When Tripp Gaylord drew the pole position for the Modified “A” Feature on the 31st Annual Moritz Sport & Marine Dakota Classic Modified 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. Tripp 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. Tripp had made every single “A” Feature event in both classes up until that point.
Tripp’s machine was a rocket from the drop of the green flag in Mandan. With top competitor Jake O’Neil chasing him for a majority of the contest, Gaylord led by over 3 seconds at one point during the event.
Tripp was able to maneuver lapped traffic to grab the biggest win of his career. He was ecstatic in victory lane, giving Tour announcer Chad Meyer a huge hug and thanking the fans profusely for coming out to support the show.
O’Neil, Robert Hellebust, Shawn Strand, and Alex Stanford finished out the top 5. Austin Arneson claimed the 2020 Dakota Classic Modified Tour points championship with a very good run of consistency throughout the week and brought the championship back to the state of North Dakota. Jason Wolla finished in the runner-up spot, 20 points behind Arneson.
Elijah Zevenbergen is deservedly the best driver in the Stock Car division that the Dakota Classic Modified Tour has seen. In his 9th year on Tour (8th full Tour), Elijah just won his 6th championship.
Austin Daae gave Zevenbergen a run for his money early on in the “A” Feature, claiming the lead and keeping it for a good portion of the contest. Zevenbergen followed in Daae’s tracks, waiting for an opportunity or a Daae misfortune.
Zevenbergen was able to find grip coming out of Turn 4 during the middle of the race, with Daae surrendering the lead on that lap. A restart after that did not help Daae, who slipped off of the banking in turn 1 and eventually took it off of the racetrack.
Eric Mahlik and Dalton Flory finished 2nd and 3rd behind Zevenbergen in both the Dacotah Speedway main and the points championship. Travis Ulmer and Adam Goff, two rookies to the Stock Car class in 2020, rounded out the Top 5 of the main.
2020 turned out to be a very successful year on the Tour for Zevenbergen, claiming 5 out of the 6 “A” Feature victories. He broke while in the lead at Williston, surrendering a perfect sweep and leaving Steve Arpin as the only one to still accomplish the feat in the Modifieds in 2007.
Modifieds – 1. Tripp Gaylord; 2. Jake O’Neil; 3. Robert Hellebust; 4. Shawn Strand; 5. Alex Stanford; 6. Casey Arneson; 7. Austin Arneson; 8. Eddie Belec; 9. Ricky Thornton Jr.; 10. Casey Skyberg; 11. Tanner Black; 12. Spencer Wilson; 13. Grey Ferrando; 14. Jacob Bleess; 15. Travis Hagen; 16. Matt Aukland; 17. Jason Wolla; 18. Marlyn Seidler; 19. Collen Winebarger; 20. Brad Hartigan; 21. Quentin Kinzley; 22. Justin O’Brien; 23. Jesse Skalicky; 24. Ricky Alvarado; 25. Billy Kendall; 26. Shane DeVolder; 27. Zachary Madrid; 28. John Corell; 29. Mark Dahl; 30. Jeremy Keller.
Stock Cars – 1. Elijah Zevenbergen; 2. Eric Mahlik; 3. Dalton Flory; 4. Travis Ulmer; 5. Adam Goff; 6. Brennan Borg; 7. Angel Munoz; 8. Joe Flory; 9. Keith Mattox; 10. Kelly Hoerner; 11. Scott Gartner; 12. Mike Swallers; 13. Cody St. Croix; 14. Jason Berg; 15. Chanse Hollatz; 16. Austin Daae; 17. Ryan Gaylord; 18. Jake Brown; 19. Joe Schrodt.
2020 Dakota Classic Modified Tour Point Standings Top 20
Modifieds – 1. Austin Arneson, 217; 2. Jason Wolla, 197; 3. Jake O’Neil, 194; 4. Ricky Thornton Jr., 193; 5. Robert Hellebust, 183; 6. Billy Kendall, 180; 7. Alex Stanford, 179; 8. Tripp Gaylord, 173; 9. Eddie Belec, 171; 10. Jacob Bleess, 171; 11. Travis Hagen, 166; 12. Tanner Black, 164; 13. Grey Ferrando, 162; 14. Casey Arneson, 161; 15. Collen Winebarger, 137; 16. Spencer Wilson, 133; 17. Ricky Alvarado, 132; 18. John Corell, 127; 19. Shawn Strand, 126; T-20. Kelsie Foley and Marcus Tomlinson, 121.
Stock Cars – 1. Elijah Zevenbergen, 222; 2. Eric Mahlik, 213; 3. Dalton Flory, 210; 4. Joe Flory, 202; 5. Travis Ulmer, 197; 6. Brennan Borg, 187; 7. Chanse Hollatz, 185; 8. Angel Munoz, 177; 9. Adam Goff, 175; 10. Keith Mattox, 174; 11. Matt Speckman, 164; 12. Austin Daae, 145; 13. Mike Swallers, 144; 14. Jake Brown, 136; 15. Tripp Gaylord, 116; 16. Jordan Zillmer, 114; 17. Mike Hagen, 111; 18. Cody St. Croix, 103; 19. Beau Deschamp, 78; 20. Jace Iverson, 75.