Mark Dobmeier dominates sprint feature in his return to River Cities Speedway after recovering from a serious back injury

Nearly a year to the day after his injury, Dobmeier wins 30-lap feature in first leg of the Wayne Anderson Cup

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NOSA driver Mark Dobmeier speeds ahead of Reed Allex (91A) during a sprints feature Thursday, July 8, 2021 at River Cities Speedway. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Well, that didn’t take long.

Mark Dobmeier made his return to River Cities Speedway a successful one Thursday night, dominating the 30-lap feature in the first leg of the Wayne Anderson Cup -- a four-race series this summer to honor the late founder of The Bullring.

Dobmeier spent the past year recovering from a broken back suffered while racing with the World of Outlaws on July 4, 2020. He recently was given the green light to resume racing.

And the winningest driver in RCS history wasted little time in turning in another dominating performance.

Dobmeier, who started sixth, grabbed the lead from Jack Croaker with 23 laps to go and dominated the rest of the way. He posted the fastest lap time of 11.303 seconds and beat Brendan Mullen to the flag stand by 2.140 seconds as he again masterfully handled lapped traffic.


It was an emotional return for Dobmeier, who was cheered on by a number of fans during his Victory Lane interview.

“It was kind of a surreal experience,” said Dobmeier. “It’s been a year of waiting but this is all stuff I’m used to doing. But once we got a couple of laps in during our heat race, I kind of felt that I was right back to where I was before. It was comfortable from that point on. But it was a thrilling race.”

Dobmeier said the feature race was exhilarating, considering he’s had to watch a number of sprint features from the RCS grandstand.

“Nothing beats that feeling of ripping the cushion during feature time,” he said. “I was pretty much able to hold it wide open all the way around the track, carrying that right rear tire on top of the cushion. The feeling of the g-forces and the emotions you get while doing that is unbelievable.”

Dobmeier said it may have been a little nerve-wracking in the hours leading up to his return but any nerves disappeared quickly when he drove his familiar No. 13 Buffalo Wild Wings sprint onto the track.

“Once you get into the car and strap in, that’s my happy place,” said Dobmeier. “I’m probably the most relaxed when I’m in that race car. You could probably check my pulse when I’m racing and it’s probably as calm as could be.

“I really enjoyed jumping into the car and getting to that happy place again.”

Jade Hastings, who had won the previous two features at RCS, finished third, followed by Wade Nygaard and Austin Pierce.


The second leg of the Wayne Anderson Cup will be run Friday, July 10, at RCS.

“We got out, finished in one piece, got the car nice and comfortable, made a few changes and I: think we’re definitely on the right path,” said Dobmeier.

Michael Greseth won the 25-lap late model feature, holding off Dustin Strand by 0.640 seconds. Shane Edginton finished third, followed by Brad Seng and Cole Schill.

In the Midwest modified feature, Jory Berg took the lead with three laps to go to win the 18-lap event. Reise Stenberg was second followed by Tanner Theis, Nate Raasakka and Lance Schil. Berg had the fastest lap time of 14.112 seconds and won by 0.791 seconds.

The race went green-to-checkered without a caution flag.

The same held true in the streets feature. Aaron Blacklance passed Bryce Reimer for the lead on the back straight-away with four laps to go to capture the win. The race took 3 minutes, 54 seconds to complete.

Blacklance started sixth. A week ago, Blacklance raced from 19th to fifth during the Steffes Street Stock Tour feature at RCS.


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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