BEMIDJI - Bemidji Speedway hosted its first of two “Kids Nights” on Sunday night with 85 cars on hand to thrill the kids.
Racing between several rain showers that rolled through the area, the action was fast and furious on a very smooth and fast track.
During intermission, kids big and small were invited on track to meet all their favorite drivers and get up close to the race cars. Approximately 25 bikes, hoodies and scooters were handed out to lucky kids who had their names drawn.
The second kid’s night will take place Aug. 7.
The action on track had everyone looking to the skies wondering if it was a full moon with two rollovers and a serious crash where a car went off the speedway through a fence, over the highway and into a tree on the other side. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in any of the crashes.
Racing resumes Sunday at 5 p.m. following the annual Bemidji Jaycees Water Carnival Parade in downtown Bemidji.
Wissota Pure Stock
The first feature race of the night the night was the Wissota Pure Stocks. They were led on track by Dave Kurtz on the pole and Taylor Heinle outside. Josh Berg started in the second row but after one lap held the lead with Heinle, Kade Leeper, Travis Olafson and Sterling Knaeble in the top five early.
Following a spin, Heinle was sent tailback and with the green flag waving once again, Knaeble raced into second with Kevin Baumgarner racing into fourth. Berg and Knaeble dueled bumper to bumper for several laps before Knaeble moved inside down the back straight and into the lead.
From there Knaeble raced to the checkered flag for the win. Baumgarner moved up to take second with Berg, Olafson, and Austin Carlson in the top five.
Wissota Super Stock
In the Wissota Super Stocks, fourth-row starter Matt Sparby drove into fourth place on the first lap. Leading the field was Brandon Bahr with Keith Keena in second, followed by Mike Vajdl.
Following a spin, Keena raced up high and Vajdl grabbed second on the restart while Sparby saw the opportunity and also passed Keena for third. Sparby continued his assault towards the front, passing Vajdl with an inside track pass and quickly moved up to challenge Bahr for the lead.
Another caution created another chance for Sparby and he took full advantage, racing up along side and then passing Bahr for the lead.
Sparby completed the race out front, taking the checkered flag with Bahr, Keena, Tim Carlson and Baumgarner in the top five. Shelby Choc, 3, was the “trophy kid” for the race. Sparby gave the little girl, a cancer survivor, his trophy.
Wissota Midwest Modified
A total of 19 Wissota Midwest Mods rolled on track led by Gary James Nelson with Dean Eggebraaten to his right. Charging to the green flag, it was Nelson taking the lead with Brandon Bahr, Eggebraaten, Weston Ramsrud and Blake Higginbotham in the top five.
Eggebraaten moved up high and dropped back several positions while Doyle Erickson moved into third before a caution slowed the race. Following the restart, it was Erickson, going for his third win in a row, on the move taking second from Bahr and then racing up to challenge Nelson for the lead.
Fifth-row starter Tim Jackson was also on the move, racing the high side into third behind Erickson and Nelson. Also looking strong on the fast track was Matt Fullerton racing into top five contention from his sixth-row start.
But then the mayhem started. After a seven-car crash on the front straight with Bahr’s car T-boned and Tyler Perkerwicz upside down, the race was stopped to untangle the mess. Bahr, Perkerwicz, Aaron Blacklance, Justin Feltus, Eggebraaten, Higginbotham and Al Johnson were all involved in the wreck and had to be towed to the pits.
Bahr was checked by track safety personnel and walked away to the pits. Everyone else was unhurt but out of the race.
Following a lengthy delay, racing resumed with Nelson out front and Jackson, Bret Schmidt, Matt Fullerton and Erickson holding down the top five. Fullerton, racing his best race of the season, passed Schmidt for third while Nelson took the win. Jackson, Fullerton, Schmidt, and Erickson finished in the top five.
Wissota Mod Four
Next on track was the Wissota Mod Four feature led by polesitter Scott Dyrdahl with Jeremy Haynes to his right. Dyrdahl captured the early lead with Haynes, Mike Margl, Chris Dyrdahl and Conrad Schwinn trailing.
Following a caution which sent Keith Thell tailback, racing resumed with Scott Dyrdahl out front. Quickly making up ground from his fifth row starting position was Josh Seeleye. Racing low in turn three-four, Seeleye took the lead while back in the pack, Thell was making a comeback charging through traffic.
Seeleye had a huge lead but a late caution brought the field back to him for a restart with Schwinn, Thell, Margl and Trevor Roediger in contention.
With the laps ticking down, Thell raced to the top of the track, around both Schwinn and Seeleye, to claim an incredible comeback win in his first ever appearance at Bemidji Speedway. Seeleye, Schwinn, Margl, and Chris Dyrdahl were top five winners.
