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Photos: Estevan Motor Speedway had great night on and away from track

Eighty-five cars competed in the program, and fundraisers for a local racing family were held.

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Motor Speedway's opening program of the year on Saturday night delivered lots of great racing action for spectators, and it also raised funds for a local family.

The opening night had racing in all five classes. There were few caution flags interrupting the excitement, and the track preparation crew delivered a racing surface that allowed for lots of passing. A total of 85 cars were entered between the five different classes.

The evening was also a fundraiser for Alicia Mann, who is a long-time volunteer and supporter, and her family. Mann has been a member of the track's executive and often sings the national anthems before the races. She is part of a family that has raced at the track for years. Mann was diagnosed with cancer last year.

The 50/50 total jackpot was guaranteed to be at least $7,000, thanks to a donation by the Biggs family, but it wound up being much larger, with the winner taking home more than $6,300 and the Mann family receiving the same amount. An Estevan Minor Hockey Association U11 team sold purple ribbons, bringing in more than $2,100. Multiple race winners donated half of their winnings to the family. And a benefit cabaret with Ten Mile High happened after the races.

As for the racing, the closest racing on the night came in the hobby stock class. Kayden Hjorteland of Estevan edged Landon Runge of Lampman by about a quarter of a second for top spot. Hjorteland started from the pole position, promptly grabbed the lead in the race and never relinquished it, despite having to worry about lapped traffic.

A caution flag with three laps to go bunched the field together, and Runge pushed for the lead several times, but Hjorteland survived the challenges.

Connor Hanson of Torquay was third and Brennor Grinstead of Stanley, N.D. came in fourth.

Kody Scholpp of Estevan won the modified class in another thrilling finish over Steven Pfeifer of Minot. Pfeifer started from the pole and held the lead until late in the feature. He was slowed by lapped traffic, allowing Scholpp to close the gap.

Scholpp passed Pfeifer with four laps to go, and held the held despite having to contend with further lapped cars in a caution-free feature.

Travis Hagen of Williston was third and Aaron Turnbull of Estevan came in fourth.

The sport modified feature also had a close finish. Keenan Glasser of Estevan passed Brian Kentner of Boissevain, Man., with four laps remaining in the 25-lap feature after several previous attempts, and then held off challenges from Kentner and Gabriel Deschamp of Bottineau, N.D. The American driver settled for second and Kentner was third. Robby Rosselli of Minot came in fourth.

Austin Daae won the stock car feature, moving up from the 12th spot on the starting grid to take the lead with six laps remaining and pull away. He made good use of the track's high line to pass and withstand challenges.

Kyle Scholpp of Lampman was second, Deschamp – who raced in two classes on Saturday – was third, and Chase Davidson of Estevan wound up fourth. Davidson worked his way up from the back of the grid after he was assigned blame for an early caution that involved several vehicles.

For the first time, the speedway had two features for the slingshot class, with the top finishers in the two qualifying heats advancing to the A feature and the bottom half going to the B main.

Sladen Pfeifer of Minot was first in the A feature, finishing ahead of Hudson Mann of Estevan, Brogan Wagner of Weyburn and Gage Goetz of Estevan.

Weston Uranker of Williston won the B event, with Tatum Singleton of Kisbey in second, Dane Skjerdal of Weyburn in third and Halle Turnbull of Estevan in fourth.

The next program at the speedway will be the annual stop for the Tougher than Dirt Tour, which showcases hobby stocks and sport mods. The program will start at 7 p.m.