Through 26 years of coaching, Central Lakes College Raiders head coach Jane Peterson has committed herself to being a student of the game. Each off-season, she picks up new knowledge that she can pass on to her players. This year it is about the skills of the game and it has resulted in Peterson handling practices differently than in the past. "I have learned more about the skills of the game and a lot more about motor learning," Peterson said. "That would involve fewer drills and more playing of the game and it is more than just throwing the ball out and letting them play. You still teach but in a realistic environment so there is less of a breaking down of skills than I did before, and more playing."
BARROWS—Dean Blanchard Jr. and Jerry Esler dueled each other in the Mod 4 feature race Saturday night at North Central Speedway, and they will duel for a point's championship next Saturday night. Blanchard Jr. and Esler both started from row three and quickly got out front running with Gerry Nohner in a fight for the top spot. With Blanchard Jr. running out front in the top spot, Esler was able to get by Nohner but Blanchard Jr. held off Esler to get the win.
Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett and Funny Car driver Alexis Dejoria made history Sunday at Brainerd International Race in the finals of the Lucas Oil Nationals, becoming the first pair of women to stand on the winners podium together as champions. Pritchett defeated Antron Brown in the Top Fuel final elimination and Dejoria won her finals showdown with Tommy Johnson Jr. It capped off a fantastic weekend with national records being broken along with history being made.
Top Fuel A little over a year after making her debut in the Papa John's Top Fuel dragster, Leah Pritchett made a record-breaking run to end the first day qualifying with a bang at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Running in the second round of qualifying, Pritchett set the national record with an elapsed time of 3.640 seconds running at 331.53 mph.
BARROWS — Seth Kramer built up a cushion on his lead over Jake Goetze in the Super Stock Class Saturday and two races tightened after a full night of features at North Central Speedway. Kramer held an eight-point lead over Goetze entering the feature event. Goetze was not part of the racing field Saturday and Kramer took full advantage of that with a win in the feature. The win pushed Kramer's lead to 24 points. That leaves the Mod 4 and Northern Sport Modified classes as the two remaining contested battles.
BARROWS—Feature races played a major part in the overall points standings Saturday night at North Central Speedway with just three weeks remaining in the season, with battles in three of the six classes. The biggest move came in the Super Stock class. Jake Goetze was a fourth-place finisher in 2016 and he would have finished higher if not for car issues that came about late in races he was leading.
BARROWS—Two points races tightened up Saturday and the third night of the Hobby Stock Mid-Summer Shoot-Out was completed with a 20-lap feature at North Central Speedway. Hobby Stock driver Wes Janz was the feature winner followed by Tyler Pospisil. Drivers competed in three races over the weekend at three different tracks and 18 cars made the field for the feature. Jerry Esler leads the Mod 4 class points standings but he saw his point margin drop to three as Dean Blanchard Jr.
BARROWS — Matt Halls recovered from an early caution and kept his foot on the throttle to take the win at the first ever Dean Funt Memorial Race Saturday at North Central Speedway. Halls was one of 26 drivers who made it into the 34-lap feature race. Forty seven cars made the field for the Mod 4 class, which meant five feature races and two 15-lap B Features to set the field for the final race.
BARROWS—With his father Dean on his mind, Mod 4 driver Chad Funt got an emotional feature win Saturday at North Central Speedway. Dean Funt was well known at the speedway and drivers paused with their engines off and pole position empty to honor Dean, who died last week. Chad then went out in the feature race and battled for the win and received congratulations from each driver as they drove by his car at the winners' stand. "It was an easy night for me racing. I felt fine and I was at peace," Funt said. "The Mod 4 drivers are the best.
BARROWS—Points races in the Mod 4 class and in the Super Stock class will highlight the second half of the season at North Central Speedway. The first half ended Saturday handing out three WWE belts from rain-shortened races last week and with six more regular feature races following. The Shawn Fletcher team was a big winner as Fletcher took the belt with a 20-lap win. Teammate AJ Viehauser followed with his first feature win of the season in the nightcap race. Fletcher holds a 17-point margin over Ryan Canon in the points race.