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Truscinski, Schulz, Olson, Shaw, Braseth and Pavlicek Lead Norman County Winners

Thursday was the second-to-last night of the season at Norman County Raceway in Ada as the point battles are coming to a close. 87 cars were on hand.

The second annual POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint Tour kicked off Thursday at Norman County Raceway with 28 cars competing. Cars from California, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Canada, North Dakota and Minnesota were on hand. The tour goes to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday, Greenbush Race Park on Saturday and concludes Sunday at Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon.

My opinion, as a fan, is for tracks not to run seven classes if you are bringing a tour to town, especially on a Thursday night when people have to work the next day. That’s a lot of classes for a week night and, along with two red flags for rollovers and a rain shower, led to a very long night.

Norman County seems to be stuck at the 6-8 car range for the IMCA Hobby Stocks and Stock Cars for weekly shows (there have been more for special races). I realize Thursday night racing is tough for racers with work, etc., but I can’t think of a lot of other reasons why in those classes the numbers are what they are. The payouts are exactly the same as Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo according to both tracks websites. Just an observation.

I think for an non-NLRA show, 13 Wissota Late Models isn’t bad, and you had some really good cars on hand, too.

Jason Berg of West Fargo took the early lead as California driver Grant Sexton, the defending race winner, was off the pace early after starting on the front row.

Alan Truscinski of Greenbush put the pressure on Berg for the lead and would take the lead; his issue became lapped traffic quickly. Colorado driver Chris Crowder moved into third.

The Truscinski lead grew to 2.387 seconds over Berg, who had Crowder on his heels. Crowder was fast and moved into second and was eating into Alan Truscinski’s lead.

Alex Truscinski of Greenbush was running a solid fourth but also on the move was Dexter Dvergsten of Greenbush into the top five.

The red flag would come out with three to go Berg rolled his #100 machine after striking a tire in turns three and four. Chasity Younger of St. Joseph, Mo., was also involved and also rolled hard off the corners. Both drivers were OK.

With three to go Alan Truscinski had the edge over Crowder with Eric Sundborg of Windsor, Quebec in third.

Crowder made a big time challenge late for the win, but Alan Truscinski would hold on for a 0.556 win. Crowder, Sundborg, Dvergsten and Alex Truscinski rounded out the top five.

The Wissota Midwest Modifieds took the track first with 11 cars taking the green. After several cars were involved in a brutal restart, the race restart with Justin Olson of Thief River Falls jumping out to the early lead over Reise Stenberg of Argusville.

The caution came out with Brady Jawaski spinning in turn four, collecting Cole Neset of Fargo. Neset was able to continue, Jawaski had a flat left front and went

Olson resumed in the lead with Stenberg fighting with Bryan Kakela of Langdon and Aaron Blacklance for second. Kakela was out for the first time this season.

Stenberg and Blacklance raced extremely hard for third with some contact and sliders between the two. You can definitely tell we are in August as the intensity has clearly cranked up and some of the patience has vanished. Blacklance would take over the spot before a red flag waved for a rollover.

I felt bad for Laine Schwehr of Sanborn, N.D. On Facebook he announced he made a last-minute call to make the trip to NCR – a drive of more than 110 miles one way – but his night ended badly with a rollover in turns one and two with seven laps left. He was OK, but his car , pictured above, was badly tore up. Schwehr has been one of the most improved drivers in that class the past two years.

On the restart Olson continued to set the pace but Blacklance had moved into second ahead of Kakela. Stenberg now faced a challenge from first-time visitor Kyle Langland of Enderlin for the fourth spot. The preferred line was definitely the higher lane for the midwest mods.

Olson had some breathing room over the final few laps to pick up his first victory of 2022. Blacklance, who has a commanding points lead at NCR, settled for second with Kakela, Stenberg and Langland rounding out the top five. It was an “eventful” race, and not many cars didn’t have some kind of damage.

Rick Schulz of Horace took the early lead in the IMCA Stock Car feature over teammate Todd Heinrich of Fargo.

Those two had some breathing room as from about third on back it was feverish racing. Keaten Froemke of Glyndon, Brody Carlsrud of Fargo and Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada were going at it hard for that spot.

