Corell cruises: Veteran flexes muscle ahead of Gumke memorial

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John Correll Sr. (5) leads Trent Grager (71) out of Turn 2 during an IMCA Modified heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

JAMESTOWN -- John Corell Sr. said a good friend helped carry him to victory lane here Saturday, as Jamestown Speedway roared back to life for the first time since the passing of veteran Jamestown race car driver Don Gumke in January.

Corell came from fifth in a feature field of 21 IMCA Modifieds on opening night, sustaining cosmetic damage to the right rear of his familiar No. 5 before holding off Carrington's Trent Grager over the final 14 of 25 laps. It was Gumke who inspired the 65-year-old Corell to get behind the wheel of a stock car in the 1970s.

"I know Don was with me ... I think he had his eyes shut on that deal right there," said Corell, pointing to the caved-in sheet metal above his rear wheel in victory lane. "It feels good."


The victory was Corell's second top-five in as many starts to open the season in a new Razor Chassis built by Roth Racing Performance in Nebraska. Corell captured fourth in Friday's feature at Mandan's Dacotah Speedway.

Three of the top four starters Saturday in Jamestown wouldn't finish, paving the way for Corell and Grager to battle for the win. Casey Arneson, Marlyn Seidler and Jarrett Carter all suffered bad luck in the opening 10 laps -- Arneson collided with Seidler at the front of the field while slowing for the lapped car of Corey Wegner, which occurred just prior to race-ending contact between Seidler and Jarrett while running 1-2 that handed Corell the lead.

Arneson started fourth and would be scored last, while Seidler and Carter also scored DNFs in 18th and 19th, respectively.

Grager, who started eighth, successfully passed Corell on the second of three restarts nearing midway, but the run off the bottom was moot as caution flag No. 3 waived before a lap was completed.

Corell wouldn't leave the door open a second time for Grager, who took home the Emma Rosie's Homecookin' second-place kuchen for his efforts.

"Age over beauty," quipped the younger Grager. "I'll let (Corell) have this one. But I'm hungry tonight so I'll take the kuchen."

Enderlin's John Nord drove from 11th in the field to third, while Scott Gartner finished fourth and Austin Arneson rounded out the top five.

Corell said his new car responded nicely after working out a few bugs from Friday's solid run in Mandan.


"Last night in Mandan was the first night on it," Corell said. "It had its issues and stuff, so we talked to the builder today and he pointed me the right way."

The longtime Jamestown racer proved he'll be tough to deal with next week in the first Don Gumke Racers' Memorial to be hosted by Jamestown Speedway.

Corell said: "I want that one for Don."

Christ can’t run down Carter

Jamestown's Billie Christ and the rest of the nation's WISSOTA Street Stock drivers will have their hands full figuring out how to chase down defending national champion Jonny Carter this summer.

Carter won Jamestown's opening 20-lap streets feature after winning six of his 24 feature wins in 2019 on Jamestown's quarter-mile oval. Christ fought back to place second after sliding from pole position to fifth on the race's opening lap.

"Get to the front first I think is the only way you're going to beat (Carter)," Christ said. "But we were right there. He's got phenomenal drive coming off the corners, so just do some more work in the shop and we'll figure it out."

Addressing an early-run push might be the first order of business. Christ's No. 79 pushed up the hill in Turn 1 on the opening lap, allowing the likes of Carter, Jamestown's Jay Scholtfeldt and others to get by.

Carter took over the lead from Scholtfeldt on Lap 5 and led the rest of the way.


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Jaden Christ (79, left) and father Billie Christ (79, right) battle for the top spot during a WISSOTA Street Stock heat race at Jamestown Speedway on June 6, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

"I gotta figure out what's going on in my initial lap or two," Christ said. "It just was super tight, I couldn't turn ... but I fought my way back up."

Christ overtook Schlotfeldt for second in the closing laps. The race saw six caution flags, which included the unretired Jerry Lamb rolling over his No. 27 with two laps remaining.

Lamb was OK.

"I knew (Schlotfeldt) was fighting the handling of his car," Christ said. "You could see his left-rear shock was hanging off of it and I knew if he slipped up I was going to get underneath him.

"I just didn't give him his line back," Christ added." We'll have it out a little bit, I'm sure. No big deal, we all work on our stuff together. It was a good run."

Todd Carter drove from third to 11th in the 20-car field, while Bob Banish Jr. finished fourth after starting third and leading the first lap. Schlotfeldt slid to fifth.


The victory was already No. 4 for Jonny Carter and his new Stealth Chassis in 2020.

"I kinda found the rubber early," Carter said. "It definitely latched up a little bit there and we just kinda had to hold our own after that.

"This new car's working awesome. Shoutout to Zach Frederick who built me one heck of a piece."

Steele, Lee, Wilke win

Jamestown’s Dylan Steele didn’t lead the final lap of the bombers feature but he was still awarded his first feature victory of the season.

