Trautner still going strongAfter over 30 years of racing, Mark Trautner, of Mahnomen, Minn., has witnessed the evolution of local dirt-track racing. Now racing at the age of 57, Trautner said there’s just one more thing he’d like to see evolve on his racecar.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
After over 30 years of racing, Mark Trautner, of Mahnomen, Minn., has witnessed the evolution of local dirt-track racing.
Now racing at the age of 57, Trautner said there’s just one more thing he’d like to see evolve on his racecar.
“We’re going to have to figure out a door here pretty soon,” Trautner chuckled. “That window is getting smaller all the time.”
Trautner held off a late charge from Jamestown’s Jason Grimes and Underwood’s Marlyn Seidler to win his first WISSOTA Modified A-main of the season at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday night. Trautner used the very top of the track to win the third and final heat of Modifieds, and he used that same line again to best a field of 21 cars from the pole position.
“My car worked well up there all night. It was good up there in the heat and in the feature too,” Trautner said. “The car was running pretty good, but you’ve got to watch it. If you run it in a little too hard you can take it over (the top of the track) pretty easy.”
Grimes started fourth but moved into second place when Jamestown’s Josh Eberhardt, who started second, went over the top of the track in turn No. 3 to bring out the first of five caution flags in the 20-lap event. Eberhardt worked his way back into the top 10 to finish ninth.
Grimes tossed everything he had at the leader early on, as he tried to find a way underneath Trautner to get by.
“I always thought (Grimes) was right there, because on the (restarts) he was always second,” Trautner said. “I know he runs good all the time, so I figured he was right there.”
Grimes, however, eventually pulled up into Trautner’s high line with 10 laps left and appeared as if he was going to concede the race to Trautner.
That was until the final yellow came out with just four laps left.
Grimes immediately pulled alongside Trautner for the lead on the restart, and Seidler was also in the fray by this point. Seidler started the race in third and on the restart he made the bottom bun on the sandwich, as Grimes (middle) and Trautner (top) battled three-wide for the lead.
But on the white-flag lap Trautner’s high line prevailed as Grimes beat Seidler for second by just four one-thousandths of a second. Jamestown’s Ryan Mikkelson started eighth and finished fourth, while Winnipeg’s Ward Imrie finished right where he started in fifth.
“I was worried those yellows were eventually going to catch up with me,” Trautner said. “Yeah, it got a little bit touchy there for a while. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen.”
Jamestown’s John Corell currently holds a six-point (429-423) lead over Mikkelson in the track standings. Corell didn’t finish the race on Saturday and was scored in 18th position.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Sykeston’s Trent Grager started on the outside pole and led every circuit of the 20-lap WISSOTA Street Stock feature, cruising to his second win in Jamestown this season.
Grager planted his machine at the very top of the track, and nearly blew it off the top of the track in turns three and four with 12 laps left. But Grager gathered it back, maintained the lead and left everyone else behind him.
Just 15 Street Stocks raced in Jamestown on Saturday. The feature included three caution flags and only 10 of the 14 cars that started made it to the finish.
One of the cars that didn’t make it to the checkered flag was points leader Duffy Froemke of Lisbon. Froemke failed to make his heat race and started the A-main from the final position.
Froemke, who has one win and had finished in the top five in every race at Jamestown Speedway so far this season, cut a right front tire down with 10 laps left and drove his car to his pit and not the tire-changing area.
By rule Froemke was then out of the race. He attempted to re-enter the track after the field had already taken the green flag and was sent to the pits. He finished 11th, but still holds an 11-point lead (465-454) over Jamestown’s Billie Christ in the standings.
Christ took second after starting eighth, while Jamestown’s Joe Jacobson slung his way from 11th to finish third. Jacobson had won the last two features here.
Marion’s Cory Rodin was the third driver to win both his heat and the main event on Saturday.
Rodin started ninth and worked his way up to second in just five laps. On the second of three restarts, Rodin lined up low behind leader Dalton Polries, of Sykeston, and overtook Polries for the lead.
