The IMCA Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Modified Tour is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it's going to offer a lot for spectators.
The Estevan Motor Speedway will be the second stop on this year's tour on July 7, and tour director John Gartner said that he expects there will be 70 modified and 30 stock cars in Estevan. He believes there will be even more for some of the other stops, as some drivers on the tour can't cross the Canada-U.S. border.
“I would say we’re going to have at least 90 (modifieds) in Minot, and who knows we could push the 100 mark,” he said. “We’ve never done that before our record is 81, that we set a couple years ago, but I think we’re going to break that and I think we’re going to break it at virtually every track.”
One of the reasons that Gartner believes there are going to be more cars on this year's tour, is they have raised the payout of each feature race from $1,700 to $2,000.
As part of the tour's silver anniversary, Gartner said that they will also be honouring past winners during the program in Mandan on July 10.
“Mandan was one of the original tour tracks and so we’re going to do it down there,” said Gartner.
Gartner also mentioned that spectators should expect competitive racing throughout the tour.
“The competition is going to be extraordinary this year with all the talent we’ve got coming out here,” he said.
One of the drivers on the tour is David Murray from Kansas. Gartner said he has won 500 modified features in his career, which is the most in IMCA history.
“These guys, they don’t come out for second place, they come out to win and with so many of them that have the capability of winning, it’s going to be a heck of a race,” said Garnter.
The tour will stop in six communities over six days, beginning on July 6 in Minot and ending July 11 in Jamestown.
With the modified tour approaching, the Estevan Motor Speedway will be having a pre-tour program on July 5, starting at 7 p.m.
The program will feature late models, modifieds, stock cars and hobby stocks racing for points.
Marketing and promotions manager Tracy Lewis said that she expects there to be a respectable turnout, since it happens the night before the modified tour begins.
“We’ve always had good crowds when we put on a race right before the tour; we usually get a few guys come up for it that are on the tour,” she said.
A program that had been scheduled for June 28 was rained out.