Sunday, May 17, 2015

Buescher Wins 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway

By Jason D Searcy

Chris Buescher lead 94 laps and won the 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway, the 10th race of the 2015 Xfinity series season.  Buescher took two tires on the final restart, started in the second row and blew by Chase Elliott by .523 seconds at the stripe for the win.

"That was awesome, it's pretty special, we had extremely fast Ford all day and my guys were flawless in the pits," said Buescher.  "I was estatic when we saw that late caution come out, we had tires left, so everything worked out exactly the way we needed to" said Buescher.

The Roush-Fenway driver of the #60 car was very happy with how Iowa Speedway raced this time around.
"I feel like the last few races it was more one groove racing, this time we had Three-wide on occasion, I feel like the track today raced exactly how it was designed to" said Buescher.

Buescher took over the point lead by 8 over Ty Dillon and 31 points over Chase Elliott.

Elliott (below) lead 114 laps but was out of tires, he did not pit and was a sitting duck at the end of the race during the Green White Checkered finish. 

The #20 Car won the Pole Position driven by Drew Herring but the registered driver of that car, rising NASCAR star Erik Jones had to start the race from 37th on the grid.  Jones missed qualifying because he was a stand-by driver for a recovering Kyle Bush in Charlotte.  Jones fought his way up to third at the finish but never lead in the 250 lap race.

3M 250 Results, Iowa Speedway
1- Chris Buescher  Roush
2- Chase Elliott      JR Motorsports
3- Erik Jones      JGR
4- Brian Scott      RCR
5- Ryan Blaney    Penske
6- Bubba Wallace   Roush
7- Ben Rhodes     JR Motorsports
8- Brandon Jones  RCR
9- Elliott Sadler      Roush
10- Brendan Gaughan   RCR

Daniel Suarez lead 48 laps early in the race but ran out of fuel before the final caution, he finished 18th.  Ty Dillon ran in the Top 10 all day long but had a flat tire late in the race, he finished 14th.

Road Course ringer Boris Said had a miserable day in the #54 car for JGR.  He had a terrible qualifying results starting 24th and he was non competitive on race day finishing 26th, 5 laps down to the leaders.

Veteran driver J.J. Yeley (below) was treated and released from the infield care center, he was not happy with rookie driver Brennan Poole after his car was wrecked late in the race.  The two drivers also had an incident early in the race.  Yeley said the first incident was a racing deal and not intentional.  Yeley didnt like that Poole seemed to come after him in retaliation especially because he drives for a lower budget team and they don't have extra cars to race.

Tire strategy put Ryan Reed on the front row for the Green White Checkered restart at the end of the race, but he was quickly gobbled up and dropped back to finish 12th.  "We gambled early and took our tires, and then when we were put in the middle (on the final restart) we had nowhere to go, but that's racing, still a good day" said Reed.  

Jason got an interview with Ryan Reed and Dean interviewed winner Chris Buescher.  You can listen to that and other behind the scenes commentary about Iowa Speedway Saturday 10-11am (central) on Speed Talk on 1360 radio. or search KRWC on the FREE Tunein app.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

3M 250 comes to Iowa Speedway

The Xfinity series races at Iowa Speedway in the 3M 250 on Sunday May 17th.  This race provides some interesting story lines highlighting some of the future and current stars in NASCAR.

Ty Dillon leads Chris Beuscher by 9 points in the Driver point standings with both Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace 37 points behind.

Other notables in the field include:

Road Course Ace Boris Said will be driving the #54 car for Joe Gibbs, it will be interesting to see how Said adapts to Oval racing.

Budding Super Star Erik Jones will be driving the #20 Joe Gibbs car, he has turned lots of heads lately filling in for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch most recently in the Cup series.  Toyota management have said they will not lose Jones to another manufacturer, he will have a top quality ride in a Toyota from now on.

Ryan Blaney will be in the Penske #22 car, this car has dominated the Owner Points so far.  In the first 9 races of the season, they have 3 wins and 7 "top 2" finishes.  Remember Blaney has done well at Iowa in the past, he won in the Truck series in 2012 and at that time he was the youngest ever winner in that series.  We were there to cover it.

Fan Favorite Kenny Wallace will again be driving the #29 car for RAB.  Here is when Dean caught up with Kenny a few years ago at Iowa Speedway.

2012 Elko Speedway ARCA winner Brennan Poole will drive the #42 car.

Elliott Sadler will be back in the #1 car, he is the only driver in the field who has won at Iowa Speedway in this series, he won in 2012 in front of 50,000 fans, here was our story of that race.

