AUTO RACING: Bemidji Speedway holds Chicken Shack Nationals
BEMIDJI -- For the second weekend in a row, the Bemidji Speedway was host to stock car racing’s best. Last week the 39th Annual Paul Bunyan Stampede filled the pits and thrilled the fans. On Saturday September 29th, the Chicken Shack Nationals and Jack Sparby Memorial Super Stock Special brought many of the same drivers and crews back to the track with what was scheduled to be a two day race for national points and increased purses. Due to temperatures in the freezing area and winds from the north, the races for Sunday were cancelled, ending a fantastic season of racing.
The season-ending celebration banquet and awards will be held Dec. 1 at the Bemidji Eagles Club bringing the 2018 racing season at Bemidji Speedway to its official end.Wissota Pure Stocks Feature
The Wissota Pure stocks started the features with a 19-car race with Kevin Baumgarner on the pole and Donahue Wittner to his right. Baumgarner took the lead early with Wittner, Mike Roth, Tyler Kroening, and Mike MacAdams chasing. Baumgarner and Wittner pulled away from the pack before the No. 4 pure stock of Jeremy Cash got up high in turn one and rolled down the steep high bank. Cash was attended to by EMTs on duty and was out of the race.
Racing resumed led by Baumgarner who cruised to the win followed by Wittner, Roth, Kroening and MacAdams. It was a clean sweep for Baumgarner having also won the third heat.Bemidji Mini Stock Feature
The mini stocks were next on track led by Mike Sparby and Shannon George. George grabbed the early lead with Cory Nelson, Blake Erickson, Sparby and John Current in the top five. Sparby drove high in turn two allowing Current to take fourth. The top three drivers raced nose to tail for most of the race with George holding his line to pick up the clean sweep for the night.Northern Renegade Sprints Feature
Making their second appearance at the speedway in 2018 the Northern Renegade Sprints came on track led by Jon Lewerer on the pole and Josh Braford outside. Braford powered to the early lead with Lewerer, Caley Emerson, Paul Schultz, and Jori Hughes chasing him. Hughes caught and passed Schultz on the high side with former late model driver Harry Hanson racing around several cars to take second before the caution flag waved for a two car crash in turn four. The restart was led by Braford but not for long as Hanson powered inside in the first turn to take the lead from Braford. Schultz night ended with a front wall collision which left his sprint on the hook and in the pits. Schultz was not hurt. The last few laps were controlled by Hanson, of Eveleth, and won by a sizeable margin.
The Wissota Mod Fours drove on track with a dozen cars ready battle. Dean Shaver was on the pole with Justin Pogones outside to his right. Shaver raced into the lead with Pogones, Nicole Feda, Adam Prieve, and Dustin Holtquist in the top five. Shaver drove to a comfortable lead with Prieve his closest rival. Feda had been racing her best of the summer in the race before an incident in turn two sent her tailback for a restart. The track developed a very fast lane with drivers vying for line. Shaver held his position and drove to the feature win and was joined by his wife, Brenda, who also raced in the same feature after a scary rollover crash in her heat race. She was unhurt and returned to race the feature and joined her husband Dean in victory lane for the celebration. Prieve, Holtquist, Pogones and Dean Larson finished in the top five.Wissota Midwest Modified Feature
The Wissota Midwest Modified feature opened with Alex Johnson on the pole and Tim Jackson outside. Jackson powered to the lead with Johnson, Doyle Erickson, Gary James Nelson and Weston Ramsrud trailing. Jackson quickly created some space between himself and the field and began lapping slower cars after just a few laps. Johnson stayed with the leader with a gap of nearly 5 car lengths between himself and Erickson in third. Johnson was soon caught by several cars with Matt Sparby, Ramsrud and Johnson involved in a three car spin in turn two. Johnson pitted and Ramsrud was towed to the pits. The single file restart was all Jackson needed to free himself from the field and pick up the Chicken National feature win with the clean sweep. Erickson, Nelson, Sparby and John Farrington rounded out the top five.Wissota Hornets Feature
