Championship Night at Nodak Speedway rained out

Alex Eisen/MDN Heavy rain comes down Sunday evening at Nodak Speedway to cancel Championship Night.

With storms rolling in, the Nodak Speedway track crew, drivers and spectators watched helplessly with the fleeting hope of getting Championship Night in.

Mother Nature wasn’t going to allow it.

Constant rain started downpouring on the 3/8-mile dirt track in Minot about an hour before the green flag was supposed to wave and never let up.

An update a few hours before race time on the Nodak Speedway Facebook page stated, “Don’t worry race fans! The forecast calls for rain, but we are go’n racing until it physically rains us out of here! …”

Well, it did exactly that and the cancellation of Championship Night at Nodak Speedway was finally made on the same Facebook page roughly 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of 7 p.m.

The decision to pull the plug was unavoidable. The rain was unrelenting and turned the track into a mud bowl. Plenty of hard work was washed away.

“We had to get up and prep the track like it was a normal Sunday and go about our business, even with the forecast the way it was, because earlier this year we raced on a day that had a 100 percent chance of rain,” Nodak Speedway President Brandon Beeter said. “That’s Mother Nature. It is what it is.”

A make up Championship Night won’t be scheduled. The season’s weekly point standings are solidified.

“The points are final, unfortunately,” Beeter said. “Due to scheduling restrictions this time of year, there is no way we can make up Championship Night. Some of our drivers are going down to Boone, Iowa, for the Super Nationals that start next Monday (Sept. 3) and they don’t like us running point races that weekend before.”

The rain out delivered 2018 track championships to four Minot natives in Robert Hellebust (IMCA Modifieds), Robby Rosselli (IMCA Sport Mods), Andrew Bertsch (IMCA Hobby Stocks) and Nathan Burke (IMCA Stock Cars), plus Max resident Christopher Zenz (IMCA Sport Compacts).

All five of the classifications were decided by seven points or more. A rather substantial margin entering what would have been the final race of the season.

“It helps the sting and the frustration a little bit,” Beeter said about the point standings already being fairly decisive. “But, you still have a lot of fun on Championship Night. It’s some guys last night because some guys don’t do the end of the year specials like the Motor Magic Nights. It’s not fun losing a Championship Night, let me put it that way.”

Beeter also thanked anybody that showed up to the track on Sunday to wait out the weather.

He believes the last time Nodak Speedway lost a Championship Night was as recent as four years ago.

“We were just discussing that,” Beeter said. “My brother was a champion, so I want to say it was 2014. I believe. We are really unclear. But, that was also due to a rain out.”

While rain dampened Championship Night, racing isn’t finished for the year at Nodak Speedway. The track hosts the Motor Magic Enduro Race on Friday, and then two nights of Motor Magic competitions on Saturday and Sunday.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.