AUTO RACING: Different sprint winner assured with Dobmeier racing in Iowa

Joey Pederson ended last week with another win, this time holding off Donny Schatz -- the country's top sprint car driver who occasionally races his late model at River Cities Speedway. It wasn't a bad way to end the week for Pederson, the East G...


Joey Pederson ended last week with another win, this time holding off Donny Schatz - the country’s top sprint car driver who occasionally races his late model at River Cities Speedway.

It wasn’t a bad way to end the week for Pederson, the East Grand Forks late model driver who now has four wins this season.

But in the late model division at RCS, there is little room for error when it comes to the season points race. Wins are important, but they may not be as important as consistency.

Pederson has four feature wins, the most of any driver. But he is in second in points, five back of Brad Seng, who has three wins.


“It seems to always come down to three or four guys,” said Pederson. “And the season points winner is the one who doesn’t have many DNFs. That’s the difference-maker.

“I’ve broken down twice. So far, Brad hasn’t broke that I’m aware of.”

Usually, the late model season points race isn’t decided until the final week of the season. The season points race between Seng, Pederson, Dustin Strand and Mike Balcaen appears to be headed for the final week again.

Strand is in third, six points off the pace, while Balcaen is 15 back.

Seng also has the lead in the NLRA points race this season.

“Brad has the NLRA all but tied up and I’m sure he’s hoping to pull off the RCS and NLRA (titles) in the same year,” said Pederson. “He’s been more consistent than us.

“We’re close, though. We’re hoping to have a strong August.”

A regular night of racing is on tap tonight at RCS.


Sprint feature up for grabs

Mark Dobmeier won last week’s 25-lap sprint feature at RCS, his 104th career win at RCS.

When Dobmeier is in the field, he’s the heavy favorite to win as he’s one of the best sprint drivers in the country.

Dobmeier, however, won’t be at tonight’s races. He’s competing in the Knoxville 360 Nationals in Iowa.

His absence should make for an interesting feature, one that’s up for grabs. Austin Pierce and Wade Nygaard are the only other RCS sprint regulars to win at the Bullring this season.

The sprint field could be a little lighter tonight as Thomas Kennedy and Lou Kennedy Jr. also are scheduled to race in Knoxville.

Also, this is the time of the season when car counts begin to take a dip for a number of reasons, ranging from vacations to race teams running low on funds.

Regardless, a field of approximately 20 sprints is expected tonight.



River Cities Speedway

Season points leaders

Late models

Brad Seng, GF, 410; Joey Pederson, EGF, 405; Dustin Strand, GF, 404; Mike Balcaen, Winnipeg,  395; Steve Anderson, GF, 387; Bill Mooney, Selkirk, 367; Zach Naastad, Northwood, 325; Jeff McDonald, Forest River, 320; Tom Corcoran, EGF, 320; Steffen Snare, Hallock, 297

Midwest modifieds

Tyler Peterson, Hickson, 375; Darren Pfau, Oriska, 371; Ryan Schroeder, Devils Lake, 350; Austin Hunter, Winnipeg, 336; John Halvorson, Warren, 301; Zach Bruer, Fisher, 266; Dallas Brevik, GF, 252; Todd Johnson, Petersburg, 227; Tim Berg, GF, 226; Tony Byzewski, GF, 225



Mike Anderson, West Fargo, 380; Ryan Johnson, Karlstad, 366; Travis Robertson, Moorhead, 356; Jordan Duray, Halma, 346; Aaron BlackLance, Thief River Falls, 329; Dan McNamee, Arvilla, 320; James Meagher, GF, 297; Daniel Aberle, Finley, 296; Steven Richards, Finley, 296; Tiffany Noreikis, Warren, 270


Austin Pierce, GF, 385; Casey Mack, EGF, 366; Chris Shirek, Thompson, 365; Bob Martin, EGF, 343; Mark Dobmeier, GF, 323; Wade Nygaard, GF, 311; Jordan Adams, Reynolds, 311; Mitch Mack, EGF, 306; Tom Egeland, Climax, 296; Greg Nikitenko, Minot, 290; Ty Hanten, West Fargo, 288; Amber Balcaen, Winnipeg, 281; Zach Wilde, TRF, 274; Blake Egeland, Climax, 273; Jordan Graham, GF, 266; Dave Glennon, Casselton, 259; Trent Stengl, Oslo, 254; Nick Omdahl, EGF, 252; Brenden Wilde, TRF, 239; Jade Hastings, GF, 228




Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.

He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.

He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.

Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or
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