Young gun hangs on: Weiss, 23, wins late model featureFacing lapped traffic with cars hot on his tail, 23-year-old Ricky Weiss showed no fear.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Facing lapped traffic with cars hot on his tail, 23-year-old Ricky Weiss showed no fear.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native put his lead on the line multiple times during Saturday night’s Northern Late Model Racing Association feature at Jamestown Speedway.
With the top of the track running as the fast line, Weiss had to give up the position he’d used to overtake Grand Forks driver Brad Seng because of lapped traffic.
“We went to the bottom — it wasn’t as good,” Weiss said. “We prefer the top. Our car works pretty good up top. … We made it work.”
The young gun survived, grabbing his first checkered flag in Jamestown. He had a win two years ago at the Stock Car Stampede, but was disqualified.
This time, Weiss sealed the deal, though one of the biggest factors in winning came from watching, not driving. Weiss kept his eye on Dustin Strand of Grand Forks in the IMCA Modifieds feature. Strand took home the top spot.
“When we watched Dustin Strand in the modified cruise around on the top, I knew the car would be good,” Weiss said. “I knew that’s where I was going right away.”
Bowbells native Steve Pfeifer started on the pole, but relinquished it to Seng after the first two turns. Weiss, who started second, passed Seng on the outside of turn 4 on the fourth lap and led the rest of the way. He started lapping traffic with about 10 rounds to go in the 25-lap feature. Seng finished runner-up, while Strand — who also ran a late model — placed third. Bill Mooney of Garson, Manitoba, and Hank Berry of Sidney, Mont., took fourth and fifth, respectively.
Weiss said he was able to find the balance of watching both ends of the competition — the cars trying to catch him and the cars he’s trying to lap.
“I knew Seng would be there. I know he’s a real clean driver,” Weiss said. “As I’m coming, I’m hoping (lapped traffic) would hold their line and I could get around them.”
Though he’s relatively young in a class full of veteran drivers, Weiss said he’s not scared.
“I know they don’t like getting beat, but we’re the next generation coming in.”
The NLRA tour continues June 20 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo.
Strand races to the front
Starting position can be everything in racing and having a pole position of 17th out of 23 cars doesn’t bode well for any driver.
But Strand bucked the odds, coming from the back of the pack to win his first WISSOTA Modifieds feature of the year.
“I didn’t think we were ever coming through like that,” he said. “It’s tough. With the field of cars here, it’s very competitive. That was just an awesome deal.”
He did it in style, too.
Enderlin’s Randy Klein started second, but passed pole-winner Jerry Lamb of Lisbon during the first lap. Klein fought off the pack — including Strand — for most of the race. But Strand found the outside off of turn 4 and sling-shot past him on the front straightaway with a lap to go.
“(Klein) was running through the middle,” Strand said. “I was better on top in (turns) 1 and 2. I kind of had momentum and rolled around (turns 3-4). I still didn’t know if we were gonna get it done. He was crowdin’ the top pretty good.”
It wasn’t until the 10th lap that Strand made his appearance in the top five, squeezing past Edgeley’s Eric Edwards. With five laps to go, he battled Jamestown’s Jason Grimes for second place until passing him and Klein on the same lap.
“This is my first win of the season in modifieds,” Strand said. “I haven’t really been racing the modifieds. I’ve been racing late models full-time.”
Klein finished one spot ahead of Grimes for second place. Edwards and Estevan, Saskatchewan’s Tyson Turnbull rounded out the top five, respectively.
Carter leaves no doubt
Jonny Carter started on the pole and didn’t seem to have time for anyone else on the track in the WISSOTA Street Stocks feature.
The Lisbon driver watched four different racers move into the second-place spot, but none of them was a match for Carter’s brilliance. He led from start to finish, winning his first feature.
He survived a caution right off the bat, and another one midway through that brought the rest of the pack to his rear bumper. It wasn’t good enough, however, as Carter’s dominance was too much. He was hardly tested in the final five laps.
Billie Christ of Jamestown spent more time right behind him than anyone else, trying to catch him for nearly half the race.
Nonetheless, it was Lisbon’s Duffy Froemke that ended up second, followed by Christ, Hannaford’s Rory Opp and Gackle’s Jordan Zillmer, respectively.
Hall wins car-heavy class
Tyler Hall of Fertile, Minn., had plenty of competition in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds class.
Thirty-four cars showed up, so the officials went with four heats and two B-mains. With 14 cars not qualifying for the A-main, competition to get into the feature was fierce.
