Drew Papke jumped back into an INEX Legends car this weekend at Dacotah Speedway and it was like he had never left.
Rain washed out Friday night’s feature races and the entire IMCA Modifieds program. But Papke came out a winner, nonetheless, racing the familiar No. 60 Legends car to a victory in his heat race.
Papke outdrove Legends legends Ivan Sailer and Donavin Wiest to win the heat race, his first turns around the Mandan track in the Legends car this season.
He has won seven of eight feature events at other tracks this season with his first loss coming last week to Wiest on his home track in Wishek.
“It was fun, we had a good run,” Papke said. “The car felt really good. Everything is where we left off. If anything, things are better.”
Things had been going great in IMCA Modifieds, where Papke landed after winning the national Legends points title last season.
Then Dickinson happened. The car Papke had driven to 13th place in the track points standing was severely damaged in a crash and is now sitting in the garage waiting to be rebuilt.
“It drives me crazy seeing it sitting in the shop,” Papke said. “I don’t have enough time in the week to keep both going.”
Papke just got back from Nebraska where he purchased a car for the chassis and some other parts. The engine of his wrecked mod is salvageable, but nothing else is, he said.
Eventually, the mod will be ready and Papke is going to make a decision on what to run where.
“We don’t have a plan. But once that’s ready, I might race modifieds in Mandan and race Legends Saturday in Dickinson or Jamestown,” Papke said.
He’s certainly not giving up on mods.
“We had a pretty good season for not really having any experience. I had high hopes,” he said. “I’ll need a few weeks.”
In other Legends races, Tommie Quenzer of Zambrota, Minn., and Lincoln’s Nate Keena were winners. Keena won with ease but Quenzer dueled side by side with Austin Wiest down the stretch.
Hunter Domagala outran Barrett Berg in the final race of the night to claim a win in the first heat of WISSOTA Street Stocks. The downpour brought things to a standstill with one Street heat and all three IMCA Modified heats, then the features, to run.
In Hobby Stocks, Karlie Hoerner led from the first lap restart to the checkered flag in her heat. Chad Hausauer went from sixth to second in the first lap of his heat race but he couldn’t get past Brent Vetter, and points leader John Gartner was an easy winner.
In IMCA Sport Compacts, Stan Thompson held off his son, Alex, in a heat race that saw two cars lose back right tires within one lap. Bismarck’s Andy Reed outran state points leader Larry King to the checkered flag in the other heat.
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