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Ebert, Vang Grab Gopher State Showdown Wins at I-94 emr Speedway

By Ron Krog

Fergus Falls, Mn (Sept 30) 

Local race fans have been asking for a fall special at I-94 emr Speedway for the last several years and this season for the first time FYE Motorsports and Don Shaw and his crew delivered the first annual Gopher State Showdown.

Unfortunately weather cancelled the opening night on Friday so the complete show of 165 cars was run on Saturday with racing starting at 2:45pm and wrapping up at 9:25 pm thanks to the hard work of track workers and the racers who did an amazing job of helping keep the show moving.

Surprisingly the largest field of cars was the WISSOTA Late Model class with 32 entries.The feature saw Don Shaw and Shawn Meyer go side by side for the first 2 laps of the 30 lap race,then with 27 laps to go Shaw took the lead. With 25 laps left Michael Leach moved by Meyer into 2nd and he soon had Josh Zimpel alongside of him. With 21 laps left Zimpel passed Leach for 2nd. With 11 laps to go Danny Vang moved around Zimpel into 2nd and Ryan Corbett who was having a great run hit the wall in turn 4. With 5 laps to go Nick Panitzke had the crowd up off their seats as he came charging by Zimpel for 3rd then chased dow Shaw and Vang.The last lap was wild as Vang passed Shaw for the lead and the win and Panitzke slipped by  Shaw for 2nd and almost got Vang for 1st as Vang celebrated the win Panitzke grabbed 2nd, Shaw 3rd with Ryan Mikkelson coming from 11th to 4th and Cole Schill was the Hard Charger in 5th.
     A very solid 25 car field of WISSOTA Mods hit the track with Dan Ebert getting by Dustin Strand for the lead in the 25 lapper as the two cruised along Brock Gronwold and Don Eischens were in a great battle forth as Brady Gerdes held onto 3rd. Then with 19 laps to go all kinds of crazy stuff started happening as Gerdes spun and was sent to the back, then with 17 laps left Strand blew an engine and with13 laps left Gronwold broke and headed to the pits. When the checkered flag flew Ebert took the win with Landon Atkinson 2nd, Eischens 3rd, Dusty Bitzen 4th and Blake Jegtvig 5th.
     A smaller field of WISSOTA Streets took the green for 20 laps with Jeff Ekdhal jumping out front and Derek Turner running a strong 2nd for the first 9 laps. The battle for 5th was a dandy as Nick Shumansky and Wade Bergerud had a great battle. Ekdahl grabbed his first ever win at I-94 with Joe Martin 2nd, Nick Shumansky 3rd, Bergerud 4th and the Hard Charger Ty Agen 5th.
     A nice field of 29 WISSOTA Midwest Mods saw 24 cars take the green flag for 20 laps, Lucas Rodin and Blake Adams fought hard for the lead until the young star out of Cameron, Wi took the lead and close behind were Rodin and a very fast Corey Storck going at it for 2nd. With 10 laps to go a string of 3 caution flags bunched the field up. Then with 6 laps to go bad luck struck Adams as he had the right rear of his suspension break and he pulled to the infield and Rodin took charge and grabbed the win followed by Storck, Jason VandeKamp, Shane Howell and Jaren Wibsted in 5th.Phil Christlieb was the Hard Charger.
     A surprisingly nice field of 20 WISSOTA Super Stocks gave fans some great racing also. The early part of the 25 lap feature saw Jordan Henkemeyer and Max Dondelinger go side by side. Then with 19 laps left Doug Koski passed Dondelinger for 2nd, but pretty soon Dexton Koch came rolling along to move to 2nd and with 7 laps left Koch got by Henkemeyer for the lead and went on for the win with Henkemeyer 2nd. The drive of the race had to go from 20th to finish 3rd with some fantastic driving and he was your Hard Charger. William Lund finished 4th and Tim Johnson grabbed 5th.
     The WISSOTA Mod Ivs had a lot at stake as Dustin Holtquist and Tommy Bawden came in a dead tie for the National points lead. Holtquist had the better night as he won his heat and Bawden had a tough draw and started the feature 9th, Hotquist drove a smooth race to take the win but Bawden scrapped and clawed his way thru the field to finish 3rd behind Holtquist and Blake Erickson. It looks like this points battle is going right down to the wire.
    The Pro Legends were added and they brought down 20 great cars and the feature was a dandy as Sean Johnson got the win with 3 cars all over him at the end.
Shawn Beto grabbed his 8th win of the season to win the Short Tracker feature. 

