What won the race: First-time series winner Bryce Sward of Nelson, Minn., grabbed the lead on lap five and marched to a $5,000 victory in the Structural Buildings WISSOTA Challenge Series opener at I-94 EMR Speedwa. He took the checkers 2.236 seconds ahead of fellow front-row starter and polesitter Darrell Nelson, who led the first four laps.
Quotable: “I just was worried about all the guys behind me. I know they’re no slugs and I had to get through the lapped traffic as fast as I could,” Sward said. “This means so much. This is the best win I could’ve had at one of my home tracks.”
Key notes: A dozen drivers completed 40 laps and 20 were running at the finish. ... Sward's richest victory came last season with a $10,000 triumph in the independent Dacotah Rumble at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D. ... The Structural Buildings WISSOTA Challenge Series opened its 25th season of competition. ... Tour competitors return to I-94 on Sept. 13 for a $2,500-to-win show.
On the move: Shane Edginton of East St. Paul, Manitoba, started eighth and finished third; Dustin Sorenson of Rochester, Minn., started 14th and finished eighth.
Winner's sponsors: Sward’s MB Customs Race Car is sponsored by D&D Machining, White Knight, Prairie Country Farms, Alexandria Appliance Service, Alex Rubbish & Recycling, Merrill Lynch (Yung Geris Group), Alex Tech & Community College, Auto Value, Chad Beheng Trucking, Coating Specialists, Dahl Enterprise, Derichs Trucking, Endreson Custom Services, Galleon of Osakis, Klinder Processing, Merrill. Mike Rasmusen Trucking and Troy Gillespie Tractors.
Points chase: It was the WISSOTA Challenge Series opener.
Current weather: Clear, 57°F
Car count: 34
Fast qualifier: Pat Doar
Time: 16.110 seconds
Polesitter: Darrell Nelson
Heat race winners: Jake Redetzke, Cole Schill, Bryce Sward, Darrell Nelson
Consolation race winners: Josh Zimpel
Next series race: May 20, Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN) $2,000