The last time Mike Balcaen won at Jamestown Speedway the facility was still using its wooden stage to honor drivers.

But as times change and victory lanes are remodeled, Balcaen can still hold his own -- and then some -- on Jamestown's quarter-mile dirt oval. The Winnipeg driver led all 25 laps of the Northern Late Model Racing Association (NLRA) main event from the outside pole on Saturday, July 20, winning an intense battle over 2012 WISSOTA Late Model national champion Chad Becker in the final turn.

Balcaen then proceeded to park his No. 10 south of the flag stand, exactly where he did the last time he won in Jamestown in 2013. He'd be forced to refire his machine and drive to the front of the grandstand where the old wooden stage once stood.

"I didn't know it, and the bad thing was I unplugged my radio," Balcaen smiled. "I saw (a track official) motioning to tell me something.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

"It's a great victory lane. I'm glad I made it here."

Balcaen successfully fended off Becker over seven restarts, tying Dustin Strand, Brad Seng and John Seitz with three Jamestown NLRA tour feature victories. Balcaen turned the quickest lap of the night in 13.783 seconds, but Becker knocked hard on the door a handful of times.

The former national champ from Aberdeen, South Dakota, tried lines both below and above Balcaen, but a smooth track that took rubber as the race wore on favored the man with the lead. Becker went for broke in the final set of turns, pushing high out of Turn 4 and opening the door for Aberdeen's Josh Skorczewski to take second.

Skorczewski started fourth. Becker crossed third after starting on the pole.

"It was kind of a rubbered up one lane deal there and I was just kinda biding my time to see what them two would do, hoping that they would move each other out of the way," Skorczewski said. "Chad was trying everything he could to get around him and luckily I was able to sneak by on the last lap there and get second."

Balcaen explained the key was staying forward-focused, which was probably easier said than done with Becker on his back bumper.

"He's one of the best around," Balcaen said. "Both him and (Skorczewski) are good runners. I don't know if Becker was trying something and that's why he lost second place, but I just knew I had to do what I had to do."

Balcaen won for the first time in 2019 after 12 previous top-five finishes, including four second-place finishes. The NLRA tour event drew 28 late models, 27 of which made the call for the feature.

"The middle seemed to be the way to go and then on those yellows I was searching around and I thought if I moved down a lane I'd be better," Balcaen said. "I don't know if I was, but all in all it was a good run for us and we're really happy."

First-time winners

Randy Gordon (18) and Don Gumke (2*) sail into Turn 3 during an IMCA Modified heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Michael Savaloja / The Sun
Randy Gordon (18) and Don Gumke (2*) sail into Turn 3 during an IMCA Modified heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Jamestown's Randy Gordon and Bismarck's Scott Gartner earned diplomas in the form of trophies Saturday. Both marked a graduation of sorts, winning feature events in their respective classes at Jamestown Speedway for the first time.

Gordon bested a field of 24 IMCA Modifieds, while Gartner held off the always formidable Jonny Carter to win the 20-lap WISSOTA Street Stock main event. Carter, the winner of four Jamestown features and Friday's main event in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, lost second position to Jerry Lamb in the final two laps after battling Gartner hard for the lead.

"Jonny's a helluva racer and we battled door-to-door for a good amount of time," Gartner said. "I've never even won a heat race here yet in all the years I've raced here."

Gartner produced a clean sweep Saturday, winning the first of two heats. Lamb led 13 of the first 14 laps from the fifth starting position before Gartner took over the top spot with six laps remaining. Gartner started fourth, while Carter set the quickest pace in 17.175 seconds.

"I was watching the b-mods right before us and it looked like it was rubbering down in (turns) three and four, and that just means there's one lane to go in," said Gartner, who broke a transmission here last week. "I had to be in that lane and I just muscled and stayed there, and Jonny just couldn't do anything without that."

Gordon led all 25 IMCA Modified laps from the pole, holding off Marlyn Seidler and John Nord. Gordon survived three restarts, pulling away from Seidler until the veteran closed the gap over the final two laps.