Ben Rhodes will be driving the #88 car for JR Motorsports, it is his first Xfinity start, but he has raced numerous times at Iowa Speedway, he won the K&N Pro Series Spring race in 2014.  He will miss his High School Graduation Ceremony but will be presented with his Diploma during Driver Introductions.

Jamie Dick will be returning to action in the #55 car for the first time since being diagnosed with Diabetes, Dick missed 5 races.

The Driver Intros will begin at 12:30pm and the 3M 250 Xfinity series race will begin at 1pm, it will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

I would recommend going to the track, tickets are available, a driver autograph session will be held in the concourse at 10am Sunday morning.  This is as close as you will get to drivers anywhere on the circuit.  The drivers then will walk down the concourse to the Newton Club for the Drivers meeting at 11am.

It should be a good race, Iowa Speedway always provides drama.  Keep checking back to this page and our social media for Photo's, interviews and updates during 3M 250 Race Day at Iowa Speedway.  Plus full coverage next Saturday morning 10-11am on Speed Talk on 1360 Radio

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Figure 8 racing returns to Elko Speedway


This year is the 50th anniversary of racing at Elko Speedway.  We will be celebrating the events of the past much of the year, but the thing that is causing a lot of buzz to start the 2015 season is something new.  The Figure 8's are returning, it's more of a rebirth of the division from the older full bodied heavy V-8 cars to the newer, front wheel drive 4cyl vehicles.
The Figure 8 division was the identity of Raceway Park for decades, definitely a fan favorite.  The Figure 8 races always seemed to have that extra element of danger, it seemed as though you might witness "the Big collision in the X" at any moment.  The racing was always suspenseful as you waited for the cars to string out and the leader to catch the tail of the field.... would the driver at the back of the pack slam on his brakes to avoid a collision when they crossed, and just how close would these Dare Devils push the envelope?  When there was a near miss, you would turn to your neighbor and say "he better back off next lap, or else!"  You just had to wait one more lap and find out, who would have the guts to keep on the gas pedal, or is it the brains to back out of the gas.  The collision in the "X" was rare, but when it happened it was spectacular, the crowd would gasp as one giant unit, people shared the videos on social media and talked about the crash with their neighbors.  These are type of moments that get casual fans excited about racing and get them to come back week after week.
The action on the track in the Figure 8 division was complimented by the colorful characters who drove the cars, one of the most colorful was Mark Bronstad who told me years ago that the division was going to need a reboot soon as the car count was slipping down into the teens.  "The Figure 8 car count started to decline due to lack of cars, feeder drivers and the current drivers getting older," said Bronstad "Eric Hake was the youngest driver when Raceway Park closed, other than him all the drivers were over 30 and most of us were over 40, that is why 4cyl cars are the way to go, so younger drivers will hopefully gain interest."
When Raceway Park closed most of the drivers in the Figure 8 division retired and it was the end of an era. 
That was not the end of the Figure 8 division though, it will be revived this summer doing double features on seven different race nights.  This time 4cyl cars will be racing utilizing the inside flat track at Elko Speedway.  Bronstad thinks switching to the Hornet type car is the right idea.  "The 4cyl cars are easier to find and are generally in better condition," said Bronstad "the kids of today can relate to them just like us older guys related to the bigger cars."
Two former Figure 8 drivers have been pushing hard to get their favorite form of racing back on the track; Todd Tacheny and Dan McCarthy.   "I loved to race Figure 8's," said McCarthy "there wasn't one race where I left the track with a frown on my face.  I love the challenges of having to pay attention to the X, you've got drivers above you and below you and your car has to turn both ways, it's challenging but fun."
McCarthy has worked with Elko Speedway to incorporate the new Figure 8's into the Hornets (formerly called the Mini-Stock) division.  "The Hornets cars are totally legal to race in the Figure 8's with the addition of a drivers side door plate for safety" said McCarthy.  "The Figure 8 drivers can also race in the Hornets division providing more seat time and more fun for the drivers."
I suspect some drivers will build Figure 8 only cars and set them up to turn both left and right, other guys will race in the Hornet division all night long and just make minor air pressure adjustments from race to race.  The corners are plenty wide to see 3 wide in the turns in addition to the action in the X.

Expect growing pains as drivers new to this form of racing will be exploring just how close they can come to contact in the X.  The Raceway Park Figure 8 drivers relied on trust and familiarity with the other drivers to know where the boundaries are, there will be little of that to begin with in a new division.  Many drivers might take the "wait and see" attitude at first but the potential for growth is huge in the new 4cyl division and unpredictable might be the best description of the new Figure 8 races.
I think in it's 50th year of racing Elko Speedway is ready to handle a new breed of Dare Devils to emerge onto the racing scene.  The Hornets Figure 8's.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Elko Speedway ready to begin its 50th season

Saturday night May 9th will be opening night of the 50th race season at Elko Speedway. 
The pit area was filled with vehicles and optimistic drivers on Practice Day May 2nd with 94 different cars taking to the track in preparation for the 2015 Season Opener. 

