Dakota Mod Tour Re-cap by Becca Rattei
The 25th annual Dakota Classic Modified Tour visited the Dacotah Speedway on Thursday, July 10th. It was the fifth stop on the six track tour. Fans packed the stands to see over 90 IMCA Modified drivers representing 12 states and two Canadian providences.
After a brief intermission, four IMCA Modified conciliation races hit the track. Only the top four from each concy race would transfer to the 24 car feature. In the first IMCA Modified concy, Williston's Eric Sinness and Gilbert, Arizona's Tim Ward started on the front row. Ward quickly took the lead from pole sitter Sinness as third place Jordan Huettl tried to hold off David Murry Jr. and Adam Larson for third. They raced three wide until Murry Jr. shuffled into third place and Larson slipped by for fourth. A caution with five laps to go, reset the field for a final sprint to the finish. Fifth place Brian Mullen passed Larson on the restart as Murry Jr. moved into second behind leader Ward. Sinness had his hands full as Mullen was all over his rear bumper. With two laps to go, Mullen passed Sinness for third. Sinness and Larson raced side by side for the fourth and final transfer position. As they came to the Open Road Honda finish line, Eric Sinness edged Adam Larson for fourth. Brian Mullen finished third behind David Murry Jr. and concy winner Tim Ward.
Cave City, Arkansas's Jeff Taylor blew by pole sitter Brian Swenson to take the lead in the second IMCA Modified concy. Shawn Strand and Tracy Domagala also drove by Swenson before a caution on lap two regrouped the field. Domagala passed Strand on the restart but Domagala got loose, allowing Strand to retake second before yet another caution slowed the race. As Taylor led the field to the green flag, his slow pace caused a traffic jam at the front of the field leaving Domagala, Strand, Donovan Sorenson and Robert Hellebust with serious damage. On the following restart, Taylor led to the field to the green flag but as he drove into turn one, his brakes failed and the Dakota Classic Modified Tour points leader dove into the turn one guardrail. Mike Hanson of Dickinson inherited the lead and on the restart, Hanson pulled away from Hank Berry, Swenson and Hellebust. On a restart with five laps to go, Donovan Sorenson passed Hellebust for fourth. Hellebust rallied back to retake fourth but with four laps to go, Sorenson retook fourth and transferred to the feature. Pole sitter Brian Swenson finished third as Mike Hanson narrowly edged Hank Berry for the concy win.
It was a three wide battle for the lead in the third IMCA Modified concy between Scott Drake of Joplin, Missouri, Just O'Brien of West Union Iowa and Hunter Mariott of Brookfield Missouri. O'Brien shuffled into the lead while Drake and Mariott contested for second. Mariott won the battle as Drake followed close behind in third. The top three pulled away from the field as Shawn Anderson tried to hold off a strong Tommy Lee for fourth. They raced side by side for many laps until a caution with three to go set up a green-white-checkered restart. Anderson, Lee and Donald Robinson went three wide for fourth on the restart. Anderson got loose allowing Mark Elliot of Webster City, Iowa to slip by and finish fourth. Scott Drake finished third while Hunter Mariott crossed the finish line in second. Justin O'Brien led all 15 laps to win the third concy of the night.
Local driver, Tim Perkins, started on the pole for the fourth and final concy race of the night. Perkins quickly lost the lead to outside pole sitter Steven Pfiefer and lost second to Mike Jergens. Pfiefer and Jergens raced side by side for the lead before Jergens took the lead on lap two. A series of quick cautions slowed the pace but on the restart, Minot's Spencer Wilson dove low under Jergens, beating and banging for the lead. Jergens held off Wilson and started to pull away from the field. As the laps wound down, Pfiefer's car began to fade into the clutches of fourth place Josh Eberhardt of Jamestown. Eberhardt was all over Pfiefer's rear bumper but Pfiefer held on to finish third over Eberhardt. Spencer Wilson finished second behind concy winner Mike Jergens.
The IMCA Stock Cars took to the track for a 25 lap feature. Sleepy Eye, Minnesota's Matt Speckman started on the pole along side Greg Wichman of Bonduel, Wisconson. Young Dalton Flory of Williston passed Wichman on the start for second place and quickly chased down leader Speckman. Speckman and Dalton raced side by side until Dalton took the lead on lap four. Joe Flory, Dalton's father, wasn't far behind as he passed Speckman the following lap. Dalton and Joe ran nose to tail for the lead as tour points leader Elijah Zevenbergen of Ocheyedan, Iowa moved into third place. Joe moved son, Dalton, off the guardrail and they raced side by side for the lead. Joe took the lead on lap nine as Dalton settled into a close second. Zevenbergen moved to the highline around the Dacotah, looking for a way around the Florys. Zevenbergen had to hold off a strong Speckman until the highline came in and he was able to pull away and close in on leaders Joe and Dalton. With eight laps to go, Joe got loose, giving Dalton the opportunity to look low and race side by side for the lead. Joe held onto the lead as Zevenbergen challenged Dalton on the highside. Zevenbergen grabbed the runner-up position with one lap to go and held off a last lap challenge from Dalton to finish second behind feature winner Joe Flory. Greg Wichman finished fourth and Garden City, Kansas's Perry Misner rounded out the top five.
Despite wrecking his car in his concy race, the Dakota Classic Modified Tour points leader Jeff Taylor borrowed Shawn Strand's car to race in the 30 lap IMCA Modified feature. The top two in tour points, Taylor and Adam Larson, needed to use their points provisionals to make the feature. Urbana, Iowa's Darin Duffy started on the pole but it wasn't long before local Mark Dahl took the lead on lap two. Dahl started to pull away as Duffy lost second place to Jordan Grabouski. Grabouski reeled in leader Dahl and powered into the lead on lap six. Grabouski quickly pulled away as Duffy continued to lose positions to Masen Big Eagle and Jeremy Keller. Big Eagle and Keller quickly caught second place Dahl and they raced three wide for second. Dahl shuffled back to fourth place as Big Eagle and Keller continued to battle for second. As lapped traffic started to come a factor, Ryan Ruter used lapped cars to get by Dahl for fifth while Big Eagle held off Keller for second. Due to lapped traffic, Big Eagle cut into Grabouski's lead but needed a late race caution to catch up. No such luck, Grabouski won the feature in dominating fashion, picking up his second tour victory. Jeremy Keller finished a distant third place ahead of Darin Duffy and Justin O'Brien. Jeff Taylor who started tail in the feature finished 14th and held onto his points lead going into championship night.
For complete results and points standings, check out www.dacotahspeedway.net. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real time updates. Text 'SPEEDWAY' to 20691 for instant updates and alerts. Racing resumes on Friday, July 18th at the Dacotah Speedway as all five regular classes hit the track for a regular night of points racing.
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