By Mike Spieker
GLYNDON, Minn. (August 12) – For most drivers, picking up one feature win at the highly competitive area dirt tracks is the highlight of their season. Others are fortunate to claim multiple victories throughout the course of the grueling season.
But on Sunday at Buffalo River Race Park, Fargo’s Tim Estenson visited victory lane not once, not twice, but three times.
Yes, three times.
In the 64 seasons of Buffalo River Race Park, no driver has ever won more than two features in a single night.
Estenson’s dominance began in the INEX legends, where he collected his ninth win at the speedway and 23rd overall win of the season.
“I’ve been working hard on the legend all year, trying to chase national points,” said Estenson. “We are sitting top three in that right now.”
From there, Estenson claimed a pair of NLSA lightning sprint feature wins. The lightning sprints were running a make-up feature from the July 8 event that was postponed due to rain. Estenson’s first lightning sprint win of the night was also the first-ever of his career.
“We’ve been working week by week, fine-tuning this chassis,” said Estenson of his lightning sprint. “We were so close on set up with everybody. We just kept getting closer and closer each week. It was great to get that first win.”
Estenson, who is a rookie in the lightning sprint division this year, looked like a seasoned veteran as he led every lap of both features.
In the first lightning sprint feature, a pair of red flags halted the action. The first was for Presley Truedson, who got clipped in the right rear tire after two cars got sideways in turn two. Truedson’s car got upside down, but the 16 year old, who won on Saturday at Greenbush (Minn.) Race Park, was okay.
On the ensuing restart, another incident resulted in Jason Berg getting upside down on the front straightaway. The Fargo driver’s No. 100 machine made contact with the wall before coming to rest on all fours. Berg was okay as well.
Dan Dowling of Davenport wheeled his way to his third IMCA sportmod win at Buffalo River Race Park. A season-high 27 sportmods were in town for the inaugural running of the IMCA Northstar Modified Tour. After starting 11th, Dowling took the lead with a bold three-wide pass on Jason Vejtruba and Torey Fischer. Once he took the point, Dowling checked out and dominated the 30-lap main event.
“We’ve been racing with this tour all weekend. We’ve got a great group of competitors running with us and I’m just happy we came away with a victory out of the three races,” said Dowling after the race.
Joe Lewis raced to the slingshot victory over younger brother, Noah.
Tim Gonska of Brainerd, Minn. raced to yet another IMCA hobby stock feature win. Gonska started fifth on the grid and dominated the 15-lap feature for his division-leading fifth win of the season.
Matt Pederson picked up the regularly scheduled four-cylinder IMCA sport compact feature win. Pederson held off a hard-charging Tanner Engen, who was sent to the tail of the field early in the race for causing a caution. Engen threatened Pederson in the closing stages, but ran out of time as Pederson grabbed his sixth win of the season. Pederson then went on to claim the July 8 make-up feature to sweep the night.
Feature – 1. 2D-Dan Dowling, Davenport, N.D.; 2. 5T-Matt Talley, Sabin, Minn.; 3. 38J-Jason Vejtruba, Atwater, Minn.; 4. 40-Chris VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 5. 41-Doug Gardner, Glyndon, Minn.
NLSA Lightning Sprints:
Feature – 1. 14T-Tim Estenson, Fargo, N.D.; 2. 93-Kelsi Pederson, East Grand Forks, Minn.; 3. 13-Alan Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.; 4. 16A-Josh Abrahamson, Moorhead, Minn.; 5. 10-Alex Truscinski, Greenbush, Minn.
Feature – 1. 14T-Tim Estenson, Fargo, N.D.; 2. 8JR-Kaitlyn Skalicky, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 20-Alex Braseth, Ulen, Minn.; 4. 5D8-Dylan Johnson, Durbin, N.D. 5. 5-Dean Julsrud, Barnesville, Minn.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Feature – 1. 5G-Tim Gonska, Brainerd, Minn.; 2. 3XL-Brad Orvedal, Fargo, N.D.; 3. 73-Maranda Borg, Harwood, N.D.; 4. 73G-Todd Gettel, Mahnomen, Minn.; 5. 701-Kyle Hallgren, Hankinson, N.D.
IMCA Sport Compacts:
Feature – 1. 4P-Matt Pederson, Lake Park, Minn.; 2. 44T-Tanner Engen, Detroit Lakes, Minn.; 3. 6T-Randy Thompson, Lake Park, Minn.; 4. 12-Scott Beckman, Mahnomen, Minn.; 5. 9-Levi Lease, Harwood, N.D.