Turnbull takes Motor Magic title

Nodak Speedway holds a special spot in Ed Turnbull’s heart.

That’s why it pained him to have so few opportunities to race on one of his favorite tracks throughout the season. He got busy with work and the constant battle with Mother Nature limited him to just a few appearances this year.

Despite the lack of repetition at the three-eighths track this season, Turnbull looked right at home this weekend, winning the International Motor Contest Association Modifieds feature Sunday to go along with a second-place finish the night before. He accumulated 79 points in the Motor Magic point standings, giving him the title over Mason Big Eagle by three points.

Saturday’s winner, Shawn Strand, was involved in a crash on the first turn, ending his night before it got going and also crushing any hopes he had at the Motor Magic title. Strand was one of eight cars collected in the opening-lap crash. Others included Drew Christianson and Jerad Thelen, who were in the hunt for the championship.

“It changed the race a little bit,” Turnbull said of the wreck. “Those guys are pretty fast and that 29 car (Christianson) would have been hard to get by. He could have been a potential winner.”

Turnbull avoided the wreck and jumped out to a commanding lead on the restart. It looked as if Turnbull would be the sure winner, but a caution on the 14th lap brought the rest of the field to him. Bob Heffer’s car went off the back straightaway, prompting the yellow flag to come out.

That set up a back-and-forth contest between Turnbull and Big Eagle the rest of the way. Turnbull held on to the lead after each lap, but Big Eagle was right on his bumper and sometimes even closer. In the end, Turnbull crossed the finish line 0.901 seconds before Big Eagle to give him the Motor Magic title.

“The race went very well,” Turnbull said. “All the cards fell my way. There was a wreck right away in front of me and I was able to avoid it. I found my line early and I stuck to it pretty well the whole race.”

Cody Nelson claimed the IMCA Stock Cars feature, but had to settle for second in the Motor Magic point standings as Austin Daae took the title by two points with his fourth-place finish on Sunday.

Daae seemed fine with sticking to the middle of the pack as he didn’t contend for the lead at any point. He remained in eighth throughout the majority of the feature before making his move with a few laps to go. He cracked the top five for the first time with two laps remaining and took fourth to win the Motor Magic title by two points over Nelson.

“It was a faster track tonight and once I found my lane for my car to go, once I hit that consistently, I was able to pick up a few more spots,” Daae said.

Joe Flory was running second in the early going and would have claimed the title if he would have finished in that same position. Unfortunately, Flory, who took second the night before, didn’t finish after experience car trouble six laps in.

Troy Hoff threw a wrench in Shane Williams’ plans of winning the INEX Legends Motor Magic title. Instead, Hoff grabbed the title with his first-place finish on Sunday to earn a share of the points lead at 194, but won the tiebreaker with his better finish on the final night.

Hoff, who finished third Saturday, went wire-to-wire to grab the checkered flag on Sunday. He held off Steven Kuntz by 1.038 seconds.

Williams was primed to take the Motor Magic title, running in second for the majority of the race. But Kuntz caught him with four laps remaining and he never allowed Williams to reclaim the runner-up position. As a result, Hoff’s victory, coupled with Williams third-place finish, caused the two to share the Motor Magic title. Kuntz took third with 188 points.

Donavin Wiest, who was second in the standings entering the night, was involved in a collision on the third lap and couldn’t complete the race.

Wyatt Olson won the IMCA Sport Modifieds feature for the second consecutive night and claimed the Motor Magic title with a maximum 80 points. He took the lead from Robbie Conway on Lap 11 and again on Lap 13. He led the final eight laps, winning by a margin of 1.681 seconds over Conway.

Conway had the fastest car throughout the first half of the race before the only caution of the night brought him back to the rest of the pack. He led for another two laps before surrendering his advantage to Olson.

Eric Folstad grabbed third, followed by Jeff Hooker and Isaac Sondrol.

Folstad finished second in the point standings with 75. He finished third Saturday.

The IMCA Hobby Stocks endured its second consecutive rough night, but unlike on Saturday, the feature went the full 15 laps. In the end, it was Brock Beeter, driving someone else’s car, who took the checkered flag, winning by 3.541 seconds.

Beeter went from the back of the pack to the front in a span of 10 laps. He cracked the top five on Lap 8 and quickly made his move into the lead.

Riley Raynard, who won Saturday’s race, finished second and claimed the Motor Magic title with 79 total points. He finished five points ahead of Josh Defoe, who took fifth Saturday and third Sunday. Leevi Runge and Phillip Keller rounded out the top five of Sunday’s race.

The A-main featured six cautions, the final five over a five-lap stretch.

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

Unofficial Results

IMCA Hobby Stocks

Heat 1: 1. Vance Tomlinson; 2. Kadi Ruby, Minot; 3. Scott Joern, Minot.

Heat 2: 1. Cody Dignan, Kenmare; 2. Keith Mattox, Ray; 3. Jace Iverson.

Heat 3: 1. Phillip Keller, Williston; 2. Josh Defoe, Williston; 3. Ben Zietz, Velva.

B-main: 1. Blake Penna, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Kalden Heggen; 3. Adam Goff; 4. Leevi Runge; 5. Ron Joern.

A-main: 1. Brock Beeter, Minot; 2. Riley Raynard; 3. Dignan; 4. Tomlinson; 5. Defoe.

IMCA Sport Modifieds

Heat 1: 1. Varion Hetle; 2. Andrew Bertsch, Minot; 3. Jason Kniffen, Minot.

Heat 2: 1. Robbie Conway, Westhope; 2. Kevin Eklund, Sawyer; 3. Zach Lutz, Burlington.

Heat 3: 1. Eric Folstad, Glenburn; 2. Wyatt Olson, Des Lacs; 3. Jeff Hooker, Minot.

A-main: 1. Olson; 2. Conway; 3. Folstad; 4. Hooker; 5. Isaac Sondrol.

INEX Legends

Heat 1: 1. Troy Hoff, Flasher; 2. Drew Papke, Bismarck; 3. Nate Keena.

Heat 2: 1. Ivan Sailer, Bismarck; 2. Donavin Wiest, Wishek; 3. Shane Williams, Minot.

A-main: 1. Hoff; 2. Steven Kuntz; 3. Williams; 4. Tom Wagner; 5. Keena.

IMCA Stock Cars

Heat 1: 1. Cody Nelson, Kenmare; 2. Rob Stenvold, Minot; 3. Joe Flory, Williston.

Heat 2: 1. Dalton Flory, Williston; 2. Blaine Durward; 3. Beau Deschamp, Bottineau.

A-main: 1. Nelson; 2. Flory; 3. Scott Yale; 4. Austin Daae; 5. Chris Ellis.

IMCA Modifieds

Heat 1: 1. Josh Wolla, Tioga; 2. Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 3. Tyler Wagner.

Heat 2: 1. Jordan Huettl, Minot; 2. Mason Big Eagle, Manor, Sask.; 3. Bob Heffer.

Heat 3: 1. Drew Christianson, Minot; 2. Jett Big Eagle, Manor, Sask.; 3. Donald Robinson, Underwood.

Heat 4: 1. Jerad Thelen, Bismarck; 2. Steven Pfeifer, Minot; 3. John Flory, Williston.

B-main: 1. Spencer Wilson, Minot; 2. Troy Heupel; 3. Randy Conway; 4. Dallas Rice; 5. Jamall Wold.

A-main: 1. Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Mason Big Eagle; 3. Jett Big Eagle; 4. Pfeifer; 5. Donald Robinson.