Ryan Mikkelson stole a win over former Stampede champion Dustin Strand on opening night of the 49th annual Stock Car Stampede on Friday night at the Jamestown Speedway.
Veteran Sidney, Montana, driver Hank Berry and Grand Forks' Brody Troftgruben led the field to the green to start the feature. Berry took the early lead, bringing Strand, also of Grand Forks, with him.
After a caution on the third circuit, Mikkelson moved past both Strand and Berry, taking the lead on the fifth lap.
The final caution for defending Stampede champion Cole Schill of Horace realigned the field for one final double-file restart.
As the track rubbered up with eight laps remaining, Strand was able to sneak by Mikkelson to take the point.
As the pair worked lapped traffic in the waning laps, Mikkelson was able to return the favor on Strand, and retake the point as the white flag flew.
Mikkelson continued on to win over Strand, Troftgruben, Robert Hellebust of Minot, and Derek Vesel of Hibbing. The unofficial car count Friday night stood at 293.
"I knew it was gonna take rubber at some point," said Mikkelson after the race. "When I ran the high side, I took the lead away. I started creeping my way down the track and was gaining more grip. I reeled [Strand] back in, he tried the inside [of a lapped car,] and he went up higher and left the door open."
Mikkelson, a former Jamestown native who now calls Alexandria, Minnesota home, said he would love to score another win on Saturday (tonight) to secure his first official Stampede win. The longest-running year-end special in area racing switched to two full shows in 2020, with Saturday's winners being crowned the weekend's champions.
"It would be absolutely huge. I've been coming to this deal since I was probably 2 years old. I watched Johnny C win it back in the day. This was always my crown jewel I wanted to win. I've came close many times in the B-Mod. To get it done in a late model would be beyond my wildest dreams."
Fargo's Austin Arneson led the entire IMCA Modified feature, putting down the most dominant performance of the night. A caution on Lap 5 erased a second-and-a-half lead for Arneson.
Despite just one more caution on Lap 6 for Randy Klein, who was looking to move into the top five but made heavy contact with the front stretch wall, Arneson led the final 19 circuits to win by nearly five-and-a-half seconds over Mandan's Shawn Strand.
The Wissota Street Stock feature went green to checkers with no cautions. Hunter Domagala of Bismarck was the one to beat early, leading by nearly a straightaway at the midway point. Jonny Carter of Lisbon was able to move up to second on the eighth lap and slowly reeled in Domagala for the lead late.
Carter ran down Domagala on the cushion, pulling even as the white flag flew. After one last drag race to the line, Carter bested Domagala by .097 seconds.
Another close finish came in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature, as early leader Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, led through the only two yellow flag periods, which occurred inside the first five laps of the race.
Brennon Weight of LaMoure took the lead on the sixth lap and held the lead after the race resumed after a red flag for Lindsey Hansen after a wild ride off of Turn 2. He was uninjured.
Weight led by half a straightaway, until Gronwold caught back up to Weight in the final laps. Gronwold threw a big slider in turns one and two on the final lap, but Weight was able to cut back underneath to retake the lead and continue on to victory.
In the INEX Legends feature, Drew Papke of Bismarck held off three-wide battles with Alex Kukowski of Edgeley and Ryan Braseth of Ulen, Minnesota, early. Kukowski and Sean Johnson of Kindred were the next pair to try and take the top spot from Papke at the midway point when Papke and Johnson broke away from the rest of the field.
Johnson slipped over the edge of turns three and four, allowing Papke to pick up the win over Ryan Braseth.
The IMCA SportMod feature came to another down-to-the-wire decision, as Casselton's Rich Pavlicek had to withstand three-wide battles with Luke Krogh and Zach Frederick early, and the advances by Minot's Darren Medler for the remainder of the race.
Pavlicek tried moving to the low side of lapped traffic as Medler made one last push for the lead. Medler clocked the front stretch wall as the white flag flew, allowing Pavlicek to make it back to the checkers first over Medler.
Nick Thoreson of Valley City had a three-and-a-half second lead erased with six laps remaining and held off Jarod Klein of Jamestown to win the Bomber feature.
Noah Lewis led until the field was coming off of Turn 4 in the Slingshot feature, but a Lewis spin allowed Jaidyn Edinger to win over Gavin Edinger.
Racing action continues at the Jamestown Speedway tonight starting at 5 pm, as the 49th Annual Stampede concludes with another full night of racing.
49th Annual Stock Car Stampede
Friday's Feature Results
WISSOTA Late Models
1. Ryan Mikkelson; 2. Dustin Strand; 3. Brody Troftgruben; 4. Robert Hellebust; 5. Derek Vesel; 6. Jeffrey Massingill; 7. Hank Berry; 8. Curt Gelling; 9. Mitch Johnson; 10. Jeff Provinzino; 11. Eric Edwards; 12. Billy Vogel; 13. Kevin Robertson; 14. Cole Schill; 15. Trent Grager; 16. Josh Skorczewski; 17. Paul Mueller; 18. Blake Anderson; 19. Chase Gelling; 20. Tyler Hample; 21. Steve Anderson; 22. Ryan Dahl; 23. Joey Pederson, DNF; DNS: Ryan Corbett.
