VanderBeek takes down second Gopher 50 title
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July 7, 2018  |  by Todd Narveson

It was an absolute picture perfect day at Deer Creek Speedway for the 39th Annual Bigelow Homes Gopher 50. The beautiful weather brought a huge crowd to witness the show.

The USRA Modifieds were on the program along with the World of Outlaws Late Models. This was the 21st consecutive year that the Modifieds joined the Late Models in the annual summer classic.

The show was sponsored by Bigelow Homes, Miner’s Outdoor & Rec, Tralo Companies, Carroll’s Corn and the Rochester Eagles Club. Carroll’s Corn added money to the Modified purse and also offered a $500 hard charger award for the feature. The also awarded the top two in passing points with a $300 and $200 bonus.

Tralo Companies presented the top eight in passing points with a challenge. Starting with the top passing point driver, they had the opportunity to start eleventh or twelfth for a $5000 bonus on top of the $5000 winners share if they won the A-Main. If they were not successful they would receive $250.

During the program Josh Ihlenfeld owner of Tralo Companies informed race officials that the bonus had been increased to $10,000. So if the driver accomplished the feature and won, that would be a $15,000 payday.

Forty-eight USRA Modifieds signed in and ran five heat races with the top 12 in passing points transferring to the feature. Three B-mains would transfer four cars each to fill out the 24-car starting field for the 35-lap feature.

At intermission the top eight drivers in passing points were in front of the crowd for the redraw. Brad Waits was first up and immediately accepted the Tralo Challenge and would start 11th. Rodney Sanders declined the offer, but Jason Krohn who drew third took the challenge to start 12th. Zack VanderBeek got the pole with Nate Wasmund on the outside.

VanderBeek took the early lead and quickly opened up a cushion. Wasmund ran second and sixth starter Sanders quickly shot to third. Jake Timm, who started tenth, slipped past his father, Bob, shortly before a lap-5 caution slowed the race. Another caution on the restart kept things tight.

Sanders then challenged Wasmund for second when the green flag flew. Sanders got there and Jake Timm also snaked past Wasmund for third. The driver on a mission was Stormy Scott who started 15th and cracked the top five on lap 7.

VanderBeek opened up the lead once again while Scott continued to drive towards the front. Scott was fourth on lap 8 and Jason Krohn also made progress and was just outside the top five. A yellow on lap 9 erased VanderBeek ’s huge advantage.

The race resumed and VanderBeek again took off. Wasmund got by Scott for fourth but that was short-lived when Scott returned the favor. Jake Timm was on the move and slipped past Sanders for second on lap 13. Scott was now on Sanders for third and pulled off the pass on the 16th circuit.

VanderBeek was still comfortable out front at this point while the race for second heated up. Scott caught Jake Timm and took second on lap 20 and Krohn entered the top five.

VanderBeek had a straight-away lead when Scott moved to second, but Scott would shave two-tenths of a second off the lead just about each lap. Scott closed in but VandeBeek got away just a bit in lapped traffic.

With a couple of laps left, Scott gained four-tenths and was on VanderBeek once again. Things got interesting in the final couple of laps when Scott made a last ditch run for the lead.

VanderBeek held him off for the win in the debut of his brand new Oreo-sponsored VanderBuilt race car. VanderBeek became only the third driver to win more than one Gopher 50 title. The champion also took home the unique wood carved gopher trophy and Husqvarna leaf blower from Miner’s Outdoor & Rec. Scott came home second with Jake Timm third. Sanders ended up in fourth and Krohn was fifth.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
United States Racing Association
Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series
Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown.

USRA MODIFIEDS

Heat #1:
1. (8) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.
2. (1) 55 Cory Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.
3. (4) 50III Brandon Davis, Hayfield, Minn.
4. (7) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
5. (10) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
6. (2) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn.
7. (9) 7 A.J. Roschen, Somerset, Wis.
8. (5) 0 Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford, Wis.
9. (6) 11 Alex Hanson, Northwood, Iowa
10. (3) 94JR John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis.

Heat #2:
1. (4) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
2. (8) 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
3. (1) 96 Greg Jensen, Albert Lea, Minn.
4. (3) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn.
5. (6) 61T Tammy Soma-Clark, Rochester, Minn.
6. (10) 45 Craig Shaw, Dexter, Minn.
7. (9) 44H Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis.
8. (5) 77 Jacob Stark, Austin, Minn.
9. (2) 7S Todd Stinehart, Waseca, Minn.
10. (7) 8S Tony Schill, Lake Elmo, Minn.

