Rain, rain stay awayRainy days and Mondays always got American singer/songwriter Karen Carpenter down, but lately it’s been crying skies on Saturdays that’s given local dirt track officials a reason to sing the blues. Alas, Jamestown Speedway will attempt to host its annual Fireworks Spectacular this Saturday night, after rain has affected the outcome of six of the speedway’s first eight shows of the season.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
Rainy days and Mondays always got American singer/songwriter Karen Carpenter down, but lately it’s been crying skies on Saturdays that’s given local dirt track officials a reason to sing the blues.
Alas, Jamestown Speedway will attempt to host its annual Fireworks Spectacular this Saturday night, after rain has affected the outcome of six of the speedway’s first eight shows of the season.
A high temperature of 93 degrees is forecasted for Saturday in Jamestown, but along with the heat and humidity comes a 40-percent prognostication for rain and evening thunderstorms.
The less than desirable elements that have overwhelmed one of WISSOTA territory’s best racing surfaces has grown tiresome for some, including the track’s general manager Joanne Dieterle.
“I don’t know who offended (Mother Nature), but we’re sorry,” Dieterle said. “I go to Fargo (Red River Valley Speedway) on Wednesdays and they never have a rain issue.”
But controlling the weather isn’t an option for speedway officials, and what the track — and its fans — really needs is a shower-free night of action.
If Mother Nature is willing to cooperate, there’d be no better night for that to happen at Jamestown Speedway than this Saturday.
The annual Fireworks Spectacular draws hundreds of spectators over the holiday weekend each racing season. The fireworks display is presented by the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation.
“The Buffalo City Tourism Foundation raises the money for it. It’s all done by donations and we will be asking the fans to be donating to the fireworks show on Saturday, too,” Dieterle said. “The speedway itself donates roughly $1,100.”
According to Dieterle, the fireworks show will begin promptly at dark, whether the races are finished or not.
“If we are not done racing, we’ll quit so they can start the fireworks. We’ll then go back to racing when it’s over,” Dieterle said. “It’s a good night to go to the races if you don’t normally go. You’ll have a good seat for the fireworks.”
Last week’s feature races at Jamestown Speedway were rained out, but the make-up dates have been set. The make-up WISSOTA Street Stock feature will be ran this Saturday night, while the make-up Bomber feature will be ran next week on July 10.
The make-up features for the WISSOTA Modified and Midwest Modifieds will be held together the following weekend on July 17.
Action at the track will really pick up on July 24, when the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA) will be holding its make-up date at the track. The NOSA Sprint Cars were supposed to race in Jamestown on June 12 but were forced to cancel due to rain.
On July 31, the United States Modified Touring Series, along with NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader, will be turning circles at the track.
“We’d like to get all caught up before those specials,” Dieterle said. “The week after that, we take a week off.”
In between the showers at Jamestown Speedway this season, battles for track championships are beginning to take shape.
Jamestown’s Jason Grimes (232 points) holds a slim, one-point lead over Blake Jegtvig (231), of Hawley, Minn., in the WISSOTA Modified point standings at the track. Grimes has won two features at the speedway this season, while Jegtvig, the defending WISSOTA national champion, has picked up one.
There is also a one-point battle brewing in the WISSOTA Street Stock ranks. Carrington’s Kelly Hagel (227) is currently a single point better than Jamestown’s Troy Nelson.
The top five in Street Stock points are currently separated by a mere 14 points.
A pair of second-place finishes and a few steady top 10 finishes has Jamestown’s Jerry Theis (226) in front of the pack in the Midwest Mod standings. Theis leads Jamestown’s Ryan Mikkelson and Josh Eberhardt by 2 points. Mikkelson has picked up a pair of Jamestown Speedway feature trophies this season.
A feature win and three runner-up finishes has Jamestown’s Joe Jacobson (277) leading Jamestown’s Tyler Michel (269) in the Bomber standings, and with three victories in the Hornets Jamestown’s Steven Nicholson has a 23-point lead over the field in that class.
Racing at this Saturday’s Fireworks Spectacular begins at 7 p.m.
As of June 26, 2010
1, Steven Nicholson, Jamestown, 211.00; 2, David Freeman, Carrington, 188.00 (-23); 3, Brandon Michel, Jamestown, 178.00 (-33); 4, Mitchell Swenning, Devils Lake, 163.00 (-48); 5, Rudy Theis, Carrington, 127.00 (-84).
1, Joe Jacobson, Jamestown, 277.00; 2, Tyler Michel, Jamestown, 269.00 (-8); 3, Josh Ganser, Jamestown, 264.00 (-13); 4, Corey Jacobson, Jamestown, 262.00 (-15); 5, Shawn Becker, Jamestown, 252.00 (-25); 6, Brandon Gussiaas, New Rockford, 251.00 (-26); 7, Jason Thoms, Pingree, 246.00 (-31); 8 (tie), Ryan Widmer, Jamestown, 245.00 (-32); Jeff Vogel, Marion, 245.00 (-32); 10, Chris Gussiaas, Carrington, 244.00 (-33).
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
1, Jerry Theis, Jamestown, 226.00; 2 (tie), Ryan Mikkelson, Jamestown, 224.00 (-2); Josh Eberhardt, Jamestown, 224.00 (-2); 4, Scott Bintz, Jamestown, 214.00 (-12); 5, Ryan Lehr, Jamestown, 211.00 (-15); 6, Eric Edwards, Edgeley, 195.00 (-31); 7, Travis Aljets, Carrington, 194.00 (-32); 8, Shawn Nostdahl, Bottineau, 193.00 (-33), 9, Jim Morlock, Pettibone, 187.00 (-39); 10, Dale Johnson, Sanborn, 186.00 (-40)
WISSOTA Street Stocks
1, Kelly Hagel, Carrington, 227.00; 2, Troy Nelson, Jamestown, 226.00 (-1); 3, Rusty Kollman, Carrington, 221.00 (-6); 4, Royce Jawaski, Horace, 219.00 (-8); 5, Luke Nelson, Valley City, 213.00 (-14); 6, Justin Kollman, Aberdeen, S.D., 195.00 (-32); 7, Jake Emo, Jamestown, 194.00 (-33); 8, Billie Christ, Jamestown, 193.00 (-34); 9, Ryan Pommerer, Oriska, 191.00 (-36); 10, Bob Banish Jr., Milnor, 190.00 (-37).
1, Jason Grimes, Jamestown, 232.00; 2, Blake Jegtvig, Hawley, Minn., 231.00 (-1); 3, Jason Strand, Portland, 209.00 (-23); 4, John Corell, Jamestown, 208.00 (-24); 5, Dustin Strand, Grand Forks, 205.00 (-27); 6, Corey Seckerson, Jamestown, 204.00 (-28); 7, Bob Sagen, Arthur, 202.00 (-30); 8, Jerry Lamb, Lisbon, 192.00 (-40); 9, Randy Klein, Valley City, 180.00 (-52); 10, Mike Stearns, Hecla, S.D., 178.00 (-54).
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org