It’s hard to imagine anyone having a better racing season that Mandan’s Hunter Domagala.
But this weekend, the Mandan WISSOTA Street Stock driver will try to add yet another trophy to a collection by winning the two-day Oktoberfest race at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan.
The spotlight will be squarely on Domagala, who in the last two months won a feature in the North Dakota Governor’s Cup, a season points title, the WISSOTA 100 Race of Champions and a feature and two heats at the prestigious Stock Car Stampede in Jamestown.
Domagala’s whirlwind season, and the local racing campaign, reaches the finish line this weekend, one way or another.
“We’ve definitely had a pretty successful season,” Domagala said. “The last win at the Stampede was number eight for us.”
To get number nine, Domagala will have to race in heat races and dashes on Friday to determine starting positions for Saturday’s B-main qualifiers and features as part of the two-night Oktoberfest show at Dacotah Speedway.
Domagala clinched the Dacotah Speedway points title in late August, then hit the road, where he just kept winning. One of his six feature wins in Mandan qualified him for the Race of Champions in Fergus Falls, Minn.
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“We won a pretty big race,” Domagala said. “Really, it’s a prestige race. Only the best of the best are running in that. There are a lot of guys who have won a lot of stuff that run the Race of Champions.”
The Race of Champions is reserved for winners of a selected night feature at tracks across the Upper Midwest. Domagala doesn’t even know which of his six winning nights was the qualifier but accepted the invitation.
“You have to win that one night and they draw at random at the 100 where you are going to start,” Domagala said. “That one night locked me in.”
Domagala followed the Race of Champions with a strong run at the 50th annual Stock Car Stampede. He started fourth and won the feature on the first night, after starting on the pole and winning his heat. On night two, he again won his heat from the pole, then finished fourth after starting eighth in the feature.
“We definitely had a good weekend,” Domagala said. “Time and preparation is obviously a big factor but when it comes down to running in those big shows and succeeding in them, a lot of it comes down to where you’re starting.”
Domagala has a lot to be pleased with but the Race of Champions and the Stampede were the most thrilling.
“That race of champions, you’re racing with some of the best in the business. And if there is one big race you want to win in North Dakota, it’s the Stampede,” Domagala said. “I don’t know how we can have a much better season with all the success we’ve had.”
He could win Oktoberfest.
“I know we have the car to win that show. It’s all going to come down to making sure we stay out of wrecks and getting a good draw for the feature,” Domagala said. “We definitely have momentum. It definitely feels good coming off two big wins.”
Last year’s event was split between Mandan and Dickinson. Marlyn Seidler won both IMCA Modified features. Ken Sandberg claimed both IMCA Sport Compacts features; Zach Frederick won WISSOTA Streets and IMCA Sport Mods on Friday; Nate Keena was the INEX Legends winner; and Chris Welk Jr. won Hobby Stocks.
Saturday night event winners included Seidler, Sandberg, Drew Papke in INEX Legends, Cody Hulse in Hobby Stocks, Luke Krogh in IMCA Sport Mods and Joe Flory in IMCA Stock Cars. That event was held in Dickinson. This year, both nights will be held in Mandan.