Shipley Wins Dakota Cat Shootout at Red River Valley Speedway Finale
I made it back to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo for the Big Iron Race, which was highlighted by the Dakota Cat Mod Shootout. A field of 21 IMCA Modifieds were on hand as Red River Valley Speedway wrapped up its 2022 season.
RRVS started at 6 p.m. and ran four classes. I was disappointed there were only 10 IMCA Stock Cars, but racing on a Wednesday in September may hinder car counts.
Twenty of the 21 cars took the green in the modified feature with John Miller of Enderlin and Jerad Thelen of Minot on the front row. It didn’t take the 3S of Jesse Skalicky to get to the front, however.
Skalicky opened up a lead of more than two seconds on Dave Shipley of Argusville, the 2022 RRVS IMCA Modified track champion. Darren Pfau of West Fargo was solidly in third. Tyler Hall of Fertile moved into the top five and was pressuring Thelen for fourth.
Skalicky looked on his way to the win with a lead of more than two seconds, but a spin with six laps to go brought out the caution, and that was the last thing he wanted to see. It brought Shipley to his bumper.
Pfau actually got by Shipley on the restart but the 72 fought back to regain the spot, and then took aim at the top spot. Shipley put a big slider into turn three with two laps left and made it stick to get by Skalicky.
Shipley would go on to win the shootout — the third straight time he’s done so at RRVS — with Skalicky finishing in second about .755 seconds back. Pfau ran a solid third with Hall finishing a good night in fourth. Keller, a top runner at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, went from 12th to fifth by the checkered.
The IMCA RaceSaver Sprints kicked off the features with Andy Pake of Felton jumping out to the early lead. Amelia Eisenschenk of West Fargo settled into second with Trevor Serbus of Olivia moving into third as Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes was moving quickly.
Eisenschenk slid high of of turns one and two — she was able to save the car from spinning but lost several spots. Pake, meanwhile had a straightaway lead on Serbus as Wilke settled into third.
Serbus — second in the national points to Justin Clark — was closing quickly as Pake encountered lapped traffic. Pake then got crossed up in turns one and two and that was the opening Serbus needed as he took the lead, on his way to his ninth win of 2022. Pake, with three wins himself, took second. Wilke was third, Brandon Rekow of Ellendale fourth and Eisenschenk was fifth.
It looked like a near disaster of a start to the IMCA Stock Car feature with a messy start on the frontstretch but all 10 cars were able to continue.
Rick Schulz of Horace took the early lead. Brennan Borg of Harwood was running down low, as was 2022 RRVS champion Rob VanMil of Barnesville, who I would say has been the fastest stock car locally over the past six weeks.
Schulz had a nice lead. Borg’s 52 had some damage from the lap 1 incident and he slid back. VanMil stuck the 40 machine to the bottom and made it work as he was into second. He then set his sights on Schulz.
Keaten Froemke of Glyndon, Brody Carlsrud of Moorhead and Mike Anderson of Walcott were putting on a heck of a show as they raced for the third spot.
Meanwhile, VanMil was closing on Schulz.. With seven laps to go VanMil made his move and passed Schulz for the top spot.
Anderson was in the battle with Froemke and Carlsbad for third but would slow and pull in. Borg, who was limping his battered 52 machine around at the tail of the field, also would pull in.
VanMil would roll to the win, by 2.197 seconds, over Schulz who had a solid night. Froemke took third. Carlsrud, who started ninth, finished a solid fourth with Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada going from 10th to fifth.
Evan Hendrickson of Mapleton was the early leader in the INEX Legends feature with Sean Johnson of Kindred giving chase.
Ashton Spieker of Sabin didn’t make it it time for his heat race — football practice at Moorhead High School — so he had to start 20th on the 20-car field. In about two laps he had moved to 10th.
Wilke, the dominant INEX Legend Car locally the past few years, started 11th but quickly moved into the top three.
Johnson pressured Hendrickson for the lead and would take over the top spot as Wilke moved into second. Also running well in third was 2022 Sheyenne Speedway track champion Collin Compson of Valley City.
A caution would come out, and Wilke soon would work by Johnson into the lead. Spieker had moved into the top five.
With two laps left Alexander Clark’s 25 machine rolled on the frontstretch after another car struck the wall and came into traffic. On the restart Wilke reassumed control on his way to the win. Johnson capped off a good run in second; Spieker took third from 20th with Alex Braseth of Ulen taking fourth and Compson taking fifth.