Bemidji Speedway: Perfect weather welcomes drivers, fans at season opener
Opening day at the speedway was Sunday and the perfect weather, full pits, a fine crowd on hand and a smooth and very fast track made for a fantastic opener.
The racers were back at the track late Monday and next Sunday, for “Beltrami County Humane Society Night”, the races will start at 5 p.m.
In the mini stock feature Mike Hart and Jenny Watrud raced side-by-side for a lap before Hart pulled out to the lead. Lexi Gattiger caught and passed Watrud for second late in the race. Mike Hart battled back from tailback to take fourth with Danny Brown finishing in the top five.
Sterling Knaeble lost his right rear tire on the first lap and drove to the pits moving Al Sadek to the front row where he proceeded to take the lead when flagman Dustin Puffe tossed the green. Sadek was looking strong but his engine went up in smoke and he was done for the night leaving his son Al Sadek Jr. to race for the win. Racing from the third position, Sadek passed both Kevin Baumgarner and Josh Berg to take the lead and the first pure stock feature of 2014. Berg was second with Baumgarner, Bill Chaboyea and Harley Kroney in the top five.
Wissota Mod Fours
Josh Geesey grabbed the lead with Mike Margl racing into second on the inside. Dean Larson charged ahead into third from his third-row start with Chris Brown and Tommy Sabraski in the top five before the caution flag flew for contact between Brown and Jerry Esler with Esler sent tailback.
Larson took advantage of the restart to race up side-by-side with Geesey and eventually power down the back straight to build a comfortable lead and cruise to the Mod four victory.
Wissota Super Stocks
Keith Keena controlled the start taking the lead with Derek Vessel on his bumper. Rick Jacobson, Dalton Carlson and Nathan Higginbotham were in the top five. Keena and Vessel put on a show as the two battled back and forth for the lead, Vessel gaining a slight advantage only to see Keena come back time and time again to regain the lead. Finally late in the race Vessel drove high and Carlson made an attempt down low with Keena in the middle. Vessel came out in the lead and took the checkered flag with Carlson, Keena, Blake Higginbotham and Gary James Nelson in the top five.
Wissota Midwest Modified
When the green flag waved it was Davey Mills flying into the lead followed by Ricky Jacobson, Bill Matzdorf and Brandon Bahr in a clean and fast start. Several cautions for spins slowed the action after one of them John Halvorson was sent tailback and during this caution Mills also drove to the pits ending his night giving the lead over to Matzdorf.
With the green flag once again waving Matzdorf held his lead over Matt Schow who had worked his way into contention with Brett Schmidt into third using high side passes. Cautions once again slowed the action but when racing resumed it was Schmidt and Schow battling with Schmidt on the top side making the pass for second. Schmidt continued to challenge Matzdorf on the inside but Matzdorf held his position and picked up the feature win. Schmidt took second with Schow, Bahr, and Halvorson in the top five.
Mini Stock Feature – Tim Hart, Lexi Gattiger, Jenny Watrud, Mike Hart, Danny Brown, Sue Berg, Dustin Behrends, Nicole Feda
Heat 1 – T. Hart, M. Hart, L. Gattiger, Dustin Behrends, J. Watrud,
Bemidji Pure Stock Feature – Al Sadek Jr, Josh Berg, Kevin Baumgarner, Bill Chaboyea, Harley Kroenig, Dean Olafson, Mike McAdams, Josh Behrends, Brian Feda, Trevor, Al Sadek
Heat 1 – Al Sadek. Bill Chaboyea, K. Baumgarner, M. McAdams, D. Olafson
Heat 2 – Al Sadek Jr, S. Knaeble, J. Berg, Harley Kroenig, B. Feda
Wissota Mod Four Feature – Dean Larson, Jess Geesey, Jerry Esler, Mike Margl, Conrad Schwinn, Tommy Sabraski, Fran Hauber, Tonja Stranger, Josh Seeleye, Chris Brown
Heat 1 – J. Geesey, M. Margl, T. Sabraski, C. Schwinn, F. Hauber
Heat 2 – J. Esler, D. Larson, T. Stranger, J. Brown, C. Brown
Wissota Super Stock Feature – Derek Vessel, Dalton Carlson, Keith Keena, Blake Higginbotham, Gary James Nelson, Nathan Higginbotham
Heat 1 – D. Vessel, G. J. Nelson, D. Carlson, K. Keena, N. Higginbotham
Wissota Midwest Modifieds Feature – Bill Matzdorf, Brett Schmidt, Matt Schow, Brandon Bahr, John Halvorson, Skyler Smith, Matt Fullerton, Darrin Lawler, Trent Dyrdahl, Jared Lene, Gary James Nelson, Ron Reed, Weston Ramsrud, Ricky Jacobson, Schow, Davey Mills, Noah Messner, Ryan Schow
Heat 1 – G. J. Nelson, D. Lawler, B. Bahr, B. Schmidt, N. Messner
Heat 2 – S. Smith, D. Mills, J. Halvorson, T. Dyrdahl, J. Lene
Heat 3 – R. Jacobson, B. Matzdorf, M. Schow, Schow, M. Fullerton