by Eric Oslund
The fourth round of Beater X at the Elk River Extreme Motor Park was not having the best of luck. Their first attempt at the race, Aug. 3, was cancelled due to inclement weather and rescheduled for a week later – Thursday, Aug. 10.
The chance of the race happening on the 10th wasn’t looking much better, though. When people all around the Elk River area woke up and began their day, they were treated by rain. Rain that would last for hours switching between a light drizzle and a heavier downfall.
Luckily though, a few hours before the start of the race, the clouds dissipated and out came the sun and blue skies. And while there may not have been as many spectators or racers as there have been on other nights, the ones there made sure to make the event memorable.
It was a bit of a slow start, in terms of excitement that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, as every event had a winner lead from start to finish, with just one or two races coming down to the very end.
But as the sun began to set and cars began to get more and more beat up, the drivers began to get more reckless, ultimately leading to a better show.
Tanner Kasper (Youth Quad Stock), Benet Semrau (Sport Quad Stock), and Tim Dehaan (Compact No. 2) dominated every heat they raced in, but every other event had multiple winners, caution flags, and even a little fire.
The Beater X races at ERX typically run just two heats for each event, but this night was different. Since there were fewer entrants than usual they were able to get through each race at about 8 p.m. – an hour earlier than normal.
Instead of end the night early, everyone decided to give their fans one final heat, and you just knew the drivers were going to lay it all out on the track.
Mitchell Otterson and Lucas Olson started things off with the UTVs. Otterson won the first heat and Olson took the second, so both were looking to come out on top in the rubber match. Olson was fast out of the gate but spun out about halfway through one of his laps and got caught in the middle of a pile up.
With him out of the race, Otterson was able to pull away from the rest of the group and secure the win.
Kasper and Semrau then continued to blow away their competition, and once they finished up with was time for the Compact No. 1 grouping to take to the track. There were just three cars racing here, but there were two different winners in the first two heats. Jesse Pederson and Kasey Kromshroeder were ready to see who would win the rubber match, and didn’t disappoint.
They were neck and neck after the first lap finished up, crossing the finish line in the air almost simultaneously, but then Pederson was able to get out head with some skillful moves all over the track, eventually taking first with room to spare.
Dehaan then continued to control the track in the Compact No. 2s before the trucks took to the course. There were two rounds of these heavy-duty monsters, and the first round saw Cody Holland get out ahead early an eventually taking home the checkered flag, winning two of the three heats.
As the sun continued to set, and the clouds gained a purple tint to them, the final grouping of trucks took to the track and began revving their engines. And from the time that red light turned green to signal the start, it was clear these drivers were going to give it all they had.
Trucks were piled up with one another all throughout the first lap, and it caused Jacob Dahl to roll his onto its side right after the finish line. It drew a restart, haulting the race for awhile, and as staff members working at the track were trying to get the truck upright, a small fire ignited in the truck.
Dahl quickly exited the flipped vehicle and the fire was extinguished before anyone was injured.
Once the No. 52 truck was finally removed from the track, the race resumed and it was Jacob Minor holding onto his lead to win his second heat in a row.
The conclusion of that race ended the night on a high note for everyone in attendance. And really set the bar high for what is to be expected at the Beater X finally at ERX on Thursday, Aug. 24.