Saturday will be the season finale for flat track racing at the Aitkin County Fairgrounds track. The races start at 6 p.m.
The classes run at the track include flat trackers, quad racers and 50cc flat trackers (for very young riders).
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) racers from across the state include the Norseman of Cambridge and the Flying Dutchmen from New Ulm.
Racers expected to compete are Billy Hofmeister, Eric Brouchard, "Dakota" Dan Jacobson and upstart Troy Johnson. There are 20 races on the circuit with at least six held in Aitkin.
Snyder absent from race
For the first time in eight years, Steve Snyder of Ironton was not able to see his son Trent race last Saturday at the I-94 Raceway in Sauk Centre.
Steve of Ironton who was with a friend in Colorado visiting her son said he was on the phone continually with his brother during the race.
Trent, 17, raced his 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a heat win and finished seventh in the feature on the asphalt track. Nate Thiesse, formerly of Brainerd, finished second in the feature in his Ford Taurus with a Chevrolet engine.
Steve noted that he was told that Trent and Thiesse provided the fans with a "nail-biter" heat race. Thiesse finished second.
He said that Trent was racing the high groove and Thiesse was running the low groove.
Thiesse said he lost to Trent by about six inches.
"I was coming though," he said.
Actually, Thiesse was lucky to finish as high as he did. His team had to change tire compounds upon arrival and did not know of the change before hand.
He said the different compound meant the tires had a different softness and sidewalls.
He said with these new tires, his car would head to the wall as he let off the brakes and stepped on the accelerator coming out of the turns.
"The car was too tight and I was using the brakes as a crutch to make the car turn," he said.
The raceway's website said that Thiesse took over second on the third lap of the feature. With 10 laps to go, Thiesse and the leader were nose-to-tail before Thiesse's car faded and the leader became faster.
Thiesse said the leader at one time had about a 3/4 track lead before he began "reeling him in." But once he closed the gap, Thiesse said his car just kept getting tighter and tighter.
At one time he was told his car's front brake rotors were glowing, he said.
"When the brakes faded, I couldn't keep it," he said.
The races also were a test for Thiesse for the biggest event at the raceway on Oct. 13-14, the October Nationals. The Super late model feature at the nationals will be a 100-lapper with the winner taking home $3,000.
Trent also will race in this feature.
"Normally when Nate is on the track, Trent comes up with his best racing," Steve commented.
But the last part of the season, Trent has been struggling overall, Steve admitted.
He said that for the first several laps the car is fast but it gets loose (the right rear tire begins to spin and makes the car fish tail) in the later stage of a race.
"I don't know what I'm doing wrong," Steve said. "If the car isn't good enough its not the driver's fault. You can't make it happen."
Trent did win a 75-lap special feature race (by about a car length) at Fergus Falls earlier last month. He was running Goodyear tires instead of his usual Hoosier.
Steve said tires may be the problem. Trent's car is currently running the third different compound of Hoosier tires.
"They're totally different," Steve said.
Trent will close out this season by racing in the Octoberfest in LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 6-7 and the nationals at Sauk Centre.
Next season, Trent may race the REMAX Series (where the car costs $60,000 to $70,000), Steve noted.
"Trent would love to do a REMAX deal because they normally run 250 laps," Steve said.
Team Castrol honored
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Team Castrol claimed at least one berth on the Car Craft Magazine All-Star Drag Racing Team for the 16th consecutive time when John Force, Austin Coil and Bernie Fedderly were named Aug. 30 to the 2001 team by the magazine's readers, media voters and other industry leaders.
Team members were recognized at an awards banquet held at the Downtown Marriott in conjunction with the 47th running of drag racing's most prestigious event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Force, the 10-time reigning Winston Champion, claimed the Funny Car Driver berth for the 10th straight time. Coil also was named for the 10th consecutive time as Funny Car Crew Chief. Fedderly, who came on board in 1992 as co-Crew Chief, made the team for the ninth straight time.
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