Shipley, Grager, Eckerdt, Hagemann Win at Red River Valley Speedway
I was at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo on Sunday for the annual Red River Valley Fair race. The IMCA Sport Mods took center stage as they were battling for $1,000 to win,
The RRVS race puts Red River Valley Speedway track prep in a bind time wise , because they don’t get to touch the track until the concert stage is removed from the front stretch. That means there isn’t a ton of time to get the track ready for a 6 p.m. show. A great crowd was on hand.
I was happy the IMCA Sport Mods got center stage. They not only ran a 40-lap feature for $1,000 to win, they also got to re-draw in front of the grandstand for feature positions at intermission. There are several good drivers in the class I respect.
There was only one non-regular RRVS car in the IMCA Sport Mods — Jake Hagemann of Fort Ripley — and he stole the show. Hagemann took the lead early and led the rest of the way to pick up the $1,000 paycheck.
Hagemann took the early lead with Chris VanMil of Barnesville and Doug Gardner of Glyndon giving chase. Scott Jacobson of Fargo also ran in the top five.
After a restart, Rich Pavlicek of Casselton moved into third and began to battle with Jacobson. Hagemann, meanwhile, had some breathing room for the top spot.
Hagemann went not to win by 2.291 seconds over Jacobson, the season points leader at RRVS. Pavlicek, who started 11th, settled for third with Gardner and Kelly Jacobson of Fargo rounding out the top five.
Dave Shipley of Argusville, interviewed above, was dominant in the IMCA Modifieds from start to finish. He jumped out to a more than five second lead on the field before a caution came out for an incident on the front stretch.
It was a great race, for many laps, for second between Brent Dutenhoffer of Watertown, S.D, and Jordan Sours of Lisbon. Austin Arneson of Fargo, who’s been on a roll lately at Red River Valley, settled into fourth
Jesse Skalicky of Fargo and Tyler Hall of Fertile were in a fight for fifth.
After the caution, Arneson was able to move into second but Dutenhoffer wouldn’t go away. Shipley, meanwhile picked up where he left off, picking up his second win of 2021 by more than three seconds. Dutenhoffer edged Arneson for second. Kollin Hibdon of Pahrump, Nev., a teammate of the Arnesons, made quite a comeback. He went to the back for a caution and came back to get fourth. Sours ran a solid fifth ahead of Hall.
I can’t remember an IMCA Stock Car feature at Red River Valley Speedway quite like the one on Sunday. A handful of cars were torn up and several had some kind of damage.
There was a scary incident early in the race when Billy Michaelsohn’s #8 took a sudden sharp turn right on the backstretch and crashed hard into the fencing. Michaelsohn was OK, which was the biggest thing. The fence post was destroyed, but the cable did its job — keeping the car from going over the fence. I decided tonight I will no longer take pictures by that fence.
I felt for Michaelsohn as the front of his car was badly mangled.
Rick Schulz of Horace was involved in a crash in turn four and that left the left front of his #4 machine a mess. Chad Hunterman of Moorhead was also involved in that crash and his front end had significant damage. Travis Robertson of Moorhead, who leads the season points at West Fargo, also had some right side damage and pulled in.
Trent Grager of Sykeston, N.D., interviewed above, is a rookie in the class but is not driving like one. He started fourth on the field and took over the top spot quickly from Jordan Zillmer of Cleveland.
Brandon Schmidt of Hillsboro ran in third for several laps, but Tyler McDougall of Hawley — who has run well over the last month - -was working on him. Several cars were in the mix for fifth, including Todd Heinrich of Fargo, who won Thursday at Norman County Raceway in thrilling fashion, Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada and Rob VanMil of Barnesville.
Zillmer made up some ground on Grager but it wasn’t nearly enough as Grager picked up his fourth win at Red River Valley Speedway this year and sixth overall. Zillmer settled for second. McDougall, who started 10th, finished third. Schmidt and Rob VanMil rounded out the top five.
Chase Peterson of Milaca looked on his way to a feature win in the IMCA Hobby Stocks. However, there was an incident on the front stretch — which I did not see because of that damn building that was put up in the infield. He was charged with the caution; honestly I think he had the win if the caution doesn’t wave.
Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks assumed the lead and picked up the win over Brad Orvedal of Fargo. Peterson was third, and Gina White of West Fargo — driving Alyssa White’s #14 car — was fourth.
—Here’s a racing story you don’t hear every day: Alyssa White left last week for basic training — and her mother, Gina, took over the driving duties! Gina was racing for the first time in 15 years, and she finished fourth in her first night in the car.
—Matt Aukland of Glyndon was leading his heat but pulled in, and he did not make the call for the feature. I’m not sure what happened but it was a tough break.
—One driver who quietly had a good run in the IMCA Mods was Cody Peterson of Glyndon. He started 14th on the field and finished seventh.