by Ryan Schmitz
The Extreme Auto sponsored WISSOTA Street Stocks took center stage on Saturday night, as they did battle in Viking Speedway’s annual Florian Sprinzel Memorial race. When the dust settled Brooten, MN driver Justin Vogel reigned supreme as he picked up a nice $500 payday along with the large traveling trophy. Other drivers finding thier way into victory lane in WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series competition included: Travis Saurer in the Sower Power Sponsored WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Trevor Saurer in the Alexandria Refrigeration sponsored WISSOTA Super Stocks, Austin Arneson in the Morris Auto Plaza sponsored WISSOTA Modifieds and Don Shaw in the Marthaler Chevrolet sponsored WISSOTA Late Models.
Local drivers Zach Hintermeister and Todd Berg led the nineteen car WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature to the green flag. Once the green dropped Berg jumped out to an early advantage over Dustin Bitzan. The first caution waved two laps in the main when Ron Saurer lost the bite on his number 42 machine and slipped over the banking in turn two. With order restored head flagman Mike Commerford dropped the green once again. This time Bitzan was able to dispose of Berg and take over the lead. Meanwhile, back in traffic, two time and defending national champion Travis Saurer began his march towards the front. Seven laps into the event Saurer moved into second place and raced up to challenge Bitzan for the lead. Lap after lap the duo was side by side until lap ten when Bitzan jumped the banking in turn four and brought out the second caution of the race. Saurer assumed the lead when the green came back out followed by fifteenth starter Jason Vejtruba and Jason Hoffman. Saurer quickly moved out to a comfortable lead and continued to pull away in route to his tenth feature win in 2012. Following him across the line were Vejtruba, Hoffman, William Lund, and Shawn Olson. Earlier in the evening heat race wins were collected by Bitzan, Saurer, and Olson.
With a $500 payday on the line, fifteen of the sixteen scheduled WISSOTA Street Stock feature competitors took the green flag. Fargo, ND driver Adam Burrows used his outside pole starting spot to jump out to an early advantage. Burrows was quickly joined up front by Justin Vogel and Andrew Bangsund and the trio began to race side by side and opened up a big lead on the the remaining drivers. Near the midway point of the feature, Justin Tammen began making his move to the front. Tammen used the extreme high side of the speedway in order to track down the leaders until he slipped over the banking in turn three and was put to the rear. During the yellow flag period Bangsund was forced to pit with a flat right front tire. With two of the lead pack now at the back of the pack, it left Vogel and Burrows to do battle for the win. With five laps remaning Vogel worked his way to the outside of Burrows and heading into turn one, Burrows lost traction on his number 18B machine and spun to a stop at the bottom of the track. With order restored Vogel jumped back to the high side of the track and held on to win his first Florian Sprinzel Memorial and his first feature at Viking Speedway this season. Following Vogel across the stripe were, Justin Tammen, Jamestown, ND visitor Billie Christ, Mark Blom and Chris Winter rounded out the top five. Heat race winners in the division were Vogel and Burrows.
Jeff Flaten and Cody Lee paced the fourteen car WISSOTA Super stock field to the green. When the green dropped Flaten was able to move out to a small lead followed by Alan Johnson, Trevor Saurer and Jeff Crouse. Johnson was able to find his way around Flaten and into the lead a couple laps in the race. A caution would come out six laps into the feature event for a crash the ended the nights of Dominic Baker and Derrick Lemke. While the Viking Speedway track crew worked to clean up the mess in turn one, Crouse retired pitside with a motor issue, ending his night. When the green flag waved again it was a showdown between Saurer, Johnson, and Cory Tammen. The trio raced very hard and side by side over the next handful of laps until Tammen lost control of his car and spun in turn one bringing out the caution once again. When the field came back to life it was Saurer who jumped to a nice cushion over Johnson and Matt Miller. Saurer continued to pour it on up front and went on to claim his first Super Stock win of the season and his first win at Viking Speedway in many years. Johnson, who turned in his best run of the season came home second, Miller was scored third, Tammen raced his way back up to fourth, and thirteenth starter Mike Peterson rounded out the top five. Jon Stepan and Crouse were victourious in heat race action earlier in the evening.
