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Frederick wins, ends Speedway slump

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Driver Travis Olheiser of Dickinson competes in the first heat of the IMCA Modifieds class during Saturday’s race at the Southwest Speedway. Olheiser won his first race at the speedway this season.

With 10 laps to go in the Wissota Street Stocks feature, leader Allen Frederick’s car began smoking.

Scott Gartner was gaining ground and stayed on Frederick’s bumper.

However, Frederick never panicked and crossed the finish line .059 seconds before Gartner for the exciting victory on Saturday’s mid-season championship races at the Southwest Speedway.

“I kept watching the laps and I knew the smoke was coming from me,” Frederick said, who was all smiles. “I just kept watching the oil pressure gage and the temperature and it stayed up the whole while until I pulled in on the scale and the oil pressure dropped. It was great she hung together.”

Until Saturday, Frederick’s season hadn’t been what he wanted it to be. His new car had been giving him problems but little by little made improvements each week.

With half the season remaining, Frederick hopes this is the turning point needed to pick up some ground in the standings.

“I’ve never had a good draw all year long it’s been toward the middle or back,” Frederick said. “We had nothing but troubles with the car but every time we do something it’s getting better and better and the way it went tonight (was) really good.”

After a disastrous last race, Deryk Voller redeemed himself and won the Pure Stocks class. Voller jumped out to first place and led the pack the entire race.

“I bent the back frame and spun out on my own last week, I was in second,” Voller said. “Some mental mistake. The track got a lot drier than I thought, track was really smooth very tacky. I just kept my groove and I got a good start … got up front right away and did a great race. The cars looked really good.”

Voller has made strides and raced consistently. In the first race of the season, he finished runner-up to Jeremy Engelhardt — who was crowned the midseason champion — and followed up with back-to-back wins.

Momentum is back in Voller’s favor and three solid wins under his belt. Voller said he is approaching the rest of the season as he has by just trying to achieve consistency.

While seasoned drivers like Voller or Frederick showed off their skills and clinched wins, newcomer Sammy Woodall of Dickinson surprised the crowd and won his first race in the Thunder 4s.

With five laps to go in the race, midseason champion and race leader Kody Stoxen’s car began to slow and broke down, allowing Woodall to pass and take the lead.

Woodall has only competed in three races on the season. His first car gave him issues and he finished in fourth place in his last race. Though most drivers start in the Thunder 4s, Woodall knows he’s the new kid on the track but won’t be pushed around.

“Being younger out of the class, because I know even though it’s (Thunder 4s) which doesn’t mean much, but a lot of these older guys they’ve been here quite a few years and I just started,” the 19-year-old driver said. “I figured just give her hell and see how she does.”

After Travis Olheiser crossed the finish line and won the IMCA Modifieds race, he was still in shock with the outcome.

“I just tried to hit my marks and it worked out for me,” Olheiser said. “I just can’t believe that happened, I usually mess up.”

Olheiser was greeted by several racers, including midseason champion Eric Burwick, and congratulated on his first win at the Speedway this season. Until his win, nothing seemed to be going right for Olheiser. He reevaluated his car and the little changes helped him take Saturday’s victory.

“It’s been a struggle, I’ve been slow and not competitive but the last couple weekends we changed some stuff, changed motors that was a big deal … that really helped us out,” Olhesier said.

After the features were finished, there were three additional races — the Roughrider Days Trophy Dash. The top 10 finishers from each feature qualified for the race except in the Thunder 4s, where Woodall automatically won. In Pure Stocks, Engelhardt took the title followed by Chad Jahner for Wissota Streets and Randy Burwick in IMCA Modifieds.

The racing continues at 7 p.m. on July 19 at the Southwest Speedway.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.