Schatz Wins Sprint Special, Borgen Brings “Curse” to an End
Borgen Ends Curse, Schatz, VanMil, & Wetterlin Winners at NCR
By Mike Spieker
ADA, MN (June 27)- A capacity crowd jammed the stands last Thursday night at Norman County Raceway as Johnson Spray Service and Legend Seed presented the NOSA Sprint Car special for the first time in eight years. Most of the excitement may have been focused around the Sprint Cars, but many of the fans would say that the best race of the night was the WISSOTA Modified feature.
Coming into the night, Bryce Borgen was winless at his hometown track, in which he has raced at weekly, for the past seven years. He has had so many nights where he’s had a good starting spot, but falls back in the pack, nights where he has the fastest car, but couldn’t get up to the lead, and nights where he has been leading, but has a mechanical failure with the car. But for the second time this season, the Ada, MN driver had his #7 Performance Auto Modified starting on the front row of the 20 lap A-main. He grabbed the whole shot, but soon had a challenger for the lead. That challenger happened to be the two-time WISSOTA Modified national champion, Blake Jegtvig. Borgen and Jegtvig battled for the lead for almost the entire race. Borgen ran on the high side of the corners all the way around the track, while Jegtvig entered turn one high and dove through the tacky dirt in the middle of the corner, exited on the bottom of turn two and rocketed down the back straightaway. That seemed to be working for Jegtvig, as he was able to pull alongside of Borgen in the closing laps. Jegtvig then ran the bottom of turn three and four where there wasn’t nearly as much grip, while Borgen used his momentum to his advantage by clearing Jegtvig down the front stretch before they got back into turn one. It seemed as though everybody in the stands was holding their breath when Jegtvig got a run on Borgen. They were cheering for their hometown driver and they all knew all the heartbreak he has gone through at NCR. When the white flag flew, Borgen had a three car length lead, he eased his car around the track one more time, and took the checkered flag with the everybody in the grandstands on their feet.
“It feels great, better than anything I’ve ever experienced before,” said Borgen after the races. “I knew (Jegtvig) was going to be fast, but I figured if I kept my line there was no way he could get by me with the momentum I was dragging off the corner. I was waiting for him to come rolling by me, but lucky I was able to stay out in front of him.”
Aaron Wetterlin led every lap en route to his first WISSOTA Mod Four win of the season at NCR. Rob VanMil, Luke Johnson, Bryce Bjerken, and Corry VanMil rounded out the top five.
Rob VanMil was victorious in the 20 lap Northwest Tractor & Trailer WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature. He had to hold off strong runs by Christopher Christian and Tyler Hall, who came from 10th to third, followed by Gannon Miller, who finished fourth after starting 17th, and Matt Schow rounded out the top five from the 18th starting position.
Last year’s NCR Pure Stock track champion, Jesse Skalicky made the move to Legend cars for the 2013 season, but he brought out his Pure Stock Thursday night for the first time this year and picked up the feature win.
A great field of 21 NOSA Sprint Cars made the start for the 25 lap feature. Cory Mack and Chris Ranten started on the front row, with Mack grabbing the early lead. Mack only made it around the 3/8th mile track two more times before Donny Schatz came cruising by him on the high side in turn one. Schatz never looked back. The five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion had a half lap lead over second place, Ranten and lapped the field up to sixth place on his way to the victory. Ranten took home second, followed by NOSA points leader, Austin Pierce, Casey Mack brought it home fourth with Wade Nygaard finishing fifth.
“The car was very maneuverable and fun to drive. In traffic I had to move around a little bit, I just had to go where somebody wasn’t. I was able to have a great race and get the win” said Schatz. “It’s just fun to come out here and be a part of the great show Jake (Bitker) put on out here.”
NCR will be off next week due to Independence Day, but will be back in action July 11 for the 2nd annual King Pin Clash Street Stock Clash. For more information visit ncraceway.com
NOSA Sprint Cars:
Feature- Donny Schatz, Chris Ranten, Austin Pierce, Casey Mack, Wade Nygaard, Dave Glennon, Cory Mack, Chris Shirek, Jordan Adams, Jordan Graham, Blake Egeland, Ty Hanten, Rick Bates, Alex Larson, Brenden Wilde, Nick Omdahl, Tom Egeland, Mitch Mack, Terry Anderson, Zach Wilde, Tanner Wisk
Heat 1- Nygaard, Corey Mack, Adams, T. Egeland, Bates, Z. Wilde, B. Wilde
Heat 2- Schatz, Ranten, Graham, Hanten, Anderson, Shirek, M. Mack
Feature- Bryce Borgen, Blake Jegtvig, Cody Skytland, Austin Arneson, Paul Engelstad, Alex Engelstad, Scott Jacobson, Justin Jones, Mark Trautner, Bob Sagen, Jamie Trautner, Dale Kraling, Cody Erickson, Brent Pulskamp, Dev Malmlov, Corky Thomas, Michael Johnson, Aaron Olson, Dano Ostrander
Heat 1- Skytland, A. Engelstad, Pulskamp, Thomas, Johnson, Kraling, Olson