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Pederson family narrowly misses out on triple feature wins at River Cities Speedway

Kelsi and Joey Pederson won their features Friday and Tucker was leading when car troubles forced him off the track.

061822 S GFH RACING JoeyPederson01.jpg
East Grand Forks WISSOTA Late Models Joey Pederson motors around turn four at the River Cities Speedway Bullring in Grand Forks on Friday, June 17, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Everything looked good for Tucker Pederson on Friday night.

He led the streets feature for more than 10-straight laps and it looked like he was going to cruise into Victory Lane for a second-straight week at River Cities Speedway.

But with seven laps to go, car troubles suddenly forced the East Grand Forks Sacred Heart graduate off the track while he was in the lead.

Those car troubles kept the Pederson family from a shot at an unforgettable night of racing.

Tucker's sister, Kelsi, started the night by chasing down Weston Olson with two laps to go to win the lightning sprints feature.

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Tucker's father, Joey, finished the night with a late charge to win the late model feature.

But a bit of car trouble cost the Pedersons a shot at pulling off the family triple.

Even so, it was good night for the East Grand Forks residents.

In the 15-lap lightning sprint feature, Olson, the pole sitter, led for the first 13 laps, but a caution flag came out with two laps to go. On the restart, Kelsi passed Olson on the first turn and cruised to the checkered flag.

"I thought maybe I could beat him to the first corner," said Pederson, who started fourth. "It worked out perfect."

061822 S GFH RACING KelsiPederson01.jpg
East Grand Fork driver Kelsi Pederson speeds through turn four during a Lighting Sprints heat race at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday, June 17, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Olson finished second, followed by Bryce Haugeberg, Dylan Langevin and Jake Haugeberg.

In the late model feature, Joey took the lead with four laps to go, then cruised to the checkered flag. Brody Troftgruben finished second, followed by Brad Seng, Greg Friestad and Lance Schill.

"It was really close racing," Joey said. "That was a hell of a race — a lot of side-by-side for the lead. It seemed like once I cleared him, I could run wherever and I ran a little faster."

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Justin Vogel and Greg Jose had decisions to make Friday night before the street feature.

They drew front-row spots for the Steffes Group Street Stock Ninth-Row Challenge. Their decision: Either keep their starting spot on the front row or move back to the ninth row and attempt to win a $2,600 payout for climbing to the top.

Vogel thought long and hard about it, but decided to keep his spot on the front row. Jose didn't waste much time reaching his decision.

"I can't start behind all these fast guys," he said.

He was right — the others were pretty fast.

Pederson stormed to the lead early in the race and Jamestown's Kyle Anderson stayed on his tail until the car troubles occurred. After that, Anderson cruised to the checkered flag.

"Tucker had a hell of a run going there," Anderson said.

Vogel finished second, followed by Jonny Carter, Ty Agen and Hunter Carter. Jonny Carter started the race last, in 23rd position, and charged all the way to third.

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061822 S GFH RACING KyleAnderson GregJose TuckerPederson01.jpg
Jamestown driver Kyle Anderson keeps a tight lead ahead of fellow WISSOTA Street Stocks drivers Greg Jose (28), Tucker Pederson (27P) and others during a heat race at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday, June 17, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The 25-lap Midwest modifieds feature was plagued by frequent cautions — a quarter of the field was out of the race by the midway point — and came down to a battle between Lance Schill and Corey Storck.

Schill took the lead on the back straightaway just four laps into the feature and stayed there, despite numerous challenges from Storck.

"He wouldn't get off the bottom," Storck said. "That was the pretty dominant lane. There wasn't a whole lot I could do."

Austin Hunter finished in a distant third, followed by Brandon Bahr and Nate Reinke.

061822 S GFH RACING LanceSchill02.jpg
WISSOTA Midwest Mods driver Lance Schill speeds through turn two after winning a heat race at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday, June 17, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

River Cities Speedway

Friday's results
Lightning sprints
First heat — 1. Kelsi Pederson, EGF, 2. Weston Olson, Warren, 3. Parker Monroe, GF
Second heat — 1. Bryce Haugeberg, WF, 2. Dylan Langevin, TRF, 3. Hayden Koehmstedt, WF
Feature — 1. Pederson, 2. Olson, 3. B. Haugeberg, 4. Langevin, 5. Jake Haugeberg, WF
Midwest modifieds
First heat — 1. Nathan Raasakka, GF, 2. Brandon Bahr, Tenstrike, Minn., 3. Laine Schwehr, Sanborn, N.D.
Second heat — 1. Jamie Dietzler, Larimore, 2. Lance Schill, Langdon, 3. Nate Reinke, Lisbon
Third heat — 1. Jason Grimes, Jamestown, 2. Paul Veert, Winnipeg, 3. Chris Kruk, Langdon
Fourth heat — 1. Austin Hunter, Winnipeg, 2. Corey Storck, Morris, Minn., 3. Aaron Blacklance, TRF
B-Main — 1. Jory Berg, GF, 2. Brandon Rehill, St. Andrews, Man., Tanner Theis, New Rockford, 4. Chris Kruk, Langdon
Feature — 1. Schill, 2. Storck, 3. Hunter, 4. Bahr, 5. Reinke
Streets
First heat — 1. Justin Vogel, Brooten, Minn., 2. Hunter Carter, WF, 3. Andy Rossow, Florence, S.D.
Second heat — 1. John Halvorson, Warren, 2. Aaron Blacklance, TRF, 3. Royce Jawaski, Adrian, N.D.
Third heat — 1. Kyle Anderson, Jamestown, 2. Tucker Pederson, EGF, 3. Greg Jose, GF
Feature — 1. Anderson, 2. Vogel, 3. Jonny Carter, Fairmont, N.D., 4. Ty Agen, Chippewa Falls, Wis., 5. H. Carter
Late models
First heat — 1. Brody Troftgruben, GF, 2. Greg Friestad, Valley City, 3. Brandon Fuller, GF
Second heat — 1. Joey Pederson, EGF, 2. Brad Seng, GF, 3. Jason Strandt, Portland, N.D.
Third heat — 1. Ryan Kereluk, St. Andrews, Man., 2. Ryan Corbett, GF, 3. Jeff Hapala, WF
Feature — 1. Pederson, 2. Troftgruben, 3. Seng, 4. Friestad, 5. Schill

061822 S GFH RACING LanceSchill01.jpg
Lance Schill (17) leads a pack of WISSOTA Midwest Mods drivers during a heat race at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday, June 17, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Related Topics: AUTO RACING
Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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