Elko Speedway completes its 55th season of racing with its Championship Night on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. Racing begins at 5:45 p.m. with the first of two Bandolero feature races. Opening ceremonies are at 6:50 p.m., followed by feature races in the Power Stock, Legend, Thunder Car, Modified and Late Model divisions, plus the second Bandolero feature. Most feature races will be 20 or 25 laps on the three-eighths mile oval.
A school bus race will take place on the Figure-8 track, with a fireworks show concluding the event. Attendance remains capped at 1,500 because of state COVID-19 guidelines. General admission tickets, $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-12, are available at elkospeedway.com.
The speedway’s season typically would start around May 1 but this year was pushed back three months because of the pandemic. Speedway owner Tom Ryan twice scheduled opening days that he later had to postponed because outdoor venues were restricted to 250 or fewer spectators. The track held its first race day Aug. 8 after the maximum went up to 1,500.
Season championships will be decided in Saturday’s racing.
Chris Marek of Elko currently is third in the Late Model point standings, 85 points behind leader Jacob Goede of Carver. There were two Late Model feature races in last Saturday’s action at Elko Speedway, and Marek and Goede each won one.
Steve Anderson of Farmington also is in the top 10 of the Late Model point standings.
Bryan Syer-Keske of Lakeville holds an eight-point lead over Eric Campbell of Londsale in Midwest Modifieds points going into the last weekend. Scott Marschall of Elko New Market stands fifth, Curt Barfknecht of Elko is seventh and Todd Kamish of Lakeville is 10th. Syer-Keske won last week’s feature race with Campbell taking second.
Conrad Jorgenson of Lakeville is second in Thunder Car points, trailing only Bryce Blohm of Prior Lake. James Lindgren of Apple Valley is ninth.
Colin Stocker and Austin Jahr, both of Farmington, are fourth and fifth in Legends division points, with Robert Carter of Lakeville in 10th.
Lakeville residents Nick Oxborough and Julie Jorgenson are first and second in the Power Stock point standings, with Oxborough holding a 40-point lead going into the final weekend.
In Bandoleros, an entry-level racing division where drivers can be as young as 8, Adam Ratliff of Apple Valley is fourth in the point standings.
Oettinger plays in Stanley Cup Finals
Lakeville native Jake Oettinger was close to having his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
Oettinger, 21, was backup goalie for the Dallas Stars in their run to the finals, which ended Monday night with a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning won the series four games to two. He appeared in one game in the finals, playing almost 20 minutes in the Stars’ 5-2 loss in Game 3 on Sept. 23. Oettinger made three saves.
Before the 2019-20 hockey season was interrupted by the pandemic, Oettinger had been with the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top minor league affiliate, where he played in 38 games and had a 2.57 goals-against average. He was called up March 3 when the Dallas starting goalie, Ben Bishop, was injured.
Oettinger is one of the few players to make his NHL debut in a playoff game, making five saves in 17 minutes of a Sept. 8 game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
He played for Lakeville North High School in the 2013-14 season, helping the Panthers to a 25-5-1 record and second place in the state Class AA tournament. He then spent two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team followed by three years at Boston University, where he was 58-40-11 as a starter. Oettinger was on the roster for the U.S. team that won the 2017 World Junior Championship and played for the U.S. team that finished third the following year.
He was selected by Dallas in the first round (26th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and signed a three-year contract with the Stars in March 2019.