Let’s go racing: Flag drops on new season tonightThe annual car show is in the books and drivers are busy making final tweaks to their fire-breathing machines. All that’s left is to see Jamestown Speedway’s veteran head flagman Jeff Seher holding the green rag in his hand.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
The annual car show is in the books and drivers are busy making final tweaks to their fire-breathing machines.
All that’s left is to see Jamestown Speedway’s veteran head flagman Jeff Seher holding the green rag in his hand.
The 2012 WISSOTA/AMSOIL Dirt Track Series racing season at Jamestown Speedway gets under way at 7 tonight. That is, if Mother Nature provides a little cooperation.
“That three-quarters of an inch of rain (Friday morning) didn’t do us any favors. We’re pretty wet,” Jamestown Speedway general manager Joanne Dieterle said. “But the forecast for (today) actually looks pretty good. If we can get some sun and a little bit of wind, hopefully we can get things dried up enough.”
Track officials are shooting for a 2 p.m. go or no-go decision for tonight’s season-opener at the quarter-mile bull ring, honored as Business of The Year by the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce in 2011.
Fans and drivers can check the status of tonight’s event by logging on to the speedway’s website at www.jamestownspeedway.com. They can also “like” the speedway’s Facebook page to receive updates.
The 2011 season at Jamestown Speedway provided plenty of excitement, with Marion’s Jeff Vogel (Bombers), Fargo’s Sean and Dylan Johnson (Hornets), Jamestown’s John Corell Sr. (WIS. Mods), Carrington’s Rusty Kollman (WIS. MW Mods) and Jamestown’s Troy Nelson (WIS. Streets) all rolling to track championships.
Vogel and Hannaford’s Rory Opp in the WISSOTA Street Stock division each had stellar seasons, as both rifled off seven feature victories in Jamestown. Nelson motored to victory three times, while Kollman’s five feature wins was one better than the four produced by Jamestown’s Scott Bintz, as the pair finished 1-2 in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified point standings at the track.
Nelson has moved into a Midwest Modified this season, while both Kollman and Bintz plan on running both A-Mods and B-Mods.
Jamestown’s Josh Eberhardt, winner of one Midwest Modified feature at his home track a year ago, is also planning on running an A-Mod, along with Jamestown’s Jason “High Side” Grimes who is planning a full schedule in Jamestown this year.
Dieterle said she expects to see the weekly car count on par with last year. The elephant in the room, however, is West Fargo’s Red River Valley Speedway, and what impact it may or may not have on Jamestown after moving from Wednesday nights to Saturdays in 2012.
Red River Valley Speedway is no longer sanctioned by WISSOTA.
“We’ll still have plenty of cars to put on a really good show,” Dieterle said. “I think we might see some new faces, and some old faces we haven’t seen in quite a while.”
Dieterle was referring to a few western North Dakota IMCA Modified drivers who are planning on making Jamestown Speedway a destination point this season.
“We’ve heard a few rumors of a few western modified drivers coming over here, and we’re excited for that,” Dieterle said. “At least five of them have WISSOTA Mods too.”
As far as cars and drivers go, Dieterle is not expecting Jamestown Speedway to lose too many to the West Fargo track. Jamestown averages around 100 cars per show.
“The car count is going to surprise us, I think,” Dieterle said. “I don’t think we’ll lose too many, except those with Fargo addresses because of their sponsors being there. Everyone else who races WISSOTA is coming here.”
West Fargo also doesn’t run a street stock division.
“The only thing that would hurt us regarding Fargo would be our fans going there instead of here,” Dieterle said. “If we receive local fan support, we’ll be fine.”
Admission at the gate is the same as last year. Adults are $10, kids 14 and under are $5 and preschoolers are free. A family ticket for $25 at the grandstand admits 2 adults and any number of kids aged 14 and under.
Dates to remember: Legend Special (May 26), NLRA late Model Special (June 9), AMSOIL Qualifier Night (June 30), Fireworks Spectacular (July 7), NOSA Spring Special (July 21), Quad Races (July 28), NLRA Late Model Special (Aug. 11), Season Championship (Aug. 18), Midwest Mod Special (Sept. 1), Street Stock Special (Sept. 2), 41st Annual Stock Car Stampede (Sept. 21-22).
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com