Sunday, October 9, 2022

Return of the Prairie Dirt Reporter, A 2022 Perspective

Checkered flag ends the 2022 racing season in Estevan
David Mack photo
2022 was a special season for yours truly.  It marked a long awaited return to the dirt tracks.  When you're away for a number of years, many memories will begin to come back and one may even start reminiscing about the "good old days".  This writing has a blend of some random thoughts from the 2022 season plus a smattering of nostalgia.  Let's go...


My post-pandemic June racing trip to Estevan Motor Speedway was an emotional one.  I made a big deal out of returning to Estevan on social media because my excitement was too great to hide. After all, I hadn't seen my Saskatchewan racing family since 2019.  The first person to greet me at the pit gate was track president, Brad Pierson. After a brief conversation, I was off to find every familiar face I could find.


Estevan, Saskatchewan was well-represented at September's IMCA Super Nationals at Boone Speedway, Iowa.  On the final night, Aaron Turnbull turned in a stellar performance in the IMCA Modified division, ending with a 4th place podium finish.  Tyson Turnbull did not qualify into the big show, however overall did quite well, finishing 8th in points amongst 200-plus non-qualifying cars. A total of 253 Modifieds were at Boone for the Super Nationals.

The eventual winner of the IMCA Modified Super Nationals feature was former Nodak Speedway track champion (2019), Tom Berry Jr.

Saskatchewan Super Nationals has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  While this is not an event (yet), please remember where you read it first.


Dirt from the Stands returned to Victory Lane Speedway for the first time in 9 years.  Yes, my last visit to the speedway south of Winnipeg was in 2013.  Prior to returning to Victory Lane, I contacted the speedway and asked a lot of questions. They were most helpful and I greatly appreciated it.  It took a while for me to familiarize myself with my surroundings, but once I walked around a bit, everything came back to me.  

The evening's racing program kicked off with the familiar voice of Manitoba singer Jeannine Guyot performing the US and Canadian national anthems.

Some of the faces have changed, but the racing action did not.  Sitting in Turn 1 and just observing from the grandstands brought back some nice memories from my past years there. 

Overall I had a positive experience and look forward to returning again in 2023.


Over the years, I have written about Anthony Leek. From his early days at Emo Speedway and promoting a regional Super Stock tour to the realization of his dream at Lake of the Woods Speedway, Anthony has experienced a lot in his racing life.  Our friendship has stretched for about as long.  We shared many thoughts and aspirations about the local racing scene and our involvement in it.  I also credited him for being the influence behind my return to the racing scene in 2008.  Prior to the release of last year's writing, A Prairie Dirt Review, The COVID Years, Anthony and I enjoyed conversations about life, returning to racing after COVID and the direction of Dirt from the Stands going forward.


It's safe to say that the Western Renegade Non-Wing Sprint Cars are here to stay.  They have grown in numbers, averaging 13-14 cars at their home track of Devil's Lake Speedway during the 2022 racing season. July and August produced the most participants with a low count of 12 and a season high of 21. Most race nights, 15 sprints were pitted.  These numbers do not include the season-ending Labour Day extravaganza, the Inaugural North Dakota Non-Wing Nationals which saw 34 traditional sprint cars converge on Devil's Lake for 2 action-packed nights of racing. 

The grand finale's 35-lap A-Main winner was Nick DaRonco of Britt, Minnesota.


In October of 2021, local Super Truck driver and Northern Lightning Sprint Association alumnus Eric Guyot informed me that he was building a sprint car to run with the Renegade Sprints in 2022.  This news made me smile, not only because he would be the first Manitoban to race with the Renegades, but also because Eric was returning to open wheel racing. The early part of the season was a learning experience for the Renegade rookie, but come August he found success.  On August 6th, for the first time, he parked his #25 sprinter in victory lane at the Coal County Classic at McLean County Speedway

Eric's efforts paid off again with an excellent showing at the North Dakota Non-Wing Nationals. On the final night, he won his heat race.  Then, starting in 14th position, Guyot worked his way up to an impressive 7th place finish in the A-Main.  He was also named top rookie at the Labour Day event.

