(RACE RECAP) July 22, 2023 Eve Of Destruction

By Dean Reller

ELKO-NEW MARKET, MN (JULY 22, 2023) – Chad Walen and Ryan Varner each scored Late Model Feature Wins in NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series action at Elko Speedway. In Feature one, Billy Mohn led the field to the green, but it was Walen who moved by and took the lead. Jerry Ziemiecki spun in turn 2 to bring out the race’s only caution. On the restart, Mohn and Walen ran side by side briefly before Walen regained the lead. Fast qualifier Jacob Goede, Steve Anderson Jr and Jake Ryan followed close behind. Mohn ran Walen hard, but Walen was not to be denied as he took his third win of the year.
Ryan Varner has been close a few times, but he finally scored his breakthrough first career Late Model win as he dominated the second 25 lap Feature. Alex Braseth started on the pole, but it was a short stay as Varner pounced on the throttle and took the lead as the field shot into turn one. The race ran cautionless and this played perfectly in Varner’s favor as he extended his lead to a ¼ of a straightaway over Braseth, Jeremy Wolff and Hunter Paine. Varner made it look easy as he cruised to the win. Braseth crossed the line behind in second, but was DQ’d in post-race inspection, elevating Wolf and Paine to round out the top three.
It was a record setting night as Taylor Goldman and Julie Jorgenson became the first pair of women to win Thunder Car Features in the same night. In Feature one, Tony Holm took the lead from the wave of the green as Goldman stayed tight. Goldman would take the lead a few laps later as Brent Kane and Dillon Sellner worked their way through the field to challenge. Goldman drove fast and steady as she went to take her second win of the season. Tom Sorem started third, fell back early in the race, but rallied back to finish second ahead of Kane and Sellner.
In Thunder Car Feature two, Julie Jorgenson behind the wheel of her father’s car drove it hard to the win. Tony Holm started this race again on the pole and he set the pace as Jorgenson followed. On lap 5, Jorgenson would squeeze by and take over the top spot. Holm wasn’t about to give up as he ran alongside nearly all of the second half of the race. In the drag race out of turn four, it was Jorgenson crossing the line just ahead of Holm to claim her first career Thunder Car Feature win. Kane and Sellner again finished behind to round out the top four.
Mike Stoer picked up a pair of wins in the Power Stocks. In Feature one, Gary Stokvis took the lead from the get-go, but three circuits later, Jimmie Jorgenson moved by. Right behind Jorgenson was sixth starting Stoer . On lap 9, Stoer motored past on backstretch to take the lead he wouldn’t give back. Jorgenson would hold on to finish second as Dustin Mann, Julie Jorgenson and Stokvis completed the top five.
In Power Stock Feature two, in wasn’t easy, but Stoer again scored the win. Peyton Letcher started second, and took the lead before fourth starting Julie Jorgenson got past. Dustin Mann followed Jorgenson to the front and the pair locked into a tight battle through the middle portion of the race. This intense fight helped Stoer to track down the leaders. Stoer would get by Mann with five laps to go. Jorgenson continued to show the way as the white flag waved. Stoer drove hard into turn three and he managed to take the lead and hold off Jorgenson for his second win of the night and third of the season.
Baiden Heskett and Tristan Swanson took wins in the Legends. In Feature one, Tyler Ledbetter led before an early caution and then it was Heskett who took over in front of the 23 car field. Colin Stocker and Tristan Swanson entered the mix, but Heskett was too strong as he went on to take his fourth win of the season.
In Legends Feature two, Swanson used his restart expertise to garner the win. Mark Anderson and Robby Carter raced for the lead early on. Just before the half-way mark, Swanson with Stocker and Heskett in tow moved to the front. Heskett pulled to Swanson’s tail with 5 laps to go as the caution waved for a car that spun in turn 4. On the restart, Swanson again had Heskett turning up the heat, but once again the yellow waved setting up a green-white-checkered finished. When the race restarted the final time, Swanson didn’t flinch and he held on to take his second win of the season. Heskett finished a close second, with Stocker, Ledbetter and Anderson rounding out the top five.
Leighton Rose and Jackson Kottschade came out on top in the Bandos. In the first Feature, Rose took the lead early and survived a bevy of cautions to take the win over Colton Pershall, Kottschade, Jamie Dougherty and Macy Ryan. The win was Rose’s third of the year.
In Bando Feature two, Kottschade avenged his runner up finish as he took the win. At the drop of the green, Kottschade quickly moved up from his fifth starting spot and worked his way to the front. Eighth starting Rose followed behind. A couple of cautions slowed the action, but in the end it was Kottschade taking his fourth win of the season. Rose came home second, with Pershall, Logen Carter and Dougherty completing the top five.
Levi Buckley driving his black 2010 Camaro SS won the Spectator Drags. Monster Trucks Mechanical Mischief and Redneck Rampage excited the crowd with their car crushing, high flying antics. The School Bus Figure 8 Race had plenty of paint trading contact. And finally, Mr. Dizzy had the crowd thrilled as he blew up a SUV and then casually emerged from the backseat unscathed.
Coming up on Saturday August 5th Elko Speedway will host another night of exciting family entertainment featuring 5 divisions of Racing Action, MAW Live Action Wrestling, The ATV Big Air Tour, Monster Trucks, Drifters, Spectator Drags, School Bus Races, Farm Animals, Live Music by the Willie B. Blues Band and TRANSFORMERS Rise of the Beasts playing on the Big Screen following the races. For more information on upcoming events, visit www.elkospeedway.com.

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