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Red River Valley Speedway Hosts 48th Season Opener Friday

Published on May 3, 2018

By Mike Spieker

WEST FARGO – Similar to the opening day of baseball, there is something nostalgic about the season openers at the F-M area dirt tracks. Nearly a half-century of racing history is entrenched into the tracks’ rich, black, Red River Valley soil. From the primitive stock cars that kicked up dust in the 1960s to the highly modified, high-performance machines that torch the tracks today, local auto racing has evolved into a very skilled and competitive sport.

On Friday, Red River Valley Speedway (RRVS) will host its 48th season opener.

The rumble of a 700 horsepower engine, the intoxicating smells of the high-octane race fuel and the feeling of anticipation and excitement as another season of racing approaches; that’s what it’s all about says Nick Skalicky, COO of RRVS.

“The atmosphere is hard to match,” he said. “It’s been a long, cold winter for everybody and we’re all looking forward to finally go racing.” 

RRVS will be the only track in North Dakota hosting its opener this weekend besides Nodak Speedway in Minot. The late spring and cool temperatures in April have forced other tracks to postpone, but the crew at RRVS has worked hard to get the track up and running for Friday’s scheduled opener.

“We’ve been working to get the facility all cleaned up after the winter, get all of our sponsors lined up for the year and get the track in shape. You want everything to go right that first night and our crew strives on that,” Skalicky said. “A lot of that depends on Mother Nature and so far she’s cooperated with us and Friday looks to be a great night.”

The track held a pre-season practice session Wednesday night so drivers could fine-tune their cars before Friday. The laps on the track also helped the racing surface get packed in after sitting dormant during the offseason. A large field of over 70 race teams took advantage of the midweek practice night, indicating that car counts in all divisions at the speedway should be just as good, if not better, than last year.

Entering their third year managing the track, Skalicky along with Jake and Sharnel Bitker, have put a focus on the family aspect for fans this year. The track is now offering a family pack that includes two adult tickets, two kid tickets, two free “Attraction” passes to Thunder Road, and a certificate for a free “Shareable” meal at Buffalo Wild Wings all for $30. The Bitkers and Skalicky know that it’s important to get the young ones home at a decent time at the end of the night, so they work hard to put on an efficient two-and-a-half to three-hour show to be done no later than 10:00 pm. 

Bike giveaways and meet and greets with the drivers throughout the season, and a candy toss during intermission each night all highlight the kid-friendly atmosphere at the track.

RRVS is bringing back its stout lineup of weekly racing again in 2018 that includes IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Stock Cars, Hobby Stocks and INEX Legends.

The track’s premier division, the IMCA Modifieds, usually has the toughest competition with the largest car counts each week. Last year, Fargo’s Dave Shipley, driver of the no. 72 IMCA modified, captured his first career track championship at RRVS after competing at the speedway for the last 17 years. Shipley says he’s looking forward to getting back behind the wheel Friday to defend his title.

“It was a long winter,” reiterated Shipley. “It’s going to be great to get back into the car and have a little fun. There are a lot of fast guys around here, though. There’s a lot of good competition. You know when you win [at Red River Valley Speedway], you can pretty much go anywhere nationally and compete.”

While their three-year lease is up at the end of the 2018 season, Skalicky and the Bitkers are looking to expand upon what they’ve built at RRVS and have already locked in dates for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 racing season. 

Other big events at the speedway this year are:

May 25: Dakota Cat Modified Shootout – Working in conjunction with Norman County Raceway (NCR) in Ada, Minn., the Dakota Cat Modified Shootout will be a two-night special for the IMCA Modifieds.

July 15: Sprint Car Special – Auto racing will cap off grandstand entertainment at the Red River Valley Fair for the third consecutive year, featuring the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Cars, IMCA Modifieds and INEX Legends.

July 20: Rusty Wallace Night – Former NASCAR Cup champion, Rusty Wallace, will make an appearance at the speedway. Fans will have an opportunity to interact with Wallace during a meet and greet at the races.

August 8: Sanders Metal Products Modified Challenge – The sixth edition of this IMCA modified special will begin on Wednesday night at RRVS, before wrapping up the following evening at NCR.

August 18: World of Outlaws Sprint Cars – The vastly popular Outlaws will return to RRVS for the second consecutive year and 32nd time overall. A crowd of over 6,500 witnessed the Outlaw show last year.


Get Your Pocket Schedule Today!

Published on April 26, 2018

The 2018 Red River Valley Speedway pocket race schedules are now available at all area Casey’s General Stores. And while you’re there, grab a slice of pizza!