I enjoyed collaborating with and writing about Eric Guyot and his journey in sprint car racing this season.  It allowed me a fresh way to present the Western Renegade Non-Wing Sprint Cars with a Manitoba spin.


The Western Renegade sprint car team to beat in 2022 was the number 52 of Adam Sobolik.  Out of approximately 28 feature starts, the Grand Forks, North Dakota racer parked his sprint in victory lane an impressive 13 times this season, 12 non-wing wins and 1 win with the wing on.


There were a couple of noteworthy endings to the 2022 season from Swift Current Motor Speedway.  

Edmonton, Alberta's Destiny Klym saved her best performance for last at the speedway's season finale weekend.  Night 1,  she swept both of her IMCA Modified heat races and then went on to win the feature.  She followed that up by capturing the feature's checkered flag on Night 2.

Crowe Racing scored a 1, 2, 3 finish in IMCA Modified track points this season.  Congratulations to Brody Crowe (1st), Carson Crowe (2nd) and Tyson Crowe (3rd).  To the best of my knowledge, I don't recall 3 brothers finishing in the top 3 spots in track points anywhere before.  If I'm wrong, please let me know.


After a full season of asphalt oval track racing in the Street Stock division, Saskatchewan racer Criss Jeffries recently announced that Redhead Racing is expanding to a 2-car team in 2023.  Criss will be running in the Sportsman division while her daughter, Harley, will start racing in the entry-level Bandolero division at Saskatoon's Sutherland Automotive Speedway.


When I first started posting racing photos, a long time ago, I learned very quickly to give proper photo credit is all motorsports photographers' works.  In the early years, my primary photographers included Tim Johnson, Fran Engelke and Isabelle Blanchette.  I was and will always be thankful for their generosity in allowing me the privilege of including their photos with my writings.

I was once again blessed to have been able to share the works of some very talented photographers on the blog this season.  Special thanks to Lisa Crowe, Kaz Grafix, Byron Fichter, James Caswell and Speedway Shots for their contributions.

I would also like to acknowledge the exceptional photo contributions of Kyla Harris, Katy Turnbull, Maxx Wazney, Cory Palm, David Mack, Linda Szabo and Raymond Brabant who captured some special moments that were posted this year.

There was also a new visual artist whose works I enjoyed.

Modern technology is capable of producing some amazing images.  Gordon More's use of a drone at Estevan Motor Speedway was exceptional and breathtaking.  Gordon's works are not exclusive to the dirt track.  His drone videos capture the essence of the prairies in a way that leaves you awestruck.

Please be sure to check out Gordon's work. You won't be disappointed.


I was very pleased to chat with a few people about LAPS4MD this year.  Representing a cause to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy Canada is both rewarding and humbling. LAPS4MD founder Brad Miller, who is diagnosed with Beckers Muscular Dystrophy, does a good job of promoting the raising of funds through motorsports.  Brad also has a blog to raise awareness entitled, My Beckers Story.  I invite you, the racing community, to consider being a part of this worthwhile cause.  Together, we can make a difference in the quality of someone's life with Muscular Dystrophy.  It takes teamwork to make the dream work.  Thank you.


One element of Dirt from the Stands that I've tried to highlight are the volunteer-driven community dirt tracks of Saskatchewan. My goal has been to present news/results about these places during the racing season.  Sometimes information is readily available and other times it can be a challenge.  I work with what is available and try to put my best foot forward in the presentation for you, the reader, as time permits.  

There are racing venues and organizations that receive more than their fair share of media attention.  I could have easily followed that path and simply been another voice recycling the same news that had been repeated perpetually each season, but I chose not to.

Talking about racing communities like Estevan, Swift Current, Yorkton, Tisdale, Outlook and Swan River (MB) is rewarding.  I have witnessed how much time and care a speedway's board members and volunteers give to ensure a place for people to race on weekends.  These locations are as important to grass roots dirt track racing as any other, perhaps even more so.


Dirt may appear like an obvious word to use with anything to do with racing. My reason for using "Dirt" is not exclusively about the subject of dirt track racing.  Dirt is also symbolic of my life on the prairies, my mortality and my Christian faith.  


As of this writing, there are no definitive plans in the works for next season and for a change, I'm in no hurry.

