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Articles written by Dennis Peterson


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  • Bemidji Speedway: Stearns wins Wissota A Modified special

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 19, 2014

    BEMIDJI -- The Wissota A Modified special is touring 18 cities in the Midwest and Sunday it made a stop at Bemidji Speedway. Mike Stearns, from Heda, S.D., won the feature and its $1,500 first-place purse. Sunday night's card also featured the final night of the Bemidji Pure Stock Challenge for the Bemidji Minis and Wissota Midwest Modifieds. Josh Berg was the overall winner and he earned a $500 bonus. Just one race remains for the season points championships in each class with many classes...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Drivers qualify for Wissota 'Race of Champions'

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 5, 2014

    BEMIJDI -- Qualifying for the Wissota 100 later this fall at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds was on the minds of many of the drivers Sunday because Bemidji Speedway was hosting the "Race of Champions" qualifying night and the winners of the Wissota races punched their tickets for the big race. Sunday's winners included Jerry Esler in the Mod Fours, Kevin Burdick in the Super Stocks and Bret Schmidt in the Midwest Modifieds. Kids also enjoyed a special night at the Speedway as the "Kids Box...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Berg wins Pure Stock Challenge race

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 29, 2014

    BEMIDJI - Track conditions were excellent Sunday night at the Bemidji Speedway and the racing kept fans on the edge of their seats. The third race of the Pure Stock Challenge was held with Josh Berg putting himself in contention for the overall title with the win. The fourth and final race of the series will be held on Aug. 17 along with the A-Modifieds as track officials will hold the RV Advantage Tour race. Next Sunday the "Race of Champions" qualifier will be held with the Midwest Modifieds,...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Hauber, Reed capture first feature races

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 22, 2014

    BEMIDJI - It was an action packed night of racing at Bemidji Speedway Sunday night with the track hosting the Boy and Girl Scouts. All Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who came in uniform Sunday night were given free admission and at intermission two bikes were given away to two lucky young fans, courtesy of the Bemidji Wrestling Club. On the track, two first-time winners were crowned - Mod Four driver Fran Hauber and Midwest Modified driver Ron Reed. Next week the track will host the third of the...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Hot action on a cool Sunday night

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 15, 2014

    BEMIDJI -- Wind, rain, hats, gloves and blankets. One would think you were watching the classic Paul Bunyan Stampede held in late September or October at Bemidji Speedway but that was the scene Sunday night at the speedway as fans braved the cold and wet conditions to cheer on their favorite drivers for the Mid-season Championships. A pair of first-time winners in 2014 highlighted the on-track action with Nathan Higginbotham winning his first ever feature in the Wissota Super Stocks and Tim...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Berg completes sweep in Mini Stocks

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 8, 2014

    BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Speedway drivers and fans finished off the 4th of July holiday weekend with racing at its finest. Sue Berg completed a clean sweep in the Mini Stocks for the first time ever while Butch Butcher won his first of the summer in the Wissota Super Stock class. Al Sadek Jr. won the Pure Stock challenge race and Bret Schmidt won his second Wissota Midwest Modified feature in a row. Dean Larson picked up win number four in the Wissota Modified class. Racing will resume next Sunday...

  • BEMIDJI SPEEDWAY: Drivers take advantage of perfect night

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jun 25, 2014

    BEMIDJI -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bemidji were guests of the Bemidji Speedway Sunday night on a picture-perfect night for racing. Track conditions were excellent and fans enjoyed watching three new winners -- Josh Berg in the Pure Stocks, Matt Sparby in the Super Stocks and Gary James Nelson in the Midwest Modifieds. Dean Larson in the Mod Fours won his third feature and Jenny Watrud won her second in the Minis. Next week the track will welcome fans for "Kids Night". Fans 12 and under will...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Butcher wins first Pure Stock Challenge

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jun 10, 2014

    BEMIDJI - Following the terrific opening Memorial weekend races and then having the races rained out last weekend, drivers and fans were anxious to see the cars back on track. Sunday night the weather was perfect and racers were treated to a very fast surface. Sunday night was the first of four race nights in the Bemidji Speedway Pure Stock Challenge and the initial challenge was won by Margo Butcher of Buhl. Jenny Watrud was the Mini Stock winner. In the Wissota divisions, Dean Larson picked...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Drivers take advantage of Monday's perfect weather conditions