"I've been trying to figure out this car for two years now and I was finally good with something," Gordon said. "I just had to not mess up. We tried some stuff in Minot a couple weeks ago ... it seemed to work."

Gordon won by 0.327 seconds. Jason Grimes finished behind Nord in fourth after starting 12th.

Edinger, Reinke, Wiest win

Gavin Edinger (8) and Collin Compson (49) tussle for position during a slingshot heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Gavin and his father, Travis Edinger (bombers), both visited Jamestown Speedway victory lane on Saturday. Michael Savaloja / The Sun
Gavin Edinger (8) and Collin Compson (49) tussle for position during a slingshot heat race at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Gavin and his father, Travis Edinger (bombers), both visited Jamestown Speedway victory lane on Saturday. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Travis Edinger defeated Leann Christensen by 0.024 seconds in the bombers. The Jamestown driver took over the top spot after leader Billy Carow was sent to the pits for causing the race's fifth yellow flag with six of 15 laps remaining.

Christensen went to work above Edinger, leading at the white flag as the two battled side by side. But Edinger, who started 10th, was able to edge Christenson at the checkers.

"I've struggled most of the year. The car just hasn't been working or just bad luck," said Edinger, whose son, Gavin, won Saturday in the slingshots. "Got a few lucky yellow flags and worked our way up. Finally got 'er done this year."

Christenson's last Jamestown victory was the jackrabbit dash at the 2016 Stock Car Stampede.

"It got a little slick," Christensen said of the track. "That's all right, Travis is a good guy. I want first, but I'm happy with a second."

Lisbon's Nate Reinke was unstoppable in the Midwest modifieds, winning the 20-lap, 22-car feature by 2.208 seconds over Lindsey Hansen. Reinke started eighth and was leading by Lap 3 following three early yellow flags.

"The car and the track were perfect," Reinke said. "This is Jamestown Speedway. They busted their butts to have a nice track, and my family busted their butts to put a good setup under this car."

Wishek's Donavin Wiest led the final 17 of 20 laps to win the INEX Legends feature. The class produced nine cars, with Terry Sahr and Jaden Christ finishing second and third, respectively.

Jamestown Speedway resumes racing Aug. 10 for Ladies' Night.

Results

Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, Manitoba, poses in victory late after winning the 25-lap NLRA special at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Michael Savaloja / The Sun
Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, Manitoba, poses in victory late after winning the 25-lap NLRA special at Jamestown Speedway on Saturday, July 20, 2019. Michael Savaloja / The Sun

Jamestown Speedway

July 20 results

(Starting positions in brackets)

NLRA Late Models

A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 10-Mike Balcaen, [2]; 2. 2S-Josh Skorczewski, [4]; 3. 12B-Chad Becker, [1]; 4. 44-Cole Schill, [7]; 5. 11-Mike Stearns, [3]; 6. 71D-Dustin Strand, [9]; 7. 14-Brody Troftgruben, [13]; 8. 16S-Jeff Hapala, [8]; 9. 18-Curt Gelling, [16]; 10. 18X-Shawn Meyer, [10]; 11. 12S-Brad Seng, [18]; 12. 4-Shane Edginton, [19]; 13. 1R-Travis Robertson, [12]; 14. 14E-Eric Edwards, [20]; 15. 70-Jesse Teunis, [25]; 16. 03-Casey Meyer, [5]; 17. 2D-Dan Dowling, [6]; 18. 87-Curt Kranz, [11]; 19. 9A-Blake Anderson, [23]; 20. (DNF) 69-Brandon Rekow, [27]; 21. (DNF) 2*-Cole Babcock, [24]; 22. (DNF) 30-Bob Moody, [26]; 23. (DNF) 9R-Erik Robertson, [21]; 24. (DNF) 29K-Ryan Kereluk, [15]; 25. (DNF) 10R-Kevin Robertson, [14]; 26. (DNF) T1-Tom Corcoran, [17]; 27. (DNF) 11M-Paul Mueller, [22]; (DNS) C4-Ryan Corbett.