A bucket list item was checked off this year.  It might sound corny, but one of my goals was to find the Starbucks in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.  My beverage was made to perfection and didn't disappoint. 

I've enjoyed interacting with Victory Lane Speedway on social media, especially Twitter and Instagram, since the speedway went under new ownership.  They are definitely more active now and worth a follow.

If you've been following me on social media, you'll have noticed that I started using a meme generator.  It's just another fun thing to add to the Dirt experience.

Although I am not directly involved with open wheel racing today, don't think that I'm not paying attention.  Sprint cars are always on my radar.

My first membership with the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum in Knoxville, Ia was in 2002.  Continued support to help preserve the history of sprint car racing is as relevant to me today as it was 20 years ago, even more so.

Estevan Motor Speedway's feature winners gave away their trophies, autographed, to a few lucky young fans after their victory lane interviews all season.  This is a great example of going that extra mile to make a night at the races that much more memorable for the youngsters.

Speaking of youngsters, I love the slingshot class at Estevan.  We get the privilege of watching the next generation of drivers learning about racing every night they're at the speedway.  Everyone on track is at a different level, from beginners to seasoned drivers preparing to move up to the next class. 

Think families only race together at a speedway? Better think again. Victory Lane Speedway track announcer Darren Pallen had a new partner on the microphone this season.  It was in fact his teenage son, Travis.  Travis took over from the retired Pat Mooney and from what I heard, he does his homework and delivers the information fans need to know on race day.  

Spending Canada Day at Estevan Motor Speedway was special.  Seeing all of those Canadian flags waving in the breeze along the fencing was inspiring and gave me a true sense of Canadian pride on that day.

Speaking of special, 2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of my first visit to Estevan Motor Speedway. What started out as a night of watching the NLRA late model racing tour ultimately changed the course of my dirt track racing journey in ways I could never have imagined.  

If you haven't witnessed a sunset in Saskatchewan, you're missing out.  They are spectacular and justify the provincial slogan, "Land of the Living Skies".

I experience something different every night I'm at a speedway.  I meet new people and I learn something that I didn't know before.  This is what makes my journey as a motorsports blogger so rewarding.

Dirt from the Stands is a labour of love and a perpetual work in progress.  Every season presents a few challenges, but I always take away something to hopefully make the next year a little better.

This is the 11th blog post of 2022.  Combined with @SaskDirtRacing on Twitter, it's been an enjoyable season.  If you had asked me early in the year how many blog posts I was thinking about publishing, I would have told you about 4 or 5.  Apparently I misplaced that memo.

From the old jazz standard, "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", although my travels to the speedways are less frequent these days, it doesn't diminish the thrill of live dirt track racing when I have the opportunity.

This past season was reminiscent of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) in some ways for me.  The main message here is that it doesn't matter how far you go, or how long you are gone for, God's unconditional love is always waiting for us when we come home. In that light, although I had been away for some time, the love of the racing community welcomed me home upon my return.

As we wind down for the holiday season, let us slow down, reflect and give thanks for those special moments and people who have blessed our lives.  Sadly, some are no longer with us.  Tomorrow is never promised and it's important to appreciate what is in front of us today. Let us also look forward to the coming new year and the hope of positive, memorable experiences.

Until next time, take care, God Bless and Happy Holidays.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Dirt Track Wars Waged Over Saskatchewan Weekend

With the racing season winding down for many dirt tracks across the prairies, points championships were on the line this past weekend.

Estevan Motor Speedway doubled down to close out the 2022 season by not only running their championship weekend, but adding to the excitement, their always popular event, Dirt Wars for the IMCA Hobby Stocks.

The story of this weekend took place in victory lane as Mike Wilson parked his IMCA Hobby Stock for his first career feature win on Friday night.  His son, Kruz finished right behind in 2nd place.

Forward to Saturday night's season finale where it was Kruz Wilson taking the checkered flag and winning the 2022 Dirt Wars championship.

Below is a rundown of the weekend's action.

