River Cities Speedway Hall of Fame to grow by three on Friday night
An argument could be made that Eckerdt enjoys helping his son just as much as he enjoyed his racing career.
Eckerdt will be one of three individuals who will be inducted into the River Cities Speedway Hall of Fame on Friday night. Brad Pake, a former sprint car driver, and Dan Shirek, a former owner who helped guide his sons to success in sprint car racing, also will be inducted.
The ceremony will be held during the intermission of Friday night’s program.
Eckerdt began racing in 1998. He raced in the super stock and Midwest modified divisions. He had a lot of success as well, winning 97 features during his career.
His son, Brodee, is 15 and already has had success driving at tracks in Ada, Minn., and West Fargo.
Brodee, said his dad, is pushing 40 career wins as he also raced slingshots before moving up to the hobby stock division.
“He’s probably trying to catch his dad,” said Bob, of his son’s IMCA success.
Pake, meanwhile, raced sprints for 10 seasons and turned in some electric performances at RCS in his No. 53 black and white sprint.
The Felton, Minn., farmer raced sprints from 1995-2004 and won 27 NOSA sprint features. To put that into perspective, Pake still ranks No. 5 all time in NOSA career wins. One of his highlights was capturing a $5,000-to-win special at RCS that attracted a handful of Upper Midwest drivers.
He teamed with the late mechanic Doug Howell to form a powerful area race team.
In a 2020 interview, Pake said he liked racing at RCS. “I liked that track,” he recalled. “It’s tight. Even if a guy was faster than you, you’ve still got a chance in lapped traffic.”
Shirek, who is from Thompson, was heavily involved in the racing career of his sons Chris and Nick.
Both had success running NOSA races.
Chris won 15 features during his career, which ranks him 10th all time on the NOSA career list.
Mark Dobmeier raced for the first time in roughly a year on July 8 when he took the opening round of the four-race Wayne Anderson Cup at RCS -- an event to honor the late founder of The Bullring.
He was fast that night and he’s been picking up speed ever since.
The third leg of the Wayne Anderson Cup is set for Friday night. And Dobmeier already has won the first two legs of the event. The final leg is set for Sept. 10 at RCS.
Dobmeier continued his roll after the first two rounds of the Wayne Anderson Cup.
On Sunday at Huset’s Speedway, Dobmeier, who sat out roughly a year recovering from a broken back, won the Bull Haulers Brawl -- a race that paid $10,000 to win.
It was Dobmeier’s fourth win in 10 nights of racing this season.
“The last few weeks we’ve been picking up speed at Huset’s,” said Dobmeier. “The driver is getting better, too. He was a little rusty after sitting on the shelf for a year.”
He also won Saturday night’s Governor’s Cup feature at the Dacotah Speedway in Mandan.
At the Bull Haulers Brawl, RCS regular Brendan Mullen finished seventh. Mullen won the first night of the Governor’s Cup in Mandan as the recent Red River graduate continues to have a solid 2021 season.
Rain postpones World of Outlaws race at River Cities Speedway; event rescheduled for August 25
By late morning, more than an inch had fallen at The Bullring.
When it stopped around noon, RCS track officials and SLS Promotions scurried to get the race track ready for the World of Outlaws show on Friday night.
Later in the afternoon, however, another shower hit the track, finally causing the WoO race to be postponed.
The good news for race fans, however, is that the event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. Fans holding race tickets can use them for the rescheduled race.
For the second time this season, rain wiped out a WoO race at RCS.
The track had managed to hold 26 straight WoO races without a rainout since the circuit began racing at RCS in 2007.
Had track officials managed to get the show in, it likely would have started later than the normal starting time due to the excessive rain.
Crews, standing knee deep in water, had to pump standing water off of Turn 1, where cars exit the quarter-mile track.
The pits also were a mess after the rain and work had yet to begin on making it manageable for haulers to unload sprint cars.
Approximately 30 sprint cars were expected for the race. Most of those cars, however, won’t have the weekend off as the Outlaws are scheduled to race Saturday night at the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo.
The Outlaws also are scheduled to race Sunday at Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.
After next week’s rescheduled race at RCS and races in Nebraska and Rapid City, the Outlaws will embark on their West Coast swing.
