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92 cars fill the track at Bemidji Speedway for ‘Young Guns Night’

Big winners on the night were Ashton Schwinn with a clean sweep in the Bemidji Mini Stocks, Skyler Smith with a clean sweep in the Wissota Mod Fours and Dustin Puffe with a clean sweep in the Wissota Pure Stocks.

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Dustin Puffe won the Pure Stocks feature on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at Bemidji Speedway.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Speedway dodged the rainy weather on Sunday, with precipitation falling in the morning and clearing off perfectly for the late-afternoon start to the weekly racing program. A field of 92 cars filled the pits.

During intermission, the “Young Guns” of racing at Bemidji Speedway were recognized on the track. Twenty-nine drivers aged 20 or younger were introduced to the crowd.

Big winners on the night were Ashton Schwinn with a clean sweep in the Bemidji Mini Stocks, Skyler Smith with a clean sweep in the Wissota Mod Fours and Dustin Puffe with a clean sweep in the Wissota Pure Stocks.

Racing resumes at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, with Fan Appreciation Night.

Wissota Pure Stock Feature

The initial feature of the evening brought the Wissota Pure Stocks on the track, with Hunter Weeks on the pole and Dustin Puffe to his right. Puffe powered to the lead with Weeks, Kade Leeper, Austin Carlson and Deryk Weleski trailing. A side-by-side duel between Carlson and Leeper developed for third, and fourth-row starter John Farrington made a move toward the front. Carlson took control of third with a highside charge, and then he passed Weeks for second. Farrington raced high on the fast track and pulled into third. Puffe held his line and picked up his second feature win in a row and a clean sweep. Carlson, Farrington, Weeks and Josh Berg made up the top five.

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Bemidji Mini Stocks Feature

Ashton Schwinn started outside in the front row and quickly moved to the front of the field with Cory Nelson, Kalin Honer, Conrad Schwinn and Josh Hanson trailing. Debris on the track brought out the yellow caution flag, setting up a restart. Ashton Schwinn held his front position as his dad, Conrad Schwinn, made a move inside and into third. In a three-car race to the finish, it was Ashton Schwinn picking up his first win of the summer with Honer, Conrad Schwinn, Nelson and Peyton Emerson in the top five.

Northern Renegade Sprints Feature

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Nathan Sletto won the Northern Renegade Sprints feature on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at Bemidji Speedway.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer

A field of 13 Northern Renegade wingless sprints were led on track by Paul Schultz and Nathan Sletto for their 15-lap feature race. The two fine racers battled side-by-side for the first lap before Schultz took the lead at the flagstand. Sletto, Chris Lewis and Lucas Logue trailed. A multi-car crash on the back straight brought out the red flag and lengthy delay to repair several tires on the sprints. Once racing resumed, Sletto was on the move down the back straight, catching and passing Schultz for the lead and then quickly building a sizable lead over the field. Sletto cruised to his first-ever win in the sprint series. Schultz, Ken Hron, Jake Barsness and Travis Case filled the top-five positions.

Wissota Midwest Modified Feature

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Jeff Reed won the Midwest Modified feature on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at Bemidji Speedway.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer

Devyn Weleski and Jeff Reed led a strong field of Wissota Midwest Modifieds on the track. With a door-to-door race around the track, Reed took the lead on the front straight with Weleski, Jason LaValley, Alan Olafson and Doyle Erickson in close contention. Following a caution on the back straight, Erickson moved up and passed several mods to take over second on the back straight. Erickson powered up to challenge Reed for the lead, but contact sent Reed around and created a caution. Erickson was sent to the rear of the field for the restart. Reed controlled the restart with Brandon Bahr working into the top five from his fourth-row starting position. A late caution created a green-white-checkered for the finish with Reed holding on for the win. LaValley was second, Olafson third, Bahr fourth and Connor Drewry fifth.

Wissota Mod Four Feature

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Skyler Smith won the Mod Four feature on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at Bemidji Speedway.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer

The Wissota Mod Four feature was up next, led on track by Nick McCann and Skyler Smith. On the outside, Smith powered to the lead with McCann, Blake Erickson, Conrad Schwinn and Landon Randt trailing. Erickson made a pass of McCann on the front straight for second. Schwinn drove up on the bumper of McCann but could not get around him. Smith flew to his clean-sweep victory in the Mod Fours with Erickson, McCann, Schwinn, and Randt in the top five.

Wissota Super Stock Feature

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Dexton Koch won the Super Stock feature on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at Bemidji Speedway.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer

An 11-car feature for Wissota Super Stocks was next on track with Bonnie Farrington on the pole and Garrett Masurka to her right. Masurka raced to the lead with Matt Sparby, Farrington, Dalton Carlson and Fritz Myers chasing in the top five. Lurking in the background were national point leaders Dexton Koch and Jeffry Frey. Carlson moved up into third, passing Farrington and then racing side-by-side with Sparby for second. Koch split both Carlson and Myers, racing three-wide in wild action. A caution flag slowed things down for a restart with Masurka still out front in his best race of the summer. Myers, Koch, Carlson and Dylan Nelson held the top five spots. The restart was a duel for the lead, with Koch moving up next to Masurka and taking the lead. A late caution sent Carlson tailback, while Koch won the race for his second in a row at Bemidji Speedway. Masurka, Myers, Frey and Sparby held the top-five spots.

Wissota Hornets Feature

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Carter Matthews won the Hornets feature on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at Bemidji Speedway.
Lisa Rhen / Special to the Pioneer

The final feature of the night was a 21-car field of Wissota Hornets. The caution-filled race was cut short on time due to the number of cautions. The race started with Chad Reller on the pole and Megan Vernlund outside, but several attempts at a start failed with crashes and spins and long delays in untangling the damaged Hornets. Once the race went green, it was Carter Matthews and Justin Barsness racing up into the lead spots. More cautions slowed the action, and the race went green-white-checkered for the win. Matthews and Barsness battled side-by-side to the finish line, with Matthews winning by a bumper. Caylyn Binkley finished a strong third with Reller and Brooklyn Vernlund in the top five.

Related Topics: BEMIDJI SPEEDWAY
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