Brooten, MN pilot Dave Schroeder and Winnipeg, Manitoba driver Ward Imrie manned the front row for the twenty lap WISSOTA Modified main event. Once the green flag came out the duo began battling for the top spot. With Schroeder using the low line and Imrie using the high line the duo battled until an early race caution in which Imrie blew an engine and was forced to retire pitside. With Imrie out of the race, it moved two time national champion Blake Jegtvig and Austin Arneson into the mix. Schroeder continued to use his low groove line while Jegtvig blasted his black number 2j machine around the outside. Near the midway point of the race, Jegtvig was able to complete the pass of Schroeder and opened up a large lead as the laps continued to tick down. With only a handful of laps left, Danny Bayer spun in turn four bringing out a caution which tightened the field up once again. It turned out that no ond had anything for Jegtvig as he held on for the hard fought win. Following a prerace inspection it was determined that Jegtvig had an illegal part on his car and was disqualified from the nights feature, meaning the nights feature win belonged to Austin Arneson. Schroeder, Brett Hoium, Matt Gilbertson, and Dallas Gulbrandson rounded out the top five. Heat race wins were claimed by Schroeder and Imrie.
A very competitive ten cars lined up for the WISSOTA Late Model finale. Included in the group were the past five WISSOTA Late Model national champions, Ricky Weiss, Zach Johnson, and Jeff Wildung. Todd Frank and Brad Parsons led the all star field to the green and at the drop of the green Ham Lake, MN driver Don Shaw shot to the low side of the speedway and jumped into the lead. Shaw continued to build his lead as the others jockied for position behind him. During the first half of the twenty lap main, the best battle on the track was between Frank and Wildung for the second spot. Wildung was able to dispose of Frank near the midway point and settled into second place, but by that time Shaw had opened up nearly a half track advantage on the field. Shaw continued his torrid pace and picked up his second straight Viking Speedway win followed by Wildung, Johnson, Frank, and Canadian traveler Mike Balcaen.
Next Saturday night, June 23rd, all five WISSOTA divisions will be back in action at the ultra fast half mile located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. Racing action begins at 6 pm and don’t forget the MN Modified Nationals will be held at Viking on July 6th-8th. For all the latest news, schedule information, point standings, and results, please visit the track online at www.vikingspeedway.net. You may also find the track on Facebook.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Heat 1: Shawn Olson, Randy Laage, Ron Saurer, Josh Muzik, Tom Andring, Ryan Schleusner, Chris Mensen
Heat 2: Travis Saurer, Zach Hintermeister, Todd Berg, Dan Greeley, Tyler Vanderby, Dustin Karl
Heat 3: Dustin Bitzan, Jason Hoffman, William Lund, Darrin Braaten, Jason Vejtruba, Gary Reents
Feature: T. Saurer, Vejtruba, Hoffman, Lund, Olson, Laage, Andring, R. Saurer, Muzik, Braaten, Schleusner, Reents, Berg, Greeley, Hintermeister, Bitzan, Vanderby, Karl, Mensen
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Heat 1: Adam Burrows, Tim Jodaas, James Wall, Chris Winter, Ryan Satter, Brett Miller, Jake Huston, Vern Stewart
Heat 2: Justin Vogel, Mark Blom, Andrew Bangsund, Justin Tammen, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Billie Christ, Cody Wall, Josh Fredeen
Feature: Vogel, Tammen, Christ, Blom, Winter, Bangsund, Miller, J. Wall, Maus-Krippner, Satter, Huston, Jodaas, Burrows, Stewart, C. Wall, Fredeen
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Heat 1: Jeff Crouse, Larry Lund, Alan Johnson, Jeff Flaten, Matt Miller, Jeff Kluver, Jason Cook
Heat 2: Jon Stepan, Cory Tammen, Trevor Saurer, Cody Lee, Derrick Lemke, Dominic Baker, Mike Peterson
Feature: Saurer, Johnson, Miller, Tammen, Peterson, Kluver, Lee, Cook, Stepan, Lemke, Baker, Crouse, Lund, Flaten
Heat 1: Ward Imrie, Travis Saurer, Brett Hoium, Brady Gerdes, Dallas Gulbrandson, Brock Gronwold, Rusty Kollman, Peter Loecken, Dennis Bitzan
Heat 2: Dave Schroeder, Austin Arneson, Blake Jegtvig, Matt Gilbertson, Jake Wildman, Ryan Canon, Kyle Koehntop, Terry Merten, Danny Bayer
Feature: Arneson, Schroeder, Hoium, Gilbertson, Gulbrandson, Gerdes, Bitzan, Gronwold, Wildman, Saurer, Kollman, Bayer, Canon, Merten, Koehntop, Loecken, Imrie, Jegtvig
WISSOTA Late Models:
Heat 1: Mike Balcaen, Todd Frank, Rick Nelson, Brad Parson, Clarence Washburn
Heat 2: Ricky Weiss, Jeff Wildung, Zach Johnson, Don Shaw, Shane Edginton
Feature: Shaw, Wildung, Johnson, Frank, Balcaen, Nelson, Parson, Edginton, Weiss, Washburn