Taylor, Wichman win features at Southwest Speedway's Dakota Classic Modified Tour stopJeff Taylor drew the pole position and his competition could do little but watch the back end of his IMCA Modified car as he raced to victory Thursday night at the Southwest Speedway.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Jeff Taylor drew the pole position and his competition could do little but watch the back end of his IMCA Modified car as he raced to victory Thursday night at the Southwest Speedway.
The Cave City, Ark., racer won his second race along the Dakota Classic Modified Tour to move into second place in the Tour point standings behind leader Hank Berry of Sidney, Mont.
Taylor broke away from the pack early in the 30-lap race, and there was little his competition could do to stop him after that.
“We had a good car and had a good pit crew helping me get there tonight. They’ve worked hard all week,” Taylor said. “We’ve had a consistent car, but I don’t know if we’ve had the best car every night.”
His car sure looked like the best one on the track, especially when he encountered lap traffic with 14 laps remaining.
Taylor finally navigated the crowed, but only after Brian Mullen of Seymour, Wis. — the eventual runner-up — cut into Taylor’s lead that was, at times, as big as 3 seconds.
Mullen finished just .842 behind Taylor.
Berry finished seventh and has a 12-point edge on Taylor with only tonight’s race at Mandan’s Dacotah Speedway remaining. The three-time Tour champion’s lead is sizeable, but certainly not insurmountable. He and Taylor stand to make the feature race tomorrow regardless of how they finish in the heat or consolation races.
“You come every year and you hope for some pretty good finishes and let the points fall where they may,” said Berry, who won in Estevan, Sask., on Tuesday and was second Sunday in Minot. “I’d like to win a race, at least one. If you win one, you’ve done pretty well. Unless you’re Jeff Taylor, then you’ve won two. He’s a tough customer. He didn’t come here for nothing.”
Neither did Greg Wichman of Bonduel, Wis., the other big winner of the night.
Wichman won the IMCA Stock Cars feature race, his first-ever victory in the class.
A 45-year-old veteran racer, Wichman is in his first year driving IMCA Stocks. It was only his ninth overall night in the car, four of which have come on the Tour.
“This Tour has been awesome, it’s just a blast so far,” Wichman said, smiling wide.
Wichman started up front and fended off numerous cautions. He led most of the way and even survived a late caution as well as a push from Minot’s Steven Pfeifer and Randy Conway, as well as Shawn Havel of Algoma, Wis.
There were three cautions in the first four laps, but no more until the one that forced a green-white-checkered flag finish.
Pfeifer took a two-point lead over Havel in the Tour point standings with a runner-up finish. He said watching Wichman, whom he called a clean racer, win his first race wasn’t too hard.
“Nobody deserves to win a race out there more than the guy who does that,” Pfeifer said. “It’s cool to see him win that.”
Pfiefer, Wichman and Gregg Mann of Estevan, Sask., won the Stock Car heat races. Minot’s Kelly Henderson and Nathan Burke won the B-Main consolation races.
Taylor, the driver who came from the furthest away of anyone on the Tour, also ran away with the win in Heat 6, claiming a 1.524-second victory over runner-up Matt Brack of Mead, Colo.
Eight heat winners drew for the top eight spots in the feature with Taylor drawing the pole. From there, the top four finishers in four consolation races, plus the highest two remaining racers in the point standings are awarded spots in the 26-car feature.
A few notable names who were familiar with the Southwest Speedway won their heat race.
Underwood’s Marlyn Seidler started Heat 1 in the first row and hung on through a pair of cautions. Aaron Turnbull of Estevan, Sask., started Heat 2 in the sixth position found his way to the front late in the race. Bismarck’s Shawn Strand passed Minot’s Robert Hellebust for the win in the late laps of Heat 4 after a tight, race-long battle in the front row.
Minot’s Allen Kent passed Shawn Reed of Casper, Wyo., on the final lap of a caution-filled Heat 5 that saw four of the eight cars either leave via caution or pull out of the race.
