Vet’s victoryIt’s always a good evening at the speedway when a 43-year racing vet breaks through with his first feature victory of the season, and that’s exactly what those at Jamestown Speedway witnessed during Back to School Night here on Saturday.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
It’s always a good evening at the speedway when a 43-year racing vet breaks through with his first feature victory of the season, and that’s exactly what those at Jamestown Speedway witnessed during Back to School Night here on Saturday.
Lisbon’s Jerry Lamb chased down and passed Mike Stearns, of Hecla, S.D., winning WISSOTA Modified feature victory No. 1 in 2011.
Rory Opp simply can’t be beat behind the wheel of his WISSOTA Street Stock. The Hannaford, N.D. native won an unbelievable fourth-straight street stock 20-lap feature, which is unprecedented at Jamestown Speedway in recent years.
In the WISSOTA Midwest Modified division, Carrington’s Rusty Kollman won his second-consecutive feature race — his fourth of the season here — to increase his lead in the season point standings to 31 markers over Jamestown’s Scott Bintz, with track championships to be doled out at the speedway this Saturday.
Jamestown’s Shawn Becker used a great restart with seven laps left in the 15-lap Bomber feature to pass the leaders and hold on for his second Central Dakota Pure Stock victory of the season in Jamestown.
Jamestown’s Steven Nicholson drove back to the winner’s stage on Saturday, picking up his series-leading 6th feature victory of the season. Nicholson holds a commanding 48-point lead in the season standings and will more than likely earn the champion’s hardware in the class this coming weekend.
Saturday’s season championships at Jamestown Speedway will get underway at 7 p.m., but it won’t be the season’s last night of racing. The track will host its annual WISSOTA Midwest Modified and Street Stock Labor Day specials on Sept. 3-4, with the 40th annual Stock Car Stampede slated for Sept. 23-24.
Every fan at Jamestown Speedway is familiar with the name Jerry Lamb.
Each and every week, track announcer “Shady” Shawn Erdahl introduces the 61-year-old racing veteran in the starting lineup as “The Old Man” Jerry Lamb, and for the first time this season those in attendance were able to put a face to the name.
Lamb used the bottom of the track — especially gaining ground in turns No. 1 and No. 2 — to come from his third starting position and pass Mike Stearns for the lead with three laps remaining in the 20-lap event, besting the field of 15 cars for his first feature win of the season.
“He was fast,” Lamb said of Stearns, “but I thought if I just stuck with it and hit the corners as hard as I could I could catch him.”
Stearns took the lead on lap No. 6 from his fourth starting spot by passing Edgeley’s Eric Edwards. Enderlin’s John Nord took the early lead from the outside pole, but he looped his car around in the first set of turns on the second lap in front of the field to end his chances of winning.
Once Stearns got out front, he set is car on the high side and appeared as if he was going to check out from the field. Lamb got to second eight laps in, but didn’t start to reel in the leader until five laps later.
With just three laps to go, Lamb used his low-line momentum to pull even with Stearns in the first set of turns, and he was able to power off the bottom of turn No. 2 to take the lead.
Stearns never gave up on his high line, and as the pair came to the checkered flag Stearns ran out of room and brushed the front-stretch cement barrier as Lamb captured the win.
“(Stearns) was right there, and I knew he would be,” Lamb said. “The competition here is as tough as any place there is,” Lamb said. “If you win at Jamestown once in awhile, you’re doing good.”
Mayville’s Jason Grimes finished third, while Edwards came home fourth.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
There’s pretty much no doubt about it. Rory Opp can drive a racecar.
Opp started the 20-lap A-main ninth, way back on the inside of the fifth row, won a three-car battle for the lead 14 laps in and somehow managed to win an incredible fourth-consecutive WISSOTA Street Stock feature race in Jamestown.
The street stock class that shows up at Jamestown Speedway each Saturday is one of the most competitive fleet of cars in all of WISSOTA. Just ask Opp how difficult it is to win once, let alone four-straight and five total on the season.
“It’s unreal,” Opp said. “Me and (Kelly) Hagel were talking last week that to just win one week here is unreal. For me to sneak four out from underneath these guys is phenomenal.
“We have the toughest guys around in WISSOTA to race against right here.”
