'Hopefully, I did him right': Grimes second, Arneson wins Don Gumke Racers' memorial

Gumke Memorial 2020 salute.jpg
Jamestown's Jason Grimes pilots Don Gumke's No. 2 modified past members of Gumke's family during the national anthem prior to the Don Gumke Racers' Memorial held at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Grimes finished second to Fargo's Austin Arneson in the 30-lap main event. Gumke died last January in Gold Canyon, Arizona. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Jason Grimes gave it everything he had.

The tough-as-nails Jamestown race car driver nearly parked Don Gumke’s modified in victory lane Saturday night at Jamestown Speedway in the first Don Gumke Racers’ Memorial. But finishing No. 2 to Fargo’s Austin Arneson seemed fitting on a night dedicated to Gumke’s No. 2.

Gumke, a Jamestown man who began a storied career in stock car racing as a driver in the 1970s, passed away in January at 66 while working on his modified in Gold Canyon, Arizona. Grimes fought nearly as hard holding back his emotion following the 30-lap feature than he did battling Arneson on the track driving the very same car.

“Pretty on edge all night, but, hopefully, I did him right,” said Grimes, his voice cracking. “I don’t know how much more I coulda done?”


Grimes, the only driver to win the Jamestown Stock Car Stampede in four different classes of cars since its inception in 1972, impressed during his second night of racing in 2020 and first in Gumke’s car. He shot from eighth to second in the first of 10 IMCA Modified heat races, before winning heat race No. 6 from the outside pole and starting the feature on the outside of Arneson in the front row.

Arneson, picking up his third feature win in six shows to start the season, led all 30 laps and survived a pair of mid-race caution flags. Grimes tried everything -- high, low -- but Arneson would not be caught.

Arneson also finished first and second in his pair of heat races. The Fargo driver was very familiar with the car that came in behind him.

Gumke Memorial 2020 Austin Arneson.jpg
Fargo's Austin Arneson (10) leads Jamestown's John Correll Sr. (5) during a heat race of the Don Gumke Racers' Memorial held at the Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

“It’s pretty cool. That car came out of our shop to Don,” said Arneson, who pocketed $2,222 for the win in honor of Gumke. “My dad (Dell) and brother (Casey) were some of the last guys to have words with him, so it was pretty cool to have him finish behind us.

“He was definitely looking down and was pretty happy.”


Arneson never shifted lanes the entire race, setting the pace on a night where passing for the lead proved difficult.

“It’s pretty tough,” Grimes said. “I got one night in this car other than a little practice. But, you know, if I’m gonna get second I might as well get second to one of the best.”

One of Jamestown’s best, and another close personal friend to Gumke, John Corell Sr. came from 12th in the 25-car feature field to fifth before running out of laps. Corell won Jamestown Speedway’s season opener on June 6.

“I didn’t have nothing for Jason or Austin, but I was happy with the car,” Corell said. “I was in Mandan last night and the car just was no good (12th place), so I did some major changes to it today and it responded nicely … I think I’m headed on the right road.”

Battling Gumke on the track since the 70s, Corell smiled watching Grimes battle Arneson for the lead.

Gumke Memorial 2020 Grimes 1.jpg
Jamestown's Jason Grimes pilots Don Gumke's No. 2 modified during the Don Gumke Racers' Memorial held at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Grimes won the sixth of 10 heat races and finished second to Fargo's Austin Arneson in the 30-lap main event. Michael Savaloja / The Jamestown Sun

“The only thing could’ve been better if (Grimes) had won, but, hey, I’m sure Don had a good ride riding with him,” Corell said. “I think he helped me out some, too. Before I left the trailer I just thought, ‘I’m starting 12th, if I could get a top five out of this that’d be pretty awesome,’ and I got fifth, so I’m pleased.”


Billy Kendall III from Baxter, Minnesota, moved up five positions from eight to third, while Minot’s Spencer Wilson finished fourth after starting third. A total of 44 modifieds competed, including Hank Berry from Sidney, Montana (11th) and Marty Erivez Jr. from Gillette, Wyoming.

“Feels good,” Grimes said. “Me and Austin won a lot of races here between the two of us and couldn’t have a better guy win. They (the Arnesons) were all close to Don, too, so it means a lot for all of us.”

