June 24, 2017 – Elko, MN

By Jason D Searcy

It was a very exciting and eventful Eve of Destruction at Elko Speedway with great racing in the NASCAR Whelen All American series on Saturday night.

It was a landmark event for Grant Brown #14 from Prior Lake (MN) who won his first career Hiway Federal Credit Union Late Model race.  Brown is a former Power Stock Champion, he also won the NASCAR Home Tracks Division IV National Championship in 2015, but winning a feature in the Premiere division at ELKO is a very memorable moment, especially when it occurs before the age of 17.

Brown started the first Late Model feature in the sixth position.  Adam Bendzick #21 held the early lead while Brown moved up and battled #52 Chad Walen for the second position.  Brown passed Walen on lap 17 and started challenging Bendzick for the lead immediately, he made the pass for the top spot with ten laps remaining in the 30 lap main event.  The very next lap the yellow flag waved and Brown had to restart next to #42 Ryan Kamish.  Kamish took the lead off the restart but then #72 Jacob Goede, #26 Mark Lamoreaux and #19 Michael Haggar were involved in an incident that brought out another caution.  This time Brown took the advantage off the restart and held on for the win by .262 seconds.  Kamish finished second followed by #75 Joe Neisius, #52 Chad Walen and #18 Michael Ostdiek who started the race dead last in the 22 car field.

Dylan Moore #54 from Northfield (MN) won the second 30 lap Late Model event.  Again #21 Adam Bendzick had the lead early but Moore took over the top spot on lap six.  “I tried to get under him on the bottom, he wasn’t giving up the bottom so I tried it around the outside, my car worked really good on the outside and was able to make the pass in a couple laps and pretty much set sail after that” said Moore.  Joe Neisius #75 started way back in the 9th position, he moved up to second by the half-way point of the race but he could not catch Moore who won by .873 seconds.  Former Bando Champion Owin Giles #6 had a career best third place finish after a furious fight with three time BIG 8 Champion #3 Chris Marek who finished fourth.  First feature winner Grant Brown rounded out the TOP 5 in the Late Model division.

Two-time winner Joe Neisius now has a 28 point lead over #72 Jacob Goede in the race for the 2017 Hiway Federal Credit Union Late Model Championship.  Dylan Moore is in third and Grant Brown is fourth in points, Chris Marek and #40 Michael Beamish are tied for fifth.

The Eternity Homes Great North Legends 20 lap main event had #26 Will McCully lead early until #17 Jon Lemke took the top spot on lap seven.  At the half-way point Jon Lemke and newcomer #75 Baiden Heskett who is from Alvarado (TX) were side by side for the lead.  Then #2 Robby Thurston wrecked coming out of turn two, hit the backstretch wall, flipped on his roof and slid all the way until hitting the wall in turn three destroying the vehicle.  This was a car that Thurston had raced since 1998 and had an estimated 300 races on it.  Just after the restart Heskett took the lead over Jon Lemke until #71 Derek Lemke grabbed the top spot with just a few laps to go.  Derek Lemke won by only .19 seconds over Heskett with #3 Dirk Henry finishing third, Jon Lemke fourth and Tim Brockhouse driving the #70 car coming in fifth out of the twenty-one car field.

Derek Lemke has won all three Great North Legends features so far this year and he leads the point standings by 18 over his dad Jon Lemke, #22 Shon Jacobson is third, #14 Devyn Stocker is fourth and #7 Jackson Lewis is fifth in the standings so far in 2017.

A brief shower at the beginning of the race did not slow down #10 Dusty Mann who won his third consecutive Pepsi Power Stock main event.  Mann and his crew had to thrash on the car and change out a faulty transmission after the practice session but all that work payed off with a main event win at ELKO on Saturday night.  Mann took the early lead and won by a comfortable margin but it was not easy, he drove the entire 20 lap feature without power steering but still won by 3.247 seconds.  The best battle on the track was for the second position, #62 Tom Doten was the runner-up after winning a three way battle with #88 Nick Oxborough, who came home third, and #54 Tim Hollen who had to settle for fourth. Taylor Goldman #8 was the fifth place finisher in the Power Stock feature event.

Dusty Mann now has an 11 point lead over Tom Doten in the standings, Nick Oxborough is third, Tim Hollen fourth and Taylor Goldman is fifth in the race for the Championship.

Seventeen cars raced in the Hornets 15 lap main event.  #7 Ridge Oien crossed the finish line first but Brandon Olson in the blue #36 car was declared the winner after Oien did not pass tech.  Olson was in a furious three-way battle much of the race with #55 Brandon Plekkenpol who finished second and #41 Ashley Bell who finished third.  The racing in the Hornet division is intense and the number of fast cars is impressive, four different drivers have won the four feature events so far in 2017.

Justin Schelitzche #14 has not won a race yet this year at ELKO but he is the point leader by 3 over Brandon Olson with Ashley Bell and Brandon Plekkenpol tied for third and Michael Wachs Jr #3 currently fifth in the point standings.

The rest of the Eve of Destruction night at Elko Speedway was intense with a great show put on by the Drifter Cars, the Spectator Drag cars, the Mega Jump BMX Stunt show, Figure 8 School Bus race, Dueling Pianos, Two Monster Trucks, Doug Rose and the Green Mamba Jet Car and the grand finale was an awesome Rock-n-Roll Fireworks show.

Up next at Elko Speedway is an Eve of Destruction presented by MN Lottery on Saturday July 1st.  In addition to the NASCAR racing the crowd can enjoy Tim Sigler, one of the best Country singers in the Midwest.  Two Monster Trucks, the Mega Jump BMX show, the Wildman Clay Gallagher stunts, a petting zoo, Mechanical bull rides, Spectator drags, Figure 8 Bus races, Fireworks display and much more.  Gates open at 5pm and action begins at 6pm.  The movie at ELKO Drive-in Theater after the races will be Cars 3.

ELKO is a 3/8th mile banked asphalt track sanctioned by NASCAR.  Get more information by following Elko Speedway on social media, go to ElkoSpeedway.com, call (952) 461-7223 or download our free app by searching Elko Racing.  Elko Speedway is located 30 minutes South of Downtown Minneapolis just off of I-35 and County Road 2 in Elko (MN).