Saturday, December 13, 2014

Speed Talk 2014 Season Wrap

2014 Marked the 6th season of covering Motorsports on KRWC for Jason and Dean.  We reported on many great races in the Upper Midwest from Iowa Speedway to Elko Speedway and Brainerd International Raceway.  We also broadcast live from lots of interesting venues including the Gear Head Get Together in Maple Lake, the Classics by the Lake Car show in Buffalo and the Mud Spectacular at the Wright County Fair.  We were able to interview 67 different drivers this year, we love to hear the emotion in their voice from telling their story in their own words.

It would not be possible to do this show without these sponsors, please support them in the same way they support local racing.

Performance Driving School at BIR
Norm's Wayside in Buffalo
Stockholm Karting Center
Highway 55 Trailer Sales in Buffalo
Lou Fegers Racing Equipment
STB Screen Printing and Embroidery
Radio Active Mobile Electronics Buffalo

Here are the TOP 10 most popular stories on this year:

#1 Dan Fredrickson wins his 4th Thunderstruck93 race at Elko Speedway

#2 Ricky Martin named 2013 MN Asphalt driver of the year in Raceway Parks final season

#3 Local female racers selected for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program

#4 Sam Hornish wins Spring race at Iowa Speedway

#5 Power Stock division championship race is one for the record books as Oxborough and Brown tie in points.

#6 Minnesota NASCAR team owner Nate Thiesse continues to have success

#7 Doug Peterson wins Trans-Am race again at Brainerd International Raceway, car count continues to rise

#8 Seventeen year old Erik Jones dominates Iowa Speedway truck series race

#9 Grant Enfinger wins ARCA race at Elko Speedway

#10 Ryan Hunter-Reay stuns Tony Kanaan with late pit stop and on fresh tires wins at Iowa Speedway

Here is a recap of the 2014 season Champions banquet at Elko Speedway.  Jason at Elko (photo below)

We were able to Pod-cast many of the interviews done on Speed Talk radio.  Here are links to the Top 10 interviews done in 2014.

#1 Nate Thiesse talks ARCA and Trucks

#2 Dan Fredrickson-Thunderstruck winner

#3 Brooke Tatnell wins Sprint Car race at Princeton

#4 Tommy Kendall- Trans-Am 2 racer at BIR (photo below)

#5 Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small

#6 Amy Ruman- Trans-Am racer

#7 Local racing segment with Dan Plan, Jacob Goede and Paul Hamilton

#8 Dirt Track announcer Ron Krog on Speed Talk

#9 Elko racer Joey Prusak in studio at KRWC

#10 Chris Hawkey from KFAN Motorsports

Also, a big Thank You to our two weekly guests: Jordan Bianchi from for his awesome NASCAR coverage and Dan Plan from for his local racing knowledge.

Here is the full list of people interviewed in Speed Talk in 2014:
Brady Fox-Rhode (Legends)
Bryan Syer-Keske (SLM)
Jonathan Eilen (ARCA MwTour)
Ty Majeski (ARCA MwTour 2014 Champion)
Matt Panure (TUNDRA Announcer)
Dan Fredrickson (SLM)
Doug Brown (Big 8)
Matt Crafton (Trucks)
Joey Coulter (Trucks)
Ryan Blaney (Trucks)
Doug Peterson (Trans-Am)
Ron Keith (TA 2)
Tommy Kendall (TA 2)
Robby Carter (Legends)
Tom Doten (Power Stocks)
Amy Ruman (Trans-Am)
Buzzy Cripe (race official)
Brent Kane (Thunder Cars)
Scott Chantland (Gear Head Get-Together)
Shon Jacobsen (Legends)
Michael Ostdiek (Big 8)
Shaun Prins (Power Stocks)
Matt Goede (SLM)
Taylor Goldman (Power Stock)
Doug Brown (Big 8)
Nick Oxborough (Power Stock)
Michael Weiss (Mini-Stock)
Jeremy Wolff (Thunder Cars)
Joey Miller (SLM)
Joe Neisius (BIG 8)
Paul Neisius (Power Stocks)
Chad Walen (SLM)
Conrad Jorgenson (Thunder Car)
Juan Pablo Montoya (Indy Car)
Helio Castroneves (Indy Car)
Jacob Goede (SLM)
Paul Hamilton (Power Stocks)
Chris Hawkey (KFAN Motorsports)
Mason Mitchell (ARCA 2014 Champion)
Grant Enfinger (ARCA)
J J Haley (ARCA)
Tom Hessert (ARCA)
Frank Kimmel (ARCA)
Tim Brockhouse (Legends)
Steve Anderson (SLM)
Nick Beaver (Big 8)
Brooke Tatnell (Sprint Cars)
Doug Selle (Best Buy racing)
Chris Marek (Big 8)
Derek Lemke (SLM)
Brandon Petersen (Power Stocks)
Brian Adams (Mini-stock)
Mark Lamoreaux (SLM)
Trevor Bayne (Nationwide)
Landon Cassill (Nationwide)
Nick Murgic (SLM)
Ron Krog (Announcer)
Jimmy Small (Iowa Speedway president)
Nate Theisse (Win-Tron racing co-owner)
Joey Prusak (Big 8)
Ashley Bell (Mini Stock)
Justin Schelitzche (Mini Stock)
Tim Olson (ARCA Midwest tour president)
Thank you race fans for listening to our show, we plan on being back on the air in April 2015!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Elko Speedway 2014 Season Wrap up

   The Champions banquet wrapped up the 49th season of racing at Elko Speedway.  It was interesting looking at some of the 2014 season ending facts and numbers.  We saw nine different winners in the Super Late Model division, Jacob Goede won the point title, the driver of the year and seven races, but Paul Paine had an incredible year finishing second and was very consistent but had no wins.  1976 Elko Point Champion Mark Lamoreaux won a race early in the season and Kyle Hansen finished 9th in points and received the Rookie of the Year award. 