The Wissota Hornet class was next on track with Peyton Edelman on the pole. As the green flag waved, Matt Pederson raced out to the lead followed by Ross Magnuson, Hunter McDougall, Edelman and Joe Potter. The first caution flag waved for Macey Anderson in turn two when her hornet spun and rolled onto its top. Track personnel extracted Anderson safely, and she said she was unhurt. Racing resumed shortly with Pederson out front and Magnuson, McDougall and Edelman in line before Edelman raced high and dropped back to fifth. Pederson won the feature and picked up the newly created Chick Shack trophy.Jack Sparby Wissota Super Stock Memorial Feature Race
With the $650 purse on the line the Superstocks drove on track with Jeff Reed on the pole and Harley Kroening to his right. As flagman Cole Isensee waved the green flag it was Reed jumping into the lead followed by Kroening, Matt Sparby, Tim Carlson and Trent Brutger. Kroening’s superstock raced into turn three and flew over the high bank and miraculously drove back on track and reentered the race moving Mikey Vajdl into fifth. Reed sped out to a three car length lead over Sparby with Sparby ahead of Carlson by an equal amount. Sparby slowly reeled Reed in and before the caution flag again waved as Vajdl slowed down the front straight and drove into the infield. Sparby raced to the top in turn two and Carlson pulled down low into second. The two made contact in turns three and four sending both spinning and sending Sparby tailback for the restart. Sparby immediately worked his way back into contention making passes on the high side in an inspired race in memory of his dad. Late in the race, the night ended for Sparby with him pulling into the infield as the white flag waved for Reed. Reed won the race and was joined by Sparby in victory lane.Wissota Modified Feature
The Final race of the 2018 season brought the Wissota Modifieds on track led by Andy Davey and Danny Vang. Vang beat Davey into the first turn and took the lead with Davey, Justin Bronk, Jerome Guyot and Mark Esala in the top five. A spin in turn two sent Guyot tailback for the restart. The restart gave Esala an opening and he raced high in the turn and passed Bronk for third but then soon would pull off track with mechanical issues. Again the restart had action with Chad Dyrdahl looking to advance from his third row starting position passing the two cars of Tim Jackson and Bronk. Bronk charged back to retake third before another caution flag waved for action in turn two. With the track becoming very rough with ruts, the drivers picked high or low avoiding the middle line. Vang cleared the obstacles and cruised to his second feature win at Bemidji this summer and picked up a clean sweep. Andy Davey was second with Bronk, Tim Jackson and Justin Jones in the top five ending a cold and windy Chicken Shack Nationals.
Bemidji Speedway Races – Saturday, Sept. 29
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 47-Danny Vang, ; 2. 91-Andy Davey, ; 3. 92-Justin Bronk, ; 4. 8-Tim Jackson, ; 5. 69-Justin Jones, ; 6. 88-Chad Dyrdahl, ; 7. 48-Jerome Guyot, ; 8. 8T-Doug VanMill, ; 9. 3-Keith Keena, ; 10. (DNF) 77X-Alan Olafson, ; 11. (DNF) 16K-Derick Kubitz, ; 12. (DNF) 95-Mark Esala, 
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 47-Danny Vang, ; 2. 8-Tim Jackson, ; 3. 88-Chad Dyrdahl, ; 4. 95-Mark Esala, ; 5. 8T-Doug VanMill, ; 6. 3-Keith Keena, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 91-Andy Davey, ; 2. 92-Justin Bronk, ; 3. 69-Justin Jones, ; 4. 48-Jerome Guyot, ; 5. 77X-Alan Olafson, ; 6. (DNF) 16K-Derick Kubitz, 
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 8-Tim Jackson, ; 2. 99E-Doyle Erickson, ; 3. 74-Gary James Nelson, ; 4. 81X-Matt Sparby, ; 5. 40F-John Farrington, ; 6. 7P-Cory Peterson, ; 7. 19-Darrin Lawler, ; 8. (DNF) 7M-Brandon Mehrwerth, ; 9. (DNF) 67-Weston Ramsrud, ; 10. (DNF) 18J-Alex Johnson, ; 11. (DNF) 21X-Russ MacDonald, ; 12. (DNF) 77B-Logan Bauer, 
