By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO, ND (June 24) – For the first time since August 25th, 2012, the WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series was back in action at Red River Valley Speedway. A total of 96 cars were signed in to compete in front of an estimated season high of 1,200 fans. Cole Schill and Brian Bernotas took the WISSOTA wins, while Rob VanMil, Luke Johnson, and Tim Church took the Speedway Motors IMCA Weekly Racing victories.
Twenty-five WISSOTA/NLRA Late Models made up the starting grid for their 25-lap main event. Schill and Allen Kent led the field to the green and they battled door to door into turn one. Schill came away with the advantage, but Kent hung tough on the outside for the first three circuits. Schill finally cleared the Minot, ND runner in turn one and drove out to a comfortable lead.
The first and only caution was displayed on lap seven as Kent and Shane Edginton lined up right behind Schill for the restart. Edginton took off on the restart as he took second from Kent and looked for the lead in turn three. However, Schill fended off the charge as he rode the low side of the speedway.
Meanwhile, Brad Seng and Dustin Strand were on the move. The two Grand Forks drivers each gained 10 positions in the first nine laps from their 15th and 18th starting spots, respectively. At the halfway point, Seng got a huge run off the top of turn two and propelled himself from fifth to third in one lap. The current NLRA point leader then set his sights on the Performance Auto #4 of Edginton. With seven to go, Seng made the pass for second and it looked as though he would have enough time to catch Schill. But Schill made some key moves in lapped traffic that sealed the deal as he came to the checkers with the crowd on its feet, cheering on their hometown driver.
Seng finished second as Don Shaw came from 12th to third. Edginton and Zach Naastad rounded out the top five, while Dustin Strand wheeled is way from 18th to sixth.
Joe Pellman led the opening lap Fargo Force WISSOTA Super Stock main event. Pellman was overtaken by Jeff Crouse on lap two, but Crouse too was quickly passed for the lead by Brain Bernotas on lap three. Numerous cautions plagued the event, but Bernotas was able to take off each and every time to protect the lead. Bernotas took his fourth career win at the 3/8th mile oval over “Wild Bill” Wadeson, Pellman, Tim Compson, and Al Cleveland.
The IMCA Modifieds were 30 cars strong for their 25-lap main event. After a five wide fight for the lead on the opening lap, all signs pointed to back to back wins for Michael Greseth as he came from seventh to the lead in just two laps. From there Greseth opened up a whopping nine second lead over Rob VanMil and Dev Malmlov, but a caution with two laps to go changed everything. Under caution Greseth lost the drive shaft just as the caution lights went out for the green-white-checkered restart. VanMil then inherited the lead and held off Michael Johnson, who started back in 16th, as John Corell, Rich Pavlicek, and Dev Malmlov rounded out the top five. Greseth was scored a heart-breaking 17th. Jason Strand was the hard charger of the race, advancing from 28th to eighth.
Luke Johnson held off Robby Rosselli in the final laps of the IMCA Sport Mod feature. Moohead, MN driver took the lead with a three wide pass on the opening lap and led every circuit, but took the win by a mere 0.360 seconds.
Fifty-one year old IMCA Hobby Stock rookie, Tim Church led every lap of the A City Transmission main event. Church took his second win of the season over Brandon Schmidt, Billy Carou, Brad Orvedal, and Keith McCleary.
The next race at Red River Valley Speedway will come Sunday, July 17th as the NOSA Sprint Cars and NLRA Late Models team up for a Red River Valley Fair special event. The $10 fair gate admission gets fans into the races for free.
WISSOTA/NLRA Late Models:
Feature – Cole Schill, Brad Seng, Don Shaw, Shane Edginton, Zach Naastad, Dustin Strand, Mike Balcaen, Allen Kent, Matt Aukland, Kevin Robertson, Jason Storbakken, Shawn Meyer, Jeff Hapala, Steve Anderson, Dave Smith, Jeremy Keller, Casey Meyer, Greg Meyer, Steffen Snare, Josh Johnson, Adam Fischer, Terry Blacklance, Clarence Washburn, Erik Robertson
Heat 1 – Aukland, Balcaen, Hapala, D. Smith, C. Meyer, E. Robertson, Keller, Johnson, Fischer
Heat 2 – Schill, Edginton, Naastad, Anderson, S. Meyer, M. Smith, Washburn, G. Meyer
Heat 3 – Kent, Storbakken, K. Robertson, Shaw, Seng, Strand, Snare, Blacklance
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature – Brian Bernotas, Bill Wadeson, Joe Pellman, Tim Compson, Al Cleveland, Kelly Jacobson, Justin Thompson, Brandon Compson, Brandon Langer, Robert Saindon, Jeff Crouse
Heat 1 – Wadeson, Thompson, Pellman, Cleveland, Saindon, Langer
Heat 2 – T. Compson, Bernotas, Crouse, B. Compson, Jacobson
IMCA Hobby Stocks/Pure Stocks
Feature – Tim Church, Brandon Schmidt, Billy Carou, Brad Orvedahl, Keith Mccleary, Kasey Ussatis, Brennan Urbach, Wyatt Rath-wald, Wade Moerke, Tim Shiek
Heat 1 – Carou, Mccleary, Schmidt, Church, Urbach
Heat 2 – Orvedahl, Dowling, Moerke, Shiek, Rath-wald
IMCA Sport Mods
Feature – Luke Johnson, Robby Rosselli, Jesse Skalicky, Kelly Jacobson, Patrick Brejcha, Christopher Vanmil, Matt Talley, Vince Jegtvig, Dustin Hartwig, Richard Bohlman
Heat 1 – Talley, Skalicky, Rosselli, Johnson, K. Jacobson
Heat 2 – S. Jacobson, Bohlman, Mcdougall, Vanmil, Grove
Feature – Rob Vanmil, Michael Johnson, John Corell, Rich Pavlicek, Dev Malmlov, Brennan Borg, John Nord, Jason Strand, Greg Friestad, Rusty Kollman
Heat 1 – Griffin, Malmlov, Anderson, Bjerken, Vanmil
Heat 2 – Kollman, Corell, Hall, Kneip, Perkins
Heat 3 – Borg, Greseth, Kollman, Pavlicek, Peterson
Heat 4 – Friestad, Nord, Carter, Johnson, Lick