RCS kicks off 2020 race season; Schow wins modifieds feature

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River Cities Speedway official Mike Witheril (in red) waves the checkered flag as Matt Schow crosses the finish line during Friday's Midwest modifieds feature race. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

It’s never easy for a race leader to see the yellow flag fly, especially if that flag comes out more than once.

As the race leader, Matt Schow survived a number of restarts to win Friday night’s 25-lap Midwest modified feature at River Cities Speedway, which kicked off the 2020 race season with a different-than-normal opener.

Only two of the four regular classes raced at the opener -- Midwest modified and streets -- as the COVID-19 pandemic restricted the attendance. The late model and sprints -- the two premier classes at RCS -- did not race and likely won’t until the Grand Forks County Commission eases attendance restrictions.

Schow, who started on the pole, never trailed but was never in the clear due to a number of restarts.

“It’s always hard with restarts,” said Schow. “When I saw the nose of someone on the restarts, I’d drive the car a little harder. Sometimes, I think that made it slower.


“And it was a slippery track. It wasn’t a normal Grand Forks track.”

Schow’s top lap time was 15.590 seconds and he edged second-place Justin Froemming by 1.441 seconds. Hunter Hougard finished third, followed by Preston Carr and Lance Schill.

One of the area’s most experienced drivers won the 25-lap streets feature.

Todd Carter of Lisbon, who has raced for years, dominated the event. He started on the front row and led every lap.

His top lap time was 16.174 seconds and he took the checkered flag 3.473 seconds ahead of Jake Froemke. Daniel Aberle finished third, followed by Ryan Johnson and Chase Boen.

Dexter Dvergsten captured the lightning sprints feature, holding off Alan Truscinski by 0.573 seconds.

Kelsi Pederson finished third, followed by Alan Truscinski and Jason Berg.

Devergsten’s top lap time was 13.368 seconds.


The attendance was limited to 500, and that included drivers, crew members, track officials and fans.

Social distancing guidelines were enforced.

There was no word late Friday night on what next week’s race program at RCS will look like.

A Grand Forks County Commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, and there could be some clarity coming from the meeting.

River Cities Speedway

Friday’s results



First heat -- 1. Jake Froemke; 2. Todd Carter; 3. Daniel Aberle

Second heat -- Ryan Johnson; 2. John Halvorson; 3. Trey Hess

Dash -- 1. Aberle; 2. Carter; 3. Froemke

Feature -- 1. Carter; 2. Froemke; 3. Aberle; 4. Johnson; 5. Chase Boen

Lightning sprints

First heat -- 1. Alan Truscinski; 2. Alex Truscinski; 3. Travis Surerus

Second heat -- 1. Kelsi Pederson; 2. Dexter Dvergsten; 3. Cody Swanson

Feature -- 1. Dvergsten; 2. Alan Truscinski; 3. Pederson; 4. Alan Truscinski; 5. Jason Berg


Midwest modifieds

First heat -- 1. Justin Froemming; 2. Preston Carr; 3. Jory Berg

Second heat -- 1. Matt Schow; 2. Corey Storck; 3. Aaron Blacklance

Third heat -- 1. Reise Stenberg; 2. Lance Schill; 3. Hunter Hougard

Dash -- 1. Schow; 2. Berg; 3. Hougard

Feature -- 1. Schow; 2. Froemming; 3. Hougard; 4. Carr; 5. Schill


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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