By Ray Beste
Alexandria, MN (June 4th, 2011) – Defending WISSOTA Late Model National Champion Ricky Weiss led flag to flag picking up his second win in as many nights Saturday night at Viking Speedway. Cody Skytland picked up where he left off taking the win in a hotly contested WISSOTA Modified A-main while Jeff Crouse took his third win in four tries this season at the big ½ mile. Travis Saurer scored his eighth WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature win of the season in that division’s finale while Travis Berends took home his first of the season in WISSOTA Street Stock competition. Sunny skies and ample car count greeted fans once again at the big ½ mile for some tremendous Amsoil Dirt Track Series Racing, Viking Speedway style.
Shawn Olson took the early lead in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified A-main. Olson looked strong on the opening lap and was scored the leader with one lap down. Sixth starter Dustin Bitzan used the high side of the speedway to his advantage as he quickly moved into third on lap three. A myriad of cautions haunted the 15-lap affair near the midway stages with ninth starter Travis Saurer steadily moving his way forward. Eleventh starter Jason Hoffman looked strong as well as he cracked the top five late in the race. With six laps remaining, and Bitzan now in the lead, Saurer made a power move on the bottom of the speedway in turn three. Travis was able to make that move stick and took the lead from Bitzan in the process. Fifteenth starter Chris Mensen looked strong throughout the duration of the race as well moving up nine positions to finish sixth. In the end, however, it was Saurer taking his third Viking Speedway win of the season. Bitzan looked strong all night long coming home second with Ron Saurer third, Hoffman fourth and eighth starter William Lund fifth.
The WISSOTA Street Stock finale proved to be a hotly contested affair with Travis Berends and Chris Winter manning the front row starting duties. The green flag dropped over the field with Winter gaining the early advantage. On lap two, however, Berends used the low side of the speedway to overtake Winter for the lead. The fastest car on the speedway on lap five was that of Andrew Bangsund. The Starbuck, MN native moved from his fifth starting spot up into second with five laps still up on the board. After a couple yellow flags slowed the action near the midway point of the race, order was restored with two laps still up on the board. Bangsund through everything but the kitchen sink at Berends in the remaining laps but it was not enough as “Trapper” took home the win. Bangsund turned in a great run in second followed by Winter, Tim Jodsaas, and Justin Tammen. Mark Blom was victorious in the division’s lone heat race.
Fourth starter Jeff Flaten took the lead on lap one with a power move on the bottom of the speedway in turn three. Flaten was able to beat Jon Stepan to the line and was scored the leader at the conclusion of the first lap. As the laps clicked off, however, Stepan moved in closer and began to pressure the backside of Flaten when the first yellow of the evening waved on lap nine when Dominic Baker expired an engine. At the same time Flaten would retire pitside giving Stepan the lead with Derrick Lemke and Jeff Crouse on his rear bumped for the Delaware double-file restart. The green dropped once again with Stepan showing the way. What was lead by Flaten early had now turned into a three car battle for the lead. Stepan worked the high groove out front with Lemke and Crouse side by side for the second spot. Lemke looked as if he might take a lead on consecutive laps before Crouse was able to move by into second. With six laps remaining, Crouse made a power move on the bottom of the speedway in turn three taking the lead from Stepan. Stepan did his best to battle back but it was not enough to deny Crouse his third Viking Speedway win of the season. Stepan had a strong run finishing second with Lemke third, 10th starter Matt Miller fourth, and Mike Peterson fifth.