Hagel has one win in both the street stocks and WISSOTA Midwest Modified class at the speedway this summer. The Carrington native started on the outside of the front row on Saturday, but wound up finishing 17th.
Jamestown’s Jake Emo started the race on the pole and led the first 13 laps. Opp moved up to sixth after five circuits, and five laps later he was in a three-wide battle with Emo and Hagel for the lead. Emo was pinned in the middle, while Hagel rode the high line and Opp cruised low.
The trio made two complete laps around the track door-to-door-to-door, but it was Opp on the bottom that prevailed, and he pulled Jamestown’s Billie Christ, who started fifth, with him up to second.
“There were a lot of good guys in front of me,” Opp said. “It was a dogfight. You had to keep it pinned on the best line.”
Hagel got too high in the middle of turns three and four with four laps left and plummeted backwards, while Emo went on to finish fifth. It was the second-straight week that Christ finished second behind Opp, Milnor’s Bob Banish Jr. took third and Aberdeen’s Justin Kollman crossed the line fourth.
“The car is unbelievable,” Opp said. “I can drive it in wide open and it just sticks. I can keep it on the floor.”
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Rusty Kollman is hoping that he’s still friends with Scott Bintz.
For the second week in a row, Kollman piloted his No. 2 midwest mod to victory, while Bintz was forced to settle for another second-place finish.
“So far, we’re still friends,” Kollman laughed. “We’re together racing every week here and at other places. We work together a lot and use the same pit crew at times.
“We do this to have fun, and we’re having fun.”
Both drivers have now accumulated four feature victories at the track, but Kollman holds a commanding lead in the point standings. Heading into Saturday’s track championships, Bintz will have to find a way to gain 32 points on Kollman to claim the title.
That’s nearly an impossible feat, but Kollman said he’s not celebrating quite yet. Kollman has notched seven total feature victories in his first full-season driving a B-mod.
“You never know. Anything can happen and we’re not taking anything for granted,” Kollman said. “I had a goal to get five wins this year, and we’ve went over that goal. But now we’ll have to set the goals a little higher.
“I want to win the Stampede. That’s the one that’s been eluding me for years.”
Saturday’s race looked like Bryce Kuska’s to lose. The Litchville native started on the outside pole and led the first 14 laps of the race, while Kollman and Bintz worked there way to the front from the seventh and eighth starting positions, respectively.
Kollman was up to second just four laps in to the 20-lap feature, but for the next nine laps Kollman didn’t gain any ground Kuska. That is until Kollman’s low line started to come in, and with five circuits left Kollman passed underneath Kuska on the exit of turn No. 2.
“I just had to two stay with the bottom and work my line,” Kollman said. “The track was awesome. I know it was the fastest track we’ve had here this year.”
Kuska finished third, while Jamestown’s Josh Eberhardt took fourth.
A caution flag with seven laps left in the 15-lap Bomber feature was Shawn Becker’s saving grace.
Aberdeen’s Brandon Moser had led all of the laps up to that point from the pole position, while Becker found himself in a heated battle for second place with Jamestown’s Mike Sahr.
But as soon as Jamestown Speedway flagman Jeff Seher relayed to the drivers that it was time to go back to green-flag racing, Becker hammered down the throttle and overtook both Moser and Sahr by the time the trio came back to the starting line.
“(Seher) just keys it and as soon as he said the G-word I just went,” Becker said. “It seemed like it was a pretty good drag race going into (turn) one.”
Becker started fourth and held on for his second feature win of the season in Jamestown, while Sahr finished second, Jamestown’s Matt Gumke finished third and Moser took fourth.
“The caution helped,” Becker said. “I was trying to get under (the leader) and then Sahr went by me on the high side. I tried to get back up there and thank god the caution came out.”
Feature: 1, Jerry Lamb; 2, Mike Stearns; 3, Jason Grimes; 4, Eric Edwards; 5, Jamie Trautner; 6, John Corell; 7, Bob Sagen; 8, Randy Tarno; 9, John Nord; 10, Allen Kent; 11, Mark Trautner; 12, Ryan Mikkelson; 13, Dwight Wegner; 14, Jayson Corell; 15, Randy Klein.
Heat 1: 1, Nord; 2, Edwards; 3, Lamb; 4, Stearns; 5, M. Trautner; 6, Tarno; 7, Klein; 8, Wegner.
