Grimes sweeps Mod featuresNearly every driver that has towed a car to Jamestown Speedway this season will tell you the same thing about the quarter-mile, two-time WISSOTA Track of the Year: It’s a tough place to win a feature. That’s a testament to the track’s popularity, drawing cars from all over North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and South Dakota each weekend.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
Nearly every driver that has towed a car to Jamestown Speedway this season will tell you the same thing about the quarter-mile, two-time WISSOTA Track of the Year: It’s a tough place to win a feature.
That’s a testament to the track’s popularity, drawing cars from all over North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and South Dakota each weekend.
The high-caliber competition that rolls out onto the track makes it nearly impossible to pick the feature winners on any given night, so it was quite an eye-opener when Jamestown’s Jason “High Side” Grimes went two-for-two in both modified events at the track on Saturday.
The fact that two drivers making a bid at a WISSOTA national points title this season were on hand, in the likes of Dustin Strand (WISSOTA Midwest Modified) and Blake Jegtvig (WISSOTA Modified), made the feat even more impressive.
“I don’t know. I just got lucky,” Grimes said of his pair of feature wins. “The draw in the heat was a big deal in the B-Mod.”
Grimes first dodged a pair of B-mains in his WISSOTA Midwest Modified by winning his heat after drawing the No. 2 starting position. A total of 36 Midwest Mods — which isn’t uncommon at Jamestown Speedway — traded paint to earn a spot in the 20-car feature.
Grimes started the main event from the third position, behind polesitter Brent Perleberg and Jeremy Forester, both of Jamestown. Grimes was wicked fast from the start of the race, claiming the lead in the opening laps with minimal pressure from behind.
Strand, coming from the eighth starting position, battled Perleberg and Jamestown’s Scott Bintz three-wide for the second spot, before taking over the second position with 14 laps to go. Perleberg settled in behind Strand, with Edgeley’s Eric Edwards in fourth and Bintz falling to fifth.
With 12 laps to go Strand attempted to work underneath Grimes and battled the leader to the line door-to-door, but a caution flag with 11 laps to go thwarted Strand’s charge. Carrington’s Travis Aljets brought out the yellow with a flat tire.
Grimes pulled away from Strand on the restart, before Fargo’s Levi Arneson, Forester and Casselton’s Rich Pavlicek tangled in a three-car accident in turns one and two, bringing out the second caution with nine laps left.
It appeared as if a fierce battle for the lead would ensue between Grimes and Strand on the second restart, but again Grimes got off to a great start and pulled away from the Grand Forks native while working the middle of the track. Grimes had nearly a straightaway lead on the field at the checkered flag, as he picked up his first Midwest Modified feature win this season.
Strand finished second, while Bintz fought back to take third, Edwards finished fourth, and Perleberg rounded out the top five.
“It was a touchy race track again tonight. It’s a little different every week,” Grimes said. “It was pretty dry up top. The berm coming in was tough to get around, so I dropped to the bottom and drove on the tack.”
Grimes is only running his Midwest Modified at Jamestown Speedway this season, and the car is actually for sale. It’s safe to assume Grimes might get a few inquiring phone calls about the car this week.
“I haven’t put a sign on it yet,” Grimes said. “But it always helps to win a race.”
What Grimes later pulled off in the WISSOTA Modified feature event was nothing short of spectacular.
Grimes started 12th out of 19 Modifieds for the 20-lap main event, but lived up to his “High Side” moniker by charging to the front with his right rear tire tearing up the rim. The rest of the field was mostly running the corners either through the middle or down low, where most of the traction was found, giving Grimes a clear shot to the front.
“(The other drivers) all went to the tack strip in the middle of the track, but I had my car set up for pretty dry conditions and set it up top,” Grimes said. “I just needed to get to the front. I’m trying for a top 10 in national points and I’m trying to pick up good finishes in both the heats and features.”
Jamestown’s Ben Mickelson started the race on the pole and held the lead after the second-place starter, Mitch Johnson, of Hickson, N.D., drove off the track with mechanical problems on the first lap.
Grimes had worked his way up to ninth after just two laps, and after five laps Grimes had slung his way up to third with Jamestown’s Corey Seckerson riding in the second spot.
The third caution flag of the race was displayed with 14 laps to go for Lisbon’s Jerry Lamb who stopped in turns three and four. With Mickelson on the point, Seckerson choose the high line on the restart to put Grimes down low.
Mickelson set his car in the middle of the track and both Grimes and Seckerson tried to battle past Mickelson up high. Grimes finally took over the top spot with 11 laps remaining, shooting in between Mickelson and Seckerson halfway up the track.
