Engelhardt picks up 3rd straight win at Speedway
There is fierce competition in the Pure Stocks with the Southwest Speedway championship race in sight. Entering Saturday -- the final night of regular season races -- the top three Pure Stocks drivers were separated by 14 points. Bismarck's Jerem...
There is fierce competition in the Pure Stocks with the Southwest Speedway championship race in sight.
Entering Saturday - the final night of regular season races - the top three Pure Stocks drivers were separated by 14 points.
Bismarck’s Jeremy Engelhardt continued to climb toward the top spot after he won his third consecutive race, a crucial victory to keep him competitive for championship night, which begins at 7 p.m. next Saturday.
Points leader Deryk Voller of Dickinson finished runner-up and kept the pressure on Engelhardt the entire night. With the win, Engelhardt surpassed Tyler Bartholomew for second.
“I felt Deryk there the whole race -bumped me every time on the restarts - so that’s when I knew it was time to go,” Engelhardt said with a smile.
The feature took more than 25 minutes to complete due to six cautions. Voller - who entering Saturday’s race was on top of the standings by one point -used the cautions to his advantage and sneaked into second.
Engelhardt has been making up for lost time and has drastically changed his luck in recent weeks. Before Saturday, he had won his last two races and finished runner-up in the previous two. Remaining in a friendly competition with Voller, Engelhardt knows not to take his luck for granted and that anything can happen.
“It only takes one bad night for something to happen, we had bad luck with the engines,” Engelhardt said. “I know we are pretty much on our game and got things working for us.”
Dickinson driver Terry Zastoupil crossed the finish line first in the Wissota Street Stocks for the first time in five years. But in a twist of fate, Zastoupil’s car, which was the second time he raced in it, did not pass inspection and was disqualified. Runner-up Schaun Olheiser was deemed the Streets winner after the race.
For the second week in a row, a nonchalant Kody Stoxen won the Thunder 4s feature. But as calm as he was on the outside, there was a little bit of internal panic if his car would be in racing shape Saturday after winning at the Dacotah Speedway in Mandan on Friday.
“(The) car started on fire when I was in victory lane so I had to work on it all day,” Stoxen said. “I must have got it fixed. It had a lot of stuff on fire so I had to repair a lot of stuff.”
The Mandan driver has had an impressive rookie season at the Speedway, with three wins and three runner-up finishes, and a comfortable lead in the standings.
Stoxen is feeling no pressure whatsoever entering next Saturday’s championship race.
“The points have taken care of itself, we’ll see how next week goes but it should be OK,” Stoxen said.
While drivers like Engelhardt, Voller or Stoxen have been able to rack up multiple wins, the IMCA Modifieds class, week in and week out, has been less consistent.
Mike Hansen picked up his second win of the season -the first came on May 31 -to become the third racer with two wins.
“It has been awhile,” Hansen said. “We’ve been breaking stuff and tearing stuff up finally stuff hung together tonight of all nights.”
After Saturday’s win, Hansen moves into second place in points, 28 behind leader Eric Burwick. But points mean little to the Iowa driver. He focuses on getting wins and said he’ll likely be a no-show for Saturday’s championship.
“We just race to win, we don’t race for points,” he said. “Depends on hunting season if we’ll be here next week or not. We might be going to Vancouver for bear hunting. But we’ll see what goes on.”