By Jason D Searcy

May 27, 2017 – Elko, MN

The large crowd in attendance for the 52nd season opener at Elko Speedway was treated to two of the most memorable comeback races in recent history.  The season started with an Eve of Destruction event sponsored by Leo’s South with racing in the NASCAR Whelen All American series at ELKO.

The Genz-Ryan Thunder Car division had two very exciting twenty lap main events. The first one was won by three-time Elko Speedway Champion #3 Conrad Jorgenson from Lakeville (MN).  Jorgenson started the race on the fifth row outside and rapidly worked his way through the field, he snatched the victory from #9 Adam Wiebusch by passing him on the last set of corners on the last lap.  Wiebusch came across the line second and #07 Dillon Sellner was third.

The second Genz-Ryan Thunder Car Feature was even more drama filled as #99 Brent Kane from Lonsdale (MN) started the race fourth row inside and had a roller-coaster ride from the middle of the pack to the front and then to the back and then finally back up to the front with a pass of #19 Michael Hanson on the last lap.  “That was the craziest race I’ve ever been a part of,” said Kane “my car felt really good, so I just slammed the gas and it just hooked up and it went anywhere I wanted it, it was great, so much fun.”  It was the 99th career win for the man they call the “King of the Thunder cars.”  Defending Champion Jeremy Wolff #32 ended up second in the race and Michael Hanson crossed the stripe third.

The Eternity Homes Great North Legends main thrilled the crowd on Saturday night.  Twenty drivers started the twenty lap event, three-time defending champion #71 Derek Lemke began the race in the 11th position and was involved in a huge wreck early.  Lemke made an abrupt move to avoid spinning cars ahead of him, unfortunately #3 Luke Allen was trailing and blasted into Lemke’s car causing the entire rear quarter panel to be ripped off and blowing Lemke’s right rear tire.  Allen jumped over Lemke’s car then tagged the wall and did not finish the race.  Lemke quickly pitted, changed the tire, duct-taped the rear-end back together and resumed racing at the back of the pack just before going back to green.

Lemke then worked his way through the entire field of cars, passed his dad along the way and takes a car to victory lane that looks more like an accident victim than a feature winner.  #17 Jon Lemke finished second and #22 Shon Jacobsen led some laps and finished third.

Tim Hollen #54 from Richfield (MN) finished runner-up in the Pepsi Power Stock division six times in 2016 but he flipped the script on opening night 2017, he finally broke the curse and won for the first time in a long time as a Power Stock at Elko Speedway.  Darin Patnode #27 led the twenty lap main event early until Hollen took over the top spot with seven laps to go.  It wasn’t easy because he had the defending Champion #62 Tom Doten right on his tail finishing second and 2014 Champ #88 Nick Oxborough finishing third. 

Michael Weiss #89 from Bloomington (MN) won the Hornets main event.  Weiss had a big lead early but by the end of the event he was getting a lot of pressure from #41 Ashley Bell who knocked on the door but finished second place, Brian Adams #0 finished the feature event in third of the seventeen cars competing.

The crowd for Eve of Destruction at ELKO also witnessed dueling Monster Trucks from Jim Bendzick in Thunder 4×4 and Jim Burns in Mechanical Mischief.  Two stunts performed by the Wildman Clay Gallagher and his son Captain Crash.  An amazing display of driving skill from four Drifter cars.  Spectator Drags provided drama as per usual and the Figure Eight School Bus Races are a crowd favorite and always entertain the young and old alike.

Official Results and Point Standings will be posted mid-week at 

Up Next at ELKO is the Shore Lunch 250 ARCA race presented by Menards on Saturday June 3rd.  Gates open at 1pm, ARCA Qualifying at 5pm, Eternity Homes Great North Legend cars race at 5:30pm, On-Track autograph session 6:15-7:15pm and ARCA racing at 8pm.   Get more information at and buy advanced tickets and save at local Menards stores.

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