Mike Wilson gets a hug from son, Kruz, after scoring his first career feature win.
Byron Fichter photo

Estevan Motor Speedway, Estevan, Saskatchewan August 26 Dirt Wars Results

IMCA Hobby Stocks Dirt Wars Feature: 27 Michael Wilson, 27JR Kruz Wilson, 15 Connor Hansen, 98H Kayden Hjorteland, 91T Kaiden Tuchscherer, 26 Riley Mann, 64 Owen Goetz (DNF), 8S Brody Singleton (DNF), 41 Ty Saxon (DNF), 12 Dexter Saxon (DNF), 96R Diezel Raynard (DNF), 19 Quentin Skjerdal (DNF), 69 Tanner Russell (DNF), 52L Landon Runge (DNF)

Heat Winners: 26 Riley Mann, 15 Connor Hansen

IMCA Sport Mods Feature:49 Erik Laudenschlager, 25R Leevi Runge, 13 Justin Fichter, 22 Keenan Glasser, 66K Brian Kentner, 11 Dustin Mayer, 15H Colby Himmelspeck, 20 Rick Milewicz, 55H Mike Hudson, 18 Ryder Raynard (DNF), 19 Brent Skjerdal (DNF)

Heat Winner: 49 Erik Laudenschlager

IMCA Stock Cars Feature: 17H Chris Hortness, 68 Jeremy Swanson, 17 Austin Daae, 21C Chase Davidson, 47 Devon Gonas, 19 Jeremy Istace, 1(99) JJ Barnstable, 7 Gary Goudy Sr, 46 Geoff Mann (DNF), 12G Gary Goudy Jr (DNF)

Heat Winner: 47 Devon Gonas

IMCA Modifieds Feature (RAIN SHORTENED): 2 Kyle Scholpp, 10E Ed Turnbull, 11 Steven Pfeifer, 02 Kody Scholpp, 10 Tyson Turnbull, 30 Tyler Wagner, 29 Les McLenehan, 44R Brandon Englot, 24CWS Jim Cocks, 114 Corey Mann, 01 Joey Galloway (DNF)

Heat Winners: 01 Joey Galloway, 10E Ed Turnbull

Slingshots Feature: 11J Jace Emmel, 50 Gunner Raynard, 33J Jacek Ashworth, 99 Cash Saxon, 30 Brogan Wagner, 11 Sladen Pfeifer, 16 Jase Skjerdal, 51 Gage Goetz, 21E Eli Turnbull, 44J Jagger Ashworth, 51G Grayson Jewell, 12E Eliza Whitson, 3 Dane Skjerdal (DNF), 14 Kolby Fichter (DNF), 95 Hudson Mann (DNF)

Heat Winners: 50 Gunner Raynard, 30 Brogan Wagner

2022 Dirt Wars Champion, Kruz Wilson
Byron Fichter photo

Estevan Motor Speedway, Estevan, Saskatchewan August 27 Dirt Wars Results

IMCA Hobby Stocks Dirt Wars Feature: 27JR Kruz Wilson, 15 Connor Hansen, 98H Kayden Hjorteland, 52L Landon Runge, 26 Riley Mann, 8S Brody Singleton, 91T Kaiden Tuchscherer, 19 Quentin Skjerdal, 96R Diezel Raynard, 12 Dexter Saxon, 27 Michael Wilson, 41 Ty Saxon (DNF), 69 Tanner Russell (DNS)

Heat Winners: 91T Kaiden Tuchscherer, 52L Landon Runge

IMCA Sport Mods Feature: 25R Leevi Runge, 13 Justin Fichter, 22 Keenan Glasser, 95 Rylan Raynard, 18 Ryder Raynard, 20 Rick Milewicz, 66K Brian Kentner, 19 Brent Skjerdal, 11 Dustin Mayer (DNF), 7 Storm Dayman (DNF), 15H Colby Himmelspeck (DNF), 55H Mike Hudson (DNS)

Heat Winners: 25R Leevi Runge, 15H Colby Himmelspeck

IMCA IMCA Stock Cars Feature: 17H Chris Hortness, 68 Jeremy Swanson, 7X Tyson Turnbull, 21C Chase Davidson, 12G Gary Goudy Jr, 46 Geoff Mann, 19 Jeremy Istace, 7 Gary Goudy Sr, 47 Devon Gonas (DNF)

