Norman County Raceway dodged the area rain showers — and a rotten forecast — to get its show on Thursday as part of the Norman County Fair.
I willl admit it. The forecast scared me away from Thursday’s show. It rained much of the day in Fargo and the forecast showed rain coming late in the afternoon in the Ada area. I had to make a call on a babysitter at about 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon so I went on the forecast. Which was wrong, which it usually is.
The Bitkers took a gamble on the weather and decided to race. A couple of people I chatted with afterwards said the stands were absolutely packed and Ilove to hear that. The county fair night is one of the biggest nights of the year for Norman County Raceway, so I understand taking the gamble. Your crowd most likely is going to be good with people already attending the fair. The one downside of a rotten forecast is sometimes this keeps cars away. A solid field of 14 sprints were on hand — I mean you can’t complain if Mark Dobmeier, Thomas Kennedy and Wade Nygaard are leading your field — but numbers were down in the legends and Wissota Midwest Modifieds.
Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks outdueled Mark Dobmeier of Grand Forks for the NOSA Sprint win. Thomas Kennedy of Winnipeg was third and Austin Pierce of Grand Forks was fourth.
Reise Stenberg of Argusville topped his brother-in-law Matt Schow of McIntosh for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win. Stenberg has six wins this season. Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls was third.
Andy Wagner of Ada topped Brandon Schmidt for the IMCA Sport Mod win. The win was Wagner’s first of 2019. Schmidt settled for second; Aaron Wetterlin of Moorhead was third. Wetterlin has been in the top five all four nights at NCR this season.
15-year-old Tye Wilke picked up his third feature win of 2019 by topping the INEX Legend feature. Brody Carlsrud of Moorhead was second, Andrew Jochim of Glyndon third and Kaitlyn Skalicky of Fargo fourth. The race is part of the Minn-Kota Legends Tour, which goes to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo on Friday, Buffalo River Race Park near Glyndon on Saturday and River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Sunday. The first four nights of the tour were held earlier this month.
I am still puzzled where the legends car numbers have gone in this area. This class was drawing 17-20 cars a night at RRVS and BRRP and now is in the low teens most of the time and in some cases struggling to get to 10. This is an affordable class, a perfect transition for those who raced go-karts. Maybe it’s a one-year anomaly. And it’s a competitive class; very rarely do you see one car just run away with a win.
Rob VanMil of Barnesville was back in victory lane in the IMCA Stock Cars, topping Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada for the win. The win was fifth of the season in the stock cars for VanMil, but his first since May 31. He also has two IMCA Mod wins.
Tim Shiek of Fargo is having a really good start to 2019 in the IMCA Hobby Stocks. He picked up his third win of the year with the hobby stock win. Shiek has finished in the top three five times this season. Brad Orvedal of Fargo was second and Alyssa White of West Fargo was third.
Friday is a big night for local tracks. Red River Valley Speedway hosts the Minn-Kota Legends Tour and also the Dakota Cat Mod Special; I-94 Speedway hosts the King of the Dirt, with a $3,000 to win late model feature and $1,500 to win modified feature. River Cities Speedway runs the NOSA Sprints, the sprint cars and the lightning sprints as part of the Greater Grand Forks Fair week (the NLRA Late Models, midwest modifieds and lightning sprints will run on Sunday).