Stien knows way to winner’s circle in Minnesota Sprint Series opener

Michael Stien was the Saturday night winner when the Minnesota IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Series opened at Arlington Raceway. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)

ARLINGTON, Minn. (May 29) – Michael Stien’s latest Arlington Raceway feature win came on Saturday, opening night of the Minnesota IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Series.

Nineteen cars were entered and Stien survived multiple cautions in the victory. 

Trevor Serbus, who had started 12th, moved up to challenge Stien but had to settle for second ahead of Neil Stevens. Justin Allen and Troy Manteufel completed the top five. 

Trent Loverude drove to his first local IMCA Modified win of the year ahead of Clint Hatlestad and Brandon Beckendorf. 

The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature had 24 cars on the grid and three different leaders in the race. Matt Schauer led the first nine laps of the race from his front row start before the first caution was thrown. On the restart, A.J. Zimmerman got around Schauer and led the following three laps. Cars were three-wide at times and extremely close. 

By lap 13, Chad Schroeder took over the lead with Ryan Bjerkeset racing him side-by-side. Zimmerman wasn’t giving up as he took the second place spot once again. On the white flag lap, Schauer stomped on the gas and was on Schroeder’s tail but he settled for second with Zimmerman third, just inches ahead of Bjerkeset. 

The Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod feature was a nailbiter throughout the flag-to-flag race. Travis Schurmann took the initial lead but had the company of Eric Bassett. By lap seven, Eric Larson was also in the mix. 

A few laps later, Larson exchanged spots with Basset as he had his sights on taking the win. Schurmann held on until the white flag lap when Larson glided past him to take the lead and win the race. Schurmann was able to take second ahead of fast moving Matt Looft. 

Cory Probst held off Matt Olson for the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock checkers and R.J. Esqueda prevailed in the Mach-1 Sport Compact main.