Arlington Raceway lifts lid on 44th season

Blake Luinenburg was the opening night IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock winner Saturday at Arlington Raceway. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)

ARLINGTON, Minn. (May 11, 2024) – The 44th season opener at Arlington Raceway brought out many race teams and fans in the stands that enjoyed seeing some great racing action and many new firsts.

Blake Luinenburg took the lead from Ben Davis on the second lap and won the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock headliner. Cory Probst, chasing a third straight and ninth career track title, moved up five spots to take a close second with Brad Becker right behind him. 

Nick McConnell won the Best Appearing Car Contest and the wrapped helmet from Hess Technology.

Brandon Hartmann from Fairmont led the entire Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact feature. Starting up front and holding off both Neil Forsberg and Justin Dose, he seemed to glide around the smooth track.

Dale Gattton won the Best Appearing Car Contest and the wrapped helmet from Hess Technology.

Brandon Hartmann returned to Arlington Raceway and motored to the opening night Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact feature victory. (Photo by Sarah Moriarty)

Matt Looft was able to pick up the win in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature despite an injury earlier in the day. The 23m of Matt Speiss began the race leading from his pole position start but left the track on the sixth lap.

Looft capitalized on this and gained the lead, passing six cars to take over the race. Eric Bassett, after starting in 10th place, was contending with Looft but fell back a spot when Eric Larson got around him; he wasn’t able to pass Looft though and settled for second ahead of Bassett.

The Hess Technology Best Appearing Car award went to Matt Speiss.

Picking up his first-ever season-opening win, Brett Allen led from start to finish in the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car feature.

Behind him there was a battle going on between the father son duo of Bill and Matt Johnson. Coming around for the white flag, Bill got around Matt and then tried to gain on Brett but he settled for taking second ahead of son Matt.

Allen also won the Hess Technology Best Appearing Car Contest in the class.

Twenty-six drivers signed in for the IMCA Sunoco Stock car show. The race put fans on the edge of their seats as the battle for the top five spots was phenomenal.

Dan Mackenthun started in the second row with Jeff Larson behind him and both were side-by-side for several laps. A yellow was thrown on the second lap. On the restart, Matt Looft, piloting the 99L car, dug down and traded spots with Shaun Bruns for the second spot but soon he and Larson were battling.

By lap 14, Larson was a solid second and was trying to work the outside of Mackenthun, but Mackenthun held on for the win. Larson took second and Jim Horejsi took third, making a last lap pass ahead of Looft.

Brent Uecker won the Hess Technology Best Appearing Car Contest in this class.

Brandon Beckendorf had his car set up in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature as he was able to gain the lead by the halfway point from Clint Hatlestad and led the remaining laps. Todd Stinehart took third behind Hatlestad.

Jason Schroeder won the Hess Technology Best Appearing Car Contest. 

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