Mike Hagen had been running well all year at Estevan Motor Speedway, and on Friday the Williston driver cemented his status as a season points contender with his first victory at the track in 2012.
Hagen won the modified feature to cap off Friday's races after starting second and leading for virtually the entire race.
It was a welcomed victory to cap off a tough day for Hagen.
Earlier Friday, Hagen and his son Travis, who also races at EMS, had served as pallbearers at the funeral for the wife of one of his close friends, who had a severe form of multiple sclerosis and committed suicide.
"I can't tell you how much it meant to me to win that one Friday night," he said. "It meant the world to me, that win."
It has been a rough year for Hagen, who has lost several other friends and family members, including an uncle.
Hagen is now tied for fourth in the season standings, 29 points behind Aaron Turnbull, who finished second in Friday's feature.
Turnbull, who has now placed in the top three in five straight races at EMS, had to earn it. He was forced to the pits for repairs during an early caution and was sent to the back of the field on the restart before winding his way up to second.
Joren Boyce of Minot was third, followed by Weyburn's Kelly Bauman and Minot's Allen Kent.
Turnbull has 151 points on the season, leading Kent by eight. No one else is close.
In the stock car feature, Minot's Kelly Henderson earned his first Estevan victory of the year, outlasting Estevan's Rocky Alexander for the win. Randy Conway was third, followed by Austin Daae and Gregg Mann.
Alexander currently leads the season standings with 158 points, six ahead of Henderson, who has posted a top-five finish in every race this year.
In the hobby feature, it was Eric Sinness claiming his second win in Estevan this year. The Williston driver has finished first or second in each of the five races he's entered this year at EMS.
Sinness stayed ahead of Brad King for the checkered flag. Micheal Dionne was third, with Darren Schatz taking fourth and Blaine Durward placing fifth.
Durward currently leads the season standings with 216 points, which puts him 12 points ahead of Gary Goudy Sr.
Meanwhile, Friday's program featured a sport mod race. The track had considered adding the emergent class this season but declined, opting to wait another year to see what transpired.
The sport mods have been called a hybrid between a modified and a stock car, and cheaper to build than a regular mod.
"I think it's the coming thing. I've seen them twice now. I saw them once in Minot. I think they're what's going to happen," said EMS president James Gustafson.
A total of 10 cars took part in the race, which was won by Wyatt Olson of Des Lacs, N.D.
He said there has been some interest from local drivers in entering the class if EMS were to adopt it for next year.
"Here's what they said: 'You guys better make a decision on whether or not you're going to run them here next year, because if you are, I'd be very interested in running a car in it.'"
The EMS schedule continues tonight with a monster truck event dubbed the Monster Shootout. The program begins at 7:30 p.m.
The next regular program at the track is next weekend, with a points night on Aug. 24, followed by Championship Night the next evening.