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 8-Tim Jackson, ; 2. 81X-Matt Sparby, ; 3. 74-Gary James Nelson, ; 4. 7M-Brandon Mehrwerth, ; 5. 7P-Cory Peterson, ; 6. 40F-John Farrington, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 99E-Doyle Erickson, ; 2. 18J-Alex Johnson, ; 3. 19-Darrin Lawler, ; 4. 67-Weston Ramsrud, ; 5. 77B-Logan Bauer, ; 6. 21X-Russ MacDonald, 
Dirt 4 cyl Modifieds
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 30-Dean Shaver, ; 2. 9-Adam Prieve, ; 3. 5-Robert Holtquist, ; 4. 01-Justin Pogones, ; 5. 37-Dean Larson, ; 6. 2-Josh Seely-Sautbine, ; 7. 6-Conrad Schwinn, ; 8. 23G-Shannon George, ; 9. 26M-Garrett Masurka, ; 10. 5F-Nicole Feda, ; 11. 05F-Brian Feda, ; 12. (DNF) 95-Brenda Shaver, 
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 01-Justin Pogones, ; 2. 37-Dean Larson, ; 3. 2-Josh Seely-Sautbine, ; 4. 5F-Nicole Feda, ; 5. 05F-Brian Feda, ; 6. (DNF) 95-Brenda Shaver, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 30-Dean Shaver, ; 2. 5-Robert Holtquist, ; 3. 9-Adam Prieve, ; 4. 23G-Shannon George, ; 5. 6-Conrad Schwinn, ; 6. 26M-Garrett Masurka, 
A Feature 1 (10 Laps): 1. 87-Shannon George, ; 2. 99JR-Blake Erickson, ; 3. 90-Cory Nelson, ; 4. 28-John Current, ; 5. 81X-Mike Sparby, ; 6. 05-Travis Seitz, ; 7. 95-Matt Smith, ; 8. (DNF) 13J-Nicholas Jessen, ; 9. (DNF) 18X-Connor Drewry, ; (DNS) 4D-Dawson Kimble,
Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 87-Shannon George, ; 2. 90-Cory Nelson, ; 3. 28-John Current, ; 4. 99JR-Blake Erickson, ; 5. 95-Matt Smith, 
Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 81X-Mike Sparby, ; 2. 13J-Nicholas Jessen, ; 3. 05-Travis Seitz, ; 4. 18X-Connor Drewry, ; 5. (DNF) 4D-Dawson Kimble, 
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 72-Kevin Baumgarner, ; 2. D7-Donahue Wittner, ; 3. 66-Michael Roth, ; 4. 36-Tyler Kroening, ; 5. 24M-Michael MacAdams, ; 6. 3-Kade Leeper, ; 7. 89F-Bonnie Farrington, ; 8. 39-Deryk Weleski, ; 9. 13-Jonathan Geschwill, ; 10. 57-Austin Carlson, ; 11. 9-Dawson Kimble, ; 12. 23X-Chad Tabaka, ; 13. 13J-Nicholas Jessen, ; 14. (DNF) 12-Justin Feltus, ; 15. (DNF) 11-Devyn Weleski, ; 16. (DNF) 35B-Josh Berg, ; 17. (DNF) 12O-Travis Olafson, ; 18. (DNF) 4-Jeremy Cash, ; 19. (DNF) 51-Steve Nordhagen, 
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 66-Michael Roth, ; 2. D7-Donahue Wittner, ; 3. 12-Justin Feltus, ; 4. 13J-Nicholas Jessen, ; 5. (DNF) 51-Steve Nordhagen, ; 6. (DNF) 57-Austin Carlson, ; 7. (DNF) 9-Dawson Kimble, 
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 39-Deryk Weleski, ; 2. 24M-Michael MacAdams, ; 3. 36-Tyler Kroening, ; 4. 4-Jeremy Cash, ; 5. 23X-Chad Tabaka, ; 6. (DNF) 12O-Travis Olafson, 
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 72-Kevin Baumgarner, ; 2. 35B-Josh Berg, ; 3. 3-Kade Leeper, ; 4. 89F-Bonnie Farrington, ; 5. 11-Devyn Weleski, ; 6. 13-Jonathan Geschwill, 
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 4P-zzzMatt zzzPederson, ; 2. 1-Hunter McDougall, ; 3. 26-Joe Potter, ; 4. 25JR-Cody Krueth, ; 5. 5-Peyton Edelman, ; 6. 13H-Andrew Hansen, ; 7. (DNF) 53-Ross Magnuson, ; 8. (DNF) 88-Macey Anderson, ; (DNS) 25-Jordan Thayer,
Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 4P-zzzMatt zzzPederson, ; 2. 13H-Andrew Hansen, ; 3. 5-Peyton Edelman, ; 4. 53-Ross Magnuson, ; 5. 26-Joe Potter, ; 6. 1-Hunter McDougall, ; 7. 25JR-Cody Krueth, ; 8. 88-Macey Anderson, ; 9. 25-Jordan Thayer, 
A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 2R-Jeff Reed, ; 2. 7-Tim Carlson, ; 3. 12T-Trent Brutger, ; 4. 11H-Harley Kroening, ; 5. (DNF) 81X-Matt Sparby, ; 6. (DNF) 41-Mikey Vajdl, 
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 41-Mikey Vajdl, ; 2. 12T-Trent Brutger, ; 3. 81X-Matt Sparby, ; 4. 2R-Jeff Reed, ; 5. 11H-Harley Kroening, ; 6. 7-Tim Carlson, 
Northern Renegade Sprints
Feature: Harry Hanson, Caley Emerson, Jon Lewerer, Jori Hughes, Neal Matuska, Josh Braford, Paul Schultz and Troy Gessner
Dash 1: Josh Braford, Paul Schultz, Caley Emerson, Harry Hanson, Jori Hughes, Neal Matuska, Troy Gessner and Jon Lewerer.
Dash 2: Jori Hughes, Jon Lewerer, Harry Hanson, Paul Schultz, Caley Emerson, Neal Matuska, Troy Gessner and Josh Braford