Reinke notches first featureJamestown Speedway was still in the spirit of giving on Saturday. Few tracks combine the stout competition and driver-savvy racing surface the facility provides each week, where normally only the strongest can strive. But predicting a feature winner in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds this summer has all of a sudden turned into a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
By: By Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown Speedway was still in the spirit of giving on Saturday.
Few tracks combine the stout competition and driver-savvy racing surface the facility provides each week, where normally only the strongest can strive. But predicting a feature winner in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds this summer has all of a sudden turned into a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Last week it was Adrian’s Steve Ost snapping a 20-year feature winless drought on the high-banked quarter mile, and on Saturday Lisbon’s Nate Reinke finally put his name on the winner’s list in Jamestown after six years of trying.
Regulars Eric Edwards and Ryan Lehr have also snatched up Midwest Modified feature victories, as have the always strong Rusty Kollman and Scott Bintz. Bintz is the only two-time winner in the class at Jamestown so far this season.
So the question now is who’ll win next week? Pick a longshot, because the racing gods are smiling.
The car count on Saturday was 103, with the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds (30) and the WISSOTA Modifieds (28) pulling in 58 cars and drivers for the annual Stutsman County Fair Races. B-mains were run in both classes.
Jamestown’s Ryan Mikkelson rolled to his second feature win of the year in the A-mods. He was also behind the wheel of a loaned B-mod for the first time since 2010, where he cruised to a second-place finish.
Jamestown’s Joe Jacobson motored to his second consecutive WISSOTA Street Stock feature victory at Jamestown, while Carrington’s Chris Gussiaas won a wild four-wide battle to the finish line in the Bomber division for his third feature win in Jamestown.
In the Hornets, Carrington’s Dylan Weisz picked up his third straight feature win.
Jamestown Speedway will be hosting the NOSA Sprints this Saturday at 7 p.m.
What was considered a test session, turned into Nate Reinke’s first career feature victory at Jamestown Speedway.
The Lisbon native was hoping to get water temperature issues under control in preparation to run a Midwest Modified Special at his hometown track —Sheyenne River Speedway — where he’s already won twice this season.
“We were having heating issues, so this was a test for us for (Sunday night in Lisbon),” Reinke said. “It passed.”
Reinke started on the outside pole for the 20-lap feature after winning the first of four heat races, and he led from start to finish. Track officials poured water on the track prior to the feature races, and early on the low line was the quickest way around.
Reinke planted his No. 71 down by the guardrail, and from there all he had to do was protect that line. But unbeknownst to Reinke, Ryan Mikkelson was waiting in the wings if he made a mistake.
Mikkelson started seventh and also used the low line to move up to second place with 12 laps left. Mikkelson, however, wasn’t behind the wheel of his trademark No. 15 on Saturday. He was piloting Travis Aljets’ No. 57.
“Travis is at a wedding in Montana, and I’ve been helping him out at the beginning of the year telling him to throw money at the car,” Mikkelson laughed. “So, he told me about the opportunity to run it. I was kind of nervous about it.
“I was worrying about wrecking and stuff like that. I’d hate to lose a friend.”
Mikkelson hadn’t run a B-mod since 2010, after moving up to A-mods in 2011, but in his B-mod swan song he won 17 races and two track championships.
Over the final six laps it was a two-car breakaway between Reinke and Mikkelson, and with three to go Mikkelson nearly got under Reinke to make the pass out of turn No. 4.
“I saw him get under me there on the front stretch with 5, 6, 7 to go, and I kind of had to tell myself to wake up and get back in the groove,” Reinke said. “I was letting my right-rear get out of the grip over in turns three and four.
“That was the wakeup call I needed. I didn’t know it was Ryan in the car, but I like racing Ryan. He’s fun to race with.”
Mikkelson was hoping his car would’ve had a little bit longer legs.
“I wish I had more gear. I could get in and get to the middle, but I had to beat him coming off and it had to be a drag race down into (turn) one,” Mikkelson said. “I had the opportunity once, but he kind of came in close and it’s not my car.”
Mikkelson finished second, with Eric Edwards taking third and Rusty Kollman finishing fourth. Scott Bintz got as high as second during the race by trying to work the high side, but he wound up finishing fifth.
Bintz holds a one-point lead over Kollman in the track standings (415-414).
“This one in Jamestown I’ve been working really hard for, for a long time,” Reinke said. “And, man, I either have bad luck or I don’t drive well. Tonight I had good luck and I drove well.”
Mikkelson is planning to run Aljets’ No. 57 at the 41st annual Stack Car Stampede in September.
What a difference one year, and a new Klein-built chassis, has made for Jamestown’s Joe Jacobson.
