Feature Friday: the Dakota Legends Tour
Local drivers, as well as drivers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Indiana, and Iowa joined us this past weekend for the sixth annual Dakota Legends Tour. The tour showcased some of our best dirt legend drivers from across the country, racing for the grand prize, a brand new U.S. Legend Cars International Chassis plus $500.
Thursday, June 16th kicked off the first race of the series at Tri-County Speedway in Wisher, North Dakota. The series then moved across the state for race two at Dacotah Speedway. On Saturday night, the dirt legends took to the track at Jamestown Speedway, and finally, wrapped up the series Sunday, June 19th at Buffalo River Race Park.
In 2011, Steve Pankowski formed the Dakota Legend Tour, a small, four race, dirt legend series across North Dakota. Over the years, with the help of the tracks, Steve was able to grow the car count, and build the series. Moving into the sixth year of the series, dirt racer and close friend of Pankowski, Cameron Sogge, has taken over, and helped make this summer's tour one of the best we've seen.
Car counts reached the mid-thirties each night, causing the nightly schedule to include B-Main races. Night one of racing at Tri-County Speedway, the 22 car feature race went caution free, setting a great tone for the rest of the series. As the tour went on, ultimately, Minnesota's Tim Brockhouse took the title of 2016 Dakota Legends Tour Champion, and the chassis that went along with it. Shane Williams of North Dakota, followed second in points, taking home a $500 USLCI gift card, plus $250 in purse money. Third place in series points went to Steven Kuntz, and Andrew Jochim next in fourth overall, both North Dakota natives. Josh Julrud finished out the top five, taking home a $100 USLCI gift card and $50 from the series purse.
Once aspect of the tour that stands out to many participants is the sense of community throughout the pits. Each night of racing ends with a camp fire, and dinner severed family style for all who attended, to many it has become a tradition. North Dakota native, Ivan Sailer, hosts a seafood boil one night each year, cooking over 70 pounds of food for everyone to enjoy. Any tension from the track is left behind, and allows all to take part in the racing atmosphere, and the friendly competition.
Tour organizer, Cameron Sogge, is already starting preparations for next year's series. Building on the drivers and tracks that help make this four day tour possible. "I've got new tracks that I'm already talking with for next year, and looking to grow car numbers over the next year", says Sogge.