“I knew I could trust both of them,” Grimes said. “I knew Ben wouldn’t do anything drastic, and Corey stayed up top so I went to the middle and made it work.”
Grimes stretched his legs for the second time on the night from there, winning his seventh WISSOTA Modified event this season and his fourth checkered flag at Jamestown Speedway. Jamestown’s John Corell came from the eighth starting spot to claim second, while Mickelson took third and Seckerson finished fourth.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Carrington’s Rusty Kollman came from the fifth starting position to win his ninth WISSOTA Street Stock feature of the season and his fifth at Jamestown Speedway.
Kollman passed polesitter Jordan Zillmer, of Gackle, three laps into the 20-lap feature and never looked back. Kollman also won the feature the night before (Friday) at Mandan’s Dacotah Speedway.
“The car has just been awesome,” Kollman said. “We’ve been playing with a lot of different things and we hit on a couple of them. It’s just an awesome piece.
“This is our home track and it’s the best facility you go to in WISSOTA country,” Kollman added. “It was a good track over in Mandan last night, too.”
Kollman shot up from fifth to second in the opening lap of the race, with Baldwin’s Nate Keena running third at the line and Mandan’s Geoff Hellman in fourth. Kollman took the lead driving under Zillmer and pulling off the pass out of turn No. 4 with 17 laps remaining.
All Kollman had to do from there was hold on, as he set his car in the middle of the track and ran away from the pack.
“If you find the tack, this car just goes,” Kollman said.
Valley City’s Luke Nelson, the WISSOTA Street Stock point leader at Jamestown Speedway, finished second, as Hellman finished third, Keena took fourth and Zillmer round out the top five.
Kollman’s car is owned by Dakota Track Side out of Minot and is the racing parts dealer’s first WISSOTA-built street stock. Kollman runs a motor owned by Dakota Engines, also out of Minot.
“We changed a few things and it seems to be working,” Kollman said. “Now, we’ll stay with what we’ve got and not try too much new stuff. Hopefully we can keep doing this through the end of the year.”
Last week, Kollman was sitting just outside the top 10 in the WISSOTA Street Stock national points standings in 12th place.
As the old adage goes: Like father, like son.
Prior to Rusty Kollman’s feature win in the WISSOTA Street Stocks, his son, Justin Kollman, of Aberdeen, S.D., extended his points lead at the track by winning his fifth feature of the year at Jamestown Speedway.
It was the third time this season that the father-son duo combined for a pair of feature wins in Jamestown. The Kollmans each earned feature wins at the track back on June 20 and also on May 30.
Justin Kollman won his heat race and drew the sixth starting position out of the 22-car Bomber field for the 15-lap main event. Kollman fell into fourth after the opening lap, and later moved up to third with 12 laps remaining as the outside polesitter, Jamestown’s Josh Ganser, was leading and Jamestown’s Joe Jacobson was running second after starting fourth.
Ganser and Jacobson were working themselves away from the pack until the yellow was brought out with 11 laps left when Jamestown’s Tyler Michel was helped around in turns three and four. One lap later, a second caution was tossed for Ypsilanti’s Caley Babcock who spun in turn three.
On the restart with 10 laps left, Kollman shot to the bottom of the track and worked side-by-side Ganser for the lead. Kollman took over the top spot for good coming out of turn No. 4 with seven laps to the checkered.
Ganser kept things tight in the closing laps, trying to find a way past Kollman on the bottom. But Ganser was unable to make things work and took second, with Jacobson finishing third and Jamestown’s Shawn Becker bringing home the fourth spot.
“It was fun to race (Ganser). I thought he’d get me on the low side.” Kollman said. “I moved down low and hit a patch there and it worked out really well.
“It’s fun when you can race side-by-side and don’t have to worry about someone underneath you,” Kollman added. “It’s nice when everyone cares about their cars, and this track is probably the best for that.”
With the win, Kollman now has a 23-point lead in the track championship standings over Becker in second.
“I’m hoping to just keep the car straight and try to finish,” Kollman said. “As long as you finish races it seems like you keep up your momentum. It’s been a really good points chase so far.”
Feature: 1, Jason Grimes, 2, John Corell, 3, Ben Mickelson, 4, Corey Seckerson, 5, Blake Jegtvig, 6, Randal Hanson, 7, Randy Klein, 8, Mark Trautner, 9, Bob Sagen, 10, Jerry Lamb, 11, Randy Tarno, 12, Jeff Odden, 13, Eric Edwards, 14, Tim Compson, 15, Ross Romdalvik, 16, John Nord, 17, Dwight Wegner, 18, Tyler Elser, 19, Mitch Johnson.
