Myles Tomlinson was all smiles as he pulled into the pit area Monday, trophy sitting on his lap as his friends and family waited patiently to congratulate the second-year driver.
The 22-year-old Turtle Lake native had just won the International Motor Contest Association Sport Modifieds feature at Nodak Speedway, his first career victory at any track. Tomlinson passed Matt Lang on the final turn to get his long awaited turn in victory lane.
"We've worked really hard in the shop and we've been really close, but we've had some tough luck here in Minot," Tomlinson said. "But to finally get it done here tonight, it feels really good."
Turtle Lake native Myles Tomlinson grabbed his first career victory Monday in the International Motor Contest Association Sport Modifieds feature at Nodak Speedway.
Tomlinson, who finished second the previous night, didn't even crack the top five until the 17th lap. Cautions proved to be a help as the drivers in front of him started dropping like flies. Darren Medler had a firm grip in the second position early in the race, but was bumped to the back after causing the second yellow flag. He finished 12th. During that caution, Justin Medler went into the pits to fix damage to his vehicle and thus had to restart in the back. He took eighth.
Robby Rosselli and Ryan Wolla, running 2-3 in the latter stages of the race, were both hit with cautions on the 17th lap. Four yellow flags came out before completing another lap, forcing a single-file restart. Wolla and Rosselli finished 14th and 15th, respectively.
"When they went to the single-file restart, it was follow the leader all night, so I didn't think we were going to be able to get it done, but it worked out," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson moved past Robbie Conway on the 18th lap and knew he had little time if he was going to make a final push for the lead. He decided to take a risk.
"They were slowing up on the bottom and I figured the middle was there," Tomlinson said. "If I could just roll it through I could get by those guys and it worked. I didn't think it was going to work, but I had to try something."
Tomlinson snuck past Lang, choosing to go high on the final turn instead of sticking to the bottom behind Lang. Lang was knocked off the back straightaway when Rosselli made contact with his car on the 17th lap. The affect on the car was noticeable to Lang.
"The car was good most of the race, but kind of went away at the end a little bit," Lang said. "When I got spun out on the back straightaway that loosened something with the car."
Conway finished third, followed by Jeff Hooker and Matt Lizotte.
The night ended in a bit of controversy with Drew Christianson being awarded the IMCA Modifieds feature win over Robert Hellebust. Hellebust took the lead on the final lap, but a caution brought out a yellow-checkered flag. Since Christianson grabbed the white flag on the second-to-last lap, the lineup reverts back to the most recent completed lap, thus giving Christianson the victory.
Christianson claimed the lead on the 11th lap over Mike Hagen. He remained out front while the order behind him constantly changed. Mike Hagen, Travis Hagen and Hellebust all spent time in second as Christianson drew closer to victory lane. Hellebust settled for second after starting from outside the top five. Travis Hagen and Mike Hagen, finished third and fourth, respectively, and Donald Robinson took fifth.
Austin Daae pulled off the Memorial Day Weekend sweep, passing Nathan Burke on the 17th lap to win his second IMCA Stock Cars feature in as many nights. Daae grabbed the second position five laps in, but was well behind Burke the majority of the race.
Burke was well on his way to victory lane until a caution on the 16th lap brought him back to the rest of the pack. Daae had been gaining ground on Burke, but it looked like he was going to run out of laps to chase down Burke.
Daae took over the lead heading into the second turn following the restart and edged Burke to the finish line by 0.278 seconds. The previous night, Daae nudged Michael Vennes for the feature win. Vennes took fourth behind Bob Fuegmann. Justin Striefel was fifth.
Steven Kuntz denied Donavin Wiest his opportunity to win on back-to-back nights in the INEX Legends division. Kuntz clipped Wiest by 0.3 seconds to win the feature race. Kuntz finished third Sunday.
Tom Wagner took third and Troy Hoff and Drew Papke finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Hoff turned in the fastest lap at 21.432 seconds, clocking in at 62.990 mph. It wasn't fast enough to catch Kuntz as Hoff finished 1.695 seconds back of the leader.
For the second straight night, the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature got off to slow start and never really got going. With three cautions in the opening lap and six yellow flags through five laps, the Hobby Stocks reached their time limit 10 laps prior to their 15-lap feature.
As a result, a green-white-checkered finish ensued and Brock Beeter passed Kadi Ruby on the final restart to claim his second victory at Nodak Speedway this season. Beeter began the night outside of the top five, but moved into the third position after two laps before eventually crossing the finish line first in the heavily shortened race.
Ruby led the most laps with three, taking over the top spot from Kyle Keller on the third lap. Ruby fell to third on the final restart as Brad King also got in front of the No. 9 car to take second. Keller grabbed fourth and Kaldel Heggen took fifth.
Racing returns to Nodak Speedway on Sunday with the Late Model Special. The Late Models will join the five regular classes for the first time this season. Heat races begin at 6 p.m.
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Brock Beeter, Minot; 2. Phillip Keller, Williston; 3. Kadi Ruby, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Jason Olsen, Minot; 2. Jakob Kasprowicz, Turtle Lake; 3. Josh Defoe, Williston.
A-Main: 1. Beeter; 2. Brad King; 3. Ruby; 4. Kyle Keller; 5. Kaldel Heggen.
IMCA Sport Modifieds
Heat 1: 1. Robby Rosselli, Minot; 2. Ryan Wolla, Tioga; 3. Brock Beeter, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Matt Lang, Turtle Lake; 2. Robbie Conway; 3. Myles Tomlinson, Turtle Lake.
Heat 3: 1. Matt Lizotte, Minot; 2. Nathan Burke, Minot; 3. Brandon Beeter, Minot.
Heat 4: 1. Darren Medler, Minot; 2. Zac Lutz, Burlington; 3. Kelly Henderson, Minot.
B-Main: 1. Justin Medler; 2. Jeff Hooker; 3. Stan Tomlinson; 4. Mike Lemay; 5. Erik Laudenschlager.
A-Main: 1. Myles Tomlinson; 2. Lang; 3. Conway; 4. Hooker; 5. Lizotte.
Heat 1: 1. Steven Kuntz, Bismarck; 2. Donavin Wiest, Wishek; 3. Tom Wagner, Mercer.
Heat 2: 1. Shane Williams, Minot; 2. Ivan Sailor; 3. Kevin Jensen.
A-Main: 1. Kuntz; 2. Wiest; 3. Williams; 4. Troy Hoff; 5. Drew Papke.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Bill Jones; 2. Cody Nelson, Kenmare; 3. Tyler Ashley, Bismarck.
Heat 2: 1. Nathan Burke, Minot; 2. Dalton Flory, Williston; 3. Scott Yale, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Chris Ellis, Williston; 2. Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.; 3. Michael Vennes, Minot.
A-Main: 1. Austin Daae, Estevan, Sask.; 2. Burke; 3. Bob Fuegmann; 4. Michael Vennes; 5. Justin Striefel.
Heat 1: 1. Mike Hagen, Williston; 2. Randy Conway; 3. Shawn Anderson, Minot.
Heat 2: 1. Jordan Huettl, Minot; 2. Spencer Wilson, Minot; 3. Wayne Johnson, Minot.
Heat 3: 1. Travis Hagen, Williston; 2. Allen Kent, Minot; 3. Robert Hellebust, Kenmare.
A-Main: 1. Drew Christianson, Minot; 2. Hellebust; 3. Travis Hagen; 4. Mike Hagen; 5. Donald Robinson.