With the checkered flag in the air, Mandan's John Gartner Jr. put a slide job on the leader Steele coming out of Turn 4 resulting in Gartner leading at the line and damage to the front end of Steele's No. 22. Gartner, however, failed post-race inspection with non-matching offset wheels.

Steele would be awarded the victory, which wasn't yet known when the two drivers made their appearance in victory lane.

"Before (the slider) I was running on the high side and I was trying to get around him, and he kept blowing me off the high side," said Gartner. "So, I had to do a dirty slider. I'm sorry, but I had to do it."


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John Gartner Jr. (1) leads Dylan Steele (22) and Nick Thoreson (69) during a heat race in the bombers at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Steele technically led all 15 laps from the pole position and wasn't exactly happy, initially, running second to Gartner.

"Not get ran over, plain and simple," Steele said. "My buddy in the stands pointed up, so I figured someone was there. Car was amazing, track was amazing ... it was a fun race, I guess."

In just his second-ever appearance at Jamestown Speedway, Cody Lee of Starbuck, Minnesota, was a winner in the Midwest modifieds.

Lee led the first 12 laps of the 20-lap feature before being overtaken by Justin Bjorklund of Glenwood, Minnesota, for the top spot. Lee, however, shot back under and past Bjorklund on a restart with two laps to go to win his second feature race in as many nights.

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Cody Lee (50) leads a pack of cars out of Turn 2 during a Midwest modifieds heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Lee also drove to victory Friday at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen.


"I was just hanging on to second there and I didn't think I'd have anything. I think he bobbled coming in," Lee said. "I know Justin really well. I don't know what happened? Feel for him."

Carrington's Preston Carr also got by Bjorklund in the closing laps, securing second place after starting 15th in the 28-car feature field. Carr has five top-five finishes to start the season, including a feature win on May 23 at Devils Lake Speedway.

Zach Reinke and Jim Morlock also finished in the top five after starting 11th and 14th, respectively.

"Turn of events, I guess ... and heckuva run to Preston," Lee said. "I had no idea he came from that deep in the field."

The INEX Legends completed 20 laps caution-free with Tye Wilke of Detriot Lakes, Minnesota, earning the victory.

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Folks take in racing action from the pits at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Jamestown Speedway

June 6 Results

(Starting position in brackets)

IMCA Modifieds

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 5C-John Corell[5]; 2. 71-Trent Grager[8]; 3. 98-John Nord[11]; 4. 0-Scott Gartner[3]; 5. 10-Austin Arneson[10]; 6. 2-Rusty Kollman[7]; 7. 16M-Andrew Michel[13]; 8. 2*-Cole Babcock[14]; 9. 56-Shawn Becker[17]; 10. 99-Jason Grimes[9]; 11. 60-Drew Papke[19]; 12. 02-Jordan Sours[15]; 13. 94-Aden Clark[21]; 14. 26-Crist Pittenger[12]; 15. 57-Dwight Wegner[16]; 16. (DNF) 57W-Corey Wegner[20]; 17. (DNF) 77R-Ryan Schroeder[6]; 18. (DNF) 7S-Marlyn Seidler[2]; 19. (DNF) 91-Jarrett Carter[1]; 20. (DNF) 14-Eric Edwards[18]; 21. (DNF) 2A-Casey Arneson[4].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. C. Arneson[1]; 2. A. Arneson[3]; 3. Seidler[6]; 4. Grimes[5]; 5. Michel[4]; 6. Wegner[2]; 7. (DNF) Papke[7].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Corell[2]; 2. Grager[1]; 3. Carter[7]; 4. Nord[5]; 5. Babcock[3]; 6. Becker[6]; 7. (DNF) Wegner[4].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Pittenger[2]; 2. Schroeder[1]; 3. Kollman[4]; 4. Gartner[6]; 5. Sours[5]; 6. Edwards[7]; 7. Clark[3].

WISSOTA Street Stocks

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 46-Jonny Carter[5]; 2. 79-Billie Christ[1]; 3. 19-Todd Carter[11]; 4. 65-Robert Banish Jr[3]; 5. 20J-Jay Schlotfeldt[4]; 6. 78-Jon Perkins[7]; 7. 17-Christopher Ritter[2]; 8. 54-Jodie Michaelsohn[10]; 9. 79J-Jaden Christ[8]; 10. 59-Kyle Anderson[17]; 11. 21T-Tyler Schrenk[6]; 12. 44-Austin Geigle[12]; 13. 11JR-Jeff Ekdahl[16]; 14. 24-Ashley Wampler[13]; 15. B2-Brodee Eckerdt[15]; 16. 27J-Jordan Johnson[19]; 17. 43-Rory Opp[14]; 18. (DNF) 27-Jerry Lamb[9]; 19. (DNF) 9JR-Brian Hanson Jr[18]; 20. (DNF) 13-Dustin Erickson[20].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. J. Carter[4]; 2. Ritter[6]; 3. Schrenk[1]; 4. Michaelsohn[7]; 5. Wampler[5]; 6. Ekdahl[3]; 7. Johnson[2].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. J. Christ[2]; 2. B. Christ[1]; 3. Banish Jr[4]; 4. T. Carter[6]; 5. Opp[3]; 6. Anderson[7]; 7. Erickson[5].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Lamb[5]; 2. Perkins[2]; 3. Schlotfeldt[6]; 4. Geigle[4]; 5. Eckerdt[3]; 6. Hanson Jr[1].

