Steve Arpin leaned back on his ATV and took a swig of Coors Light to wash back a mouthful of chips after a night of racing Monday at Nodak Speedway.
The Canadian NASCAR driver who now calls Cornelius, N.C., home flashed a few grins while talking to buddies he grew up with in Fort Frances, Ontario. From the scene alone, it was easy to guess Arpin had taken the checkered flag.
Arpin's drive shaft gave out just when he was attempting to pass eventual winner Jeff Taylor with 12 laps to go in the 30-lap IMCA Modifieds feature race on day two of the Dakota Classic Modified Tour, sending the 2007 Tour champion to the pits early.
Still, Arpin - who made two appearances this year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and hadn't appeared at Nodak since sweeping the six-race Tour in 2007 - was all smiles afterward.
"When we go to the asphalt track and we're doing the Nationwide thing, it's a big business," Arpin said. "Our sponsors are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars each weekend to be on the car and we have a job to represent them,
provide value for the money they're spending.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. John Flory, Williston; 2. Gregg Mann, Estevan, Sask.; 3. Stefan Klym,
Moose Jaw, Sask.
Heat 2: 1. Nathan Burke, Minot; 2. Steven Pfeifer, Minot; 3. Rodney Wadel,
Garden City, Kan.
Heat 3: 1. Kyle Frederick, Oconto Falls, Wis.; 2. Sterling LaBatte, Weyburn,
Sask.; 3. Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.
Heat 4: 1. Shawn Havel, Algoma, Wis.; 2. Robby Rosselli, Minot; 3. Josh Wolla,
B-Main 1: 1. Bob Fuegmann, Minot; 2. Kelly Henderson, Minot; 3. Greg Wichman,
Bonduel, Wis.; 4. Scott Yale, Minot; 5. Aden Clark, Stanley.
B-Main 2: 1. Perry Misner, Garden City, Kan.; 2. Elijah Zevenbergen; 3. Brett
Woznicki, Minot; 4. Randy Conway, Minot; 5. Dalton Flory, Williston.
Feature: 1. Burke; 2. Zevenbergen; 3. Frederick; 4. Mann; 5. Wolla.
Heat 1: 1. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 2. Will Brack, Mead, Col.; 3. Robert
Heat 2: 1. Kevin Stoa, Albert Lea, Minn.; 2. Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa; 3.
Spencer Wilson, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Pfeifer; 2. Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 3. Tyler Wagner, Weyburn,
Heat 4: 1. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, Iowa; 2. Brian Mullen, Seymour, Wis.; 3. John
Hansen, Brush, Col.
Heat 5: 1. Tracy Domagala, Bismarck; 2. Matt Brack, Mead, Col.; 3. Mike Hansen,
Heat 6: 1. Hank Berry, Sidney, Mont.; 2. Allen Kent, Minot; 3. Travis Hagen,
Heat 7: 1. Josh Muller; 2. Joey Galloway, Manor, Sask.; 3. Mason Big Eagle,
Heat 8: 1. Tyson Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Drew Christianson, Minot; 3. Darin
B-Main 1: 1. M. Hansen; 2. W. Brack; 3. M. Brack; 4. Hellebust; 5. Dallas Rice,
B-Main 2: 1. Kent; 2. Noteboom; 3. J. Flory; 4. Wilson; 5. Jeff Decker, Dickinson.
B-Main 3: 1. Steve Arpin, Cornelius, N.C.; 2. A. Turnbull; 3. Galloway; 4.
Wagner; 5. Jared Thelen, Bismarck.
B-Main 4: 1. Shawn Strand, Mandan; 2. Christianson; 3. J. Hansen; 4. Dylan
Barnhardt, Washburn; 5. Kody Scholpp.
1. Taylor; 2. Pfeifer; 3. Stoa; 4. Berry; 5. M. Hansen
"It's just so much fun to be able to come out (here), let your hair down a little bit and drink a beer after the race, wear jeans and a T-shirt and just have fun."
Arpin's exit couldn't have come at a better time for Taylor, a Cave City, Ark., driver who made his first appearance at Nodak Speedway on Sunday.
"I knew I was fixing to have to pick it up a little bit," Taylor said. "I don't know. He probably had the better car and I was doing about all I could do there.
I couldn't have gotten a lot more without overdriving."
Within three laps after the caution, Taylor had built a substantial lead ahead of Minot's Steven Pfeifer.
Pfeifer finished in second place, nearly three seconds behind Taylor.
Kevin Stoa (Albert Lea, Minn.) took third.
Minot's Nathan Burke held off Elijah Zevenbergen to win the 25-lap IMCA Stock Car feature.
Kyle Frederick took the lead on the first lap and led for almost the duration of the race, but late surges by Burke and Zevenbergen pushed Frederick back to third, where he finished.