Chris Stepan and his team from FYE Motorsports and everyone from I-94 emr Speedway thanks everyone for their support of this event. 



A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 0-Shawn Beto[3]; 2. 22L-Andy Booke[2]; 3. 45W-Kevin Wahl[11]; 4. 08-Jeff Rohner[14]; 5. 87-John Heacox[10]; 6. 84-Adrian Kubitz[4]; 7. 80K-Daniel Harstad[8]; 8. 21-Christopher Winter Jr[7]; 9. (DNF) 701-Hunter Goulet[6]; 10. (DNF) 113-Mac Johnston[1]; 11. (DNF) 10-Dexyn Habraken[5]; 12. (DNF) 78-Zander Zuehlsdorff[9]; 13. (DNS) 35-Chase Pourrier; 14. (DQ) 97-Mason Bogart[13]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 22L-Andy Booke[1]; 2. 10-Dexyn Habraken[3]; 3. 84-Adrian Kubitz[6]; 4. 80K-Daniel Harstad[4]; 5. (DNF) 87-John Heacox[2]; 6. (DNF) 45W-Kevin Wahl[7]; 7. (DNF) 35-Chase Pourrier[5]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 0-Shawn Beto[1]; 2. 113-Mac Johnston[5]; 3. 701-Hunter Goulet[4]; 4. 21-Christopher Winter Jr[2]; 5. (DNF) 78-Zander Zuehlsdorff[6]; 6. (DQ) 97-Mason Bogart[3]
32 entries


