Tyson Turnbull has seen Donny Schatz race plenty of times at Nodak Speedway, so he knew it would be a tall task defeating the Minot native and fan favorite in the Late Model feature Sunday at Nodak Speedway.
Turnbull started on the inside of Row 1 and grabbed the lead from Steven Pfeifer on the sixth lap. He overcame two late cautions to hold off Schatz by 2.863 seconds, denying him a spot in victory lane in his first trip to Minot this year.
"I watched Donny here when he was 14 years old and he was whipping the crap out of these guys in Sprint Cars that had done it all their lives," Turnbull said. "To beat him here, that was pretty awesome."
Minot native Donny Schatz finished the Late Model feature second in his first apperance at Nodak Speedway this year. Estevan’s Tyson Turnbull won the race by 2.863 seconds.
Schatz elected to start at the back of the 10-car pack after winning his heat race by more than three seconds. He quickly made his way to the fifth spot after the first lap and moved into fourth by Lap 5.
Turnbull seemed poised to run away with the race as he had built a half-lap lead on the field. But on Lap 17, the first yellow flag came out and brought the rest of the cars within striking distance of Turnbull's No. 10 car. Allen Kent was responsible for the caution, stopping on the back straightaway. In a split-second, Schatz was right back in Turnbull's rear-view mirror.
"It always helps to start up with him, but obviously the mindset is to win, but I did the best I could and it wasn't good enough," Schatz said. "No excuses, but it's still a good time. The race track was great. These guys have been battling the weather all day long."
Turnbull never squandered his lead on the restart, but Schatz moved up to second. A second caution moved Schatz back to fourth before passing Wayne Johnson and Steven Pfeifer to reclaim the runner-up position. He ran second the rest of the way.
"He did a good job," Schatz said. "We didn't expect the race track to get as slick as it did and I didn't tight up enough. It was still fun. That's the whole point of racing here. I had a good time. We would have liked to have won, but we didn't. We got beat."
Said Turnbull: "I couldn't ask for anything better. I haven't touched the (car) in a couple nights here since I changed a bunch of stuff earlier. That's locked down pretty good. I love it."
Pfiefer took third and Kent and Johnson finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Despite not winning the race, Schatz enjoyed his short time at the track.
"It's always fun to come back to Minot," Schatz said. "I enjoy running the Late Models as much as I can and to do it here in my hometown is definitely a lot of fun. I hope the fans enjoyed it and we'll do it again soon."
Spencer Wilson took the lead with 16 laps remaining and finished 1.429 seconds ahead of Kent to win the International Motor Contest Association Modifieds feature. Wilson grabbed the lead from Ed Turnbull, who held the lead through the first eight laps. Turnbull took third.
Kent passed Turnbull with nine laps remaining, but couldn't catch Wilson. The top five remained unchanged through the final eight laps. Travis Hagen finished fourth and Shawn Anderson took fifth.
Nathan Burke snapped Austin Daae's two-race winning streak in the IMCA Stock Cars feature feature, taking the checkered flag in 7:18.088. It was Burke's first win in the Stock Cars feature this season at Nodak Speedway.
Burke held off Bob Fuegmann by 0.969 seconds. Dalton Flory finished third, followed by Daae and Michael Vennes in fourth and fifth, respectively. Burke entered Sunday's race fifth in the point standings behind Vennes, Fuegmann, Daae and Flory.
Donavin Wiest edged Shane Williams by 0.271 seconds and Steven Kuntz by 0.573 to win the INEX Legends feature. It was Wiest's second victory in his last three trips to Nodak Speedway.
Wiest recorded the fastest speed at 63.610 mph and clocked in with the fastest lap at 21.223 seconds. Tom Wagner had the second-fastest lap at 21.330 seconds, but settled for fifth place. Drew Papke also finished less than a second behind Williams and took fourth.
There was little drama in the IMCA Sport Modifieds feature as Justin Medler ran away with the checkered flag, winning by more than five seconds over Jeff Hooker and Robby Rosselli.
Medler grabbed his first lead on Lap 5, overtaking Jon Lizotte, but was passed on the next lap by Rosselli. Medler needed less than a lap to reclaim the lead for good.
As Medler put it on cruise control, the rest of the field was jockeying for position. Jeff Hooker passed Rosselli on Lap 17 to finish second after starting outside the top five. Rosselli settled for third while Burke took fourth and Lizotte finished fifth.
Dana Brandt took advantage of a restart on the 10th lap and held off the rest of the field to win the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature. Brandt started on the outside of Row 1 and grabbed the lead over Josh Defoe following the second restart of the feature.
The Minot native shook off two cautions on the final four laps and beat Jason Olsen to the finish line by more than a second. Olsen moved into the second position on Lap 14.
Defoe took the lead on the opening lap, passing pole-sitter Nate Joern, who finished eighth. Defoe led for the next 10 laps before being overtaken by Brandt. Kadi Ruby finished third, followed by Brad King is fourth.
Racing returns to Nodak Speedway at 6 p.m. Sunday when the Hobby Stocks, Sport Modifieds, Legends, Stock Cars and Modifieds hit the track.
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Brad King, Fairbanks, Alaska; 2. Kadi Ruby, Minot; 3. Josh Defoe, Williston.
Heat 2: 1. Dana Brandt, Minot; 2. Brock Beeter, Minot; 3. Andrew Sebastian, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Brandt; 2. Jason Olsen; 3. Ruby; 4. King; 5. Defoe.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1: 1. Jon Lizotte, Grand Forks; 2. Tory Mack; 3. Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake.
Heat 2: 1. Nathan Burke, Minot; 2. Darren Medler; 3. Justin Medler, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Brock Beeter, Minot; 2. Chad Hassan; 3. Zac Lutz, Burlington.
Heat 4: 1. Robby Rosselli, Minot; 2. Erik Laudenschlager, Surrey; 3. Robbie Conway, Westhope.
B-Main: 1. Jeff Hooker, Minot; 2. Brandon Beeter; 3. Stan Tomlinson; 4. Isaac Sondrol; 5. Kelly Henderson.
A-Main: 1. Justin Medler; 2. Hooker; 3. Rosslli; 4. Burke; 5. Lizotte.
Heat 1: 1. Steven Kuntz, Bismarck; 2. Paul Huettl, Minot; 3. Steve Pankowski, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Shane Williams, Minot; 2. Tom Wagner, Mercer; 3. Drew Papke, Bismarck.
A-Main: 1. Donavin Wiest; 2. Williams; 3. Kuntz; 4. Papke; 5. Wagner.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Rob Stenvold, Minot; 2. Dalton Flory, Williston; 3. Bob Fuegmann, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Michael Vennes, Minot; 2. Dave Swallers; 3. Scott Yale, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Nathan Burke; 2. Fuegmann; 3. Flory; 4. Austin Daae; 5. Vennes
Heat 1: 1. Ed Turnbull, Estevan, Sask; 2. Eric Sinness, Williston; 3. Wayne Johnson, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Dallas Rice, Minot; 2. Drew Christianson, Minot; 3. Randy Conway, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Spencer Wilson; 2. Allen Kent; 3. Turnbull; 4. Travis Hagen; 5. Shawn Anderson.
Heat 1: 1. Donny Schatz, Fargo; 2. Steven Pfeifer, Minot; 3. Bryce Beck.
Heat 2: 1. Tyson Turnbull, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Wayne Johnson, Minot; 3. Allen Kent, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Turnbull; 2. Schatz; 3. Pfeifer; 4. Kent; 5. Johnson.