Diemel Takes 8th Annual John Seitz Memorial by 0.116 Over Pederson
By Mike Spieker
GRAND FORKS, ND (September 7) – Fans and drivers alike flocked to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota Saturday night to watch the best Late Model drivers in the upper Midwest battle for the $9,200 check, but more importantly for the honor of being the 2014 champion of the John Seitz Memorial.
After two 15 lap B-mains and a 15 lap “win and you’re in” last chance race, the stage was set for the eighth running of 92-lap Seitz Memorial A-main. Just like he did in the Pole Dash the night before, Don Shaw jumped out the early lead over Jeff Provinzino and looked like he had the car to beat. On lap 13, however, AJ Diemel came flying through the field and passed Shaw to take over the point in lapped traffic. Things got wild on lap 27 when a couple cars go together on the front stretch and spun into oncoming traffic. Drivers did their best to get through the incident, but Zach Naastad ended up barrel rolling his machine and Steve Anderson was flipped onto his side as multiple cars piled in. The red flag was display immeadiately, but all drivers involved were OK. After a lengthy red, the race went back green and Diemel held the top spot until the lap 32 fuel stop, just as he did one year ago.
After the eight minute break, the race resumed and Diemel picked up right where he left off. Within 10 laps, Diemel had opened up a heathy lead over second place running, Shaw, but as Diemel approached lapped traffic Shaw began to erase that gap considerably. On lap 77 Shaw had shrunk Diemel's lead down to virtually nothing and he determined it was time to make his bid for the lead. As the two leaders headed into turn one Shaw pitched his Blaine Brother's #42 hard to the inside of Diemel to attempt a slide job. The drivers made substantial contact, but Shaw completed the slide job and took over the point down the back stretch. When they exited turn four to complete the circuit, Diemel ran his norman line right next to the cushion and drifted up coming out of turn four. Again the leader made heavy contact which resulted in Shaw being sent hard into the front stretch wall. The Ham Lake, MN rode against the concrete barrier for the length of the straightaway as sparks and smoke poured from his severely damaged race car; ending the great opportunity he had to win the event dedicated to his good friend.
The ensuing Evergreen Insurance restart was key for Joey Pederson as the 23rd place starter moved from sixth to second in on lap. Pederson, who grabbed the third and final transfer position in B-main #1, then set his sights on the Beltline Body Shop #58 in the closing laps. The two drivers ran completely different lines, but both were equally fast. Diemel drove right around the berm on the low side, while Pederson had the hammer down up on the cushion.
The white flag flew and Pederson chased Diemel into turn three for the final time. Pederson got a good run off of turn four as they headed for the checkers, but Diemel's line carried him in front of Pederson. Pederson went for the crossover move and the two driver drove under the checkered flag side by side, but Diemel edged out the hometown driver by 0.116 seconds. Ricky Weiss finished in third, while Jake Redetzke and Provinzino rounded out the top five.
“I’m glad we were able to hold on. We’ve been trying to get this one for the past four or five years. This is my biggest win,” said Diemel in RydellCars.com Victory Lane.
Peterson’s impressive drive landed him the PS Doors Driver of the Night and the $192.92 Hard Charger award, presented by Derrick’s Sandblasting.
"Had he been running a little different line, I think I could have snuck by hime and the result would have been different,” said Pederson after the race. “I still can't believe it. I'm just ecstatic about it. It's probably the most memorable finish of my career."
Dale Kraling capped off his incredible weekend with another WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature win from the 12th starting position. The win was worth $920, courtesy of Petro Stopping Centers and Fastlane Car Wash of Fargo. Ryan Schroeder finished in the runner-up position, while Tyler Peterson came from 17th to round out the podium. Kraling also won Friday night’s feature and crossed the line a half car length short of the win on Thursday.
After losing Friday night’s last lap WISSOTA Street Stock battle to Jordan Duray, Ryan Pommerer of Oriska, ND came back on Saturday night and parked his Dakota Cat #5P in victory lane. Pommerer led all 20 circuits around the three-tenths mile bullring for the $920 win.
Wade Nygaard withstood Chris Shirek’s last turn, last lap slide job attempt and picked up the NOSA Outlaw Sprint Car victory; his second of the season at River Cities Speedway.
The eighth annual John Seitz Memorial was presented by many great sponsors, including S&S Transport, Turk Enterprises, Shaw Trucking, North Dakota Eye Clinic, Todd’s Electric, Wes’ Pluming, Northwest Truck & Trailer, Advanced Grain Handling, Champs Sports Bar & Grill, and Precision Electronics.
