Stien scores second career Sprint Series of Minnesota championship

His banner 2016 campaign saw Michael Stien (second from left) earn IMCA EMI RaceSaver Sprint Car track titles at Arlington Raceway and Jackson Motorplex, as well as Sprint Series of Minnesota and Allstar Performance Minne­sota state crowns.  From left are Mike Long of division title sponsor EMI, Stien, RaceSaver founder French Grimes and IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bryce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

CEYLON, Minn. – The feature victories weren’t there like they were in previous years but his con­sistency made Michael Stien a big winner this season.

Along with his second Sprint Series of Minnesota title in three years, Stien scored his career third Allstar Performance State crown plus third straight Arlington Raceway and first Jackson Mo­torplex track championships.

“We set out to win the series and Arlington track championship,” said Stien, from Ceylon. “Every­thing started going our way at Jackson so we started chasing points at the end of the point sea­son.”

Stien finished in the top five in half a dozen of his series starts. He complemented three wins with seven second-place showings while finishing fifth in the national standings.

“We’ve had years where we’ve won more but we got a lot of seconds this season,” he said. “You’d always rather win but second places were good enough to have a good season this year.”

Long-time driver Mike Sargent heads up the crew for Stien, who lives an hour and a half from the shop, and spent three or four nights a week working on the car.

“I grew up watching the races at Arlington and wanting to drive a Sprint Car, so I love the half-miles. I’m very comfortable with big tracks like Arlington, Redwood and Jackson,” Stien said. “I’m kind of partial to Redwood, too, because it’s always dry slick. It’s a driver’s track. You have to have your car dialed in there.”

Starts: 11

Wins: 0

Top Fives: 6 

HIS CREW: Father Steven, wife Tisha and children Mikey, Maddi and Lincoln, and Mike Sargent. 

HIS SPONSORS: Kahler Automation of Fairmont; Vetter’s Sales & Service of Kasota; Edigar Auctioneers of Belle Plaine; Glen’s Painting and Tree Service of Gaylord; Full Tilt Performance of Jackson; and A & B Weld­ing of Thompson, Iowa.