(Photos courtesy of LPT Images)
After a long week of traveling from track to track, race fans saw some of the best racing all year long as IMCA Modified drivers from all over the country came to race in the 24th
Annual Dakota Classic Modified Tour. Dacotah Speedway hosted championship night, Thursday, July 11th
as drivers made their final stop on the six day tour. The point battles were tight and the racing was nothing short of exciting.
The first of four Modified concys started the evening after intermission. Only the top four from each concy would transfer to the feature. Steven Pfiefer held onto his lead from the pole early. Not even a lap three caution could slow him down. As he pulled away from the field, Justin O'Brian of West Union, Iowa and Drew Christianson battled for second. The two drivers raced hard for position, allowing a fast Robert Hellebust to quickly catch them. It was a three car race for second with five laps to go. Hellebust forced his way into the second position and looked poised to chase down leader Pfiefer. With two laps to go, Hellebust's hood pins came loose, lifting his hood over the cockpit and blocking his view. Hellebust quickly and safely got off the racing surface, giving up his bid for a transfer position. Pfiefer lead all 12 laps to win the concy over Christianson, O'Brian and Donald Robinson.
After a complete restart in the second Modified concy, Jared Siefert blew by pole sitter Allen Kent for the lead. The high line was the fast line as Dahl quickly passed Kent for second. Kent, who was second in the tour points standings, was in danger of losing third place to Brian Mullen of Seymour, Wisconsin. The two drivers briefly raced side by side before Mullen took third place. A series of cautions allowed local Shawn Strand to creep into the top five, passing Kent, Dahl and Mullen. As the laps wound down, Strand slowly started catching leader Siefert. It was critical for Kent to transfer to the feature to battle for the championship, but he couldn't hang on. After losing the fourth position to Dahl, he lost fifth place to Mike Haugen and finished sixth. Brian Mullen finished third and Jared Siefert held off Shawn Strand to win the second concy.
Minot's Joren Boyce quickly distanced himself from the field early in the third Modified concy. Ryan Ruter, Darrell Bauer and pole sitter Eric Sinness battle
d three wide for second. Bauer shuffled into the second position, trying to hold off Sinness. Ruter, in the final transfer position fell into the clutches of Jason Wolla. A caution with six laps to go, reset the field but Boyce pulled away from the field again. Bauer and Sinness continued to battle for second, while Ruter tried to hold off Jason Wolla for fourth. With three laps to go, Wolla drove by Ruter and chased down Sinness and Bauer. Joren Boyce led all 12 laps to win the third concy. Veteran Darrell Bauer held off Sinness and Wolla to transfer to the feature.
Marlyn Seidler and Spencer Wilson pulled away from their competitors in the final Modified concy. The two racing buddies raced side by side for the lead for several laps before Seidler's high line gave him the edge over Wilson to hang onto to his lead. But Wilson did not give up, he came back strong at the end of the concy, giving it one last shot. Seidler led from the pole and led all 12 laps to win over Wilson. Williston's Travis Haugen finished third ahead of Josh Rogotske of Sanborn, Minnesota.
The point battle was tight for the championship in the IMCA Stock Car feature. Points leade
r Elijah Zevenbergen of Ocheyedan, Iowa started on the pole. Zevenbergen, who won four of the five features on the tour, continued his quest to a feature victory at the Dacotah Speedway as he quickly pulled away. It was a battle for second place between Nathan Burke and Matt Speckman. Speckman passed Burke, bringing Travis Ulmer with him. Ulmer, regularly a WISSOTA Street Stock driver, made the appropriate changes to his car to race on the six day IMCA Stock Car tour. Ulmer and Speckman battled for until Ulmer drove by with 11 laps to go. Speckman fell into the clutches of Boyden, Iowa's Randy Brands. Brands, second in points, followed in Ulmer's tire tracks and passed Speckman for third. Up front, Zevenbergen led all 25 laps in dominating fashion to win the feature and the IMCA Stock Car Tour Championship. Ulmer finished a distant second behind Zevenbergen. Brands finished third ahead of Burke and Austin Daee.
Due to threatening weather in the distance, the IMCA Modified feature was moved up in the schedule of events. Points leader Aaron Turnbull quickly challenged his dad, Ed, for the lead. Father and son raced side by side until Aaron got too high in turn four and dropped to fifth place. Jeff Taylor of Cave City, Arkansas was the next person to challenge Ed Turnbull for the lead. They battled hard until Taylor took the lead on lap three. A lap four caution regrouped the field and set up a three car battle for second between Ed Turnbull, Jeremy Keller and Aaron Turnbull. Keller shuffled into second and quickly chased down leader Taylor. Keller took the lead on lap nine but Taylor came charging back. Keller and Taylor flip flopped the lead several times before Keller retook the lead on lap 12 and started pulling away. After Aaron Turnbull passed Ed for third, Ed Turnbull started falling into the clutches of fifth place Tim Perkins. A caution with 10 laps to go set up a 10 lap shootout to the checkered flag. On the restart, Aaron Turnbull passed Taylor for second but leader Keller was already pulling away. Keller led the final 10 laps to win the feature. Aaron Turnbull's second place finish clinched the Modified Tour Championship. Jeff Taylor, Ed Turnbull and Tim Perkins rounded out the top five.
The IMCA Sport Compact feature ended the night. Points leader Derek Nitschke quickly took the lead from pole sitter Nylee DiMeo. DiMeo quickly faded out of the top five, getting passed by Josh Roehrich, Nic West, Jamie Schlafmann and rookie Chance Seelye. Second place Roehrich reeled in leader Nitschke and took the lead with six laps to go. Roehrich led the final six laps to win the feature, his second of the season over Nitschke. Schlafmann passed West to finish third and rookie Chance Seelye finished fifth.
Racing action resumes this coming Friday, July 19th
at Dacotah Speedway with IMCA Modifieds, Wissota Street Stocks, INEX Legends, Dacotah Speedway Hobby Stocks and IMCA Mach 1 Sport Compacts, sponsored by Aaron’s Sales and Leasing.
It’s also PBR Pounder night!
All PBR 16 ounce cans of beer are just $2 all night long.
Adult grandstand tickets are $11, 12 and under FREE.
Advance, discount tickets are available at all Cenex locations in Mandan, Bismarck and Lincoln.
For more information visit us online at http://www.dacotahspeedway.net/
or “LIKE” our Facebook Page. You can also follow us on Twitter @dacotahspeedway or on our YouTube Channel.