Storck, Peterson, Wilke, Hall, Dykhoff and Goulet Win at Buffalo River
I was back at Buffalo River Speedway near Glydnon last night. The 1/4-mile was hosting a special for the Wissota Midwest Modifieds and Wissota Modifieds along with running IMCA Modifieds, Wissota Street Stocks, INEX Legends and Short Trackers. A solid 75-car field was on hand.
The weather forecast was very bleak for Sunday for much of the day, which I think scared away a few of the drivers from further away. Plus, it’s the middle of a holiday weekend and many had plans. Even though the show got started a little late, things were wrapped up before 9:30, so I’d say it was a decent night for Buffalo River.
The track paid tribute to IMCA Modified driver Casey Arneson of Fargo, who tragically lost his life on Friday. Each class ran a pace lap before the features with the inside pole open with fans holding up two fingers in honor of Arneson, who drove the #2 car. Many drivers had decals honoring him as well.
The track at Buffalo River was the exact opposite of last week. A week ago it was tackier with some character; this week it was hard, smooth and slick from top to bottom.
Corey Storck of Morris and Jory Berg of Grand Forks led the 15-car Wissota Midwest Modified feature to the green. A big stackup happened on the front stretch of the opening lap, with Reise Stenberg of Argusville, Tim Compson and Troy Nelson involved. All were able to continue.
Storck took the early lead with Berg having to contend with Brennon Weight of Lamoure for second. Four-time national champion Travis Saurer settled into third ahead of Laine Schwehr of Sanborn.
Lucas Rodin of Marion moved up to battle Laine Schwehr for fifth as Storck opened up 5-6 car lengths on Weight, who had cleared Berg for second.
The Wissota Midwest Modifieds had their share of cautions back in the field, which would lead to several restarts.
Rodin would get by Weight for third as Saurer set his sights on Storck, who had a 3-4 car length lead. Berg settled into fifth.
A three-car battle for sixth was tense between Laine Schwehr, Jaren Wibstad and last week’s Rebel Midwest Modified tour winner, Justin Jones of Bemidji.
Saurer was closing the gap slowly on Storck and was within two car lengths with seven to go. Rodin, meanwhile was gaining on Saurer for second. Weight had his hands full with Berg for fifth.
Saurer had to contend with Rodin, which allowed Storck to open up some more breathing room. Weight was able to pull ahead of Berg for fifth. The best racing was for second between Saurer, who won Saturday at Viking, and Rodin for second.
Storck, the runner-up to Justin Jones last week, went on to 1.793 second win over Saurer, who announcer Corey Litton reported is the all-time midwest modified wins leader at Buffalo River. Rodin was third, Weight fourth and Berg fifth. Schwehr won the hard-fought battle for sixth.
Joseph Thomas of Glyndon — driving the 6 car (his dad, Corky drove the #7T) took the lead from the outside pole over his uncle, Tim. Tyler Peterson of Horace, the defending Wissota Mod national champion,
Peterson is never one content to follow the leader, and he put the 1TPO up high and got the line to work. He ate into Joseph Thomas’s lead eventually got a run out of turn four to take over the top spot with 15 laps to go. The 1TPO loves the short tracks, and is especially fast when top line comes around.
The best battle on the track was between Travis Saurer and former Wissota national champion Blake Jegtvig of Hawley for the third spot. Both drivers have a lot of laps on the 1/4-mile at Glyndon.
Peterson’s car was a bullet and he went on to win by 2.327 seconds for his second win of the weekend, which was worth $1,000. Peterson also won Saturday at Greenbush Race Park. Joseph Thomas was second, Saurer took third and Jegtvig fourth. Veteran Corky Thomas of Glyndon — another driver who knows BRS very well — passed his brother Tim late to finish fifth.
A tip of the hat to Jesse Skalicky of Fargo and Tyler Hall of Fertile. They ran their IMCA modifieds with the Wissota cars to help add some numbers to the field as both did double duty on the evening. It required some changing of tires, etc. but both did a fine job. Hall raced 45 laps worth of modified features on Sunday, including his win in the IMCA Mod feature earlier in the evening. And no, one race isn’t fair to judge the Wissota vs. IMCA cars.
Before I delve into the IMCA Modified feature, I want to give a tip of the cap to Tyler Hall, who drove an excellent race to pick up his first feature victory of the season. There were some issues were behind him, however.
Hall stuck his #60 machine to the bottom and kept it there the whole race. He started in third — moving up after Nick Curtis dropped out before the race with mechanical issues — but quickly moved into third and pressured early leader Jeff Ogden of Reiles Acres. Jeff Nelson of Perham got by Odden for the lead, and Hall followed into second.
Skalicky had started ninth but was moving up quickly and soon was pressuring Nelson for second. Also running well was Cody Peterson of Glyndon, who ran strong at Red River Valley Speedway on Friday.
Skalicky suffered a right front flat after contact with Nelson in one and two; he went to the pits to change the tire with 11 to go. A series of cautions followed; Cody Peterson was spun out on one of them, and Odden’s #0 went around shortly after.
Skalicky and Nelson weren’t through meeting, however as Skalicky made it clear he wasn’t happy with the earlier contact. Moments later Nelson drove in hard and got into the left-rear corner panel of the #3S in turns one and two, and Skalicky returned the favor with a jolt on the front stretch, and both were sent pitside by the flagman. Let’s just say, those two won’t be getting together for beers any time soon -- but that's the kind of stuff fans tend to like.