  Jacob Goede (photo above) was very emotional in his victory speech and had to pause to gather his emotions at one point.  He said "the decision to come back home to Elko was easy, I learned that racing is not as much fun if you're not doing it with people that you love."  He mentioned to me many times during the year it was really nice to race against his brother and with his young and expanding family nearby.
   Ten different drivers won races in the Big 8 division, proving that the cars were evenly matched and nearly anyone could win on a given night.  Chris Marek won the point title and five races, three in a row at the beginning of the season.  Jon Lemke closed the gap in the points late in the year finishing second, Michael Beamish was much improved and finished the season third in points in addition to winning the Oktoberfest race.  Rookie Cole Anderson turned some heads with his two wins and four "fast times" in qualifying, more than any other driver, he also received the Rookie of the Year award.
   Conrad Jorgenson won the Thunder Car title his fourth Championship at Elko Speedway.  He has now won in the Thunder Cars in 1995, 2003 and 2014, he also won the Super Truck Championship in 1997.  Only 5 different drivers won races this year with Brent Kane getting 8 victories but finishing fourth in points because he missed a race night mid-season to be in a family wedding.  Jack Purcell finished 10th in points and won the Rookie of the Year award.
   The Great North Legends title was won by Derek Lemke (photo above), he scored three wins during the season in the Legends and one in the Super Late Models.  Brady Fox-Rhode finished second in points and won the "Most Improved Driver" award, he moved up from 7th in points last year to 2nd in 2014.  He also scored a win at Elko Speedway, Hawkeye Downs and the Dells in addition to winning the "race of Champions" in the Asphalt National Championships at the Bull Ring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Eight different drivers scored a win this year, Tim Brockhouse lead the way with 4 wins racing part-time and Jared Duda won Rookie of the Year.
   The Power Stock division was arguably the most entertaining division all year long at Elko Speedway.  Nick Oxborough won the Championship in his rookie season at the track, he scored three important wins, very crucial because they were the determining factor when he tied with Grant Brown for the points Championship.  Brown finished runner-up in the Championship but he won the UNOH Youth Achievement Award, what he accomplished at the age of 14 was astounding.  Ten different drivers won races in the Power Stock division and the 20+ car count every race night was very encouraging for the future of that division.
   Brian Adams won the Mini Stock title with six wins, Michael Wachs Jr and Brandon Plekkenpol tied for second with Wachs getting the tie breaker with his two wins.  Eight different drivers won in the Mini Stock division and Collin Neisus won Rookie of the Year.
   Brody Wulf won in the Bandoleros, he had four wins and Owin Giles had five wins and finished second in points.  This division is very important to Elko Speedway to keep talented young drivers here, a good transition from the "little Elko" 1/4 midget track to racing in front of the big crowds at the big track.  Power Stock driver Grant Brown won the Bandolero Championship in 2012 and Great North Legend driver Jared Duda won in 2013, they are both moving up the ranks and continuing their racing careers at Elko Speedway.
   The Nick Beaver race team won the Elko Speedway Goodwill award for their efforts in helping Rylie (photo above), a young autistic girl become their biggest fan.  They made her part of the team and gave her the trophy after a big win.  Their compassion touched many people in the audience and they got a standing ovation at the conclusion of the program when Rylie and the Beaver team came up to accept the award.
   Now that 2014 is wrapped up time to recharge our batteries and look ahead to next year, the 50th season of racing at Elko Speedway.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

2014 Power Stock division race was one to remember

The 2014 Power Stock division provided excitement, and action on a weekly basis at Elko Speedway.  The finale of the Power Stock season did not disappoint fans looking for drama as two rookies battled for the Championship.

Coming into the final night, #88 Nick Oxborough was the leader, he had lead most of the season and picked up three wins in his rookie season at Elko Speedway.  He lead #14 Grant Brown by 4pts, Grant is the son of four time Sportsman/Big 8 Champion Doug Brown.  Before the races I talked to Doug about Grant, he said he was proud no matter what happens, he also said his advice to his 14 yr old son would be, "drive it like you stole it." 

The heat race saw the two competitors race in the same heat with Brown finishing just ahead of Oxborough and knocking the margin down to two points.
A huge field of 24 cars started the feature event, the winner of the race gets 51 points, 2nd place 49 and then it goes down by one point per position after that. 

Nick Oxborough started third row outside and Grant Brown began the race directly behind him knowing not only he would have to pass his rival but either he would have to win or finish more than one position ahead because Oxborough held the tie breaker with those three wins.
Veteran racer Tom Quade held the early lead then Dusty Mann driving the Ricky Martin car that won all those figure 8 championships at Raceway Park stuck to the bottom and took over on lap 6 of the 20 lap shootout, he would later win the race.  The racing up front was exciting but the drama was the battle for the Championship as Oxborough was in 5th and Brown got pushed back to 8th.
Both drivers narrowly avoided disaster during the race, the action was wild just in front of Oxborough as Taylor Goldman had contact and spun coming into corner number four then on the restart Shawn Prins was bumped and did a 360 right in front of the entire field.  Brown took advantage on the inside and passed Oxborough for the third position but time was running out, he needed help and got it from Paul Hamilton who passed Oxborough dropping him back to fifth meaning they were tied for points on the white flag lap.
Brown was two car lengths behind Cole Neisius for second, Neisius slipped and Brown got to his back bumper right as they crossed the stripe.  Oxborough held on the finish two positions behind Brown securing the Points Championship by the most narrow of margains.  After a full year of racing both drivers tied with 922 points, Oxborough won the Championship on a tie-breaker due to his 3 wins during the season.
Oxborough was thrilled to win in his rookie year, thanked his family and crew and vowed to come back next year to defend his Championship. 

