Nordhagen claims Norman County Raceway victory in first-ever visit

By Mike Spieker

ADA, Minn. (June 11, 2020) – A good crowd of fans again filled the stands on Thursday night as RDO presented week two of Thursday Night Thunder at Norman County Raceway. Two first-time winners, Steve Nordhagen and Brendan Blascyk, visited victory lane, while familiar names Rob VanMil, Rick Schulz, Aaron Wetterlin, and Scott Richardson also picked up wins.

Steve Nordhagen, 64 of Thief River Falls, Minn., claimed his first career win at Norman County Raceway on Thursday night.

The high-side was the fastest way around the speedway for the Sanders Metal Products IMCA Modifieds. All drivers inside the top five rode the extreme high side of the speedway. Rob VanMil of Barnesville, Minn. started on the pole and led all 15 laps en route to his first Modified victory of the season. The best battle on the track was the race for second as Michael Johnson of Moorhead and Fargo’s Austin Arneson raced side by side lap after lap. Arneson appeared to have the faster car, but Johnson had the preferred line in the moisture on the outside of the speedway. VanMil led Johnson, Arneson, Aaron Johnson of Brainerd, and Jesse Skalicky of Fargo to the checkers.

Rick Schulz of Horace, N.D. withstood heavy pressure from Kalvin Kesselberg of Ada in the closing stages of the Norman County Implement IMCA Stock Car feature to claim the win. Schulz has gotten a good start to the season thus far. His win on Thursday was his second of the season through three events. His other win came on June 5th at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D.

The IMCA Stock Cars race into turn one during heat race action at Norman County Raceway.

Aaron Wetterlin came from the sixth starting position to win the Titan Machinery IMCA SportMod feature. Wetterlin quickly moved to the second position before tracking down leader Brandon Tendeland of West Fargo, N.D. Once out front, Wetterlin checked out and took the win. Behind him, a great battle for second broke out between eighth and 10th place starters Luke Johnson of Glyndon and Rich Pavlicek of Casselton, N.D. Pavlicek took the runner up spot at the checkers as Johnson rounded out the podium.

Steve Nordhagen grabbed his first career Christian Brothers Ford IMCA Hobby Stock feature win in his Norman County Raceway debut. Nordhagen of Thief River Falls is a 64-year-old third-year racer. Nordhagen held off IMCA national front runner Tim Gonska of Brainerd, in the closing stages. Gonska had a run on Nordhagen heading into turns three and four on the final lap, but heavy contact between the two stalled Gonska’s run and gave Nordhagen the win by a nose at the flagstand.

In a wild finish to the Christian Motors WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, Brendan Blascyk picked up his first career Norman County Raceway win. Blascyk, of Kensington, Minn. who plans to compete at Norman County weekly in 2020, started fifth on the grid but found himself in the third position by lap five. Blascyk rode behind early race leader Chris Mack of Jamestown, N.D., and Zach Bruer of Fischer. Mack and Bruer had a great battle for the lead as both drivers rode the rim around the fast and tacky three-eighths-mile oval. With four laps to go, Mack slid off the track in turns one and two as Blascyk, who ran second, narrowly missed him. The caution flew and Blascyk assumed the race lead.

On the restart, Blascyk held off Bruer to visit KRJB/KRJM/KKCQ Victory Lane for the first time. Bruer and Jeff Nelson of Perham rounded out the podium.

A four-car breakout was led by Scott Richardson to start the Seedex INEX Legend feature. The Braseth brothers of Ryan and Alex ran second and third, respectively, while 2018 track champion Brody Carlsrud of Moorhead rode fourth. A debris caution came out with four laps down, which put Carlsrud to the tail of the field. In the closing laps, the top three cars all ran within four car lengths on the top side of the speedway. Richardson held on for the win while Alex and Ryan Braseth, Tony Brockhouse of Glyndon, and Carlsrud rounded out the top five.

Racing continues at Norman County Raceway next Thursday night with the green flag dropping at 7 pm.


WISSOTA Midwest Mods:
A Feature: 1. 9B-Brendan Blascyk[5]; 2. 01-Zach Bruer[1]; 3. 33-Jeff Nelson[4]; 4. 188-Hunter Hougard[7]; 5. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[3]; 6. 69-Justin Jones[11]; 7. 55X-Chris Mack[2]; 8. 16-Skyler Smith[10]; 9. (DNF) 2G-Brock Gronwold[8]; 10. (DNF) 1S-Scott Bintz[9]; 11. (DNF) 2S-Matt Schow[6]; 12. (DNF) 35-David McIntire[12]; 13. (DNS) 7S-Sam Zender

Heat 1: 1. 188-Hunter Hougard[2]; 2. 33-Jeff Nelson[3]; 3. 01-Zach Bruer[5]; 4. 55X-Chris Mack[1]; 5. 1S-Scott Bintz[6]; 6. 16-Skyler Smith[7]; 7. (DNF) 69-Justin Jones[4]

Heat 2: 1. 9B-Brendan Blascyk[1]; 2. 2S-Matt Schow[2]; 3. 2G-Brock Gronwold[6]; 4. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[4]; 5. (DNS) 35-David McIntire; 6. (DNS) 7S-Sam Zender

