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SIZZLING START: Gentzkow claims sixth win in eight tries Saturday

Jamestown's Lane Stoppleworth (79) loses a right rear wheel and LaMoure's Clay Gentzkow (32) and Marion's Cory Rodin (22) take evasive action to avoid the melee during a bomber heat race Saturday at Jamestown Speedway. Gentzkow's loose wheel can be seen rolling along at the right of the photo. Michael Savaloja / The Sun1 / 2
Lisbon's Nate Reinke (71) leads Carrington's Kelly Hagel (271) into corner No. 1 during midwest modified heat racing Saturday at Jamestown Speedway. Michael Savaloja / The Sun2 / 2

JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Clay Gentzkow's sizzling start to the 2018 season continued Saturday at Jamestown Speedway.

The 22-year-old bomber driver has cornered the local racing luck market here, notching his sixth feature victory in eight shows in default fashion. Gentzkow, who crossed the finish line second to Jamestown's Billy Carow, was awarded the $250-to-win trophy after Carow was disqualified for not reporting directly to the scale following the race.

"I don't feel the best about taking this win, I guess," Gentzkow said. "(Carow) won it, he did. Just a simple racing deal. It's a common rule: don't miss the scale."

But Gentzkow hasn't backed into his success this season. The LaMoure, N.D., driver has been the man to beat thus far in his third year racing bombers, having swept four straight shows at Lisbon's Sheyenne Speedway and notching his second Jamestown win.

Gentzkow started Saturday's 15-lap feature seventh and was sent to the back of the 15-car field three laps in for pinching Carow off Turn 4 and causing a caution while battling for fourth position. Gentzkow, however, battled all the way back through the field and lost an exciting battle with Carow for the top spot on the track over a green-white-checkered finish.

Other than winning, Gentzkow has also put together Jamestown feature finishes of second and 11th in 2018.

"It's been pretty good from the the get-go," Gentzkow said. "Haven't had a bad night besides one night here I didn't finish (11th), but other than that it's been first or second.

"It's starting out great. Hopefully it keeps going that way."

Lisbon's Nate Reinke and Marion's Lucas Rodin put on a thrilling show during Saturday's truncated Stutsman County Fair special. Reinke held off Rodin to win the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds feature, his third victory of the season.

Reinke started the 14-car, 20-lap main event on the outside of the front row and has was under intense pressure from Rodin throughout the final 14 laps. Helping keep the pair close all the way to the finish were four caution flags.

"On the long runs, I felt like when we evened out I was all right," Reinke said. "But on those restarts when I didn't have the momentum up top (Rodin) was challenging me. He pretty much had me once and I got lucky and got back by him."

Rodin, who started fifth, was a handful on the restarts, nearly slinging his No. 19 under and by Reinke in Turns 1 and 2 on numerous occasions. Rodin drove hard to the bottom of Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap, but Reinke was too strong up high.

"I was close," said Rodin, after posting his best feature finish of the summer. "I could come out of (Turn) 2 a little bit better if I hooked the moisture just right.

"He was better in 3 and 4, and I was maybe a little better in 1 and 2, but me and Nate have a lot respective for each other racing out there, so it was just a good, fun race."

It was Reinke's second Jamestown victory of 2018. He also motored to victory on May 28 in Lisbon.

"I committed to the top ... and Lucas was charging the living crap out of me, but yet driving me clean," said Reinke, who pocketed $500 with the win. "Lucas is a really good friend of mine and it was a blast to race that hard against him, but I'm damn glad I won."

Zach Muralt, of Gwinner, N.D., was the winner in the sport compact class, while Taylor Klein, of LaMoure, was the junior slingshot feature winner. Jamestown Speedway returns with all regular classes this Wednesday, July 4, for the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular beginning at 7 p.m.

The fireworks display will commence at 10:15 p.m.

Jamestown Speedway


WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1. Nate Reinke; 2. Lucas Rodin; 3. Jim Morlock; 4. Kelly Hagle; 5. Joey Rowell; 6. Brennon Weight; 7. Aaron Michel; 8. Jay Sahr; 9. Arin Beyer; 10. Todd Duchscherer; 11. Jaren Wibstad, DNF; 12. Andrew Kapp, DNF; 13. James Watson, DNF; 14. Laine Schwehr, DNF. DNS: Tanner Theis.

Heat 1: 1. Reinke; 2. Hagel; 3. Rodin; 4. Kapp; 5. Watson; 6. Beyer, DNF; 7; Michel, DNF. DNS: Theis.

Heat 2: 1. Weight; 2. Rowell; 3. Morlock; 4. Duchscherer; 5. Sahr; 6. Wibstad; 7. Schwehr, DNF.


1. Clay Gentzkow; 2. Dillon Thorpe; 3. Tyler Michel; 4. John Gartner Jr.; 5. Gregory Moore; 6. Hayden Aberle; 7. Austin Wimer; 8. Matt Gumke, DNF; 9. Travis Edinger, DNF; 10; Tony Smith, DNF; 11. Dylan Steele, DNF; 12. Lane Stoppleworth, DNF; 13. Cory Rodin, DNF; 14. Daniel Muske. DQ: Billy Carow.

Heat 1: 1. Carow; 2. Gentzkow; 3. Rodin; 4. Thorpe; 5. Wimer; 6. Michel; 7. Steele, DNF; 8. Stoppleworth, DNF.

Heat 2: 1. Smith; 2. Gartner; 3. Muske; 4. Edinger; 5. Moore; 6. Gumke; 7. Aberle.

Sport Compact (Hornets)

Feature: 1. Zach Muralt; 2. Neil Walton; 3. Matt Bogart; 4. Matt Pederson; 5. Daniel Harstad; 6. Drew Bixby; 7. Cole Bogart; 8. Roger Lukes; 9. Justin Mailine; 10. Chase Golliet; 11. Hunter Goulet; 12. Levi Lease, DNF.

Heat 1: 1. Muralt; 2. Harstad; 3. Bixby; 4. Golliet; 5. Lease; 6. Mailine.

Heat 2: 1. Pederson; 2. M. Bogart; 3. Walton; 4. Lukes; 5. C. Bogart; 6. Goulet.

Junior Slingshots

Feature: 1. Taylor Klein; 2. Keenan Glasser; 3. Gavin Edinger; 4. Jaidyn Edinger. DNS: Andrea Edinger.

Heat 1: Klein; 2. Glasser; 3. G. Edinger; 4. J. Edinger. DNS: A. Edinger.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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