Saurer edges Gronwold in opener
Travis Saurer and Brock Gronwold have had plenty of battles on the track in their Midwest Modifieds. Friday's duel at the Red River Valley Speedway season opener was one of their greatest hits. Saurer passed Gronwold on the final turn to edge las...
Travis Saurer and Brock Gronwold have had plenty of battles on the track in their Midwest Modifieds.
Friday's duel at the Red River Valley Speedway season opener was one of their greatest hits.
Saurer passed Gronwold on the final turn to edge last year's national points champ by half a car length for the feature win.
"It doesn't matter who you beat," Saurer said. "...It's fun to win a race like that."
Saurer and Gronwold traded the lead three times in the final lap, but Saurer hit the checkered flag first.
"I saw him come up underneath me, but I had a good line up there and it held," Saurer said. "I tried to diamond under that last turn because I didn't think he was going to be able to hang on."
Jason Strand was running away with the Midwest Modifieds feature until a caution with four laps to go tightened up the field.
Saurer nabbed the lead two laps later and managed to hold off Gronwold after a thrilling final lap.
"I don't know if I would've caught Jason," Saurer said. "I stayed high and found a little traction. It worked."
Blake Jegtvig of Hawley, Minn., blew away the competition in the Modifieds feature, leading all 20 laps. He also won his heat.
Rick Schulz of Fargo and Shayne Laske of Moorhead weren't racing all alone in the Street Stocks and Mod Fours. It just looked that way.
Schulz easily cruised to a clean sweep in the Street Stocks, and Laske also won the heat and the feature in the Mod Fours.
Both won convincingly, leading every lap they raced on the night.
Laske did the same at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn., on Thursday.
Brad Seng took advantage of a late caution to take the checkered flag in the Late Models feature.
Mitch Johnson was well in front of the field until a yellow flag with eight laps to go reeled him back in. Seng passed Johnson two laps later and rolled to the win.
Kevin Robertson of Enderlin, N.D., took first in the Super Stocks feature, holding off defending points champ Todd Carter of Lisbon, N.D.
Robertson was second in the Super Stocks points last season.
Before Friday's races, Keith Monson, father of the late Eric Monson, drove his son's Mod Fours racer around the track for a few laps.
Eric Monson died in a one-car accident last December. He was 24.
First heat: 1, Rick Schulz, Fargo. 2, Levi Babcock, Fargo. 3, James Tandeski, West Fargo.
Feature: 1, Schulz. 2, Jason, Babcock, Horace, N.D. 3, Aaron Leininger, Rothsay, Minn. 4, Levi Babcock. 5, Bob Banisch.
First heat: 1, Shayne Laske, Moorhead. 2, Jay Lere, Moorhead. 3, Corry VanMil, Lake Park, Minn.
Feature: 1, Laske. 2, VanMil. 3, Josh Abrahamson, Moorhead. 4, Lere. 5, Justin Larson, Pennock, Minn.
First heat: 1, Brock Gronwold, Fergus Falls, Minn. 2, Travis Saurer, Elizabeth, Minn. 3, Randy Klein, Fargo.
Second heat: 1, Ryan Restad, Fargo. 2, Jason Strand, Portland, N.D. 3, Phil Christlieb, Fargo.
Feature: 1, Saurer. 2, Gronwold. 3, Strand. 4, Klein. 5, Ryan Fike, Jamestown, N.D.
First heat: 1, Todd Carter, Lisbon, N.D. 2, Scott Jacobson, Fargo. 3, John Nord, Enderlin, N.D.
Second heat: 1, David Shipley, Fargo. 2, Kevin Robertson, Enderlin, N.D. 3, Corky Thomas, Fargo.
Feature: 1, Robertson. 2, Carter. 3, Tim Compson, Valley City, N.D. 4, Shipley. 5, Thomas.
First heat: 1, Michael Greseth, Harwood, N.D. 2, Corey Seckerson, Jamestown, N.D. 3, Len Kneip, Gardner, N.D.
Second heat: 1, Blake Jegtvig, Hawley, Minn. 2, Bob Sagen, Arthur, N.D. 3, Bryce Bjerke, Argusville, N.D.
Feature: 1, Jegtvig. 2, Seckerson. 3, Bjerke. 4, Greseth. 5, Chad Ohnstad, Moorhead.
First heat: 1, Chad Ohnstad, Moorhead. 2, Blake Jegtvig, Hawley, Minn. 3, Greg Meyer, Wahpeton, N.D.
Second heat: 1, Mitch Johnson, Hickson, N.D. 2, Matt Aukland, Moorhead. 3, Michael Johnson, Fargo.
Features: 1, Brad Seng, Grand Forks, N.D. 2, Mitch Johnson. 3, Michael Johnson. 4, Jeff Wildung, Nassau, Minn. 5, Steven Pfeifer, West Fargo.
- Street Stocks: Rick Schulz
- Mod Fours: Shayne Laske
- Midwest Modifieds: Travis Saurer
- Super Stocks: Kevin Robertson
- Modifieds: Blake Jegtvig
- Late Models: Brad Seng
Readers can reach Forum sports writer Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.
Collins' prep sports blog can be found at www.areavoices.com