EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (August 22, 2023) - Father and Daughter have won on the same night. Brother and Sister have won on the same night. But heading into last weekend the Pederson family of racers had two more milestones to check off the list. One being the often talked about 'hat trick' where all three end the night in victory lane, but there had not yet been a night where Father and Son had won on the same night. Joey and Tucker changed that on Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway when Tucker won his 20th feature of the 2023 campaign with Joey going on to lead all 30-laps en route to a $5,000 pay, winning 5th annual Golden Hammer Classic.
Tucker started seventh in his eight-car heat race but charged off the bottom of turn two on the opening lap to move all the way up to second. Tucker took the lead the following lap and went on to win by nearly a half a lap.
Joey started third in his heat race and spent the majority of the 10-lap race stalking race long leader Steve Anderson, finishing second.
Tucker was slated to start on the inside of the third row in his 20-lap main event. Just as he did in the heat race, he was second at the conclusion of the opening trip around the third-mile oval.
Tucker took the lead on the following lap and started to build a relatively healthy lead through the midway point of the race. A caution came out as the field came to take the white flag, but Tucker was able to continue to hold off Seth Klostreich for his 20th victory of the year.
In the NLRA redraw, Joey ended up with the number two chip, giving him a starting position on the outside of the front row for the 30-lap main event. Joey took the lead coming off of turn two on the opening lap and continued to lead until the first caution on lap six.
Joey continued to lead following the second attempt at the lap six restart. For the second time, Joey was running well on the top of the track and was about to start working lapped traffic when another caution flag flew on lap ten.
Joey had built what ended up being his biggest lead of the race at the midway point when he split a pair of lapped cars in turns one and two on lap 16. Another caution on the 17th lap gave Joey clean air to work with once again, but a new threat to his lead emerged.
Tyler Peterson took second from Brad Seng but ran no closer to Joey than Seng did until the lead duo caught the rear of the field again in the closing laps.
Joey had to slide past a lapped car in turn two with four laps to go allowing Peterson to close to Joey's rear spoiler. Despite a few tense moments in the final laps, Joey continued on to score the $5,000 victory.
“That traffic you never know how that goes,” Joey said in victory lane post-race. “Sometimes you can gain a little in that and sometimes you get held up and all of a sudden you get passed. So, it is what it is. I guess I’ve raced long enough, I thought I could navigate the last traffic as good as any hopefully.”
“Every lap I was nervous waiting to see a nose,” Joey commented about how the race ended. "And at the end, I saw TPO’s (Tyler Peterson’s) nose, and I thought, “Oh God, I can't give it up with two or three to go here.” The track took rubber with a few laps to go and when I felt that rubber, honestly, I kind of relaxed a little bit because once a track rubbers up, it's really hard to pass outside of that lane. So, I thought. “All right, maybe I could pull this off.” and we did."
Saturday at Devils Lake was Tucker’s third night of racing of the week following a pair of runner-up finishes at Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon, ND on Thursday and River Cities Speedway on Friday.
A third-place heat finish on Thursday out Tucker sixth at the start of the 20-lap feature. Tucker was second from the top in a four-wide battle for third on lap four, which nearly became five-wide the following lap. That caused a caution that saw Tucker move from third to the lead on lap five. Tucker led until lap eleven when veteran Todd Carter took the lead and eventually the win.
Tucker's Friday at River Cities was similar to his night at Sheyenne the night prior. A heat win from fourth gave Tucker another sixth-place start in a 20-lap feature. Tucker moved up three spots on the opening lap and continued into second on lap four. Tucker pulled even with veteran John Halverson five times in the second half of the race but ended the race a close second.
Kelsi and Tucker closed out the weekend Sunday at Buffalo River Speedway in Glyndon, MN. Tucker finished fourth in his heat while Kelsi finished second in her qualifier. Tucker ran second throughout the last half of his final 20-lapper of the weekend but ended up with a DNF on the final lap.
Kelsi started fourth in the 20-lap Lightning Sprint main event and ran fifth at the end of the opening lap around the quarter-mile. The race went green-to-checkered with Kelsi remaining in the top five throughout the five-minute race, her 14th top five in 15 starts in 2023.
Pederson Racing would like to thank all our sponsors:
Shawn Horn - Crary Real Estate
Amy Dallum Photography
North Dakota Eye Clinic
Olson Underground, inc.
Dahlstrom Motors Inc.
Markit County Grain LLC
Trilogy Ag Group
Bad Boy Mowers
Northern Valley Fertilizer
Don & Darleen Votava
Phil Thompson & Associates
Big Jim's Tire
B & E Meats
Applied Hi-Performance Products
Eagles Dakotah Aerie 350
Energy Release Products
Dynamic Welding and Machine LLC.
Bruce Hart Repair & Fabrication
Roxbury Racing Transmissions
Zeuli Race Engines
Mark Sinn “Sinner”
2023 Stats (Joey):
Top 5’s: 8
Top 10’s: 12
2023 Stats (Kelsi):
Top 5’s: 9
Top 10’s: 14
2023 Stats (Tucker):
Top 5’s: 40
Top 10’s: 46