May 20th, 2017 - ELKO, MN
BY JASON D SEARCY
Saturday night (May 20th) is scheduled to be the 52nd season opener at Elko Speedway, Minnesota's only NASCAR sanctioned track.
The "Test and Tune" event held on May 13th was a big success as over 80 different drivers knocked off the rust and took to the 3/8th mile banked oval called the "Midwest Center for Speed."
The newly formed Hiway Federal Credit Union Late Model division is sure to produce some of the highest car counts and the most competitive racing in the entire Nation. These Late Models will be the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Premiere Division for ELKO, meaning the drivers in this division will have an opportunity to win the overall NASCAR Home Tracks National Championship and all the glory that comes along with it.
An All-Star lineup of Championship teams who have had success at ELKO in the past will be competing for the Late Model Championship in 2017. Here are some of the drivers to watch:
#72 Jacob Goede from Carver (MN) who won the Super Late Model division the previous three years in a row.
#54 Dylan Moore from Northfield (MN) who won the Big 8 Championship in 2016.
#17 Jon Lemke from Shakopee (MN) who is a two-time Champion at ELKO and was one point short of the Big 8 title in 2016.
#3 Chris Marek from Lakeville (MN) a 3 time Big 8 Champion at Elko Speedway.
#26 Mark Lamoreaux from Bloomington (MN) 1976 Champion.
#52 Chad Walen from Prior Lake (MN) two-time Raceway Park Champion.
#14 Doug Brown from Prior Lake (MN) four time ELKO Champion.
#71 Derek Lemke from Shakopee (MN) 3 time defending Legends Champion.
#4 Grant Brown from Prior Lake (MN) who won the NASCAR Division IV National Championship in 2015.
#02 Joey Garofalo from Lakeville (MN) 2006 Thunder Car Champion.
Two former Bando Champions will be looking to make some noise in the Premiere Division at Elko Speedway in 2017. #6 Owin Giles from New Market and #53 Jared Duda from St Michael (MN).
Many other drivers could score wins and possibly even the Championship in this division including: #40 Michael Beamish from Eagan (MN) who scored more points than any other driver the second half of 2016. Tony Brewer #7 from Shakopee (MN) won two races last year, as did #5 Todd Kamish from Farmington (MN). #75 Joe Neisius from Rosemount (MN) won 3 races, Bryan Wrolstad #13 from Northfield (MN) had a win as did #10 Nick Beaver from Rosemount (MN) and Ryan Kamish #42 from Farmington (MN).
Many other big names plan on racing Elko Speedway on a semi-regular basis including former Legends Champion #18 Michael Ostdiek from Lakeville (MN), he is once again a part of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program and will be racing all across the Region hoping to win the $54,439 first place prize. Nine-time Elko Speedway Champion #41 Donny Reuvers from Dundas (MN) always is a threat to win anytime he races at his home track.
Three-Wide racing will be allowed at Elko Speedway this year and with the large field of Late Models expected, plan on seeing a lot of action in 2017 in the Premiere Late Model Division.