BOONE, Iowa – Canadians Kody Scholpp and Jason Beaulieu put an international stamp on the International Motor Contest Ass’n’s biggest event Wednesday night.
Scholpp was the winner and Beaulieu finished fourth in the first IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s qualifying feature for Modifieds. They’ll join second running Dylan Smith and third place finisher Corey Dripps in the starting field for Saturday’s main event at Boone Speedway.
North Dakota’s Mike Hagen captured the second qualifier, ahead of Josh Most and the top two drivers in the battle for national championship honors, Chris Abelson and Ricky Thornton Jr.
Scholpp started fourth and was chased the last 17 times around the track by 2013 champion Smith. The final caution came with five circuits left in the 25-lapper and Dripps, who had started 16th, caught Beaulieu for third with three to go.
This is the second time two Canadian drivers qualified for the Saturday show: Scholpp and Aaron Turnbull, also from Estevan, Sask., both made the 2013 main event. Beaulieu is the first driver from British Columbia to qualify.
Hagen started the nightcap from third, passed pole starter Most near midway and was checking out while the battle for position continued behind him.
The race stayed caution free as Abelson advanced from 10th to third. Thornton made his way up from 14th and into the top four with three laps remaining.
Top four finishers from each qualifier meet in a Thursday Rochambeau session to determine their starting order on Saturday’s inside row.
Smith will start his career fourth main event. Dripps’ Saturday start will also be his career fourth and first since 1998.
Most, Abelson and Thornton are three-time qualifiers. Scholpp is in for the second time while Hagen joins Beaulieu as a first-time qualifier.
Two hundred and seventy-seven drivers from 24 states and the two Canadian provinces vied in one of 30 heats Wednesday evening. Fifteen states were represented in the starting field for the two qualifiers.