Jacob Jordan of Brainerd looked to be making some momentum on the higher side and closed on Hall late; but he got in the marbles in turn four and lost a spot to drop to third as Peterson got by. Moments later he slid high again allowing Odden to take over third.
Hall would win by 1.904 seconds and dedicated the win to Casey Arneson. Peterson capped off a great night in second with Odden a solid third. Jordan was fourth and Jamie Schulz of Harwood was fifth.
Ryan Braseth of Ulen jumped out to the lead from the outside pole of the INEX Legends feature, which had 22 starters.
Moving up quickly after starting fifth was Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes , who moved into second and set his sights on Braseth. After a restart Wilke took over the top spot.
Braseth, however fought back on the bottom. Wilke was running a tad higher line and Braseth stayed right with the 72 machine.
Several drivers were battling for spots in the top five, including Collin Compson of Valley City, Ashton Spieker of Sabin, Dylan Johnson of Durbin and Scott Richardson of Pelican Rapids being among them
Lapped traffic became an issue with seven to go, but Wilke avoided calamity and held a 1-2 car length advantage. Braseth would close in corners but Wilke’s momentum out of the corners was the difference.
One driver who was working nicely through the field was Alex Braseth of Ulen, who started 15th but soon moved close to the top five.
A caution came out with five to go, setting up a sprint to the finish. Wilke had a little breathing room but Braseth didn’t let him get away, and soon closed the gap setting up a thrilling final lap.
Ryan Braseth had one more charge in him — and made a great run off of turn four and actually inched ahead on the final lap, but got a tad loose and Wilke’s momentum carried him to the win. Ryan Braseth settled for second.
Collin Compson won a hard-fought multi-car battle to finish third with Spieker, last week’s winner, taking fourth. Alex Braseth capped off a great run through the field ahead of Richardson.
National point leader Braden Brauer took the lead from the outside pole of the Wissota Street Stock feature. But soon, Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck — who started way back in eighth, was making an early charge.
Kyle Anderson’s 59 car went around in turn two after some contact with Ussatis. Anderson wasn’t through by any means, however.
Dykhoff, third in the national points, won Friday at I-94 Sure Step Speedway and Saturday at Madison and was patient after taking over second. He worked the middle line and lower lines, and eventually made the middle lane work, making the pass of Brauer on the outside out of turn two with about 10 to go.
Brauer’s car was just a bit loose and that allowed Ussatis to close in for second. Also running well was Greg Jose of Grand Forks who was with the lead pack.
Caution came out with eight to go for James Meagher’s spin in turn three. Dykhoff opened up some breathing room for the lead after that with Ussatis and Brauer going at it hard for second. Jose was there, and soon, Kyle Anderson — who had gone to the back for a spin on the opening lap — was back in contention.
Dykhoff pulled away for his third win of the weekend by 1.679 seconds. He told me beforehand he is going for national points at this point in the season, and three wins in a weekend is a big help. The 11 car is fast and smooth right now.
Brauer settled for second with Ussatis coming home third. Anderson was fourth and Jose outlasted Greseth for fifth.
The Short Trackers capped off the night with eight cars taking the green flag. Cody Crabtree set the pace early, but it was clear the #79 of Hunter Goulet of Fargo was fast. Goulet would overtake Crabtree for the lead about halfway through and checked out on the field.
Jason Kast of Fairmont was moving through the field after starting seventh and moved into third ahead of Delane Christiensen.
Goulet was never threatened, picking up the win over Crabtree. Kast was third, Christensen fourth and Adrian Kubitz of Dilworth fifth.
—Christian Kast of Fairmont, N.D., might be climbing the list for most unlucky driver. He rolled his #03 Short Tracker on Friday at I-94, leaving it heavily damaged. Kast rolled his car at Viking Speedway in 2021. Kast was borrowing a car for Sunday and finished sixth.
—I talked to Cole and Matt Greseth during Sunday’s show. Cole joined the rollover club last week when his #19 Wissota Street Stock rolled during the late moments of his heat race last week at Buffalo River. Matt said the car had a lot of damage and Shayne Laske did work on it. They were up late in the night on Saturday and worked Sunday to get to the track (arriving about 6:15). Greseth ran well in the feature and was battling for a spot in the top five.
—I talked to Jeff Nelson, who has been racing his IMCA Modified this season as he waits for the motor for his Wissota Midwest Modified. Nelson was involved in a wreck at Murray County Speedway in Slayton on Friday in his IMCA car, and then went from seventh to third at Worthington on Saturday. He said at this point, since he doesn’t have his motor for his Wissota car, he likely will focus the 2022 season solely on his IMCA mod.
—I also visited with Justin Jones, who has the unique perspective of racing a both an IMCA Sport Mod and Wissota Midwest Modified. I asked the differences between the two; there are tire tread differences, some suspension differences (for example the Wissota car can use a quick-change rear end, and also can run Bert Transmissions). IMCA sport mods run power-glide transmissions. He said an IMCA car, with a good share of changes, could run in Wissota but it would be a lot of work to convert a Wissota midwest mod to an IMCA sport mod.