Feature

Gaylord finds glory at Dacotah, Zevenbergen wins 5th

MANDAN, N.D. (July 15) – When Tripp Gaylord drew the pole position for the IMCA Modified “A” feature on the Moritz Sport & Marine Dakota Classic Tour presented by Bismarck Motor Company at Dacotah Speedway, the real test began. A week with many frustrations for the Colorado racer finished out with a feeling of euphoria. Gaylord did double duty in the Modified and Stock Car all week long until Dacotah Speedway, handing the reins over to brother Ryan in order to focus on the Modified. He had made every feature in both classes until that point. Gaylord was a rocket from the drop of the green flag in Mandan, leading by over three seconds at one point and maneuvering lapped traffic to grab the $2,400 win. Already on the Fast Shafts Al-Star Invitational ballot, Gaylord was followed across the stripe by Jake O’Neil, Robert Hellebust, Shawn Strand and Alex Stanford. Consistent Austin Arneson captured the tour championship. Elijah Zevenbergen is the best accomplished IMCA Sunoco Stock Car driver the tour has seen, winning for the [Read More]

Feature

Southwest Dakota checkers fly for Thornton, Zevenbergen

DICKINSON, N.D. (July 14) – Ricky Thornton Jr. returned to the 31st annual Moritz Sport & Marine Dakota Classic IMCA Modified Tour presented by Bismarck Motor Company feature ranks to claim yet another feature win Tuesday at Southwest Speedway. Starting from the inside of row two, Thornton made quick work of polesitter Ryan Gaylord, claiming the lead early on. A handful of cautions scattered throughout the race did not deter Thornton on his way to the $2,400 checkers. Jake O’Neil, Tripp Gaylord, Jason Wolla and Austin Arneson rounded out the top five. Matt Speckman looked like he had the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature handled but became the victim of circumstance when second running Cole Trickle checked up and caught Speckman in the left rear, sending Speckman up and over and ending both of their nights.The winner in the situation turned out to be tour dominator Elijah Zevenbergen, who took command of the field with 11 to go and only faced a brief challenge from Dalton Flory before motoring to his fourth win of the [Read More]

Feature

Mike Hagen collects hometown win, O’Neil charges to Williston checkers

WILLISTON, N.D. (July 13) – A day after forgetting to go to tech after winning his ‘B’ main, Jake O’Neil started 14th in the Moritz Sport & Marine Dakota Classic IMCA Modified Tour presented by Bismarck Motor Company feature at Williston Basin Speedway. What ensued after that was a memorable contest for the Arizona racer. Collen Winebarger started on the pole and jumped out to the lead early. Robert Hellebust, made a move around the outside of Winebarger on lap eight but jumped the cushion, allow Hagen and O’Neil to drive under and set their sights on the leader. Hagen shot around the top side, officially taking the lead on lap 12. Hellebust followed as the top line became the preferred line. O’Neil drove around Hellebust, then ripped around the top lane, catching up to Hagen, who was catching the back of the field. On lap 27, O’Neil got spun by a lap car and got his spot back for the restart. The race ended green, white, checkered and O’Neil had a great restart, motoring [Read More]

Feature

Nodak show sees Thornton, Zevenbergen win again

MINOT, N.D. (July 12) – The battle was for second place on night three of the Dakota Classic Modified Tour. Ricky Thornton Jr. started on the pole and stayed in front every time around the Nodak Speed­way oval, earning $2,400 for his latest IMCA Modified tour checkers. He was catching up with the back of the field just after midway when the caution came out and took traffic temporarily out of the equation. The top five pulled away after the ensuing restart and while Thornton was lapping cars the final five circuits, Austin Arneson, Jason Wolla, Eddie Belec and Spencer Wilson could not catch the leader and followed him across the stripe on that order. Elijah Zevenbergen ran his streak to three straight IMCA Sunoco Stock Car tour checkers. Chanse Hollatz and Dalton Flory took turns at the point before Zevenbergen gained the lead 10 laps in. Feature Results Modifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Austin Arneson; 3. Jason Wolla; 4. Eddie Belec; 5. Spencer Wil­son; 6. Robert Hellebust; 7. John Corell; 8. Billy Kendall [Read More]

Feature

Kendall chases O’Neill to Jamestown checkers

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (July 11) – Runner-up Billy Kendall III was the talk of the town Saturday night at Jamestown Speedway. Kendall raced from 10th starting and battled Jeff Taylor and Jacob Bleess before chasing Jake O’Neil to the checkers in round two of the Dakota Classic Tour for IMCA Modifieds. Wheeling a home-built car, Kendall swapped the second with, and then had the former tour cham­pion close behind as he pursued O’Neill. Blees ended in fourth, Kelsie Foley fifth.  A lap 16 restart opened the door for Elijah Zevenbergen to continue his winning ways in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car half of the tour. Zevenbergen caught Eric Mahlik on the way to collecting his second straight tour checkers of 2020. Matt Speckman would end in second, Mahlik in third.  Feature Results Modifieds – 1. Jake O’Neil; 2. Billy Kendall III; 3. Jeff Taylor; 4. Jacob Bleess; 5. Kelsie Foley; 6. Jason Wolla; 7. Austin Arneson; 8. Alex Stanford; 9. Casey Arneson; 10. Tanner Black; 11. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 12. Collen Winebarger; 13. Eddie Belec; 14. Grey Ferrando; [Read More]