Scheduled to be a seasonal event, the first Don Gumke Racers' Memorial also paid tribute to former drivers Jeff Carpenter and Keith Hermanson. Carpenter, of Valley City, passed away in May of 2019 at the age of 61, while Hermanson, of Denver, Colorado, and formerly Jamestown, died last July at the age of 53.

Duchscherer wins first career feature

Matthew Duchscherer picked one heck of a night to park his bomber in victory lane for the first time.

The 16-year-old from New Rockford won his first career feature race in front of Saturday’s large crowd assembled to take in the Don Gumke Racers’ Memorial.

“Crazy unbelievable,” Duchscherer said. “I never knew the guy that much but he was a huge inspiration to me.”


Duchscherer started third and overtook Valley City’s Nick Thoreson on Lap 4 of 15 after Thoreson led the first three laps from the outside pole. The race wasn’t handed to the second-year driver, either.

Duchscherer held off defending track champion Billy Carow over four restarts. Carow, winner of three features here last summer, was forced to settle for second after starting sixth.

“I was waiting for him to get me, but I was able to pull it off,” Duchscherer said.

Lane Stoppleworth posted a solid third-place run after starting 10th, while Matt Miller motored from 15th to fourth.

“Nerves were going,” Duchscherer said. “The car was amazing, I love a slick track like this. Everybody loves hammer-down but I love slick.”

Riley wins tour race

The Steffes Street Stock Tour invaded Jamestown Speedway for Night 2 of its 16-night schedule in 2020.

Eric Riley, of Morris, Minnesota, led all 20 caution-free feature laps from the outside pole, winning the increased racers’ memorial cash prize of $1,222. The WISSOTA tour began Friday night in Mandan where Riley placed ninth.


“This is just an awesome place and to beat all these guys here on a special night like tonight, there’s no better feeling,” said Riley, who was making his first appearance at Jamestown Speedway.

Riley held off polesitter Jake Froemke, of International Falls, Minnesota, while battling to get around the lapped car of Jamestown’s Austin Geigle in the closing laps.

“I didn’t know (Froemke) was that close to me and the lapped car was kinda holding me up a little bit what I wanted to do,” Riley said. “Luckily it just worked out in our favor.”

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Eric Riley (51), of Morris, Minnesota, leads a group of WISSOTA Street Stocks during Night 2 of the 16-night Steffes Street Stock Tour held in conjunction with the Don Gumke Racers' Memorial at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Riley won the 20-lap feature. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Local drivers Royce Jawaski, Billie Christ and Jonny Carter rounded out the top five, respectively. The tour continues today (June 14) in Lisbon and is scheduled to return to Jamestown on Aug. 8.

Jamestown Speedway


June 13 Results

(Starting positions in brackets)

IMCA Modifieds

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 10-Austin Arneson[1]; 2. 2*-Jason Grimes[2]; 3. 9-Billy Kendall III[8]; 4. 75-Spencer Wilson[3]; 5. 5-John Corell[12]; 6. 2A-Casey Arneson[7]; 7. 99-Shawn Strand[4]; 8. 98-John Nord[6]; 9. 84-Michael Johnson[16]; 10. 27W-Jason Wolla[9]; 11. 25-Hank Berry[17]; 12. 71-Trent Grager[19]; 13. 14-Eric Edwards[5]; 14. O19-Travis Olheiser[15]; 15. 3S-Jesse Skalicky[18]; 16. 2K-Rusty Kollman[11]; 17. 9H-Robert Hellebust[14]; 18. 19-Lucas Rodin[24]; 19. 60-Tyler Hall[20]; 20. 6Z-Zach Dockter[21]; 21. (DNF) 02-Jordan Sours[22]; 22. (DNF) 02*-Josh Jones[25]; 23. (DNF) 72-Dave Shipley[10]; 24. (DNF) 91-Jarrett Carter[13]; 25. (DNF) 86C-Darren Pfau[23].

B-Main 1 (15 Laps): 1. Berry[1]; 2. Grager[6]; 3. Dockter[2]; 4. Pfau[7]; 5. 0-Scott Gartner[3]; 6. 2-Marty Erivez Jr[8]; 7. 2B*-Cole Babcock[5]; 8. 84T-Travis Traut[9]; 9. (DNF) 24X-Steve Ost[10]; 10. (DNF) 96-Erv Grossman[11]; 11. (DNF) 26-Crist Pittenger[12]; 12. (DNF) 22F-Jeremy Forester[13]; 13. (DNS) 2E-Josh Eberhardt; 14. (DNS) 57-Dwight Wegner.

