Sunday, July 9, 2023

1981 – Steve Kosiski Wins Gopher 50

Steve Kosiski was all smiles after winning the Gopher 50 benefit race at Chateau Speedway in Lansing. 

Lansing, Minn. (July 9, 1981) – The Kosiski brothers from Omaha made the long pull to Chateau Speedway a profitable one as they took first and fourth place money back to the Cornhusker state.

The Gopher 50, a charity race promoted by the Blooming Prairie Jaycees, was originally scheduled for July 8 but had to be pushed ahead one day as rain started to fall as the cars were lining up for hot laps. Two hours of packing failed to iron out the racing surface, forcing the Thursday makeup.

Steve Egersdorf of St. Paul, who won the first heat, jumped to an early lead from his pole position. The yellow flag waved on lap 9 when Dick Sorenson of Rochester stopped on the track. Another yellow dropped on lap 20 when Karl Fenske spun on lap 20.

When racing resumed, Steve Kosiski got the jump on Egersdorf and took control of the inside passing groove going into the first set of turns, passing Egersdorf for good on the backstretch.

On lap 28, Joe Kosiski spun in the fourth turn, bringing out the yellow. Don Berger of Mondovi, Wis., who was running behind Kosiski, admitted helping him, thus allowing Kosiski to get his position back. On lap 40, Dave Bjorge of Sargeant moved into second place. Bjorge had started the feature in 12th position.

Another yellow on lap 44, this one caused by last year’s winner, Leon Plank, put Bjorge right up on Kosiski’s rear bumper but when the green waved, Steve immediately pulled away and went on to win the $2,500 first prize.

Bjorge settled for second follow by Egersdorf, Joe Kosiski and Mike Jasperson of Somerset, Wis.

Heat races were won by Egersdorf, Dick Sorenson of Rochester, Jeff Hinkemeyer of St. Cloud, Steve Kosiski, Leon Plank, and Don Berger. B-mains went to Ed Sanger of Waterloo, Iowa, and Jim Bruggeman of White Bear Lake.

Results –

1. Steve Kosiski, Omaha
2. Dave Bjorge, Sargeant
3. Steve Egersdorf, St. Paul
4. Joe Kosiski, Omaha
5. Mike Jasperson, Somerset, Wis.
6. Ed Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
7. Jeff Hinkemeyer, St. Cloud
8. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
9. Ron Prochnow, Menomonie, Wis.
10.Curt Hansen, Dike, Iowa
11.Don Zweifel, Mantorville
12.Karl Sanger, Waterloo, Iowa
13.Jim Bruggeman, White Bear Lake
14.Karl Fenske, Winona
15.Less Duellman, Fountain City, Wis.
16.Leon Plank, Mondovi, Wis.
17.Don Berger, Mondovi, Wis.
18.Ron Schreiner, Eleva, Wis.
19.Joe Salner, Clear Lake
20.Denny Hovinga, Pocahontas, Iowa
21.Gary Hopp, Harlan, Iowa
22.Wendell Kuehn, Rochester

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