2014 Super Late Model Champion Jacob Goede was practicing right along side of his brother Matt Goede.  Jacob will be defending his first ever Championship at Elko Speedway. Paul Paine did not have his car at the warm up event, "we just got the motor last night and we just did not want to push it," said Paine "it seems to work better if we just show up on opening night!"  Paine finished 2nd in points in 2014, he did not have a win but he did finish runner up 7 times during the season.  "We were going to travel around last year," said Paine "we did so well at the beginning of the season we decided to stay and actually I think it was more fun staying at Elko, Saturday night racing, you can't beat it" said Paine.  Nine different Super Late Model drivers won races last year with Jacob Goede winning 7 events and the Championship.  Steve Anderson, Matt Goede, Dan Fredrickson, Bryan Syer-Keske, Mark Lamoreaux, Joey Miller, Chad Walen and Derek Lemke all won feature events in 2014.

Chris "cruiser" Marek won the Big 8 Championship in 2014, he was back at practice day with his new white colors on the #3 car.  The field of Big 8 cars were very evenly matched, ten different Big 8 drivers won races at Elko Speedway last year.   Marek had 5 wins, four time Champion Doug Brown had 3 wins, Cole Anderson, Nick Beaver and Jon Lemke all had two wins, with Michael Beamish, LB Berthiaume, Ryan Kamish, Joe Neisius and Michael Ostdiek all scored a trophy in victory lane as well.  2015 looks to be just as competitive in the Big 8 division, look for some new young faces as both Dylan Warner and Jared Duda will be moving up from the Great North Legends division.

The Power Stock division was hotly contested all year long in 2014, two drivers actually tied for the Championship with Nick Oxborough edging Grant Brown on the tie breaker.  The Power Stock division was the fastest growing division last year with 20 or more cars racing every week.  Nick Oxborough scored 3 wins last year, Tom Doten and Taylor Goldman each had two wins, Paul Hamilton, Dustin Mann, Cole Neisius, Paul Neisus, Brandon Peterson, Shawn Prins and Ryan Varner all took home one victory in 2014.   Fans can look for an influx of even more new Power Stock cars in 2015.  "Even at the end of last year I knew cars were ramping up and getting faster," said Oxborough "I am anticipating a lot more cars this year, I hope to defend my title on the 50th year at Elko Speedway."  

Conrad Jorgenson became a three time Elko Speedway Thunder Car Champion in 2014, twenty years after his first title.  Conrad had three wins and seemed to score a top 5 every race night.  His main rival was Brent Kane who is also a three time Elko Speedway Thunder Car Champion, he scored 8 wins in 2014.  Jeremy Wolff finished 2nd in points with two wins, Ted Reuvers had 3 victories and Michael Gilomen scored two wins in 2014.  Jorgenson says he plans on racing a limited schedule in 2015 but don't be surprised if you see him back in victory lane.

The Great North Legends car counts just seem to continue to rise every year.  Derek Lemke won the title in his number 5 car in 2014, he will be back but with a new car number, he will be number 71 this year with his father Jon in the 17.  Tim Brockhouse will run a limited schedule again, he had 4 wins last year, Derek Lemke and Robby Carter both had 3 wins, Tyler Sjoman had two victories.  Brady Fox-Rhode was named "most improved driver of the year" at the Elko Speedway awards banquet last fall, he only scored one win but he moved up to second in points and had some great battles with Lemke on a nightly basis.  Michael Ostdiek, Shon Jacobson and Jon Lemke also scored wins in 2014.  2009 Champion Jaycen Brockhouse is planning on racing the full schedule and many new drivers appeared at the practice day.

The new Hornets division is sure to be the fastest growing division in 2015, twenty drivers showed up on practice day.  This division was called the Mini-Stocks in 2014, Brain Adams won 6 races and the Championship, he will be back to defend his title.  Ridge Oien, Justin Schelitzche and Michael Wachs Jr won two races each with TJ Christenson, Brandon Olson and Todd Tacheny all winning one race.  The drivers in this division will also be legal to race in the new Figure 8 Division racing 7 different times in 2015.  I will not be surprised if the fans are treated to as many as 30 Hornets drivers racing on a weekly basis at Elko Speedway, lets just say the flat turns 1 and 2 will be very interesting and the Figure 8 races will be something you don't want to miss.

The Bandolero's will also be back racing on most non Eve of Destruction nights, a great place for future Elko Speedway stars to get their start.

