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Bemidji Speedway: Butcher wins first Pure Stock Challenge

Dennis Peterson

Special to the Pioneer

BEMIDJI — Following the terrific opening Memorial weekend races and then having the races rained out last weekend, drivers and fans were anxious to see the cars back on track. Sunday night the weather was perfect and racers were treated to a very fast surface.

Sunday night was the first of four race nights in the Bemidji Speedway Pure Stock Challenge and the initial challenge was won by Margo Butcher of Buhl. Jenny Watrud was the Mini Stock winner. In the Wissota divisions, Dean Larson picked up his second feature win in the Mod Fours, Gary James Nelson his second in the Super Stocks and Rick Jacobson won his first in the Midwest Modifieds.

Sunday night also saw its first rollover of the summer with Nicole Feda going up and over the top of turn one and rolling down the backside. Feda was unhurt and smiling when track safety personnel got to her as she exclaimed, “that was exciting”.

Next Sunday the track will host a Mini Stock/Hornet special with the green flag waving at 5 p.m.

Mini Stocks

Starting outside second row Jenny Watrud powered down the back straight passing Mike Hart for the lead and held on for her first feature win in the Minis of new season. Mike Hart, Tim Hart, Becky Barrett, and Andrew Hanson finished in the top five.

Wissota Super Stocks

Following a restart due to a spin in the back of the field, Keith Keena powered to the front but this time he had Gary James Nelson to his outside and Butch Butcher to his inside. Nelson made the pass for the lead and stayed out front for his second win of the year. Keena held on for second with Butcher remaining in third. Blake Higginbotham and Carlson made up the top five.

Wissota Midwest Modifieds

Ricky Jacobson started on the outside and took the lead, followed by Weston Ramsrud, Davey Mills, Gary James Nelson and Matt Fullerton. Jacobson created some distance between himself and the field leaving Ramsrud to battle four other cars for second. Jacobson cruised to an easy win, his first of the season, with Ramsrud, Mills, Nelson and Fullerton holding in the top five. It was a clean sweep victory for Jacobson who also claimed the second heat.

Wissota Mod Four

Dean Larson came across the finish line after one lap in first place and the race belonged to Larson who picked up up the flag, literally, and ran to the grandstand to “rev” up the crowd following his win. Conrad Schwinn, Jerry Esler, Jess Geesey and Fran Hauber finished in the top five.

Pure Stock Challenge

The inaugural pure stock challenge race attracted 16 drivers with Chad Puschinsky and Al Sadek Jr. in row one. With Puschinsky and Sadek battling for the lead around turn one Butcher raced inside into the lead down the back straight. Several spins and crashes slowed the action with several cars pitting for repairs and returning. Late in the action the race was red flagged as track personnel raced to a car in the pits that was emitting a huge billow of smoke. When racing resumed Butcher was still in the lead and was followed by Sadek. Butcher held her line and came across the finish line first with Sadek, Kevin Baumgarner, Davey and Berg trailing. This was also a clean sweep win for Butcher who also won her heat race.

Mini Stock Feature – Jenny Watrud, Mike Hart, Tim Hart, Becky Barrett, Andrew Hanson, Dustin Behrends, Sue Berg

Heat 1 – M. Hart, D. Behrends, J. Watrud, B. Barrett, T. Hart

Wissota Super Stock Feature – Gary James Nelson, Keith Keena, Butch Butcher, Blake Higginbotham, Dalton Carlson, Nathan Higginbotham, Troy Hemphill, Matt Sparby

Heat 1 – B Butcher, T. Hemphill, B. Higginbotham, G. J. Nelson, K. Keena

Wissota Midwest Modified Feature – Ricky Jacobson, Weston Ramsrud, Davey Mills, Gary James Nelson, Matt Fullerton, Bret Schmidt, Trent Dyrdahl, Skyler Smith, Brandon Bahr, Dylan Miller, Jerad Lene, Ron Reed

Heat 1 – T. Dyrdahl, B. Bahr, D. Mills, W.Ramsrud, D. Miller

Heat 2 – R. Jacobson, M. Fullerton, G. J. Nelson, S. Smith, B. Schmidt

Wissota Mod Four Feature – Dean Larson, Conrad Schwinn, Jerry Esler, Jess Geesey, Fran Hauber, Mike Margl, Tonja Stranger, Josh Seeleye-Sautbine

Heat 1 – J. Esler, D. Larson, J. Geesey, T. Stranger, C. Schwinn

Bemidji Pure Stock Challenge Feature – Margo Butcher, Al Sadek Sr., Kevin Baumgarner, Kevin Davey, Josh Berg, Sterling Knaeble, Al Sadek Jr., Bill Chaboyea, Dean Olafson, Austin Carlson, Justin Feltus, Harley Kroenig, Mike McAdams, Josh Behrends, Brian Feda, Chad Puschinsky

Heat 1 – K. Davey, K. Baumgarner, S. Knaeble, A. Carlson, M. McAdams

Heat 2 – A. Sadek Jr., A. Sadek Sr., J. Berg, D. Olafson, H. Kroenig

Heat 3 – M. Butcher, B. Chaboyea, C. Puschinsky, B. Feda, B. Foster