Brown went on Facebook after the races and posted this "Well, I had a lot of fun this year. My guys did a great job giving me the best car I have ever had. Ended up tying for championship win, but I lost the tiebreaker due to my amount of feature wins. But I still had a great time, and to me that is worth a lot more than a trophy."

Well said for anyone, let alone a 14 yr old.  Grant Brown surpassed the expectations of everyone in his rookie season, he was super strong and consistent he finished 2nd five times, well make that five runner-ups and one tie for a Championship.  From beginning to end racing in the 2014 Power Stocks division was one we won't soon forget.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fredrickson wins Thunderstruck93

Dan Fredrickson from Lakeville (MN) was the class of the field on a stormy night in the ARCA Midwest tour Thunderstruck93 event presented by NAPA Auto Parts at Elko Speedway. 

The 6th annual Thunderstruck event is in memory of Elko Speedway Hall of Fame member Dan Ryan who died of ALS.  To Dan Fredrickson this race has special meaning "my buddy Dan died of Lou Gehrig's disease, its really a tough deal to experience and I think about him a lot," said Fredrickson who has now won 4 of the 6 Thunderstruck93 races and its trademark guitar trophy.

Here is an emotional interview with Dean Reller and Danny right after the race 

Fredrickson is both a former Elko Speedway track Champion in 2003 and two time ARCA Midwest tour champion in 2008 and 2013.  Dan took most of this year off from racing but came back to racing at Elko Speedway a few weeks ago to get his car ready for Thunderstruck93.  "It payed off," said Fredrickson "the car was pretty good, much better than last year."

Fredrickson was fastest of the 32 cars in Time Trials with a time of 13.700 but the 12 car inversion for the 125 lap feature after a short rain delay put him back in the 6th row to begin the race.  Brad Keith from West Bend (WI) lead the race early but fell back after Hampton (MN) driver Jonathan Eilen shot to the lead on lap 6.  Fredrickson passed Eilen on lap 24 and never gave up the lead even though he got loads of pressure late in the race from Ty Majeski from Seymore (WI).  "We thought it might rain, so I worked my tires a bit too hard early in the race" said Fredrickson.  Majeski who was 2nd in ARCA Midwest tour points moved to second on the track by lap 100 and raced side by side with Fredrickson for the lead the rest of the race "I gave him the bottom a couple times, I was nervous that I might miss a corner here or there, but it was a really good race," said Fredrickson.

19 year old Majeski (photo above) finished second by only .326 seconds and moved into the Midwest tour point lead.  Here is an interview with Dean Reller and Ty after the race

Rosemount (MN) driver Nick Murgic (above) finished 3rd.  Here is Dean Reller an interview with Nick immediately after the race

ARCA Midwest tour point leader Nathan Haseleu from Marshall (WI) finished 4th and Elko Speedway MN Corn Growers Super Late Model Champion Jacob Goede from Carver (MN) rounded out the top 5.  Veteran racer Tim Sauter 6th, TUNDRA Champion Nick Panitzke 7th, Jason Weinkauf 8th, Chris Weinkauf 9th and MN Driver Joel Theisen got his first ever Midwest Tour Top 10 finish.

The Big 8 Late Model series appeared in Minnesota for only the second time ever at Thunderstruck93 and it was 18 year old Austin Nason from Roscoe (IL) who won.  Nason started the 58 lap race 10th but worked his was to the lead by lap 18, he passed Joe Neisius from Rosemount (MN) on the high side for the top spot.  Nason then had to hold off Elko Speedway Big 8 Champion Chris Marek and then Big 8 point leader Casey Johnson from Edgerton (WI) for the win.  Nason won by only .203 seconds at the finish line with Johnson 2nd, Marek 3rd another Minnesota driver Jon Lemke in fourth and Neisus dropped to 5th in the 24 car field.

The 11th annual Genz-Ryan Thunder Car Nationals race also took place at Elko Speedway during Thunderstruck93.  It was Dillion Sellner from Farmington (MN) leading the 25 car field the entire 50 lap race.  Sellner was challenged numerous times during the race by Ted Reuvers from Dundas (MN) and then it was Tina Davis from Rosemount (MN) putting on the pressure late, Sellner won by .240 seconds.  Scott King finished 13th, he and his bride Tracy (Photo below) were married at the track just before opening ceremonies.

The Mid American Stock car series raced a 50 lap feature at Thunderstruck93.  Lyle Nowak from Wausau (WI) started on the front row, took the lead and then fought back a hard charging Scott Dunning from Bolingbrook (IL) for the win.  Dunning started fourth row outside, made some bold moves diving down low early in the race and ran his way up to second place by the half-way mark, he closed the gap but could get no closer, he finished second by .267 seconds behind Nowak.  Jeremy Spoonmore finished third and picked up a few points on Championship leader Jeff Holtz who finished 5th.

