Rob VanMil races to modified victory at Buffalo River
GLYNDON, Minn. – A stout field of competitors among all divisions packed the pit area of Buffalo River Race Park for Sunday night racing at the semi-banked quarter-mile dirt oval.
Rob VanMil of Barnesville picked up another thrilling feature win in IMCA modifieds, taking the win by a mere 0.014 seconds.
The race came down to a two horse race between VanMil and Rich Pavlicek of Casselton, N.D. after the final restart with six laps to go. As the race went green, VanMil tried to run the middle groove of the race track, which was considerably more slick than the low groove Pavlicek utilized.
Still, VanMil was able to pull even with Pavlicek down the back straightaway with two laps to go.
“I just couldn’t follow (Pavlicek) anymore,” said VanMil in victory lane. “I had to try some different lines and I found myself going from the bottom to the top in the middle of the corners and that seemed to give me enough momentum to get alongside of him.”
At the midpoint of the race, Pavlicek ran comfortably in front of VanMil and seemed to be the class of the field. However, the final caution was the turning point of the race as it put VanMil right on the rear bumper of Pavlicek for the restart.
“I just laid everything out there on the final restart,” VanMil said. “I chose the highside and risked it for the win. I wasn’t going to follow him to the checkers.”
The win comes as VanMil’s second photo finish of the season. The driver of the No. 4D edged out Tyler Hall by a margin of 0.012 seconds on May 27th.
A hard earned IMCA sportmod feature win went to Vince Jegtvig of Dilworth.
After Scott Jacobson paced the field early on, a mechanical failure forced him to the pit area, handing the lead over to Dustin Hartwig.
Hartwig showed the way until there was seven laps to go when Jegtvig muscled by to take the point. Fargo’s Kelly Jacobson followed Jegtvig into second before setting his sights on the lead.
On the final lap, Kelly Jacobson had the advantage heading into turn one, but Jegtvig found the moisture in the low groove to rocket back into the lead down the backstretch. Jacobson mounted one last charge into turns three and four, but Jegtvig held him off to take the checkers.
“I saw Kelly up on the top there at the end, but I knew it was pretty slick on top and I had the traction on the bottom,” recalled Jegtvig of his battle with Kelly Jacobson.
The win snaps a long streak of bad luck for the driver of the No. 22 sportmod.
“We’ve busted three transmissions and three drive shafts out of it so it’s kind of nice to come out here and get (a win),” Jegtvig said. “Just finishing the heat race earlier felt like a win.”
Josh Abrahamson claimed his first career NLSA lightning sprint feature win after holding off a pair of up-and-coming female drivers in the final laps.
Abrahamson took the lead on the opening laps with a pass on Brody Hutton down the backstretch. The Moorhead driver then ran relatively unchallenged until Presley Truedson and Kesli Pederson reeled him in while in lapped traffic with five to go.
Pederson, who is the daughter of veteran late model driver Joey Pederson, made the pass on Truedson with two laps to go before putting Abrahamson in her crosshairs. Pederson closed to within a car length of Abrahamson on the final lap, but came up short at the checkers.
Abrahamson’s last win at BRRP came in 2010 in a mod-four.
Tim Estenson of Fargo picked up his 12th INEX legend feature win of the season. The 15-year-old driver started ninth on the field, but charged through the field to take the lead on lap four.
Josh Julsrud and Steven Kuntz, who started ninth and 10th respectively, battled hard for the runner-up spot, while closing in on Estenson, but Estenson went on to score the win.
The IMCA hobby stock feature went to fourth place starter, Tim Church. Church took the lead from Maranda Borg on lap two and went on to lead the remainder of the 20-lap event.
Meanwhile, Brandon Schmidt and Nick Nelson engaged in a hard-fought battle for second, which went to Schmidt with four laps to go, as Torey Fischer snuck into third to round out the podium.
Feature – 1. Tim Church, Dilworth, Minn.; 2. Brandon Schimdt, Hillsboro, N.D.; 3. Nick Nelson, Georgetown, Minn.; 4. Torey Fischer, West Fargo, N.D.; 5. Maranda Borg, Harwood, N.D.
Feature – 1. Tim Estenson, Fargo, N.D.; 2. Joshua Julsrud, Barnesville, Minn.; 3. Steven Kuntz, Bismarck, N.D.; 4. Dean Julsrud, Barnesville, N.D.; 5. Brian Hanson, Jamestown, N.D.
Feature – 1. Josh Abrahamson, Moorhead, Minn.; 2. Kelsi Pederson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; 3. Presley Truedson, Kennedy, Minn.; 4. Brendan Mullen, Grand Forks, N.D.; 5. Brody Hutton, Manvel, N.D.
Feature – 1. Vince Jegtvig, Dilworth, Minn.; 2 Kelly Jacobson, Fargo, N.D.; 3. Greg Larson, Kindred, N.D.; 4. Dustin Hartwig, Felton, Minn.; 5. Luke Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.
Feature – 1. Cole Babcock, Jamestown, N.D.; 2. Connor McLachhlan, Jamestown, N.D.; 3. Brodie Davis, Jamestown, N.D.; 4. Jaidyn Edinger, Spiritwood, N.D.; 5. Gavin Edinger, Spiritwood, N.D.
Feature 1 – 1. Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 2. Rich Pavlicek, Casselton, N.D.; 3. Lance Schilling, Lake Park, Minn.; 4. Cody Peterson, Glyndon, Minn.; 5. Bryce Bjerke, Moorhead, Minn.