By Mike Spieker
WEST FARGO – Friday night’s season championship at Red River Valley Speedway was washed out due to rain, bringing an end to the regular season. As a result, Dave Shipley of Fargo was crowned the 2017 IMCA modified track champion.
Shipley took the title by 18 points over Hickson’s Tyler Peterson. Rob VanMil, Rich Pavlicek, and Michael Greseth rounded out the top five in points.
Shipley recorded two wins at the three-eighths mile dirt oval in 2017. Dale Kraling and Greseth also scored a pair of wins, while Austin Arneson led all drivers with five victories this season. A total of 65 different drivers competed in modified division this season; the most among all five weekly divisions.
Jesse Skalicky picked up his second consecutive IMCA Sport Mod track championship. The Fargo driver dominated the wins category with eight triumphs on the season. Chris VanMil finished second in points, 14 markers behind Skalicky, with two wins on the season. Kelly Jacobson, Luke Johnson and Matt Talley rounded out the top five.
Brandon Schmidt and Tim Church had some of the best battles seen all season long at Red River Valley Speedway in the IMCA hobby stock division. In the end, Schmidt took the hobby stock championship by 27 points over Church. Schmidt led the class with four wins to Church’s and Tim Shiek’s three wins. Eric Novacek, Alyssa White, and Shiek rounded out the top five in points.
The IMCA stock cars were the most competitive class of the season, with eight different drivers parking in victory lane over the course of the season. Consistency was the key for Kelly Jacobson as his 10 top fives pushed him atop the standings. Tim Compson, Rick Schulz, John Sandvig, and Duffy Froemke, who led the division with three wins, rounded out the top five in points.
All season long the INEX legends were dominated by 15-year-old Tim Estenson. Estenson of Fargo won exactly half of the races with seven victories. He took the points title over Tye Wilke, Kaitlyn Skalicky, Dean Julsrud, and Andrew Jochim.
Red River Valley Speedway’s 50th anniversary wraps up with the two-night INEX Legends Nationals. The country’s top legends drivers will be going up against the stout local competition for their biggest race of the year. IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks will also be in action both nights.