Williams wins Legends Tour with race victory
He may not have had the fastest car, but when the checkered flag waved, Minot’s Shane Williams had two trophies and $800 in his pocket.
Williams held off Bismarck’s Steven Kuntz on the final straightaway, edging the No. 1 car by 0.258 seconds at the finish line. With the victory, Williams claimed the Dakota Legends Tour title Sunday at Nodak Speedway.
“I saw (Kuntz) beside me,” Williams said. “I didn’t have the faster car. I had to cut down on the bottom and protect my territory.”
Entering the race with a three-point lead over Kuntz in the rain-shortened three-race INEX Legends Tour, Williams took the lead heading into lap four and beat out Kuntz and Wishek’s Donavin Wiest by less than one-half second. Williams started on the inside of row five and passed pole-sitter Paul Morman of Wishek.
“It’s unbelievable,” Williams said. “This is awesome to come out and do it for the fans. I have my kids out here. We do it as a family affair.”
Kuntz did everything he could to pass Williams, knowing that he needed to finish ahead of him to take the Legends Tour crown. Kuntz entered Sunday’s race with momentum after winning the second leg of the tour at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan on Friday. But Kuntz was unable to get the opening he was looking for to take the lead.
“He was right around the guardrail and as soon as I stuck my nose down there and he knew I was there, he moved down and took my line away,” Kuntz said. “I tried to set him up on (turn) four because his car was pushing up on turn four and I could turn into the tackier part of the track. I was going to try and get a run on him, but I ran it into the last corner a little too light and couldn’t get the run off the corner.”
The race’s first caution on lap three helped Williams break away from Morman and he battled with Kuntz around the 0.375-mile track for the final 14 laps. After rain canceled the scheduled third leg of the Legends Tour at McLean County Speedway on Saturday, both drivers knew exactly where they stood entering Sunday.
“The point race was in my mind the whole race,” Kuntz said. “I knew I had to beat him to win it. Shane raced a great tour. We’ve been racing neck and neck the last two weeks and it’s been great.”
Minot’s Allen Kent trailed fellow Minot native Jason Wolla for the majority of the IMCA Modifieds race before taking over the lead in the final few laps to win the race.
Kent pulled away from the field after taking the lead and finished more than a second in front of Wolla, who finished second. The race ran like the ones that preceded it – with caution flags abounding. Four racers did not finish the 25-lap race as the 24 cars struggled to find space to operate along the turns.
Aaron and Ed Turnbull of Estevan, Sask., finished third and fourth, respectively. Minot’s Steven Pfeifer finished fifth.
A week after taking second to his father Joe in the IMCA Stocks race, Williston’s Dalton Flory was second to none Sunday.
With Joe forced to exit the race on lap nine after committing the fourth caution of the race, Dalton made sure the Flory name would stay in victory lane. Dalton never surrendered the lead after starting on the pole.
Minot’s Bob Fuegmann and Randy Conway finished less than a second behind Dalton, placing second and third, respectively.
Six cautions, a five-car wreck and a caution-checkered finish later, Minot’s Robby Rosselli found himself in victory lane in the IMCA Sport Modifieds race.
Rosselli took the lead from pole sitter Eric Folstad of Glenburn on the first lap and led the rest of the way. The driver of the No. 0 car held off fellow Minot native Nathan Burke on the final lap by 0.334 seconds.
The race was marred by cautions that claimed 10 of the 24 drivers. A five-car incident on corner four of lap four took out Brock Beeter, Robbie Conway, Jordan Huettl, Mike Lemay and Isaac Sondrol. Conway began the race in third.
Flory was forced to exit the race after being charged with the race’s sixth caution. Flory was running third at the time after starting on the inside of row eight.