By Jason D Searcy
September 29th, 2019 - Elko, MN
The final race event for 2019 at Elko Speedway was an Eve of Destruction presented by ProKart Indoors.
It was a dramatic finish to the season in the Great North Legends as two teenagers fought for their first points Championship at ELKO.
Coming into the night 16 yr old Austin Jahr #47 from Farmington (MN) held a 2 point lead over 17 yr old Cole Klein #8 from Rogers (MN).
Tristan Swanson #91 was the fast-timer in qualifying with a time of 15.894, Austin Jahr was the second quickest with a time of 15.931 and Cole Klein was a disappointing fifth fastest with a time of 16.006. That meant Austin Jahr picked up six points and now led Klein by eight points going into the first 20 lap feature event.
Klein started the feature in 6th and Jahr started the event in 9th of the 16 cars entered. Robby Thurston #2 had the early lead until Cole Klein bolted to the top spot on lap 3, Klein had #71 Jon Lemke on his tail and the two drivers broke away from the field until a caution on lap 15 tightened up the pack and giving Austin Jahr an opportunity to make up some ground. Cole Klein resumed his strong run for the checkers after the restart and won by 0.293 seconds over runner-up Jon Lemke, fast-timer #91 Tristan Swanson finished third, point leader #47 Austin Jahr was fourth and #19 Michael Hanson was fifth. It was the sixth win of the season for Klein and exactly what he needed to get back into the title hunt, he made up 7 points on Austin Jahr and now was just 1 point behind him going into the 24th and final feature event at ELKO in 2019.
The second feature of the night in the Great North Legends had Austin Jahr starting 10th and Cole Klein starting 14th of the 16 cars entered. Aaron Marthaler #100 led the first lap and #7 Teddy Kottschade took over the top spot on lap 2 of 20. Luke Allen #3 fought Kottschade for the lead and finally took it over on lap 6, meanwhile #03 Robby Carter from Lakeville (MN) moved up from his 6th starting position to take the lead with an inside pass on lap 10. Meanwhile, the two title contenders were battling each other for the overall title, racing nose to tail during much of the race and advancing through the field. On the last lap #8 Cole Klein was one position ahead of #47 Austin Jahr on the track with both drivers knowing that if they finished unchanged Klein would win the title by 1 point. The two drivers had contact and spun, as a result both drivers were sent to the back of the pack and a green-white-checkered finish was ordered up.
After the restart Robby Carter won the drag race to the finish with Tristan Swanson, he won by 0.132 seconds, Jon Lemke was third, #7 Teddy Kottschade fourth and #3 Luke Allen fifth. It was the third win of the season for Carter who also finished third in overall points.
All eyes were on the duo dueling for the Championship at the back of the pack. On the last lap Austin Jahr was ahead of Cole Klein and down the backstretch again contact occurred between the two, this time Austin Jahr went spinning and Cole Klein continued on to finish 12th. One driver finished between the two competitors, Austin Jahr was scored one lap down in 14th. So, Cole Klein won his first ever Great North Legends title by 1 point. Even if Jahr would’ve finished one position higher and tied Klein the tie-breaker would’ve gone to Klein because of his 6 wins on the season.
The first Pepsi Power Stocks feature had Figure 8 racing star #24 Kari Miller making her first start in 6 years take the early lead until #56 Paul Hamilton passed her on the high side on lap 3 of 20. Darin Patnode #27 grabbed the top spot on lap 5 after a restart with Taylor Goldman #8 on his tail, Goldman made and inside move and took the lead on lap eight. Goldman then ran away from the field winning by an impressive 3.139 seconds, it was her fourth win of the season at ELKO. Joe Prusak #66 finished second, fast-timer #88 Nick Oxborough from Lakeville (MN) finished third and clinched the Power Stock Championship at Elko Speedway. Julie Jorgenson #83 was fourth and #27 Darin Patnode was fifth of the fourteen cars entered. This was the second Power Stock Championship at Elko Speedway for Nick Oxborough, his other title was in 2014.
The second Power Stock feature had #41 Ben Gannon take the early lead with #71 Tom Quade from Bloomington (MN) making a move for the top spot on lap 7 and taking the lead at the half-way mark. Mike Stoer #08 challenged for the lead but 69 year old Tom Quade held his position and won for the 4th time in 2019 at Elko Speedway. Stoer finished 0.381 seconds back followed by Julie Jorgenson #83 in third, Ben Gannon finished fourth and #66 Joe Prusak was fifth of the 14 cars entered. NIck Oxborough ended up winning the Power Stock title by 56 points over Mike Stoer and defending Champion Taylor Goldman was third, 93 points back.
The first 12 lap Bandolero feature had #01 Zachary Konop lead until a yellow flag on lap 2. After the caution #13 Ayrton Brockhouse and #14 Kody King battled for the top spot, Brockhouse spun and that opened the door for #901 Alex Hartwig to challenge King for the lead. It was a great race to the checkers and Kody King won by 0.357 seconds over Hartwig, it was the third win of the season for King. Josiah Kottschade #70 was third, #13 Brockhouse fourth and #06 Adam Ratliff fifth of the 10 cars entered.
The second Bandolero feature had #54 Jensen Vadnais hold the early lead until a spin on lap 3 of 12. After the caution #13 Ayrton Brockhouse grabbed the top spot, he was then challenged by #14 Kody King from Forest City (IA), King made the pass for the lead on the inside on lap 6, he then held on for the win by 0.940 over Ayrton Brockhouse. Josiah Kottschade #70 was third, #56 Clayton Dorner fourth and Vadnais was fifth. It was the fourth win of the season at ELKO for King. Alex Hartwig #901 had mechanical problems and did not finish the second feature but he still won the Championship by 59 points over #13 Ayrton Brockhouse, #70 Josiah Kottschade was third. Alex Hartwig had 7 feature wins at Elko Speedway in 2019, It was the first Points Championship at Elko Speedway for the 11 year old driver from Portage (WI).
All results and points are unofficial at the time of this release.