9/7/2019 - Elko, MN
By Jason D Searcy
The rain drops did not dampen the mood at Elko Speedway on Saturday night, it was an action packed Eve of Destruction filled with racing and destruction. It was the second to last night of racing for 2019 NASCAR Hometrack points and two Minnesota drivers competing at ELKO, Nick Panitzke and Jacob Goede, were the top two in the Nation in Division I coming into the race night. A Minnesota driver has never won a National Division I NASCAR Championship.
In the first 30 lap Late Model feature event sponsored by The Car Lot in Prague (MN) #13 Bryan Wrolstad had the early lead but was challenged by #54 Dylan Moore lap after lap. A spin occurred on lap 20 that left Wrolstad up front and had Moore restart in the back. Jacob Goede #72 from Carver (MN) was the fast-timer in qualifying and started the race 10th, Goede had moved all the way up to the second row on the restart. Ryan Varner was looking for his first career Late Model win, he passed Wrolstad and grabbed the lead off the restart, he was then immediately challenged by Goede who captured the top spot on lap 27 and motored to the victory by 0.501 seconds. Ryan Varner finished second followed by #52 Chad Walen, Bryan Wrolstad and #32 Jeremy Wolff. It was the 5th feature win of the season for Goede at ELKO and because of his poor starting spot, it earned him maximum NASCAR bonus points, important in the battle for the National Championship. The other National title contender Nick Panitzke started 13th and finished the race 8th of the 16 cars entered.
After dodging some raindrops the second Late Model feature had Elko Speedway 2016 Big 8 division Champion #54 Dylan Moore of Northfield (MN) take the early lead, a couple cautions occurred and Moore held onto the top spot. Jacob Goede #72 started 14th and was working his way up through the field, on lap 9 Goede took responsibility for a caution with the “Gentlemens tap-out rule,” sending himself to the back of the pack and giving #21 Adam Bendzick and #6 Owin Giles their running positions back. Bendzick took advantage and challenged Moore by racing side by side for the top spot. Bendzick finally took over the lead on lap 21, held the lead and crossed the finish line first for what looked like his fourth win of the season. Nick Panitzke #22 started the race 7th and worked his way up to cross the finish line 3rd, both Panitzke and Bendzick were later Disqualified in post race inspection for being under the minimum weight. That gave the victory to #54 Dylan Moore, #6 Owin Giles second, followed by #32 Jeremy Wolff, #19 Michael Haggar and #72 Jacob Goede. It was the first win of the season for Moore. He became the 13th different driver to win a Late Model feature at Elko Speedway in 2019.
Jacob Goede scored enough points to clinch the Late Model title at Elko Speedway. “It’s really cool,” said Goede “this year was really tough, the field gets tighter every year, we couldn’t get away, Chris Marek kept it close, nobody really dominated, all the different winners this year proves it, to win (the Championship) again is cool.” Goede has a 165 point lead over #3 Chris Marek going into the final night of points, a driver can only earn a maximum of 133 points per race night, so Goede has clinched his 6th consecutive Premier division Championship at Elko Speedway.
The first Genz-Ryan Thunder Cars feature had #14 Tony Holm lead early until #9 Adam Wiebusch passed for the lead on the high side on lap 5 of 20. A caution occurred on lap 8 and tightened up the field, Wiebusch grabbed the lead until fast qualifier and 12th place starter #3 Conrad Jorgenson from Lakeville (MN) challenged and took the top spot on lap 11. Jorgenson then cruised for the win by 2.796 seconds, it was his 8th win of the season. Keith Paulsrud #75 finished second, #32 Jeremy Wolff third, title contender #37 Bryce Blohm fourth and Wiebusch finished fifth of the 15 cars entered.
The second Thunder Car feature had #86 Brandon Petersen lead early until #25 Eric Campbell from Lonsdale (MN) took over the top spot and he never looked back. Campbell won the cautionless race by 1.376 seconds, it was his second win of the season. Bryce Blohm #37 charged up from his 8th starting spot to finish second, #3 Conrad Jorgenson went from 13th to third, #92 Norm Grabinger was fourth and #75 Keith Paulsrud fifth.
With just two more points weeks of racing in the Thunder Car division Conrad Jorgenson has a slim 16 point lead over Bryce Blohm in the race for the Championship.