IMCA Dakota Tour checkers at Dickinson are first for Braaksma 

Always consistent and finally a feature winner, Ethan Braaksma topped Wednesday’s Dakota Classic Modified Tour main event at Southwest Speedway. Braaksma had a pair of seconds and a third-place finish leading up to the $2,000 Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature win. (Photo by Byron Fichter)

DICKINSON, N.D. (July 10, 2024) – That great big sigh of relief you heard in victory lane at Southwest Speedway Wednesday night came from Ethan Braaksma.

The Newton, Iowa pilot chased Kyle Strickler the first 20 laps, finally found his way to the front and led the last 10 times around the 3/8-mile clay oval at Dickinson for his career first Dakota Classic Modified Tour powered by Industrial Electric feature win.

“It definitely takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” said Braaksma, who had run second, second and then third in the three previous Friesen Performance IMCA Modified tour outings. “We’ve been itching to get this win. We finally got it and now we’re ready to get another one.”

Strickler had won the Tuesday night main event with a last-lap pass at Williston Basin Speedway and looked like he had the car to go back-to-back with, leading Travis Hagen and then Braaksma through a fast-paced opening 12 circuits.

Braaksma peeked inside a couple times before the front pair encountered a five-car pack running at the back of the field.

Both worked their way through, Braaksma finally seeing an opening and making his move to the lead with 10 to go.

“I knew Kyle would race hard and clean, and that whenever I had my chance I had to take it,” he said. “I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity I was presented with a couple nights ago. I’m glad I did this time.”

Two thousand dollars richer following his eighth Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying victory of the season, Braaksma led Hagen, Tom Berry Jr., Cody Laney and defending tour champion Tim Ward to the checkers. Strickler had his hands full fighting a flat tire on the last lap and ended in sixth.

“We just come to be consistent and win races. If we can get the points championship, that’s definitely a plus,” said Braaksma, the fourth different winner in as many Modified features and the points leader heading into Thursday’s tour finale at Dacotah Speedway. “But right now we’re just focused on winning races and we have a good support system behind us.”

“We’re up here having fun and our goal is to run good and be good at the race track.  We’re going to head to the next track, get ready for another night and maybe celebrate after.”

The Wednesday feature ran green-to-checkered. Modifieds have seen just a single caution through their first four Dakota Classic Tour main events.

Cameron Starry followed a pair of third-place finishes with his first IMCA Sunoco Stock Car tour feature win, racing from eighth and passing defending champion Rob VanMil for the lead midway through the 25-lapper.

The Corpus Christi, Texas hotshoe had become a first-time Stock Car winner at Cocopah Speedway in Arizona in January and had another three victories in his home state on his resume before Wednesday night.

“I just kept on pushing it all the time. I don’t know if the car liked it but I wasn’t going to lose because I wasn’t driving it hard enough,” said Starry, who tinkered with his setup after Tuesday show’s show at Williston and came up with some more speed. “This car was easy to drive and I could put it anywhere on the track.”

Shelby Williams was the leader as three cautions marred the early going. VanMil worked his way to the front on lap five but wasn’t able to keep Starry at bay and ended in second.

Hunter Domagala, 20th starting Austin Brands and Brendon LaBatte ran 3-4-5 as the Stock Cars saw their own fourth different winner in as many nights.

Cameron Starry celebrated after a Dakota Classic Tour feature win of his own at Dickinson, driving from eighth to the $1,000 IMCA Sunoco Stock Car checkers. (Photo by Byron Fichter)

Starry, already B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible, also takes the points lead to Mandan.

“I don’t want to think about it too much,” he said of his tour title chances. “It’s racing, anything can happen. Whatever happens, happens. We’re going to give it our best shot.” 

All Dakota Classic Tour events are broadcast by IMCA.TV.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply