By Jason D Searcy

September 22, 2018 – Elko, MN

The 10th annual Thunderstruck93 race event was held at Elko Speedway on Saturday night, it takes place in memory of former ELKO racer and car owner Dan Ryan and benefits efforts to improve the lives of people fighting the disease ALS.

The main event was a 93 lap feature in the Big 8 Late Model series, a huge field of 29 cars with teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois all entered.

Elko Speedway 5 time Champion and winner of the inaugural Thunderstruck93 event in 2009 #72 Jacob Goede from Carver (MN) was the fastest in Qualifying with a lap time of 14.633 and with the inversion that put him in the seventh row to start the race. Adam Bendzick #21 from Elko (MN) won the Last Chance Qualifier.

Joe Neisius #75 from Rosemount (MN) started on the pole and led the early portions of the race, he was challenged numerous times by 4 time Big 8 series Champion #43 Jeremy Miller from Rockford (IL) who is racing in his final full time season. Another former Big 8 Champion driver X John Reynolds Jr from Loves Park (IL) was also part of the three car breakaway early in the event. Three early cautions slowed the pace of the race but Neisius held on to the lead after every restart. The race changed on the fourth caution period when former ELKO Power Stock Champion #14 Grant Brown blew a upper radiator hose on lap 36 covering the corner number one with water, that caused slick conditions and a chain reaction incident that involved numerous cars. The mandatory pit stop was called at that time to give track workers time to clean up the track. The crews were then allowed to adjust their cars on pit lane and add fuel but not add new tires.

When the race resumed #75 Joe Neisius once again jumped out to the front followed by Jeremy Miller, Jacob Goede and #6 Owin Giles who had moved up from his 11th starting position. Nine-time Elko Speedway winner in 2018 Jacob Goede got side by side with Neisius on lap 60 and finally completed the pass on lap 64, many people in the crowd thought that move would be the final pass for the lead, but it was not.

After another caution on lap 68 Jacob Goede had the top spot but was closely followed by 16 year old Owin Giles from New Market (MN), Giles had two wins at ELKO this summer and finished second place in the Hiway Federal Credit Union Late Model point standings. Giles pestered Goede and stayed right on his back bumper with 20 laps to go, with 10 laps to go Owin Giles pulled up to the door of Goede and these two raced hard all the way around the track. On the last lap Owin Giles made his move diving hard into corner 3, the cars made contact and both moved up the track in corner 4, then it was a drag race down the front stretch to the checkers and Owin Giles ended up winning by only .034 at the finish with Jacob Goede finishing second, Joe Neisius was .168 behind in third followed by Jeremy Miller and #52 Chad Walen.

“I’ve been looking forward to this race since I was four years old, there is nothing better than this race” said Giles post race. “On the last lap I went into three and four and I bombarded the car right into him and it was a dirt late model from there, we drifted up into him and then I saw Joe (Neisius) got under me so I said ‘we have to go right now or we are going to lose this race,’ I had to win it for Dan (Ryan) it was all for Dan,” said Giles. “I’m not super happy about the move but I am happy that I’m in victory lane and I got that awesome guitar trophy,” said Giles. This was the first career Big 8 Series win for Owin Giles and the third win of the season at Elko Speedway for Giles.

6th- #42 Ryan Kamish
7th- #13 Bryan Wrolstad
8th- #3 Chris Marek
9th- #40 Michael Beamish
10th- #X John Reynolds Jr
11th- #00 Brody Willett
12th- #14 Grant Brown
13th- #50 Steve Anderson
14th- #21 Adam Bendzick
15th- #49 Jerry Mueller
16th- #97 Jacob Nottestad
17th- #7 Hunter Paine
18th- #13 Nick Egan
19th- #71 Mark Greb
20th- #20 Devin Schmidt
21st- #52 Nick Roehl
22nd- #80 Cliff Adee
23rd- #39 Todd Handrick
24th- #40 Michael Ostdiek
25th- #007 Hunter Drefahl
26th- #2 Kyle Kirberger
27th- #54 Dylan Moore
28th- #5 Todd Kamish
29th- #29 Andrew Schultz

Twenty-nine cars started the race, twenty cars finished and only one car was lapped during the entire 93 lap event. Results are unofficial at this time.

Official results will be posted at mid-week.

It was Genz-Ryan Thunder Car Championship night at Elko Speedway, #37 Bryce Blohm had a 9 point lead on #32 Jeremy Wolff coming into the final race night and a 20 point advantage over #25 Eric Campbell.

Qualifying had Bryce Blohm earning the top spot with a lap of 15.819, Eric Campbell was second and Jeremy Wolff fourth. So after Qualifying Blohm had a 16 point advantage over Wolff and a 23 point advantage over Campbell.

The first Thunder Car feature had #7 Brandon Petersen lead the entire race until a wreck with two laps to go, #15 Colin Neisius had contact with Petersen and he spun into the path of the oncoming #99 car of Brent Kane who T-Boned Petersen with both cars experiencing major damage. Neisius was put to the back and so that put third place running #75 Keith Paulsrud from Rogers (MN) up front, he then held off #37 Bryce Blohm who had charged all the way up from his 13th starting position to finish second, #25 Eric Campbell moved up from 12th to third followed by #32 Jeremy Wolff and #3 Conrad Jorgenson. It was the first win of the season for Paulsrud.

So coming into the final race of the season Blohm had more than a 20+ point cushion over both Wolff and Campbell. Robert Michaels #6 took the early lead and both #65 Jim Kulseth and #92 Norm Grabinger challenged him early until #32 Jeremy Wolff from Chaska (MN) grabbed the top spot on lap 5 of 20 and held on for his fifth win of the season at Elko Speedway. Bryce Blohm #37 from Lakeville (MN) followed Wolff to the checkers and won his first ever Championship at ELKO. “I can’t thank everyone enough that’s involved and the crew guys and sponsors, it’s been a heck of a ride,” said Blohm “there is one guy driving but I tell you there is a whole team of people behind this and we are so excited and proud of everyone involved in this, it’s awesome.” Conrad Jorgenson finished the race third followed by Norm Grabinger and Eric Campbell.

Unofficially Blohm finished 23 points ahead of Wolff for the Thunder Car title and Campbell finished 37 points behind in third for the Championship.

The Eternity Homes Great North Legends had an incredible field of 22 cars racing during the Thunderstruck93 event at Elko Speedway. In the first 20 lap feature #03 of Robby Carter led the early laps until #75 Baiden Heskett who is from Alvarado (TX) but now lives in Shakopee (MN) took the lead and never gave it up to win his 10th feature of the year at ELKO. The racing was intense behind him with cars going three wide lap after lap. Carter finished second, #13 Tim Brockhouse third, #8 Cole Klein fourth and #71 Derek Lemke who is from Minnesota but now living in Charlotte (NC) testing out his new car and finishing fifth.

The second Great North Legends feature had #12 Sammy Smith from Johnston (IA) start on the front row, take the lead and never give it up even though he felt a lot of pressure from Derek Lemke in the #71 car for many laps before fading back at the end of the race. Smith was followed closely to the checkers by #75 Baiden Heskett finishing second, #13 Tim Brockhouse third, #47 Austin Jahr fourth, #8 Cole Klein fifth and fast qualifier #91 Tristan Swanson sixth of the 22 cars entered. It was the fourth win of the season at ELKO for Smith.

Only one more night of racing in the Great North Legends remain at Elko Speedway and three ELKO drivers are all sitting at the top of the National INEX point standings in their age/experience divisions. Baiden Heskett is the leader in the Nation in the PRO Asphalt division out of 166 drivers, Sammy Smith is the leading Semi-Pro Asphalt driver in the Nation out of 316 competitors and Tim Brockhouse is tied for the National lead out of 261 racers in the Masters Asphalt division.

The Pepsi Power Stock first 20 lap feature had #99 Cole Neisius from Hastings (MN) start on the front row, take the lead and never give it up. It was his first race in this car and his first Power Stock win on the same night. 12 different drivers have now won a race in the Power Stocks this year at Elko Speedway. Paul Hamilton #56 spent the week repairing a heavily damaged car from a wreck last week, the hard work paid off with a strong second place finish, #66 Joe Prusak finished third, #08 Michael Stoer fourth and #13 Matt Fry fifth. The drama happened behind this as the point leader #8 Taylor Goldman and #83 Julie Jorgenson tangled causing a caution, Goldman pitted for a flat tire but returned to the track to finish just ahead of Jorgenson in 10th.

The second Pepsi Power Stock feature had point leader #8 Taylor Goldman from Minnetonka (MN) up front, she took the lead and held off fast qualifier #88 Nick Oxborough for the win, it was her fourth win of the season. Michael Stoer #08 finished third, #10 Dusty Mann was fourth and #41 Jason Michaud was fifth of the 13 cars entered.

Unofficially Taylor Goldman now has a 93 point lead over Michael Stoer and 113 point lead over Nick Oxborough in the race for the Championship at Elko Speedway. The Power Stocks will race double features next Saturday September 29th in the season Championship night.

Official results will be posted mid-week at Elko

Up Next at Elko Speedway is the final Eve of Destruction event on Saturday September 29th. See racing in the Bandolero’s, Great North Legends and Power Stocks plus a huge Fireworks show, Outhouse race, Burnout contest, the annual Figure 8 trailer race, School Bus races and the debut of a new Jet vehicle. Gates open at 5pm, action at 6pm.

Elko Speedway is a 3/8th mile NASCAR sanctioned asphalt oval racetrack located 30 minutes South of the Twin Cities in Elko-New Market (MN) get more information at, download our free app, or follow Elko Speedway on social media.