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Strand Wins Golden Hammer at Devils Lake; Big Wins for Hastings, Robertson and Vogel

Jason Strand won the Golden Hammer at Devils Lake

The Golden Hammer Challenge sponsored by Walhalla was the special for the Wissota Midwest Modifieds Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway. The winner of the 40-lap main event would be paid $2,000.

A good field of 24 cars — with several cars capable of winning — was on hand in the mid mods. Jason Strand of Portland picked up the $2,000 win surviving a wild race. Joe Potter outdueled Trey Hess for the Wissota Street Stock win while Joe Armstrong picked up another Pure Stock feature.

The area received more than two inches of rain on Friday so the track had some character. The track prep workers worked hard to try and get the track in shape but there were some soft spots that provided some challenges for drivers.

The midwest modifieds qualified via two heats. The second heat was inverted, and the feature lineup was determined by passing points of the two heats. Jason Halverson of Devils Lake recorded the most passing points and had the pole for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature. He led the first eight laps over Brennon Weight of LaMoure when a caution came out.

A couple of drivers who I would have considered prime contenders had issues pretty early into the race. Nate Reynolds of Hoople, who has threee wins at Devils Lake this season, blew a left rear that brought out the first caution with 32 to go. Preston Carr’s #5 machine also had some damage on the right rear, I didn’t see what happened, and he left via the push truck. Reynolds, who was running in the top six, changed the tire but had to go to the tail.

Weight passed Halverson on the restart and took the lead and that also brought Jamie Dietzler of Larimore into contention, along with Jason Strand of Portland in his #E85 machine. Dietzler slipped up and lost some ground and dropped back to fourth as Weight and Strand set a feverish pace up front.

Meanwhile, Reynolds was making a charge through the field after his flat tire. He was up into the top nine on the restart with 21 to go. Another car quietly sneaking his way into the top five was Matt Schow of McIntosh, Minn. in his 2S machine.

On the restart, Strand went low and pressured Weight, while Schow moved into fourth and soon passed Halverson for third.

Strand, interviewed above, led briefly but Weight fought back to regain the top spot. At the same time, several cars went up to the high side and began making up ground, including Eric Haugland of Brocket.

With 17 to go, the caution came out again and that brought Strand and Schow to Weight’s bumper. On the restart Strand made an aggressive but clean move on the bottom of turns three and four to take over the top spot.

However, another car was making a big-time charge through the field — Haugland. Haugland, who started, 16th, went up high and began picking off a car per lap. and was soon into the top five. He passed Schow for third with 14 left and then began to battle Weight for second.

It turned into a furious four-car battle up front as Strand, Weight, Schow and Haugland went at it hard. With eight to go, however, Weight and Haugland got together in turns one and two that sent Haugland spinning. He left via the wrecker with front end damage and Weight was charged with the yellow. Weight had significant damage on the sheet metal on the right side of his car and decided to call it a night.

That left Strand, Schow and Halvorson as the top three with eight to go. Halverson faded on the restart, and Reynolds, Reise Stenberg of Argusville and Jory Berg of Grand Forks were closing in on the top five. Berg had gone to the rear for an earlier caution but fought back into contention and was in third when the caution came out with two to go. Strand opened up a few car length lead on Schow over the final two laps to pick up the win. Jory Berg finished third with Cole Haugland of Brocket fourth and Stenberg fifth.

Halverson had some bad luck on the final lap, hitting a rut in turns three and four and going airborne, which caused him to hit Dietzler. Both cars had the leave on the wrecker.

The Wissota Streets seem to put on a good show every time I’m at Devils Lake and Saturday was no exception. Joe Potter of Euclid, Minn. (located by Crookston), interviewed above, took the lead on the green with Rune Uhrich of Langdon giving chase. On the move were Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks and Trey Hess of Lakota.

Uhrich’s hopes for a win ended with a spin on the backstretch which sent him to the tail. On the restart Hess edged ahead of Potter using the lower line. But the 56-year-old Potter fought back on a little higher line and re-gained the lead with three to go. Hess made one last charge on the final lap but came up short as Potter picked up his first victory of 2020. The last win for Potter, by the way, came at Devils Lake in 2019.

Joe Potter (10) picked up his first win of 2020.

Hess, hungry for his first win of the year, must have to wonder what it will take to break into victory lane at Devils Lake — he now has finished second three times.

