By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO – Red River Valley Speedway’s 48th season of weekly racing came to a close Friday night. The pit area was packed with 90 race teams checked in for action.
Tyler Peterson of Hickson, N.D. came from 11th to win his fourth IMCA Modified feature of the season at the speedway. Entering the night, Peterson sat third in points, 10 markers out of the lead. With the win, Peterson edged out both Rich Pavlicek and Darren Pfau by one point to claim the Modified title.
Peterson had to go toe-to-toe with perennial powerhouse drivers, Rob VanMil and Casey Arneson. The lead changed five times between the three drivers with Peterson making the pass for the win on lap 11 over VanMil.
A stout field of 23 IMCA SportMods made up the field for their 18 lap main event. Brandon Tendeland grabbed the early lead, but a restart on lap three shook up the running order. A three wide battle for the top spot ensued between Tendeland, Charlie Jensen, and Reile Sailer. Jensen grabbed the lead as Sailer slid into second.
Matt Talley of Sabin, Minn. moved into the second spot with eight laps remaining and set his sights on Jensen. Talley, who started eighth on the grid, quickly reeled in Jensen and took the lead on the following lap. Once out front, Talley checked out and picked up his second win of the season at the speedway. Eleventh starter, Luke Johnson, finished second as 20th-place starter, Paul Colvin, rounded out the podium.
Johnson was awarded the SportMod track championship.
The NLSA Lightning Sprints made their first-ever appearance to Red River Valley Speedway. The series travels to tracks across North Dakota and Minnesota and races weekly at Greenbush (Minn.) Race Park and Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon, Minn. Alex Truscinski of Greenbush led every trip around the high-banked three-eighths-mile dirt oval. He had an early challenge from Zak Kwiatkoski, but eventually pulled away to score a convincing win.
The IMCA Stock Cars, which are relatively new to the region, had one of their largest fields of the season to close out 2018. Just as he did the night before at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn., Rob VanMil of Barnesville won both the track championship and the feature.
After being sent to the tail of the field for causing a caution on lap two, VanMil charged his way through the field. VanMil fought his way back into contention in the closing laps. A caution with three to go was the difference maker.
VanMil went three wide with Brandon Schmidt and Rick Schulz on the restart. VanMil grabbed second from Schulz before moving by Schmidt for the lead with two to go. VanMil collected his division-tying fifth win of the season at the speedway and won the championship by a mere seven points over Schmidt.
For the past two seasons, Fargo’s Tim Estenson has been unstoppable in the INEX legend division. That trend continued on Friday as Estenson raced to his 26th win of the season, 52nd career win overall, and the Red River Valley Speedway track championship. Estenson had to fight with Kaitlyn Skalicky in the early going. The two drivers swapped the lead throughout the first half of the race before Estenson claimed the spot for good with six circuits remaining.
IMCA Hobby Stock rookie, Alyssa White grabbed the lead on the opening lap of the feature. Maranda Borg led lap two, but she was surpassed by Adam Goff of Minot, N.D. on lap three. Goff went on to claim his fourth win of the season. Tim Shiek finished second and secured the hobby stock track championship.
Feature – 1. 1TPO-Tyler Peterson, Hickson, N.D.; 2. 10-Casey Arneson, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 40-Rob VanMil, Barnesville, N.D.; 4. 7-Dale Kraling, Mayville, N.D.; 5. 174-Rich Pavlicek, Casselton, N.D.
Feature – 1. 5T-Matt Talley, Sabin, Minn.Sabin, Minn.; 2. 8J-Luke Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.Moorhead, Minn. ; 3. 33-Brennan Urbach, Englevale, N.D. Englevale, N.D. ; 4. 13C-Paul Colvin, Horace, N.D.Horace, N.D.; 5. 5-Scott Jacobson, Fargo, N.D. Fargo, N.D.
IMCA Stock Cars:
Feature – 1. 40 – Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 2. 4S – Rick Schulz, Horace, N.D.; 3. 18 – Mike Anderson, Walcott, N.D.; 4. Brandon Schmidt, Hillsboro, N.D.; 5. 21 – Tim Church, Glyndon, Minn.
NLSA Lightning Sprints:
Feature – 1. 10-Alex Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.; 2. 17K-Zachary Kwiatkoski, Grand Forks, N.D.; 3. 16-Josh Abrahamson, Moorhead, Minn.; 4. 93-Kelsi Pederson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; 5. 11-Dexter Dvergsten, Greenbush, Minn.
Feature – 1. 14T-Tim Estenson, Fargo, N.D.; 2. 8JR-Kaitlyn Skalicky, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 72-Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; 4. 58-Sean Johnson, Kindred, N.D.; 5. 5-Dean Julsrud, Barnesville, Minn.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Feature – 1. 30A-Adam Goff, Minot, N.D.; 2. 31X-Tim Shiek, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 14-Alyssa White, West Fargo, N.D.; 4. 106-Eric Novacek, West Fargo, N.D.; 5. 73-Maranda Borg, Harwood, N.D.