Veteran drivers find victory lane on opening night at Arlington

Former national champion and six-time Arlington Raceway track champion Cory Probst celebrated his birthday with the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature win on opening night at the Minnesota speedplant. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)

ARLINGTON, Minn. (May 14, 2022) – Veteran drivers found their way to victory lane for the 42nd consecutive opener at the Arlington Raceway Saturday night.

2020 national champion Cory Probst had a great birthday present as he drew the pole for the start in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby feature. Chad Volk moved forward from his seventh place start to challenge Probst but settled for second. Jordan Robinson from Marshall won the Hess Technology best appearing car award in the division. 

Four-time national champion Nate Coopman started in the number one spot for the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact feature but the 23 cars behind him also wanted that top spot and some got a bit clustered as the race went on. 

A yellow flag came out on the sixth lap. On the restart, Coopman managed to take the lead again with Alan Lahr on his back bumper. Another yellow lap came out as Coopman had mechanical troubles and pulled into the pit area.

That gave Brett McConnell the lead as he had passed Lahr for the lead and eventual win. Lahr and R.J. Esqueda finished 2-3. McConnell was a triple crown winner as he won his heat, feature and the best appearing car contest.

Four-time and defending national champion Matt Looft drew the outside front row start for the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature and led through five yellow flags and restarts to win the race.

Tony Stephensmeir tried to battle with Looft but had to settle for 2nd ahead of Eric Bassett who had moved forward after being involved in a yellow flag incident on lap 3. Charlie Rustman from St. Peter won the best appearing car contest.

Trevor Serbus, last year’s IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car track champion was leading the race by lap three, getting around six cars. Serbus stayed out front following a lap six caution with Mike Stien powering through to gain nine spots and try to catch up.

Serbus motored to win the checkers ahead of Stien and Brandon Buysse. Serbus also won the best appearing car contest.

The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature saw 22 cars begin the feature and three different leaders in the 20-lap race. Matt Schauer took full advantage of his number one pill draw. He led the first eight laps until a yellow flag came out.

Ryan Bjerkeset was then able to take over the lead but Schauer battled back and forth with him for the balance of the race. With only a few laps left, Chad Schroeder joined the mix. Dave Moriarty moved up from fifth on the white flag lap but on the last circuit Bjerkeset edged past Moriarty for second.

A.J. Zimmerman won the best appearing car contest in this class. 

The Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature saw Brandon Beckendorf draw the pole for the start and he stayed in the number one spot throughout the duration of the race. Trent Loverude took second and Toby Patchen took third. Jason Schroeder won the beat appearing car contest.