B-Main 2 (15 Laps): 1. Skalicky[2]; 2. Hall[1]; 3. Sours[4]; 4. Rodin[3]; 5. 33-Allen Kent[11]; 6. 77R-Ryan Schroeder[5]; 7. 56-Shawn Becker[7]; 8. 02*-Josh Jones[12]; 9. 0N-Troy Nelson[6]; 10. 12-Greg Friestad[14]; 11. 16M-Andrew Michel[8]; 12. 271-Kelly Hagel[9]; 13. (DNF) 94-Aden Clark[10]; 14. (DNS) 7S-Marlyn Seidler.

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. Strand[1]; 2. Grimes[8]; 3. Berry[2]; 4. Carter[6]; 5. Nelson[4]; 6. Becker[9]; 7. (DNF) Seidler[3]; 8. (DNF) Pittenger[5]; 9. (DNS) Friestad.

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Wolla[2]; 2. A. Arneson[6]; 3. Corell[4]; 4. Hellebust[8]; 5. Rodin[3]; 6. Grager[1]; 7. Michel[5]; 8. Traut[7]; 9. Grossman[9].

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. Edwards[2]; 2. Nord[3]; 3. Kendall III[6]; 4. Gartner[1]; 5. Sours[4]; 6. Eberhardt[8]; 7. Clark[5]; 8. (DNF) Jones[7]; 9. (DNF) Forester[9].

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. C. Arneson[4]; 2. Kollman[1]; 3. Dockter[5]; 4. Shipley[7]; 5. Schroeder[2]; 6. Skalicky[8]; 7. Erivez Jr[3]; 8. Ost[9]; 9. (DNF) Wegner[6].

Heat 5 (10 Laps): 1. Hall[2]; 2. Wilson[7]; 3. Johnson[5]; 4. Olheiser[8]; 5. Kent[3]; 6. Babcock[1]; 7. Pfau[6]; 8. Hagel[4].

Heat 6 (10 Laps): 1. Grimes[2]; 2. Carter[4]; 3. Strand[9]; 4. Berry[8]; 5. Pittenger[5]; 6. Nelson[6]; 7. (DNF) Becker[1]; 8. (DNF) Friestad[3]; 9. (DNS) Seidler.

Heat 7 (10 Laps): 1. A. Arneson[4]; 2. Hellebust[2]; 3. Corell[6]; 4. Wolla[8]; 5. Rodin[7]; 6. Grager[9]; 7. Traut[3]; 8. Michel[5]; 9. (DNF) Grossman[1].

Heat 8 (10 Laps): 1. Kendall III[4]; 2. Nord[7]; 3. Edwards[8]; 4. Eberhardt[2]; 5. Sours[6]; 6. Gartner[9]; 7. Jones[3]; 8. Forester[1]; 9. Clark[5].

Heat 9 (10 Laps): 1. Shipley[3]; 2. Skalicky[2]; 3. C. Arneson[6]; 4. Kollman[9]; 5. Dockter[5]; 6. Schroeder[8]; 7. Erivez Jr[7]; 8. Ost[1]; 9. (DNS) Wegner.

Heat 10 (10 Laps): 1. Wilson[2]; 2. Olheiser[1]; 3. Johnson[4]; 4. Pfau[3]; 5. Babcock[8]; 6. Hall[7]; 7. Hagel[5]; 8. (DQ) Kent[6].

WISSOTA Street Stock

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 51-Eric Riley[2]; 2. 63-Jake Froemke[1]; 3. 5-Royce Jawaski[6]; 4. 79-Billie Christ[5]; 5. 46-Jonny Carter[7]; 6. 19-Todd Carter[11]; 7. 11-Kyle Dykhoff[12]; 8. 97-Hunter Domagala[8]; 9. 5P-Ryan Pommerer[10]; 10. 13-Dustin Erickson[13]; 11. 2U-Kasey Ussatis[16]; 12. 27M-Nathan Messmer[14]; 13. 59-Kyle Anderson[17]; 14. 10-Justin Vogel[18]; 15. 05-Kyle Howland[15]; 16. 43-Rory Opp[21]; 17. 17-Christopher Ritter[4]; 18. 5F-Zach Frederick[19]; 19. 33-Daniel Aberle[9]; 20. 79J-Jaden Christ[23]; 21. 20J-Jay Schlotfeldt[24]; 22. 9JR-Brian Hanson Jr[22]; 23. 44-Austin Geigle[20]; 24. (DQ) 27J-Spencer Johnson[3].