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 50C-Cody Lee[3]; 2. 5C-Preston Carr[15]; 3. 5CJ-Justin Bjorklund[1]; 4. 22-Zach Reinke[11]; 5. 97M-Jim Morlock[14]; 6. 21S-Terry Sahr[5]; 7. 4-Arin Beyer[4]; 8. 0-Troy Nelson[7]; 9. 19-Lucas Rodin[8]; 10. 71-Nate Reinke[20]; 11. 3-Jeffrey Schwind Jr[12]; 12. 56-Laine Schwehr[9]; 13. 32-Lindsey Hansen[19]; 14. 1S-Scott Bintz[28]; 15. 17-Jason Thoms[27]; 16. 68-Todd Duchscherer[21]; 17. 735-Tanner Theis[26]; 18. 79-Alex Senger[18]; 19. 271-Kelly Hagel[25]; 20. 9K-Andrew Kapp[16]; 21. 30-Cole Neset[17]; 22. #1-Tony Smith[13]; 23. (DNF) 84-Travis Traut[23]; 24. (DNF) 55X-Chris Mack[22]; 25. (DNF) 27X-Charlie Christ[6]; 26. (DNF) 297-James Marsaa[24]; 27. (DNF) 50H-Haley Lee[2]; 28. (DNF) 36W-Jaren Wibstad[10].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Christ[1]; 2. Sahr[4]; 3. Schwehr[3]; 4. Smith[6]; 5. Neset[5]; 6. Duchscherer[7]; 7. (DNS) Bintz.

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Nelson[2]; 2. Rodin[4]; 3. Wibstad[5]; 4. Morlock[3]; 5. Senger[1]; 6. Mack[6]; 7. Hagel[7].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Beyer[2]; 2. H. Lee[1]; 3. Z. Reinke[5]; 4. Carr[3]; 5. Hansen[4]; 6. Traut[6]; 7. Theis[7].

Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. C. Lee[2]; 2. Bjorklund[4]; 3. Schwind Jr[6]; 4. Kapp[5]; 5. N. Reinke[7]; 6. Marsaa[3]; 7. (DNF) Thoms[1].

INEX Legends

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 72-Tye Wilke[3]; 2. 29-Ryan Braseth[8]; 3. B1-Brody Carlsrud[2]; 4. 34-Alex Kukowski[1]; 5. 20-Alex Braseth[10]; 6. 19-Donavin Wiest[6]; 7. 471-Austin Wiest[4]; 8. 14K-Kody King[9]; 9. 77-Preston Martin[5]; 10. 21S-Terry Sahr[18]; 11. 5D8-Dylan Johnson[14]; 12. 28-Joshua Wiest[7]; 13. 69-Brian Hanson[12]; 14. 56-Dylan Murchie[11]; 15. 79-Chuck Christ[17]; 16. 84-Jacoby Traut[15]; 17. 43S-William Siebert[13]; 18. 49-Collin Compson[16].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Wilke[7]; 2. Braseth[5]; 3. A. Wiest[1]; 4. J. Wiest[2]; 5. King[8]; 6. Murchie[9]; 7. Siebert[4]; 8. (DNF) Christ[6]; 9. (DNS) Sahr.

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Kukowski[1]; 2. D. Wiest[7]; 3. Martin[4]; 4. Carlsrud[5]; 5. Braseth[3]; 6. Hanson[2]; 7. Johnson[9]; 8. Traut[6]; 9. Compson[8].


Feature (15 Laps): 1. 22-Dylan Steele[1]; 2. 95-Jayden Michaelson[5]; 3. 77-Jarod Klein[2]; 4. 7C-Billy Carow[4]; 5. 51-AJ Davenport[10]; 6. 68-Matthew Duchscherer[7]; 7. 79-Lane Stoppleworth[9]; 8. 69T-Nick Thoreson[12]; 9. 50-Paul Morman[8]; 10. 97-Logan Berg[13]; 11. 10-Hayden Aberle[16]; 12. 17-Asher Williams[3]; 13. 002-Matt Sandvig[11]; 14. 24-Leann Christensen[14]; 15. 37-Erik Busche[15]; 16. (DQ) 1-John Gartner Jr[6].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Michaelson[1]; 2. Carow[6]; 3. Duchscherer[3]; 4. Williams[2]; 5. Stoppleworth[7]; 6. Sandvig[5]; 7. Berg[4]; 8. Busche[8].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Klein[1]; 2. Gartner Jr[5]; 3. Morman[2]; 4. Steele[3]; 5. Davenport[8]; 6. Thoreson[4]; 7. Christensen[7]; 8. Aberle[6].

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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