Test & Tune – Wednesday

Published on April 25, 2018

The Test & Tune is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2 from 6pm-9pm. Cost: $30 per car. Then the Season Opener is Friday, May 4th at 7pm!


MyRacePass Registration

Published on April 4, 2018

2018 MyRacePass online registration is now available. If you have previously raced with us or registered with us you do not need to complete a new registration unless one of the following things has occurred:
– Changed class
– Changed car number
– Changed address
– Changed transponder number

Click register to begin


March 31 | Red River Valley Speedway Night @ Fargo Force Game

Published on February 15, 2018

Mark your calendars for March 31st because it’s Red River Valley Speedway Night at the Fargo Force game! Puck drops at 7:05 pm at the Scheels Arena. Click HERE to purchase game tickets for that night. We’ll be giving out RRVS promotional items for the first 1,000 fans in attendance. Plus we’ll have race cars on display throughout the building.

Fargo Force game night details:

Lincoln Stars vs Fargo Force

Post-game Skate with the Force for 30 minutes. Bring your skates to Scheels Arena to skate with the team following the game! Skates must be left in your car until the end of the game or kept at your seats in a bag (with skate guards on). A PA announcement will be made in the third period on where to go after the game to put on your skates.


World of Outlaws to return to Red River Valley Speedway in 2018

Published on November 19, 2017

The World of Outlaws in their famous four-wide salute to the fans before the 2017 main event at Red River Valley Speedway (Photo by Speedway Shots)

By Mike Spieker

WEST FARGO – The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will be returning to Red River Valley Speedway for the second consecutive season in 2018 on Saturday, August 18. The event will mark the 32nd year in which the World of Outlaws have visited the high-banked clay oval at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds as the series celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The 2017 event, which broke a five-year hiatus with the World of Outlaws, was one for the Red River Valley Speedway history books. An estimated 7,000 race fans from across the upper Midwest packed into the grandstands and witnessed Shane Stewart break the one-lap track record during time trials.

Third generation sprint car driver, Thomas Kennedy of Winnipeg, Manitoba was the Cinderella Story of the evening. The 27-year-old driver timed in fifth quickest of the 31 entries, won his heat race and went on to score a seventh-place finish in the main event.

Shane Stewart of Bixby, Okla. broke the RRVS track record with a lap of 11.925 seconds, averaging 113.208mph. (Photo by Speedway Shots)

Eunice, Louisiana’s Jason Johnson claimed his first career Red River Valley Speedway win after holding off Kerry Madsen and Shane Stewart.

The 2017 World of Outlaws season wrapped up Nov. 4 at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Donny Schatz claimed his ninth series title.

Schatz led the series with 20 feature wins, becoming the first driver in series history to record 20 or more wins for five consecutive seasons.

The Fargo driver has four career wins in the World of Outlaws at his home track, most recently in 2006 when he swept both nights of action.

The NLRA late models are scheduled to co-headline the event with the World of Outlaws.


World of Outlaws visit Red River Valley Speedway again in 2018 on August 18 for the Duel in the Dakotas

Published on November 18, 2017

(Ken Simon Photo)

WEST FARGO, N.D. — November 18, 2017 — The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will return to Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota for the second consecutive year on Saturday, August 18, 2018, for the “Duel in the Dakotas.” The event will mark the 32nd A-Feature event contested by the series at the three-eighths-mile, dating back to 1981. A total of 14 drivers have picked up A-Feature wins in the series at the track during that span.

Jason Johnson scored his first win at Red River Valley Speedway this past season in his debut at the track. The 2016 winner of the Knoxville Nationals held off a hard-charging Kerry Madsen and Donny Schatz for the win.

Schatz, who calls Fargo home, has won four times at Red River Valley Speedway, including winning both nights of the 2006 “Duel in the Dakotas.” Schatz has won at least once at every track in his home state of North Dakota that the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series has competed it. He raced with the Outlaws for the first time at Red River Valley Speedway as a teenager in 1993, finishing 15th.

The 2017 campaign was another historic one for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series as 20 drivers picked up wins. Leading the way was Schatz, who scored his ninth series championship and became the first driver in series history to win 20 or more A-Feature events in five consecutive seasons. David Gravel had a career-year, earning 18 A-Feature wins, which was second only to Schatz. The 25-year-old finished third in points for the second consecutive year.

Brad Sweet was nearly as consistent as Schatz, picking up 72 top-10 finishes just two less than the champion, with 56 of those being top-fives. Sweet visited victory lane five times in 2017 en route to finishing second in points. Pittman ended up fourth in the standings while picking up three wins, with Shane Stewart, who reached victory lane eight times, rounding out the top-five in points.