Tim Brockhouse from Prior Lake (MN) won the 20 lap Great North Legends main event, he had a furious battle with Dirk Henry from Sauk Centre (MN) as the two went side by side for much of the race, swapping the top spot.  "It was really cool, Dirk and I must have rubbed 7 or 8 times, he raced me clean though and we didn't crash and he was the first one to shake my hand in victory lane," said Brockhouse.  Point leader Derek Lemke from Shakopee (MN) broke a gear mid-race and finished 15th in the 19 car field, Brady Fox-Rhode finished 8th and closed the gap in the point standings.  Lemke has only an 8 point lead over Fox-Rhode going into the final race night.

Ridge Oien from Bloomington (MN) won the 20 lap Mini Stock race, Oien lead the entire way for his first win of the year.  Brandon Olson who won last week finished second, Ashley Bell third and point leader Brian Adams coming in 4th.  Adams increased his point lead over Michael Wachs Jr to 57 points going into the final race night at Elko Speedway.

Listen for full coverage of the Thunderstruck93 event on Speed Talk on 1360 radio Saturday morning 10-11am on

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Power Stocks on the rise at Elko Speedway

The Power Stock division have been very entertaining this summer at Elko Speedway.  The racing has always been good in the Power Stocks but now the weekly car count has increased to over 20 and that has turned up the intensity a notch. 

Fans have also been treated to a pretty good points race as well with two new rookies in the mix for a Championship.
Before this season Nick Oxborough had only raced a couple times in a Mini Stock at Elko Speedway.  This year Nick won on opening night in the Power Stocks and has held onto a slim point lead each week along with a picking up a couple more wins.

"I'm very surprised how well we've done," said Oxborough "I've got to thank my dad and all the pit guys behind me, I couldn't ask for any better help." 
Fighting for a point title can put a lot of pressure on a race team but the number 88 car seems to remain consistent.

"I'm trying not to think about points as much, because it starts getting in your head," said Oxborough "when I get to the track I try to throw all that out but then on Monday morning I'm back looking at the points!"
#14 Grant Brown is another Power Stock rookie in the hunt at the age of just 14.  He was the 2012 Bandoleros Champion at Elko and he raced in the Short Tracker division at Raceway park last year.  Grant seems to be very calm behind the wheel but also has the intensity needed to fight for the lead in a tough division.

"I feel very grateful to be able to run so great in my rookie year" said Brown.  "A lot of rookies don't seem to have much experience, so they usually don't have this much success, while next year I will already have been racing for ten years."
"I feel especially lucky that I am able to compete against so many strong competitors," said Brown "I am learning new things every Saturday."  Grant seems to be a very respectful kid who has been taught well by his father Doug Brown who is a four time Champion in the Sportsman/Big 8 division at Elko Speedway.
Tom Doten was the "Hard Luck Loser" in a very tight Power Stock point battle last year.  Doten lost to John Lebens by only 2 points in 2013 and is still in the hunt this year after recently scoring his first win of the season.
Early this season Doten had to race a back-up car for several weeks after crashing their primary car but, now he is back in his familiar #62 and ready to make a run.  "If we keep running the way we're running, we've got a shot at it" said Doten.  "I have the same feeling as last year, I'm real hungry."
Brandon Peterson, Paul Hamilton, Paul Neisius, Shaun Prins, Taylor Goldman, Ryan Varner and Cole Neisius have all won feature events this year too.  So far, thirty-eight different drivers have earned points this year and that makes for both quantity and quality racing in the Power Stock division at Elko Speedway.

The Season Championship in the Power Stock division is this Saturday night September 13th at Elko Speedway.  Currently Nick Oxborough has a 4 point lead over Grant Brown with Tom Doten 21 points out of the lead. 

Get more information at

*Photo by Scott Searcy/Cricket Prints

Monday, September 1, 2014

Peterson wins Trans-Am again at BIR

Doug Peterson from Bonita Springs (FL) won the 100 mile Trans-Am series race at Brainerd International Raceway for the second consecutive year, "it was awesome," said Peterson "we were definitely working out there."

Peterson started on the pole because rain washed out qualifying and the field was set via point standings.  Peterson held that advantage the entire race but it was not a easy win as lapped traffic racing with each other caused some uneasy moments, "I wanted to let them race," said Peterson "we are so much faster then them in the straight away but in the turns we are pretty darn close."

With his 5th win of the season in 8 races Peterson extended his point lead to 39 points with only 3 more events on the schedule.
Peterson was impressed with Brainerd International Raceway "Its a great track, it has a lot of heritage, slow speed and high speed and you really have to drive this thing" said Peterson.

Amy Ruman from Kent (OH) finished second 7.3 seconds behind Peterson and had a great battle back and forth with Cliff Ebben for the second position.  "He seemed to be faster in the corners, we were having a little issue with grip," said Ruman "so I set him up out of (corner) 13 and got a good run down the straight away and passed him back."
Ruman moved back into the second position in the point standings with her runner up finish, "with all our bad luck lately, I'll take the second" said Ruman. 
Cliff Ebben finished third only 1 second behind Ruman.  Simon Gregg finished 4th and he was 36 seconds behind Peterson at the finish line in this caution free race.
The 40 lap race took only 1 hour and 2 minutes to complete the 100 miles with and average speed of 96.277 mph.