B-man (15 Laps): 1. Anderson[2]; 2. Vogel[1]; 3. Frederick[3]; 4. Geigle[7]; 5. Opp[13]; 6. Hanson Jr[4]; 7. Christ[18]; 8. Schlotfeldt[10]; 9. 21T-Tyler Schrenk[8]; 10. 22-Cory Rodin[14]; 11. 24-Ashley Wampler[17]; 12. 78-Jon Perkins[11]; 13. 12S-Trajan Schmidt[16]; 14. 1X-Clifford Houser[12]; 15. 8M-Chris Michaelsohn[15]; 16. 46B-Jason Berg[9]; 17. (DNF) 65-Robert Banish Jr[5]; 18. (DNF) 67-Ryan Satter[6].

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. J. Carter[6]; 2. Domagala[3]; 3. Aberle[2]; 4. Erickson[4]; 5. Vogel[8]; 6. Banish Jr[9]; 7. Berg[1]; 8. Opp[5]; 9. (DNF) J. Christ[7].

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Johnson[3]; 2. Jawaski[1]; 3. Pommerer[6]; 4. Messmer[5]; 5. Anderson[9]; 6. Satter[4]; 7. Schlotfeldt[7]; 8. Rodin[8]; 9. Wampler[2].

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. Froemke[1]; 2. Riley[6]; 3. T. Carter[8]; 4. Howland[4]; 5. Frederick[7]; 6. Geigle[2]; 7. Perkins[3]; 8. Michaelsohn[5].

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. B. Christ[2]; 2. Ritter[1]; 3. Dykhoff[7]; 4. Ussatis[6]; 5. Hanson Jr[3]; 6. Schrenk[4]; 7. Houser[8]; 8. Schmidt[5].

Pure Stock

Feature (15 Laps): 1. 68-Matthew Duchscherer[3]; 2. 7C-Billy Carow[6]; 3. 79-Lane Stoppleworth[10]; 4. 60M-Matt Miller[15]; 5. 69T-Nick Thoreson[2]; 6. 1-John Gartner Jr[7]; 7. 50-Paul Morman[13]; 8. 17-Asher Williams[1]; 9. 22-Dylan Steele[9]; 10. 10-Hayden Aberle[11]; 11. 24-Leann Christensen[12]; 12. 98-Zack Nord[5]; 13. 31-Jeremy Herr[25]; 14. 45-Nickolas Nord[16]; 15. 07-Seth Howe Kellar[19]; 16. (DNF) 37-Erik Busche[14]; 17. (DNF) 67-Kevin Hancock[26]; 18. (DNF) 93-Taylor Saari[23]; 19. (DNF) 2A-Dalton Aabrekke[20]; 20. (DNF) 8-Travis Edinger[18]; 21. (DNF) 29T-Terry Davenport[22]; 22. (DNF) 77-Jarod Klein[8]; 23. (DNF) 51-AJ Davenport[4]; 24. (DNF) 4-Gage Davenport[24]; 25. (DNF) 6T-Dillon Thorpe[21]; 26. (DNF) 002-Matt Sandvig[17].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Thoreson[2]; 2. Williams[3]; 3. Steele[9]; 4. Stoppleworth[4]; 5. Morman[6]; 6. Nord[1]; 7. Howe Kellar[5]; 8. Davenport[7]; 9. Herr[8].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Nord[2]; 2. Duchscherer[3]; 3. Gartner Jr[7]; 4. Aberle[5]; 5. Busche[8]; 6. Sandvig[1]; 7. Aabrekke[9]; 8. Saari[6]; 9. (DNS) Hancock.

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Carow[1]; 2. Klein[3]; 3. Davenport[5]; 4. Christensen[4]; 5. Miller[7]; 6. Edinger[6]; 7. Thorpe[8]; 8. Davenport[2].

Savaloja is the sports lead writer for The Jamestown Sun.
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