BEMIDJI - It was incredibly hot and humid Sunday night at Bemidji Speedway but it was also a very special night for the fans and racers.
Bemidji Speedway officials recognized Gordie Lancaster, a legend in the sport of stock car racing. Many former racers gathered on track track to honor Lancaster and his 50 years of racing. Promoter/racer Tonja Stranger presented Lancaster with a picture plaque representing the 50 years. Lancaster currently is racing in the Super Stock class.
Also Sunday night the track played host to a Pure Stock special and drivers from throughout the area came to battle in that race.
Next Sunday Bemidji Speedway will host the Wissota Race of Champions. Each of the winners in the Wissota classes (Mod Fours, Midwest Modifieds and Super Stocks) will also receive the invitation to race in the prestigious Wissota Race of Champions later this fall.
The Mini Stock feature was the first of the night with Becky Barrett and Billy Smith leading the way to the green flag. Smith, filling in for Josh Berg, took the lead and never looked back, surviving a hard head-on crash to win the feature. Weston Ramsrud, Becky Barrett, Leahna Barrett and Rick Watson made up the top five.
Dalton Carlson grabbed the early lead and maintained it after a restart caused by a crash.
Carlson held the fast lane throughout the race and, after several side-by-side attempts by Bret Schmidt to get by him, Carlson took the checkered flag for his second win of the season. Schmidt, Gary Nelson Jr., Scotty Messner and Keith Keena made up the top five.
A late spin by Dallas Buckholz brought the field together for a restart with a green, white checkered finish coming up.
With the green flag waving Nathan Higginbotham took the lead over Conrad Schwinn but as he charged into the No. 2 corner his car slid up high in the turn and over the top, dropping him to the tail end of the field. Schwinn went on to win the feature followed by John Halverson, Tonja Stranger, Craig Moore and Mike Margl.
With the track cleared following a big crash, Bret Schmidt took the lead and was followed by John Halverson racing low in the 3-4 corner. Charging back from the tailback position was Doyle Erickson. Another late caution tightened the field and allowed Erickson to catch and pass two more cars to finish third. It was Schmidt's fourth win of the summer in the Midwest Modified class. Halverson, Erickson, Gary Nelson Jr., and Darrin Lawler finished in the top five in an exciting and action packed race.
Racing for a special $250 payday, Dacota Greene, who started in the inside second row, came out in the lead into turn one.
Several cautions for spins and cars slipping over the top of the turns slowed the action but didn't slow the leader. Greene held his lead and raced on to pick up his second feature win of the summer at Bemidji. Mike MacAdams, Jake Barsness, Bill Beaulieu and Jeremy MacAdams made up the top five.
Mini Stock Feature - Billy Smith, Weston Ramsrud, Becky Barrett, Leahna Barrett, Rick Watson
Heat 1 - L. Barrett, B. Smith, R. Watson, W. Ramsrud, B. Barrett
Wissota Super Stock Feature - Dalton Carlson, Bret Schmidt, Gary Nelson Jr., Scotty Messner, Keith Keena, Matt Sparby, Gordie Lancaster, Todd McClellan
Heat 1 - S. Messner, G. Nelson Jr., D. Carlson, M. Sparby, K. Keena
Wissota Mod Four Feature - Conrad Schwinn, John Halverson, Tonja Stranger, Craig Moore, Mike Margl, Dallas Buckholz, Nathan Higginbotham, Billy Smith
Heat 1 - J. Halverson, C. Schwinn, N. Higginbotham, T. Stranger, D. Buckholz
Wissota Midwest Modifieds Feature - Bret Schmdit, John Halverson, Doyle Erickson, Gary Nelson Jr., Darrin Lawler, Al Johnson, Jeff Nelson, Ron Reed, Brandon Bahr, Mike Johnson
Heat 1 - D.Erickson, S. Smith, D. Mills, B. Schmidt, B. Bahr
Heat 2 - J. Halverson, G. Nelson Jr., D. Lawler, C. Leek, J. Lene
Pure Stock Feature - Dacota Greene, Mike MacAdams, Jake Barsness, Bill Beaulieu, Jeremy MacAdams, Cory Peterson, Joel Harvey, Weston Ramsrud, John Kruschke, Bill Smith
Heat 1 - M. MacAdams, D. Greene, B. Chaboyea, J. Feltus, J. Harvey
Heat 2 - B. Smith, C. Peterson, J. Barsness, J. Kruschke, B. Beaulieu