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Ulmer ends streak to win Street Stocks

Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Shawn Strand of Mandan competes in a heat race for the IMCA Modifieds on Saturday at the Southwest Speedway. Strand won his first-ever IMCA feature race.

For his 13-season racing career, Dickinson driver Travis Ulmer has been second best.

After winning the first race of the season in the Wissota Street Stocks at the Southwest Speedway, Ulmer went into a six-week drought. He claimed his second win of the season Saturday night.

With nine laps to go and driving neck and neck with T.C. Shelhamer, Ulmer snuck past Shelhamer permanently to claim the lead. Shelhamer came in runner-up to Ulmer in the first race of the season too.

“We’ve just been drawing bad, getting bad starts for the features,” Ulmer said with a smile. “Tonight helped us out. I don’t think I would have gotten T.C. without that yellow though. He’s pretty tough and that helped me out a lot.”

Ulmer has been having a strong season and just lost the Mid-season Championship by one point to Josh Olheiser. But after Saturday’s victory, Ulmer is in high spirits and hoping to finally clinch the Streets championship.

“We regained the lead (Saturday), that’s a big momentum going into the second half,” he said. Hopefully we can keep it there this year. Been waiting 13 years for one. Always second, second, second, third.”

For the second straight week, Deryk Voller picked up a win for the Pure Stocks class. As the Dickinson driver cruised across the finish line for his fourth win of the season, Voller was able to relax.

“I just go out there and try to have fun. These guys are very good racers and I just try to do the best I can,” Voller said. “If I don’t win, a win for me is to load the car in one piece on the trailer.”

With eight laps to go, racers and spectators’ got a scare as Paul Wanner slammed into the guardrail, causing his car to flip over and land on its top in front of the stands.

Wanner was OK and after the red-flag delay, a few more cautions were sprinkled through the final laps, causing the race to run nearly 20 minutes long.

“The race being that long you try to just stay focused because it is hard to keep your concentration when there’s a lot of cautions just try to stay focused and I got the win,” Voller said.

Most racers say a win to them is finishing the race and loading up their car in one piece. The season for rookie Thunder 4s driver Austin Hoffman hasn’t been too kind. Up until Saturday, he has only completed one race.

But Hoffman held a large lead and cruised to his second completion and first victory of the season on Saturday.

“It feels pretty good because the first three races, I broke the wheels off,” Hoffman said about his car.

From the very beginning, Saturday just wasn’t going right for Mandan IMCA Modifieds driver Shawn Strand.

Strand was on his way to a race in Billings, Mont., before his tires blew out on his trailer, forcing him to struggle back east and instead compete at the Southwest Speedway. Strand’s day made a complete turnaround as he won his heat and the feature race.

“We were blowing out tires, we used all our spares and basically limped it back here,” Strand said. “We had three tires on the one side. When we started out we had only two left.

“The day started turning around finally. Got in the race car and everything went well tonight so it definitely finally turned around. I didn’t think it could get any worse.”

Racing continues at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2 at the Southwest Speedway.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.