Heat 2: 1, John Corell; 2, Sagen; 3, Grimes; 4, J. Trautner; 5, Mikkelson; 6, Corell; 7, Kent.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: 1, Rory Opp; 2, Billie Christ; 3, Bob Banish Jr; 4, Justin Kollman; 5, Jake Emo; 6, Spencer Johnson; 7, Trent Grager; 8, Troy Nelson; 9, Dustin Erickson; 10, Randy Kollman; 11, Joe Jacobson; 12, Jonny Carter; 13, Josh Ganser; 14, Royce Jawaski; 15, Hunter Carter; 16, Matthew Lesmeister; 17, Kelly Hagel; 18, Randy Klein; 19, Cammy Ost; 20, Ryan Pommerer; 21, Jordan Zillmer.
Heat 1: 1, R. Kollman; 2, Johnson; 3, Hagel; 4, Ost; 5, Ganser; 6, Carter; 7, Lesmeister.
Heat 2: 1, Banish Jr; 2, Jawaski; 3, Christ; 4, Grager; 5, J. Kollman; 6, Ryan Pommerer; 7, Jacobson.
Heat 3: 1, Nelson; 2, Emo; 3, Opp; 4, Klein; 5, Carter; 6, Erickson; 7, Zillmer.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1, Rusty Kollman; 2, Scott Bintz; 3, Bryce Kuska; 4, Josh Eberhardt; 5, Dave Peterson; 6, Jim Morlock; 7, Ryan Lehr; 8, Tony Konold; 9, Greg Friestad; 10, Kelly Hagel; 11, Erik Pratschner; 12, Brent Perleberg; 13, Chuck Christ; 14, Brandon Gussiaas; 15, Tim Berg; 16, Jeremy Forester; 17, Shawn Nostdahl; 18, Darren Pfau; 19, Lyn Lamb; 20, Brad Sheridan.
Consi 1: 1, Nostdahl; 2, Gussiaas; 3, Sheridan; 4, Pfau; 5, Andee Beierle; 6, Jason Thoms; 7, Andy Kapp; 8, Greg Langford; 9, Tyler Schrenk; 10, Darin Smith; 11, Eric Edwards; 12, Terry Sahr.
Heat 1: 1, Eberhardt; 2, Peterson; 3, Konold; 4, Berg; 5, Thoms; 6, Beierle; 7, Sahr.
Heat 2: 1, Pratschner; 2, Lehr; 3, Morlock; 4, Christ; 5, Nostdahl; 6, Sheridan; 7, Edwards.
Heat 3: 1, Kollman; 2, Bintz; 3, Forester; 4, Lamb; 5, Smith; 6, Pfau; 7, Schrenk.
Heat 4: 1, Kuska; 2, Perleberg; 3, Hagel; 4, Friestad; 5, Gussiaas; 6. Kapp; 7, Langford.
Feature: 1, Shawn Becker; 2, Mike Sahr; 3, Matt Gumke; 4, Brandon Moser; 5, Leann Christensen; 6, Chris Gussiaas; 7, Jeff Vogel; 8, Tyler Hintz; 9, Devin Christ; 10, Shannon Schlenker; 11, Cory Rodin; 12, Taran Langland; 13, Ben Tompkins; 14, Lucas Rodin; 15, Matt Miller; 16, Keith Kinzler; 17, Bryan Wolf; 18, Dalton Polries; 19, Tyler Pfaff; 20, Keith Striefel; 21, Kyle Sand; 22, Levi Hintz.
Heat 1: 1, Becker; 2, Gussiaas; 3, Christensen; 4, Vogel; 5, L. Rodin; 6, Tompkins; 7, Polries; 8, Kinzler.
Heat 2: 1, Sahr; 2, Hintz; 3, Striefel; 4, Pfaff; 5, Schlenker; 6, Langland; 7, Hintz.
Heat 3: 1, Gumke; 2, Wolf; 3, Moser; 4, Sand; 5, C. Rodin; 6, Christ; 7, Miller.
Feature: 1, Steven Nicholson; 2, Brandon Michel; 3, Dylan Wiesz; 4, Andrew Michel; 5, Sean Johnson; 6, Anthony Clark; 7, Alex Kelstrom; 8, Bud Cruff; 9, Nolan Kartchner; 10, Sam Gray; 11, Aaron Michel.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com