ROCK RAPIDS – A beautiful day made for a perfect fit for the start of the 2021 season at Rapid Speedway. The racers and the fans agreed as 117 cars checked in the backgate for competition infront of a big crowd ready to see racing again. 17 heat races and 4 B-Features finally set the field for the main events on opening night

The Lems Auto Recyclers Sportsmans kicked off the action with Brandon Boeve of Beaver Creek, MN jumping from the outside the front row to grab the lead. Boeve would maintain that lead until lap 3 when he would get a little high in corner two and sliding off the raceway going down the backstretch. This would allow Brian Kroon of Rock Rapids to capitalize and take the lead away and it was clear sailing from there as the defending track champion would grab his first win of the season. Boeve would settle for 2nd ahead of Todd Steenhoven, Travis Dann, and Wyatt Steenhoven. The heat races belonged to Kroon and Wyatt Steenhoven as well.

Next up was the Sybesma Graphics Hobby Stocks where pole sitter Dylan Fitzpatrick would lead from start to finish, but not without some competition. Early on defending champion Dustin Gulbrandson was on the move making aggressive moves through the field charging towards the front, but one wrong move caused Gulbrandson to get into the back of Rick VanderWeide turning him and as they checked up Gulbrandson was clipping in the back by another car sending him up and over down the backstretch. After the restart, Sioux Falls driver Levi VanderWiede would put the pressure on Fitzpatrick as he would look inside on a couple occasions, but not getting the run he would need. A last lap attempt fell about a half a car length short as Fitzpatrick would hold on for the win. Behind Fitzpatrick and VanderWeide were a couple hard chargers in Tyler Schlumbohm and Eric Gaul who started 11th and 13th respectively. Josh Bradley would round out the top 5. Heat races were won by Doug Brinkhouse, Schlumbohm, Bradley, and Tracey Halouska. Cadyn Wessels won the B.

The 305 Sprint Cars were welcomed in for opening night and Trevor Serbus of Olivia, Mn would get his first ever win at Rapid Speedway. Serbus took off from his pole starting position and held the lead over Jacob Hughes of Hartford, SD. Hometown driver Jody Rosenboom quickly shot from 9th to 3rd just 1 lap into the race with fellow Rock Rapids driver Brandon Bosma following him to 4th. On lap 7 Roseboom would make the pass for 2nd, but trailed Serbus by 4 car lengths. A caution on lap 8 would close the gap and put Rosenboom at the back bumper of the leader. On the restart Rosenboom made the move to the bottom of the track and take the lead away from Serbus. Elliot Amandahl would spin in turn 2, but was able to keep the car going, then in turn 4 Serbus would do the same thing and an inadvertent yellow would fly over the raceway. With no lap completed the pass for the lead would be negated and Serbus would reinherit the lead. From then on Serbus was able to hold off Rosenboom to the checkers. Rosenboom would settle for second ahead Brandon Bosma, Jacob Hughes, and Shane Fick. Bosma, Hughes, and Rosenboom claimed the heat races.

The J&L RV B-modifieds would see Dave Kennedy of Sioux Falls take the early race lead with Jackson Mulder of Doon, IA moving from 7th to 2nd in just a matter of a few laps. Cars collided on lap six bringing out the caution. On the restart Mulder stumbled and dropped back to fourth, but that forced him to try and new line. Mulder jumped to the topside and would rocket back around all three cars and grab the lead away on lap 9. Mulder would use the high line to cruise to his first win of the season. Anthony Roth of Columbus, NE came from 8th to finish second ahead of Tyler Johnson, Devon Schlumbohm, and Dave Kennedy. Roth, Mulder, Justin Klynsma, and Kevin Joachim took the heat race wins while the B-features went to Trevor Tesch and Lyndon Johnson.

The final race of the evening was the Precision Auto Body Stock Cars and would see multiple drivers battle for the top spot. In the end it was Chad Overgaard taking the checkers on night one. Pole Sitter Colby Klaassen of Little Rock took off to the early lead with track champion Darrin Korthals of Rock Rapids right behind him. Korthals would take a few shots at Klaassen, but couldn’t make the pass. After a debris caution would bunch up the field it was Colton Arends of Luverne, MN on the move from 12th starting spot to make his challenge at the leaders. Arends would go low, while Korthals went high, leaving Klaassen in the middle for a 3 wide battle for the lead, but a caution would again fly and restack the order. On the restart, Arends would make the pass for second and start working on Klaassen for the lead, but an untimely slip up would cause Arends to spin in turn 4 and end his chances for a win. All while this battle up front was garnering the attention of the fans Chad Overgaard of Kanaranzi, Mn would sneek into the fray and out of nowhere would charge on the high side and come to second and then a power slide job in turn 4 would give him the lead. Klaassen would spin out on the pass and retire from the event. Overgaard would make the charge from 11th to 1st count as he drove on to his first win at the Speedway in a number of years. Korthals would come home in 2nd ahead of Dustin Gulbrandson of Sioux Falls, Austin Brands of Boyden, IA and Rick Gregoire of Russel, MN rounding out the top 5. Overgaard, Korthals, Klaassen, and Roger Verdoorn would win the heats and Spencer Kalass won the B-Feature.

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Racing action returns again next Friday night with the addition of the SLMR Late Model series.

(Photos provided by Rapid Speedway; photographer Joel Vis)

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