Heat Winner: 17H Chris Hortness

IMCA Modifieds Feature: 10 Tyson Turnbull, 02 Kody Scholpp, 10E Ed Turnbull, 11 Steven Pfeifer, 01 Joey Galloway, 29 Les McLenehan, 68 Jeremy Swanson, 30 Tyler Wagner, 2 Kyle Scholpp, 114 Corey Mann, 3L Derrick Lisafeld, 44R Brandon Englot, 24CWS Jim Cocks (DNF)

Heat Winners: 02 Kody Scholpp, 10 Tyson Turnbull

Slingshots Feature: 50 Gunner Raynard, 99 Cash Saxon, 33J Jacek Ashworth, 30 Brogan Wagner, 44J Jagger Ashworth, 3 Dane Skjerdal, 16 Jase Skjerdal, 51 Gage Goetz, 95 Hudson Mann, 14 Kolby Fichter, 21CH Halle Turnbull, 12E Eliza Whitson, 11J Jace Emmel (DNF), 21E Eli Turnbull (DNF), 11 Sladen Pfeifer (DNF)

Heat Winners: 11J Jace Emmel, 11 Sladen Pfeifer

Next scheduled racing for Estevan Motor Speedway is Saturday, September 10.


Modified racer Brody Crowe was waging an on-track war of his own on Swift Current Motor Speedway's 1/4 mile bullring over the weekend.  On Friday night, he came in 2nd to his brother, Tyson Crowe.  Saturday night was a different story as he led all but the final lap. Coty Smith dogged the #88 Modified of Crowe throughout the feature and made his move for a last lap pass to capture the checkered flag, leaving Brody with another 2nd place finish.

Saturday night 's action resulted in Dirt Mini Stock rookie Gordy Johner scoring his first career feature win, while Stefan Klym swept the weekend's Street Stock features.

Tyson Crowe (11) and Brody Crowe (88) in Modified action.
Lisa Crowe photo

Swift Current Motor Speedway, Swift Current, Saskatchewan August 26 Results

IMCA Modifieds Feature (TOP 3): 11 Tyson Crowe, 88 Brody Crowe, 5 Destiny Klym

Street Stocks Feature (TOP 3): 5 Stefan Klym, 12 Wayne Sadowski, 44 Kevin Schafer

Dirt Mini Stocks Feature (TOP 3): 10 Terry Fehr, 9 Mitchell Cook, 4 Gordy Johner

Dirt Mini Stock winner, Gordy Johner
Lisa Crowe photo

Swift Current Motor Speedway, Swift Current, Saskatchewan August 27 Results

IMCA Modifieds Feature (TOP 3): 03 Coty Smith, 88 Brody Crowe, 5 Destiny Klym

Street Stocks Feature (TOP 3): 5 Stefan Klym, 12 Wayne Sadowski, 44 Kevin Schafer

Dirt Mini Stocks Feature (TOP 3): 4 Gordy Johner, 10 Terry Fehr, 71 Brett Calvin

Next scheduled racing for Swift Current Motor Speedway is September 16 and 17


Despite less than perfect weather conditions, Yellowhead International Speedway was able to get their final racing program of 2022 in.  In this case, the struggle was with Mother Nature.

Modified winner, Brice Dahlin
Linda Szabo photo

Yellowhead International Speedway, Yorkton, Saskatchewan August 28 Results

Modifieds Feature (TOP 3): 29 Brice Dahlin, 44R Brandon Englot, 60 Barry Woodson

Heat Winners: 18 Steve Benarski won both heat races

Street Stocks Feature (TOP 3): 249 Liam Griffin, 67 Tyler Rosenthal, 99 Randy Rosenthal

Heat Winners: 249 Liam Griffin won both heat races

Hobby Stocks Feature (TOP 3): 8 Brody Singleton, 10 Brian Matkowski, 11 Neil Matkowski

Heat Winners: 8 Brody Singleton won both heat races.

This concludes scheduled stock car racing for Yellowhead International Speedway.  Final event of 2022 is a Demolition Derby on September 17.

"The Parkland Racing Association and the Yellowhead International Speedway would like to thank all of the racers who have visited our track this season and we hope to see you all again next year! We would also like to thank our countless volunteers who worked hard all season long to help bring together every race day!! Most of all we’d like to thank our fans for coming out and supporting the racing events at our track in Yorkton!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Saskatchewan Invitationals Highlight August Racing

Hot August nights produced hot August dirt track racing on community race tracks recently.  Annual Invitationals were in full swing at Yorkton's Yellowhead International Speedway and Tisdale Motor Speedway on back-to-back weekends.