Heat 3 was won by Kevin Stoa of Albert Lea, Minn., who started in last position but passed Mandan’s Darrel Bauer, the leader and pole sitter, with two laps left. Will Brack of Mead, Colo., and Mullen easily won Heats 7 and 8, respectively.
Dakota Classic Modified Tour
At Southwest Speedway
Note: Winner from each 10-lap heat race and top four from each 12-lap B-Main consolation race advanced to the feature.
Heat 1: 1, Marlyn Seidler, Underwood. 2, John Hansen, Brush, Colo. 3, Drew Christianson, Minot. 4, Spencer Wilson, Minot. 5, Chris Schroeder, Williston. 6, Kody Schlopp, Lampman, Sask. 7, Masen Big Eagle, Manor, Sask. 8, Brian Brennan, Rozet, Wyo., DNF. 9, Riley Emmel, Estevan, Sask., DNF.
Heat 2: 1, Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, Sask. 2, Mike Hansen, Alton, Iowa. 3, Steven Pfeifer, Minot. 4, Mike Nelson, New Salem. 5, Darin Wendt, Williston. 6, Randy Dolberg, Mills, Wyo. 7, Nick Fuchs, Williston. 8, Randy Burwick, Hettinger. 9, Allan Fetzer, Max.
Heat 3: 1, Kevin Stoa, Albert Lea, Minn. 2, Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa. 3, Darrell Bauer, Mandan. 4, Eric Paul, Dickinson. 5, John Flory, Williston. 6, Tommy Lee, Grenora. 7, Travis Olheiser, Dickinson. 8, Corey Mohr, Moose Jaw, Sask. 9, Dave Dease, Red Cliff, Alberta.
Heat 4: 1, Shawn Strand, Mandan. 2, Robert Hellebust, Minot. 3, Paul Leach, Sun River, Mont. 4, Tracey Domagala, Bismarck. 5, Les McLenehan, Estevan, Sask. 6, Jeremy Sorsensen, Williston. 7, Trent Gust, Medicine Hat, Alberta. 8, Dylan Barnhardt, Washburn, DNF.
Heat 5: 1, Allen Kent, Minot. 2, Shawn Reed, Casper, Wyo. 3, Paul Donnelly, Great Falls, Mont. 4, Randy Sandvick, Killdeer. 5, Dwight Burwick, Dickinson, DNF. 6, Eli Puckett, Hazen, DNF. 7, David Berry, Sidney, Mont., DNF. 8, Wyatt Dinius, Dickinson, DNF.
Heat 6: 1, Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark. 2, Matt Brack, Mead, Colo. 3, Todd Dart, Algoma, Wis. 4, Joey Galloway, Manor, Sask. 5, Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, Iowa. 6, Eric Burwick, Aurora, Colo. 7, John Barber, Swift Current, Sask. 8, Jeff Decker, Dickinson, DNF.
Heat 7: 1, Will Brack, Mead, Colo. 2, Troy Heupel, Williston. 3, Hank Berry, Sidney, Mont. 4, Bob Heffer, Swift Current, Sask. 5, Eric Fetzer, Bismarck. 6, Tanner Levorson, Cabri, Sask. 7, Kirk Wojahn, Gladstone. 8, Anthony Miller, Gillette, Wyo., DNF.
Heat 8: 1, Brian Mullen, Seymour, Wis. 2, Jason Wolla, Williston. 3, Tim Perkins, Bismarck. 4, Tyler Velo, Bismarck. 5, Tyson Turnbull, Estevan, Sask. 6, Brent Schlafmann, Bismarck. 7, Bill Miller, Plevna, Mont. 8, Bryce Beck, Minot, DNF.
B-Main 1: 1, J. Hansen. 2, Donnelly. 3, Reed. 4, Wilson. 5, Brennan. 6, Big Eagle. 7, Christianson. 8, Emmel. 9, Dinius. 10, Dw. Burwick. 11, Berry. 12, Schroeder. 13, Sandvick. 14, Schlopp. 15, Puckett, DQ.
