There was plenty of strategy on display during the International Motor Contest Association Modifieds feature Sunday at Nodak Speedway.
Donald Robinson, Steven Pfeifer and Marlyn Seidler all had a taste of the lead during the back-and-forth race, but it was Robinson who found victory lane, finishing 1.994 seconds in front of Pfeifer. It was Robinson’s first victory at Nodak Speedway and just his second in his two-year career.
Robinson didn’t officially take his first lead of the night until their were seven laps remaining. He got a whiff of the lead six laps in, when he found space toward the top of the track to maneuver by Seidler. But an ensuing caution dropped Robinson back to second and Seidler used the stoppage to rethink his gameplan. Instead of hugging the bottom, Seidler went high and blocked Robinson’s path.
“The one caution we had I did not want to see that,” Robinson said. “I got moved back to second and then (Seidler) moved up in the line I was running. I was faster than him, but I just couldn’t get around him.”
With Robinson and Seidler battling at the top of the track, Pfeifer went low to grab the lead. Pfeifer started from outside the top five, but moved up to third on the eighth lap before making his move.
“Because the top looked so good at the beginning, that’s where everybody headed, so I just went where nobody else was and that’s how I got by them,” Pfeifer said. “The second I got the lead I went to the top because I knew there had to be a reason everyone was up there. I was OK up there, I just wasn’t great.”
Robinson fell back to third when Pfeifer took the lead, but with Pfeifer in front, Seidler opted to go low. Robinson stayed high and passed Seidler with 10 laps remaining and started running down Pfeifer. He grabbed the lead with seven laps left, but Pfeifer reclaimed the advantage on the next lap. The two jockeyed for position until Robinson grabbed the lead for good 20 laps in.
“It’s one of them deals where it wasn’t the best race to be leading because there were multiple lines and you don’t know which one’s better, so I’m trying to drive both of them and still be respectful of who’s coming behind you,” Pfeifer said. “It’s just a guessing game when you’re up front like that. I just wasn’t as good as he was at the end.”
Seidler settled for third. Wayne Johnson and Shawn Anderson finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Austin Daae is beginning to feel right at home at Nodak Speedway. The Estevan, Saskatchewan, native claimed his fourth checkered flag in the IMCA Stock Cars feature Sunday. Daae came from the middle of the pack to pass Dalton Flory on the 10th lap and led the rest of the way.
Scott Yale started on the pole but lost his advantage when Dave Swallers passed him on the third lap. Swallers and Flory battled for the lead the next few laps before Daae stormed past both of them.
Nathan Burke finished third after a late charge and Bob Fuegmann took fourth. Rob Stenvold finished fifth.
A caution on the final lap spoiled what could have been a photo finish in the INEX Legends feature. Donavin Wiest and Shane Williams were separated by 0.006 seconds heading into the final lap when a spin behind them ended the race under caution.
Wiest was awarded the A-main victory having led the last completed lap prior to the caution. Wiest grabbed the lead from Steven Kuntz on the eighth lap and held off Williams by the slimmest of margins. Williams took the second spot from Kuntz with five laps remaining and ran out of time to catch Wiest.
Kuntz took third, Drew Papke finished fourth and Troy Hoff rounded out the top five.
Robby Rosselli got a good jump on the final restart and passed Zac Lutz with two laps remaining to win the IMCA Sport Modifieds feature. Rosselli, running fourth when the final caution came out, cruised past Jon Lizotte, Erik Laudenschlager and Lutz coming out of the first turn and held off the competition for a spot in victory lane.
Lutz settled for second, 0.997 seconds behind Rosselli. Justin Medler finished third, followed by Robbie Conway and Jeff Hooker in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Brock Beeter edged Brad King by 0.252 seconds to win the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature and inched closer to the top of the point standings. Beeter entered the race trailing King by seven points.
The Minot native moved from the fourth position with eight laps remaining to the second spot in one lap. He passed King, running fourth at the time, and Darren Schatz.
Cody Dignan led the majority of the race before getting run down by Beeter on the final few laps. Dignan finished third, 0.982 seconds behind Beeter. He took third, Kadi Ruby fourth and Schatz fifth.
Racing returns to Nodak Speedway on Sunday at 6 p.m. as all five classes are in action. It will also be the final night of the four-day Legends Tour, which starts Thurday at Tri-County Speedway in Wishek.
Mike Kraft covers the Minot Vistas and racing during the summer. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Brad King, Fairbanks, Alaska; 2. Kadi Ruby, Minot; 3. Cody Dignan, Kenmare.
Heat 2: 1. Dana Brandt, Minot; 2. Phillip Keller, Williston; 3. Keith Mattox, Williston.
Heat 3: 1. Scott Joern, Minot; 2. Brock Beeter, Minot; 3. Adam Goff, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Beeter; 2. King; 3. Dignan; 4. Ruby; 5. Darren Schatz.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1: 1. Nathan Burke, Minot; 2. Jon Lizotte, Grand Forks; 3. Robby Rosselli, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Stan Tomlinson, Turtle Lake; 2. Wyatt Olson, Des Lacs; 3. Kelly Henderson, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Isaac Sondrol, Turtle Lake; 2. Erik Laudenschlager, Surrey; 3. Ryan Wolla, Tioga.
Heat 4: 1. Robbie Conway, Westhope; 2. Jeff Hooker, Minot; 3. Zac Lutz, Burlington.
B-Main 1: *1. Varion Hetle; *2. Tory Mack; 3. Matt Lizotte; 4. Dustin Morgan; 5. Shayne Heggen.
B-Main 2: *1. Brandon Beeter; *2. Matt Lang; 3. Eric Folstad; 4. Dennis Chapman; 5. Jason Kniffen.
A-Main: 1. Rosselli; 2. Lutz; 3. Justin Medler; 4. Conway; 5. Hooker.
*Transferred into A-Main
Heat 1: 1. Donavin Wiest, Wishek; 2. Drew Papke, Bismarck; 3. Troy Hoff, Flasher.
Heat 2: 1. Shane Williams, Minot; 2. Tom Wagner, Mercer; 3. Jon Schumann, Mercer.
A-Main: 1. Wiest; 2. Williams; 3. Steven Kuntz; 4. Papke; 5. Hoff.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Michael Vennes, Minot; 2. Scott Yale, Minot; 3. Dave Swallers, Williston.
Heat 2: 1. Nathan Burke, Minot; 2. Rob Stenvold, Minot; 3. Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.
A-Main: 1. Daae; 2. Dalton Flory; 3. Burke; 4. Bob Fuegmann; 5. Stenvold.
Heat 1: 1. Marlyn Seidler, Underwood; 2. Donald Robinson, Underwood; 3. Eric Sinness, Williston.
Heat 2: 1. Troy Kittler, Turtle Lake; 2. Steven Pfeifer, Minot; 3. Josh Wolla, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Travis Hagen, Williston; 2. Wayne Johnson, Minot; 3. Jason Wolla, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Robinson; 2. Pfeifer; 3. Seidler; 4. Johnson; 5. Shawn Anderson.