Ron Keith (middle) from Shawnee (KS) won the TA2 division finishing just ahead of a hard charging Tommy Kendall (right) for the win, Adam Andretti (left) made it to the podium with a third place finish.
Jerry Greene from Minnetonka (MN) won the TA3 division.   29 cars competed in this event and that is the largest number of cars since Trans-Am returned to BIR in 2010 and there was a noticeably larger crowd of spectators for this event than previous years.
For full results to go

Speed Talk on 1360 Radio will broadcast interviews with Trans-Am drivers Doug Peterson and Amy Ruman and also post race interviews with Tommy Kendall and Ron Keith on Saturday September 6th between 10-11am while we are on-location at the Classics by the Lake car show in Buffalo.
Listen on 1360 am radio, on the "Tune-In" app or at

Friday, August 1, 2014

Speed Talk LIVE on-location broadcasts 2014

Jason and Dean from Speed Talk radio are doing LIVE on-location broadcasts around local community motorsports events this summer.

We broadcasted from the Wright County Fair in Howard Lake across from the fair office at the KRWC booth from 10-11am Saturday morning August 2nd, as you can see Dean and Jason got exclusive interviews with some very interesting guests. Here is an interview with Scott one of the organizers of the event

On Saturday August 16th we will be at the Gear Head Get Together in Maple Lake, this is the 4th year of this FREE motorsports event that takes over the entire downtown of Maple Lake.  Catch us LIVE from 10-11am .. We will interview numerous people including Doug Selle former business lead at Best Buy Racing and hear interview with many of the winners from Elko Speedway 

We will also broadcast from the popular Classics by the Lake car show in Buffalo MN on Saturday September 6th from Sturgis Park near lake Buffalo.   Over 600 classic cars will be on display.  Here is an article about the 2012 event 

We will be broadcasting LIVE in the band shell from 10-11am, stop by or listen on KRWC radio 1360am or

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hunter -Reay Repeats at Iowa Speedway In Iowa Corn Indy 300

By Dean Reller

Ryan Hunter-Reay pulled off the unbelievable as a late race move paid off as he won the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 300 at the Iowa Speedway.  Pitting for 4 fresh tires allowed Hunter-Reay to pick through traffic in the last five laps, de-throwning what appeared to be a sure win for Tony Kanaan, who dominated much of the race. "What a crazy day," said Hunter-Reay.  "We had troubles all night, on the track, on pit lane and couldn't get anything to go right.  Then, Michael Andretti made a gutzy call to take tires."  That call turned things around for Hunter-Reay who moved from tenth on the lap 291 restart and tore through the field.  "When you do take tires, you might not have enough time."  It was just enough as he took his second win in two years at the Iowa Speedway.

Josef Newgarden, who also pitted for tires late, following Hunter-Reay as he finished second. "There was no reason not to pit for tires," said Newgarden following the race.  "I didn't know how effective they would be.  It was almost easy."  Kanaan was very disappointed after leading 247 of the race's 300 laps and defended his teams decision to stay on the track.  "You can't compare 20 lap tires to new ones," said Kanaan.  "You can't pit when leading the race.  I think I did everything I could.  I didn't leave anything on the table."

Scott Dixon ran up front with teammate Kanaan much of the race and was relegated to a fourth place finish. "Those sneaky little buggers", said Dixon in disbelief following the race.  Ed Carpenter ran near the front most of the night and took home fifth.

Iowa Corn Indy 300

1. Ryan Hunter-Reay 2. Josef Newgarden 3.Tony Kanaan 4. Scott Dixon 5. Ed Carpenter 6. James Hinchcliffe 7. Grahm Rahal 8. Helio Castroneves 9. Ryan Brisco 10. Charlie Kimball 11. Simon Pagenaud 12. Carlos Munoz 13. Justin Wilson 14. Will Power 15. Jack Hawksworth 16. Juan Pablo Montoya 17. Sebastian Saavedra 18. Marco Andretti 19. Sebastian Bourdais 20. Carlos Huertas 21. Mikhail Aleshin 22. Takuma Sato

Margin of Victory:  .5814 seconds
Time of the Race:  2 hours, 1 minute, 58.8160 seconds
6 Cautions for 68 laps
6 Lead changes among 4 drivers

Iowa Speedway Saturday July 12, 2014

By Dean Reller

It's race day for the Verizon IndyCar Series at Iowa Speedway.  The Iowa Corn Indy 300 is currently scheduled to start at about 7:30 PM tonight.  The start time has been moved up a few minutes due to storms that are expected to move into the area this evening.  The race can be seen LIVE on NBC Sports Network.

6:30 PM Iowa Speedway is under a Tornado Watch.  However, storms are developing to the south and east of the track.  Other areas of rain are continuing to track to the north.  Temps and dew points are starting to drop as well.  Things look promising for the race tonight.  A stray shower or storm still could pop up, but things are looking good to go now.

2:20 PM  Things are relatively quiet right now.  The Temperature is 84, with a dewpoint of 75, making it feel a tropical 92 with the sun shining. 

Check back later for more updates.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jones Wins American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway

By Dean Reller

"It was a night where everyone was on top of their game and it showed on the race track," said Erik Jones who capped off a strong night as he won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 at the Iowa Speedway.  Jones led 131 of the races 200 laps, setting a new career high for the 17 year old up and coming driver.  Ryan Blaney battled all night long, but came up short as he finished 2nd. "I tried all I could in traffic, he (Jones) wasn't very good in traffic," said Blaney about coming up just short in his bid for a second win on the 7/8ths mile track.

