Motorsports: Sathoff and Espey repeat as NCS track champions
by STEVE ZWEMKE
WORTHINGTON -- Luke Sathoff had a great start to the Labor Day weekend by winning the Worthington Glass USRA Stock Car feature Saturday at Nobles County Speedway. Sathoff’s lead over Trent Schroeder stayed within five car-lengths through most of the race. Sathoff turned up the heat over the final two laps to chalk up his eighth win of the season. Schroeder finished ahead of Rich Gregoire for second.
On Friday night, Sathoff took the feature at Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa. The win was worth $1000 and a $500 bonus for doubling with his August 18 win, also worth $1000, at Nobles County Speedway.
Sathoff beat Jon DeBoer by 118 points to earn his second consecutive NCS track title. Along with his eight wins, Sathoff had 12 top five finishes in 13 starts. Gregoire, Levi Feltman and Dylan Fitzpatrick finished third through fifth respectively in the points.
Tyler Johnson edged out Justin Luinenburg to take the checkered flag in the Fulda Auto Service USRA B-Modified feature on Jesse James Construction Night. Johnson worked past Tim Dann after the first few laps to gain the lead. Luinenburg, who started 12th, put on a show as he moved to the top side of the track passing his way up to second. Dann crossed third ahead of Dave Kennedy and Tyler Tesch.
Luinenburg ended the regular season with a 128 point lead over Kennedy. He raced to five feature wins and 12 top five’s in 14 starts. Dan Ross finished third in the B-Mod standings. Curt Ahlers was fourth. His son Andrew Ahlers placed fifth.
Four-time USRA National Hobby Stock champion Dustin Gulbrandson wrapped up the DeRuyter Pallets USRA Hobby Stock title by winning his eighth feature of the season tying him for the most overall wins at NCS in 2018. Gulbrandson came from fifth and then outbattled Justin Luinenburg (sixth) for the win. There was a ton of action from third on back. Tom Kracht wound up in third after starting seventh. Pole sitter Tracy Halouska was fourth. And Tyler Schlumbohm gained seven positions to finish fifth.
Gulbrandson’s margin of victory over Luinenburg in the standings was 79 points. The Sioux Falls, S.D., driver is also leading the Cook Racing Supplies USRA Hobby Stock national point standings in hopes of a fifth straight crown.
Dan Menk checked out in the Avalon School of Cosmetology Modifieds A-Main. Fellow front row starter Don Gerritsen Jr. could only manage a distant second. Josh Rogotzke had a good car as he was able to make several passes in coming from eighth to third.
Jason Fisher of Lakeville took the points title without the aid of a feature win. Fisher scored six top fives in seven starts to win the division by 61 points over Menk.
Scott Espey had the Afterhour Graphics, Tees & More USRA Tuner crown locked up well ahead of Championship Night. Espey, the division’s iron man (only driver to start all 13 events) finished the season with a 359 point lead over Dan Jensen. Espey also won two features. But the Championship Night victory went to Jerry Coopman. Neil Forsberg (second) and Kent Miller (third) chased Coopman hard before the Mankato driver grabbed his first checkered flag.
Jon Sullivan ran with the pole, racing to his second Sullivan Concrete Micro Sprint win at NCS. Chad Nachtigal was a close second.
Russ Husman also stopped by victory lane to be recognized as the Micro Sprint champion for 2018. Husman topped Sullivan in the standings by just 15 points.
The #94 of Tyler Bradley failed post-race inspection after the Sybesma Graphics NCS Sportsman main event. Rick Egan was credited with his fourth win of the season – tops among all Sportsman drivers. More importantly, Egan was honored as the Sportsman champion for 2018. He finished 100 points ahead of rookie standout Jaeden Strandberg.
USRA National Points will be at stake when Nobles County Speedway hosts the Worthington Nationals on Sunday, September 16. Hot laps are set for 3:00 p.m. Visit www.noblescountyspeedway.com or NCS’s Facebook page for more information.