jacobson, Pavlicek and Wagner rounding out the top five.
Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks proved to be the car to beat in the IMCA Hobby Stocks. For a while, it seemed like newcomer Malik Sampson of Worthington would post a serious threat to him, but Eckerdt pulled away and picked up the win, his sixth of 2021. Sampson was second. Veteran Brad Orvedal, who trails in the points by two at Norman County, was a solid third.
Will Miller of Sacred Heart was fourth; he limped to the finish line as his #22w machine shut off on the final turn. But, he was able to retain his one-point lead over Orvedal. Todd Gettel of Mahnomen was fifth; he is second in the points, one behind Miller and one ahead of Orvedal.
Austin Arneson of Fargo started on the pole in the IMCA Modifieds — and that means trouble for the rest of the field. It was a small field of IMCA mods — eight were in attendance, and only six took the green. Bob Sagen had his Wissota Midwest Modified there and ran in the back of the heat for a test run but didn’t run the feature. Dave Shipley of Argusville broke in the heat and pulled in while Casey Arneson of Fargo pulled in right before the race went green.
Austin Arneson took control from the green for his fourth win of the year. HIs teammate, Kollin Hibdon, ran second ahead of season point leader Jesse Skalicky of Fargo.
I’m happy for Luke Johnson of Moorhead. He’s had horrible luck this season, but the #8J stayed on the track and ran solid, finishing fourth. Tony Mack of Buxton picked up his first top five of the year in fifth.
--Josh Johnson of Harwood had a tough night. He slid off of turns three and four in his NLRA Late Model heat and ended up hitting the concrete well. He damaged the front end pretty good; he was able to take the green for the feature and pull in.
--Kevin Robertson of Enderlin ran just outside the top five in the NLRA feature, but smoke started pouring out of the #10R and engine trouble ended his night.
Thursday night notes
--Justin Froemming of Elbow Lake, Minn., won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature on Thursday at KRA Speedway. Ashley Mehrwerth of St. Stephen was second while Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls was third.
Justin Vogel of Brooten was third in the Wissota Street Stock feature.