The circuit did not race on the West Coast last year because of COVID.
The Outlaws staged one of the more memorable races in RCS history last season when Kyle Larson nipped Logan Schuchart at the flag stand. On the final turn, Larson -- who won last week’s Knoxville Nationals and currently is the top driver on the NASCAR Cup Series -- slipped past Schuchart to take the win by 0.183 seconds.
“This definitely is a great race track,” said Larson after the race. “I’ve always wanted to get the chance to race here because I’ve heard so many good things about it. And the fans … the fans here are amazing. So it was finally nice to get the opportunity to come here.”
Larson continues to race selected dirt races this season in addition to his full time NASCAR ride. He was racing a WoO Late Model Series race Friday night in Pennsylvania.
By Tony Veneziano
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — August 17, 2021 — The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will make their final visit of the season to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., on Friday, August 20 for the 2nd Leg of the Gerdau Recycling Northern Tour. This season marks the 15th consecutive year the series has raced at the high-banked bullring. Joining the World of Outlaws will be the NLRA Late Model Series for a full race program.
A total of 11 drivers have won with the World of Outlaws NOS Sprint Car Series at River Cities Speedway, dating back to 2007. Last year, Kyle Larson won in a thriller in his debut at the high-banked bullring. Donny Schatz, David Gravel, Logan Schuchart and Kraig Kinser are all past winners at the track, who will be in attendance on August 20.
Schatz has been the driver to beat at River Cities Speedway over the years, racking up 12 wins in 26 races. The 10-time series champion most recently won at the track in his home state in August of 2019. Schatz has been victorious in seven of the last eight years in Outlaws competition at River Cities Speedway. He has finished in the top-10 in each and every one of the 26 World of Outlaws races contested at the track, with 24 of those being top-five performances.
Brad Sweet, the two-time and defending series champion, is the current World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series point leader on the strength of 14 wins. Sweet is chasing his first win at River Cities Speedway. The California native has 11 top-10 finishes in 15 career starts at River Cities Speedway, with nine of those being top-five showings, including a pair of runner-up finishes.
Gravel, who is currently third in points, won at River Cities Speedway in 2017. The Connecticut native has 12 top-10 finishes in 14 starts at the track. Gravel ran second at Grand Forks last year.
Carson Macedo, who is in the midst of his first season driving for Jason Johnson Racing, has made three starts at River Cities Speedway in his young career. The Californian finished a career-best fifth in August of 2019 and garnered a top-10 finish last year. Macedo has won seven times on the Outlaws tour thus far in 2021 and is second in points.
Sheldon Haudenschild, who is currently fifth in points, has four top-10 finishes in seven career starts at River Cities Speedway. A pair of sixth-place finishes at his best to date at the track as he chases his first win in Grand Forks.
Schuchart picked up his first River Cities win in June of 2019 and has finished on the podium in three straight races at the track. In his career, the Pennsylvanian has sixth top-10 finishes in Grand Forks, with five of those being top-five performances.
Kinser was victorious at River Cities Speedway in 2012. The veteran driver has nine career top-10 finishes at the track. Kinser is currently eighth in the series point standings.
Jason Sides has raced in nearly every World of Outlaws race at River Cities Speedway, starting 24 of the 26 previous events. The veteran driver has nine top-10 finishes, including a runner-up performance in 2011.
Jacob Allen and Wayne Johnson are back on the Outlaws tour in 2021. Allen, the grandson of Hall of Famer Bobby Allen, led laps at River Cities Speedway in 2017. Johnson is in the midst of his sophomore seasons with the Outlaws.
James McFadden and Brock Zearfoss are battling for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award this year. McFadden has one victory thus far in 2021, aboard the No. 9 for Kasey Kahne Racing. The Australian finished sixth last August at River Cities Speedway, while Zearfoss will be making his debut at the high-banked bullring.
Tickets for the 2nd Leg of the Gerdau Northern Tour, featuring the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series and NLRA Late Model Series at River Cities Speedway on Friday, August 20, can be purchased in advance online at www.SLSPromotions.com or by calling 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day. Those who attended the rained out World of Outlaws event at River Cities on June 4, should bring their tickets and/or pit pass armbands from that race as those will serve as their tickets on August 20.
Facebook: SLS Promotions LLC
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