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Hot action on the race track

Conrad Schwinn (No. 6). Dean Larson (No. 37), Tom Kellen (No. 62) and Tonja Stranger battle for position during Sunday's Mod Four feature. Dennis Peterson | Special to the Pioneer

Like most areas of the Northland this week Bemidji Speedway sustained some damage from the straight line winds which blew through on Monday. The track itself, however, was in great shape for Sunday's racing.

Next Sunday the Beaver Radio Network Kids Club will have a special night at the speedway and all registered kids will be admitted free. Children can be registered for the event by going to

On July 22 the track will host a Pure Stock special and will also honor legendary Bemidji racer Gordie Lancaster who is in his 50th year of racing. All drivers who raced with Gordie are asked to come and be part of a very special event honoring the popular racer.

Sunday's action was hot and furious with many side-by-side races and a wild rollover by Mod Four driver Tonja Stranger. She was unharmed and returned to therace.

Following a caution a few laps into the race Rick Watson powered into the lead and maintained it the rest of the way. Leahna Barrett finished second, Weston Ramsrud third, Josh Berg fourth and Becky Barrett fifth.

Dakota Green was first into the 1-2 corner and was followed by Brandon Smith, Bill Beaulieu, Chad Puschinsky and Bill Chaboyea. Smith spun his racer in turn two bringing out the caution flag and sending him tailback for the restart.

Following the restart, Green was in control. He survived a near mishap when lapping a car late in the race but ended up cruising to his first feature win at Bemidji this summer. He was followed across the finish line by Puschinsky, Beaulieu, Chaboyea and Jerry Ramey Jr.

After several laps of side by side racing Gary Nelson Jr. moved into the lead and raced to another feature win. Bret Schmidt was second with Tridell Champlin third, Brandon Bahr fourth and Matt Sparby fifth.

The start was a wild three wide race with Dean Larson, taking the lead. A tangle of machines created a caution and Larson was sent tailback for the restart.

Larson raced back quickly into contention, however, and held third prior to another caution.

The race was restarted with Brandon Kellen in the lead followed by Chad Funt and Larson. Racing into the first turn Larson dove low with Kellen up high and Funt in the middle. Larson came out in the lead and powered down the back straight with the checkered flag waving on the front straight for his first win at Bemidji this summer.

Early in the race Bret Schmidt raced inside in the 3-4 corner and took the lead. Gary Nelson Jr. charged up from his fourth row start to grab second. A great four car battle developed for third with Skyler Smith, Chris Leek, Davey Mills and Doyle Erickson at times running four wide on the ¼-mile oval. Smith kept his advantage and held the third spot with Erickson taking fourth and Leek fifth.

Schmidt raced to his third Midwest feature win in as many weeks ending an exciting night of racing at Bemidji Speedway.

Mini Stock Feature - Rick Watson, Leahna Barrett, Weston Ramsrud, Josh Berg, Becky Barrett, Cory Mueller, Andy Hanson

Heat 1 - R. Watson, W. Ramsrud, L. Barrett, J. Berg, A. Hanson

Pure Stock Feature - Dakota Green, Chad Puschinsky, Bill Beaulieu, Bill Chaboyea, Jerry Ramey Jr., Brandon Smith, John Kruschke, Jay Lutgen

Heat 1 - B.Smith, C. Puschinsky, D. Green, B. Beaulieu, B. Chaboyea

Wissota Super Stocks Feature - Gary Nelson Jr., Bret Schmidt, Tridell Champlin, Brandon Bahr, Matt Sparby, Kyle Oman, Dalton Carlson, Keith Keena

Heat 1 - B. Schmidt, B. Bahr, G. Nelson Jr., K. Oman, T. Champlin

Wissota Mod Four Feature - Dean Larson, Brandon Kellen, Chad Funt, Mike Margl, Tonja Stranger, Tom Kellen, Craig Moore, Conrad Schwinn

Heat 1 - B. Kellen, D. Larson, C. Schwinn, C. Funt, M. Margl

Wissota Midwest Modified Feature - Bret Schmidt, Gary Nelson Jr., Skyler Smith, Doyle Erickson, Chris Leek, John Halverson, Brandon Bahr, Davey Mills, Bill Yonke, Chuck Lambert

Heat 1 - B. Bahr, J. Halverson, G. Nelson Jr., D. Erickson, S. Smith

Heat 2 - C. Lambert, B. Schmidt, D. Mills, C. Leek, J. Lene