Bryce Kuska of Litchville and Eric Edwards of Edgeley won the qualifiers to get into the feature, where they hoped to rally from the back.
However, Hall started fifth and took over the top spot by the second lap, besting pole-sitter Tony Konold of Groton, S.D. Hall was challenged by Konold, Jamestown’s Scott Bintz and Carrington veteran Rusty Kollman.
Bintz placed second, and Kollman, Jamestown’s Jeremy Forester and Valley City’s Greg Friestad finished in the top five, respectively. Konold placed sixth.
Wolf holds off Gussiaas, Schemp
There wasn’t much in the way of opposition for Bryan Wolf and Justin Schempp, both of Jamestown, and Carrington’s Chris Gussiaas for the majority of the Bombers feature.
Steven Nicholson of Jamestown started on the pole, but Wolf snatched it away during the first lap en route to the win.
But it wasn’t so easy for Wolf, who fought off a hard-charging Schempp the first four laps. Gussiaas had his turn around lap five and spent the rest of the race trying to get by him, eventually taking second. Schempp ran into trouble with two laps to go and didn’t finish.
Spiritwood’s Leann Christensen took third, Clay Houchin of Fessenden was fourth and Cory Rodin of Marion placed fifth.
NLRA Late Models
Feature: 1, Ricky Weiss, Winnipeg, Manitoba; 2, Brad Seng, Grand Forks; 3, Dustin Strand, Grand Forks; 4, Bill Mooney, Garson, Manitoba; 5, Hank Berry, Sidney, Mont.; 6, Steven Pfeifer, Bowbells; 7, Mike Balcaen; 8, Tommy Thompson, Brainerd, Minn.; 9, Jeremy Keller, Bismarck; 10, Steve Anderson, Grand Forks; 11, Troy Schill, Grand Forks; 12, Josh Skorczewski, Aberdeen; 13, Tom Corcoran, East Grand Forks, Minn.; 14, Paul Mueller, Bismarck; 15, Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 16, Cole Schill, West Fargo; 17, Lance Schill, Langdon; 18, Steffen Snare, Hallock, Minn; 19, Shane Edginton, East St., Manitoba; 20, Jason Storbakken, Williston; 21, Dusty Peterson, Fargo; 22, Norm Olson, West Fargo; 23, Mike Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.
Heat 1: Seng, Strand, Skorczewski, Corcoran, Balcaen, Johnson, E. Turnbull, Olson.
Heat 2: Pfeifer, Thompson, Mooney, Anderson, Peterson, Storbakken, Keller, Edginton.
Heat 3: Weiss, Berry, T. Schill, C. Schill, L. Schill, Snare, Mueller.
Feature: 1, Dustin Strand, Grand Forks; 2, Randy Klein, Enderlin; 3, Jason Grimes, Jamestown; 4, Eric Edwards, Edgeley; 5, Tyson Turnbull, Estevan, Saskatchewan; 6, Shawn Strand, Mandan; 7, Ward Imrie, Winnipeg; 8, Jamie Trautner, Felton, Minn.; 9, Rusty Kollman, Carrington; 10, Mark Trautner, Mahnomen, Minn.; 11, Scott Bintz, Jamestown; 12, John Corell, Jamestown; 13, Randy Tarno, Jamestown; 14, Jerry Lamb, Lisbon; 15, Bob Sagen, Arthur; 16, Nick Thoreson, Fort Ransom; 17, John Nord, Enderlin; 18, Dwight Wegner, Jamestown; 19, Josh Eberhardt, Jamestown; 20, Bob Banish Jr., Milnor; 21, Ryan Mikkelson, Jamestown (DNF); 22, Allen Kent, Minot (DNF); 23, Marlyn Seidler, Underwood (DNF).
Heat 1: Imrie, Grimes, Corell, Sagen, M. Trautner, Eberhardt, Wegner.
Heat 2: J. Trautner, Mikkelson, Edwards, Tarno, Kent, D. Strand, Seidler, Nord.
