Season Opener Recap

Posted by Becca Pelkey 5/9/2022 4:03:25 PM
While many other race tracks across the Midwest could not race, drivers and fans flocked to Dacotah Speedway for the Season Opener on Friday, May 6th


Defending track champion, Stan Thompon, led early in the IMCA Sport Compacts feature. Stan’s son, Alex, quickly reeled in his dad and they raced side by side for several laps. The battle up front allowed third place, Ken Sandberg, to close in on the leaders and make it a three car battle. With five laps to go, Sandberg dove low under and drifted into Alex Thompson’s car. It led to a thrilling battle for the win as they leaned on each other for the lead. When the checkered flag waved, Ken Sandberg muscled by Alex Thompson for the victory. Stan Thompson crossed the line in third place while Paul Schuh finished ahead of Nicholas Hoffman.


It was a three car battle for the lead in the Hobby Stock feature. Picking up where he left off last year, Jeremy Engelhardt grabbed the early lead as John Gartner lurked in second place. As Engelhardt stretched his lead over the rest of the field, Gartner fell into the clutches of third place Derrick Appert. A late race caution erased Engelhardt’s large lead but on the restart, Engelhardt pulled away again. The race was for second between Gartner, Appert and Bill Hultberg. Unfortunately for Gartner, he suffered a mechanical issue that ended his night two laps short of the finish. Derrick Appert held off Bill Hultberg for second. Mike Appert made a late race pass to finish fourth while Seth Howe-Kellar crossed the finish line in fifth. 


Defending track champion, Drew Papke, started on the pole for the INEX Legends feature. Papke, Preston Martin and A.J. Davenport raced hard for the lead. Using the highline around the race track, Martin grabbed the lead before a caution on lap four regrouped the field. On the restart, Martin had his hands full trying to hold off Papke and Alex Kukowski. Just before a red flag halted the race, Kukowski slipped into the lead with nine laps to go. Martin, using the highline again reeled in Kukowski but struggled to keep his race car on the racing surface and lost positions to Donavin Wiest, Nate Keena and Papke. When the white flag waved, it was a three wide battle for second between Wiest, Keena and Papke with Martin lurking close behind. Drew Papke made a last lap pass to shuffle into the second position. Donavin Wiest just narrowly edged Nate Keena for third while Preston Martin rounded out the top five. Alex Kukowski led the final nine laps to pick up his first Dacotah Speedway feature victory.


After a complete restart in the WISSOTA Street Stock feature, pole sitter Kyle Anderson led the field to the green flag. Anderson immediately felt pressure from second place Zach Frederick. Caution came early and often however. Using the restarts to his advantage, Frederick slipped by Anderson to take the lead on lap six. While Frederick and Anderson continued to race for the lead, it allowed Matt Dosch to close in on the leaders. Anderson and Dosch raced hard, flip flopping for position close behind Frederick. However, when the checkered flag waved, Zach Frederick held on to win the feature. Kyle Anderson edged Matt Dosch at the line to finish second while Jaden Christ finished fourth ahead of Tracy Domagala.


Shawn Strand and Jeremy Keller led the field to the green flag in the IMCA Modified feature. Keller pulled away from the field as Strand tried to hold off Spencer Wilson for second. A series of mid-race cautions regrouped the field which allowed Travis Hagen to make it a three car battle for second. They sliced and diced for position on the track as defending track champion, Quentin Kinzley, lurked in fifth. Hagen passed Wilson for third and challenged Strand for second. When the checkered flag waved, Travis Hagen came up short to second place Shawn Strand. Spencer Wilson finished fourth ahead of fifth place Quentin Kinzley. Jeremy Keller led all 25 laps and dominated to win the race. 

Join us Friday, May 13th for the Mandan Dirt Series presented by Bill Dean Better Homes - Your Dirt Track Realtor and Gardens Alliance Group.

Grandstands open at 6:00pm. Green flag waves at 7:00pm. 

Can't make it to the track? Watch all the exciting Dacotah Speedway racing action LIVE and ON-DEMAND on

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Dacotah Speedway is a high banked, three-eights mile clay oval dirt track located at 2500 Longspur Trail, just south of Memorial Highway in Mandan.

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