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AUTO RACING: Sprint cars dominate lineup at River Cities Speedway

Driver Amber Balcaen holds her spot in turn two Friday evening during the third night of the 2014 racing season at River Cities Speedway. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald1 / 3
Driver Patrick Rethemier tries to regain control of his car after going off the track in turn two during the first heat of modifieds Friday evening at River Cities Speedway. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald2 / 3
Drivers, officials and fans check the heat lineups after the drivers' meeting Friday evening before the start of the first heats at River Cities Speedway. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald3 / 3

The racing surface at River Cities Speedway has been different than usual the past two nights.

“It wasn’t a typical River Cities race track,” said Mark Dobmeier. “Over the past few weeks, they’ve had a hard, dry surface and that slows it down. But it does create two- and three-wide racing.”

The track conditions may have been different. But that still hasn’t affected Dobmeier too much.

The Grand Forks driver won Friday night’s 25-lap sprint feature, using patience and his ability to maneuver through lapped traffic to methodically work his way to the front.

Still, it wasn’t a typical night for Dobmeier, who has won two of the three RCS features this season. He didn’t have a strong heat race and had to start 11th in the 24-car field. And it wasn’t until Lap 16 that he grabbed the lead, ducking under Tom Egeland’s No. 14 sprint in Turn 3.

Egeland, running one his strongest features in recent years, led the first 15 laps.

“We tightened up the car quite a bit from the heat race,” said Dobmeier. “I knew three laps into the race that we had a good car. I just had to be patient. I used the middle of the track and picked my way slowly through traffic.”

Dobmeier said it wasn’t easy getting by Egeland.

“Hats off to Tom,” said Dobmeier. “He ran a great race. I watched him in his heat race and he drove away in that race.”

Lou Kennedy, who battled Dobmeier for third earlier in the feature, nipped Egeland on the last lap to finish second. Egeland finished third, followed by Jordan Graham and Chris Ranten.

Dobmeier’s fastest circuit came on Lap 13 when he turned in a time of 13.483 seconds (80.101 mph).

Egeland’s fastest time was 13.770 seconds, coming on Lap 12.

“I threw everything I had at it,” Egeland said.

Brad Seng clearly had the fastest car in the 20-lap late model feature.

The Grand Forks driver cruised to the win, beating Dustin Strand by 1.785 seconds.

However, a late caution flag closed the field. Seng held a monstrous 4.945 second advantage on Strand when the yellow flew on Lap 18.

But Seng was strong on the restart and drove to another feature win. Strand finished second, followed by Joey Pederson, Zach Naastad and Steve Anderson.

Tyler Peterson, who two weeks ago won what’s believed to be the closest race at RCS since electronic timing has been used at the track, captured the 18-lap Midwest modifieds feature. He nipped Ryan Schroeder by 0.201 of a second. The two raced side-by-side for a good portion of the race.

Peterson grabbed the lead for good on Lap 14.

Jordan Duray won the streets feature. Travis Robertson finished second. 

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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