They Won't Forget That First Win
I try really hard to be fair with my race reports. I try not to favor people. But once in a while…I can't help but pull for a driver or two.
I’ll admit I was pulling for Haley Lee of Starbuck a little to win the Wissota Midwest Modified feature on Sunday at Sheyenne Speedway. Partly because I’ve gotten to know the Lee family a little over the past couple of years, and partly because I was hoping she’d get that first career win. Nothing against the rest of the field, but I like a good storyline, too. Haley’s raced seven years, been close to a win but hadn’t gotten there yet. Sunday she drove a flawless race to pick up her first win — and she beat a quality field of cars. 10 of the 24 drivers had won at least one feature race this season.
A night earlier, another RaceChaser-area driver, Dylan Steele of Jamestown, won his first career feature, taking the win in the Bombers at Jamestown.
So out of the eight tracks I “cover,” 17 drivers have won their first career features this season. Some have been racing for a few years, some are very early in their careers. Here’s an updated list.
By my count, the following 17 drivers have won their first features, here’s an updated list:
Haley Lee, Starbuck, Minn., (Wissota Midwest Modified at Sheyenne, Aug. 18)
Dylan Steele, Jamestown (Bombers at Jamestown Speedway, Aug. 17).
Gavin Walton, Englevale (Mini Stock, Sheyenne Speedway, Aug. 11)
Brandon Ferris, Moorhead (IMCA Sport Mod, Red River Valley Speedway, Aug. 9)
Alyssa White, West Fargo (IMCA Hobby Stock, Norman County Raceway, July 18)
Cory Dykhoff, Perham (Wissota Street Stock, I-94 Speedway, Aug. 2)
Jaden Christ, Jamestown (Wissota Street Stock, Brown County Speedway, June 1).
Tucker Pederson, East Grand Forks (Wissota Street Stock at River Cities, June 28)
Kelby Anderson, Fort Ransom (Mini Stocks at Sheyenne Speedway)
Brody Carlsrud, Moorhead (INEX Legends at Buffalo River Race Park, June 1)
Zack Nord, Enderlin (Hobby Stock at Sheyenne Speedway, June 2)
Jaren Wibstad, Jamestown (Wissota Midwest Modified at Sheyenne Speedway, June 30)
Cole Greseth, Harwood (Mini Stock at Sheyenne Speedway, June 30)
Ryan Schow, McIntosh (Wissota Midwest Modified, River Cities Speedway, June 14)
Jarod Klein, Wimbledon (Bombers, Jamestown Speedway, June 22)
Zack Kort , Fergus Falls (Short Tracker at I-94, June 28)
Dillon Thorpe, Monango (Bombers at Jamestown Speedway, May 11)
I’ve talked to drivers who’ve raced for decades who still remember their first win pretty vividly. It’s something most will never forget; and it’s something that you will remember a lot of details from.
Keep in mind, there is a 12-year-old on the list above (Cole Greseth) and a 14-year-old (Gavin Walton). And teenagers like Zack Nord, Brody Carlsrud and Alyssa White. White and Carlsrud, by the way, have added to their win totals this season.
It’s fun to follow and it’s fun to see reactions by drivers when they reach victory lane for the first time. It’s one of the things I enjoy in racing.
—Jonny Carter of Lisbon won his 100th career feature in the Wissota Street Stocks on Saturday at Jamestown Speedway. He also leads the Wissota Street Stock national points.
—I checked with Billy Vogel of West Fargo after his Wissota Late Model win at I-94 Speedway on Friday. Vogel had won features in the modified class, but this was his first late model win. More impressive was that it was only in his third night behind the wheel of a late model.
—I visited briefly with Cory Tammen of Moorhead at I-94 on Friday; he had been out a few weeks after he blew a motor in his #71X Wissota Late Model. He got the motor put back together and raced at I-94 on Friday and Sheyenne on Sunday. He finished eighth at Sheyenne after starting 16th at the NLRA show.
—It’s hard to believe Friday was Blake Jegtvig’s first Wissota Modified win of the year at I-94 Speedway. He had a couple of wins at Viking Speedway in Alexandria, including the Gierke Memorial.
—It’s season championship night at Norman County Raceway in Ada on Thursday.
—Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo is racing on Wednesday this week as part of Cruise Night, which will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. All five regular classes will run in addition to the Lightning Sprints.