Heat 1: 1, Sagen, 2, Jegtvig, 3, Hanson, 4, Edwards, 5, Tarno, 6, Odden, 7, Nord.
Heat 2: 1, Klein, 2, Johnson, 3, Mickelson, 4, Romdalvik, 5, Compson, 6, Elser.
Heat 3: 1, Corell, 2, Seckerson, 3, Lamb, 4, Grimes, 5, Wegner, 6, Trautner.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feeature: 1, Rusty Kollman, 2, Luke Nelson, 3, Geoff Hellman, 4, Nate Keena, 5, Jordan Zillmer, 6, Royce Jawaski, 7, Nic Klein, 8, Bryce Kuska, 9, Randy Kollman, 10, Casey Stangeland, 11, Dustin Erickson, 12, Paul Kirkeide, 13, Cammy Ost, 14, Kelly Hagel, 15, Trent Grager.
Heat 1: 1, Stangeland, 2, Hellman, 3, Zillmer, 4, Keena, 5, Kirkeide, 6, Erickson, 7, Ost, 8, Randy Kollman.
Heat 2: 1, Nelson, 2, Rusty Kollman, 3, Grager, 4, Klein, 5, Hagel, 6, Jawaski, 7, Kuska.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1, Jason Grimes, 2, Dustin Strand, 3, Scott Bintz, 4, Eric Edwards, 5, Brent Perleberg, 6, Landon Becker, 7, Ryan Mikkelson, 8, Josh Eberhardt, 9, John Corell, 10, Brent Weight, 11, Bryce Borgen, 12, Ryan Fike, 13, Austin Arneson, 14, Mike Anderson, 15, Levi Arneson, 16, Tim Compson, 17, Jeremy Forester, 18, Rich Pavlicek, 19, Ryan Schroeder, 20, Travis Aljets.
Heat 1: 1, Grimes, 2, Forester, 3, Ryan Schroeder, 4, L. Arneson, 5, Mikkelson, 6, Eberhardt, 7, Taylor Weight, 8, Jim Morlock, 9, Jerry Theis.
Heat 2: 1, Strand, 2, Bintz, 3, Fike, 4, Aljets, 5, Corell, 6, Ryan Carr, 7, Jason Halvorson, 8, Dave Peterson, 9, Alex Wells.
Heat 3: 1, Edwards, 2, Perleberg, 3, Compson, 4, Borgen, 5, Shayne Laske, 6, Greg Deterding, 7, Anderson, 8, Tyler Schrenk, 9, Steve Ost.
Heat 4: 1, Becker, 2, A. Arneson, 3, Pavlicek, 4, B. Weight, 5, Royce Jawaski, 6, Ryan Lehr, 7, Jordan Jangula, 8, Chuck Christ, 9, Corey Wegner.
B-Main 1: 1, Mikkelson, 2, Eberhardt, 3, Laske, 4, T. Weight, 5, Theis, 6, Ost, 7, Jangula, 8, Deterding.
B-Main 2: 1, Corell, 2, Anderson, 3, Lehr, 4, Jawaski, 5, Wegner, 6, Morlock, 7, Christ, 8, Carr.
Feature: 1, Justin Kollman, 2, Josh Ganser, 3, Joe Jacobson, 4, Shawn Becker, 5, Jake Emo, 6, Brandon Gussiaas, 7, Tyler Michel, 8, Bryan Wolf, 9. Jeff Vogel, 10, Leann Christensen, 11, Ryan Widmer, 12, Donnie Martin, 13, Jason Thoms, 14, Chris Gussiaas, 15, Kyle Sand, 16, Lucas Rodin, 17, Devin Christ, 18, Levi Nenow, 19, Cory Rodin, 20, Dusty Heinrichs, 21, Brian Burns, 22, Caley Babcock.
Heat 1: 1, Wolf, 2, B. Gussiaas, 3, Emo, 4, Babcock, 5, Nenow, 6, Michel, Widmer, 7, C. Rodin.
Heat 2: 1, Kollman, 2, Ganser, 3, Martin, 4, C. Gussiaas, 5, Thoms, 6, Heinrichs, 7, Christ.
Heat 3: 1, Becker, 2, Jacobson, 3, Vogel, 4, Christensen, 5, L. Rodin, 6, Sand.
Road Hogs: 1, Chase Biel and Seth Schulz, 2, Preston Carr and Kyle Braaten, 3, Shawn Erdahl and Mike Kratz, 4, Tyler Thoms and Will Arhendt, 5, Nick Lanscoot and Evan Wiest.
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at email@example.com