The winner of Saturday night’s WISSOTA Modified feature at Jamestown Speedway knows just how difficult it can be to come out on top.
So when Enderlin’s Randy Klein used the middle groove to hold off Minot’s Robert Hellebust following a restart with three laps left in the 20-lap feature, there were plenty of thanks to go around.
“It’s only the third night on the car, so I’m still adapting but it seems to roll the center really good,” Klein said, following his first victory of 2014. “Jason Grimes converted this Hughes car over to a lift arm that he’s on. I’ve got to give him some credit for taking time out of his racing career to help me.
“I’d like to thank him, my brother for all his help, Dean Klein; Delray Dykstra, Wayne Smith, all them guys. They put in behind the scene hours that make this all worth it.”
A total of four yellow flags flew over the final eight laps. The race eventually ended under caution, and all the restarts thwarted Hellebust’s attack from the high side.
Hellebust started sixth and was flying to the front up on the cushion. Klein was leaving the top open, but the yellows were spaced out evenly enough that Hellebust never found the front and was forced to settle for second.
“I knew he was behind me on the yellow when they were calling off the restart order,” Klein said. “But I didn’t see him up there, and I guess I passed everybody on the bottom so I decided to stay there.
“It feels pretty good to finally get a win here,” Klein added. “Jamestown is really tough to win at, but I guess it’s tough to win anywhere in this A-Mod class now.
“It’s getting so costly that I feel pretty lucky to have pulled a feature win off with the limited budget that we’re on.”
Klein stays awfully busy on race night, running both a WISSOTA Modified and a WISSOTA Midwest Modified, each carrying his recognizable No. 88. Klein won his heat race on Saturday in the A-Mods and started the feature from the third position, taking over the lead from pole sitter Jamie Trautner to lead lap No. 5.
He’d lead the final 15 laps, but it was a different night for Klein in the B-Mods. He finished last in the first of four heat races and missed the final transfer spot into the feature by one position (5th) in the first of two consolation races.
Just making the B-Mod feature in Jamestown is a feat. The track pulls in around 40 off them every week and 34 of them were again at the speedway on Saturday.
According to Klein, the grind of running two cars has started to lose its luster.
“It gets pretty strenuous, especially when you’re in B-mains, grinding tires and changing stuff,” Klein said. “It takes a lot of support. I’m only 33, but I’m getting old so I don’t think I can keep this up anymore.
“I think I’m going to demote myself to one car a night just so I can try to have a little more fun and not be so busy.”
If that were the case at the speedway on Saturday, the track would have pulled in 120 cars instead of 121. The higher car count was due to the INEX Legends’ second of three visits to the speedway this season.
The Legends pulled in 18 drivers with Troy Hoff taking home the 20-lap feature victory from the pole.
Lisbon’s Jonny Carter continued his red-hot streak at Jamestown Speedway in the WISSOTA Street Stocks. The 24-year-old notched his third consecutive feature victory here, besting a field of 21 cars.
Carrington’s Kelly Hagel picked up his second Jamestown feature victory in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, sneaking past Litchville’s Brice Kuska on the high side on lap No. 12. Hagel held the lead from there, as the race included a green-white-checkered finish with Kuska finishing second.
Bismarck’s Chad Hausauer came from the seventh starting position to win the 15-lap Bomber feature. He also came from fifth to win the first of three Bomber heat races, as 26 Central Dakota Pure Stocks were present on Saturday.
Jamestown Speedway hosts the NOSA Sprint Cars this Saturday at 7 p.m. The WISSOTA Modifieds are scheduled to have the night off.
The Legends’ second visit to Jamestown Speedway was leaps and bounds better than the first.
The inexpensive class (INEX) pulled in just eight cars back on June 28 with Wishek’s Donovan Wiest taking home the checkered flag. But 18 cars and drivers showed up last weekend to turn circles.
Troy Hoff, a 17-year-old from Flasher, started on the pole for the 20-lap feature and led every lap en route to victory.
“Yeah, I was really lucky,” Hoff said. “I drew pole position and I stayed there the whole night.”
But Hoff had his hands full keeping Shane Williams’ No. 94 behind him. Williams started fourth and almost wore Hoff’s bumper off by the end of the race.
Both were running the high side of the track, but Hoff stayed smooth and Williams was unable to find a different line to the front.
“It was kinda sketchy right away. I didn’t know if I could go up that high, and I slowly moved up,” Hoff said. “(Williams) was pushing my bumper on the straightaways. I knew he was back there, but I was just taking my time.
“I didn’t want to screw up on the front.”
The race included four yellow flags, three of which for Travis Martin’s No. 55. Martin was having a bear of a night, spinning twice in corner No. 2 and once in turn No. 4 at the rear of the field.
Williams finished second to Hoff, who picked up his sixth feature win in his third season behind the wheel of a Legend.
“I ran here two weeks ago, and I spun out and didn’t do very good,” Hoff said. “It’s fun here, though. It’s a good track.”
Feature: 1, Randy Klein; 2, Robert Hellebust; 3, Jerry Lamb; 4, Randy Tarno; 5, John Corell; 6, Eric Edwards; 7, Ward Imrie; 8, Casey Arneson; 9, Blake Jegtvig; 10, Rusty Kollman; 11, Alex Guthmiller; 12, Bob Banish Jr.; 13, Scott Bintz; 14, Mike Greseth; 15, Mark Trautner; 16, Delray Dykstra; 17, Dwight Wegner; 18, David Goulet; 19, Tyler McDonald; 20, Jamie Trautner (DNF); 21, John Nord (DNF); 22, John Flory (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Tarno; 2, Imrie; 3, Hellebust; 4, Edwards; 5, Bintz; 6, Greseth; 7, Dykstra (DNF); 8, McDonald (DNF).
Heat 2: 1, Klein; 2, Corell; 3, Kollman; 4, Lamb; 5, Flory; 6, Wegner; 7, Banish.
Heat 3: 1, J. Trautner; 2, Nord; 3, Jegtvig; 4, Guthmiller; 5, Arneson; 6, Goulet; 7, M. Trautner (DNF).
Feature: 1, Troy Hoff; 2, Shane Williams; 3, Drew Papke; 4, Donovan Wiest; 5, Steven Kuntz; 6, Brady Petermann; 7, Dean Julsrud; 8, Ivan Sailer; 9, Josh Julsrud; 10, Brian Hanson; 11, Brian Petermann; 12, Danntoe Martin; 13, Anthony Kopp; 14, Nathan Watne; 15, Preston Martin; 16, Rob Hruska; 17, Dan Bullis; 18, Travis Martin (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Kuntz; 2, Wiest; 3, Papke; 4, Hoff; 5, J. Julsrud; 6, P. Martin; 7, Kopp; 8, Bullis; 9, Watne.
Heat 2: 1, Williams; 2, Sailer; 3, Petermann; 4, D. Julsrud; 5, D. Martin; 6, Hruska; 7, Hanson; 8, Petermann; 9, T. Martin.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at 701-952-8461 or by email at email@example.com