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 2S-Josh Skorczewski, 02:37.654[1]; 2. 2D-Dan Dowling, 02:43.138[2]; 3. 87-Curt Kranz, 02:43.654[3]; 4. 14-Brody Troftgruben, 02:44.277[6]; 5. T1-Tom Corcoran, 02:44.672[5]; 6. 9R-Erik Robertson, 02:45.043[7]; 7. 70-Jesse Teunis, 02:45.990[4].

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 11-Mike Stearns, 02:18.729[1]; 2. 16S-Jeff Hapala, 02:20.520[2]; 3. 18X-Shawn Meyer, 02:21.374[3]; 4. 10R-Kevin Robertson, 02:22.938[5]; 5. 12S-Brad Seng, 02:23.649[4]; 6. 11M-Paul Mueller, 02:24.514[7]; 7. 30-Bob Moody, 02:27.142[6].

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 12B-Chad Becker, 03:43.681[2]; 2. 44-Cole Schill, 03:44.681[3]; 3. 1R-Travis Robertson, 03:45.437[5]; 4. 29K-Ryan Kereluk, 03:46.342[1]; 5. 4-Shane Edginton, 03:47.088[6]; 6. 9A-Blake Anderson, 03:47.958[4]; 7. (DNF) C4-Ryan Corbett, 01:56.049[7].

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. 10-Mike Balcaen, [2]; 2. 03-Casey Meyer, [1]; 3. 71D-Dustin Strand, [3]; 4. 18-Curt Gelling, [4]; 5. 14E-Eric Edwards, [6]; 6. 2*-Cole Babcock, [7]; 7. 69-Brandon Rekow, [5].

IMCA Modifieds

A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 18-Randy Gordon, [1]; 2. 7-Marlyn Seidler, [6]; 3. 98-John Nord, [9]; 4. 99G-Jason Grimes, [12]; 5. 2*-Don Gumke, [4]; 6. 2A-Casey Arneson, [16]; 7. 71-Trent Grager, [8]; 8. 2E-Josh Eberhardt, [10]; 9. 91-Jarrett Carter, [7]; 10. 9M-Dale Mathison, [17]; 11. 19-Lucas Rodin, [13]; 12. 14-Eric Edwards, [11]; 13. 84-Travis Traut, [14]; 14. 79-Billie Christ, [3]; 15. 77R-Ryan Schroeder, [5]; 16. 11-Bill Wadeson, [15]; 17. 56-Shawn Becker, [19]; 18. 22F-Jeremy Forester, [20]; 19. (DNF) 12-Greg Friestad, [2]; 20. (DNF) 24X-Steve Ost, [23]; 21. (DNF) 57-Dwight Wegner, [22]; 22. (DNF) 33-Allen Kent, [21]; (DNS) 5-John Corell, ; (DNS) 81-Kenneth Watson.

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 7-Marlyn Seidler, 02:18.636[5]; 2. 79-Billie Christ, 02:20.496[3]; 3. 98-John Nord, 02:21.497[6]; 4. 14-Eric Edwards, 02:22.753[7]; 5. 19-Lucas Rodin, 02:23.346[4]; 6. 2A-Casey Arneson, 02:23.856[8]; 7. 56-Shawn Becker, 02:27.524[2]; (DNS) 57-Dwight Wegner.

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 18-Randy Gordon, 02:21.380[2]; 2. 2*-Don Gumke, 02:21.835[3]; 3. 91-Jarrett Carter, 02:22.628[5]; 4. 2E-Josh Eberhardt, 02:22.786[6]; 5. 84-Travis Traut, 02:23.341[4]; 6. 9M-Dale Mathison, 02:24.776[7]; 7. 22F-Jeremy Forester, 02:26.232[1]; 8. 24X-Steve Ost, 02:26.232[8].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 12-Greg Friestad, 06:26.758[2]; 2. 99G-Jason Grimes, 06:27.178[7]; 3. 77R-Ryan Schroeder, 06:28.272[3]; 4. 71-Trent Grager, 06:29.287[5]; 5. 11-Bill Wadeson, 06:30.090[8]; 6. (DNF) 5-John Corell, 06:30.090[4]; 7. (DNF) 33-Allen Kent, 06:30.090[6]; 8. (DNF) 81-Kenneth Watson, 06:30.090[1].

