Brainerd's Kevin Baron finished third in his heat race en route to winning his first Wissota Street Stock feature this season at Dodge County Speedway Sunday in Kasson.
Other area racers at the speedway included Tim Johnson, Tim Brown and former Brainerd resident Dave Mass of Isanti. Johnson finished third in his Wissota Super Stock heat race en route to finishing second in the feature, Brown placed third in his Wissota Midwest Modified heat race before finishing fifth in the feature and Mass won his Super Stock heat race but did not finish among the top three in the feature.
Gene Baron, Kevin's father, said Kevin, who started fifth, held off some of the top Wissota Street Stockers including Jim Gullickson, the class' points leader as of Friday. He said Kevin took the lead for good on the third lap.
A day earlier at the three-eighths mile Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Baron finished second in the Street Stock feature to once again lead the area racers. He finished fifth in his heat race.
Johnson finished second in his Super Stock heat and sixth in the feature, Brown finished fourth in his Midwest Modified heat and eighth in the feature, and Mass won his Super Stock heat race en route to finishing fourth in the feature.
Gene said Kevin was again racing against Gullickson and other top Street Stock racers including Steve Eischens, 10th in points, Chuck Nerland, 16th in points, and Jeff Nelson, 19th in points. Gullickson finished fifth, Nerland finished sixth and Eischens finished ninth.
Gene said Kevin led the feature for eight laps. Shaun Wehlage, current points leader at the track, won the feature.
11 area teens special guests
Eleven area teens will be among 35 young drivers from Minnesota who will be special guests of Fast Cop Inc., during the 24th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Friday at Brainerd International Raceway.
Ashley Griggs, 17, Desmond Jenousek, 15, Devin Jenousek, 14, Cory Hannahs, 15, Kate Sims, 15, Keith Larson, 15, and J.D. Berns, 16, all of Brainerd/Baxter; Taryn Windorski, 15, of Deerwood; and Rob Wilczek Jr., 17, Keri Pitman, 17, and Tiffani Pitman, 15, all of Little Falls, were selected for the day-long program because of their interest in drag racing and their participation in BIR's Wednesday Night Street Drags. In addition to receiving a free ticket courtesy of BIR for Friday's opening qualifying session, the group will meet Pro Stock driver Jason Line and hear from Fast Cop's Shaun White and Darin White, who will discuss the dangers of street racing and impaired driving.
Fast Cop is a popular Brainerd-based non-profit group that travels statewide educating teens on dangerous driving habits. With a goal of reducing injuries on streets and highways, Fast Cop promotes its message by sponsoring the Wednesday Night Street Drags program at BIR, where drivers of all ages can safely drag race on BIR's world-class drag strip. Fast Cop uses the program as a forum to teach young drivers to race only in supervised and safe conditions -- not on the streets.
Here are a few notes on the 24th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Friday through Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway:
* Kenny Koretsky will return to the driver's seat of his Dodge Stratus Pro Stocker after a month off to heal his sore right shoulder.
* Dave Connolly, defending Pro Stock champion at BIR, has five wins in 13 final rounds. He won the season opener in Pomona, Calif., and the Las Vegas National this season.
* Richie Stevens, Jr., returned to racing Pro Stock this season after a two-year hiatus to take care of family business in New Orleans while his father, Richie Sr., underwent open heart surgery (he is doing fine).
Richie Jr. is driving a Don Schumacher Dodge tuned by legendary Bob Glidden.
clint wood, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5869.
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