By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO – Brandon Schmidt is no stranger to victory lane at Red River Valley Speedway. The Hillsboro driver has collected wins in several classes, including the IMCA stock car and hobby stock ranks. Schmidt competed in the stock car division last season but made the move to the IMCA SportMods in 2019 with high expectations.
So far, those expectations have been met.
Schmidt took the lead with just four laps remaining in Friday’s 16-lap IMCA SportMod main event. Once out front, he drove unchallenged to the checkered flag.
Charlie Jensen of Pelican Rapids, Minn. looked to have the race in hand for the majority of the event. At one point, Jensen held a full straightaway lead. In the late stages of the race, Schmidt found his groove in the middle of the track and began reeling in Jensen and cut his lead down to a few car lengths.
With four laps to go, Jensen’s strong run came to an end after he made heavy contact with the outside retaining wall on the back straightaway, which allowed Schmidt to take command.
Kelly Henderson of Minot charged his way from 12th to finish second while Austin Veralrud rounded out the podium. Jensen was credited with a disappointing 16th-place finish.
The lightning sprints made their first of three scheduled appearances to the high-banked three-eighths-mile oval this season. The lightning sprints are a three-quarter scale winged sprint car with a 1000cc motorcycle engine under the hood. Moorhead’s Josh Abrahamson led the opening lap before Alan Truscinski of Greenbush, Minn. took the lead on lap two. Once out front, Truscinski checked out. Abrahamson tried to mount a late-race charge, but Truscinski was able to hold him off and collect the win.
Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes, Minn. looked poised to back up his Thursday night win at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn. The young up-and-comer in the INEX legend division stormed out to a big lead in the early going. However, that advantage began to shrink as Wilke began to encounter lapped traffic. Kindred’s Sean Johnson came up from the sixth starting position to take the lead with four laps to go after Wilke bobbled in turn two. Wilke came back at Johnson on the final lap, but Johnson held on to take his second win of the season.
Adam Goff made the long tow from Minot to compete in the IMCA hobby stock division. Goff started fifth on the grid but quickly took the lead. Goff, who picked up one win at the speedway last season, was the class of the field in the feature as he cruised to the feature win to end Mathew Olson’s two-race win streak.
Rob VanMil of Barnesville, Minn., Rick Schulz of Horace, and Tim Compson of Valley City put on a show during the IMCA stock car feature. The three veteran drivers battled back and forth for the race lead nearly all race long, but at the checkers, VanMil was able to take the win. With the win, VanMil remains undefeated at the speedway in the stock car division with a perfect three wins in three races. VanMil also picked up the win Thursday night at Norman County Raceway.
Racing returns to Red River Valley Speedway next Friday night, featuring non-wing sprint cars. The green flag drops at 7 pm.
RESULTS (Top Five Finishers):
Feature: 1. 219-Brandon Schmidt, Hillsboro, N.D.; 2. 24-Kelly Henderson, Minot, N.D.; 3. 6-Austin Veralrud, Barnesville, Minn.; 4. 8J-Luke Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.; 5. 5-Scott Jacobson, Fargo, N.D.
NLSA Lightning Sprints:
Feature: 1. 13-Alan Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.; 2. 16-Josh Abrahamson, Moorhead, Minn.; 3. 11-Dexter Dvergsten, Greenbush, Minn.; 4. 10-Alex Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.; 5. 93-Kelsi Pederson, East Grand Forks, Minn.
IMCA Stock Cars:
Feature: 1. 40-Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 2. 4-Rick Schulz, Horace, N.D.; 3. 49-Tim Compson, Valley City, N.D.; 4. 18-Mike Anderson, Walcott, N.D.; 5. 52-Brennan Borg, Harwood, N.D.
Feature: 1. 58-Sean Johnson, Kindred, N.D.; 2. 72-Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; 3. 21-Andrew Jochim, Glyndon, Minn.; 4. 29B-Ryan Braseth, Ulen, Minn.; 5. 5D8-Dylan Johnson, Durbin, N.D.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Feature: 1. 30A-Adam Goff, Minot, N.D.; 2. 56M-Mathew Olson, Morton, Minn.; 3. 31X-Tim Shiek, Fargo, N.D.; 4. 701-Kyle Hallgren, Hankinson, N.D.; 5. 14-Alyssa White, West Fargo, N.D.