Schulz had a lead of more than a second over Heinrich who had nearly a straightaway on the multi-car fight for third. Kesselberg, who is in a fight with Rob VanMil of Barnesville for the points lead, took over third past Carlsrud.

Schulz won by 1.611 for his first feature win, according to my research, since Aug. 2020. He’s had many top five finishes in that stretch but victory lane had eluded him. It was a good, strong performance for the #4 on Thursday. Heinrich capped off a good run in second with Kesselberg third. Carlsrud and VanMil rounded out the top five in a caution-free race.

Don Shaw of Ham Lake and Cole Schill of Hawley led the 13-car Wissota Late Model feature to the green with Shaw jumping out to the lead. The car I was watching was Mike Greseth of Harwood, who dominated the NLRA show at NCR earlier this season. He was working the bottom line and soon passed Sam Zender of Fergus Falls for third.

Greseth was spun in turn two, and Zender was charged with the yellow (I didn’t see what happened).

Greseth took over second from Schill on the restart and started pursuit of Shaw. Jason Strand of Portland had moved into fourth, but slid off the top side of turns three and four and lost several spots.

The caution came out with six laps left as Shaw had opened up a 1.01 second lead on Greseth. After another caution Shaw reassumed control, running a very high lane. Schill would pass Greseth for third.

Brad Seng of Grand Forks ran in the top five for much of the race and was in fourth. Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks also was having a good run in the top five.

Shaw won by 1.320 seconds over Schill. Greseth, Seng and Troftgruben rounded out the top five. Interesting note: Shaw, who has not raced much this summer, won for the first time during the summer racing season; he had five feature wins in Arizona early in the year.

Alex Braseth of Ulen led the first lap over Cody Jawaski in the INEX Legends.

Scott Richardson of Pelican Rapids passed Jawaski for second with point leader Ashton Spieker of Sabin settling into third. Braseth, meanwhile had opened up a 1.762 lead on the field. Collin Compson of Valley City had worked into the top four after starting eighth.

Richardson made up a little ground on Braseth but honestly needed a caution – which didn’t happen. Braseth won by 1.296 seconds; since July 22, he has four wins and seven top five finishes in seven starts in what’s been a very impressive stretch.

Richardson, the steady veteran, finished second with Spieker third. Compson and Jawaski rounded out the top five in a caution-free main event.

Andy Wagner of Ada trailed Rich Pavlicek of Casselton by six points in the IMCA Sport Mod standings. Wagner had the pole for Thursday’s feature and took the lead.

After an early caution Chris VanMil of Barnesville moved into second, and soon Pavlicek was in third. Pavlicek would take over the second spot as Wagner stayed out in front.

Vince Jegtvig of Dilworth was running a solid fourth and Paul Colvin of Horace in fifth.

Wagner looked on his way to fairly uneventful win but was involved with contact with rookie Kamey Leedom just before the white flag. The call from the flagstand was on Wagner, who was not a happy camper and pulled his #3x to the pits.

Pavlicek took over the lead after that incident and went on to win by .502 seconds over VanMil, With Wagner not finishing, Pavlicek added to his point lead with the victory.

Jegtvig capped off a good run in third with Colvin and Patrick Brejcha of Wahpeton finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Three of the IMCA Sport Mod starters were 16 or younger – Tucker Tschakert (16), Jayden Pavlicek (15) and Leedom (14).

Tim Church of Moorhead has been remarkably consistent this season. Entering the night, he had 11 top five finishes, including two wins, in 15 starts. Church took the lead but was soon chased by point leader Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks.

But it was Tim Otterness of Brainerd who stole the show. ON the next restart he was aggressive and went from fourth to first, using the high line to make a run.

Eckerdt wasn’t done. He moved into second and set his sights on Otterness, and it turned into a great duel over the final two laps. Eckerdt made a big challenge on the final lap but ended up a few feet short as Otterness held on by .079 seconds. Church, Todd Gettlel of Mahnomen and Brad Orvedal of Fargo rounded out the top five.

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