 Matt Crafton and Joey Coulter swapped third a few times in the race's final laps, before Crafton was able to lock down the spot.  "It's a brand new truck, they built it in the last four days, these guys did an awesome job", said a very pleased Crafton following the race.  Coulter seemed rather pleased as well with his fourth place finish.  "It's getting better and better every week.  We talked today about putting this whole puzzle together and we did that tonight," said a smiling Coutler as he caught his breath following the race. 

 With the finish, Crafton now leads Blaney by 2 points in the Championship standings.

American Ethanol 200
1. Erik Jones 2. Ryan Blaney 3. Matt Crafton 4. Joey Coulter 5. German Quiroga 6. Ben Kennedy 7. Jeff Choquette 8. Cole Custer 9. Tyler Reddick 10. John-Hunter Nemechek 11. Spencer Gallagher 12. Chase Pistone 13. Darrell Wallace Jr. 14. Jeb Burton 15. Justin Jennings 16. Mason Mingus 17. Tyler Young 18. Johnny Sauter 19. Chris Eggleston 20. Justin Lofton 21. Ron Hornaday Jr. 22. John Wes Townley 23. Tayler Malsam 24. TJ Bell 25. Brandon Brown 26. Norm Benning 27. Dustin Hapka 28. Eric Caudell 29. Bryan Silas 30. Jennifer Jo Cobb 31. Timothy Peters 32. Raymond Terczack Jr. 33. Korbin Forrister 34. Charles Lewandoski 35. Caleb Roark 36. Tommy Regan

Margin of Victory: .629 seconds
Avg. Speed: 110.429 MPH
Lead Changes: 6 among 4 drivers
Cautions: 4 for 19 laps
Time of Race: 1 hr, 35 min. .05 sec.

Iowa Speedway Friday July 11th, 2014

By Dean Reller

It's a double header weekend at Iowa Speedway.  I'll be covering both the American Ethanol 200 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Iowa Corn Indy 300 for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

4:30PM  IndyCar Practice is over.  Juan Pablo Montoya was fastest with a lap of 17.4327 seconds.  Followed by: Will Power, James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Calos Munoz, Tony Kanaan, Mikhail Aleshin, Marco Andretti.  

Camping World Truck Series Qualifying is coming up at 4:40, IndyCar Qualifying is at 6:00.  The Truck Series race will start at 7:30 and is televised on Fox Sports 1.

11:30 AM Light rain is currently falling and all on track activities are currently on hold.  Both series were able to get a single practice session in before the rain moved in.

Final Practice for the Camping World Truck Series has been cancelled.  Qualifying is still on schedule.

In the only practice for the Truck Series, Bubba Wallace topped the charts with a lap of 22.949 seconds.  Matt Crafton was 2nd quick, followed by Timothy Peters, Erik Jones, Cole Custer, Joey Coulter, Justin Lofton, Jeff Choquette, Chase Pistone and German Quiroga.

James Hinchcliffe was fastest in the Verizon IndyCar practice with a lap of 17.5249 seconds.  Followed by Tony Kanaan, Carlos Munoz, Charlie Kimball, Marco Andretti, Ryan Brisco, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Win-Tron Owner Thiesse Keeps Minnesota Roots Strong In Growing Team

By Dean Reller

Growing up in the Brainerd area of Minnesota, Nate Thiesse took his love for racing and became a dirt track racer, turned asphalt driver.  Along the way he earned an engineering degree.  Thiesse worked for few race teams and then worked in the racing industry for a while.  “I knew I wanted to get back to the race track and I had a really good working relationship with Kevin Cywinski from back when he was racing and I was working on his stuff as a team engineer for LaFavre Racing and Country Joe Racing”, said Thiesse during a recent interview at an ARCA Racing Series event at Elko Speedway.  “So when Joe Miller decided to sell the team, that’s when Kevin and I said this is a really neat opportunity to come in and buy it and help these kids and we figured if we did it right and were smart about it, we could make it work.  And so, seven years later, here we are.”

Win-Tron Racing (Win, coming from CyWINski’s name and Tron, from Nate’s nickname, NaTRON) became a Minnesota based team with its shop and headquarters located in Lakeville.  The team became what is known as a driver development team, taking young drivers such as James Buescher, Blake Bjorklund, Justin Marks, Matt Merrell and Mason Mingus and giving them the professional opportunities to compete in the ARCA Racing Series.  That was at least until 2014, when the team hired 10-time ARCA Racing Series Champion Frank Kimmel to drive for them.  With a seasoned veteran behind the wheel, the team’s goals changed a bit, but not the focus.  “So its 180-degrees opposite of what we had been doing, but it’s not any different than what you do on a day-to-day basis”, said Thiesse.  “You are still taking the driver’s feedback, making the car better, doing the adjustments and just finding that speed.”  Kimmel has served as a resource for many of the drivers in the series as it is very common to have them come to him for information.  Cywinski’s driver development role as changed a bit, but not a lot.  “Kevin works with the drivers and it’s not uncommon for him to tell Frank to be easy on the restarts and not to spin the tires.”

A little over a year ago, the Win-Tron team moved from Minnesota to North Carolina mostly because of the available resources needed to be successful.  “From a cost standpoint, you almost had to do it for logistics”, remarked Thiesse.  “With Diesel costs up, it’s expensive to keep running cars to North Carolina to get the chassis repaired and get the bodies put on, nobody around here does that.”  Along with the move, the number of cars in the team’s inventory has greatly increased to as many as 22 ARCA cars in various stages of construction or repair, not to mention some NASCAR K & N Series cars and seven NASCAR Camping World Trucks.