IMCA Modifieds:
A Feature: 1. 40-Rob VanMil[1]; 2. 84-Michael Johnson[2]; 3. 10-Austin Arneson[5]; 4. 442-Aaron Johnson[3]; 5. 3S-Jesse Skalicky[4]; 6. 88B-Brady Petermann[6]; 7. 96-Erv Grossman[8]; 8. 57-Tom Cummings[9]; 9. (DNF) 60-Tyler Hall[7]

Heat 1: 1. 10-Austin Arneson[8]; 2. 84-Michael Johnson[4]; 3. 40-Rob VanMil[1]; 4. 442-Aaron Johnson[6]; 5. 3S-Jesse Skalicky[7]; 6. 88B-Brady Petermann[9]; 7. 60-Tyler Hall[5]; 8. 96-Erv Grossman[3]; 9. (DNF) 57-Tom Cummings[2]

IMCA Stock Cars:
A Feature: 1. 4-Rick Schulz[1]; 2. 11-Kalvin Kesselberg[4]; 3. 10-Travis Robertson[6]; 4. 40-Rob VanMil[7]; 5. 18A-Mike Anderson[8]; 6. 57K-Derrick Kronbach[9]; 7. 21J-Andrew Jochim[3]; 8. 13X-Jonathan Johnson[2]; 9. (DNF) 38-Todd Heinrich[5]; 10. (DNS) 76Z-John Sandvig

Heat 1: 1. 11-Kalvin Kesselberg[3]; 2. 10-Travis Robertson[4]; 3. 18A-Mike Anderson[5]; 4. 13X-Jonathan Johnson[2]; 5. (DNS) 76Z-John Sandvig

Heat 2: 1. 40-Rob VanMil[4]; 2. 4-Rick Schulz[1]; 3. 21J-Andrew Jochim[2]; 4. 38-Todd Heinrich[3]; 5. 57K-Derrick Kronbach[5]

IMCA SportMods:
A Feature: 1. 3W-Aaron Wetterlin[6]; 2. 17-Rich Pavlicek[10]; 3. 8J-Luke Johnson[8]; 4. 3X-Andy Wagner[7]; 5. 12T-Brandon Tendeland[2]; 6. E6-Ryan Veralrud[4]; 7. 40-Chris VanMil[9]; 8. 9-Torey Fischer[3]; 9. 22-Vince Jegtvig[5]; 10. 2X-Brady Moore[1]; 11. (DNS) 13C-Paul Colvin

Heat 1: 1. 3X-Andy Wagner[4]; 2. 9-Torey Fischer[2]; 3. 40-Chris VanMil[5]; 4. E6-Ryan Veralrud[3]; 5. 2X-Brady Moore[1]

Heat 2: 1. 8J-Luke Johnson[4]; 2. 17-Rich Pavlicek[5]; 3. 12T-Brandon Tendeland[1]; 4. 22-Vince Jegtvig[6]; 5. (DNF) 3W-Aaron Wetterlin[3]; 6. (DNS) 13C-Paul Colvin

INEX Legends:
A Feature: 1. 79-Scott Richardson[2]; 2. 20-Alex Braseth[1]; 3. 29-Ryan Braseth[4]; 4. D1RT-Tony Brockhouse[9]; 5. B1-Brody Carlsrud[3]; 6. 2-Ashton Spieker[5]; 7. 8-Ethan Mabus[6]; 8. (DNF) 19E-Elzetta Bitker[7]; 9. (DNS) 72-Tye Wilke

Heat 1: 1. 29-Ryan Braseth[2]; 2. B1-Brody Carlsrud[3]; 3. 79-Scott Richardson[4]; 4. D1RT-Tony Brockhouse[8]; 5. 20-Alex Braseth[7]; 6. 2-Ashton Spieker[6]; 7. 8-Ethan Mabus[1]; 8. 19E-Elzetta Bitker[5]; 9. (DNF) 72-Tye Wilke[9]

IMCA Hobby Stocks:
A Feature: 1. 2B-Steve Nordhagen[1]; 2. 5G-Tim Gonska[4]; 3. 6-Scott Herron[6]; 4. 3XL-Brad Orvedal[2]; 5. 31X-Tim Shiek[3]; 6. 33X-Joe Gonska[5]; 7. B2-Brodee Eckerdt[10]; 8. 17-Chad Visser[7]; 9. 22W-Will Miller[11]; 10. 9-Skyla Miller[9]; 11. (DNF) 17S-Nick Shumansky[8]; 12. (DNS) 14-Alyssa White

Heat 1: 1. 2B-Steve Nordhagen[1]; 2. 31X-Tim Shiek[3]; 3. 33X-Joe Gonska[4]; 4. 17S-Nick Shumansky[6]; 5. 17-Chad Visser[5]; 6. B2-Brodee Eckerdt[2]

Heat 2: 1. 5G-Tim Gonska[3]; 2. 3XL-Brad Orvedal[2]; 3. 6-Scott Herron[4]; 4. 9-Skyla Miller[6]; 5. (DNF) 22W-Will Miller[1]; 6. (DNS) 14-Alyssa White

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