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CLINT SOVA’S 2005 MUSTANG is shown above going into one of the first turns in the Autocross event. The cones laying on their side show the direction to go.

Officer Sova competes at national autocross event

If you are ever speeding in Ortonville and you see Officer Clint Sova, you better think twice about trying to out run him. With his law enforcement drivers training and his passion for automotive racing, he has better driving skills than most.

He competed in his second summer national challenge, held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul July 16 - 18. 

You don't usually associate high performance racing with a police officer. Just because he's wearing a uniform, doesn't mean Sova doesn't like to have some fun.

Sova has a love for high performance vehicles. "I like feeling the horsepower shake the ground, but," he adds, "there is a time and a place to do these things and the street isn't the place for it."

He encourages car enthusiasts to bring their vehicles to the summer nationals. It provides an opportunity for people to test their cars and driving skills, said Sova. "It's fun and it's safe and doesn't put the public at risk."

This year's national event was the  O'Reilly's Auto Parts Street Machine Nationals. Sova entered his 2005 Mustang GT with "Legend Lime Green" paint  in the Borla Exhaust Street Machine Challenge, which included the Hotchkis Autocross, the side by side stop box event and the Lucas Oil Dyno.

The autocross, also referred to as solo, is increasingly gaining in popularity across the country. It is a timed competition in which drivers navigate one at a time through a defined course around cones. Sova raced his Mustang  GT on the autocross several times during the event two weeks ago. His best time was 47.9 seconds.

In the stop box event, drivers travel 150 feet in a straight line then must stop quickly inside a 12' x 20' box without hitting the cones. Sova's best time was 3.5 seconds, which he achieved when he turned the traction control off.

The dyno was the third event in the challenge which Sova took part. The dyno  measures the rear wheel horse power and torque. Sova's rear wheel horsepower was 281 and 293 ft. lbs. of torque. “This is pretty good for a street car,” he says modestly. Last year at the Car Craft Summer Nationals his dyno horsepower was 276. He says the gain came from installing exhaust cut-outs.

Sova has had a love for cars his whole life. He grew up in Ely and remembers his neighbor was a Chevy mechanic who was always working on cool cars in his garage.

Sova drove his dad's 1993 Grand Prix in high school.  His dad gave it to him when he graduated and he added high flow exhaust to improve the horsepower. In college he drove a 1982 Caprice. He repainted it and also put high flow exhaust on it.

Sova has been a police officer in Ortonville since 2007. Once every three years he completes an emergency vehicle operations course, a mandatory training for Minnesota Police officers. These trainings allow him to navigate on a course and test his driving skills in potential emergency situations. He enjoys the training, but can't do much with his front wheel drive Impala police car.

Sova claims to be a GM guy, but yet he has a Mustang. He ended up with the Mustang because, being 6' 2", "it was a vehicle I fit into and it was reasonably priced," he said. “Plus the gas filler is on the correct side,” he jokes.

In addition to high performance vehicles Sova enjoys auto restoration. He has an unpainted 1966 Chevy pickup that he's turning into a "Rat Rod." 

He said his wife Lindsey who is a third grade teacher in Big Stone City, SD, is supportive of his interest in cars. They have a daughter, Molly who is just over two-months-old.

Each year at Cornfest he sponsors a trophy at the Big Stone Cruisers' Car Show. It is called the "Ortonville Police Officer's Choice," which goes to his favorite car in the show. He's not partial to any particular makes and models. He likes cars of several different decades.

Clint would like to do more high performance competitions with his Mustang GT and would like to drag race it at Brainerd or Marion, SD. He plans to do as much as he can to improve the performance and handling of his Mustang, whatever time and money will allow.

He hopes to compete in more autocross events, through the Sport Car Club of America (SCCA), one of the many sponsors of autocross events across the country. Sova says it is reasonably priced for anyone to get into it. For more information on getting started in autocross/solo competitions, go to

The Minnesota Auto Sports Club has a list of upcoming autocross/solo events in the state which can be found on its website at:

Request by Arts Council to amend Ordinance approved

Becky Parker, President of the Big Stone Arts Council, came before the City Council at their regular meeting on Monday, July 20 to request amending the ordinance to not go beyond the property line, but build on the propery line of the old water treatment plant that they are hoping to turn into an arts building.

At the previous city council meeting, the Arts Council had requested to  transfer an additional 25 feet of property to the north and south of the old water treatment plant to meet set-back and impervious  surface requirements allowing the building to abut the sidewalk providing the Arts Council pay to move the water and electric utilities from under or near the sidewalk and allow the removal of the building if needed.

Parker asked the council to approve their ordinance request as their architect would be coming and they would like to move forward with this project. The council approved the request with council members Jim Hasslen and Kim Sykora absent.

The council then approved the Findings of Fact for the Arts Council. There were 11 findings that will need to be met concerning the site of the Arts Council building.

Council members discussed the Waste Managmenet contract that the company would like extended through June 30, 2022. Mayor Steve Berkner requested that they hold a workshop to hear from Commercial customers that will be affected by this contract. The council set Wednesday, July 29 at 5 p.m. in City Hall located in the Armory for the workshop. No action was taken on the contract until they hear the concerns of those businesses.

The council accepted the resignation of Bryan Delage from the Airport Board. Delage informed the council that with his new committments, he can no longer fulfill his duties on the board.

In other business, the council approved a temporary on-sale liquor license for the Ortonville Fire Department for Cornfest weekend. The vote was 4-1 with council member Mel Reinke voting no. Reinke has concerns with alcohol being consumed and brought into the park area where a number of Cornfest events are held.

Taylor Wilke and Tyler Peters were hired as lifeguards at the Ortonville Pool, effective immediately.

A Public Hearing for the five-year Capital Improvement Program was set for Monday, Aug. 3 at 5 p.m. during the regular city council meeting.

The council also approved a Public Hearing for the small cities development grant progress review for Monday, Aug. 3 at 4:30 p.m. prior to the regular city council meeting.

Seth Parker

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