IMCA Dakota Classic Tour history made in 35th season

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (May 31, 2024) – Byron Fichter and Aaron Turnbull have been part of the Dakota Classic Tour for maybe more years than they’d like to admit. 

This year, they’ll be in charge of it. 

The two are new co-directors of the tour for Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, set to visit six tracks in North Dakota and Saskatchewan from July 6-11. 

“We have big shoes to fill,” Fichter said, acknowledging the efforts of founder and director John Gartner over the tour’s first 34 years. “People who come on the tour know the tracks in North Dakota and Canada are good hosts. We’re proud of our racing facilities and our racing communities.” 

“We have a lot of history, including 34 years of history as the best traveling series for Modifieds in North America.” 

The 35th annual tour opens Saturday, July 6 at Jamestown Speedway with following dates Sunday, July 7 at Nodak Speedway in Minot; Monday, July 8 at Estevan Motor Speedway; Tuesday, July 9 at Williston Basin Speedway; Wednesday, July 10 at Southwest Speedway in Dickinson; and Thursday, July 11 at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan. 

Modifieds run for $2,000 to win, a minimum of $300 to start and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility, Stock Cars for $1,000 to win, a minimum of $100 to start and B & B Racing Chassis All-Star qualifying eligibility each night. 

All six race programs will be broadcast by IMCA.TV. 

Gartner continues with the tour in an advisory role and many of the contingency awards given by IMCA and local sponsors he helped arrange for will be in place again this year. 

“We have added to the nightly purse throughout the top 10. Entry fees will be $35 for Modifieds and $25 for Stock Cars,” noted Fichter, “and registration will open on MyRacePass in early June so drivers planning to go on tour should check there.” 

Along with special series points, IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Razor Chassis North Central and EQ Cylinder Heads Northern regional, and state points will be awarded each night. Drivers’ best five feature finishes will determine tour point standings and they must race in the finale at Mandan to be eligible for point fund shares. Any rainout during the week would be the race dropped by all drivers. 

Former Estevan Motor Speedway president Fichter has followed the tour as a photographer and through his professional association with IMCA and IMCA.TV. Turnbull races an IMCA Modified and won the tour title in 2013 … his father Ed was the champion 11 years earlier. 

“For all the tracks involved, Dakota Classic Tour is the biggest race of the season. It’s like our World Series,” Fichter said. “There is a very strong community at each of these tracks. Everyone works to make this tour succeed and we’re grateful for that.” 

Information about the tour, and the all-important documentation needed to cross the border is available on the Dakota Classic Mod Tour Facebook page. 

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