Heat 3: Kollman, Klein, Lamb, S. Strand, T. Turnbull, Bintz, Banish, Thoreson.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: 1, Jonny Carter, Lisbon; 2, Duffy Froemke, Lisbon; 3, Billie Christ, Jamestown; 4, Rory Opp, Hannaford; 5, Jordan Zillmer, Gackle; 6, Ryan Pommerer, Oriska; 7, Jeff Vogel, Marion; 8, Royce Jawaski, Horace; 9, Shawn Volk, Bismarck; 10, Joe Jacobson, Jamestown; 11, Casey Strangeland, Kensal; 12, Barrett Berg, Lincoln; 13, Shawn Becker, Jamestown; 14, Kelly Hagel, Carrington; 15, Geoff Hellman, Mandan; 16, Matthew Lesmeister, Lisbon; 17, Travis Ulmer, Mandan; 18, Ryan Hugelen, Belfield; 19, Josh Ganser, Jamestown; 20, Caleb Sorenson, Williston; 21, Dustin Erickson, Jamestown; 22, Kyle Langland, Enderlin; 23, Cammy Ost, Adrian; 24, Jake Emo, Jamestown; 25, Trent Grager, Sykeston.
Heat 1: Froemke, Ganser, Carter, Berg, Jawaski, Vogel, Becker, Hugelen, Volk.
Heat 2: Christ, Emo, Pommerer, Hagel, Hellman, Ost, Ulmer.
Heat 3: Grager, Zillmer, Opp, Stangeland, Jacobson, Erickson, Lesmeister, Sorenson.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1, Tyler Hall, Fertile, Minn.; 2, Scott Bintz, Jamestown; 3, Rusty Kollman, Carrington; 4, Jeremy Forester, Jamestown; 5, Greg Friestad, Valley City; 6, Tony Konold, Groton, S.D.; 7, Lyn Lamb, Lisbon; 8, Eric Edwards, Edgeley; 9, Justin Kollman, Aberdeen, S.D.; 10, Preston Carr, Carrington; 11, Troy Nelson, Jamestown; 12, Darren Pfau, Oriska; 13, Brandon Gussiaas, New Rockford (DNF); 14, Lucas Rodin, Fullerton (DNF); 15, Jim Morlock, Pettibone (DNF); 16, Ryan Lehr, Jamestown (DNF); 17, Terry Sahr, Jamestown (DNF); 18, Bryce Kuska, Litchville (DNF); 19, Travis Aljets, Carrington (DNF); 20, Andy Kapp, Jamestown (DNF).
First qualifier (top two): 1, Kuska; 2, Pfau; 3, Nate Jenrich, Valley City; 4, Shannon Schlenker, Jamestown; 5, John Clemens, Jamestown; 6, Tyler Schrenk, Ypsilanti; 7, Landon Becker, Jamestown; 8, Jay Sahr, Jamestown; 9, Rory Opp, Hannaford.
Second qualifier (top two): 1, Edwards; 2, Carr; 3, Dave Peterson, Jamestown; 4, Anddee Beierle, Bismarck; 5, Steve Ost, Adrian; 6, Brad Sheridan, Groton, S.D.; 7, Jason Thoms, Pingree; 8, Brodie Jahner; 9, Ethan Mabus, Jamestown.
Heat 1: Forester, Bintz, Sahr, Kollman, Schlenker, Clemens, Sahr, Opp, Sheridan.
Heat 2: Friestad, Hall, Lehr, Nelson, S. Ost, Peterson, Becker, Schrenk, Jenrich, Jahner.
Heat 3: Rodin, Aljets, Kollman, Lamb, Pfau, Kuska, Carr, Mabus.
Heat 4: Konold, Kapp, Morlock, Gussiaas, Edwards, Beierle, Thoms.
Feature: 1, Bryan Wolf, Jamestown; 2, Chris Gussiaas, Carrington; 3, Leann Christensen, Spiritwood; 4, Clay Houchin, Fessenden; 5, Cory Rodin, Marion; 6, Brandon Moser, Aberdeen, S.D.; 7, Matthew Kropp, Jamestown; 8, Kyle Anderson, Jamestown; 9, Keith Striefel, Jamestown; 10, Dusty Hinrichs, Jamestown; 11, Tyler Hintz, Buchanan; 12, Alex Langland, Enderlin; 13, Dalton Polries, Sykeston; 14, Steven Nicholson, Jamestown; 15, Devin Christ, Wimbledon; 16, Chad Hausauer, Bismarck; 17, Lindsey Hansen, Jamestown; 18, Anthony Clark, LaMoure; 19, Tyler Schlenker, Jamestown; 20, Jeremy Willman, Jamestown; 21, Justin Schempp, Jamestown (DNF).
Heat 1: Christensen, Hausauer, Rodin, Kropp, Polries, Anderson, Hansen.
Heat 2: C. Gussiaas, Wolf, Nicholson, Moser, Striefel, Hintz, Christ.
Heat 3: Schempp, Houchin, Langland, Hinrichs, Clark, T. Schlenker, Willman, Sahr.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org