Below is a racing summary from the two Saskatchewan Invitationals.

Street Stock feature winner, Ryan Atkings
Kyla Harris photo

Yellowhead International Speedway, Yorkton, Saskatchewan August 13 Invitational Results

Modified Feature: 66 Kelly Bauman, 15 Nick Baskier, 29 Brice Dahlin, 27M Darin Bednarski, 18 Steve Bednarski, 60 Barry Woodson, 48 Stu Bauman

Heat Winners: 18 Steve Bednarski, 15 Nick Baskier

Street Stock Feature: 44 Ryan Atkings, 249 Liam Griffin, 88R Rod Pickering, 99 Randy Rosenthal

Heat Winners: 44 Ryan Atkings (winner of both heats)

Hobby Stock Feature: 10 Brian Matkowski, 04 Kolton Kreutzer, 913 Tylor McGrath, 44 Jen Atkings, 11 Neil Matkowski, 96 Carson Malayney, 18M Sydney Bednarski, 10K Brandon Kalechyn, 88D Damian Chernyk, 8 Brody Singleton, 11R Reid Cober, 27 Josh Wood (DNF), 37 Robert Wicks (DNF), 88 Tyler Rosenthal (DNF), 7 Shawn Scheller (DNS)

Heat Winners: 04 Kolton Kreutzer, 10 Brian Matkowski, 44 Jen Atkings, 10 Brian Matkowski

Hobby Stock feature winner, Brody Singleton
Kyla Harris photo

Yellowhead International Speedway, Yorkton, Saskatchewan August 14 Invitational Results

Modified Feature: 66 Kelly Bauman, 18 Steve Bednarski, 15 Nick Baskier, 60 Barry Woodson, 48 Stu Bauman, 27M Darin Bednarski (DNF), 29 Brice Dahlin (DNS)

Heat Winners: 18 Steve Bednarski, 15 Nick Baskier

Street Stock Feature: 44 Ryan Atkings, 88R Rod Pickering, 99 Randy Rosenthal, 249 Liam Griffin, 66 Tyler Holian (DNF)

Heat Winners: 44 Ryan Atkings (winner of both heats)

Hobby Stock Feature: 8 Brody Singleton, 10 Brian Matkowski, 04 Kolton Kreutzer, 88 Tyler Rosenthal, 913 Tylor McGrath, 10K Brandon Kalechyn, 11 Neil Matkowski, 88D Damian Chernyk, 11R Reid Cober, 18M Sydney Bednarski (DNF), 96 Carson Malayney (DNF), 37 Robert Wicks (DNF), 27 Josh Wood (DNF), 44 Jen Atkings (DNF), 7 Curtis Rosenthal (DNS)

Heat Winners: 8 Brody Singleton, 913 Tylor McGarth, 10 Brian Matkowski, 37 Robert Wicks

Next scheduled racing at Yellowhead Internaional Speedway is August 28.


Tisdale Motor Speedway, Tisdale, Saskatchewan August 20 Invitational Results

Modified Feature (TOP 3): 66 Kelly Bauman, 18 Steve Bednarski, 15 Nick Baskier

Street Stock Feature (TOP 3): 44 Ryan Atkings, 66 Tyler Holian, 07 Casey Randall

Hobby Stock Feature (TOP 3): 09 Ashley Ashdown, 77 Shane James, 10K Brandon Kalechyn

Tisdale Motor Speedway, Tisdale, Saskatchewan August 21 Invitational Results

Modified Feature (TOP 3): 15 Nick Baskier, 18 Steve Bednarski, 29 Brice Dahlin

Street Stock Feature (TOP 3): 12 Wayne Sadowski, 07 Casey Randall, 44 Ryan Atkings

Hobby Stock Feature (TOP 3): 44 Jen Atkings, 10K Brandon Kalechyn, 77 Shane James

This concludes scheduled stock car racing for Tisdale Motor Speedway.  The final event of 2022 is a Demolition Derby on September 10.