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|May 28, 2014

    BEMIDJI -- For the second day in a row race fans enjoyed great weather, a great car count and excellent track conditions at Bemidji Speedway. Mini Stocks Mike Hart powered up from his second row start to take the lead and win the feature. Tim Hart, Jenny Watrud, Danny Brown and Nicole Feda finished in the top five. Pure Stock Bill Chaboyea took the early lead with Kevin Baumgarner, Al Sadek Jr., Al Sadek Sr., and Justin Feltus trailing. A caution waved for several spinouts and when racing...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Perfect weather welcomes drivers, fans at season opener

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|May 27, 2014

    BEMIDJI - Dreams of "Victory Lane", hopes of checkered flags, and renewing old friendships and rivalries are all part of opening day at the Bemidji Speedway. Opening day at the speedway was Sunday and the perfect weather, full pits, a fine crowd on hand and a smooth and very fast track made for a fantastic opener. The racers were back at the track late Monday and next Sunday, for "Beltrami County Humane Society Night", the races will start at 5 p.m. Mini Stocks In the mini stock feature Mike...

  • Bemidji Speedway hosts annual awards banquet

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Dec 10, 2013

    BEMIDJI - The curtain came down on the 2013 racing season in Bemidji Saturday night as Bemidji Speedway owners Tonya Stranger and Idella and Randy Hayes hosted their annual awards night at the Keg-N-Cork. Following the dinner announcer Shannon Fish presented the Rookies of the Year for 2013 with plaques. The recipients were Jenny Watrud (Mini Stocks), Josh Berg (Pure Stocks), Christopher Brown (Mod Fours) and Nathan Higginbotham (Super Stocks). A special award was presented to N&B Drywall and Pa...

  • Season ends at Bemidji Speedway with Paul Bunyan Stampede

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Oct 1, 2013

    BEMIDJI — Among the longest running traditions in stock car racing in the Northland is the Paul Bunyan Stampede at the Bemidji Speedway. For 38 years the speedway has hosted racers and fans from across the Midwest in one of the premiere events of the season. This 2013 Stampede was scheduled to be a Saturday-Sunday competition but it was shortened to just one day due to the steady rain on Saturday. On Sunday they day of racing attracted almost 90 cars in five classes. Bret Schmidt, Andy Davey...

  • Bemidji Speedway crowns track champions

    Dennis Peterson, Special to the Pioneer|Aug 27, 2013

    BEMIDJI -- In the sizzling heat and humidity Sunday night, Bemidji Speedway held its final regular show for points of the summer. Champions were crowned in each of the five classes. The racing season will end in Bemidji with the Annual Paul Bunyan Stampede scheduled for Sept. 28-29. Mini Stocks The mini stocks were led on track by point leader Jenny Watrud with Danny Brown to her right. Jenny Watrud sped to the front and held off Danny Brown and a hard charging Chris Dudley in the end to win...

  • Hot Sunday night at Bemidji Speedway

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 23, 2013

    BEMIDJI - The temperature in the area has cooled but Sunday night at Bemidji Speedway the action was hotter than ever. Coming up at the speedway next Sunday is the Wissota "Race of Champions" qualifier. Winners earn the right to represent Bemidji Speedway later this fall at the Wissota Race of Champions held in Huron, S.D. That race will include qualifiers from tracks throughout the Midwest. Mini Stocks Watrud raced her Mini Stock into the lead in turn one and stayed there to claim her second...

  • National points leader Zieske shines at Bemidji Speedway

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 9, 2013

    BEMIDJI -- The Fourth of July celebration in the Bemidji area ended on Sunday with the traditional parade through the middle of town and races at Bemidji Speedway. A great crowd enjoyed very competitive racing on the high-banked quarter-mile oval. National point leader Dustin Zieske in the Wissota Mod Fours was on hand, and three new winners found themselves in Victory Lane. MINI STOCKS Newcomer Dezmond Berndt of Pillager used his outside front row starting position to take the lead and hold...

  • Bemidji Speedway fans enjoy ‘Rock Star’, ‘Box Car’ events

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 7, 2012

    BEMIDJI - It was an exciting night for kids of all ages Sunday at Bemidji Speedway. The track hosted “Rock Star Night” and for the younger crowd the always popular “box car” racers were out in force racing on the track in their home made box cars. Great track conditions once again created great racing action with many new cars in attendance on a picture-perfect night for racing. Just three more nights remain of the regular season at Bemidji Speedway with the track ending its racing...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Drivers qualify for Race of Champions

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jul 31, 2012

    BEMIDJI - Bemidji Speedway hosted the Wissota Race of Champions qualifier Sunday with the winners punching tickets to the prestigious Wissota Race of Champions held later this fall at the South Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron, South Dakota. Track conditions were tremendous which ensured great racing. Next Sunday the track will host “Rock Star Night” and the always popular kids “box car” races. Kids are encouraged to create, out of cardboard boxes, their favorite race car and bring it...

