The rain drops did not dampen the mood at Elko Speedway Sept. 7.
It was the second to last night of racing for the 2019 NASCAR Hometrack points series and two Minnesota drivers competing, Nick Panitzke and Jacob Goede, are in the top two in the nation.
A Minnesota driver has never won a National Division I NASCAR Championship.
Goede didn't didn't disappoint either in the first Late Models race. The driver from Carver won his fifth feature of the season. It earned him the maximum NASCAR bonus points, which he will need in his battle for the national title.
Dylan Moore of Northfield won the second Late Models race.
Feature wins in Thunder Cars went to Conrad Jorgenson of Lakeville and Eric Campbell of Lonsdale. In Power Stocks, Joe Prusak of Clayton, Wisconsin claimed the first feature, while Taylor Goldman of Minnetonka won the second one.
Racing action continues Sept. 14 at Elko starting at 6 p.m. Late Models, Thunder Cars, Power Stocks and Great North Legends will be in action. The 11th annual Thunderstruck 93 is set for Sept. 21.
Meanwhile, in the first Late Models race, Bryan Wrolstad had the early lead but was challenged by Moore. A spin occurred on lap 20 that left Wrolstad up front and had Moore restart in the back.
Goede moved all the way up to the second row on the restart. Ryan Varner was passed by Wrolstad and he grabbed the lead off the restart. He was challenged by Goede, who captured the top spot on lap 27 and motored to the victory by 0.501 seconds.
Varner finished second, followed by Chad Walen, Wrolstad and Jeremy Wolff. Panitzke started 13th on the grid and finished eighth.
In the second feature, Moore took the early lead, before a couple cautions occurred. Moore held onto the top spot.
Goede started 14th and was working his way up through the field. But on lap nine, he took responsibility for a caution, sending himself to the back of the pack and giving Adam Bendzick and Owin Giles their positions back.
Bendzick took advantage and challenged Moore for the top spot. Bendzick took over the lead on lap 21. He held the lead and crossed the finish line first for what looked like his fourth win of the season.
Panitzke started the race seventh and worked his way up to cross the finish line third. But both Panitzke and Bendzick were later disqualified in post-race inspection for being under the minimum weight. That gave the victory to Moore.
Giles was second, followed by Wolff, Michael Haggar and Goede.
In the first Thunder Cars, Tony Holm led early until Adam Wiebusch passed for the lead on the high side on lap 5 of 20. A caution occurred on lap eight and tightened up the field.
Wiebusch grabbed the lead until Jorgenson challenged and took the top spot on lap 11. Jorgenson cruised for the win by 2.796 seconds for his eighth win of the season.
Keith Paulsrud finished second, followed by Wolff, Bryce Blohm and Wiebusch.
In the second race, Brandon Petersen led early until Campbell took over the top spot and he never looked back. Campbell won by 1.376 seconds for his second win of the season.
Blohm finished second, followed by Jorgenson, Norm Grabinger and Keith Paulsrud.
In the first Power Stocks race, Prusak took the early lead and never give it up. He outran the field and won by 1.546 seconds for his 193rd feature win in his long career.
Mike Stoer finished second, followed by Dusty Mann, Nick Oxborough and Julie Jorgenson.
In the second feature, Goldman had the lead from the front row and she was immediately challenged by Jason Michaud and Oxborough. Michaud got side by side with Goldman for the top spot and the two swapped the lead back and forth on lap 14.
Goldman edged back out front on the last lap and won by 0.201 seconds. It was extremely tight race for second place as Oxborough edged Michaud by 0.011 seconds. Stoer was fourth and Mann was fifth.