SPEEDWAY SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP: It’s a friendly title fight in the StreetsThe battle for the Wissota Street Stocks Season Championship at the Southwest Speedway is already being waged over text message.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Southwest Speedway Season Championship Night
Races: 7 p.m. today
Admission: Adults $10, Kids 6-12 $3, Kids 5 and under are free.
Track: Located 10 miles south, 1 mile west of Dickinson on Highway 22.
The battle for the Wissota Street Stocks Season Championship at the Southwest Speedway is already being waged over text message.
That’s what happens when the two men at the top of the standings, Josh Olheiser and Travis Ulmer, are good friends.
“He keeps telling me not to show up on Saturday,” Olheiser said. “I keep telling him I hope his pickup breaks down on the way here.”
It’s just a sampling of the friendly push-and-shove contest between the two men who will be chasing the title when racing begins at 7 p.m. today.
“Racing with Travis is fun,” Olheiser said. “People think we’ve got a big rivalry. But when you’re door to door with somebody, it seems like every race, I guess that’s expected.”
Dickinson’s Olheiser leads Ulmer, a Dickinson native now living in Mandan, by eight points, a good-sized margin that Ulmer believes will take a lot of luck for him to overcome.
“For me, I think it’s pretty much over with unless something happens,” said Ulmer, who has never won a season title. “But I can’t complain. We had a good year and we had a lot of fun racing against each other.”
Olheiser got his first win last Saturday and has been steadily finishing in the top four of nearly every feature since the beginning of the year.
Ulmer has three feature wins (June 2, June 30 and Aug. 12). The points chase could be a lot closer had Ulmer not been forced to pull out of the feature on Mid-Season Championship night with a broken control arm. Ulmer accidentally pushed into Olheiser during the breakdown, but Olheiser recovered and went on to finish the race that helped set the two apart in the standings.
“At least it’s not a 50-point lead,” Ulmer said. “It’s doable. But there’s going to have to be a lot of good luck on my side for it to happen.”
One point stands between Bismarck’s Tracey Domagala and Mandan’s Darrell Bauer heading into the final feature race of the season in the IMCA Modifieds class.
Domagala, leading by one point, has never won a championship of any kind on any race track he’s competed. Bauer is looking for his third Season Championship at the Southwest Speedway and 14th overall.
“I want my 14th and he wants his first,” Bauer said with a laugh. “It’s going to be a good one.”
Domagala has had a steadily strong season at the Speedway, winning back-to-back features on July 24 and Aug. 4. Bauer’s only win was on June 2. Both have been racing toward the top of the class all season.
“Hopefully we can keep doing what we’ve been doing all year,” Domagala said. “Hopefully we can beat him and we’ll be able to win the thing.”
Domagala said a new car has been key to one of the best seasons of his career.
“The car has just been awesome. That’s been a lot of it,” he said. “The other thing is staying out of the wrecks and staying consistent.”
Bauer, meanwhile, has had on and off years at the Speedway. This summer, aside from a DNF in the season opener, he has definitely been on his game at the track where he won titles in 1997 and 2005.
The 36-year racing veteran said he enjoys the thrill of fighting for a title on the final night.
“This is way more fun,” Bauer said. “I’ve won championships where I’ve been so many points ahead, I won five nights before the race season was over. That took the fun out of it. This, no matter who wins, it’s going to be a great deal all the way to the end.”
Schaun Olheiser doesn’t have to do much to win the Pure Stocks championship tonight.
“I’ve just got to make sure I show up,” Olheiser said.
Olheiser has 451 season points. The two drivers in second place, Cole Lewis and Deryk Voller, are tied with 419 points.
If the Dickinson driver starts his heat and feature races, he has the title locked up simply based on show points.
The hope, he said, is to make sure he just goes out and races and worries about winning, not where he’s at in the point standings.
“Hopefully I’m not so nervous like the last race,” referring to his ninth-place feature finish last Saturday.
Olheiser said doesn’t have much of a trick to accumulating points. Finishing races and racing clean is the best way to get to the top.
Olheiser won the opening-night feature on May 19 and crossed the finish line first again on Aug. 4. He never finished outside the top 10 with his worst finish (ninth) coming last Saturday.
He won the Mid-Season Championship and aims to bookend this season with the big title after missing it by a single point last year.
“It’s been a pretty good year for me,” Olheiser said.
Cory Reisenauer is looking for that perfect bookend to his season.
He won the season-opening feature in the Thunder 4 class and captured the Mid-Season Championship at the Southwest Speedway. Tonight, he looks to complete his season with the Season Championship.
“If I win this year, it’ll be my first championship I’d ever won,” said Reisenauer, who is from Dickinson and drives a 1993 Chevy Cavalier.
Reisenauer has a four-point lead on Cody Hulse, a Pocatello, Idaho, native now living in Dunn Center.
Hulse raced four-cylinder cars on asphalt in Idaho but said he enjoys dirt-track racing more.
