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PHOTO FINISH: Nord nips Hall on final lap

Jamestown's Andrew Michel (16), Fargo's Joey Rowell (1), Underwood's Marlyn Seidler (7) and Jamestown's John Corell Sr. (5) race four-wide into Turn 1 during IMCA modified heat race action Wednesday at Jamestown Speedway. Michael Savaloja / The Sun1 / 2
LaMoure's Clay Gentzkow (32) kept winning in the bombers Wednesday night at Jamestown Speedway. Michael Savaloja / The Sun2 / 2

Enderlin’s John Nord and Fertile’s (Minn.) Tyler Hall gave the Fourth of July Jamestown Speedway crowd quite the grand finale.

Nord, who was in second place, used the last remaining grip on the outside to narrowly edge Hall by 0.047 seconds to win the Fireworks Spectacular IMCA modified feature Wednesday night. The final lap was the only lap the winner would lead during the race.

“I just kept digging on the high side for it to be smooth,” Nord said. “It was really slippery, but it was starting to take a little bit of rubber. I kind of assumed it would be a high-line kind of race.”

After a caution consolidated the field with four laps remaining, Nord had to choose between the more consistent low lane or the high-risk, high-reward high side.

“When I saw the caution I figured either finish fifth or go for the win,” Nord said. “We went for the win and got it done.”

It was looking as if Hall would hold on for the victory after leading the first three laps following the restart. But heading to the checkered flag out of Turn 4, Hall’s No. 60 broke loose, giving Nord the chance he needed to win the race.

“When I took the lead on lap 15 it felt like the high side was going away,” Hall said, who led 10 of the 25 laps. “That’s the disadvantage of being up front is you don’t know where everyone else is running so I wasn’t searching around at all. It’s just the way it played out and I’m just happy to get second.”

Bismarck’s Tracy Domagala led for 12 of the first 13 laps -- all caution free -- and even took a commanding lead at one point. But following the race’s first of four caution flags on Lap 13, Domagala held on for two more laps before being passed by Hall. Domagala’s No. 96 car finished sixth on the night.

The victory was Nord’s first of 2018. The Enderlin driver has also finished fifth in Jamestown on June 9 and third at Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon on July 1.

“My last two years I’ve been struggling real hard after switching to IMCA from WISSOTA,” Nord said, who finished 18th in the point standings last year. “We made a ton of changes over the winter to the car. It’s been coming around and I’m really happy.”

Nord leapfrogged from fourth to second-place in the IMCA Modifieds point standings. He’s now trailing Eric Edwards, the points leader, by four.

Hall, who is staying in Jamestown till Saturday for opening night of the Dakota Classified Modified Tour, won his last two races in Glyndon (Minn.) and Halstad (Minn.) before being upended by Nord at the end.

“If we won tonight that would’ve been our third in a row, so we’re on kind of a hot streak,” Hall said. “Things have been coming around for us mid-season.

“It was a heck of a track tonight and we were fortunate enough to do well in our heat. I’m just trying to keep the momentum going for the weekend.”

If both racers can stay hot on Saturday a similar race could break out at Jamestown Speedway. Heat races begin at 7 p.m.

Gentzkow wins once again

LaMoure’s Clay Gentzkow kept his winning streak going during the 15-lap bomber feature after leading the final 12 laps to secure the victory. The win was Gentzkow’s fourth win in a row and eighth trip to victory lane this season.

“I’ve actually been tinkering with the car instead of being lazy,” Gentzkow said, who has won three times in Jamestown. “If you have something wrong you fix it and that’s been my go-to this year.”

After Wednesday’s race, Gentzkow has a one-point lead (409) over Leann Christensen (408) for first-place in the bombers division.

Jamestown Speedway

Wednesday

IMCA Modifieds

Feature: 1. John Nord; 2. Tyler Hall; 3. Eric Edwards; 4. Marlyn Seidler; 5. Dale Mathison; 6. Tracy Domagala; 7. Jarrett Carter; 8. Andrew Michel; 9. Marcus Tomlinson; 10. Lucas Rodin; 11. Greg Friestad; 12. Josh Eberhardt; 13. Josh Rogotzke; 14. Travis Traut; 15. Mike Tomlinson; 16. Crist Pittenger; 17. Joey Rowell; 18. Billie Christ; 19. Randy Gordon; 20. Dwight Wegner; 21. Myles Tomlinson, DNF; 22. Rusty Kollman, DNF; 23. Zach Dockter, DNF; 24. John Corell, DNF; 25. Terry Sahr, DNF; 26. Jeremy Forester, DNF.

Heat 1: 1. Hall; 2. Dockter; 3. Nord; 4. Pittenger; 5. Marcus Tomlinson; 6. Myles Tomlinson; 7. Christ; 8. Mike Tomlinson; 9. Forester.

Heat 2: 1. Carter; 2. Friestad; 3. Domagala; 4. Mathison; 5. Rodin; 6. Gordon; 7. Eberhardt; 8. Traut. DNS: Wegner.

Heat 3: 1. Rowell; 2. Michel; 3. Seidler; 4. Kollman; 5. Edwards; 6. Rogotzke; 7. Corell; 8. Sahr.

Bombers

Feature: 1. Clay Gentzkow; 2. Billy Carow; 3. Dylan Bitz; 4. Leann Christensen; 5. Brandon Michel; 6. Erik Busche; 7. Hayden Aberle; 8. Dylan Steele; 9. Gregory Moore; 10. Chris Welk Jr., DNF; 11. Dillon Thorpe, DNF; 12. Larry Hanson, DNF; 13. Lane Stoppleworth, DNF. DNS: Tony Smith.

Heat 1: 1. Gentzkow; 2. Michel; 3. Welk; 4. Hanson; 5. Thorpe; 6. Aberle; 7. Busche.

Heat 2: 1. Carow; 2. Bitz; 3. Moore; 4. Stoppleworth, DNF; 5. Christensen, DNF; 6. Smith, DNF; 7. Steele, DNF.

Mitchell Johnson

Hometown: Enumclaw, WA; College: Central Washington University

(360) 918-1853
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