Mike Hagen's International Motor Contest Association Modifieds feature win perfectly illustrated Nodak Speedway on Sunday following a three-week-long hiatus. It was ugly.
The Williston native was spun out on the second-to-last lap of a green-white-checkered-shortened race by Minot's Shawn Anderson, but was awarded the feature victory after Anderson was charged with causing the caution.
It took nearly five hours before Hagen could celebrate in victory lane. Prolonged cautions and red flags led to a lengthy night at Nodak Speedway with few bright spots to point to. But that didn't stop Hagen from enjoying his moment.
Mike Hagen (27x) of Williston chases Drew Christianson (29) of Minot in an IMCA Modifieds heat race Sunday at Nodak Speedway. Hagen won the feature race.
"I'm so happy now and (the win) means a lot," Hagen said. "After everything that's happened to me and Travis (Hagen) the last two weeks, it couldn't mean more with Travis getting second. The people that are against us can stick it."
His son, Travis Hagen, was awarded second place after Anderson's caution dropped him from first to 19th. The Minot native was none to happy with the decision.
"I feel like (Mike Hagen) got sideways in the corner," Anderson said. "I could have slammed on my brakes and gotten rearended by everyone, but I don't think I tagged him that hard. "I don't know, he got sideways in the corner."
Estevan, Sask., native Ed Turnbull was running second midway through the race before a flat tire forced him to the pits and to the back of the pack when he returned to the track. He finished 10th.
In a see-saw battle between Estevan, Sask., native Austin Daee and Minot's Bob Fuegmann, it was the Canadian that edged out the American to win the IMCA Stock Car feature. It was Daee's first feature win at Nodak Speedway.
Daee and Fuegmann went back and forth over the final 14 laps as the two drivers exchanged the top two positions five times - four in as many laps. Daee made his final pass on Fuegmann with seven laps remaining and held on down the stretch.
Minot's Brett Woznicki put the heat on both drivers, but was never able to find the space he needed and settled for third. Fellow Minot native Randy Conway passed Williston's Joe Flory with three laps remaining and finished fourth.
Points leader Nathan Burke of Minot finished sixth and Kelly Henderson - second in the standings - did not finish.
Mercer's Tom Wagner dominated the INEX Legends feature race in a mere five minutes, 18.377 seconds, finishing more than a second ahead of points leader Steven Kuntz of Bismarck.
Kuntz's second-place finish increased his points lead over Bismarck's Paul Huettl, who finished third. Kuntz now has a four-point lead in the standings.
Wishek's Donavin Wiest and Minot's Shane Williams finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
The IMCA Sport Modifieds had a difficult time staying green in both its A- and B-main races. After the 12-lap B-main lasted nearly 30 minutes, the A-main feature exceeded its 25-minute limit and was forced to go to a green-white-checkered finish. Minot's Jeff Hooker came out of the carnage with the feature win, holding off Jordan Huettl on the final lap.
Hooker took the lead on one of many restarts, passing Surrey's Erik Laudenschlager on the sixth lap. Laudenschlager led the first five laps, but dropped two spots on the restart and finished fourth.
A caution on the 15th lap forced a green-white-checkered single-file restart, all but assuring Hooker of the feature victory. Minot's Nathan Burke passed Laudenschlager on the final turn to finish third.
Minot's Dana Brandt overtook Brock Beeter on the sixth lap and cruised from there to take the checkered flag of the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature. Brandt finished more than 3.5 seconds ahead of Beeter and nearly five seconds clear of Kenmare's Cody Dignan.
Beeter took the lead on the first lap after starting the race in the eighth position. The Minot native held off Brandt early in the race, but was unable to maintain the lead as the No. 9D found its groove.
Brandon Beeter - the points leader heading into Sunday's race - finished fifth and now trails his brother by one point in the standings. Brandt moved into third in the standings, passing Brad King of Fairbanks, Alaska. King finished sixth.
Racing returns to Nodak Speedway on Sunday when the World of Outlaws come to Minot for their only appearance at the track this season. The IMCA Sport Modifieds will race as well. Hot laps begin at 6:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 7 p.m. and the green flag waves at 7:30 p.m.
Mike Kraft covers racing at Nodak Speedway during the summer. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Brock Beeter, Minot; 2. Jakob Kasprowicz, Turtle Lake; 3. Kyle Keller.
Heat 2: 1. Dana Brandt, Minot; 2. Brandon Beeter, Minot; 3. Ian Young, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Brad King, Parshall; 2. Cody Dignan, Kenmare; 3. Jason Olsen, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Brandt; 2. Brock Beeter; 3. Dignan; 4. Keith Mattox; 5. Brandon Beeter.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1: 1. Robbie Conway, Westhope; 2. Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake; 3. Matt Lang, Turtle Lake.
Heat 2: 1. Tory Mack; 2. Robby Rosselli, Minot; 3. Kelly Henderson, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Jeff Hooker, Minot; 2. Nathan Burke, Minot; 3. Ryan Wolla, Tioga.
Heat 4: 1. Erik Laudenschlager, Surrey; 2. Jordan Huettl, Minot; 3. Eric Folstad, Glenburn.
B-Main: 1. Brock Beeter, Minot; 2. Dusty Falcon; 3. Varion Hetle; 4. Rich Bohlman; 5. Gary Goudy Jr.
A-Main: 1. Hooker; 2. Huettl; 3. Burke; 4. Laudenschlager; 5. Conway.
Heat 1: 1. Troy Hoff, Flasher; 2. Tom Wagner, Mercer; 3. Donavin Wiest, Wishek.
A-Main: 1. Wagner; 2. Steven Kuntz; 3. Paul Huettl; 4. Wiest; 5. Shane Williams.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Brett Woznicki, Minot; 2. Nathan Burke, Minot; 3. Randy Conway, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Joe Flory, Williston; 2. Josh Wolla, Minot; 3. Austin Daee, Estevan, Sask.
A-Main: 1. Daee; 2. Bob Fuegmann; 3. Woznicki; 4. Conway; 5. Joe Flory.
Heat 1: 1. Eric Sinness, Williston; 2. Shawn Anderson, Minot; 3. Wayne Johnson, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Travis Hagen, Williston; 2. Robert Hellebust, Minot; 3. Allen Kent, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Drew Christianson, Minot; 2. Mike Hagen, Williston; 3. Steven Pfeifer, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Mike Hagen; 2. Travis Hagen; 3. Hellebust; 4. Tyler Wagner; 5. Sinness.