Beating Reisenauer, Hulse said, is going to be difficult because the Thunder 4’s are such a small field. They never have more than 10 cars, meaning Hulse’s best hope for a win could hinge on the status of Reisenauer’s car — though Hulse said he won’t wish any bad luck upon his opponent.
“You don’t want to see anybody break down,” Hulse said. “I want the championships, I just don’t know. It’s been bugging me all week. I want to get it but we’ll wait and see what happens tomorrow.”
IMCA Modifieds: 1, Tracey Domagala (96), 317. 2, Darrell Bauer (54), Mandan, 316. 3 Eric Paul (27), Dickinson, 305. 4, Jeff Decker (11D), Dickinson, 302. 5, Travis Olheiser (O19), Dickinson, 299. 6, Bill Miller (68), Plevna, Mont., 298. 7, Dwight Burwick (12B), Dickinson, 281. 8, Randy Burwick (2), Hettinger, 280. 9, Wyatt Dinius (81), 247. 10, Rusty Corneliusen (25C), Dickinson, 243. 11, Lenny Makowski (2D), Belfield, 221. 12, Dale Burwick (17), Dickinson, 207. 13, Tim Perkins (89), 178. 14, Travis Ulmer (3U), 176. 15, Randy Sandvick (13), Killdeer, 159. 16, Kirk Wojahn (45), Gladstone, 126. 17, Jim Harris (17H), 103. 18, Dave Aberle (77), 99. 19, Cole LaMontagne (22), 86. 20, Troy Kittler (2K), Turtle Lake, 71. 21, Josh Jones (15J), Dickinson, 67. 22, Tyler Wagner (77W), 62. 23, Steven Kuntz (1K), Bismarck, 61. 24, Jamall Wold (J21), Arnegard, 52. 25, Troy Speten (13S), 46. 26, Brent Schlafmann (71S), 41. 27, Aaron Turnbull (21T), Estevan, SK, 40. 28 (tie), Hank Berry (25), Sidney, Mont.; Eric Burwick (22E), Aurora, Colo., 39. 30, Jerad Thelen (65), 33. 31, Jeremy Sorensen (1H), 32. 32 (tie), Troy Butz (13), Bismarck; Jason Wolla (27W), Williston, 31. 34 (tie), Jason Dinius (91); Brian Brenna (3B), 27. 36, Spencer Wilson (75), Minot, 26. 37, Cole LaMontagne (22L), 25. 38, Darin Wendt (30), 24. 39 (tie), Dylan Barnhardt (25D), Washburn; Robert Hellebust (9H), Minot, 22.
Wissota Street Stocks: 1, Josh Olheiser (39), Dickinson, 475. 2, Travis Ulmer (3), Mandan, 467. 3, Allan Frederick (5), 450. 4, T.C. Shelhamer (81), Plevna, Mont., 446. 5, Zach Frederick (5F), Richardton, 441. 6, Monte Gawryluk (09), Mandan, 394. 7, Richard Jordan (65), Dickinson, 378. 8, Terry Zastoupil (10X), Dickinson, 377. 9, Kelly Wanner, (29K), 325. 10, Hailey Jordan (23), 319. 11, Darin Tarrel (44), 309. 12, Jim Heaton (68X), 291. 13, Mike Miller (22), 242. 14, Paul Decker (11D), Bismarck, 137. 15, Brad Schmitt (48), 46. 16, John Gartner (0), Bismarck, 44. 17, Nick Desplinter (21X), Bismarck, 43.
Pure Stocks: 1, Shaun Olheiser (O3), 451. 2 (tie), Deryk Voller (24); Cole Lewis (33L), 419. 4, Brandon Deavy (D1), 405. 5, Jon Wells (49), 398. 6, Chad Jahner (28), Dickinson, 397. 7, Mark Selle (95), Dickinson, 387. 8, Kendall Booke (2X), 373. 9, Scott Gardner (0), 322. 10, Tyler Bartholomew (85), 316. 11, Devon Wandler (8X), 299. 12, Hunter Domagala (97), 284. 13, Darren Kruger (13X), 277. 14, Casey Vernon (15C), 269. 15, Thayne Maher (11TDC), 255. 16, Alex Braun (11B), 223. 17, Terin Gawryluk (11G), 209. 18, Dion Makowski (77), 204. 19, Nathan Messer (16), 173. 20, Carl Johanson (E), 149. 21, Jeremy Binstock (88), Dickinson, 145. 22, Roye Erickson (1E), 99. 23, Deen Brecht (4), 86. 24, Dustin Hertz (7), 52. 25 (tie), Travis Landis (88), Dickinson; Blake Prado, Mandan, 35. 26, Dana Welder (5), Wishek, 33.
Thunder 4: 1, Cory Reisenauer (2C), 463. 2, Cody Hulse (69), 459. 3, Derek Nitschke (18), 440. 4, Scott Hagemeister (O3S), 411. 5, Lucas Preston (17P), 405. 6, Gary Barnett (30X), 395. 7, Khord Christe (2$), 350. Steve Jahner (3J), 312. 9, Nylee Boyce (48), 217. 10, Michelle Stoxen (55), Mandan, 43.