Strand takes Modifieds lead into final night

Unlike the rest of the races held at Nodak Speedway, Motor Magic can’t be won in a day.

Winning the opening-night race doesn’t hurt, however, as Shawn Strand heads into the final day of Motor Magic with the points lead in the International Motor Contest Association Modifieds standings after winning the feature on Saturday.

Strand grabbed the lead away from Shawn Anderson on the 13th lap and battled lap traffic en route to the checkered flag. Strand led 10 of the final 13 laps.

“I had a pretty decent starting spot on the high spot,” Strand said. “I like to run up there. Right away I was in the top three and had a good battle. Ed (Turnbull) and Shawn Anderson had fast cars and they were running the high line where I wanted to be so I did a little hunting and found another lane down low and got some good drive down there.”

Strand started on the inside of Row 3 before moving up to fourth four laps in. He climbed to third two laps later before trailing Anderson and Turnbull the next seven laps. He passed both of them on Lap 13.

Anderson didn’t lay down after being overtaken by Strand as he immediately regained the lead on the next lap. Lap traffic came into play soon after and Anderson held the lead for three laps before Strand passed him for good on Lap 17.

Turnbull started second and finished second despite spending the second half of the race in third. Turnbull passed Anderson on the final lap, crossing the finish line 0.158 seconds faster. Mason Big Eagle and Allen Kent finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Modifieds feature was the only race not to draw a caution flag.

Strand will return to Nodak Speedway tonight looking to capture the Motor Magic Modifieds title and the $900 prize that comes with it. He said winning Saturday won’t change his approach entering tonight’s season finale.

“We’ll go into it the same way we did tonight,” Strand said. “I know I have a pretty decent and hopefully we can get a little better draw tomorrow. Started third row in the heat tonight, which isn’t bad, but it’s important to win that heat race and get started up toward the front of the pack in the feature.”

Austin Daae withstood a few late restarts to win the IMCA Stock Cars feature, holding off Joe Flory by less than a second. Daae was on cruise control early, lengthening his lead with each lap. While the order behind him continuously changed, Daae held a firm grip on the lead.

That changed with two cautions on Lap 15, bringing the rest of the field up to the Estevan, Saskatchewan, native. But Daae never squandered his lead, giving him his sixth feature win of the season at Nodak Speedway.

Mike Swallers finished third after starting from outside the top five. Chris Ellis took fourth and Billy Preston finished fifth.

What started as a battle between Donavin Wiest and Troy Hoff became a dual between Wiest and Shane Williams in the INEX Legends feature. In the end, it was Williams that captured the checkered flag, edging Wiest by 0.601 seconds.

Williams passed Hoff for second on Lap 9 and overtook Wiest on a restart with three laps remaining. Hoff fell back as far as fourth when Steven Kuntz passed him on the same restart, but he reclaimed his third place spot with two laps remaining.

Kuntz finished fourth and Tom Wagner grabbed fifth.

Wyatt Olson grabbed the lead halfway through the IMCA Sport Modifieds feature and ran away with it, winning the A-main by 2.719 seconds over Myles Tomlinson. Olson started the race on the outside of Row 2, moved into third on Lap 4 and was running second three laps later.

It quickly became a two-car race between Olson and Tomlinson and Olson was able to track down to 15T on the front straightway on Lap 11. Olson and Tomlinson finished well ahead of the rest of the field as Tomlinson crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of Stan Tomlinson.

Motor Magic got off to a rocky start as the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature was cut short by five laps after six cautions caused the race to reach its time limit before reaching the regularly scheduled 15 laps. In the end it was Riley Raynard who emerged victorious throughout the wreckage.

Raynard took the lead on the opening lap and held off Kevin Mattox and Josh Defoe, who finished second and third, respectively. Leevi Runge took fourth, followed by Phillip Keller in fifth.

The race was marred by caution flags, especially at the latter end. There were four yellow flags thrown in the final laps, causing the A-main to reach its allotted time limit. The red flag came out when Adam Goff’s car flipped on the back straightaway, causing a lengthy delay. He was uninjured.

Racing at Nodak Speedway concludes for the season today at 5 p.m. with the final day of Motor Magic. All five classes are in action.

Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.

Unoffical Results

IMCA Hobby Stocks

Heat 1: 1. Kevin Mattox, Ray; 2. Ron Joern; 3. Kadi Ruby, Minot.

Heat 2: 1. Riley Raynard; 2. Jason Olsen, Minot; 3. Josh Defoe, Williston.

Heat 3: 1. Cody Dignan, Kenmare; 2. Adam Goff, Minot; 3. Andrew Sebastian, Minot.

B-main: 1. Vance Tomlinson, Turtle Lake; 2. Mike Wilson; 3. Ben Zietz; 4. Phillip Keller; 5. Nate Joern.

A-main: 1. Raynard; 2. Mattox; 3. Defoe; 4. Leevi Runge; 5. Keller.

IMCA Sport Modifieds

Heat 1: 1. Stan Tomlinson, Turtle Lake; 2. Mike Lemay, Westhope; 3. Brock Beeter, Minot.

Heat 2: 1. Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake, 2. Zach Lutz, Burlington; 3. Brady Bjella, Mesa, Ariz.

Heat 3: 1. Isaac Sondrol, Turtle Lake; 2. Wyatt Olson, Des Lacs; 3. Jeff Hooker, Minot.

A-main: 1. Olson; 2. Myles Tomlinson; 3. Stan Tomlinson; 4. Eric Folstad; 5. Sondrol.

INEX Legends

Heat 1: 1. Troy Hoff, Flasher; 2. Nate Keena; 3. Steven Kuntz, Bismarck.

Heat 2: 1. Donavin Wiest, Wishek; 2. Tom Wagner, Mercer; 3. Andrew Jochim, Wishek.

A-main: 1. Shane Williams, Minot; 2. Wiest; 3. Hoff; 4. Kuntz; 5. Wagner.

IMCA Stock Cars

Heat 1: 1. Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Joe Flory, Williston; 3. Dave Swallers, Williston.

Heat 2: 1. Rob Stenvold, Minot; 2. Scott Yale, Minot; 3. Dalton Flory, Williston.

Heat 3: 1. Billy Preston, Burlington; 2. Chris Ellis, Minot; 3. Harley Berg.

A-main: 1. Daae; 2. Joe Flory; 3. Mike Swallers; 4. Ellis; 5. Preston.

IMCA Modifieds

Heat 1: 1. Steven Pfeifer, Minot; 2. Allen Kent, Minot; 3. Jerad Thelen, Bismarck.

Heat 2: 1. Shawn Anderson, Minot; 2. Mason Big Eagle, Manor, Sask.; 3. Jim Harris.

Heat 3: 1. John Flory, Williston; 2. Troy Heupel, Williston; 3. Tanner Matthewson.

Heat 4: 1. Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Shawn Strand, Mandan; 3. Drew Christianson, Minot.

B-main: 1. Randy Conway, Minot; 2. Wayne Johnson; 3. Travis Olheiser; 4. Josh Wolla; 5. Mark Neu.

A-main: 1. Strand; 2. Turnbull; 3. Anderson; 4. Big Eagle; 5. Kent.