The trucks have been something Win-Tron has been gradually getting into. “The last few years we’ve ran the truck races at the end of the year”, pointed out Thiesse.  “This year it’s a full-time effort with Mason Mingus who finished second to Kimmel last year in ARCA points.”  Going up against well established truck teams is no easy task, but the Win-Tron team was somewhat prepared for the challenge. “We knew the first third of the season we were going to take some bumps and bruises as he (Mingus) is still learning and we’re learning what he needs in the truck which is way different than the ARCA cars.”  To help with the development of the truck team, they have hired a few people with truck experience to help with the learning curve.

With an ARCA team and now a Truck team, you may wonder what’s next?  Well, expanding to yet another series isn’t totally out of the question sometime in future, but it isn’t a priority for the team.  “Stick with what you are good at”, added Thiesse.  “We know where we fit in the racing world.  The ARCA Series is awesome to run in, the Truck Series is a great stepping stone for kids coming through our ARCA program to go to.  We are slow to build and very conservative and want to make sure we are doing Quality instead of Quantity.”   

Even though the shop has moved out of state, Thiesse still has his roots firmly planted in the Brainerd area where he and his family reside.  “For me it’s keeping close to family and having that support system is the key”, said Thiesse.  “Kevin keeps everything together at the shop.  I handle more of the business side of it.  So, together it’s a good working relationship.  There are a few things that I can do that I don’t have to be there and we see everybody often.  There are only three days a week that I don’t see everybody and then we are back at the race track, so it works out.”

When the ARCA Racing Series came recently to Elko Speedway, just miles from the team’s former shop, it became more of a homecoming besides just being a race.  “It’s fun to see everybody”, beamed Thiesse.  “After the race, when everyone comes down (to the pit area), you’ll see people that you haven’t seen for years that you used to see at the race track, whether that’s Sauk Centre or somebody that you used to know back in the ASA days, they’ll find their way down here.”  So that Minnesota foundation remains there for Nate Thiesse and Win-Tron Racing which still can be considered a Minnesota based team.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Enfinger pointed the way at Elko Speedway

By Dean Reller

Grant Enfinger from Fairhope, AL, made his first trip to Minnesota in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards,a memorable one as he turned in nothing short of a dominant effort as he overcame early adversity to win the Akona 250 presented by Federated Car Care at Elko Speedway.  Fifteen-year-old J.J. Haley turned many heads as the young driver out qualified everyone and started the race from the pole.  At the wave of the green, it was outside polesitter Enfinger who took the race’s early lead.  On lap three, Enfinger, Justin Boston, Austin Wayne Self and Mason Mitchell tangled in turn one to bring out the first of the race’s 5 cautions.  Enfinger and Mitchell pitted and rejoined the race at the tail of the field. 

Josh Williams inherited the lead through a couple of more cautions that happened in the first 30 laps of the race.  Tom Hessert took the lead shortly after a restart on lap 36.  Enfinger worked his way back into contention as he began to challenge Hessert for the lead.  On lap 43, Enfinger regained the top spot as he and Hessert ran together at the head of the field.  Defending race winner Frank Kimmel and Kyle Benjamin made contact in turn four to bring out yet another caution on lap 67.  When the race resumed, so did the battle between Enfinger and Hessert.  Enfinger was able to shake off Hessert as only the top five cars remained on the lead lap.  John Wes Townley brought out race’s final caution when he spun coming out of turn four.  All the leaders pitted taking on four fresh Hoosier tires with Enfinger narrowly beating Boston off pit road for the lead. Enfinger continued to show the way as he opened up the lead, leaving the race for second to be the one to watch.  Boston’s car began to fade as Hessert and Haley would get by in cautionless final 91 laps.  By the time the checkered flag waved, Enfinger had nearly a half of a lap lead as he took the win by 6.258 seconds over Hessert, Haley, Boston and Ken Schrader.

Here are audio interviews with Enfinger, Haley and Hessert after the race done by Dean Reller on KRWC radio

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Super Late Model title up for Grabs at Elko Speedway

Even with some of the familiar names at Elko Speedway not racing for points this year.  The Super Late Models at Elko Speedway have been very entertaining the first month of the 2014 Season.
Nine time Elko Speedway Champion Donny Reuvers is racing the full ARCA Midwest Tour series this year and defending Elko Champion Adam Royle is not racing at all yet, and that opens the door for a new Champion at Elko Speedway or possibly one we have not heard from in a while.

62 yr old Mark Lamoreaux (#26 above) was a surprise winner of the main event on May 17th.   He hadn't won a feature at Elko since the Mid 1980's "I think I am more than a veteran" said Lamoreaux.  He was the 1976 Champion at Elko and 1991 Champion at La Crosse but he usually prefers not to race for the title "I try not to race for points, I've been in too many of those and you go crazy," said Lamoreaux.

#80 Paul Paine had a terrible wreck to start the season last year, it took him a good part of the year just to get back to the track.  2014 is a different story as he has clocked a fast time in qualifying and has had two runner up finishes and leads in the Elko Speedway point standings coming into June.  "We weren't planning on running for points," said Paine "now maybe we better look at it."

On the other end of the spectrum was 20 yr old Derek Lemke (#5 above) who won on May 24th, he is only in his third year of racing in the Super Late Model division.  They have a new car this year and really got it dialed in to start the season.  "Right now I'm not thinking about points but, any racer will look at the points at some point and time, we will play it out and see how Mid-Season is," said Lemke.