A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 47-Danny Vang[8]; 2. 22-Nick Panitzke[10]; 3. 42S-Don Shaw[3]; 4. 15*-Ryan Mikkelson[11]; 5. 44*-Cole Schill[18]; 6. 5-Josh Zimpel[6]; 7. 12S-Brad Seng[19]; 8. 5E-Shane Edginton[15]; 9. 15-Amelia Eisenschenk[16]; 10. 01-Michael Leach[4]; 11. 1TPO-Tyler Peterson[9]; 12. 00-Mitch Johnson[7]; 13. 1 2-Bryce Sward[20]; 14. 2-Dave Mass[23]; 15. 10K-Shawn Kirwin[14]; 16. 12F-Greg Friestad[22]; 17. 7S-Sam Zender[17]; 18. 18C-Chase Gelling[12]; 19. 18X-Shawn Meyer[1]; 20. 57H-Nathan Higginbotham[5]; 21. 24-Mike Hart[24]; 22. (DNF) C4-Ryan Corbett[2]; 23. (DNF) 12X-Ben Heinle[13]; 24. (DNF) 21-Jake Smith[21]
B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 7S-Sam Zender[1]; 2. 44*-Cole Schill[4]; 3. 12S-Brad Seng[3]; 4. 1 2-Bryce Sward[8]; 5. 21-Jake Smith[5]; 6. 12F-Greg Friestad[7]; 7. 2-Dave Mass[15]; 8. 24-Mike Hart[2]; 9. 11*-Larry Samuelson[6]; 10. 88-Michael Hucovski[9]; 11. 56-Laine Schwehr[10]; 12. 1E-Ryan Engels[13]; 13. X-Chuck Swenson[14]; 14. 50-Ben Wolden[11]; 15. 55S-Ryan Schaufler[16]; 16. (DNF) 32-Lindsey Hansen[12]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 42S-Don Shaw[2]; 2. 5-Josh Zimpel[4]; 3. 5E-Shane Edginton[3]; 4. 22-Nick Panitzke[8]; 5. 44*-Cole Schill[5]; 6. 1 2-Bryce Sward[6]; 7. 56-Laine Schwehr[1]; 8. 1E-Ryan Engels[7]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 18X-Shawn Meyer[5]; 2. C4-Ryan Corbett[7]; 3. 47-Danny Vang[6]; 4. 15*-Ryan Mikkelson[8]; 5. 12S-Brad Seng[3]; 6. 12F-Greg Friestad[4]; 7. (DNF) X-Chuck Swenson[2]; 8. (DQ) 2-Dave Mass[1]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 01-Michael Leach[2]; 2. 1TPO-Tyler Peterson[3]; 3. 12X-Ben Heinle[4]; 4. 10K-Shawn Kirwin[6]; 5. 15-Amelia Eisenschenk[7]; 6. 11*-Larry Samuelson[1]; 7. 88-Michael Hucovski[8]; 8. 50-Ben Wolden[5]
Heat 4 (8 Laps): 1. 57H-Nathan Higginbotham[2]; 2. 00-Mitch Johnson[4]; 3. 18C-Chase Gelling[5]; 4. 7S-Sam Zender[3]; 5. 24-Mike Hart[1]; 6. 21-Jake Smith[7]; 7. 55S-Ryan Schaufler[8]; 8. 32-Lindsey Hansen[6]
29 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 19-Lucas Rodin[1]; 2. 57-Corey Storck[3]; 3. 16-Jason VandeKamp[8]; 4. L1-Shane Howell[4]; 5. 36-Jaren Wibstad[6]; 6. 22Z-Zach Reinke[15]; 7. 71-Nate Reinke[10]; 8. 1S-Scott Bintz[7]; 9. 42-Ron Saurer[18]; 10. 13-Scott Oeltjen[13]; 11. 2B-Tayten Blascyk[12]; 12. 4-Phil Christlieb[23]; 13. 12X-Jamie Norman[5]; 14. BO-Jory Berg[11]; 15. 35-Tanner Theis[17]; 16. 21R-Ryan McCleary[20]; 17. 32-Shawn Olson[19]; 18. 29-Cylen Vargason[16]; 19. 28K-Nick Preston[21]; 20. 2H-Brooke Hellerman[22]; 21. 1M-Jon McCain[24]; 22. (DNF) 40D-Blake Adams[2]; 23. (DNF) 24X-Ryan Ost[9]; 24. (DNF) 69T-Nick Thoreson[14]
B Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 35-Tanner Theis[2]; 2. 42-Ron Saurer[4]; 3. 32-Shawn Olson[3]; 4. 21R-Ryan McCleary[1]; 5. 28K-Nick Preston[8]; 6. 2H-Brooke Hellerman[5]; 7. 4-Phil Christlieb[10]; 8. 1M-Jon McCain[6]; 9. 21Z-Zach Kort[9]; 10. 554-Alan Oeltjen[13]; 11. X-Tucker Jacobson[11]; 12. 2D-Jonathan Dulas[12]; 13. 13K-Brad King[7]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 1S-Scott Bintz[1]; 2. 36-Jaren Wibstad[4]; 3. 12X-Jamie Norman[7]; 4. 13-Scott Oeltjen[5]; 5. BO-Jory Berg[8]; 6. 22Z-Zach Reinke[9]; 7. 32-Shawn Olson[3]; 8. 1M-Jon McCain[2]; 9. (DNF) 4-Phil Christlieb[6]; 10. (DNF) X-Tucker Jacobson[10]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 40D-Blake Adams[4]; 2. 19-Lucas Rodin[7]; 3. 71-Nate Reinke[3]; 4. 69T-Nick Thoreson[5]; 5. 2B-Tayten Blascyk[8]; 6. 29-Cylen Vargason[9]; 7. 42-Ron Saurer[2]; 8. 13K-Brad King[6]; 9. 21Z-Zach Kort[1]; 10. (DNF) 2D-Jonathan Dulas[10]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. L1-Shane Howell[2]; 2. 24X-Ryan Ost[1]; 3. 57-Corey Storck[9]; 4. 16-Jason VandeKamp[8]; 5. 21R-Ryan McCleary[5]; 6. 35-Tanner Theis[7]; 7. 2H-Brooke Hellerman[4]; 8. 28K-Nick Preston[6]; 9. (DQ) 554-Alan Oeltjen[3]
12 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 5H-Dustin Holtquist[1]; 2. 99B-Blake Erickson[7]; 3. TB81-Tommy Bawden[9]; 4. 7L-Tyler Larson[2]; 5. 37-Dean Larson[3]; 6. 18-Luke Erlandson[5]; 7. 92-Nick Seitz[12]; 8. 5-Robert Holtquist[11]; 9. 99-Brooke Erickson[8]; 10. (DNF) 04-Tommy Pogones[4]; 11. (DNF) N88-Gerrald Nohner[10]; 12. (DNF) 5JF-Jonathen Feda[6]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 5H-Dustin Holtquist[2]; 2. 04-Tommy Pogones[1]; 3. 37-Dean Larson[5]; 4. 99B-Blake Erickson[4]; 5. TB81-Tommy Bawden[6]; 6. 5-Robert Holtquist[3]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 7L-Tyler Larson[1]; 2. 18-Luke Erlandson[2]; 3. 5JF-Jonathen Feda[3]; 4. 99-Brooke Erickson[4]; 5. N88-Gerrald Nohner[5]; 6. 92-Nick Seitz[6]
25 entries