Next Friday night wraps up the 2014 racing season at RCS. NOSA Outlaw Sprint Cars, Lightning Sprints, Legend Cars, Pure Stocks & Legend Mods are all on tap. For more information check out rivercitiesspeedway.com.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature – AJ Diemel, Joey Pederson, Ricky Weiss, Jake Redetzke, Jeff Provinzino, Pat Doar, Brad Seng, John Kaanta, Steve Laursen, Adam Hensel, Dustin Strand, Eric Breeschoten, Marshall Fegers, Curt Gelling, Tyson Turnbull, Norm Olson, Jeff Wildung, Don Shaw, Mike Balcaen, Jeff Massingill, Shane Edginton, Cody Skytland, Bill Mooney, Zach Naastad, Zach Johnson, Steve Anderson
B Feature 1 – Breeschoten, Wildung, Pederson, Edginton, Matt Aukland, Cole Schill, Troy Schill, Bryan LePier, Shawn Kirwin, Bill Mooney, Clarence Washburn, Josh Johnson
B Feature 2 – Naastad, Gelling, Z. Johnson, Steffen Snare, Tom Corcoran, Lance Matthees, David Smith, Jason Storbakken, Coard Allard, Jeff Hapala, George Ledin, Dennis Losing, Blake Jegtvig, Dusty Pederson
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature – Dale Kraling, Ryan Schroeder, Tyler Pederson, Lyn Lamb, Darren Pfau, Todd Johnson, Zach Reinke, Rick Hamel, Jordan Wahl, Shawn Nostdahl, Ryan Schow, Skyler Smith, Bill Yonke, Austin Hunter, Patrick Sobolik, Jess Brekke, Hunter Hougard, Tim Berg, Grant Hall, Logan Hamness, Erich Frey, John Halverson, Les Schoon, Brock Gronwold
Heat 1 – Schroeder, R. Schow, Halverson, Hamel, Peterson, Vasichek, Yonke, Wahl, Bahr, Restad
Heat 2 – Nostdahl, Pfau, Gronwold, Hall, Hunter, Rethemeier, Berg, Brevik, Stenberg
Heat 3 – Lamb, Hougard, Sobolik, Hamness, Frey, Caissie, Schuh, Kozie, Wall
Heat 4 – Reinke, Johnson, Kraling, Smith, Brekke, Schoon, Davey Mills, Lehrke
B Feature 1 – Yonke, Wahl, Scott Vasichek, Aaron Restad, Tony Caissie, Jason Schuh, Murray Kozie
B Feature 2 – Schoon, Berg, Brandon Bahr, James Wall, Davey Mills, Dallas Brevik, Patrick Rethemeier
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature – Ryan Pommerer, Mike Anderson, Rory Opp, Ryan Johnson, Doug VanMill, Bryce Reimer, Rick Schulz, Jordan Duray, Shane Holden, Shawn Teunis, Cody Wall, Peter Letkeman, Daniel McNamee, Tony Bundy, James Meagher, Travis Robertson, Heath Corneliusen, Jim Geringer, Terry Blacklance, Nick Linert, Aaron Blacklance, Jesse Pederson, Daniel Aberle, Jesse Teunis
Heat 1 – Johnson, Pommerer, Linert, Geringer, Reimer, Pederson, Duray, Wall, Letkeman
Heat 2 – Anderson, A. Blacklance, VanMill, McNamee, Aberle, Meagher, Bundy, Sandvig
Heat 3 – Robertson, T. Blacklance, Corneliusen, Opp, Schulz, Holden, Teunis, Porter
B Feature – Duray, Letkeman, Wall, Teunis, James Meagher, Tony Bundy, Jersy Porter, John Sandvig
NOSA Outlaw Sprint Cars:
Feature – Wade Nygaard, Chris Shirek, Lee Grosz, Greg Nikitenko, Jordan Graham, Mitch Mack, Jordan Adams, Jade Hastings, Bob Martin, Blake Egeland, Austin Pierce, Tom Egeland, Kyle Fedyk, Tanner Wisk, Amber Balcaen, Brenden Wilde, Casey Mack, Thomas Kennedy, Nick Omdahl
Heat 1 – Grosz, Martin, Pierce, M. Mack, Graham, B. Wilde, Fedyk, C. Mack, Balcaen, B. Egeland
Heat 2 – Nygaard, Shirek, Kennedy, Nikitenko, T. Egeland, Hastings, Hanten, Adams, Wisk, Omdahl