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Five in a row: Carter’s red-hot streak lives on

Lisbon’s Jonny Carter (front, center) runs three-wide with Carrington’s Trent Grager (71) and Jamestown’s Billie Christ (79), while Valley City’s Nick Thoreson (02) and Horace’s Royce Jawaski (5) follow during a WISSOTA Street Stock heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday. Carter went on to win his fifth feature in a row in Jamestown. Michael Savaloja / The Sun1 / 2
Jamestown’s John Corell (5) leads Lisbon’s Jerry Lamb (27) and Blake Jegtvig (2), of Hawley, Minn., as Harwood’s Mike Greseth (17) trails during WISSOTA Modified heat-race action at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday. Jegtvig later won the feature to qualify for the AMSOIL Race of Champions. Michael Savaloja/ The Sun2 / 2

Pay attention WISSOTA Street Stock drivers.

If winning the 2014 AMSOIL Race of Champions this fall is a goal, first plan on figuring out how to beat Jonny Carter.

The always competitive field of Street Stocks at Jamestown Speedway is currently baffled by Carter’s No. 46. The 24-year-old Lisbon native won an unprecedented fifth consecutive Street Stock feature at Jamestown’s quarter-mile oval on Saturday.

The fifth-straight win locked Carter into this year’s AMSOIL Races of Champions, along with Blake Jegtvig, of Hawley, Minn., and Carrington’s Kelly Hagel, who also notched WISSOTA feature victories during Jamestown Speedway’s AMSOIL Qualifier.

The Races of Champions will be held during the Speedway Motors WISSOTA 100 at Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, S.D., on Sept. 12.

“We’ve wanted to race the ROC race in Huron for some time now, so we’re pretty pumped to get in on that,” Carter said on Saturday in Jamestown. “It’s just crazy.”

But what’s really crazy is five wins in a row in Jamestown. If it’s happened here before by a Street Stock driver, nobody can remember it.

Hannaford’s Rory Opp won four in a row in 2011, on his way to seven Jamestown feature wins in all. Carrington’s Trent Grager matched Opp’s seven wins one year ago (2013), but Grager only managed three consecutive victories at the track.

“Pretty much just one word — it’s been unreal,” Carter said. “When you come to Jamestown, to win one feature is great. To win five in a row has just been unbelievable for us.”

The AMSOIL Qualifier night actually helped Carter to victory. After a second-place run in the second of three heat races, Carter drew the outside of the front row for the 20-lap feature.

If it had been a normal night of races, Carter’s point average at the track would have had him lined up farther back in the pack. Carter is currently leading the track standings by 22 points over Jamestown’s Dustin Erickson.

“I started to get a little nervous about it,” Carter said, of winning No. 5 with the ROC race on the line. “Luckily we got a good finish in our heat race and got a good draw. It’s nice to start up front.”

Carter led from start to finish through a total four caution flags. The preferred line throughout the race was up top, right where Carter planted his No. 46 from the drop of the green flag.

Jamestown’s Joe Jacobson, who started on the pole after winning heat No. 3, tried to mount a charge under Carter through the race’s midway point, but to no avail.

Jacobson finished second, with Horace’s Royce Jawaski coming from the 11th starting position to capture third, and Grager finishing in fourth after starting 10th.

“I saw (Jacobson) when we were pacing there that that strip was pretty dang good on the bottom, but I figured the momentum was going to come in on the top,” Carter said. “We just tried to stay in our line and it ended up working out for us.”

The victory was Carter’s eighth on the season. He’s also got a trio of wins at his hometown track of Sheyenne River Speedway.

Carter set the fastest lap in the feature (16.942 seconds), and also recorded the quickest Street Stock lap of the night. Carter laid down a lap of 16.877 seconds in his heat race.

Jamestown Speedway hosts the NLRA Late Models this Saturday. Racing begins at 7 p.m.

WISSOTA Modifieds

It hasn’t been a great season so far for Hawley’s Blake Jegtvig.

But the driver of the black No. 2J isn’t worried. The two-time WISSOTA Modified national champ and 2012 WISSOTA 100 winner has a feeling things are about to heat up.