Klostreich ran well all night long and finished a solid third while Brian Johanson of Edmore, who started seventh, took home fourth. Josh Worrall of Devils Lake was fifth.

The big question in the Pure Stocks at Devils Lake is can anyone end the winning ways of Joe Armstrong of Crary. For 13 laps Dan Arends of Devils Lake seemed to be doing that, but lapped traffic and an untimely caution, at least from his perspective, changed the race.

Arends got together with the lapped car of Hudson Hooker of Rugby on the front stretch, causing Hooker to have a flat, bring out the caution. That brought Armstrong to Arends’s bumper, and the veteran struck quickly with two to go, going to the low side and taking the lead. Arends was second, Daniel Bromstad of Luverne was third, Steven Richards of Finley was fourth and Tony Bundy of Balta fifth.

Might be time for a bounty on Armstrong, who has five wins at Devils Lake this season.

It was a tough night for Pure Stock driver Mikara Johansen of Edmore, who made it one lap packing the track before having engine trouble which ended her evening. Her dad, Brian finished fourth in the street feature.

Gerdes, Gronwold, Satter Lead Viking Speedway Winners

Brady Gerdes of Villard won the Wissota Modified feature Saturday night at Viking Speedway in Alexandria. Tyler Kaeter of St. Cloud was second, Danny Bayer of Elrosa third, Dusty Bitzan of Brandon fourth and Dan Ebert of Lake Shore fifth.

Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature with Brendan Blascyk of Kensington taking second. Randy Laage of Brooten was third, Ron Saurer of Dalton fourth and Corey Storck of Morris fifth.

Ryan Satter of Dent won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Jack Koranda of Bluffton. Brock Gronwold, driving the #70 car, was third with Tanner Horn of Wadena fourth. Megan Blomgren of Eagle Bend started 12th but finished a season-best sixth.

Jim Gullikson of Nowthen topped Jason Cook of Brandon for the Wissota Super Stock win. Trevor Saurer of Dalton was third, Jeff Crouse of Alexandria was fourth and Bryan Hellerman of Parker Prairie fifth. Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria won the Limited Late Model feature over Greg Umlauf of Rothsay.

Hastings, Robertson Win at Red River Valley

Jade Hastings of Grand Forks won the NOSA Sprint feature Saturday night at Red River Valley. Nick Omdahl of East Grand Forks was second, Shane Roemeling of Grand forks third, Jordan Graham of Grand Forks fourth and Tim Estenson of Fargo — who started 15th — finished fifth.

Travis Robertson of Moorhead topped Todd Heinrich of Fargo for the IMCA Stock Car win. Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada was third and Rick Schulz of Harwood fourth.

Darrell Lanigan won the World of Outlaws Late Model feature at RRVS. Lanigan passed leader Ricky Weiss on lap 20 and led the rest of the way.

RaceChaser Notes

—Justin Vogel of Brooten, Minn., won the Steffes Street Stock Tour stop at Miller Central Raceway in Miller, S.D. on Saturday. It was Vogel’s second tour win of 2020. Eric Riley of Morris, Minn., edged Wisconsin driver Parker Anderson for second.

—Hunter Hougard of Warren won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday night at Greenbush Race Park. Ryan Johnson of Karlstad won the Wissota Street Stock feature.

Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks was second in the Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint feature.

Ryan Braseth of Ulen started ninth and worked his way to the front to pick up the INEX Legends win Saturday at Jamestown Speedway. Sean Johnson of Kindred was second, Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes third and Brody Carlsrud of Fargo fifth.

Nate Reinke of Lisbon outdueled his brother Zach for the Wissota Midwest Modified win. Bob Banish Jr. of Milnor finished second in the Wissota Street Stock feature while Jerry Lamb of Lisbon was fourth and Kasey Ussatis of Nome fifth.

Jarod Klein of Jamestown was second in the Bomber feature with Nick Thoreson of Valley City third. Dylan Steele of Jamestown was fifth.

67-year-old Marlyn Seidler of Underwood won the IMCA Modified feature. John Nord of Enderlin was fourth.

Maria Broksieck of Goodwin, S.D., (Wissota Street Stock) and Brian Haben of Appleton (Wissota Modified) picked up wins at Madison Speedway's season opener.

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