BEMIDJI -- "It’s a great day for racing."
Those words were spoken throughout the pits on Sunday, Aug. 2, as clear skies and cool temperatures brought out a great lineup of cars to Bemidji Speedway.
Next Sunday, Aug. 9, is a regular race card, followed on Aug. 16, by the Dean Olafson Memorial Special with increased pay for both the Bemidji Mini Stocks and Wissota Pure Stocks. The Northern Renegades Wingless Sprints are also slated to make a return to the track on Aug. 16.
Wissota Pure Stocks Feature
Dusty Caspers was on the pole for the Wissota Pure Stocks with Bryan Karl to his right. Caspers powered to the lead with Karl, Devyn Weleski, Josh Berg and Kade Leeper close behind. Leeper began his assault to the front by quickly passing Berg first and then Weleski to move into third. Caspers was out to a four-car length lead as Leeper continued forward, passing Karl on the inside of the back straight.
Following a couple of cautions sending several cars tailback, Margo Butcher raced into contention in fourth with Austin Carlson fourth. Leeper was once again on the move, catching and passing Caspers for the lead on the back straight once again. Leeper took the checkered flag for his second consecutive feature win. Caspers was second, Butcher, Carlson and Al Sadek Sr. took top five honors.
Wissota Midwest Modified Feature
The 20-car field of Wissota Midwest Modifieds roared on track next led by Jason LaValley on the pole. To his right was longtime area racer Alan Olafson.
With a tremendous start, Olafson powered to the front followed by LaValley, Jeff Reed, Brandon Bahr and Reise Stenberg. Bahr charged up to race side by side with Reed before the first caution flag waved and brought the field back for a restart.
On the restart, Reed raced into second as LaValley dropped back. Bahr charged forward in his No. 29 machine and took the spot from Reed as Olafson built a three-car length lead. Stenberg powered to the high side into fourth before another caution flag was waved by flagman Cole Isensee.
The restart was controlled by Olafson with Bahr, Reed, Stenberg and Darrin Lawler chasing. Three straight additional cautions slowed the action with no changes in the standings. Late in the race, Skyler Smith took over fifth as Stenberg dropped back in the field, moving Lawler into fourth as Olafson picked up his first win of the 2020 season. Bahr, Reed, Lawler and Smith finished in the top five.
Bemidji Mini Stocks Feature
Twelve Mini Stocks filed on track for the next feature with Cory Nelson on the pole and William Foster outside. After three tries and failures to get the race started, the fourth try was good with Nelson taking the lead over Waylon Current, Foster, Connor Drewry and John Current.
A yellow flag was waved for an incident sending Drewry to the rear of the field. On the restart, Conrad Schwinn raced up from his fourth-row start into fifth with Drewry quickly regaining lost ground right behind him.
John Current raced up by several cars to challenge his son Waylon for second in side-by-side racing. Foster grabbed the lead as Nelson dropped back to third, just ahead of Waylon Current. Foster fought off several challenges to claim his first feature of the year in the fan favorite “Pookie” race car. John Current, Schwinn, Waylon Current and Drewry filled the top five spots.
Wissota Super Stock Feature
The Wissota Super Stocks took to the track next led by Nicholas Jacobson and Matt Sparby. Sparby raced to the lead followed by Jacobson, Dalton Carlson, John Farrington and Jeffery Frey. Carlson slid up high in the 3-4 corner and Farrington raced into third but later spun, bringing out the caution flag and sending him tailback for the restart.
The restart was controlled by Sparby, who raced out to a three-car length lead over Jacobson. Jacobson also had a three-car length lead over Carlson on the smooth and very fast track.
The leader, Sparby, spun in turn two, causing a caution and sending him to the rear of the field while moving Jacobson into the lead for the restart looking for his first-ever feature win. Jacobson looked fast and comfortable and powered to the front on the restart with Tim Carlson, Farrington, Frey and Dalton Carlson in contention. Jacobson held his lead to pick up his first-ever victory with Tim Carlson, Farrington, Dalton Carlson and Frey in the top five.
Wissota Mod Four Feature
The Wissota Mod Four feature was next with Doug Voss on the pole and Patrick Specht to his right for the start. Voss powered to the front and was chased by Specht, Dean Shaver, Josh Sautbine and Dustin Holtquist.
Shaver and Sautbine raced side by side for third with Sautbine racing low and taking the spot as Holtquist was on the move passing Shaver for fourth. Tommy Bowden started in the fourth row and was on the move, passing several cars and catching and passing Holtquist and Specht for third. Sautbine caught and was up on Voss’ rear bumper as Bowden joined the mix, making it a three-car race.