A Feature 1 (30 Laps): 1. 60-Dan Ebert[4]; 2. 18A-Landon Atkinson[8]; 3. 9E-Don Eischens[7]; 4. 10X-Dustin Bitzan[10]; 5. 2J-Blake Jegtvig[9]; 6. 2C-Dave Cain[13]; 7. 10XT-Corky Thomas[11]; 8. 9B-Brendan Blascyk[5]; 9. 10W-Ward Imrie[17]; 10. 2X-Brady Gerdes[3]; 11. 21X-Travis Saurer[21]; 12. 1TPO-Tyler Peterson[16]; 13. 51-Josh Thoennes[20]; 14. 16X-Brenden Luschinski[12]; 15. 521-Matt Thoennes[25]; 16. 511-Talan Thoennes[22]; 17. 442-Aaron Johnson[18]; 18. 21-Jake Smith[24]; 19. (DNF) 74-Dustin Wahl[2]; 20. (DNF) 51A-Avery Anderson[19]; 21. (DNF) 2G-Brock Gronwold[6]; 22. (DNF) 33-Jeff Nelson[15]; 23. (DNF) 12-Matt Aukland[23]; 24. (DNF) 71-Dustin Strand[1]; 25. (DNF) 6ST-Joseph Thomas[14]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 2X-Brady Gerdes[1]; 2. 71-Dustin Strand[4]; 3. 10XT-Corky Thomas[2]; 4. 2J-Blake Jegtvig[6]; 5. 2C-Dave Cain[3]; 6. 1TPO-Tyler Peterson[7]; 7. 442-Aaron Johnson[9]; 8. 12-Matt Aukland[5]; 9. 521-Matt Thoennes[8]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 60-Dan Ebert[1]; 2. 9E-Don Eischens[3]; 3. 2G-Brock Gronwold[6]; 4. 18A-Landon Atkinson[7]; 5. 33-Jeff Nelson[4]; 6. 51A-Avery Anderson[5]; 7. 51-Josh Thoennes[8]; 8. 511-Talan Thoennes[2]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 9B-Brendan Blascyk[1]; 2. 74-Dustin Wahl[4]; 3. 16X-Brenden Luschinski[2]; 4. 10X-Dustin Bitzan[6]; 5. 6ST-Joseph Thomas[3]; 6. 10W-Ward Imrie[7]; 7. 21X-Travis Saurer[5]; 8. 21-Jake Smith[8]
13 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 11JR-Jeff Ekdahl[1]; 2. 2-Joe Martin[4]; 3. 17-Nick Shumansky[8]; 4. 30B-Wade Bergerud[6]; 5. 26-Ty Agen[11]; 6. Z28-Greg Jose[7]; 7. 16-Greg Platzer[9]; 8. 24H-Mike Hart[5]; 9. 23-Maverick Janssen[10]; 10. 24-Ashley Wampler[13]; 11. 7-James Meagher[12]; 12. (DQ) 10T-Darek Turner[2]; 13. (DQ) 67W-Weston Ramsrud[3]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 11JR-Jeff Ekdahl[6]; 2. 2-Joe Martin[3]; 3. 30B-Wade Bergerud[2]; 4. 17-Nick Shumansky[1]; 5. 16-Greg Platzer[4]; 6. 26-Ty Agen[5]; 7. (DNF) 24-Ashley Wampler[7]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 67W-Weston Ramsrud[2]; 2. 10T-Darek Turner[6]; 3. 24H-Mike Hart[4]; 4. Z28-Greg Jose[5]; 5. 23-Maverick Janssen[3]; 6. 7-James Meagher[1]
20 entries


