GRAND FORKS, N.D. (May 5, 2017) – An estimated 3,500 race fans flocked to River Cities Speedway Friday night for the speedway’s 2017 Premier Racing Series season opener. The high-banked, one-third mile bullring was groomed to perfection and the racing surfaced remained fast and smooth all night long.
Bill Mooney, Ricky Hamel, and Ryan Johnson claimed the WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series wins, while Mark Dobmeier was victorious in Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car action.
Bill Mooney kicked off 2017 about as good as he could Friday as he picked up the Performance Auto Late Models win at River Cities Speedway.
The Selkirk, Manitoba driver started on the pole and led all 20 laps.
“I don’t know if the car could have gotten any better than that,” said Mooney in RydellCars.com victory lane. “We worked pretty hard this winter to try to get the best of what we already had.”
A late race caution erased Mooney’s sizable lead and put the defending WISSOTA national champion, Dustin Strand, right on his heels for the Evergreen Insurance restart.
“I was waiting for the snucker from [Strand] there on the restart, but I was pretty confident in the car, especially in three and four,” said Mooney. “Even if he could have gotten beside me down the backstretch, I think I could have held him off in three and four.”
Strand, who started fifth, came home second followed by Zach Naastad, Brad Seng and Joey Pederson.
Ricky Hamel proved once again that he will be a force to be reckoned this season at River Cities Speedway. The perennial Midwest Modified championship contender got 2017 started off on the right foot Friday night as he parked his No. 22 machine in RydellCars.com Victory Lane.
Hamel started on the pole and jumped out to the early race lead as Austin Hunter chased him in the second spot. On lap six, Hunter, the defending RCS track champion, took the point, relegating Hamel back to second.
Hamel stuck with Hunter, however, and with two circuits remaining, Hamel placed a bid for the lead. The Langdon, N.D. driver was able to drive around Hunter to regain the lead and hold on to take the win.
Hunter, Lance Schill, Preston Carr, and Nate Reyonlds rounded out the top five. Schill was the hard charger, advancing from 12th to third.
Among the four classes Friday night at River Cities Speedway, Ryan Johnson came from the deepest in the field to park his machine in RydellCars.com Victory Lane.
The Karlstad, Minn. driver wheeled his way from the seventh starting position into the top five by lap two. From there Johnson moved into third before getting by Daniel Aberle and Nick Minske to take the lead at the halfway point.
Johnson went on to cruise to the win over Ryan Flaten, who started back in 11th. However, Flaten failed to go to post-race tech, which cost him his runner-up finish.
Minske, Steven Richards, Chase Boen, and Bryce Reimer rounded out the top five.
Mark Dobmeier picked up right where he left off last year as he scored the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car feature win.
Dobmeier drove his Speedway Motors/Eagle Chassis to the lead on the third lap after starting in the third position. A handful of cautions plagued the first portion of the 25-lapper, but once things stayed green, Dobmeier drove away from the field.
“The track was excellent tonight. Hats off to River Cities Speedway for all of their hard work,” said Dobmeier in RydellCars.com Victory Lane. “Towards the end it was getting tricky because the rubber was starting to come in. I couldn’t tell if the bottom was getting faster than the top I was committed too.”
With the win, Dobmeier snaps Wade Nygaard’s streak of two consecutive River Cities Speedway season opener victories.
Chris Ranten was the hard charger of the race. The East Grand Forks, Minn. driver wheeled his way from 12th to finish second behind Dobmeier. 2014 NOSA champion, Austin Pierce, came home third as defending RCS track champ, Casey Mack, and Wade Nygaard rounded out the top five.
The NOSA Sprints will be back in action next Friday night at River Cities Speedway.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature – Bill Mooney, Dustin Strand, Zach Naastad, Brad Seng, Joey Pederson, Mike Balcaen, Shane Edginton, Troy Schill, Tom Corcoran, Steve Anderson, Travis Robertson, Brandon Fuller, Brody Troftgruben, Ryan Corbett, Bryce Reimer
Heat 1 – Pederson, Seng, Naastad, Schill, Robertson, Corcoran, Reimer, Balcaen
Heat 2 – Corbett, Mooney, Strand, Anderson, Edginton, Fuller, Troftgruben
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature – Ricky Hamel, Austin Hunter, Lance Schill, Preston Carr, Nate Reynolds, Matt Schow, Zach Bruer, John Halvorson, Dean Eggebraaten, Dallas Brevik, Jory Berg, Jaden Varnson, Todd Johnson, Brent Loftsgard, Reise Stenberg, Ryan Schow, Tim Berg, Tyler Perkerewicz
Heat 1 – M. Schow, Johnson, Brevik, Bruer, Reynolds, J. Berg
Heat 2 – Hunter, Carr, R. Schow, Eggebratten, Stenberg, T. Berg
Heat 3 – Hamel, Halvorson, Varnson, Schill, Loftsgard, Perkerewicz
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature – Ryan Johnson, Ryan Flaten, Nick Minske, Steven Richards, Chase Boen, Bryce Reimer, Matt Beehler, Dan McNamee, Casey Vargason, Tiffany Noreikis, Jason Rethemeier, James Meagher, Daniel Aberle, Josh Barker, Ben Coopland, John Halvorson, Tucker Pederson, Riley Gregoire
Heat 1 – Johnson, McNamee, Vargason, Rethemeier, Halvorson, Barker
Heat 2 – Minske, Beehler, Boen, Meagher, Pederson, Coopland
Heat 3 – Aberle, Richards, Reimer, Flaten, Noreikis, Gregoire
NOSA Sprint Cars:
Feature – Mark Dobmeier, Chris Ranten, Austin Pierce, Casey Mack, Wade Nygaard, Cap Henry, Mitch Mack, Nick Omdahl, Shane Roemeling, Ty Hanten, Blake Egeland, Trent Stengl, Tanner Wisk, Brayden Pengilly, Cale Mack, Zach Wilde, Jack Croaker, Jordan Graham, Bob Martin, Jordan Adams, Tom Egeland, Jade Hastings
Heat 1 – Henry, M. Mack, Dobmeier, Martin, Z. Wilde, Wisk, T. Egeland, Graham
Heat 2 – Pierce, Cas. Mack, Nygaard, Ranten, Adams, Roemeling, Cal. Mack
Heat 3 – B. Egeland, Hanten, Omdahl, Hastings, Stengl, Pengilly, Croaker