Geoff Hellman will be racing among the champions come mid-September.
The Mandan driver earned a trip to the annual Amzoil Race of Champions by winning the qualifying WISSOTA Streets Stocks feature Friday night at Mandan’s Dacotah Speedway. The event is scheduled for next month at Huron, S.D., and will feature drivers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Manitoba and Ontario, who qualified at their respective tracks.
Hellman qualified for the first time.
“I’m really excited. I’ve gone there before and raced in the smaller races, but I’ve never raced in the big one,” he said. “I’m looking forward to racing against those guys. They’re some of the best racers around.”
Hellman posted his first feature victory at Dacotah Speedway since 2010, the year he was in serious contention for the points championship.
“It feels good to finally win here again. It’s been a long time,” he said. “I had a pretty good year in 2010, but after that I went to work in the oil fields and didn’t have much time for racing. I’ve gotten back into it more this year. I’ve missed a few weeks, but other than that, I’ve tried to be here, and at other tracks.”
Hellman, who won his heat race, started in the front row along side pole-sitter Dustin Frank of Freda. He passed Frank for the lead during Lap 3 of the 20-lap final, and stayed there until Brad Kadrmas of Bismarck passed him on Lap 7. Nine laps later, Hellman regained the lead and never looked back. Kadrmas came in a close second.
Hellman rode the high side of the track to victory.
“It was working for me the whole race,” he said. “When something’s working, you stick with it. Kadrmas was right there, though. I had to give it everything I had.”
David Falkenstein of Wilton, Jeremy Schmidt of Mandan and John Feist of Bismarck rounded out the top five.
Mark Dahl of Bismarck outdueled long-time rival Marlyn Seidler of Underwood to win the IMCA Modifieds feature.
The caution-free 25-lap race had three leaders. Spencer Wilson of Minot led after the first three laps, and Seidler led the next 11 go-rounds before Dahl pulled in front.
Wilson came in third, followed by Jeremy Keller and Shawn Strand, both of Mandan.
Steven Kuntz of Bismarck picked up his second straight Legends feature victory and third of the season. He led the last 14 laps of the 15-lap final. Rounding out the top five were Drew Papke of Bismarck, Shane Williams of Minot, Donavin Wiest of Wishek, and Paul Huettl of Bismarck.
Jeremy Engelhardt of Lincoln posted his first victory of the season in an abbreviated and caution-filled Hobby Stocks feature.
Five cautions were called before the first two laps were completed. After that, Engelhardt battled frontrunner Scott Gartner of Bismarck for the lead before passing him on Lap 9. He led the next three laps before a sixth caution ended the race. The feature was scheduled for 15 laps.
Gartner finished second, Chad Hausauer of Bismarck third, Jaren Wald of Napoleon fourth and Ron Joern of Bismarck fifth.
Jamie Schlafmann cruised to an easy victory in the Sport Compacts feature. Josh Roehrich of Menoken came in second.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Heat 1: Brad Kadrmas, Bismarck. 2. Eric Paul, Dickinson. 3. Matt Dosch, Bismarck. 4. Kelly Hoerner, Bismarck. 5. Barrett Berg, Lincoln.
Heat 2: 1. David Falkenstein, Wilton, Bismarck. 2. Jeremy Schmidt, Mandan. 3. Dustin Frank, Freda. 4. Allen Frederick, Richardton. 5. Eric Harpole, Bismarck.
Heat 3: 1. Geoff Hellman, Mandan. 2. John Feist, Bismarck. 3. Shawn Volk, Bismarck. 4. Carrie Mundahl, Bismarck. 5. Cole Lewis, Dickinson.
Feature: 1. Hellman. 2. Kadrmas. 3. Falkenstein. 4. Schmidt. 5. Feist. 6. Travis Ulmer, Mandan. 7. Frank. 8. Paul. 9. Volk. 10. Harpole.
Heat 1: 1. Jeremy Keller, Mandan. 2. Spencer Wilson, Minot. 3. Donald Robinson, Underwood. 4. Dave Aberle, Bismarck. 5. Brent Schlafmann, Bismarck.
Heat 2: 1. Allen Kent, Minot. 2. Eric Burwick, Aurora, Colo. 3. Robert Hellebust, Minot. 4. Eric Fetzer, Max. 5. Travis Olheiser, Dickinson.
Heat 3: 1. Marlyn Seidler, Underwood. 2. Shawn Strand, Mandan. 3. Dale Burwick, Dickinson. 4. Hank Berry, Sidney, Mont. 5. Shawn Anderson, Minot.
Heat 4: 1. Tim Perkins, Bismarck. 2. Mark Dahl, Bismarck. 3. Jerad Thelen, Bismarck. 4. Brian Swenson, Bismarck. 5. Andee Beierle, Bismarck.
Consi: 1. Tracy Domagala, Bismarck. 2. Darrell Bauer, Mandan. 3. Tylor Velo, Bismarck. 4. Kirk Wojahn, Gladstone.
Feature: 1. Dahl. 2. Seidler. 3. Wilson. 4. Keller. 5. Strand. 6. Hellebust. 7. Perkins. 8. Kent. 9. Berry. 10. Burwick.
Heat 1: 1. Shane Williams, Minot. 2. Donavin Wiest, Wishek. 3. Ivan Sailer, Bismarck. 4. Preston Martin, Bismarck. 5. Dauntae Martin, Bismarck.
Heat 2: 1. Steven Kuntz, Bismarck. 2. Drew Papke, Bismarck. 3. Troy Hoff, Flasher. 4. Paul Huettl, Bismarck. 5. Charles Woock, Bismarck.
Feature: 1. Kuntz. 2. Papke. 3. Williams. 4. Wiest. 5. Huettl. 6. Woock. 7. Sailer. 8. Hoff. 9. Kevin Jensen, Flasher. 10. Brian Schirado, Bismarck.
Heat 1: 1. Scott Gartner, Bismarck. 2. Ron Joern, Bismarck. 3. Roy Erickson, Bismarck. 4. Josh Roehrich, Menoken. 5. Eugene Halverson, Bismarck.
Heat 2: 1. Jeremy Engelhardt, Lincoln. 2. Keith McCleary, Napoleon. 3. Aaron Aaseth, Bismarck. 4. Nathan Messer, Mandan. 5. James Weber, Bismarck.
Heat 3: 1. Chad Hausauer, Bismarck. 2. Jaren Wald, Napoleon. 3. Jordan Hendrickson, Bismarck. 4. Dylan Thomas, Mandan. 5. Dean Brew, Manning.
Feature: 1. Engelhardt. 2. Gartner. 3. Hausauer. 4. Wald. 5. Joern. 6. Aaseth. 7. Messer. 8. Weber. 9. Halverson. 10. Thomas.
Heat 1: 1. Nic West, Bismarck. 2. Jamie Schlafmann, Bismarck. 3. Kayla Koth, Bismarck. 4. Josh Roehrich, Menoken. 5. Derek Nitschke, Dickinson.
Feature: 1. Schlafmann. 2. Roehrich. 3. Chance Seelye, Regan. 4. Koth. 5. Cody Stoxen, Mandan. 6. Alex Thompson, Bismarck. 7. Nitschke. 8. Cody Schulz, Bismarck. 9. Dewey Haas, Dickinson.