B-Main 2: 1, Dart. 2, Pfeiffer. 3, M. Hansen. 4, M. Brack. 5, Galloway. 6, Nelson. 7, E. Burwick. 8, Cordes. 9, Dolberg. 10, Decker. 11, Wendy. 12, Barber. 13, R. Burwick. 14, A. Fetzer. 15, Fuchs.
B-Main 3: 1, Berry. 2, Noteboom. 3, Heupel. 4, Dease. 5, Flory. 6, Mohr. 7, Heffer. 8, E. Fetzer. 9, Olheiser. 10, Levorson. 11, Bauer, DNF. 12, Paul, DNF. 13, A. Miller, DNF. 14, Wojahn, DNF. 15, Lee, DNF.
B-Main 4: 1, Wolla. 2, Hellebust. 3, T. Turnbull. 4, Perkins. 5, Domagala. 6, Sorensen. 7, McLenehan. 8, B. Miller. 9, Leach. 10, Beck. 11, Schlafmann. 12, Guest. 13, Barnhardt, DNF. 14, Velo, DNF.
A-Main Feature: 1, Taylor. 2, Mullen. 3, Kent. 4, Stoa. 5, A. Turnbull. 6, J. Hansen. 7, Berry. 8, W. Brack. 9, Strand. 10, T. Turnbull. 11, Pfeifer. 12, Noteboom. 13, Perkins. 14, Wolla. 15, Seidler. 16, Wilson. 17, Hellebust. 18, Heupel. 19, M. Brack. 20, Donnelly. 21, Cordes. 22, Dease. 23, Reed. 24, Domagala. 25, Dart, DNF. 26, M. Hansen, DNF.
IMCA Stock Cars
Note: Top four from each 10-lap heat race and top four from each 12-lap B-Main consolation race advanced to the feature.
Heat 1: 1, Steven Pfeifer, Minot. 2, Perry Misner, Garden City, Kan. 3, Randy Conway, Minot. 4, Robby Rosselli, Minot. 5, Kelly Henderson, Minot. 6, Dalton Flory, Williston. 7, Stefan Klym, Moose Jaw, Sask., 8, Nathan Burke, Minot.
Heat 2: 1, Gregg Mann, Estevan, Sask. 2, Shawn Havel, Algema, Wis. 3, Elija Zevenberger, Ocheyden, Iowa. 4, Josh Wolla, Minot. 5, Kody Schlopp, Lampman, Sask. 6, Jordan Durward, Trenton. 7, Shael May, Trenton. 8, Dusty Falcon, Williston, DNF. 9, Sterling Labatte, Weyburn, Sask.
Heat 3: 1, Greg Wichman, Bonduel, Wis. 2, kyle Frederick, Oconto Falls, Wis. 3, Rodney Wadel, Garden City, Kan. 4, Joe Flory, Williston. 5, Robbie Conway, Westhope. 6, Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask. 7, Jon Courdnaine, Lena, Wis. 8, Donavan Sorenson, Williston. 9, Shawn Volk, Bismarck.
B-Main 1: 1, Henderson. 2, Courchnaine. 3, Durward. 4, Lunderby. 5, Klym. 6, Volk, DNF. 7, Falcon, DNF.
B-Main 2: 1, Burke. 2, Schlopp. 3, Daae. 4, Sorenson. 5, Flory. 6, May. 7, Labatte, DNF.
A-Main Feature: 1, Wichman. 2, Pfeifer. 3, Conway. 4, Havel. 5, Zevenberger. 6, Wadel. 7, Frederick. 8, Wolla. 9, Mann. 10, Burke. 11, Henderson. 12, Henderson. 13, Schlopp. 14, Flory. 15, Courchnaine. 16, Durward. 17, Sorenson. 18, Lunderby, DNF. 19, Misner, DNF. 20, Daee, DNF.