Sep. 16—GRAND FORKS — Mark Dobmeier won the season-opening sprint feature at River Cities Speedway. On Friday night, Dobmeier captured the season finale at The Bullring.
In between, Dobmeier won nine more times. Once again, Dobmeier proved he's one of the best sprint driver in the Upper Midwest.
The 2023 race season in Grand Forks came to an end with Dobmeier taking the checkered flag as he turned in another dominant performance on the quarter-mile track.
Dobmeier started on the pole but needed six laps to pass Jade Hastings for the lead. He cruised the rest of the way, beating Austin Pierce to the flagstand by 1.388 seconds.
"Jade got the jump on me at the start," said Dobmeier. "We were a little snug at the start so I pushed it hard coming out of that first corner and did a big wheelie down the backstretch.
"I had to simmer down and take my time and as soon as the track freed up our car got better and better. I had a great car."
The successful season for Dobmeier perhaps was more rewarding than others considering how it started.
In February, Dobmeier was severely burned at a race in Arizona. But he recovered by the time the RCS season opened in May.
"All in all, it was a great year," he said. "We started off rough with the burns and everything but my crew just kept working hard as I was recovering. They were getting cars ready because they knew I was going to be back at it."
Dobmeier's focus now is on some relaxation as his season has ended.
"It's time to shift gears," he said. "We'll try and sneak in a few weekends at the lake and have a little fun with the family. We go hard all summer long. People may not realize the commitment it takes to race. It's literally every night, especially when my kids race go-karts. I don't get a night off all summer. So I look forward to the falls."
Nick Omdahl finished third, followed by Brenden Mullen and Zach Omdahl. Dobmeier also posted the fast lap time of 10.453 seconds.
After Dobmeier took the lead, Hastings challenged the No. 13 car but pulled off with engine issues late in the race.
Hastings, however, wrapped up the NOSA season points title, his second in four years.
"But this wasn't the way I wanted to end the year," he said after being honored for the NOSA title. "It kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth."
The season finale at RCS was sprint-oriented.
Nick Shirek captured the wingless sprint feature in dominating fashion. Shirek, who raced with NOSA for a number seasons, captured his first-ever feature win.
"This one means a lot to me," he said. "I've worked really hard for this."
Shirek won by a whopping seven seconds — a margin rarely seen at The Bullring.
It was a long day for Tyler Drueke and his crew. Drueke won the IMCA Race Saver sprint feature, leading from start to finish.
He originally planned to race in Columbus, Neb., on Friday but the weather there forced a change of plans. He and his crew drove eight-plus hours to race at RCS.
Drueke is the national IMCA Race Saver points leader. He was fast throughout the 20-lap feature. He posted the fastest lap time of 11.269 seconds. Tyler Rabenberg was second and Dominic Dobesh third.
In the lightning sprints feaure, Dexter Dvergsten captured his 12th win of the season. Alex Truscinski was second, 2.688 seconds off the pace.
River Cities Speedway
First heat — 1. Eric Guyot, 2. Tee Young, 3. Myles Tomlinson
Second heat — 1. Jeremy Lizakowski, 2. Nick Shirek, 3. Ross Cummings
Feature — 1. Shirek, 2. Cummings, 3. Guyot, 4. Steve Nordrum, 5. Mike Tomlinson
First heat —1 . Tyler Drueke, 2. Ryan Serrao, 3. Dominic Dobesh
Second heat — 1. Lee Goos Jr., 2. Tyler Rabenberg, 3. Ty Hanten
Feature — 1. Drueke, 2. Rabenberg, 3. Dobesh, 4. Goos, 5. Andy Pake
First heat — 1. Alex Truscinski, 2. Bryce Bjerke, 3. Emmitt Isane
Second heat — 1. Haden Koehmstedt, 2. Mike Williams, 3. Gerald Hatlestad
Third heat — 1. Dexter Dvergsten, 2. Bryce Haugeberg, 3. Dylan Langefin
Feature — 1. Dvergsten, 2. Alex Truscinski, 3. Matthew Taves, 4. Langevin, 5. Alan Truscinski
First heat — 1. Mark Dobmeier, 2, Austin Pierce, 3, Brenden Mullin
Second heat — 1. Jade Hastings, 2. Nick Omdahl, 3. Jack Croaker
Feature — 1. Dobmeier, 2. Pierce, 3. Nick Omdahl, 4. Mullen, 5. Zach Omdahl