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RRV Speedway’s Spirited Race Fans Endure Freezing Temps on Opening Night

Published on May 16, 2016

By Mike Spieker

WEST FARGO, ND (May 13) – After nearly four long years, Red River Valley Speedway was resurrected Friday night to the delight of hundreds of dedicated race fans, who braved wind chills that approached 30 degrees. A stout field of 70 race teams were signed in to inaugurate a new era of racing at “the fastest track in the upper Midwest!”

The brand new racing surface was in phenomenal condition. As the night advanced the tacky conditions transitioned to dry slick and smooth, which allowed for three and four wide racing all night long.

Billy Carou of Jamestown took the speedway’s first checkered flag as he held off Brandon Schmidt in the Pure Stock feature. Carou came from the fourth starting position to battle with Brennan Urbach for the race lead in the early going. Carou won that battle on lap two and looked to set sail on the field, but a couple of cautions kept the driver of the #7C at bay and the field bunched up.

Carou saw a challenge from Schmidt in the late stages, but found his groove and cruised to the victory. Schmidt, Kasey Ussatis, Urbach, and Dan Dowling rounded out the top five.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of the evening came in the INEX Legends division as Tim Brockhouse and Shane Williams fought for the win.
Brockhouse snuck by pole sitter, Troy Hoff, on lap three and brought the #28 of Casey Henriksen with him. With Hoff filed back to third now, the top three drivers ran single file as they distanced themselves from the field. As the race advanced, however, Shane Williams kept gaining speedway. The eighth-place starter was in fourth with 10 to go, but found himself in second right behind Brockhouse on the final green-white-checkered restart. As the field stormed into turns three and four for the final time, Williams put the chrome horn to Brockhouse several times, but the experienced Brockhouse eased on the brakes to keep control of his race car and to break Williams’ momentum. The veteran move paid dividends as Brockhousecame around to take the victory.

Minot’s Erik Laudenschlager and Fargo’s Jesse Skalicky lead the field of 14 IMCA Northern Sport Mods to the green flag for their 18-lap feature. After a two lap battle for the point, Laudenschlager held the position over Skalicky as Tyler McDougall and Luke Johnson fought for third and fourth. At the halfway point, Laudenschlager had a 10 car length lead over Skalicky, who picked up the RRV Speedway’s last Pure Stock track championship in 2012, but Skalicky found his groove up on the high side of the track and began closing in on the #49 machine. With four to go, Laudenschlager’s lead was down to just three car lengths, but just as Skalicky was within striking distance, his machine began to fade. Laudenschlager’s car was better off of turn two and that’s all he needed to park it in KRJB 106.5FM Victory Lane.

Coming into the night everybody was asking, “Can anybody stop Rob VanMil?” The 2015 IMCA Modified National Rookie of the Year picked up a convincing win the previous Sunday at Buffalo River Race Park and backed it up with a win Thursday night at Norman County Raceway where he took the checkers with an advantage of 11.5 seconds.
If VanMil was going to make it three in a row, he had a long way to go as he was mired back in the tenth starting position for the 25-lap main event.

Dev Malmlov led the opening lap from outside the front row over Michael Greseth. On lap five, however, VanMil had charged through the field to make it a three wide fight for second with Greseth and Mike Johnson. After the trio held their three wide formation for two complete circuits around the 3/8th mile oval, VanMil took over the runner-up position and set his sights on Malmlov.

With 10 to go VanMil had erased Malmlov’s lead and looked to make it three wide once again in turn one with Malmlov and a lapped car. Malmlov drove to the high side of the lapped car of Nick Curtis and got stuck up in the marbles. As a result Malmlov slid off the embankment and brought out the caution, bringing a frustrating end to the veteran driver’s hopes of claiming RRV Speedway’s first IMCA Modified win.

VanMil then inherited the lead for the ensuing restart. The driver of the Sander’s Metal Products/Victory by Performance Auto #4D ran the low side of the speedway to pick up the win. Johnson came home second as Dave Shipley came from 15th to round out the podium.

Racing continues next Friday night at Red River Valley Speedway presented by RealTruck.com with IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, INEX Legends, and Pure Stocks/IMCA Hobby Stocks. The green flag waves at 7pm!


Pure Stocks – Feature
1 – 7C Billy Carou
2 – 219 Brandon Schmidt
3 – 2U Kasey Ussatis
4 – 33 Brennan Urbach
5 – 5X Dan Dowling
6 – 13C Paul Colvin
7 – 93 Taylor Saari
8 – 3XL Brad Orvedahl
9 – 73 Maranda Borg
10 – 31X Tim Shiek
11 – 68 Dan Evert
12 – 21 Tim Church
13 – 30X Shawn Orvedahl


Legends – Feature
1 – D1RT Tim Brockhouse
2 – 94 Shane Williams
3 – 21 Andrew Jochim
4 – 86 Troy Hoff
5 – 18 Josh Julsrud
6 – 6 Chad Sogge
7 – 69 Brian Hanson
8 – 28 Casey Henriksen
9 – 14 Tim Estenson
10 – 15 Mariah Henriksen
11 – 8JR Kaitlyn Skalicky
12 – 5 Dean Julsrud
13 – 29 Brandon Erickson
14 – 24 Shaun Erickson
15 – 7 Cade Sogge
16 – 72 Tye Wilke
17 – 76 Reile Sailer
18 – 9 Troy Jagoditsh


IMCA Mods – Feature
1 – 4D Rob Vanmil
2 – 84 Michael Johnson
3 – 72 Dave Shipley
4 – 7 Bryce Borgen
5 – 17 Michael Greseth
6 – 60 Tyler Hall
7 – 91C Jarrett Carter
8 – 22B Josh Beaulieu
9 – 0 Jeff Odden
10 – 19 Todd Carter
11 – 4500 Cody Peterson
12 – 7B Bryce Bjerken
13 – 18 Mike Anderson
14 – 2 Rusty Kollman
15 – 65 Bob Banish Jr.
16 – 38 Tailin Tommerdahl
17 – R4 Rob Plath
18 – 12C Nick Curtis
19 – 46 Karmith Christensen
20 – 70 Josh Anderson
21 – 21 Dev Malmlov
22 – 17P Rich Pavlicek
23 – 52B Brennan Borg
24 – 4V Billy Vogel
25 – 34C Michael Griffin


IMCA Sport Mods – Feature
1 – 49 Erik Laudenschlager
2 – 3S Jesse Skalicky
3 – M4 Tyler Mcdougall
4 – 0 Robby Rosselli
5 – 8J Luke Johnson
6 – 44D Christopher Vanmil
7 – 5 Scott Jacobson
8 – 5T Matt Talley
9 – 51 Kelly Jacobson
10 – 889 Kyle Keller
11 – 9 Philip Keller
12 – 13C Paul Colvin
13 – 60X Patrick Brejcha
14 – 19C Dustin Hartwig