BEMIDJI SPEEDWAY: Drivers take advantage of perfect night
BEMIDJI -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bemidji were guests of the Bemidji Speedway Sunday night on a picture-perfect night for racing. Track conditions were excellent and fans enjoyed watching three new winners -- Josh Berg in the Pure Stocks, Matt Sparby in the Super Stocks and Gary James Nelson in the Midwest Modifieds. Dean Larson in the Mod Fours won his third feature and Jenny Watrud won her second in the Minis.
Next week the track will welcome fans for "Kids Night". Fans 12 and under will receive free admission when accompanied by an adult and everyone will be allowed onto the track during intermission to meet all their favorite drivers and collect autographs. Bicycles will also be given away by the drivers.
Mini Stock/Hornet Special
Racing for an increased purse, Tim Hart and Sue Berg led the field to the green flag but it was Jenny Watrud who led after the first lap, charging from her second row outside starting position. Watrud stayed out front to win her second feature of the season with Mike Hart, Tim Hart, Becky Barrett and Sue Berg in the top five.
The first lap was controlled by Bill Chaboyea with Josh Berg, Mike MacAdams, Josh Behrends and Al Sadek in the top five. Berg powered up several times to challenge Chaboyea for the lead but each time Chaboyea held him off. Following a restart Chaboyea had obvious difficulties with his car and dropped back several positions as Berg grabbed the lead.
After several spins and cautions and a near rollover in turn three between Chaboyea and Sadek, Chaboyea was sent tailback. With just a few laps remaining Berg held his position with MacAdams, Al Sadek Jr., and Sadek S.r all battling for the top spots. Berg went on to win his first feature of the season.
Before the first lap could be run the caution flag was waved when Tonja Stranger's car lost its rear wheel in the first turn. Stranger was the first of four racers lost on the night in the various classes. On the restart, fourth row starter and national point leader Dean Larson raced high around all the leaders to take the lead. Another spin created another opportunity for drivers to make a move up or back and this time it was Jerry Esler charging forward, using the high side to his advantage to power around Jess Geesey, Mike Margl and Conrad Schwinn and pull in behind Larson who won his third feature win of the summer.
Matt Sparby was very fast Sunday night, taking the lead and quickly creating some distance between himself and the field until a spin by Blake Higginbotham brought the yellow flag to signal for a restart. When racing resumed, Sparby widened his lead and cruised to his first feature win of the summer.
James Nelson and Brandon Bahr dueled throughout the race which also featured a series of cautions, including one caused by a crash which involved Ron Reed and Reise Stemberg. After the restart Nelson and Bahr challenged one last time but Bahr could not get around Nelson who claimed his first feature in the Midwest class and a clean sweep for the night. Bahr, Matt Fullerton, Davey Mills and John Halvorson finished in the top five.
Mini Stock/Hornet Special Feature -- Jenny Watrud, Mike Hart, Tim Hart, Becky Barrett, Sue Berg, Danny Brown, Dustin Behrends, Nicole Feda
Heat 1 -- S. Berg, T. Hart, J. Watrud, M. Hart, D. Brown
Pure Stock Feature — Josh Berg, Al Sadek Jr., Mike MacAdams, Jeremy MacADams, Al Sadek Sr., Kevin Baumgarner, Bill Chaboyea, Sterling Knaeble, Harley Kroenig, Brian Feda, Josh Behrends, Dean Olafson
Heat 1 -- A. Sadek Jr., M. MacAdams, K. Baumgarner, A. Sadek Sr., S. Knaeble
Heat 2 -- B. Chaboyea, H. Kroenig, J. Berg, J. Behrends, B. Feda
Wissota Mod Four Feature -- Dean Larson, Conrad Schwinn, Jerry Esler, Fran Hauber, Tonja Stranger, Jess Geesey, Joey Brown, DJ Blanchard, Mike Margl, Josh Seeleye-Sautbine, Chris Brown, Skyler Smith
Heat 1 -- J. Esler, C. Schwinn, D. Larson, T. Stranger, J. Brown
Heat 2 -- J. Geesey, F. Hauber, M. Margl, S. Smith, J. Seeleye
Wissota Super Stock Feature -- Matt Sparby, Nathan Higginbotham, Keith Keena, Troy Hemphill, Gary James Nelson, Mike MacAdams, Blake Higginbotham
Heat 1 -- B. Higginbotham, K. Keena, M. Sparby, G. J. Nelson, N. Higginbotham
Wissota Midwest Modified Feature -- Gary James Nelson, Brandon Bahr, Matt Fullerton, Davey Mills, John Halvorson, Bret Schmidt, Trent Dyrdahl, Ryan Schow, Weston Ramsrud, Al Johnson, Jerad Lene, Don Platow, Ron Reed, Reise Stemberg, Matt Schow
Heat 1 -- G. J. Nelson, M. Schow, J. Halvorson, M. Fullerton, R. Schow
Heat 2 -- B. Bahr, T. Dyrdahl, R. Reed, D. Platow, J. Lene