Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour checkers fly for defending champ at Minot

Defending champion Hunter Marriott was the Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic IMCA Modified Tour winner Sunday at Nodak Speedway. (Photo by Byron Fichter)

MINOT, N.D. (July 9) – Once he found his way back to the front, there was no catching Hunter Marriott on night two of the Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic IMCA Modified Tour.

The defending tour champion got the lead back from Billy Kendall and checked out on the way to the $2,300 checkers Sunday at Nodak Speedway. The 30-lapper ran caution-free and Marriott was in and out of lapped traffic much of the way.

Ninety Modifieds, plus 42 IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, checked in at Minot. Johnny Scott, former tour champions Ricky Thornton Jr. and Aaron Turnbull, and Joel Rust rounded out the top five behind Marriott.

Already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, Marriott started third and had the lead when the first lap was scored.

Kendall ran higher on the oval to take the front spot away. The front pair ran side-by-side before Marriott got the lead back and ran away from the pack, winning a straightaway ahead of Scott.

“I didn’t think the race would be won from the top so I stayed on the bottom and it all worked out,” Marriott said. “I didn’t need to go to the higher line because I didn’t have much trouble passing lapped cars.”

Marriott had finished fourth in his most recent Dakota Tour outing at Minot, in 2015. He was 10th in the Sunday show at Jamestown.

“It can all change overnight,” Marriott said following his career second tour victory. “You have to roll with the punches and do the best you can.”

Aaron Olson was the $800 winner after starting 15th in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main.

An early caution put pole starter, opening night winner and three-time tour champion Elijah Zevenbergen at the tail while Kyle Pfeifer used the extreme low line to race from ninth starting to the lead.

Pfeifer led most of the way, finally giving way to Curt Lund. Olson found enough momentum to get past both and won ahead of the hard-charging Zevenbergen, Pfeifer, Austin Daae, who’d also been charged with an early yellow, and Dalton Flory.

The tour travels to Estevan Motor Speedway for a Monday, July 10 show featuring both Modifieds and Stock Cars. All six tour events are broadcast by IMCATV.

Feature Results

Modifeds – 1. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 2. Johnny Scott, Cameron, Mo.; 3. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, Ariz.; 4. Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 5. Joel Rust, Grundy Center, Iowa; 6. Billy Kendall, Baxter, Minn.; 7. Corey Dripps, Reinbeck, Iowa; 8. Kody Scholpp, Estevan, Sask.; 9. Travis Hagen, Williston; 10. Jason Wolla, Ray; 11. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.; 12. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 13. Jason Grimes, Jamestown; 14. Tim Ward, Harcourt, Iowa; 15. Justin O’Brien, West Union, Iowa; 16. Chris Bragg, Springtown, Texas; 17. Josh McGaha, Abilene, Texas; 18. Tyler Peterson, Hickson; 19. Steven Pfeifer, Minot; 20. Paul Stone, Winton, Calif.; 21. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa; 22. Cody Bauman, Eureka, Ill.; 23. Jerad Thelen, Minot; 24. Ryan Mikkelson, Jamestown; 25. Masen Big Eagle, Manor, Sask.; 26. Travis Ulmer, Mandan; 27. Marlyn Seidler, Underwood; 28. Spencer Wilson, Minot; 29. Drew Christianson, Minot; 30. Lance Mari, Imperial, Calif.

Stock Cars – 1. Aaron Olson, Mekinock; 2. Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan, Iowa; 3. Kyle Pfeifer, Hill City, Kan.; 4. Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.; 5. Dalton Flory, Williston; 6. Curt Lund, Redwood Falls; 7. Chad Sterling, Stockton, Kan.; 8. Cody Dignan, Burlington, N.D.; 9. Jake Nelson, Williston; 10. Michael Vennes, Minot; 11. Cody Nelson, Kenmare; 12. Joren Boyce, Minot; 13. Jason Schoenberger, Russell, Kan.; 14. Joe Flory, Williston; 15. Chris Ellis, Stanley; 16. Jeremy Swanson, Westby, Mont.; 17. Keith Mattox, Ray; 18. Alan Bertsch, Minot; 19. Gary Goudy Jr., Stoughton, Sask.; 20. Mike Gotch, Regina, Sask.; 21. Jayden Bears, Smithville, Mo.; 22. Angel Munoz, Lamar, Colo.; 23. Eric Harpole, Bismarck; 24. Beau Deschamp, Bottineau; 25. Jody York, Lubbock, Texas; 26. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn.; 27. Perry Misner, Albert, Kan.; 28. Kevin Mattox, Ray.