Rodin then set his machine up high and built up a half-straightaway lead on the field over the final 10 laps. But a late caution set up a green-white-checker finish between Rodin and Carrington’s Chris Gussiaas.
Gussiaas, who started eighth, dove to the bottom to try to get underneath Rodin on the white-flag lap, but Rodin’s high line held true as he won his third feature of the year in Jamestown.
Gussiaas finished second and also has three wins here. Rodin leads Gussiaas in the track standings by three points (471-468).
Jamestown’s Kyle Anderson and Travis Traut finished third and fourth, respectively. Enderlin’s Tyler Pfaff rounded out the top five.
Feature: 1, Mark Trautner; 2, Jason Grimes; 3, Marlyn Seidler; 4, Ryan Mikkelson; 5, Ward Imrie; 6, Bryce Borgen; 7, Eric Edwards; 8, Shawn Strand; 9, Josh Eberhardt; 10, Blake Jegtvig; 11, Jerry Lamb; 12, John Nord; 13, Rusty Kollman; 14, Dwight Wegner; 15, Bob Banish Jr.; 16, Brandon Grabinger; 17, Randy Tarno (DNF); 18, John Corell (DNF); 19, Ross Romdalvik (DNF); 20, Robert Hellebust (DNF); 21, Mike Stearns (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Seidler; 2, Edwards; 3, Imrie; 4, Borgen; 5, Jegtvig; 6, Corell; 7, Banish Jr.; 8, Grabinger.
Heat 2: 1, Mikkelson; 2, Hellebust; 3, Romdalvik; 4, Stearns; 5, Lamb; 6, Wegner; 7, Kollman.
Heat 3: 1, Trautner; 2, Grimes; 3, Eberhardt; 4, Tarno; 5, Strand; 6, Thoreson; 7, Nord.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: 1, Trent Grager; 2, Billie Christ; 3, Joe Jacobson; 4, Royce Jawaski; 5, Rory Opp; 6, Jake Emo; 7, Matthew Lesmeister; 8, Dustin Erickson; 9, Shawn Becker; 10, Kelly Hoerner; 11, Duffy Froemke (DNF); 12, Josh Ganser (DNF); 13, Jeff Vogel (DNF); 14, Kyle Langland (DNF); 15, Tim Jodsaas (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Grager; 2, Emo; 3, Lesmeister; 4, Opp; 5, Langland; 6, Jacobson; 7, Ganser.
Heat 2: 1, Christ; 2, Vogel; 3, Jawaski; 4, Becker; 5, Erickson; 6, Hoerner; 7, Jodsaas; 8, Froemke (DNS).
Feature: 1, Cory Rodin; 2, Chris Gussiaas; 3, Kyle Anderson; 4, Travis Traut; 5, Tyler Pfaff; 6, Leann Christensen; 7, Dalton Polries; 8, Taran Langland; 9, Clay Houchin; 10, Keith Striefel; 11, Devin Christ; 12, Matt Mcpherson; 13, Jeremy Willman; 14, Bryan Wolf; 15, Dusty Hinrichs; 16, Matthew Kropp; 17, Justin Schempp; 18, Keith Kinzler; 19, Tyler Schlenker; 20, Lindsey Hansen; 21, Lane Stoppleworth; 22, Mike Sahr; 23, Dana Welder (DNF).
Heat 1: 1, Rodin; 2, Polries; 3, Anderson; 4, Christensen; 5, Traut; 6, Stoppleworth; 7, Schlenker; 8, Hansen.
Heat 2: 1, Pfaff; 2, Langland; 3, Wolf; 4, Striefel; 5, Hinrichs; 6, Schempp; 7, Kinzler; 8, Welder.
Heat 3: 1, Houchin; 2, Sahr; 3, Gussiaas; 4, Christ; 5, Kropp; 6, Mcpherson; 7, Willman.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org