On a perfect day at Brainerd International Raceway with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's, imperfection was the theme of the day at the 35th annual Lucas Oil Nationals. Three drivers who were not on the winner's podium may have been the biggest winners. Ron Capps locked in his spot in the No. 1 spot for the Countdown to the Championship, while returning Pro Stock champion Erica Enders-Stevens tightened her grip on the 10th and final qualifying spot in the Countdown.
Funny Car driver Del Worsham's low ET and Tony Schumacher's second round pass were the highlights from the first round of qualifying racing at the 35th annual Lucas Oil Nationals on Friday at Brainerd International Raceway. With the partly cloudy conditions and temperatures in the mid-seventies, drivers had prime conditions for great runs, and that brought excitement along with disappointment. Worsham ran a track record of 3.856 seconds on his first round of qualifying, while Schumacher ran a time of 3.712 seconds midway through the second round of Top Fuel qualifying.
BARROWS—With just a few weeks left in the racing season Super Stock driver Seth Kramer is running out of time as he chases Dylan Nelson for the points championship. He was able to close the gap a bit with a win over Nelson in the Super Stock feature race Saturday at North Central Speedway. Kramer now trails Nelson by 13 points.
BARROWS—Representing the third generation of Young drivers, Robert Young III is making a name for himself in 2016. Young III raced to a second-place finish Saturday evening in the Hobby Stocks 15-lap feature event at North Central Speedway. It has been a breakout season for Young III with four feature wins and a fifth-place position in the points race behind points leader Tom Anderson coming into the Saturday night race. He has finished in the top 10 in all nine Hobby Stock feature races this season and has seven top five finishes.
BARROWS—For Northern Sport Modified driver Ashley Mehrwerth the 2016 season has been a memorable one. Two weeks ago, Mehrwerth broke through in the Northern Sport Modified class with a feature win. A win at Princeton followed along with two other wins at area tracks. Saturday night, Mehrwerth notched her second win at NCS with a victory over David Siercks and her brother Brandon. Along with leading the class in points, Mehrwerth became the first female driver at NCS to win in an open wheel car. When asked about that distinction, Mehrwerth was surprised.
NISSWA—New University of Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle and eight Gopher coaches met with fans on the third leg of the Gopher Road Trip Chalk Talk Thursday with a stop at Grand View Lodge, and talked about the successful 2015-2016 season. Coming out of the winter season Minnesota held a fourth-place ranking in the Learfield Director's Cup joining Ohio State (2), Michigan (3), and Penn State (5). It was Coyle's second full day on the job. It was important to him to meet Gopher fans.
BARROWS—A year ago, Mark Prueser was getting the top cut off of his car and getting medical assistance after a frightening crash left him with a badly injured shoulder. That's now a distant memory for Prueser as he won the 15 lap Modified feature event on Saturday night at North Central Speedway. It took six and a half hours to get the racing in as a result of rains in the area, which produced a very muddy track. Drivers and track staff pulled together to make it a raceable track that set up very fast and tacky for the drivers.
The Central Lakes College Raiders softball team will begin its journey toward a national title as they compete in the NJCAA Division III Softball Championships Thursday through Saturday at Rochester Community College. Seeded No. 7, CLC will face No. 2 Herkimer in the opening round at noon Thursday. Win or lose, the Raiders will play a second game at 4 p.m. Thursday.
CLC 5, Rainy River 1 Key: Raiders produce a 4-run fifth inning Overall: CLC 24-5 Next: Central Lakes in NJCAA Div. III National Tournament at McQuillan Softball Complex, Rochester May 19-21 Autumn Roberts pitched seven strong innings and collected three hits to earn Region 13B MVP honors and help the Central Lakes College Raiders advance to the NJCAA National tournament with Saturday's 5-1 victory over Rainy River in Brainerd. Mickey Guenther hit a bases loaded double to score three runs in the top of the fifth inning to give the Raiders a 4-0 lead.
BARROWS—Derek Stenoch won the 12-lap Sport Compact feature event Saturday at North Central Speedway. Tom Anderson, Mitchell Hribar, David Siercks, Seth Kramer, and Josh Beaulieu were also feature winners on the second full night of racing. IMCA Sport Compacts Feature: 1-Derek Stenoch, 2-Grady Shearer, 3-Brendon Yamry Heat 1: 1-Brendon Yamry, 2-Zach Jackson, 3-Brittany Smith Heat 2: 1-Grady Shearer, 2-Derek Stenoch, 3-Lexy Kastner IMCA Hobby Stocks Feature: 1-Tom Anderson, 2-David Dosh, 3-Timothy Gonska