Drivers defend home turf at Norman County Raceway

Mike Spieker
Andy Wagner picked up a win on Thursday night at Norman County Raceway

Norman County Raceway hosted its largest crowd of the season on Thursday night for the track’s annual Meet N Greet. All of the drivers parked their cars on the front straightaway during intermission and chatted with the fans and signed autographs for the kids.

This Thursday, NCR hosts the NLRA Late Models for the first time this season.

Ada drivers Kalvin Kesselberg and Andy Wagner defended their home track last Thursday night as both visited KRJB/KRJM/KKCQ Victory Lane.

Kesselberg played the role of crowd pleaser with his late-race heroics in the IMCA Stock Car feature. The Ada, Minn. driver went toe-to-toe with veteran driver Rob VanMil in the final laps and pulled out the win. VanMil took the lead on lap two and held the point until the final lap when Kesselberg pulled alongside. The two traded a little paint, but Kesselberg held the advantage off the final corner and took the checkers to the roar of his hometown crowd.

“I just kept it smooth and hit my marks. Rob and I had an awesome race. He leaned on me, I leaned on him. It was a good clean race,” said Kesselberg after the race. “I love this place. This is my home. It’s awesome to get a win here.”

Andy Wagner took advantage of a restart during the IMCA SportMod feature to move past Torey Fischer to take the point. Fischer, who was in search of her first career SportMod win at NCR, looked to have the race in hand until the yellow flag flew. On the restart, Wagner motored by Fischer and the previous week’s winner, Rich Pavlicek, followed into second.

Hometown driver Kalvin Kesselberg won Thursday night in Ada.

“The restart was my only chance to get to the bottom. Torey kind of bobbled and I snuck around and I just held my line on the bottom,” said Wagner after the race.

The area’s best IMCA Modified drivers were on hand last week for the Dakota Cat Shootout. The Dakota Cat-backed No. 72 of Dave Shipley picked up the win after a great battled with defending Shootout winner, Casey Arneson.

Arneson was within striking distance of Shipley in the closing laps, but Shipley ran perfectly in the final few circuits to capture the win.

Once Midwest Modified driver Brock Gronwold takes the lead, the race is usually over for the rest of the field. That wasn’t the case on Thursday, however. Gronwold drove by early race leader Reise Stenberg, but seventh-place starter Aaron Blacklance put in a late race bid for the lead.

Blacklance caught and drove by Gronwold on the final lap steal the win from the defending track champion.

During the feature, Brady Jawaski’s took a hard hit to the outside retaining wall exiting turn four. Jawaski was okay, but his heavily damaged machine had to be removed from the speedway with two wreckers.

Bryce Haugeberg took the win in the Lucas Oil POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint feature.

SUMMARY

IMCA MODIFIEDS:

A Feature: 1. 72-Dave Shipley[3]; 2. 2A-Casey Arneson[4]; 3. 48K-Kollin Hibdon[6]; 4. 12-Matt Aukland[7]; 5. 442-Aaron Johnson[1]; 6. 3S-Jesse Skalicky[9]; 7. 60-Tyler Hall[11]; 8. 10-Austin Arneson[2]; 9. 4V-Billy Vogel[8]; 10. (DNF) 52-Brennan Borg[10]; 11. (DNF) 55X-Chris Mack[5]

Heat 1: 1. 48K-Kollin Hibdon[1]; 2. 442-Aaron Johnson[2]; 3. 12-Matt Aukland[5]; 4. 3S-Jesse Skalicky[3]; 5. 72-Dave Shipley[4]; 6. 60-Tyler Hall[6]

Heat 2: 1. 2A-Casey Arneson[3]; 2. 10-Austin Arneson[4]; 3. 4V-Billy Vogel[5]; 4. 52-Brennan Borg[1]; 5. 55X-Chris Mack[2]

IMCA STOCK CARS:

A Feature: 1. 11-Kalvin Kesselberg[4]; 2. 40-Rob VanMil[5]; 3. 38-Todd Heinrich[7]; 4. 4-Rick Schulz[6]; 5. 5G-Tim Gonska[2]; 6. 71-Trent Grager[8]; 7. B1-Brody Carlsrud[1]; 8. 76Z-John Sandvig[3]; 9. 21-Tim Church[10]; 10. 52-Brennan Borg[9]

Heat 1: 1. 40-Rob VanMil[3]; 2. 38-Todd Heinrich[4]; 3. 76Z-John Sandvig[2]; 4. 52-Brennan Borg[5]; 5. B1-Brody Carlsrud[1]

Heat 2: 1. 4-Rick Schulz[3]; 2. 5G-Tim Gonska[1]; 3. 71-Trent Grager[4]; 4. 11-Kalvin Kesselberg[2]; 5. 21-Tim Church[5]

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODS:

A Feature: 1. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[7]; 2. 2G-Brock Gronwold[6]; 3. 33-Jeff Nelson[8]; 4. 55X-Chris Mack[10]; 5. 87S-Reise Stenberg[3]; 6. 15C-Chris Edmonds[2]; 7. 68-Joe Henninger[5]; 8. TS42-Scott Samuelson[4]; 9. E6-Ryan Veralrud[1]; 10. (DNF) 404-Tracy Blumke[9]; 11. (DNF) 406-Brady Jawaski[11]

Heat 1: 1. 2G-Brock Gronwold[1]; 2. 33-Jeff Nelson[5]; 3. 15C-Chris Edmonds[2]; 4. E6-Ryan Veralrud[4]; 5. 404-Tracy Blumke[3]; 6. 406-Brady Jawaski[6]

Heat 2: 1. 87S-Reise Stenberg[1]; 2. 68-Joe Henninger[2]; 3. TS42-Scott Samuelson[3]; 4. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[5]; 5. 55X-Chris Mack[4]

IMCA NORTHERN SPORTMODS:

A Feature: 1. 3X-Andy Wagner[4]; 2. 17-Rich Pavlicek[3]; 3. 9-Torey Fischer[1]; 4. 22-Vince Jegtvig[2]; 5. 13C-Paul Colvin[5]; 6. 2X-Brady Moore[6]; 7. (DNF) 404A-Swede Arneson[7]

Heat 1: 1. 17-Rich Pavlicek[4]; 2. 3X-Andy Wagner[5]; 3. 22-Vince Jegtvig[2]; 4. 9-Torey Fischer[1]; 5. 13C-Paul Colvin[6]; 6. 2X-Brady Moore[3]; 7. (DNF) 404A-Swede Arneson[7]

POWRI MINN-KOTA LIGHTNING SPRINTS:

A Feature: 1. 22-Bryce Haugeberg[3]; 2. 11-Dexter Dvergsten[7]; 3. 27-Weston Olson[6]; 4. 10-Alex Truscinski[5]; 5. 13-Alan Truscinski[4]; 6. 100-Jason Berg[2]; 7. 5G-Garrison Miller[11]; 8. 1W-Mark Williams[1]; 9. 72-Kate Taves[10]; 10. (DNF) 24-Jake Haugeberg[8]; 11. (DNS) 93-Kelsi Pederson

Heat 1: 1. 22-Bryce Haugeberg[1]; 2. 10-Alex Truscinski[3]; 3. 13-Alan Truscinski[2]; 4. 11-Dexter Dvergsten[6]; 5. 93-Kelsi Pederson[4]; 6. 5G-Garrison Miller[5]

Heat 2: 1. 100-Jason Berg[1]; 2. 27-Weston Olson[2]; 3. 1W-Mark Williams[3]; 4. 24-Jake Haugeberg[4]; 5. 72-Kate Taves[5]