Skytland, Saurer, Pommerer, & Lundon Victorious On Opening Night
Skytland picks up Norman County Raceway Season Opener
By Mike Spieker
ADA, MN (May 23)- Superstition claims that when a full moon shines down upon a racetrack, a night of caution flags flying upon the drivers is in store. That proved to be true Thursday night at Norman County Raceway’s first race of the year as many of the WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series drivers had trouble getting back into the groove after a long offseason.
One driver who clearly had no troubles on opening night was the defending WISSOTA Modified and Midwest Modified track champion, Travis Saurer. Not only did Saurer finish third in his Midwest Mod heat race with a flat left front tire, he suffered another flat left front tire after contact on the opening lap in Modified heat race number one, and still managed to take the heat race win. Saurer’s success continued on to the Midwest Modified feature where he led all 16 laps. The victory didn’t come easy, however. Jason Strand, who is fresh off a feature win at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota, came charging after Saurer in the last handful of laps, but couldn’t get close enough to make a move on Saurer for the top spot.
Forty-three of the 84 totals cars were signed in to capture the main event of the night; the $1,500-to-win Advantage Rv’s Modified Tour feature race. Todd Stark led Jamie Trautner and Cody Skytland in the early going of the 40 lapper. The first yellow flag came out on lap five for a spin in turn four. While the cars were circulating under the caution, something under the hood of Trautner’s car caught fire, causing him to pull into the infield to get the flames extinguished and ending his night early. While all of that was going on, Stark also had to pull off the racetrack due to a problem with his machine, giving Skytland the top spot with Alex Engelstad and Justin Jones right behind him. Skytland would hold the lead until lap 29 where Engelstad momentarily stole the spot from the Fargo, ND driver, but Skytland was able to power back by Engelstad’s #96A. Skytland put it on cruise control from there, pulling out to nearly a full straightaway lead and pickin up his first win of the season.
“You can always feel pressure on the restarts,” said Skytland moments after his win. “I knew (Engelstad and Jones) were there, I just had to make a few adjustments myself on the restart, but once we got spread out I was alright.”
Dean Lundon and Ken Crane finished first and second in the Pure Stocks. Lundon won the race from the pole, while Crane had to drive his way from seventh to finish in the runner up position.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks couldn’t have welcomed themselves back to the NCR weekly schedule with a better race to start out their season. A wheel to wheel and bumper to bumper four car battle for the lead between Adam Burrows, Jim Geringer, Rick Schulz, and Ryan Pommerer cleared with Schulz grabbing the lead with Pommerer right in tow. Things remained the same until the last corner of the last lap where Pommerer got a run on the high side of turn four and barely edged out Schulz in the drag race to the finish line.
The next race at NCR is scheduled for May 30 featuring Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mod Fours, and the Trophy Class. As always, racing begins at 7:00pm.
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature- Ryan Pommerer, Rick Schulz, Adam Burrows, Jim Geringer, Royce Jawaski, James Tandeski, Mike Anderson, Nic Klein
Heat- Anderson, Pommerer, Klein, Schulz, Burrows, Geringer, Jawaski, Tandeski
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature- Travis Saurer, Jason Strand, Rich Pavlicek, Cole Haugland, Chad Olsen, Casey Arneson, Jamie Winterquist, Tyler Peterson, Scott Vasichek, Tyler Hall, Gannon Miller, Darin Smith, Allison Christian, Kevin Forest, Rick Hamel, Andy Wagner, Christopher Christian, Rob VanMil, Eric Haugland, Andrew Hulstein, Nick Pederson
Heat 1- Olsen, Hamel, Saurer, E. Haugland, Hulstein, Miller, Pederson
Heat 2- C. Haugland, Strand, Peterson, VanMil, Vasichek, Smith, Forest
Heat 3- Arneson, Pavlicek, Hall, C. Christian, Winterquist, Wagner, A. Christian
Feature- Cody Skytland, Alex Engelstad, Justin Jones, Travis Saurer, Dave Mass, Scott Ward, Matt Gilbertson, Andy Gordon, Shawn Strand, Mike Stearns, Curt Myers, John Corell, Michael Johnson, Jeff Lien, Jr., Jeremy Nelson, Dustin Beebe, Dale Mathison, Seth Brede, Austin Arneson, Corky Thomas, Todd Stark, Jamie Trautner, Blake Jegtvig, Matt Aukland
Heat 1- Saurer, Trautner, Skytland, Ward, Myers, Stearns, Mass, Mikkelson, Thoennes, Duttenhoffer, Olson
Heat 2- Gordon, Engelstad, Jones, Johnson, Arneson, Mathison, C. Thomas, Olsen, Gayot, Jacobson, Niemi
Heat 3- Brede, Stark, Jegtvig, S. Strand, Aukland, Beebe, Anderson, Kereluk, Kollman, McDonald, Eberhardt, D. Strand
Heat 4- Gilbertson, Corell, Lien, Jr., Borgen, Nelson, T. Thomas, Pulskamp, Esala, Greseth, Flaten
B-Main 1- Aukland, Stearns, Ward, Mass, Myers, Beebe, Mikkelson, D. Strand, Eberhardt, Kereluk, Anderson, Olson, Duttenhoffer, Thoennes, Kollman
B-Main 2- Arneson, Mathison, Johnson, C. Thomas, S. Strand, Nelson, T. Thomas, Niemi, Gayot, McDonald, Jacobson, Esala, Flaten, Olsen, Greseth, Borgen, Pulskamp
Feature- Dean Lundon, Ken Crane, Luke Balstad, Paul Colvin, Robert Bladow, Kristen Nelson, Taylor Saari, Jeremy Macadams, Mike Bjorgan, Wade Moerke, Tim Shiek
Heat 1- Crane, Nelson, Saari, Colvin, Bladow, Moerke
Heat 2- Lundon, Balstad, Macadams, Bjorgan, Shiek