Sunday, May 31, 2015

Elko Speedway Race Story 5/30/2015

 By Jason D Searcy

May 30, 2015 - Elko, MN

Elko Speedway defending Champion Jacob Goede is continuing his winning ways in 2015.  The Minnesota Corn Growers Super Late Model NASCAR Whelen All American series 40 lap feature was won by Jacob Goede of Carver (MN), he outpaced his brother Matt Goede by .791 seconds at the finish line.  Nick Murgic was third followed by Donny Reuvers fourth and Nick Panitzke fifth in the 21 car field.

With his third win in four races Jacob Goede now leads 9 time Champion Donny Reuvers by 18 points in the standings with Nick Panitzke just 1 point behind for third.

Brent Kane from Lonsdale (MN) won his second Genz-Ryan Thunder Car main event of the year holding off Jeremy Wolff by .364 seconds at the stripe.  Kane started third row outside in the 18 car field, he had to get past Tony Holm who lead the first half of the 20 lap race.  Kane was very thankful in victory lane, thanking his crew, sponsors and motor builder for their hard work and extra effort coming back from mechanical problems the previous week.

Kane has a small 2 point lead over Jeremy Wolff in the season point standings.

Chris Marek from Lakeville (MN) took the lead early and never looked back in the 25 lap feature, he won his third Hiway Federal Credit Union BIG 8 main event of the 2015 season.  Marek won by .971 seconds over Joe Neisius in the 12 car field.

Marek now leads Neisius by 16 points with Doug Brown 19 points and Ryan Kamish only 20 points out of the lead in the standings.

2014 Champion Derek Lemke from Shakopee (MN) bested 22 other cars and won the 20 Lap Great North Legends feature event.  "I got out to a nice start, but then the caution came out with eight to go, I looked in my mirror and saw Brady behind me," said Lemke.  "I knew it would be hard, luckily we had the car hooked up and I was able to pull away after the green came back out."

Lemke beat Brady Fox-Rhode by 1.842 at the finish line with Robby Carter third and Dereks' father Jon Lemke fourth.  Fox-Rhode had won the previous two feature events and he leads in the point standings with the elder Lemke 18 points behind in second followed by Shon Jacobsen and Matt Allen in the point standings.

Here is an audio interview with Derek Lemke after the races

The Pepsi Power stock 20 lap Main event was won by Tom Doten from St Paul (MN).  Doten beat Tim Hollen and 16 other racers to the finish line by 1.485 seconds.  Doten was tired but happy in victory lane after the big win, "this is a young man's sport, and I'm not a young man anymore," said the veteran racer Doten.

A 17 year old man named Cole Neisius is leading in the point standings now with Tom Doten 2 points behind.  14 year old Grant Brown and 22 year old Taylor Goldman are tied for third only 5 points out of the lead.

Ashley Bell won the first two Hornets features of 2015 and she was out front and looking for number three on Saturday night until her car had fuel pick-up problems and she dropped back to finish third in the 18 car field. 

Ridge Oien from Bloomington (MN) won his second consecutive Hornets feature event as he passed Bell and then edged Brandon Olson by .095 after a furious side by side battle for the win. 

Here is video from the last couple laps of this incredible race

Luke Allen from Chanhassen (MN) finished just ahead of Owin Giles to win his second Bandolero feature event.  Giles is still the point leader by 12 points over Allen and 20 points over Coy Wulf.

Get full results and point standings at

Racing continues at Elko Speedway on Saturday night June 6th for Tasseldega Night sponsored by the MN Corn Growers, FREE admission for everyone plus a FREE concert after the races by High Country and FREE movie in the parking lot at Elko Drive-in theatre.

Gates open at 5pm and action begins at 6pm at Elko Speedway, located just 20 minutes South of the Twin Cities on I-35 and County Road 2.  Get more information by calling (952) 461-7223, follow Elko Speedway on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or go to

*Photos by Scott Searcy/Cricket Prints

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Elko Speedway Eve of Destruction

May 23, 2015 - Elko, MN

By Jason D Searcy

It was a night full of racing and wrecking at Elko Speedway for the first Eve of Destruction of 2015 presented by KQRS.

MN Corn Growers Super Late Model Defending Champion Jacob Goede from Carver (MN) won the first of two thirty lap feature events in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series.  Goede finished ahead of Joel Theisen by .962 seconds for the win.

Nick Panitzke from Sauk Centre (MN) won the second Super Late Model feature of the night.  Billy Mohn lead most of the race until a late caution.  2013 TUNDRA series Champion Panitzke then took the lead with five laps to go, and held on for the win by .933 seconds.  Nick Murgic finished 2nd and Mohn third in the twenty-one car field.