1. Austin Arneson; 2. Shawn Strand; 3. Jason Wolla; 4. Brandon Beckendorf; 5. Travis Olheiser; 6. Travis Hagen; 7. Casey Arneson; 8. Jarrett Carter; 9. Marlyn Seidler; 10. Jess Brekke; 11. Hank Berry; 12. Allen Kent; 13. Josh Eberhardt; 14. Eric Edwards; 15. Quentin Kinzley; 16. Mike Johnson; 17. Scott Gartner; 18. Tyler Hall; 19. Ryan Schroeder; 20. Chris Welk; 21. Robert Hellebust, DNF; 22. Trent Grager, DNF; 23. Randy Klein, DNF; Dave Shipley, DNS.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
1. Jonny Carter; 2. Hunter Domagala; 3. Zach Frederick; 4. Todd Carter; 5. Billie Christ; 6. Robert Banish Jr.; 7. Kyle Anderson; 8. Hunter Carter; 9. Jason Havel; 10. Tracy Domagala; 11. Rory Opp; 12. Royce Jawaski; 13. Jerry Lamb; 14. Trey Hess; 15. John Weber; 16. Dustin Erickson; 17. Kasey Ussatis; 18. Matt Dosch; 19. Daniel Aberle; 20. Spencer Johnson; 21. Dustin Ebensteiner; 22. Shawn Volk; 23. Dylan Herner; 24. Jaden Christ, DNF.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
1. Brennon Weight; 2. Brock Gronwold; 3. Lucas Rodin; 4. Randy Klein; 5. Jory Berg; 6. Kyle Langland; 7. Preston Carr; 8. Rich Pavlicek; 9. Ryan Schroeder; 10. Cody Lee; 11. Alex Langland; 12. Jeffrey Schwind Jr.; 13. Scott Bintz; 14. Reise Stenberg; 15. Jason Halverson; 16. Nate Reynolds; 17. Jamie Dietzler; 18. Brennan Urbach; 19. Tanner Theis; 20. Jason Schuh, DNF; 21. Justin Jones, DNF; 22. Linsdey Hansen, DNF; 23. Aaron Michel, DNF; 24. Jarett Lovcik, DNF.
IMCA Northern Sport Mods
1. Rich Pavlicek; 2. Darren Medler; 3. Zach Frederick; 4. Luke Krogh; 5. Robby Rosselli; 6. Scott Jacobson; 7. Kelly Henderson; 8. Brady Bjella; 9. Jake Kubik; 10. Joshua Moulton; 11. Kelly Jacobson; 12. Robbie Thome; 13. Max Nelson; 14. Torey Fischer; 15. Chris Siercks; 16. Makenzie Hagen; 17. Chris VanMil; 18. John Young; 19. Paul Colvin; 20. Brandon Tendeland; 21. Josh Carson; 22. Cole Lewis, DNF.
1. Drew Papke; 2. Ryan Braseth; 3. Alex Kukowski; 4. Tye Wilke; 5. Alex Braseth; 6. Austin Wiest; 7. Tony Brockhouse; 8. Dylan Johnson; 9. Donavin Wiest; 10. Preston Martin; 11. Nate Keena; 12. Scott Richardson; 13. Kevin Jensen; 14. Sean Johnson; 15. Zander Bauer; 16. Chase Schlafmann; 17. Joshua Wiest; 18. Chuck Christ; 19. Taylor Sargent; 20. Mark Wright; 21. Ivan Sailer; 22. Don Hayes.
1. Nick Thoreson; 2. Jarod Klein; 3. Billy Carow; 4. Dylan Steele; 5. Matt Miller; 6. Travis Edinger; 7. Brent Vetter; 8. Dylan Sandberg; 10. Matt Gumke; 11. Daniel Kaseman; 12. Scott Miller; 13. Matthew Duchscherer; 14. Karlie Hoerner; 15. Dustin Hinrichs; 16. Keith McCleary; 17. Joe Jacobson; 18. Paul Morman; 19. Asher Williams; 20. Chris Welk Jr.; 21. Bo Gregor; 22. Terry Davenport; 23. Curt Michaelsohn, DNF; 24. John Garnter Jr., DNS.
1. Jaidyn Edinger; 2. Gavin Edinger; 3. Tripp Nelson; 4. Bryson Corell; 5. Zander Compson; 6. Cody Jawaski; 7. Noah Lewis. DNS: Sierra Davenport, Deegan Michel. DQ: Joseph Banish.