WISSOTA Street Stocks

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 0-Scott Gartner, [4]; 2. 27-Jerry Lamb, [5]; 3. 46-Jonny Carter, [8]; 4. 5-Royce Jawaski, [7]; 5. 79-Jaden Christ, [1]; 6. 17-Christopher Ritter, [2]; 7. 13-Dustin Erickson, [10]; 8. 59-Kyle Anderson, [9]; 9. 65-Robert Banish Jr, [14]; 10. 44-Austin Geigle, [11]; 11. 10-Joe Potter, [12]; 12. 9JR-Brian Hanson Jr, [13]; 13. (DNF) 20J-Billie Christ, [15]; 14. (DNF) 70-Josh Anderson, [16]; 15. (DNF) 2U-Kasey Ussatis, [3]; 16. (DNF) 22-Cory Rodin, [6]; 17. (DNF) 43-Rory Opp, [17].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 0-Scott Gartner, 02:27.093[1]; 2. 22-Cory Rodin, 02:28.185[3]; 3. 46-Jonny Carter, 02:28.334[8]; 4. 79-Jaden Christ, 02:28.530[2]; 5. 59-Kyle Anderson, 02:28.645[9]; 6. 44-Austin Geigle, 02:28.859[4]; 7. 9JR-Brian Hanson Jr, 02:32.750[7]; 8. 20J-Billie Christ, 02:35.515[6]; 9. 70-Josh Anderson, 02:35.515[5].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 27-Jerry Lamb, 02:25.728[3]; 2. 2U-Kasey Ussatis, 02:26.624[2]; 3. 5-Royce Jawaski, 02:28.886[8]; 4. 17-Christopher Ritter, 02:33.619[6]; 5. 13-Dustin Erickson, 02:29.383[7]; 6. 10-Joe Potter, 02:29.890[5]; 7. 65-Robert Banish Jr, 02:33.619[4]; (DNS) 43-Rory Opp.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 71-Nate Reinke, [8]; 2. 32-Lindsey Hansen, [1]; 3. 28-Brennon Weight, [9]; 4. 11-Kyle Schell, [2]; 5. 271-Kelly Hagel, [6]; 6. 62-Aaron Michel, [7]; 7. 87S-Reise Stenberg, [12]; 8. 5C-Preston Carr, [13]; 9. 2-Cory Berquist, [11]; 10. 17-Jason Thoms, [3]; 11. 97M-Jim Morlock, [14]; 12. 19-Lucas Rodin, [21]; 13. 4-Arin Beyer, [15]; 14. #1-Tony Smith, [18]; 15. 36W-Jaren Wibstad, [16]; 16. 27X-Charlie Christ, [22]; 17. 33-Brennan Urbach, [23]; 18. 735-Tanner Theis, [10]; 19. 20-Caleb Johnson, [19]; 20. (DNF) 56-Laine Schwehr, [20]; 21. (DNF) 3-Jeffrey Schwind Jr, [17]; 22. (DNF) 9K-Andrew Kapp, [5]; (DNS) 50S-Jay Sahr.

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 271-Kelly Hagel, 03:11.097[1]; 2. 9K-Andrew Kapp, 03:13.381[3]; 3. 50S-Jay Sahr, 03:14.268[4]; 4. 735-Tanner Theis, 03:14.806[2]; 5. 5C-Preston Carr, 03:14.977[8]; 6. 36W-Jaren Wibstad, 03:15.371[6]; 7. 20-Caleb Johnson, 03:16.155[7]; 8. (DNF) 27X-Charlie Christ, 02:24.755[5].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 32-Lindsey Hansen, 02:18.396[4]; 2. 62-Aaron Michel, 02:19.753[3]; 3. 11-Kyle Schell, 02:20.897[2]; 4. 2-Cory Berquist, 02:21.534[1]; 5. 97M-Jim Morlock, 02:24.382[5]; 6. 3-Jeffrey Schwind Jr, 02:24.627[8]; 7. 56-Laine Schwehr, 02:25.845[7]; 8. (DNF) 33-Brennan Urbach, 02:05.582[6].