  • New drivers entertain

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|May 22, 2012

    Sunday’s action at Bemidji Speedway featured an excellent field of cars, including many new drivers and crews. The first special event of the summer comes next weekend with a Memorial Day race added to the card. The regular Sunday race will begin at 5 p.m. and on Monday the Northern Plains Mini Springs will join the regular classes with the action starting at 4 p.m. Bill Chaboyea took the lead early and survived a late caution and restart to claim his first feature of the new race season....

  • Racing season now underway

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|May 15, 2012

    BEMIDJI – The 2012 racing season got off to a great start Sunday at Bemidji Speedway. Beautiful clear skies and a warm breeze greeted an excellent field of cars, drivers and crews all with aspirations of that first heat win, that first feature win and, ultimately, a coveted track championship. Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks, Wissota Mod Fours, Wissota Midwest Modifieds and Wissota Super Stocks will be the main classes at Bemidji this year. Sunday, the Northern Plains Mini Sprint Association brought a handful of Mini Sprints as an added class to...

  • Bemidji Speedway season point champions honored

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Jan 24, 2012

    More than 100 drivers, crew members, sponsors and fans celebrated the 2011 Bemidji Speedway racing season and recognized champions at the Bemidji Eagles Club Saturday night. Special recognition was given to track workers Becky Hiltz and Mindy Bowman for their efforts this past season. Taking rookie of the year honors were Zack Peterson (Mini Stocks), Tom Kellen and Tonja Stranger (Wissota Mod Fours) and Brandon Bahr (Wissota Midwest Modifieds). Mini Stocks driver Andy Swartz was named sportsman of the year. The top finishers in each of six...

  • Sabraski gets two wins

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 23, 2011

    One of the highlights of every summer at Bemidji Speedway is the night the kids race their home-made box cars. This year a record number of youngsters participated, ranging in age from two to 10. But the “real” racing Sunday night included a rare double feature win by Shane Sabraski and first-time win for Cory Peterson. Next Sunday will be a special night at Bemidji Speedway as it includes the season championship. The final regular race of season will also be run and champions will be named. Doug VanMill made a quick move inside turn one...

  • Racing season winds down

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 16, 2011

    Bemidji Speedway is winding down its season and the action on the track is getting more furious with each race. Just two more weeks of points racing remain, with the Season Championships set for Aug. 28. The final event of the 2011 racing season is the annual Paul Bunyan Stampede Oct. 1-2. Next Sunday young race fans are encouraged to bring their “Box Car” racers to the track. During intermission the young racers will be allowed on the track to race their cars for awards. Chad Puschinsky won the initial feature of the night, outlasting the...

  • First-time winners, crashes, DQs highlight action

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 11, 2011

    It was a night of clean sweeps, first timers, hard crashes and disqualifications at Bemidji Speedway Sunday night. A fine grandstand of fans enjoyed all the thrills stock car racing has to offer including four clean sweeps and a hard crash in the Mod Fours. Track conditions were fantastic with drivers racing from top to bottom on the quarter-mile oval. Dakota Greene charged up door-to-door with leader Mike McAdams and ran side-by-side for a lap, then raced low and on the next lap the 18-year-old from Grand Rapids took the lead. But a caution...

  • New drivers find winner’s circle during ‘Double Feature Night’

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 3, 2011

    Sunday was a “Double Feature Night” at Bemidji Speedway for the Mod Fours. The night included a make-up race from July 10 when the rains fell, shortening the show and postponing the feature. Among Sunday’s highlights were a couple of first-time winners and several who previously had been to the Victory Circle. Fran Hauber took the lead with Tom Kellen, Conrad Schwinn, Dean Larson and Mike Margl in pursuit. For several laps they held position until a spin brought out the caution flag with Larson sent tailback for the restart. The restart...

  • Bemidji Speedway: Kintner leads Wissota Super Stocks

    Dennis Peterson, Bemidji Pioneer|Aug 1, 2011

    The current points leader at Bemidji Speedway in the Wissota Super Stock class is 23-year-old Tyler Kintner of Hibbing. Kintner has been racing for 11 years and is currently racing the No. 22 Turbine Superstock at area tracks including Bemidji Speedway, Hibbing and Grand Rapids. “We updated from a 1998 turbine to a 2007 turbine in late July,” said Kintner, “and we have been getting great help from the 24J crew.” The 24J crew is Tyler Kintner’s uncle Jay who is now racing a Late Model. Other family members racing include cousins Bobby...

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