Forget the fireworks, there were plenty of bright lights and an explosion or two at Huset's Speedway on a humid Tuesday evening.
Mark Dobmeier was in the middle of it all in front of a facility packed by a rowdy crowd, which has adopted the Grand Forks, N. D., native as their own. And for good reason; he's really good.
The four-time Huset's Speedway track champion survived an early incident with Craig Dollansky en route to his first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory in nearly six years. Dobmeier railed the cushion and lapped up to ninth place to pick up career win No. 44 at Huset's Speedway, where he has claimed four out of the last five track championships and 25 features since 2008.
"The cushion was awesome," he said. "The track was pretty narrow all night long, but thankfully in that feature it widened out and we got a racy track here."
Dobmeier, whose only previous World of Outlaws victory was at Wilmot Speedway in Wilmot, Wis., on Oct. 14, 2006, started Tuesday's feature inside the second row. After a red flag on the initial lap for a five-car pileup in turn three, Dobmeier passed Dollansky for second on lap three as polesitter Ian Madsen maintained the lead.
Five laps later the second red flag was displayed after Dobmeier and Dollansky touched wheels on the backstretch, sending Dollansky into a series of violent flips into turn three.
"We both went for the same spot at the same time," said Dobmeier, whose car wasn't damaged in the collision. "In my eyes it was hard racing. In his eyes I guess I'm a no driving piece of something. When someone tells me something like that it puts a little fire under my butt so to say and makes me sit up in the seat a little higher."
On the 11th lap, Dobmeier used the cushion in turns one and two to rocket by Madsen down the backstretch. He began to pull away before a caution on lap 12 for Steve Kinser and Donovan Peterson, who had both stopped in turn two after an apparent collision.
Kinser returned to the race in 20th, but made up a majority of those positions on the ensuing restart. Something happened between sixth-running Tim Kaeding and eighth-running Donny Schatz down the front stretch, which triggered a massive crash in turn one.
Terry McCarl and Kaley Gharst both got upside down, and Chad Kemenah, Lucas Wolfe, Kerry Madsen, Robby Wolfgang and Austin Pierce were also involved. Kinser resumed the race in 12th as Dobmeier set sail.
Around that same time the left rear shock on Ian Madsen's car broke, allowing a variety of drivers to close in. Dobmeier had a straightaway advantage with 10 laps remaining as second place through sixth were jumbled in lapped traffic.
"Mark showed me the top was a little quicker in (turns) one and two," Madsen said. "We were staying right with him and then we had a left rear shock break off. Otherwise I think we would have had something for him."
Cody Darrah capitalized and began to work his way toward the front on the cushion. He passed Kasey Kahne Racing teammate Joey Saldana for fourth place with eight laps remaining and got by Sammy Swindell for third with three laps to go. Darrah then slid Madsen for the runner-up position with two laps remaining.
"It played out for me there in traffic," Darrah said. "Once I got to second, you're looking around for the leader and he was nowhere to be found. We got our butts beat tonight by Dobmeier."
Madsen held off Swindell, who maintains the championship points lead, for the final spot on the podium.
Tim Kaeding charged from 13th to finish fifth. Saldana was sixth, Kraig Kinser seventh, Schatz eighth, Steve Kinser ninth and Bill Rose rounded out the top 10.
Rose, Darrah and Kinser each claimed a heat race, and Dobmeier set quick time in qualifying for the second time this season.
Courtesy: Huset's Speedway (Final Results)