May 25th Season Opener Recap

Posted by Becca Rattei 5/28/2018 12:13:14 PM
After many letdowns from Mother Nature throughout April and May, the weather finally cooperated on Friday, May 25th. It was a beautiful evening for racing as drivers, pit crews and fans travelled from all over North Dakota for the season opener at Dacotah Speedway. It was the first time since 2009 that Dacotah Speedway was forced to cancel the first three races of the season. Although fans and drivers had to wait a few extra weeks to race, the racing action on track was nothing less than fantastic.

Reed Picks Up First Career Feature Win

An early caution regrouped the field in the IMCA Sport Compact feature. Pole sitter, Seth Howe-Kellar, led the field to the restart. The father-son duo of Stan and Alex Thompson raced side by side for the fourth position as they took the green flag. Stan Thompson slid up in front of his son, Alex, to claim the fourth position as Ken Sandberg had his hands full with Andy Reed for second. While racing door to door for second, they started to reel in leader, Howe-Kellar. With four laps to go, it was a three car battle for the win. Reed cleared Sandberg for second and peaked his nose under the racing machine of Howe-Kellar. They battled side by side for the win with two laps to go. Coming out of turn four and racing towards the checkered flag, Andy Reed held off Seth Howe-Kellar to win his very first IMCA Sport Compact feature win. Ken Sandberg finished third while Stan Thompson crossed the finish line fourth. Alex Thompson rounded out the top five in the fifth position.


Gartner Jr Cruises to Hobby Stock Victory

Wishek, North Dakota’s Brent Vetter took the lead on a complete restart from pole sitter, Dylan Sandberg, in the Hobby Stock feature. A second caution reset the field on lap three and on the restart, there was three wide battle for second between Sandberg, John Gartner Jr and Josh Roehrich. Riding the high line around the track, Gartner Jr blew by Sandberg and Roehrich for second. Gartner Jr quickly chased down the leader, Vetter and they briefly raced side by side before Gartner took the top spot on lap six. As Gartner started to pull away, Sandberg was trying to hold off A.J. Davenport and Bill Hultberg for third. With three laps to go, Sandberg suddenly slowed on the track and took his car to the pits. John Gartner Jr cruised to victory lane as Brent Vetter finished second. A.J. Davenport finished third ahead of Bill Hultberg as defending track champion, Curt Michaelsohn held off Josh Roehrich for fifth.


Wiest Edges Hoff at the Line

It was a three wide battle for the lead between the Martin brothers of Preston, Casey and Dauntae in the INEX Legends feature. Casey Martin shuffled into the lead but quickly had to fend off defending track champion Donavin Wiest and Troy Hoff. Casey Martin started to fade early, losing the lead to Wiest, Hoff and Drew Papke. Hugging the guardrail, Wiest found speed along the low line of the track while Hoff was quick along the high side. They raced side by side for the lead, flip flopping for position several times. As they continued to race door to door, Papke lurked in third. With three laps to go, Hoff changed his line and followed Wiest along the guardrail,allowing Papke to make it a three car fight for the win. Coming to the checkered flag, Hoff threw his car hard into corners three and four. As they crossed the finish line, it was almost too close to call but Donavin Wiest won by mere inches over Troy Hoff. Drew Papke finished third while Ivan Sailer finished fourth ahead of pole sitter Preston Martin.


Carter Hangs on to Win Season Opener

In a brand new race car, Jeremy Englehardt took the lead in the WISSOTA Street Stock feature from pole sitter Matt Brendel. Engelhardt had his hands full as Jonny Carter and Shawn Volk made it a three car battle for the lead. Carter found speed along the high side of the track and took the lead on lap five. Engelhardt cleared Volk for second before John Weber started to catch Volk. Weber passed Volk for third, bringing Royce Jawaski with him. A caution with three laps to go erased Carter’s large lead over the field. On the restart, Zach Frederick raced from eighth to third, making it a three car battle for second between Jawaski and Weber. Weber started to fall back in the closing laps but Jawaski and Frederick continued to race for second. Caution returned when Engelhardt, running fourth, spun in the front of the field. Luckily, no one hit Engelhardt but he took his race car with minimal damage to the pits. On the restart, Frederick passed Jawaski for second and looked low under Carter for the win.The raced side by side to the white flag but as they came off corner four, Jonny Carter held off Zack Frederick for the feature win. Royce Jawaski finished third while Geoff Hellman finish fourth ahead of Brad Kadrmas.


Wolla Dominates and Wins at Dacotah Speedway

After a quick caution, Jason Wolla went from fifth to first in the IMCA Modified feature. Wolla overtook Mark Dahl for lead on lap three and quickly pulled away from the field. While Dahl held steady in second, Travis Tooley felt pressure from Tracy Domagala and Hank Berry for third place. Berry, who started the feature in the 10th position, wasted no time breaking into the top five. As one of the quickest cars on track, Berry passed Domagala for fourth and was all over Tooley’s rear bumper for third. As the laps wound down, the handling on Tooley’s car went away. Tooley got loose out of turn two with three laps to go, allowing Berry and Travis Olheiser to slip by. Travis Tooley held on to finish in the fifth position. Hank Berry just narrowly edged Travis Ohleiser as the finish line to grab the third position. Mark Dahl finished a distant second behind feature winner Jason Wolla.   
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