Story & photo by Mike Spieker
GLYNDON, Minn.-The 33rd annual Corn Cob Nationals kicked off Saturday at Buffalo River Race Park as Moorhead's Michael Johnson drove to the IMCA modified win to claim his first-ever Corn Cob Nationals title.
Modified rookie Jesse Skalicky led the early going, but Johnson powered around the outside of Skalicky's No. 3S to take the lead.
Johnson had pressure late from Marcus Tomlinson, but held on to claim the win.
Scott Jacobson dominated the IMCA sportmod feature for his first win of the season at the speedway. The veteran Fargo driver has won just about every big race in the region, but had never won the Corn Cob Nationals before Saturday.
Jacobson's son, Kelly, charged through the field in the late going to make it a one-two finish for the Jacobsons.
The first annual Four-Cylinder Nationals the largest payout for the sport compacts in the history of Buffalo River Race Park. Shawn Perdonic of Winnipeg, Manitoba charged from fifth to take the preliminary feature win. Sunday's main event will pay $1,000 to the winner.
For the fourth time ever, Buffalo River Race Park hosted the IMCA stock cars. Barnesville, Minnesota's Rob VanMil picked up the win after passing Brandon Schmidt for the lead on lap four. VanMil swept the Corn Cob Nationals in 2017. He has won every stock car feature the speedway has held.
Hometown driver, Andrew Jochim, picked up a hard-fought INEX legend feature win. Sean Johnson led the nearly the first half of the race, but had pressure from Jochim from the start. Jochim pulled alongside Johnson for the lead on lap four and the two drivers raced side by side until Jochim cleared for the point on lap nine of 20. Jochim held off Josh Julsrud and Tye Wilke at the checkers.
Nick Nelson of Georgetown, Minn. chased down William Smith in the final laps of the IMCA hobby stock feature to claim his first win of the season at the speedway and third overall.
Noah Lewis held off his older brother, Joe, in the slingshot feature to become the youngest Corn Cob Nationals champion in track history.
A Feature: 1. 84-Michael Johnson. 2. 4D-Rob VanMil. 3. 99-Bryce Borgen. 4. 3S-Jesse Skalicky. 5. 98-John Nord.
A Feature: 1. 5-Scott Jacobson. 2. 51-Kelly Jacobson. 3. 3X-Andy Wagner. 4. 5T-Matt Talley. 5. 41-Doug Gardner.
A Feature: 1. 37N-Nick Nelson. 2. 11S-William Smith. 3. 73G-Todd Gettel. 4. 39-Caleb Gardner. 5. 13-Butch Buck.
A Feature 1: 1. 21-Andrew Jochim. 2. 69T-Joshua Julsrud. 3. 72-Tye Wilke. 4. 60-Drew Papke. 5. 58-Sean Johnson.
A Feature: 1. 96-Shawn Perdonic. 2. 34-Jason Reinke. 3. 00K-Cory Kremer. 4. 4P-Matt Pederson. 5. 63X-Grayson Pratt.
IMCA Stock Cars
A Feature 1: 1. 40-Rob VanMil. 2. 219-Brandon Schmidt. 3. 1-Tyler McDougall. 4. 73H-Dustin Hoffert. 5. 4-Rick Schulz.