Jacob Goede is joining his brother Matt racing full time at Elko this summer, this is the first time that they have raced each other at the same track for a point title. Jacob has raced full time in the ARCA Midwest Tour for quite some time, he won the Rookie of the year in 2009 and finished second in points in 2011.  He had two victories on the tour; one at I-94 in Sauk Centre and one at Illiana.  Remember he also won three big ASA Late Model races; one at Iowa Speedway, in Bristol, and also in Mansfield (OH). 

#28 Matt Goede has done quite well at Elko over the years, he finished fourth in points last year and scored four wins, he was runner up in points in 2012.  Both drivers are capable of winning numerous races and fighting for the Title this year, maybe racing each other for it.

Lets not forget about Jason Schneider who has two Elko titles under his belt, he won the Championship in both 1998 and 1999, he is always near the front and has been ultra consistent.  Chad Walen has never won a Championship at Elko but he won two feature events in 2013.   He has won a bunch of MN state NASCAR titles in his career and two Championships at Raceway Park, he found a great set up at Oktoberfest last fall and it has carried over to a good start this season at Elko Speedway.

#81 Bryan Syer-Keske is also a guy to keep an eye on this summer.  This two time Great North Legends Champion won two races last year and has the talent to get the job done.  Don't be surprised if you see Joey Garofalo, Steve Anderson or Bryan Roach in victory lane this summer either. 

More than a handful of the former Elko Speedway regulars are racing the TUNDRA or ARCA Midwest touring series and that is a good thing. The Super Late Model car count is still healthy at between 16-20 every week at Elko Speedway and the racing is great.  Minnesota drivers are proving their worth in Regional Touring series and that opens the doors for a new, or maybe revisited Champion at Elko Speedway this summer.

*For more information go to

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sam Hornish Jr wins Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway

#54 Sam Hornish Jr and Ryan Blaney battled for the top spot all day long during the Get to Know Newton 250 Nationwide series race at Iowa Speedway.  Hornish lead a total of four times for 167 laps and Blaney held the top spot five times for a total of 80 laps.

Hornish driving in a part time role for Joe Gibbs Racing took the lead for the final time after a restart with 20 laps to go, Blaney was the leader and chose the bottom side but Hornish had the faster short run car and won by .796 seconds.

Regan Smith was aggressive after the final restart and moved up to third with Chase Elliott and Elliott Sadler round out the top 5 with Brian Scott finishing 6th. 

#20 Michael McDowell driving the Glenwood MN Pizza Ranch sponsored car was a top 10 car throughout but took a chance with only two new tires on a restart with 38 laps remaining in the race.  He exited the pits with the lead but faded back to finish in the 7th position.

Ty Dillon and Trevor Bayne finished 8th and 9th, they ran nose to tail the entire day.  "We had no short run speed," said Bayne "the race didn't play out the way we needed it to, we needed some 75 lap runs to make some ground up, but everything was short run."

Hometown hero Landon Cassill pleased the crowd with a Top 10 finish, "It was a solid race for us, just track position was really important, it was really hard to pass."

The 250 lap race saw only 5 caution flags and the only wreck was for Mike Bliss on lap 222.  18 cars finished on the lead lap and the race took 2 hours and 4 minutes to complete.

#9 Chase Elliott leaves Iowa with the Nationwide Series point lead by just 2 points over both Elliott Sadler and Regan Smith.

The patching of the track surface to repair some harsh winter damage was apparently a success, drivers noted they did not have a problem with any of the patches and it was hardly noticeable compared to last year.

For an additional photo gallery from Iowa Speedway, join our Facebook fan page

*Jason D Searcy Photos

Friday, April 25, 2014

Big names kick off 2014 season

April has been full of heavy hitter guests to kick off our 6th season of Speed Talk on 1360 radio.

ARCA Midwest Tour president Tim Olson (above) joined us LIVE at the KRWC Home/Garden show.   Tim told us that he will be returning to the track as a driver this season on a limited basis, so look for the #79 Nuclear Banana Super Late Model at Elko Speedway.  He also anticipates some big names to attend the big Milwaukee Mile event June 8th including: Rusty and Steven Wallace, Bill and Chase Elliott and Jeb Burton, son of Ward Burton.

Joey Prusak (above) who was recently appeared on the Queen Latifa TV show was in studio with us on April 12th.  He recounted the humanitarian events that lead him to being recognized by NASCAR, then traveling to the Daytona 500 and getting to meet his idol Joey Logano.  He also detailed his racing plans for this summer at Elko Speedway.

Here is the audio recording of his interview

Then we interviewed Nate Thiesse (above), a former racer and the only Minnesota owner in the ARCA and NASCAR Truck series.  We talked about his current drivers including Frank Kimmel and Mason Mingus, also how he finds his "over the wall" crew members and even the cost of wind tunnel time.  He also recanted some old racing memories from I-94 Raceway.  Here is the link to the podcast of that interview

We wraped up April with the new president of Iowa Speedway, Jimmy Small.  He talked about the 2014 Iowa Speedway schedule including their "Wide Opening weekend" May 17th and 18th with the NASCAR K&N series on Saturday night and the NASCAR Nationwide series on Sunday afternoon.  Speed Talk will be reporting there and interviewing as many drivers as possible. Here is the pod-cast episode of that segment

 The local racing season is now set to begin, we will have interviews with winners from Elko Speedway and other various tracks every week on Speed Talk on 1360.  Dan Plan from the Midwest racing connection also joins us weekly in the last segment of the show.

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