Jason Johnson, who won four races finished sixth in points, followed by Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner Sheldon Haudenschild in seventh. Kraig Kinser, who had a win was eighth, with Logan Schuchart, who earned a career-high four victories, in ninth and rookie Brent Marks rounded out the top-10.

Ticket information for the 2018 “Duel in the Dakotas,” featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., on Saturday, August 18, 2018 will be available soon at www.slspromotions.com.

Twitter: @SLS_Promotions

Facebook: SLS Promotions LLC


Braseth Blasts to Dirt Nationals Championship

Published on October 1, 2017

By Jacob Pommerer

West Fargo – Ryan Braseth outlasted two pre-race favorites to earn one of four INEX Legend Dirt Nationals Championships handed out Saturday night at the Red River Valley Speedway.

Ryan Braseth

Front row starters Ty Wilke and Cole Klein looked to be the two cars to beat early in the Young Lions division main event. Klein grabbed the early lead with Wilke hot on his heels. On lap five Wilke found a way to take the lead away from Klein. However, just a few laps later Wilke spun in front of the field bring out the caution and putting Wilke to the back of the pack. On the restart Ryan Braseth inherited the lead from Wilke. Braseth tried to pull away from the field however in the closing laps Wilke worked his way from the back of the pack to Braseth’s back bumper. Braseth however would hold off the hard charging Wilke to win the Young Lions Dirt Nationals Championship.

Austin Wiest

The second feature to hit the track was the Semi-Pro Legends. Front row starters Tim Estenson and Jackson Lewis raced hard in the opening laps for the lead. On lap two Estenson spun which brought out a yellow and put Estenson to the back of the pack. On the restart Lewis pulled away from the pack as Estenson worked his way towards the front from the back of the pack. Within ten laps Estenson found his way back up to second right on Lewis bumper. Lewis and Estenson battled side by side for the lead, neither driver giving an inch some contact was made between the two leaders. Under an ensuing caution both drivers were black flagged for rough driving. As a result, Mason Chaney took over the lead. Chaney, Dylan Johnson, Duantae Martin put on a great race for the lead, this allowed Austin Wiest to close in on the leaders. With only a handful of laps remaining Wiest worked his way into third and put his car on the top of the speedway in pursuit of Johnson and Martin. Wiest found enough speed to pass both Martin and Johnson and take the lead and the eventual win.

Dave Comer

Dave Comer left the fans with no doubt who was the fastest lNEX legend in the Masters division was. Comer started the 30-lap main event on the pole and was never challenged during the feature event to earn a Dirt Nationals Championship.

Glen Arnold

Dave’s son Justin Comer paced the field early in the Pro Legends main event. Comer received heavy pressure from Andrew Jochim in the races early stages. Glen Arnold who started 13th on the field and Baiden Heskett made it a four-car race for the lead. Arnold found his way through traffic and was able to pass Comer for the lead and the win.

Jake Hagemann looked to picked up his second win of the weekend in the IMCA Sport Mods. Hagemann used his front row starting spot to jump out to the early race lead. Meanwhile Kelly Jacobson moved from seventh up to second. A restart at the halfway point would be exactly what Jacobson needed. As Hagemann worked the top side of the speedway as Jacobson ran right around the tires on the bottom and took the lead. Jacobson pulled away from the field in the closing laps to pick up the win.

Rick Shultz led the opening lap on the IMCA Stock Car feature. Fifth place started Shane Laske wasted no time moving up to second and racing Shultz for the lead. Laske and Schultz swapped the lead numerous times before Laske was able to get the upper hand and go on to grab the win.

Bryce Borgen

Bryce Borgen led every lap of the IMCA Modified feature, however it was not without a fight from sixth place starter Tyler Peterson. Peterson moved from sixth to second in the opening lap and tried to run down Borgen. Peterson was able to pull alongside Borgen on numerous occasion just never having enough speed to make the pass.


INEX Dirt Nationals highlight season finale at Red River Valley Speedway

Published on September 28, 2017

By Mike Spieker

WEST FARGO – For the first time ever, Red River Valley Speedway will play host to the INEX Dirt Nationals this Friday and Saturday night. The event for the INEX legends division is the first of a series of three national events, which also cover the Asphalt Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Road Course Nationals near Atlanta.

The country’s top talent is expected to be on display both nights at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds. In turn, the track is gearing up for a record-breaking INEX legend car count.

“It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point. Jake and Sharnel (Bitker) and I are really excited to host this event in just our second year operating the race track,” said Red River Valley Speedway co-promoter Nick Skalicky.

