Since winning last year's Stock Car Stampede, Fargo's Casey Arneson has owned Jamestown Speedway.
The 25-year-old IMCA Modified ace rolled to six total feature wins here in 2019, en route to capturing the Jamestown A-mod track championship last month. Arneson will be looking to go back-to-back in the Stampede beginning this Friday, Sept. 20.
The 48th annual event kicks off with heat races at 7 p.m. and concludes with consolation races and feature events beginning Saturday at 5 p.m.
"Just a heckuva year," Arneson said. "I love racing that place. I just got lucky and had a good car all year long and was just able to stay consistent."
Arneson had some added motivation to win Jamestown's crown jewel event last season, after his older brother, Austin Arneson, rolled to Stampede checkered-flag glory in the seat of a WISSOTA Modified back in 2013. The Stampede dates back to 1972, something not lost on today's generation of dirt-track drivers.
"It's cool to have brothers on the same T-shirt," said Arneson, referring to the annual T-shirt printed with the name of each of the event's past winners and sold every September. "When I was growing up it was always the Stock Car Stampede or the Mod Nationals."
Arneson knows a little luck and a good draw can go a long way in winning the Stampede. But, judging by this past season, he should be a threat from anywhere in the field if he were to qualify for Saturday's main event.
"Just gonna do what I did all year," Arneson said. "Take it one race at a time and play the cards with the hand that's dealt."
The Stampede will include nine classes of cars this weekend: WISSOTA Late Models, WISSOTA Street Stocks, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, INEX Legends, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Bombers, Hornets and Slingshots. The pre-event Thursday Calcutta auction will begin at 6 p.m. from the beer gardens at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds, which is usually a good indicator of how many cars will be onhand come Friday night.
A "party in the pits" is planned for Friday evening following the heat races with the band: Severitas. The Stampede brought in 313 cars and drivers in 2018.
"I think the Calcutta is on par," said Jamestown Speedway co-owner Tim Baldwin on Wednesday night. "That's one of our gauges for how (the Stampede) typically is. We're hopeful."
The Stampede is up against an abnormally large amount of area shows this weekend. Tracks in Alexandria (Minnesota), Watertown (South Dakota) and Underwood (North Dakota) also have racing planned.
Baldwin said this Sunday will be used as an immediate rain date. A complete weekend rain-out would push the Stampede back to Oct. 4-5.
"We're watching the weather if we need to adjust, " Baldwin said. "We're going to do everything we can to get the show in this weekend."
2018 Stampede winners
WISSOTA Late Models: Rickey Weiss.
IMCA Modifieds: Casey Arneson.
WISSOTA Street Stocks: Geoff Hellman.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds: Preston Carr.
WISSOTA Super Stocks: Dave Mass.
IMCA Sportmods: Luke Krogh.
INEX Legends: Donavin Wiest.
Bombers: J. Liddle.
2019 Jamestown Speedway Season Review
BOMBERS: Billy Carow (Jamestown, N.D.).
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS: Reise Stenberg (Arugusville, N.D.).
WISSOTA STREET STOCKS: Jonny Carter (Lisbon, N.D.).
IMCA MODIFIEDS: Casey Arneson (Fargo, N.D.).
INEX Legends: Donavin Wiest (Wishek, N.D.).
BOMBERS: Billy Carow 3, Dillon Thorpe 3, Jarod Klein 1, Greg Moore 1, Dylan Steele 1, Travis Edinger 1, Jayden Michaelsohn 1
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS: Reise Stenberg 3, Nate Reinke 3, Brennon Weight 3, Lucas Rodin 1, Zach Reinke 1.
WISSOTA STREET STOCKS: Jonny Carter 6, Scott Gartner 1, Todd Carter 1, Robert Banish Jr. 1, Billie Christ 1
IMCA MODIFIEDS: Casey Arneson 5, Marlyn Seidler 1, Randy Gordon 1, Darren Pfau 1.
WISSOTA LATE MODELS: Mike Balcaen 1
INEX LEGENDS: Drew Papke 6, Donavin Wiest 2, Dylan Johnson 1, Andrew Jochim 1, Tye Kilke 1.
Tri-City IMCA Modifieds: Marlyn Seidler 1, Casey Arneson 1.
LIGHTNING SPRINTS: Kelsi Pederson 1.
JR. SLINGSHOTS: Gavin Edinger 3, Joseph Banish 1, Collin Compson 1, Zander Compson 1, Noah Lewis 1, Joseph Lewis 1, Dentyn Schill 1.
IMCA Sportmods: Scott Jacobson 1.
Final Points Standings
IMCA MODIFIEDS: 1. Casey Arneson 302; 2. Josh Eberhardt 292; T3. John Nord 270; Eric Edwards 270; 5. John Corell 251.
WISSOTA STREET STOCKS: 1. Jonny Carter 1,049; 2. Robert Banish Jr. 992; 3. Kyle Anderson 927; 4. Jerry Lamb 922; 5. Royce Jawaksi 900.
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS: 1. Reise Stenberg 1,071; 2. Nate Reinke 1,040; 3. Brennon Weight 1,107; 4. Lucas Rodin 989; 5. Kelly Hagel 963.
INEX Legends: 1. Donavin Wiest 929; 2. Drew Papke 882; 3. Dylan Johnson 859; 4. Sean Johnson 843; 5. Brian Hanson 804.
BOMBERS: 1. Billy Carow 1,075; 2. Lane Stoppleworth 1,045; 3. Leann Christensen 1,032; 4. Dillon Thorpe 1,019; 5. Jarod Klein 992.