First-time winners, crashes, DQs highlight action
It was a night of clean sweeps, first timers, hard crashes and disqualifications at Bemidji Speedway Sunday night. A fine grandstand of fans enjoyed all the thrills stock car racing has to offer including four clean sweeps and a hard crash in the Mod Fours. Track conditions were fantastic with drivers racing from top to bottom on the quarter-mile oval.
Dakota Greene charged up door-to-door with leader Mike McAdams and ran side-by-side for a lap, then raced low and on the next lap the 18-year-old from Grand Rapids took the lead. But a caution moved Cory Peterson in front for the restart with Greene, Bill Beaulieu, McAdams, and Bill Chaboyea trailing.
With the green flag once again waving Beaulieu and Peterson made heavy contact along the retaining wall which opened the door for Greene to take the lead. Beaulieu and Peterson spun in the number two turn bringing out a final caution flag.
Greene controlled the restart and picked up his first feature win at Bemidji Speedway. Beaulieu, Chaboyea, Joel Harvey and Chad Puschinsky raced into the top five.
Rick Watson had a sizeable lead and took the checkered flag for his first ever win. But the first-time winner forgot to go to the "tech" area and was the first of two disqualifications on the night. Ev Barrett was awarded the win. Andy Swartz, Billy Smith, Becky Barrett and John Aderman made up the top five finishers.
During the race there was a horrible crash when Mike Paulson and Conrad Schwinn tangled. Paulson's driver's side rear had been clipped as the faster car went by whipping him around and sending him airborne and directly into the front cement retaining wall, only inches from going over the wall. Everyone was relieved to see Paulson wave that he was okay. His car was a mess and he was a "bit sore" but was okay.
Racing resumed and Tom Kellen took the checkered flag...his first ever. Brandon Kellen, Tonja Stranger, Dallas Bercoltz and Conrad Schwinn made the top five. But, once again, the excitement of the moment caused the first time winner to forget to "tech" and he was disqualified giving the win and a sweep in the Mod Fours to Brandon Kellen.
Dalton Carlson came out of the second row inside to take the lead. Following a restart, Gary Nelson, Jr. raced high and found the opening he needed to make the pass into second place. Carlson widened his lead down the stretch and claimed his first feature win in two years. Despite numerous challenges Nelson was able to finish second ahead of Tyler Kintner, Max Dondelinger and Brett Schmidt.
The largest class of cars of the night was the Midwest Modifieds. With 20 cars in the pits, 19 made the big show.
A series of cautions didn't seem to affect Skyler Smith as he quickly powered out to a comfortable lead each time the green flag was waved after a caution. Smith went on to take the feature and complete his "clean sweep" having won the third heat. Brett Schmidt, Matt Schow, John Halvorson and Adam Johnson finished in the top five.
Bemidji Pure Stock Feature - Dakota Greene, Bill Beaulieu, Bill Chaboyea, Joel Harvey, Chad Puschinsky, Mike McAdams, Wade Schmidt, Troy Hemphill, Jesse Lutgen, Cory Peterson
Heat 1 - M. McAdams, T. Hemphill, W. Schmidt, J. Harvey, J. Feltus
Heat 2 - B. Beaulieu, C. Peterson, B. Chaboyea, D. Greene, C. Puschinsky
Bemidji Mini Stock Feature - Ev Barrett, Andy Swartz, Billy Smith, Becky Barrett, John Aderman, Jordan Thayer, Rick Watson (DQ)
Heat 1 - E. Barrett, R. Watson, B. Smith, J. Aderman, B. Barrett
Wissota Mod Four Feature - Brandon Kellen, Tonja Stranger, Dallas Bercoltz, Conrad Schwinn, John Greschwill, Mike Paulson, Tom Kellen (DQ)
Heat 1 - B. Kellen, C. Schwinn, F. Hauber, T. Kellen, T. Stranger
Wissota Super Stocks Feature - Dalton Carlson, Gary Nelson Jr, Tyler Kintner, Max Dondelinger, Brett Schmidt, Matt Sparby, Keith Keena, Gordie Lancaster, Ethan Sweet
Heat 1 - D. Carlson, B. Schmidt, M. Sparby, T. Kintner, G. Nelson, Jr.
Wissota Midwest Modifieds Feature - Skyler Smith, Brett Schmidt, Matt Schow, John Halvorson, Adam Johnson, Christopher Leek, Alan Bohlman, Brandon Bahr, Don Mullen, Ryan Oppegard
Heat 1 - A. Bohlman, M. Bartz, C. Dudley, D. Mullen, J. Wilde
Heat 2 - B. Schmidt, M. Schow, J. Halvorson, D. Lawler, C. Leek
Heat 3 - S. Smith, A. Johnson, B. Bahr, B. Yonke, R. Schow
Bemidji Hornets - Jason Bush, Joe Doti, Ron Paulbicke