Friday’s program will consist of time trials and two sets of heat races for the INEX legends, with the consolation races and championship main events taking place on Saturday.

“For our weekly shows, all of our legends drivers race together. But for this national event, they are placed into their respective classes and complete against their same age group and talent level,” Skalicky continued. “It’ll be pretty neat to see how our guys stack up against other drivers from around the country.”

While drivers from several states and even Australia will be in attendance this weekend, the drivers to watch out for may be Red River Valley Speedway’s own weekly competitors.

Tim Estenson stands in victory lane at Red River Valley Speedway after picking up one of his 23 wins of 2017

Tim Estenson drives down the back straightaway at Red River Valley Speedway in his No. 14 legend.

Fifteen-year-old Fargo driver, Tim Estenson, has been dominating the INEX legends division all season long at all three area weekly F-M dirt tracks. Estenson claimed track championships at Red River Valley Speedway, Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon, Minn. and Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn.

“It’ll be interesting to see how fast everybody is and what I can learn from them during the practice session,” said Estenson. “Even though we have the home track advantage, we just want to lay back and not let everybody see what we can do until we go racing on Friday.”

The third-year legends driver has amassed 23 wins thus far in 2017. He enters the biggest event of the year this weekend riding a three-race win streak at two of the area’s biggest races. Estenson swept the Corn Cob Nationals at Buffalo River Race Park two weeks ago, before becoming Jamestown Speedway’s first-ever Stock Car Stampede champion in the INEX legends division.

“I’m not going into this weekend looking to extend that streak. I’m just like any other driver trying to be just as competitive as everybody else. I try to take things one race at a time and go for the win if I can.”

Even though Estenson has been racing multiple times a week, every week, since early May, preparation for this event began back around late July-early August.

“We’ve been preparing for this race for a couple months now,” he said. “Going over setups and using different weights on the car and different tire measurements. We’ve been working hard to make sure our car is just as good as everybody else’s so we can get up to the front.”

Estenson currently leads the Semi-Pro Dirt national points standings.

Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes, Minn. will be another driver to watch out for. Wilke currently leads the Young Lion Dirt national point standings in just his second year behind the wheel of an INEX legend car.

While the INEX legends will be highlighted this weekend, Red River Valley Speedway will be putting on a full racing program each night. The IMCA sportmods, IMCA hobby stocks, and WISSOTA super stocks will be taking the high-banked, three-eighths mile clay oval as well on Friday.

On Saturday, the IMCA modifieds return for their final appearance of 2017, along with the IMCA sportmods and IMCA stock cars.

Racing will be starting an hour earlier than the weekly summer shows, with the green flag dropping at 6p.m.

INEX legends race three-wide around turn four at Red River Valley Speedway.


RACING SCHEDULE: September 28 – 30

Published on September 11, 2017


ALL CLASSES: Click HERE to download/print the September 28th – 30th flyer

LEGEND CARS: Click HERE for Dirt Nationals schedule of events

IMCA HOBBY STOCKS: Click HERE for special payout information

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS: Click HERE for schedule and payout information



(Click HERE for schedule of events)

(Click HERE for payout information)

(Click HERE for schedule and payout information)

Friday, September 29th Sponsors:

(Click HERE for schedule of events)

Saturday, September 30th Sponsors:


Grandstand Admission (Friday & Saturday):
Adults: $10
Ages 6 – 12: $5
5 & Under: FREE
College Students: $5 (With current college ID)

Buy discounted tickets online:

Advanced discounted ticket location:
Performance Auto – 3401 1/2 Interstate Blvd – Fargo, ND

We’ll have:
– The Nugget Vending Candy Toss
– The Fast Lane Car Wash T-shirt cannon
– 50/50 Tickets
– Red River Valley Speedway apparel
– Delicious concession food & ice-cold beverages

Social Media:
Website – redrivervalleyspeedway.com
Facebook – facebook.com/redrivervalleyspeedway
Twitter – twitter.com/rrvspeedway
Instagram – instagram.com/redrivervalleyspeedway
Snapchat – snapchat.com/add/rrvspeedway
Youtube – http://tiny.cc/RRVS

– Bring in a 2017 Red River Valley Speedway race ticket or pit wristband to Hagge’s Bar & Grill or BorderTown Bar and Grill and receive one drink FREE with the purchase of another drink! (Per person. Per visit.)

– Bring in a 2017 Red River Valley Speedway race ticket to Bernie’s Wines & Liquors and receive $2 off a case of beer! (West Fargo location only)

Text Alerts:
Text the keyword “Stagger” to 84483

Red River Valley Speedway:
1805 Main Avenue West – West Fargo, ND