A Feature 1 (25 Laps): 1. 78K-Dexton Koch[5]; 2. 11A-Jordan Henkemeyer[1]; 3. 25-Dylan Nelson[20]; 4. 54-William Lund[8]; 5. 81-Tim Johnson[7]; 6. 44-Maxwell Dondelinger[2]; 7. 76-Doug Koski[6]; 8. 67-Ryan Satter[11]; 9. 2H-Bryan Hellerman[4]; 10. L1-Andrew Johnson[16]; 11. 69-John Adams[14]; 12. 11-Riley Groshong[13]; 13. 12-David Dosh[18]; 14. 77J-Jim Critser[19]; 15. 4A-Allan Cleveland[17]; 16. (DNF) 3-Brandon Linquist[9]; 17. (DNF) 41-Mikey Vajdl[12]; 18. (DNF) X-Shawn Wageman[15]; 19. (DNF) 13M-Matt Miller[10]; 20. (DNF) 9-Dylan Kromschroeder[3]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 44-Maxwell Dondelinger[2]; 2. 9-Dylan Kromschroeder[4]; 3. 67-Ryan Satter[3]; 4. 54-William Lund[7]; 5. 69-John Adams[5]; 6. L1-Andrew Johnson[1]; 7. 12-David Dosh[6]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 11A-Jordan Henkemeyer[3]; 2. 2H-Bryan Hellerman[4]; 3. 76-Doug Koski[6]; 4. 3-Brandon Linquist[7]; 5. X-Shawn Wageman[5]; 6. 4A-Allan Cleveland[1]; 7. (DNF) 77J-Jim Critser[2]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 78K-Dexton Koch[1]; 2. 81-Tim Johnson[3]; 3. 13M-Matt Miller[4]; 4. 41-Mikey Vajdl[5]; 5. 11-Riley Groshong[2]; 6. (DNS) 25-Dylan Nelson
20 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 58-Sean Johnson[2]; 2. 28-Joshua Wiest[1]; 3. 79-Scott Richardson[9]; 4. 67-Evan Hendrickson[5]; 5. 29-Ryan Braseth[3]; 6. 5D8-Dylan Johnson[4]; 7. 13-Ben Lundquist[16]; 8. 49-Tommie Quenzer[14]; 9. 82-Shawn Wiest[10]; 10. 17X-Bubba Samuelson[12]; 11. 31C-Emmitt Curtis[8]; 12. 2J-Joseph Lewis[7]; 13. 33-Brandon Bunnis[13]; 14. 21-Noah Lewis[19]; 15. 65-Clay Smith[11]; 16. 20B-Connor Bruss[18]; 17. 93-Steve Johnson[15]; 18. 19B-Howie Briss[17]; 19. 25-Alexander Clark[6]; 20. 24-Kelsey Juhnke[20]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 67-Evan Hendrickson[1]; 2. 25-Alexander Clark[3]; 3. 2J-Joseph Lewis[4]; 4. 65-Clay Smith[2]; 5. 33-Brandon Bunnis[6]; 6. 19B-Howie Briss[5]; 7. 24-Kelsey Juhnke[7]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 58-Sean Johnson[2]; 2. 29-Ryan Braseth[4]; 3. 79-Scott Richardson[3]; 4. 82-Shawn Wiest[1]; 5. 49-Tommie Quenzer[6]; 6. 13-Ben Lundquist[7]; 7. 21-Noah Lewis[5]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 28-Joshua Wiest[5]; 2. 5D8-Dylan Johnson[4]; 3. 31C-Emmitt Curtis[2]; 4. 17X-Bubba Samuelson[3]; 5. 93-Steve Johnson[1]; 6. 20B-Connor Bruss[6

