By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO (June 26, 2020) – Another 100-plus race teams were checked in on Friday night at Red River Valley Speedway hosted its fourth event of the 2020 season.
Andrew Jochim scored his first career stock car win in his rookie season in thrilling fashion. Jochim, of Glyndon, Minn., moved up to the stock cars after a successful stint in the INEX legends.
“Honestly, I’m speechless,” said Jochim in victory lane. “I didn’t expect a win to come at all this year.”
The race began with a four-wide battle for the lead, a scene that was not uncommon last night as the Red River Valley Speedway track officials had a perfectly prepped racing surface.
Billy Michaelsohn of West Fargo led the opening lap before Tyler McDougall of Hawley, Minn. came from fifth to lead lap two. Jochim worked his way up to second by lap three.
Things heated up on the lap 14 restart, where the leaders again went four-wide for the top spot. McDougall and Jochim emerged as the front runners as they continued a side by side battle for the point. The two drivers raced door to door, lap after lap, trading a little paint as they fought for every inch around the three-eighths-mile oval.
With two to go, the red flag was displayed after a three-wide battle for second went awry as McDougall was spun on the front stretch in front of the field. The end result was eight cars being collected, several of which took big hits on the front straightaway wall. Included in the incident was the stock car points leader, Rick Schulz of Horace, N.D. All drivers were okay.
A green-white-checkered finish concluded the race, but Jochim’s battle was far from over. Coming off the final corner, Jochim received a pair of bumps to the left rear quarter panel from stock car sophomore Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada, Minn. Jochim was able to hang on by a car length to capture the win.
“I’m guessing it didn’t look pretty from the stands. There was a lot of beating and banging out there. You can do that in these cars (compared to the legends) and I’m still getting used to that,” said Jochim.
An impressive 30-car field made up the starting grid for the night’s IMCA modified feature. Early on, it appeared as though that 2017 track champion, Dave Shipley of Argusville, N.D., would cruise to the feature win. Shipley got by pole-sitter and defending track champion, Dylan Goplen of Fargo, on lap 15 of 30 and set sail.
However, the Arneson brothers, Casey and Austin, were working their way up the running order after starting 10th and 11th, respectively. Austin worked his way around Shipley amid lapped traffic with three laps to go.
From there, Austin withstood a challenge from Casey on a green-white-checkered restart to claim his second win of the season at the West Fargo dirt track.
Ryan Restad raced to his second IMCA SportMod feature win of the season. Restad, of West Fargo, moved from the seventh starting position to grab the lead from Austin Veralrud of Barnesville, Minn. on lap eight of 16.
Second and third-place finishers Scott Jacobson of Fargo and Rich Pavlicek of Casselton, N.D., put pressure on Restad in the closing laps, but Restad was able to hang on. Four of the top five finishers started from outside of the first three rows of the original starting lineup.
Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes, Minn. remained undefeated in the INEX legends division. Wilke worked his way to the lead from the 10th starting spot and cruised to claim his ninth overall win of the season.
Another Detroit Lakes driver has gotten comfortable in KRJB 106.5FM victory lane. Tanner Engen collected his third consecutive IMCA hobby stock feature win in dominating fashion. Engen led 10 of the 12 circuits and won by over a full straightaway.
“It’s been such an amazing year already. We started the year off a little rough, but it’s been more than amazing,” said Engen after the race. “We started pretty deep in the field, but we chased the front and made it work.”
The Lucas Oil POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints made their second appearance of the season at the speedway. Dexter Dvergsten of Greenbush, Minn. walked away with the feature win over Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks, Minn.
Racing continues at Red River Valley Speedway on July 10th, featuring the Dakota Classic Modified and Stock Car Tour.
A Feature: 1. 10-Austin Arneson, Fargo, N.D.; 2. 2A-Casey Arneson, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 6D-Dylan Goplen, Fargo, N.D.; 4. 40-Rob VanMil Barnesville, Minn.; 5. 3S-Jesse Skalicky, Fargo, N.D.
IMCA Stock Cars:
A Feature: 1. 21J-Andrew Jochim, Glyndon, Minn.; 2. 52-Brennan Borg, Harwood, N.D.; 3. 18-Mike Anderson Walcott, N.D.; 4. 38-Todd Heinrich, Fargo, N.D.; 5. 11-Kalvin Kesselberg, Ada, Minn.
A Feature: 1. 7R-Ryan Restad, West Fargo, N.D.; 2. 5-Scott Jacobson, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 17-Rich Pavlicek Casselton, N.D.; 4. 40-Chris VanMil Barnesville, Minn.; 5. 6-Austin Veralrud, Barnesville, Minn.
A Feature: 1. 72-Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; 2. 58-Sean Johnson, Kindred, N.D.; 3. B1-Brody Carlsrud, Moorhead, Minn.; 4. 20-Alex Braseth, Ulen, Minn.; 5. 5G-Garrison Miller, Fargo, N.D.
Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints:
A Feature: 1. 11-Dexter Dvergsten, Greenbush, Minn.; 2. 93-Kelsi Pederson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; 3. 10A-Alex Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.; 4. 13-Alan Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.; 5. 100-Jason Berg, Fargo, N.D.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
A Feature: 1. 44T-Tanner Engen, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; 2. 31X-Tim Shiek, Fargo, N.D.; 3. B1-Marvin Priem, Moorhead, Minn.; 4. B2-Brodee Eckerdt, Grand Forks, N.D.; 5. 14-Alyssa White, West Fargo, N.D.