Feature

Former champs top Dakota Tour openers

WEST FARGO, N.D. (July 10) – Two former champions were feature winners for the Friday night lidlifter at Red River Valley Speedway.  Ricky Thornton Jr., the 2015 Modified and defending Stock Car king, started ninth and motored to the $2,400 IMCA Modified checkers.  Already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, Thornton led Tyler Hall, Austin Arneson, Alex Stanford and Jake O’Neil to the finish.  And Elijah Zevenbergen began adding to the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car Tour legacy of his own as the five-time tour champion started from the pole and took that $1,000 win ahead of Eric Mahlik.  Rob VanMil, Joe Flory and Travis Ulmer were next across the stripe. Feature Results Modifieds – 1. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 2. Tyler Hall; 3. Austin Arneson; 4. Alex Stanford; 5. Jake O’Neil; 6. Tripp Gaylord; 7. Grey Ferrando; 8. Casey Arneson; 9. Justin O’Brien; 10. Billy Kendall III; 11. Jason Wolla; 12. Brad Hartigan; 13. Tanner Black; 14. Allen Kent; 15. Dylan Goplen; 16. John Nord; 17. Cody Laney; 18. John Hansen; 19. Jesse Skalicky; 20. Eddie [Read More]

Feature

Border closure forces changes in Dakota Classic IMCA Tour schedule

MANDAN, N.D. – The 31st annual Moritz Sport & Marine Powered by Bismarck Motor Company Dakota Classic IMCA Modified Tour has announced a change in their schedule as Estevan, Sask., will not be able to host what was to be the opening night of the Tour on Saturday, July 11 due to an extension of the border closure resulting from the Covid 19 situation. The tour has been working on a “Plan B” for several weeks in case Estevan could not race. The operators of the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., were contacted and an agreement has been secured that will allow the tour to start in West Fargo on Friday, July 10. Red River Valley Speedway hosted a tour event way in 1991 when the track was a ½-mile facility. The current track is now 3/8 mile with a huge grandstand and parking for over 300 tow rigs in their large pit area. The facility is a part of the expansive Red River Valley Fairgrounds just off of I-94.  Jamestown Speedway will [Read More]

Feature

Kupper continues IMCA Dakota Classic Tour sponsorship with new name

MANDAN, N.D. – Bob Kupper has sold his Chevrolet dealership but don’t think he’s not involved in the IMCA Dakota Classic Tour title Sponsorship. It’s now the Moritz Sport & Marine Dakota Classic Modified Tour powered by Bismarck Motor Company and it’s bigger than ever!  During the awards ceremony last July in Mandan, Kupper made a statement that got a lot of press in the racing world. Bob stated he would double the winner’s payout in both the IMCA Modified and IMCA Sunoco Stock Car divisions for all tracks in 2020. Later on that fall, Tour Director John Gartner met with Bob and talked a bit different direction for the 31st annual series. The tour was already paying the most to win of any IMCA Modified touring series at $2,400 to win each feature. Couple that with a series-best $300 to start the 30 car feature and the money was there for the fast drivers. However, Gartner wanted to take that extra $2,400 (Modifieds) and $800 (Stock Cars) each night and split it up so the [Read More]

Feature

Marriott and Flory see checkers in Mandan, Berry and Thornton are Dakota Tour champs

By Jackson Braun  MANDAN, N.D. (July 11) – A great week of racing for the 30th annual Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour was wrapped up by a nail-biting finale at the Dacotah Speedway that included one of the closest finishes in recent memory.  Jeff Taylor and Ricky Thornton Jr. led the IMCA Modified field to green for the final 30 laps on the tour. Coming into the night, Thornton had a 14-point deficit to make up. Three-peat champion Hunter Marriott did not come across his usual luck this season but heated up towards the end of the tour as the Brookfield, Mo., racer took advantage of a starting spot inside of row 2.  Taylor got a jump off of the start as Marriott advanced into second. Marriott was able to set his car through the corners smoothly around the rim of the speedway and to pull alongside Taylor. A good run off turn four gave Marriott the momentum to take the lead. As Thornton faded, his hopes of sweeping the your championships came to a [Read More]

Feature

Another Dakota double down for Thornton, this time at Dickinson

By Jackson Braun DICKINSON, N.D. (July 10) – Ricky Thornton Jr. looks absolutely unbeatable right now. The Iowa racer, transplanted from Arizona, found Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour victory lane at Southwest Speedway in both the IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Stock Cars for the second event in a row. The last time any other driver found victory lane on tour was all the way back on Sunday when Matt Speckman held off Thornton in the Stock Car portion of the evening. Thornton has won six out of a possible eight features between the two classes. An all-North Dakota front row of Robert Hellebust and Travis Hagen led the 28-car field to the Modified green flag. Hellebust jumped out to the lead early as Thornton loomed behind him from the fourth starting spot. Hellebust was able to make the high line work and get enough momen­tum to keep his car in the top spot by as little as two-thousandth’s of a second for a few laps in the early running. Several bobbles by Thornton helped Hellebust [Read More]