Sautbine later spun, causing a caution flag and sending Bowden tailback as Sautbine slowed into the infield. With the white flag waving, Holtquist now in second caught and passed the leader Voss racing inside on the back straight to claim the hard-fought victory. Voss was second with Blake Erickson, Dean Larson and Dean Shaver in the top five.
Wissota Hornets Feature
The Wissota Hornet class feature was next with Malakai Wilson leading the way and Chase Golliet to his right. Golliet powered to the lead at the green flag with Wilson, Ross Magnuson and Curtis Huseth chasing.
Huseth raced low into third as Wilson raced up on the highside to challenge Golliet for the lead. An epic three-car battle developed for the lead with Golliet, Wilson and Huseth fighting for the title.
Aidan Helwig, making his final race of the year before he leaves for college, soon raced up into the mix from his fifth-row starting position.
Golliet dropped back in the pack, leaving Wilson out front looking for his first win, but Magnuson was fast and raced high on the track to power around several cars. He raced three wide with Wilson and Huseth, took the lead and claimed the checkered flag. However, he was disqualified for failure to go to tech inspection, giving the race to Huseth, his second feature win. Helwig, Golliet and Lucy LaValley finished in the top five.
Wissota Modifieds Feature
Sunday night’s finale was the Wissota Modifieds, recently dominated by Davey Mills. On the pole was Scotty Messner with Josh Beaulieu on the outside.
Messner raced to the lead but Beaulieu won the first lap with Mills, Rick Jacobson and Messner close behind. Messner slid up and over the 3-4 corner, bringing the caution flag out. Beaulieu held the lead with Mills, Jacobson, Doyle Erickson and Brandon Copp in the top five.
On the restart, Jacobson raced high around Mills for second and raced up door to door with Beaulieu for the lead. The two battled in close quarters before Jacobson took the front spot, dropping Beaulieu to second. Lance Schilling made advances to the front, racing into fourth with Copp close behind in fifth.
Erickson dropped back and drove into the infield out of the race as Jacobson cruised into victory lane for the first time in 2020. Beaulieu ran a great race for second with Mills, Schilling and Copp in the top five to end a fantastic night of racing at Bemidji Speedway.
Bemidji Speedway results (Aug. 2)
A Feature 1: 1. 00H-Curtis Huseth; 2. 10-Aidan Helwig; 3. 32-Chase Golliet; 4. 13-Lucy LaValley; 5. 25-Jordan Thayer; 6. (DNF) 23-Malakai Wilson; 7. (DNF) 5X-Peyton Edelman; 8. (DNS) 00-Travis Olafson; 9. (DQ) 53-Ross Magnuson
Heat 1: 1. 53-Ross Magnuson; 2. 00H-Curtis Huseth; 3. 32-Chase Golliet; 4. 00-Travis Olafson; 5. 23-Malakai Wilson; 6. 5X-Peyton Edelman; 7. 13-Lucy LaValley; 8. 25-Jordan Thayer; 9. (DNF) 10-Aidan Helwig
WISSOTA Midwest Mods
A Feature 1: 1. 77-Alan Olafson; 2. 29X-Brandon Bahr; 3. 2R-Jeff Reed; 4. 19-Darrin Lawler; 5. 16-Skyler Smith; 6. 28S-Ryan Schow; 7. 87S-Reise Stenberg; 8. 74-Gary James Nelson; 9. 88-Chad Puschinsky; 10. 17-Jason LaValley; 11. 72-Mike Johnson; 12. 4AL-Dane Olson; 13. 77B-Logan Bauer; 14. 32-Brennan Schmidt; 15. (DNF) 91-Richard Reed; 16. (DNF) 7-Levi Mutch; 17. (DNF) 2S-Matt Schow; 18. (DNF) 18J-Rick Jacobson; 19. (DNF) 21-Bret Masters; 20. (DQ) 29-Leo Schweiss
Heat 1: 1. 87S-Reise Stenberg; 2. 29X-Brandon Bahr; 3. 77-Alan Olafson; 4. 29-Leo Schweiss; 5. 7-Levi Mutch; 6. 21-Bret Masters; 7. (DNF) 72-Mike Johnson
Heat 2: 1. 19-Darrin Lawler; 2. 28S-Ryan Schow; 3. 2R-Jeff Reed; 4. 18J-Rick Jacobson; 5. 74-Gary James Nelson; 6. 88-Chad Puschinsky; 7. 4AL-Dane Olson
Heat 3: 1. 2S-Matt Schow; 2. 16-Skyler Smith; 3. 17-Jason LaValley; 4. 32-Brennan Schmidt; 5. 91-Richard Reed; 6. (DNF) 77B-Logan Bauer
WISSOTA Mod Four
A Feature 1: 1. 5H-Dustin Holtquist; 2. 05-Doug Voss; 3. 99JR-Blake Erickson; 4. 37-Dean Larson; 5. 30-Dean Shaver; 6. TB81-Tommy Bawden; 7. 6-Conrad Schwinn; 8. 5F-Nicole Feda; 9. 05F-Brian Feda; 10. 17S-Patrick Specht; 11. 2-josh sautbine; 12. PBC-Trevor Voss
Heat 1: 1. TB81-Tommy Bawden; 2. 30-Dean Shaver; 3. 2-josh sautbine; 4. 05-Doug Voss; 5. 5F-Nicole Feda; 6. (DNF) 37-Dean Larson
Heat 2: 1. 6-Conrad Schwinn; 2. 5H-Dustin Holtquist; 3. 17S-Patrick Specht; 4. PBC-Trevor Voss; 5. 99JR-Blake Erickson; 6. 05F-Brian Feda
A Feature 1: 1. 7J-Richard Jacobson; 2. 22B-Josh Beaulieu; 3. 22-Davey Mills; 4. 43-Lance Schilling; 5. 22C-Brandon Copp; 6. 34-Scott Engholm; 7. 18-Scotty Messner; 8. (DNF) 99-Doyle Erickson
Heat 1: 1. 22B-Josh Beaulieu; 2. 18-Scotty Messner; 3. 7J-Richard Jacobson; 4. 22-Davey Mills; 5. 22C-Brandon Copp; 6. 43-Lance Schilling; 7. 99-Doyle Erickson; 8. 34-Scott Engholm
WISSOTA Pure Stock
A Feature 1: 1. 3-Kade Leeper; 2. 5-Dusty Caspers; 3. 32-Margo Butcher; 4. 57-Austin Carlson; 5. 4-Al Sadek Sr; 6. 11L-Joseph LaValley; 7. 7-Bryan Karl; 8. 26-Kyle Davis; 9. 35B-Josh Berg; 10. 11-Devyn Weleski
Heat 1: 1. 5-Dusty Caspers; 2. 32-Margo Butcher; 3. 57-Austin Carlson; 4. 4-Al Sadek Sr; 5. 11L-Joseph LaValley
Heat 2: 1. 3-Kade Leeper; 2. 35B-Josh Berg; 3. 11-Devyn Weleski; 4. 7-Bryan Karl; 5. 26-Kyle Davis
WISSOTA Super Stock
A Feature 1: 1. 032-Nicholas Jacobson; 2. 7-Tim Carlson; 3. 40F-John Farrington; 4. 57-Dalton Carlson; 5. 2F-Jeffery Frey; 6. 57H-Nathan Higginbotham; 7. (DNF) 36-Tyler Kroening; 8. (DNF) 81X-Matt Sparby
Heat 1: 1. 81X-Matt Sparby; 2. 032-Nicholas Jacobson; 3. 57-Dalton Carlson; 4. 40F-John Farrington; 5. 2F-Jeffery Frey; 6. 36-Tyler Kroening; 7. 7-Tim Carlson; 8. (DNF) 57H-Nathan Higginbotham
Bemidji Mini Stocks A Feature 1: 1. 115-William Foster; 2. 28-John Current; 3. 6-Conrad Schwinn; 4. 9-Waylon Current; 5. 18X-Connor Drewry; 6. 13J-Nicholas Jessen; 7. 88B-Brandon Puschinsky; 8. (DNF) 11K-Travis Klein; 9. (DNF) 3D-Ashton Schwinn; 10. (DNF) 77-Jake Geschwill; 11. (DNF) 90-Cory Nelson; 12. (DNF) X81-Mitch Sparby
Heat 1: 1. 6-Conrad Schwinn; 2. 28-John Current; 3. 3D-Ashton Schwinn; 4. 115-William Foster; 5. 77-Jake Geschwill; 6. (DNF) 88B-Brandon Puschinsky
Heat 2: 1. 9-Waylon Current; 2. 18X-Connor Drewry; 3. 90-Cory Nelson; 4. 11K-Travis Klein; 5. 13J-Nicholas Jessen; 6. X81-Mitch Sparby