GLYNDON – Michael Johnson recorded his first win of the season Sunday evening at Buffalo River Race Park as he stole the IMCA modified feature win on the final lap.
The majority of the race was dominated by Rob VanMil, who already has four feature wins in 2017 at BRRP. VanMil had his hands full with Rich Pavlicek in the closing stages as Pavlicek was hungry for his first win of the season.
With two laps to go, VanMil and Pavlicek were nose to tail going around lapped traffic. Pavlicek put his No. 17 machine to the top side of the speedway around the semi-banked turns of BRRP, while VanMil rode the rim around the bottom.
On the final lap, VanMil and Pavlicek made heavy contact coming to the checkers, which forced a caution flag and a green-white-checkered flag finish.
Pavlicek was charged for the caution and sent to the tail of the field as VanMil regained his position in the lead. Johnson restarted right behind VanMil.
“I was hoping for a caution to regroup things and it never came. I definitely got lucky there with that caution at the end, which set up the green-white-checkered,” said Johnson in victory lane. “I knew I had a good car, I just wasn’t close enough at the end.”
On the final restart, Johnson followed VanMil until the white flag was displayed.
“With Rich (Pavilicek) getting underneath Rob (VanMil), Rob was a little cautious and protected the bottom and left the top open for me.”
Johnson stormed around the outside of VanMil on the final lap to take the win.
Johnson also recorded a win Thursday night at Norman County Raceway in Ada, Minn.
Chris VanMil of Barnesville swept the weekend in his No. 44D IMCA sportmod. VanMil started the weekend by picking up the feature win Friday night at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. He backed that up with a win Saturday at North Central Speedway in Brainerd, before leading 19 of the 20 laps at BRRP on Sunday.
VanMil took the lead from Scott Jacobson on lap two as Luke Johnson followed him into second. Johnson looked to close in on VanMil, but VanMil was clearly the class of the field as he stretched out his advantage.
A pair of cautions around the halfway point bunched the field back up. Positions within the top five were shuffled up as Johnson, the father-son duo of Scott and Kelly Jacobson, and Jesse Skalicky all traded positions.
VanMil cruised to a 10 car length lead in the final laps before taking the feature win as Kelly Jacobson and Skalicky rounded out the top three.
The INEX legends feature came down to a final restart between Dylan Johnson of Dubin, N.D. and seventh place starter Andrew Jochim of Glyndon. After a solid start by Johnson at the drop of the green flag, Jochim closed the gap and had a chance at the win in the final set of corners.
Jochim ducked underneath Johnson exiting four as the lead duo drag raced to the line. At the checkers, Johnson edged out Jochim by a mere 0.075 seconds to claim his first win of the season.
Brandon Schmidt grabbed his ninth overall feature win in the IMCA hobby stocks. The Hillsboro, N.D. driver drove from the third starting position to take the lead early on and dominate the 20-lap event.
Grand Forks, North Dakota’s Brendan Mullen led wire to wire in the NLSA lightning sprint feature to claim his second BRRP win of the season.. Mullen started outside of the front row and edged out Zak Kwiakoski on lap one to secure the lead. In a race that went caution free, Kwiakoski kept within striking distance of Mullen, but didn’t have quite enough to challenge for the win.
Reez Eckerdt won the slingshot feature, while Daniel Harstad won the IMCA sport compact main event.
Racing continues next Sunday at Buffalo River Race Park. Green flag drops at 6pm.
Feature – 1. Michael Johnson, Harwood, N.D.; 2. Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 3. Lance Schilling, Park Rapids, Minn.; 4. Tyler Hall, Fertile, Minn.; 5. Jamie Schulz, Harwood, N.D.
Feature – 1. Chris VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; 2. Kelly Jacobson, Fargo, N.D.; 3. Jesse Skalicky, Fargo, N.D.; 4. Scott Jacobson, Fargo, N.D.; 5. Luke Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.;
NLSA Lightning Sprints:
Feature – 1. Brendan Mullen, Grand Forks, N.D.; 2. Zak Kwiatkoski, Grand Forks, N.D.; 3. Josh Abrahamson, Moorhead, Minn. 4. Presley Truedson, Kennedy, Minn.; 5. Lawrence Veralrud, Oslo, Minn.
Feature – 1. Dylan Johnson, Durbin, N.D.; 2. Andrew Jochim, Glyndon, Minn. 3. Tony Brockhouse, Glyndon, Minn. 4. Tye Wilke, Detroit Lakes, Minn. 5. Kaitlyn Skalicky, Fargo, N.D.
IMCA Hobby Stocks:
Feature – 1. Brandon Schmidt, Hillsboro, N.D.; 2. Maranda Borg, Harwood, N.D.; 3. Nick Nelson, Georgetown, Minn.; 4. Caleb Gardner, Glyndon, Minn.; 5. Eric Novacek, West Fargo, N.D.
IMCA Sport Compacts:
Feature – 1. Daniel Harstad, Fergus Falls, Minn; 2. Brady Moore, Ulen, Minn.; 3. Peewee Kuhnau, Litchfield, Minn.; 4. Scott Beckman, Mahnomen, Minn; 5. Isaac Drewlow, Barnesville, Minn.