By Ray Beste
Alexandria, MN (June 25th, 2011) – Zimmerman, MN traveler James Becker scored his first career WISSOTA Street Stock feature win Saturday night at Viking Speedway. Jeff Crouse used a late race restart to his advantage taking the win in the WISSOTA Super Stock finale while Travis Saurer reigned victorious in both the WISSOTA Midwest Modified and WISSOTA Modified divisions. In the final event of the evening, Jeff Wildung scored the victory with a dominating performance in the WISSOTA Late Model division. The Viking Speedway faithful was once again treated to some great Amsoil Dirt Track Series action Saturday night at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN.
Although Randy Laage led the first 10 laps, ninth starter Saurer would lead the final five scoring the win in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified division. The 26-car starting field saw a bevy of hard charging performances most notably turned in by Chris Mensen and Josh “Buzz” Muzik. Mensen started the event in the 16th starting spot moving all the way up to seventh while Muzik advanced 13 positions from his 21st starting spot to finish eighth. With Saurer out front, Laage was left to do battle with Haben and Hoffman for the runner up spot. In the end Laage would hold the runner up spot with a strong performance. Out front it was all Saurer scoring the win. Laage, Haben, Hoffman, and Dustin Bitzan all recorded top five finishes for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, who put on a tremendous A-main.
Despite the fact James Becker had only seen limited action at Viking Speedway in the past; he made it look easy Saturday night leading all 12 laps of the WISSOTA Street Stock finale. Third starter Andrew Bangsund tried everything in his power to overtake Becker but was forced to settle for second. Eighth starter Chris Winter looked very strong once again moving up five positions to finish third with Justin Vogel and Tim Jodsaas rounding out the top five finishing order. Bangsund scored the win in heat race one while Brett Miller took the win in heat race two.
Shawn Nolan took the lead on lap one of the WISSOTA Super Stock A-main. Nolan looked strong early on and was scored the leader at the conclusion of the first lap. Third starter Cody Lee quickly moved up into the second spot while Jeremy Jerve battled in third. Back in traffic, Jeff Crouse moved into the top five nine laps into the event while Nolan was on cruise control out front. With six laps still up on the board, Jason Vejtruba expired an engine going into turn one which brought out the first and only yellow of the event. On the restart, Crouse moved to the top side of the speedway while Nolan continued to work one groove off the bottom. On lap fifteen, Crouse moved by both Lee and Jerve and quickly began to pressure the backside of Nolan. As the duo came to the flagstand with four to go, Crouse took the lead for the first time of the evening. Nolan would rebound during the final three circuits taking a big run at Crouse on the final trip around. Crouse, however, kept his top side momentum and went on to take the win by a ½ of a car length. Lee, Jerve, and row four starter Jon Stepan joined Crouse in the top five for the WISSOTA Super Stocks, who drew 15 cars.
Terry Engebretson and Randy Vanklompenburg shared the front row starting duties for the 26-car, 20-lap WISSOTA Modified A-main. Engebretson would get the jump early on leading lap one in the process. The yellow flag waved over the field several times during the early stages of the event before order was restored on lap six. By the midway point of the event it was apparent that Saurer and Jason Thoennes had the cars to make a run to the front. Eighth starter Saurer would move into the second spot with six laps remaining while Thoennes joined the fray with five to go. After a couple late restarts, Saurer was able to take the lead from Engebretson while Thoennes moved into second. The final restart of the night took place with three laps remaining with Saurer out front. Back in traffic, JB Stortz looked tremendous in his first visit of the season starting the event in 20th and finishing eighth. Thoennes tried everything in his power to overtake Saurer in the remaining laps but it was not enough to deny Saurer his first Viking Speedway Modified feature win of the season. In just his second night behind the wheel this season, Elrosa, MN driver Danny Bayer moved up nine positions finishing third behind Saurer and Thoennes. Early leader Engebretson and Dave Schroeder rounded out the top five for the WISSOTA Modifieds, who had the fans on their collective feet several times. Dallas Gulbrandson, Jake Wildman, Stortz, Dennis Bitzan and Curt Lund were all members of the top 10.
