By Randy Pospishil
NORFOLK, Neb. (Aug. 29) – Announcer Brian Larson blamed it on “full moon racing.”
Another possible explanation may be the willingness of drivers in all divisions to lay it on the line while trying to make a move in the track’s points standings with just championship night remaining to conclude the Speedway’s inaugural season.
Either explanation, or both, may be responsible for Saturday night’s intriguing slate of races at Off Road Speedway, but either way the ‘full house’ of racing fans was able to enjoy exciting green-white-checkered finishes and multiple cars ending up upside-down with wheels in the air.
The IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks opened the program, with Mark Arduser securing his first feature win at the Norfolk track. Arduser, who had chased Jared Relitz of Emerson all race long after the two started the side-by-side in the front row, took advantage when Relitz spun out in turn two following a restart that established a two-lap sprint for the finish line.
Arduser took the checkered flag just ahead of Jeremy Hoskinson.
In the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature, the point race was a non-factor as Ramsey Meyer’s 53-point margin allowed him to clinch his second Norfolk track title in the past three years, a feat accomplished against strong competition, as evidenced by the number of drivers in the national standings.
Currently Meyer is listed second in the national IMCA list, with several other area racers in the top 20, including Lance Mielke and Shannon Pospisil at fifth and seventh, respectively; Drew Johnson, ninth; Brooke Fluckiger, 12th; Colby Kaspar, 15th; and Dustin Jackson, 19th.
However, Mielke overcame a fourth-row starting position, moved up on the outside, and passed race leader Jackson on the inside during turns three and four following a restart with eight laps remaining for the win, rejecting Meyer’s bid to use a green-white-checkered finish to take the lead.
Mielke’s victory was his fourth of the season at the speedway, tying Johnson’s four-win season and one behind Meyer’s season total of five. Meyer’s second-place was his 13th top five in 14 nights of racing, while Jackson’s third-place was his fifth.
Chad Bruns also locked in a points title in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, but Shawn Primrose and Ron Pettitt both finished ahead of Bruns. The pair battled the last few laps before Primrose was able to finish three laps of trying to pass Pettitt on the outside, finally getting it done on the last lap for the win.
In the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature, Kyle Prauner increased his point lead over Nelson Vollbrecht by winning his ninth feature of the summer in 13 tries at Off Road Speedway.
Prauner took the lead away from Norfolk’s Colby Langenberg in the middle of the race and stayed there as the field spread out during the final few laps. Troy Bruns finished second and Langenberg was third.
On Saturday, Sept. 5, points leaders in all divisions will compete one last time for a chance to win an Off Road Speedway track championship.