After winning the Bomber track championship in Jamestown in 2010, Jacobson weathered a rough and winless rookie campaign in the WISSOTA Street Stock ranks last season. But on Saturday, Jacobson rifled off his second feature win in as many weeks in an always highly competitive field of drivers.
“It’s very hard,” Jacobson said of winning two in a row in Jamestown. “I almost can’t really believe it happened.”
Jacobson lined up fifth to start the 20-lap feature and immediately darted to the bottom and overtook the front-row starters of Dustin Erickson and Josh Ganser down the backstretch on the third lap.
Jacobson led every lap from there, but he had plenty of company behind him. Lisbon’s Duffy Froemke, Mapleton’s Nic Klein and Hannaford’s Rory Opp all ran second to Jacobson at one point during the race.
Froemke has been the car to beat in Jamestown this season. He holds a 30-point lead in the track standings after winning a feature and picking up his eighth consecutive top five by finishing third on Saturday night.
Opp is no slouch either. He also has a win at the track this season, after winning an unprecedented seven feature victories in Jamestown in 2011.
But Jacobson would keep the competition behind him, motoring to victory in nearly the same fashion as he did last week by rolling into the corners low and protecting the bottom.
“The weight we added (to the car) last week seems to be helping us out. I put new tires on the back tonight for the feature,” Jacobson said. “We kind of like this weather and the way the tracks turned out. I can’t say we knew we were going to have a good run, but we just set it up the same way we did last week.”
Opp started the 16-car feature in the final row, and passed Froemke for second place with 10 laps left. A caution, however, thwarted Opp’s ascent through the field. Froemke was given second place back and he elected to restart on the bottom, putting Opp up high and out of the groove he was working.
Klein was able to move from fourth to third by passing Opp on the restart, and with five to go he got under Froemke to take over second. Klein finished second, Opp wound up fourth and Billie Christ finished fifth.
“I didn’t feel anybody tag me, or push on me,” Jacobson said. “So I just kept doing what I was doing and it worked out.”
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1, Nate Reinke; 2, Ryan Mikkelson; 3, Eric Edwards; 4, Rusty Kollman; 5, Scott Bintz; 6, Greg Friestad; 7, Tyler Peterson; 8, Scott Jacobson; 9, Brandon Gussiaas; 10, Landon Becker; 11, Casey Arneson; 12, Jeremy Forester; 13, Lucas Rodin; 14, Randy Klein; 15, Jason Thoms; 16, Steve Ost; 17, Andy Kapp; 18, Troy Nelson (DNF); 19, Preston Carr (DNF); 20, Ryan Lehr (DNF).
Consi: 1, Forester; 2, Gussiaas; 3, Rodin; 4, Kapp; 5, Tyler Schrenk; 6, Dave Peterson; 7, Jim Morlock; 8, Kevin Oeder; 9, Justin Kollman; 10, Terry Sahr; 11, Shannon Schlenker; 12, Brice Kuska; 13, Chuck Christ; 14, Jay Sahr (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Reinke; 2, Bintz; 3, Thoms; 4, Nelson; 5, Christ; 6, Schrenk; 7, Oeder; 8, Kapp.
Heat 2: 1, Lehr; 2, Friestad; 3, Carr; 4, Jacobson; 5, Forester; 6, Rodin; 7, T. Sahr; 8, Morlock.
Heat 3: 1, R. Kollman; 2, Edwards; 3, T. Peterson; 4, Becker; 5, Gussiaas; 6, J. Sahr; 7, D. Peterson (DNF).
Heat 4: 1, Arneson; 2, Mikkelson; 3, Klein; 4, Ost; 5, Schlenker; 6, Kuska; 7, J. Kollman.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: 1, Joe Jacobson; 2, Nic Klein; 3, Duffy Froemke; 4, Rory Opp; 5, Billie Christ; 6, Royce Jawaski; 7, Jonny Carter; 8, Josh Ganser; 9, Dustin Erickson; 10, Matthew Lesmeister; 11, Jake Emo; 12, Shawn Becker; 13, Kyle Langland; 14, Jeff Vogel; 15, Nick Desplinter; 16, Richard Pommerer (DNS); 18, Jordan Zillmer (DNS).
Heat 1: 1, Erickson; 2, Christ; 3, Carter; 4, Jacobson; 5, Vogel; 6, Jawaski; 7, Emo; 8, Langland; 9, Lesmeister.
Heat 2: 1, Froemke; 2, Klein; 3, Ganser; 4, Becker; 5, Desplinter; 6, Pommerer; 7, Opp (DNF); 8, Zillmer (DNF).
Feature: 1, Dylan Wiesz; 2, Alex Kelstrom; 3, Jeff Kummer; 4, Bill Bachmeier; 5, Sam Gray (DNF); 6, Chase Golliet (DNS).
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org