Minnesota’s Newest Fall Invitational is Here!
Inaugural Gopher State Showdown Set to Cap Off I-94 emr Season

For Immediate Release: FYE Motorsports Promotions - August 15th, 2023

A new destination awaits racers and fans during the final weekend of the month of September with the inaugural Gopher State Showdown, set to take place at the I-94 emr Speedway in Fergus Falls, Minnesota on Friday and Saturday, September 29th and 30th, 2023.

The event, co-promoted by I-94 emr Speedway and FYE Motorsports Promotions, will feature the top six WISSOTA-sanctioned divisions along with a class that I-94 runs weekly, the Short Trackers and the first ever appearance for the Lightning Sprint Cars.

FYE Motorsports Promotions owner Chris Stepan said ‘when Don approached me about working on a fall event at I-94, it seemed like a great idea since there aren’t many options for any WISSOTA class to race that weekend and there is nowhere for the Mod Fours to compete that weekend either. We decided to model the event after the Fall Classic, with practice Thursday, all eight divisions running heat races on Friday night and b-mains and championship feature races on Saturday night.‘

I-94 emr Speedway co-owner Don Shaw commented ‘this area needs a big special at the end of the season and we thought this would be the perfect venue to fill that void. We’ve got the facility here and Chris and FYE have a great handle on promoting and running big events, so it was a perfect partnership to put this race together.’

Practice will be held on Thursday night, September 28th from 6p-9p and racing action will happen on Friday, September 29th and Saturday, September 30th.

Details for the inaugural Gopher State Showdown are as follows:

Thursday, September 28th
Pit Gates Open: 4pm
Practice Begins: 6pm
Practice Ends: 9pm

Friday, September 29th
Pit Gates Open: 3pm
Grandstand Gates Open: 5pm
Racing Begins: 7pm

Saturday, September 30th
Pit Gates Open: 2pm
Grandstand Gates Open: 3pm
Racing Begins: 5pm

Friday will consist of heat races for WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mod Fours, Short Trackers and Lightning Sprint Cars.

Saturday will feature b-mains and championship features for all 8 divisions.

The event’s rain date will be Sunday, October 1st.

WISSOTA Late Models will race for $4,000 to win / $400 to start
WISSOTA Modifieds will race for $3,000 to win / $300 to start
WISSOTA Super Stocks will race for $2,000 to win / $200 to start
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds will race for $1,500 to win / $150 to start
WISSOTA Street Stocks will race for $1,250 to win / $125 to start
Lightning Sprint Cars will race for $1,000 to win / $125 to start
WISSOTA Mod Fours will race for $750 to win / $100 to start
Short Trackers will race for $250 to win / $100 to start

For fans unable to be at the track in person, every lap, all weekend long will be live on

More information regarding ticket prices, reserved pit stalls, trackside parking, reserved seating, sponsorship opportunities, camping and complete payouts will be released in the coming days at and at