Goede now leads Panitzke by 9 points in the standings with nine time Champion Donny Reuvers in third, 19 points behind.
Joe Neisius from Rosemount (MN) won the first of two Hiway Federal Credit Union Big 8 Main events.  Neisius beat four time Champion Doug Brown by .404 seconds at the stripe. 
Defending Champion Chris Marek from Lakeville (MN) won the second Big 8 feature, he
passed Dylan Moore with a few laps to go and won by .359 seconds.
Marek leads Moore by 12 points in the standings with Neieius 15 points back.
Brent Kane from Lonsdale (MN) had a great night in the Genz-Ryan Thunder Car division.  He won the first race by edging Jeremy Wolff by .554 seconds.  His car then had motor problems and he was forced to change cars and start at the rear of the field for feature number two.  2014 Champion Conrad Jorgenson is not running for points this year so he loaned Kane his car and Kane drove all the way up through the field to finish second.
Devin Schmidt from Belle Plaine (MN) took the win in feature number two, he bested Kane by 2.470 seconds at the line. 
Brent Kane now leads Jeremy Wolff by 5 points in the standings with opening night winner Tina Davis in third, 17 points behind.
The Pepsi Power Stock main event went to fourteen year old Grant Brown from Prior Lake (MN) he beat Matt Ryan by 2.723 seconds to win his first ever Power Stock feature.  Brown tied for the point Championship last year but lost out on the tie-breaker of most wins.

"Its nice to have the security of a feature win," said Brown "I don't want to possibly lose because of that, it's a big relief off my shoulders."

Here is an interview with Jason and Grant Brown
Opening night winner Cole Neisius finished third and holds onto the point lead by 2 over Tom Doten with 2012 Bandolero Champion Grant Brown only 4 points out of the lead.
Brady Fox-Rhode from Loretto (MN) won the Great North Legends main event.  Rhode started sixth in the twenty-two car field, he battled with Michael Ostdiek for many laps and eventually beat out 2009 Champion Jaycen Brockhouse by 1.320 seconds for the win, his third in a row at Elko Speedway.
"We raced each other pretty hard, I was able to get out in front and set the pace, it was a lot of fun," said Rhode. 
Fox-Rhode leads the season standings by 3 points over Shon Jacobsen and 9 points over Jon Lemke.

Here is an interview from Saturday night with Jason and Brady Fox-Rhode
Ridge Oien from Bloomington (MN) won the 15 lap Hornets main event, he finished the race 1.791 seconds ahead of Brandon Olson for the win in the twenty car field.
Justin Schelitzche finished third and moves into the point lead by 5 over Ashley Bell with Michael Wachs Jr in third 19 points behind.

The new Hornet Figure 8 divison debuted at Elko Speedway and the drivers and crowd both responded in a positive way.  An impressive field of sixteen cars dared to race each other and cross in the X.
Two veteran Figure 8 divers won, Todd Tacheny from Mankato (MN) and Troy Tuma from Waseca (MN) were the two winners.  Tacheny has spent countless hours building cars for other people to race and pushing for the addition of Figure 8 racing to the Elko Speedway race program. 
Troy Tuma is no stranger to the figure 8 division, he won a figure 8 championship at Elko Speedway in 2005 when the cars and rules were much different.
Brian Adams finished second in both the Figure 8 races and he leads the point standings, with Tacheny in second and Tuma in third.  The racing was exciting and the collision in the X never did happen even though it seemed inevitable numerous times during the feature events, the crowd loved it.
Monster Truck driver Jim Bendzick in Thunder 4x4 from New Prague (MN) won both the Wheelie Contest and Freestyle Competition over Devin Jones from Miami (OK) driving the Barbarian truck.  Both drivers put on a great show for the crowd.
Jason Vanberg from Red Wing (MN) won the Spectator Drags portion of the show, he drove a 2015 Polaris Slingshot.  Brian McMenomy from Rosemount won the Outlaw Drags, he drove a modified 1979 Cadillac.
The Timberworks Lumber Jack show entertained the crowd, the Figure 8 Bus races were a big hit as per usual and Scott Turkewitz refered to as the Demolition Devil performed three incredible stunts to thrill the crowd at Elko Speedway.

Turkewitz jumped his street car into a stack of cars standing up vertically in a domino formation, then he jumped over another car while his stunt ramp was moving in various directions.  For the finale he jumped 80 feet over a tipped over bus and landed nose first into a pile of crushed cars, amazingly he emerged unhurt.  For video of these amazing stunts follow Elko Speedway on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and search Elko Speedway.

Here is a video of his crazy Bus Jump at Elko Speedway

Next up is NASCAR Whelen All American Series racing at Elko Speedway, just 20 minutes South of the Twin Cities, Saturday night May 30th, gates open at 5pm and action begins at 6pm.  Get more information at or by calling (952) 461-7223.

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.  

Here is a link to the PODCAST of our recap of the 3M250 and interviews with Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed on Speed Talk on 1360 Radio

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.