The final event of the evening was dominated by 2009 WISSOTA Late Model National Champion Jeff Wildung. Wildung, who started seventh, used the extreme high side of the speedway to take the lead on lap two, never looking back on his way to victory. Shaun Peterson, Zach Johnson, Eric Breeschoten, and Seth Brede joined Wildung in the top five. Brede reigned victorious in heat one while Breeschoten led every lap to take the win in heat two.
Next weekend Viking Speedway will host its annual Minnesota Modified Nationals. Racing will take place both Saturday and Sunday night with some of the best WISSOTA Modified drivers in the country on hand to make a run at the $7,000 to win payday. For more information regarding Viking Speedway log onto the track’s website at vikingspeedway.net.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature- Jeff Wildung, Shaun Peterson, Zach Johnson, Eric Breeschoten, Seth Brede, Todd Frank, Rick Nelson, Joey Ogston, Brad Parson, Scott Lehn, Logan Atkinson, Clarence Washburn, Scott Atkinson, Jeff Schommer
Heat 1- Brede, Nelson, Ogston, Peterson, Lehn, Washburn, L. Atkinson
Heat 2- Breeschoten, Wildung, Johnson, S. Atkinson, Frank, Parson, Schommer
Feature- Travis Saurer, Jason Thoennes, Danny Bayer, Terry Engebretson, Dave Schroeder, Dallas Gulbrandson, Jake Wildman, JB Stortz, Dennis Bitzan, Curt Lund, Josh Thoennes, Shayne Laske, Brock Gronwold, Kyle Wieberdink, Brett Hoium, Bobby Gierke, Randy Vanklompenburg, Tyler Sjoman, Scott Werk, Mike Storck, Kent Wilms, Dwayne Clarke, Dale Mathison, Luke Dykstra, Cale Arneson, Jason Blascyk
Heat 1- Mathison, Wildman, Vanklompenburg, Lund, Gierke, Clarke, Wieberdink, Sjoman, Laske
Heat 2- Engebretson, Schroeder, Gronwold, Bitzan, Jo. Thoennes, Dykstra, Stortz, Blascyk, Wilms
Heat 3- Gulbrandson, Ja. Thoennes, Saurer, Bayer, Arneson, Storck, Hoium, Werk
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature- Jeff Crouse, Shawn Nolan, Cody Lee, Jeremy Jerve, Jon Stepan, Derrick Lemke, Mike Peterson, Larry Lund, Matt Miller, Alan Johnson, Jeff Flaten, Terry Merten, Bryan Hellerman, Jason Vejtruba, Jeff Kluver
Heat 1- Nolan, Stepan, Kluver, Johnson, Lemke, Hellerman, Merten, Lund
Heat 2- Peterson, Crouse, Jerve, Lee, Vejtruba, Miller, Flaten
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature- Travis Saurer, Randy Laage, Brian Haben, Jason Hoffman, Dustin Bitzan, Travis Vanderby, Chris Mensen, Josh Muzik, Shawn Olson, Brady Gerdes, Nick Bruder, Derek Quinn, William Lund, Todd Rizer, Ryan Schleusner, Brooke Hellerman, Darrin Braaten, Shawn Fernkes, Josh Larsen, Jamie Thorstad, Dan Greeley, Jeremy Kerzman, Brian Krog, Todd Berg, Brandon Spanswick, Troy Berends
Heat 1- Gerdes, Haben, Saurer, B. Spanswick, Berg, Mensen, Greeley, Berends, Kerzman
Heat 2- Vanderby, Olson, Rizer, Krog, Schleusner, Quinn, Lund, Muzik, Hellerman
Heat 3- Hoffman, Bitzan, Laage, Bruder, Larsen, Braaten, Thorstad, Fernkes
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature- James Becker, Andrew Bangsund, Chris Winter, Justin Vogel, Tim Jodsaas, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Jordan Tollakson, Chris Ritter, Vern Stewart, Brett Miller
Heat 1- Miller, Becker, Winter, Maus-Krippner, Tollakson
Heat 2- Bangsund, Jodsaas, Vogel, Ritter, Stewart