Earlier in the Mod Four second heat, an incredible crash happened on the front straight with Lucas Klostermeier spinning and rolling high in the air. Klostermeier was unhurt but was finished for the night.
An excellent field of Wissota Modifieds were led on track by Don Platow and Tim Jackson. Jackson took the lead at the green with Bryan Dyrdahl, Ken Hron, Davey Mills, and Platow chasing him.
The field spread out quickly on the black and fast track before a spin in turn four slowed the race for a restart, sending Platow tailback.
Making his first appearance of the summer in a brand new modified was Ricky Jacobson. Racing inside, Jacobson moved into fifth while Mills ran down the back straight on the inside to take over third with Jacobson following into fourth.
Jackson was in control and took the checkered flag ahead of Mills who finished second with Dyrdahl, Jacobson and Hron in the top five.
Outlaw Mini Mod
The final race of the night saw the Outlaw Mini Mods scream on to the track led by Dane Olson and Allen Foster. Foster grabbed the lead with Kelly Steele moving up from his third-row start to take second.
Last week’s feature winner, Cole Isensee, was third with Olson and Jerry Larson in the top five.
Following a caution, Isensee powered around both Steele and Foster to take the lead and cruise to his second feature win of the season. Steele, Foster, Larson and Tyler Jonson finished in the top five.
The Mini Stock Feature was postponed until next week, creating a double feature for the minis.
Wissota Pure Stock Feature – Sterling Knaeble, Kevin Baumgarner, Josh Berg, Travis Olafson, Austin Carlson, Kade Leeper, Taylor Heinle, Tyler Kroening, Brian Feda, Jamie Chelebecek, Dave Kurtz
Heat 1 – K. Baumgarner, Jon Geschwill, D. Kurtz, K. Leeper, A. Carlson
Heat 2 – S. Knaeble, T. Olafson, T. Heinle, B. Feda
Wissota Super Stock Feature – Matt Sparby, Brandon Bahr, Keith Keena, Tim Carlson, Kevin Baumgarner, Harley Kroening, Dalton Carlson, Kevin Bahr, Mike Vadjl
Heat 1 – M. Sparby, K. BAumgarner, M. Vajdl, D.Carlson, K. Bahr
Heat 2 – T. Carlson, B. Bahr, H. Kroening, K. Keena, D. Puffe
Wissota Midwest Modified Feature – Gary James Nelson, Tim Jackson, Matt Fullerton, Bret Schmidt, Doyle Erickson, Skyler Smith, Ron Reed, Joe Henninger, Brandon Bahr, Dean Eggebraaten, Blake Higginbotham, Al Johnson, Tyler Perkerwicz, Aaron Blacklance, Justin Feltus, Trent Dyrdahl, Bill Yonke, Matt Sparby, Weston Ramsrud
Heat 1 – D. Eggebraaten, J. Henninger, S. Smith, T. Jackson, B. Yonke
Heat 2 – A. Blacklance, G. J. Nelson, D.Erickson, B. Schmidt, J. Feltus
Heat 3 – B. Higginbotham, W. RAmsrud, B. Bahr, M. Fullerton, R. Reed
Wissota Mod Four Feature – Keith Thell, Josh Seeleye-Sautbine, Conrad Schwinn, Mike Margl, Chris Dyrdahl, Dean Larson, Scott Dyrdahl, Tonja Stranger, Mike Hart, Nicole Feda, Jeremy Haynes
Heat 1 – K. Thell, C. Schwinn, T. Roediger, M. Margl, J. Seeleye-Sautbine,
Heat 2 – D. Larson, S. Dyrdahl, C. Dyrdahl, J. Haynes, T. Stranger
Wissota Modified Feature - Tim Jackson, Davey Mills, Bryan Dyrdahl, Rick Jacobson, Ken Hron, Scott Messner, Doug VanMill, Don Platow, Nathan Sletto, Ron Reed, Kyle Thell
Heat 1 – K. Thell, R. Jacobson, D. Mills, K. Hron, R. Reed
Heat 2 – T. Jackson, S. Messner, B. Dyrdahl, D. Platow, D. VanMill
Outlaw Mini Mods Feature – Cole Isensee, Kelly Steele, Allen Foster, Jerry Larson, Tyler Jonson, Dane Olson
Heat 1 – K. Steele, A. Foster, T. Jonson, C. Isensee, D. Olson, J. Larson
Mini Stock Feature (postponed until next week)
Heat 1 – J. Current, M. Hart, R. Magnuson, Keith Higginbotham, Andrew Hansen
Heat 2 – J. Chelbecek, B. Smith, K. Davis, J. Rosenthall, S. Berg