Mike Hagen thought his odds of winning were all but shot when he was sent to the back following a collision with 22 laps left during Tuesday’s modified feature at Estevan Motor Speedway.
But he started working his way back up and eventually overtook race leader Les McLenehan for his first victory anywhere in 2011.
“It’s a big relief to get one out of the way,” said the Williston, N.D., native. “We’ve been (in the top three) three or four times but couldn’t get a win.”
Hagen said there was one race in Williston where he passed Hank Berry late, only to see a yellow flag and the victory somehow handed to Berry.
Hagen, who started 10th on Tuesday, said he enjoyed the chase.
“It was fun to come from the back. It was a blast.”
He said the track conditions made for an interesting race.
“It rained before the races, so by the time the feature came around it had a lot of grooves and different places to go,” Hagen said.
“I love Estevan. It’s my favourite place to race. It seems to come (together) up there.”
Tyson Turnbull, Joren Boyce and Chris Hortness rounded out the top five.
Minot’s Kelly Henderson continued a strong stretch by winning the stock car feature a week after taking second behind Rocky Alexander.
Joe Flory, Alexander, Austin Daae and Robby Rosselli completed the top five.
Blaine Durward of Trenton, N.D. won the hobby stock feature in only his second appearance of the season at Estevan, having taken second in the other.
Hagen’s win has him second in the season point standings, 16 points behind Arizona Mechanical teammate Devin Raynard.
Tyler Wagner sits two points behind Hagen.
It’s tight at the top of the stock car standings, with Rosselli edging Alexander by a single point with two race nights left. Gregg Mann is 15 back.
Tyler Thompson leads the hobby pack, sitting eight points beyond Cory Evans and nine ahead of Gary Goudy Jr.
Meanwhile, several Estevan racers took part in the annual Wolff Pack Run in Swift Current on the weekend. The mod final had to be delayed until Monday due to rain.
Raynard won the feature and Hagen was second, with the pair taking home $5,000 and $3,000 respectively.
The next race night at the Speedway is Aug. 10.