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 17-Jason Thoms, 04:21.486[1]; 2. 71-Nate Reinke, 04:21.892[4]; 3. 28-Brennon Weight, 04:22.201[6]; 4. 87S-Reise Stenberg, 04:22.536[7]; 5. 4-Arin Beyer, 04:22.922[2]; 6. #1-Tony Smith, 04:23.667[5]; 7. (DNF) 19-Lucas Rodin, 01:12.516[3].

Bombers

A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 8-Travis Edinger, [10]; 2. 24-Leann Christensen, [4]; 3. 6T-Dillon Thorpe, [7]; 4. 77-Jarod Klein, [1]; 5. 93-Taylor Saari, [9]; 6. 79-Lane Stoppleworth, [5]; 7. 69W-Wade Vasvick, [14]; 8. 97-Logan Berg, [16]; 9. 3M-Ryan Mund, [13]; 10. 98-Zack Nord, [11]; 11. 17-Asher Williams, [19]; 12. (DNF) 7C-Billy Carow, [6]; 13. (DNF) 37-Erik Busche, [15]; 14. (DNF) 36-Larry Hanson, [12]; 15. (DNF) 69-Kyle Vasvick, [17]; 16. (DNF) 14-Gregory Moore, [3]; 17. (DNF) 58-Daniel Kaseman, [8]; 18. (DNF) 68-Matthew Duchscherer, [18]; 19. (DNF) 22-Dylan Steele, [2].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 7C-Billy Carow, 04:56.912[4]; 2. 14-Gregory Moore, 04:57.579[1]; 3. 22-Dylan Steele, 04:58.267[8]; 4. 6T-Dillon Thorpe, 04:59.330[7]; 5. 93-Taylor Saari, 05:00.640[10]; 6. 98-Zack Nord, 05:00.730[2]; 7. 3M-Ryan Mund, 05:08.549[5]; 8. 37-Erik Busche, 05:10.671[9]; 9. (DNF) 69-Kyle Vasvick, 01:01.460[6]; 10. (DNF) 17-Asher Williams, 01:00.053[3].

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 24-Leann Christensen, [3]; 2. 58-Daniel Kaseman, [4]; 3. 79-Lane Stoppleworth, [8]; 4. 77-Jarod Klein, [7]; 5. 8-Travis Edinger, [2]; 6. 36-Larry Hanson, [5]; 7. 69W-Wade Vasvick, [6]; 8. 97-Logan Berg, [1]; 9. (DNF) 68-Matthew Duchscherer, [9].

INEX Legends

A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 19-Donavin Wiest, [4]; 2. 21S-Terry Sahr, [2]; 3. 79-Jaden Christ, [5]; 4. 1K-Nate Keena, [3]; 5. 99D-Rick Diede, [8]; 6. 28-Joshua Wiest, [9]; 7. 5-Jaidyn Edinger, [6]; 8. 43S-William Siebert, [7]; 9. (DNF) 84-Jacoby Traut, [1].

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 19-Donavin Wiest, 07:09.484[2]; 2. 21S-Terry Sahr, 07:09.649[1]; 3. 1K-Nate Keena, 07:11.248[6]; 4. 79-Jaden Christ, 07:11.342[5]; 5. 84-Jacoby Traut, 07:14.412[4]; 6. 5-Jaidyn Edinger, 07:23.439[9]; 7. 43S-William Siebert, 07:23.977[7]; 8. (DNF) 99D-Rick Diede, 07:23.977[8]; 9. (DNF) 28-Joshua Wiest, 07:23.977[3].