Jegtvig punched his ticket into the WISSOTA Modified Race of Champions this fall in Huron by sneaking past Harwood’s Mike Greseth in the closing laps of Saturday’s 20-lap feature in Jamestown. The win was just Jegtvig’s third of the year.

“I guess I’ve always found if I struggled in the spring, the fall can only get better,” Jegtvig said. “So hopefully we’re over that summer hump here.”

Just 11 A-Mods were at the track to do battle during Jamestown’s AMSOIL Qualifier, but the race between Jegtvig and Greseth was worth the price of admission.

Greseth started on the pole and built a comfortable lead over Jegtvig, the fourth-place starter, during a race that stayed green for 19-straight laps to the end. Both drivers were running low in the turns, but with 10 laps left Jegtvig finally abandoned the bottom and went up to the cushion.

After falling behind by nearly a half-straightaway, the move worked.

“When I figured out to stay higher out of (turn) four, I could really gain. Because when I was going down the backstretch I was gaining, but everything I’d gain I’d lose,” Jegtvig said. “I actually found it by mistake. I just stayed out and it went better.”

Jegtvig had run down Greseth by the white-flag lap, but the duo had caught the lapped car of Jamestown’s Dwight Wegner. Feeling the pressure from Jegtvig, Greseth went high to get around Wegner and Jegtvig shot to the bottom.

“Greseth kinda moved up to go around him, obviously, or to take my line away, and I just said, ‘Well, I’m going to go to the bottom,’” Jegtvig said. “Then I drove into one and two like I was on the top, and I just kinda of slid across the racetrack.”

Jegtvig led the final two laps, but it was an intense two laps. Coming out of turn No. 2 on the final lap, Greseth made contact with Jegtvig’s right-rear, which resulted in Greseth’s driver’s-side door panel being ripped off.

“He got into the quarter panel a little bit, but that’s racing I guess,” Jegtvig. “We’re out having fun.”

Greseth finished second after leading the first 18 laps, while Carrington’s Rusty Kollman took third and Lisbon’s Jerry Lamb finished fourth. Kollman is leading the track standings by nine points of Jamestown’s John Corell.

Jegtvig makes the annual trek to Huron for the WISSOTA 100 each year, but being qualified for the Race of Champions is an added incentive.

“This got us in, so that was kind of nice,” Jegtvig said. “Starting towards the front would be a good thing.”

Jamestown Speedway

Saturday’s results

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1, Blake Jegtvig; 2, Mike Greseth; 3, Rusty Kollman; 4, Jerry Lamb; 5, John Flory; 6, Eric Edwards; 7, John Corell; 8, Randy Tarno; 9, John Nord; 10, Bob Banish Jr.; 11, Dwight Wegner.

Heat 1: 1, Nord; 2, Greseth; 3, Lamb; 4, Jegtvig; 5, Banish; 6, Corell.

Heat 2: 1, Kollman; 2, Edwards; 3, Tarno; 4, Flory; 5, Wegner.

WISSOTA Street Stocks

Feature: 1, Jonny Carter; 2, Joe Jacobson; 3, Royce Jawaski; 4, Trent Grager; 5, Dustin Erickson; 6, Josh Ganser; 7, Duffy Froemke; 8, Nic Klein; 9, Jake Emo; 10, Matthew Lesmeister; 11, Jodie Michaelsohn; 12, Dusty Hinrichs; 13, Cammy Ost; 14, Chris Ritter (DNF); 15, Rory Opp (DNF); 16, Nick Thoreson (DNF); Jeff Vogel (DNS).

Heat 1: 1, Erickson; 2, Michaelsohn; 3, Froemke; 4, Emo; 5, Lesmeister; 6, Hinrichs.

Heat 2: 1, Opp; 2, Carter; 3, Grager; 4, Jawaski; 5, Thoreson; 6, Billie Christ (DQ).

Heat 3: 1, Jacobson; 2, Vogel; 3, Klein; 4, Ritter; 5, Ganser; 6, Ost.

Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at msavaloja@jamestownsun.com

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