Judging by the number and quality of drivers in 2015, the future of Elko Speedway in its 50th season looks very bright.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Year, New Things at Historic Princeton Speedway

By Dean Reller
The Snow is gone, racing season is almost here.  If that isn’t enough to get anyone’s motor running, I don’t know what will.  This year brings a new racing opportunity for me as I will be taking on the announcing duties at the Princeton Speedway on Fridays this summer.  Though announcing is something I’ve done in the past, this new opportunity comes as a part of many changes at the ¼ mile track located just off Highway 169 in Princeton.
The biggest change is the switch in sanctioning bodies from WISSOTA to IMCA.  Previously, IMCA has been a fixture in Iowa and southern Minnesota along with other parts of the country.  The addition of Princeton and North Central Speedway in Brainerd marks some new territory for the sanctioning body.  What’s that mean for race fans?  It’s nothing noticeably different for the casual race fan.  All the classes that ran previously will return albeit with some slightly different names and a few rule changes.  That being said, one thing that will probably be noticed is the competition level will be much more even.  The IMCA rules, specifically the tires, allow for more consistency in the cars and should produce a greater number of winners, rather than seeing just a few cars dominate week in and week out.
Another change at the Princeton Speedway is the new Promoter will be Mary Beth Cripe.  I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mary Beth in the past at I-94 in Sauk Centre and so I look forward to working with her again.  Also coming on board will be Buzz Cripe, a former Track Champion at the Princeton Speedway.  Buzz will be handling the flagging duties.  I like to refer to members of the racing community as family and Mary Beth and Buzz are two family members that are highly dedicated and very committed to putting on a great running show.  Race fans will enjoy their contributions to the track.
The Princeton Speedway has a long history and part of that involves Sprint Cars.  If Sprints are your thing, then this season will be really special as the IMCA Winged Sprints are scheduled for 4 events, plus the UMSS Sprints will visit twice this season as well.  The ¼ mile high banks produce some great Sprint Car racing and if past shows indicate, this year’s Sprint Car shows should be as exciting as ever.
As I anxiously await the start of the season, I realize it will be a big learning curve for me as I jump back into the announcer’s seat.  There are a lot of names I need to learn how to pronounce and I apologize in advance for the names that I will botch, especially in the first few weeks.  I look forward to working the pits beforehand and getting to know the drivers and to share their stories with everyone.  So, let’s get this season started, I’m ready to roll.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jacob Goede named MN Driver of the Year

   Jacob Goede from Carver (MN) has been named the 2014 Minnesota Asphalt Driver of the Year by Speed Talk on 1360 Radio.
   Goede returned to his Minnesota racing roots in 2014 after spending much of the last decade racing in regional Late Model touring series.  Goede won the highly contested Elko Speedway Super Late Model division, scoring seven wins along the way including the prestigious Dwain Behrens memorial race.

   For the first time in his career, this homecoming made it possible to race side by side the entire season with his brother Matt.  The younger Goede also had a successful year, winning two times and finishing fourth in points at Elko Speedway.  Jacob and his wife Erica had a new addition to their family with another baby girl born just after the race season concluded.
   Jacob Goede was also crowned the NASCAR Minnesota state Champion, he took part in the ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame located in Charlotte North Carolina.  "It was fun," said Goede "NASCAR does a great job, they treat you like royalty and it really makes you feel like you accomplished something."
   Jacob plans on defending his Super Late Model point title at Elko Speedway in 2015.  "We want to focus on Elko again this year," said Goede "plus I would like to race the Thunderstruck 93 and the Oktoberfest race at the end of the year."
   2015 has started out the right way for both the Goede brothers, they have been busy winning snowmobile races.  Jacob and Matt raced in seven different divisions of vintage snowmobiles at the recent Eagle River (WI) classic vintage weekend.  The duo took home five titles including the Vintage World Championship where speeds reached 90 mph on a banked 3/8 mile oval track. 
   For Jacob it's about time to put the sleds back in storage and start concentrating on the Super Late Model, it took him nearly a decade to win his first Championship.  He is determined not to wait that long for the second one.  

Here are the previous Speed Talk on 1360 MN Asphalt Driver of the Year award winners:
2004 Dan Fredrickson

2009 Adam Royle

2010 Brent Kane

2011 Chad Walen

2012 Jonathan Eilen 2013/01/eilen-named-2012-mn-asphalt-driver-of.html

2013 Ricky Martin

2014 Jacob Goede

Speed Talk on 1360 is a weekly Saturday morning radio show April through September with Jason Searcy and Dean Reller covering Motorsports in Minnesota on KRWC 1360 AM radio.