Heat #3:
1. (1) 49X Robert Timm, Winona, Minn.
2. (5) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
3. (3) 89 A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis.
4. (8) 51 Blake Arndt, Browndale, Minn.
5. (6) 7 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
6. (10) 24X Aaron Benson, Clear Lake, Iowa
7. (9) 24S Charlie Steinberg, Kasson, Minn.
8. (7) 21G Troy Gudmonson, Savage, Minn.
9. (4) 3C Chet Atkinson, Hugo, Minn.
10. (2) 33 Joe Ludemann, Grand Meadow, Minn.

Heat #4:
1. (2) 52W Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn.
2. (9) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
3. (6) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis.
4. (3) 23B Brett Bumgardner, Hawkeye, Iowa
5. (8) 69J Jay Ihrke, Dover, Minn.
6. (4) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
7. (1) 20 Mark Motl, Owatonna, Minn.
8. (5) 0 Owen Grube, Cambridge, Minn.
9. (7) 90W Ryan Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.

Heat #5:
1. (2) 56H Brandon Hare, Ilma, Iowa
2. (3) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
3. (1) 91 Jerry King, Waterloo, Iowa
4. (9) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
5. (5) 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (6) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
7. (7) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
8. (4) 29H Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
9. (8) 65D Dustin Brown, Thoraton, Iowa

"B" Feature #1:
1. (3) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
2. (1) 51 Blake Arndt, Browndale, Minn.
3. (8) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
4. (11) 33 Joe Ludemann, Grand Meadow, Minn.
5. (7) 7 A.J. Roschen, Somerset, Wis.
6. (10) 11 Alex Hanson, Northwood, Iowa
7. (12) 7S Todd Stinehart, Waseca, Minn.
8. (5) 61T Tammy Soma-Clark, Rochester, Minn.
9. (2) 96 Greg Jensen, Albert Lea, Minn.
10. (6) 23 Darwyn Karau, Kasson, Minn.
11. (4) 23B Brett Bumgardner, Hawkeye, Iowa
12. (9) 0 Owen Grube, Cambridge, Minn.

"B" Feature #2:
1. (1) 50III Brandon Davis, Hayfield, Minn.
2. (2) 91 Jerry King, Waterloo, Iowa
3. (5) 7 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
4. (3) 69J Jay Ihrke, Dover, Minn.
5. (8) 29H Joe Horgdal, Kasson, Minn.
6. (11) 44H Adam Hensel, Baldwin, Wis.
7. (7) 24S Charlie Steinberg, Kasson, Minn.
8. (12) 94JR John Doelle, Arcadia, Wis.
9. (10) 90W Ryan Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
10. (4) 45 Craig Shaw, Dexter, Minn.
11. (6) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
12. (9) 21G Troy Gudmonson, Savage, Minn.

"B" Feature #3:
1. (5) 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 89 A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis.
3. (1) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
4. (6) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
5. (3) 4A Joel Alberts, Mantorville, Minn.
6. (9) 3C Chet Atkinson, Hugo, Minn.
7. (12) 8S Tony Schill, Lake Elmo, Minn.
8. (10) 65D Dustin Brown, Thoraton, Iowa
9. (8) 0 Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford, Wis.
10. (11) 77 Jacob Stark, Austin, Minn.
11. (4) 24X Aaron Benson, Clear Lake, Iowa
12. (7) 20 Mark Motl, Owatonna, Minn.

"A" Feature:
1. (1) 33Z Zack VanderBeek, New Sharon, Iowa
2. (15) 2S Stormy Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (10) 49 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
4. (6) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
5. (12) 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
6. (14) 50III Brandon Davis, Hayfield, Minn.
7. (2) 52W Nate Wasmund, Rochester, Minn.
8. (13) 19 Dustin Sorensen, Rochester, Minn.
9. (9) 55 Cory Mahder, Eau Claire, Wis.
10. (24) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
11. (18) 89 A.J. Diemel, Elk Mound, Wis.
12. (7) 90 Steve Wetzstein, West Concord, Minn.
13. (21) 95 Keith Foss, Winona, Minn.
14. (20) 7 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
15. (19) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
16. (22) 33 Joe Ludemann, Grand Meadow, Minn.
17. (16) 51 Blake Arndt, Browndale, Minn.
18. (23) 69J Jay Ihrke, Dover, Minn.
19. (4) 49X Robert Timm, Winona, Minn.
20. (17) 91 Jerry King, Waterloo, Iowa
21. (5) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
22. (8) 30 Matt Leer, Bruce, Wis.
23. (11) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.
24. (3) 56H Brandon Hare, Ilma, Iowa



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