Dana Brandt led 11 of the International Motor Contest Association Hobby Stock A-main's 15 laps Sunday night at Nodak Speedway, but his victory-to-be was threatened by defending points champion Brock Beeter in the race's final moments.
With Brandt in front and Josh Defoe clinging to second, Beeter snuck to the front of the pack during Lap 11 with a well-executed sprint up the high end of the track.
Beeter, who was edged by Brandt during the third heat earlier in the night, went on to lead the next three laps, carrying a momentum that surely would have brought him to victory lane.
Dana Brandt (9D) edged defending Hobby Stocks point champion Brock Beeter by 0.05 seconds in Sunday’s A-Main at Nodak Speedway. Brandt and Beeter also finished 1-2 in their heat race with Beeter taking the checkered flag.
But the caution flag spoiled his run at the checkered.
"I had a plan for it, and it was executed perfect. Everything worked perfect," Beeter said. "And with that caution with two to go, I knew I was in trouble. I had to make two perfect laps, but that's all it took was the 43 to break my momentum. That's all it takes."
The No. 43 car of Brad King, who finished third in the feature, sat in the same position at the restart with two laps to go.
Two laps from another win at Nodak Speeway, Beeter went to claim the inside track position after seeing the green flag, but King drove into his path, leaving just enough room for Brandt to sneak inside and retake the lead.
It was neck-and-neck from that point on, but it was Brandt who edged the No. 48 car by the smallest margin of victory of the night: .05 seconds.
There were six caution flags shown during the race, which made Brandt nervous, particularly down the stretch.
"The cautions kept coming out, and I knew Brock was gonna be right there," Brandt said. "I knew he was probably gonna try the outside, because me and him are both kind of the same way. If we're trapped down low, we're not gonna stay there."
But it was a caution that reined Beeter back for the final two laps, bringing him into range for Brandt, who was frustrated to have lost the lead in the first place.
"To be honest, I wasn't very happy, kinda smacking myself that I screwed up," he said. "But I had to stick with it, either try to bump him a little bit to get him out of the way or try and get around him again."
A Minot native, Brandt started the day 12th in the point standings, 54 points behind leader King. Beeter sits second with 146 points, eight behind first.
Drew Christianson capped off the night with a commanding victory in the IMCA Modifieds feature. Christianson crossed the finish line 2.876 seconds in front of Jordan Huettl, who took second.
The Minot native recorded the fastest lap at 20.479 seconds. He entered the race seventh in the point standings, but moved into a fifth-place tie with Steven Pfeifer. Christianson passed Spencer Wilson, who finished fourth. Eric Sinness took third and Pfeifer grabbed fifth.
Austin Daae is enjoying a strong start to the season, winning his third IMCA Stock Cars feature at Nodak Speedway this year. Daee's third victory came in dominating fashion as he bested the field by 5.385 seconds.
Nathan Burke finished in a distant second, followed by Dalton Flory, Michael Vennes and Rob Stenvold. Flory finished 7.760 seconds behind Daae and Vennes and Stenvold were each more than 8.5 seconds behind the pace.
With the victory, Daae moves into second place in the point standings.
Donavin Wiest won a close INEX Legends feature, holding off three competitors by less than a second. Wiest edged Troy Hoff by 0.332 seconds, followed closely by Shane Williams (0.443) and Drew Papke (0.640).
Burke continued his winning ways at Nodak Speedway. A week after claiming the checkered flag in the IMCA Stock Cars feature, Burke won the IMCA Sport Modifieds A-Main by nearly two seconds over Erik Laudenschlager.
Although Laudenschlager posted the fastest lap at 19.882 seconds, it wasn't enough to catch the No. 16 car of Burke, who trailed Jeff Hooker by six points in the standings entering Sunday.
Wyatt Olson finished third, followed by Kelly Henderson in fourth and Chase Conway in fifth. Robby Rosselli, who sits in third in the point standings, didn't finish the race aftering completing six laps.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Brad King; 2. Keith Mattox; 3. Jason Olsen.
Heat 2: 1. Kadi Ruby; 2. Kalden Heggen; 3. Kevin Mattox.
Heat 3: 1. Brock Beeter; 2. Dana Brandt; 3. Andrew Sebastian.
A-Main: 1. Brandt; 2. Beeter; 3. King; 4. Josh Defoe; 5. Kev. Mattox.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1: 1. Robby Rosselli; 2. Chase Conway; 3. Mike Lemay.
Heat 2: 1. Nathan Burke; 2. Brandon Beeter; 3. Ryan Wolla.
Heat 3: 1. Darren Medler; 2. Jon Lizotte; 3. Jeff Hooker.
Heat 4: 1. Erik Laudenschlager; 2. Kelly Henderson; 3. Matt Lizotte.
B-Main: 1. Robby Conway; 2. Zac Lutz; 3. Tory Mack; 4. Kevin Eklund; 5. Dennis Chapman.
A-Main: 1. Burke; 2. Laudenschlager; 3. Wyatt Olsen; 4. Henderson; 5. C. Conway.
Heat 1: 1. Steven Kuntz; 2. Troy Hoff; 3. Tom Wagner.
Heat 2: 1. Donavin Wiest; 2. Shane Williams; 3. Drew Papke.
A-Main: 1. Wiest; 2. Hoff; 3. Williams; 4. Papke; 5. Wagner.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Austin Daae; 2. Gary Goudy Jr.; 3. Brett Woznicki.
Heat 2: 1. Bill Jones; 2. Dalton Flory; 3. Billy Preston.
Heat 3: 1. Nathan Burke; 2. Rob Stenvold; 3. Justin Striefel.
A-Main: 1. Daae; 2. Burke; 3. Flory; 4. Michael Vennes; 5. Stenvold.
Heat 1: 1. Drew Christiansen; 2. Aaron Turnbull; 3. Wayne Johnson.
Heat 2: 1. Spencer Wilson; 2. Mason Big Eagle; 3. Eric Sinness.
Heat 3: 1. Jordan Huettl; 2. Travis Hagen; 3. Mike Hagen.
Heat 4: 1. Jett Big Eagle; 2. Steven Pfeifer; 3. Jerad Thelen.
B-Main 1: 1. Hank Berry; 2. Jason Wolla; 3. Jeremy Keller; 4. Shawn Anderson; 5. Josh Wolla.
B-Main 2: 1. Allen Kent; 2. Travis Peery; 3. Jeremy Sorenson; 4. Troy Kittler; 5. Darin Wendt.
A-Main: 1. Christianson; 2. Huettl; 3. Sinness; 4. Wilson; 5. Pfeifer.