By Michael Weber
MANDAN, N.D. (July 11, 2013) – Aaron Turnbull didn’t need to win Thursday night’s feature to claim his first Dakota Classic Modified Tour championship.
All the driver from Estevan, Sask., had to do was finish somewhere in the top 11.
But Turnbull still wanted to finish the six-day tour on a high note, and he did so, coming in second behind Jeremy Keller of Mandan at Mandan’s Dacotah Speedway.
Turnbull carried a 10-point lead (181-171) over Allen Kent of Minot into Thursday night’s finale. He needed to finish no more than 10 places behind Kent to wrap up the title.
“I knew what I had to do. I didn’t have to win or finish second or third, but I still wanted to win,” said Turnbull, who tallied 220 points on the tour. “I wanted to finish strong. That’s the way you want to close things out. I didn’t win, but I’m very happy with the way it ended for me.”
Along the way, Turnbull won features at Estevan on Monday and at Williston on Tuesday. He also finished fourth at Jamestown and Dickinson. His lowest finish was 14th at Minot.
“I had a really good run. I had one bad night, but other than that, I finished in the top four five times,” Turnbull said. “To win a tour like this, you have to be consistent.”
Kent held a nine-point lead over Turnbull after three stops, but finished 14th at Williston. Turnbull won his second feature in a row that night and led by four points with two stops remaining. The following night at Dickinson, Turnbull finished fourth, while Kent came in 10th.
“That night in Williston kind of turned the tide,” Turnbull said. “After that, I just had to make sure I stayed ahead of (Kent) on the track. I finished things off with a couple of good nights.”
Kent finished sixth in Thursday’s feature, and placed second overall with 206 points. Keller and Shawn Strand of Mandan tied for third overall with 195 points apiece.
Keller led the last 23 laps of the 30-lap final.
Thursday’s event drew 78 modifieds.
In the IMCA Stock Cars class, Elijah Zevenbergen of Ocheyedan, Iowa capped off an impressive six-day run with another feature victory on Thursday. Zevenbergen picked up his fifth feature win and walked away with the overall championship, tallying 236 points. Randy Brands of Boyden, Iowa, finished third in the feature and second on the tour with 226 points. Travis Ulmer of Mandan came in second Thursday night.
Josh Roehrich of Menoken was the first to finish in the Sport Compact feature.
Heat 1: 1. Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, Sask. 2. Steven Pfeifer, Minot. 3. Drew Christianson, Minot. 4. Brian Swenson, Bismarck. 5. Donald Robinson, Underwood.
Heat 2: 1. Tim Perkins, Bismarck. 2. Randy Sandvick. 3. Justin O’Brien, West Union, Iowa. 4. Travis Ulmer, Mandan. 5. Dave Aberle, Bismarck.
Heat 3: 1. Clint Hatlestad, Glencoe, Minn. 2. Allen Kent, Minot. 3. Brian Mullen , Seymour, Wis. 4. Dylan Barnhardt, Washburn. 5. Quentin Kinzley.
Heat 4: 1. Jeremy Keller, Mandan. 2. Jared Siefert, Luxemburg, Wis. 3. Mark Dahl, Bismarck. 4. Shawn Strand, Mandan. 5. Rusty Corneliusen, Dickinson.
Heat 5: 1. Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask. 2. Eric Sinness, Williston. 3. Ryan Ruter, Kanawha, Iowa. 4. Andee Beierle, Bismarck. 5. Kirk Wojahn, Gladstone.
Heat 6: 1. Brent Schlafmann, Bismarck. 2. Joren Boyce, Minot. 3. Darrell Bauer, Bismarck. 4. Jason Wolla, Williston. 5. Troy Heupel, Williston.
Heat 7: 1. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark. 2. Marlyn Seidler, Underwood. 3. Travis Hagen, Williston. 4. Darin Wendt. 5. Curt Lund, Redwood Falls, Minn.
Heat 8: 1. Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa. 2. Spencer Wilson, Minot. 3. Josh Rogotzke, Sanborn, Minn. 4. Kelly Bauman, Weyburn, Sask. 5. John Barber, Swift Current, Sask.
Consi 1: 1. Pfeifer. 2. Christianson. 3. O’Brien. 4. Robinson.
Consi 2: 1. Siefert. 2. Strand. 3. Mullen. 4. Dahl.
Consi 3: 1. Boyce. 2. Bauer. 3. Sinness. 4. Wolla.
Consi 4: 1. Seidler. 2. Wilson. 3. Hagen. 4. Rogotzke.
Feature: 1. Keller. 2. Aaron Turnbull. 3. Taylor. 4. Ed Turnbull. 5. Perkins. 6. Kent. 7. Stand. 8. Dahl. 9. Bauer. 10. Siefert.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan, Iowa. 2. Randy Brands, Boyden, Iowa. 3. Joe Flory, Williston. 4. Josh Wolla, Minot. 5. Tyler Ashley, Bismarck.
Heat 2: 1. Matt Speckman, Sleepy Eye, Minn. 2. Austin Daee, Estevan, Sask. 3. Michael Vennes, Minot. 4. Tim Sorenson, Williston. 5. Jake Lunderby, Sidney, Mont.
Heat 3: 1. Nathan Burke, Minot. 2. Travis Ulmer, Mandan. 3. Bob Fuegmann, Minot. 4. Kelly Henderson, Minot. 5. Scott Yale, Minot.
Feature: 1. Zevenbergen. 2. Ulmer. 3. Brands. 4. Burke. 5. Baee. 6. Speckman. 7. Flory. 8. Sorenson. 9. Vennes. 10. Henderson.
Heat 1: 1. Derek Nitschke, Dickinson. 2. Nick West. 3. Jamie Schlafmann, Bismarck. 4. Josh Roehrich, Menoken. 5. Nylee DiMeo.
Feature: 1. Roehrich. 2. Nitschke. 3. Schlafmann. 4. West. 5. Chance Seelye. 6. Cody Schulz. 7. Michelle Stoxen. 8. DiMeo. 9. Kayla Kath. 10. Alex Thompson.