Close racing the rule at Arlington

Brett McConnell’s last-lap pass led straight to victory lane in the Saturday Mach-1 Sport Compact feature at Arlington Raceway. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)

ARLINGTON, Minn. (July 24) – Hot racing action on the track made for some very close tight racing in all the divisions for the Mankato Motorsports and Northland Drying Night Saturday at Arlington Raceway.

There was a lot of slicing and dicing in the IMCA Modified feature with three different leaders. Rick Nelson led the first three laps from the pole until Trent Loverude invaded his territory coming from eighth place to battle him.

Alongside Loverude was Chad Porter. Loverude took over the lead but only for two laps as Porter led the next three laps. Then the two were driving around lapped traffic and a yellow came out for a spinning car in turn one. On the restart, Dan Menk got the jump on Porter and was now in second behind Loverude … but that didn’t last long as Porter rejoined the two driving from the top of the track to the bottom to gain positions. 

With two laps to go, Clint Hatlestad was also in the mix and another caution came out. With that Hatlestad blocked the high side from Porter and was able to capture second just behind Loverude at the checkered flag. Porter followed in third.

The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature saw three different leaders as well. Dave Moriarty led the first three laps until a caution was thrown for Josh Larsen, who spun in turn two. On the restart, Shaun Bruns took over the front spot. 

Moriarty regained the lead two laps later only to relinquish to Bruns one more time and regain it again coming around the track for the ninth lap. By lap 10, Bruns had a bit of distance on Moriarty and led for the next six laps. On lap 15, Dan Mackenthun, who had started ninth, was moving in quickly and as the three drivers maneuvered around lapped traffic.

Mackenthun led the race just feet ahead of Bruns to win. Moriarty followed the two to the flag feet ahead of Curt Lund, who finished fourth after starting 19th in the field.

A first-lap caution flag was thrown in the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint feature when the 66 of Neil Stevens had troubles with his car. Mike Stien led the first three laps until Bill Johnson got around him and then distanced himself from Stien. Trevor Serbus moved through the field to challenge Stien but couldn’t touch Johnson. Stien was able to hold off Serbus to take second while Serbus settled for third ahead of Jeremy Schultz. 

The Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod feature saw three different leaders as well. Fuzzy Albrecht led the first lap but by lap five had troubles and went into the pit area. The no. 31 of Travis Schurmann was fast as he took the lead but by lap seven he had the company of Matt Looft. He was able to hold Looft off for until lap 11 when Looft slid past him. Looft then led the remaining laps with Schurmann taking second ahead of Jason Schroeder.

Tayte Harazin has been on a hot streak in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. He led the first half of the flag to flag race but in the second half had to contend with Cory Probst and Jed Trebelhorn. The three were neck and neck for several laps and in the end, Probst won with Harazin second and Trebelhorn in third.

It looked as if Austin Frederich was going to pick up the win in the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature as he, too, led every lap except the one that counted in the flag to flag race. As the checkered was being displayed, Brett McConnell made a last-lap pass to take the win for an exciting end to the race. Frederich took second ahead of Marshall Robinson.