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Local driver's engine vandalized

Call it a case of sugar shock. Mini-stock driver Dustin Knutson discovered more than a cup and a half of crystallized sugar in his race car's fuel cell Wednesday, three days after experiencing engine troubles during races at Buffalo River Speedwa...

Call it a case of sugar shock.

Mini-stock driver Dustin Knutson discovered more than a cup and a half of crystallized sugar in his race car's fuel cell Wednesday, three days after experiencing engine troubles during races at Buffalo River Speedway.

The sugar clogged the fuel line, pump and carburetor with a sticky sludge. Knutson, in second place in the points standings, finished seventh in the feature and last in his heat race.

It may also cause permanent damage to the car's engine and cause Knutson to forego the remainder of the season, said Steve Knutson, the driver's father and pit mechanic.

"This is one of the most hateful forms of vandalism. The perpetrator's intent is to cause total engine destruction, which is a large financial and time loss."

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Dustin Knutson was atop the points standings before the incident and is two points behind leader Craig Engelstad with three races remaining.

Steve Knutson, who contacted police Thursday, said the vandalism could have occurred anytime following the races at Buffalo River Speedway on Aug. 3.

That week, the car experienced no engine problems as Dustin captured his fifth feature victory of the season.

Buffalo River Speedway co-owner Sandy Johnson said she had not been notified of the vandalism.

Dustin Knutson is scheduled to test the engine during races Sunday night.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

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