EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (August 29, 2023) - Heading into the final weekend of track points for the 2023 season, Tucker Pederson will return to River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks on Friday night with a chance to win the second track championship of his career, and first at his home track as he currently holds an 18-point lead in the season long standings at the 'Bullring.'
Tucker kicked off another four-race weekend with one final trip to Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon, ND where a second-place finish in the heat race turned into a seventh-place start in the 20-lap main event.
It was very difficult to pass early on as the first through third place and fourth through sixth place trios each went three-wide as Tucker ran eighth. A lap eight restart formed a four-car battle for third which saw Tucker move from sixth to a fourth-place finish in the final three laps.
Another trip to South Dakota to Aberdeen's Brown County Speedway saw Tucker charge from sixth to third in his heat race, setting up a ninth-place start in the second 20-lapper of the week. Tucker made use of other drivers bumping and rubbing in some close quarters action on the second lap to climb to sixth.
A lap three restart saw Tucker become the middle car in a three-wide battle with Chris Serr and Kasey Ussatis which Tucker won to move into the top five. After losing spots to Ussatis and Kyle Anderson and falling back to seventh, Tucker regrouped to make two passes on lap eight to regain a top five spot.
Tucker restarted third with seven laps remaining, briefly taking second from Maria Broksieck but ended the race in the third spot.
Meanwhile in Grand Forks, Joey had won his heat earlier in the night and started fourth in his 25-lap Late Model feature at River Cities. Joey took third early and remained part of a three-car battle for the top spot as the leaders caught up to lapped traffic on lap ten.
Joey ran fourth through cautions with seven to go and again with four laps left but the final restart saw the right front of his car dig into the dirt eventually ending his race early.
Tucker returned home on Saturday and joined Joey for another night of racing at Devils Lake Speedway. A heat win for Tucker set up a fifth-place start in his feature while a third place run slated Joey fourth for the Late Model main event.
A caution on lap two saw Tucker restart fourth. Tucker, running the bottom of the third-mile oval, went three-wide with Mike Mund and Seth Klostreich for second, taking third on lap five.
Tucker passed Mund and Brian Johanson to take the lead on a lap six restart and built a straightaway lead past the midway point. Though that lead was erased by a late caution, Tucker continued on for his 21st feature win of 2023 and seventh of the season at Devils Lake.
Battling with Brody Troftgruben early on in the 25-lap Late Model finale at the Speedway for 2023, the pair passed Steve Anderson five laps into the race to take second and third. Joey made the pass for second on lap 13 and began to set his sights on leader Cole Haugland in a bid for his second win in as many weeks at the track.
Joey pulled to within a half second with seven laps to go but ended up finishing second in the eight-minute race.
Kelsi joined Tucker again as the pair rounded out the weekend competing at Buffalo River Speedway in Glyndon, MN where they both started the night with second place runs in their respective heat races.
Kelsi started on the pole of the 20-lap Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint feature and ran second to Bryce Haugeberg at the start which was followed by a battle with Dexter Dvergsten for second. Dvergsten passed Kelsi out of turn two on the fourth lap, then took her line going into turn three to solidify the pass.
Kelsi had to hold off a hard charging Matt Taves until he broke with six laps left, setting up the only restart of the race. Kelsi and Haugeberg battled side-by-side for second as the race went back green with Kelsi taking the spot briefly following the caution. Kelsi ended up finishing the race in third.
The final 20-lap race for Tucker saw him charge from fourth to second at the drop of the green and begin to stalk Kasey Ussatis for the lead. Tucker continued to shadow the lead each and every lap through the midway point. A caution with four laps left saw Mike Mund take second, passing Tucker on the outside of turns one and two. Tucker also went on to finish third.
Tucker's continued national points chase includes his aforementioned shot at his second track championship. The 2020 Greenbush Race Park champion will take an 18-point lead over Weston Ramsrud into action on Friday night at River Cities. The title would be the seventh for the family at the speedway following Joey's Super Stock title in 2000, and his five Late Model titles (2008-09; 2012-23; 2022.)
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: 9
Top 10’s: 13
2023 Stats (Kelsi):
Top 5’s: 10
Top 10’s: 15
2023 Stats (Tucker):
Top 5’s: 44
Top 10’s: 50