The WISSOTA Modified A-main proved to be an absolute slobber-knocker with a myriad of drivers looking as if they might visit victory lane. WISSOTA Modified rookie Brett Hoium took the early lead at the drop of the green while eighth starter Cody Skytland made a great move gaining four positions on the opening lap. Hoium continued to stretch his advantage out front while Dallas Gulbrandson and Skytland battled for the second spot. While Gulbrandson and Skytland battled for the runner up position, which allowed Scot Danzeisen to move up into the fourth spot and join the fray. Back in traffic, Dennis Bitzan was absolutely bolted moving up 11 positions during the first five laps of the race in his new Larry Shaw racecar. The yellow flag flew for the first time of the evening on lap six which bumped up the field behind Hoium. On the restart, Skytland took over the second spot and quickly engaged himself in a battle for the lead with Hoium. Hoium was able to fend off Skytland until lap nine when he snuck by on the bottom of the speedway in turn three. Sixth starter Josh Thoennes steadily worked his way to the front and looked as if he might be the car to beat with six laps still up on the board. Skytland held the lead over the younger Thoennes with Danzeisen running strong in third. With three laps remaining, the final yellow of the event waved with Thoennes and Danzeisen now on the backside of Skytland. Dennis Bitzan took the fourth spot on the restart while Skytland remained steady out front. In the end it was Skytland taking the win ahead of Thoennes and Danzeisen. With a heavy heart after losing his mother earlier in the week, Dennis Bitzan turned in a tremendous run moving up 13 positions in the 20-lap contest coming home fourth. Tenth starter Travis Saurer turned in another solid performance finishing fifth.
The final event of the evening was led flag to flag by Winnipeg, Manitoba driver Ricky Weiss. Weiss took the lead on the opening lap from Clarence Washburn and never looked back on the way to his first Viking Speedway win of the season. Seventh starter Zach Johnson did his best to track down Weiss during the ladder stages of the event but had to settle for second at the line. Shaun Peterson, Rick Nelson, and East St. Paul, Manitoba driver Scott Greer all turned in top five performances as well for the WISSOTA Late Model division.
Join us this Saturday night once again for some tremendous Amsoil Dirt Track Series Racing. Races start for the remainder of the season at 6:00 unless notified in advance. For more information regarding the up-coming special events at Viking log onto vikingspeedway.net. Hope to see you all again next week.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature- Ricky Weiss, Zach Johnson, Shaun Peterson, Rick Nelson, Scott Greer, Joey Ogston, Clarence Washburn, Dave Zimmerman, Brad Parson, Rick Schroeder
Heat 1- Nelson
Heat 2- Peterson
Feature- Cody Skytland, Josh Thoennes, Scot Danzeisen, Dennis Bitzan, Travis Saurer, Mike Storck, Dallas Gulbrandson, Jason Blascyk, Jason Thoennes, Kyle Wieberdink, Dave Schroeder, Jake Wildman, Brett Hoium, Tyler Sjoman, Brock Gronwold, Kent Wilms, Scott Tofte, Terry Engebretson, Kyle Koehntop
Heat 1- Jason Thoennes
Heat 2- Dave Schroeder
Heat 3- Jason Blascyk
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature- Jeff Crouse, Jon Stepan, Derrick Lemke, Matt Miller, Mike Peterson, Jason Vejtruba, Alan Johnson, Terry Merten, Jeff Flaten, Larry Lund, Dominic Baker, Todd Hauer, Jeff Kluver
Heat 1- Larry Lund
Heat 2- Jeff Crouse
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature- Travis Saurer, Dustin Bitzan, Ron Saurer, Jason Hoffman, William Lund, Chris Mensen, Brian Haben, Brady Gerdes, Shawn Olson, Brandon Spanswick, Derek Quinn, Darrin Braaten, Josh Muzik, Nick Bruder, Brett Johnson, Jayden Berends, Milo Ward, Rick Spanswick, Marshal Tofte, Todd Berg, Zach Hintermeister, Tim Mensen, Hayden Hanson, Travis Vanderby, Randy Laage, Dan Greeley, Kelly Haack
Heat 1- Travis Saurer
Heat 2- Shawn Olson
Heat 3- William Lund
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature- Travis Berends, Andrew Bangsund, Chris Winter, Tim Jodsaas, Justin Tammen, Mark Blom, Brett Miller, Vernon Stewart, Kurt Deters, Justin Vogel
Heat- Blom, Berends, Winter, Bangsund, Tammen, Jodsaas, Miller, Deters, Stewart, Vogel
Heat Winner – Blom