Morris, MN Driver Shawn Kirwin raced to his first Marthaler Chevrolet sponsored WISSOTA Late Model feature win of the season, on a hot and steamy Saturday night of AMSOIL Dirt Track Series competition at Viking Speedway. Other drivers finding thier way to victory lane included: Dennis Czech in the Sower Power sponsored WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Adam Burrows in the Extreme Auto WISSOTA Street Stocks, Jeff Crouse in the Alexandria Refrigeration WISSOTA Super Stocks, and Jason Thoennes in the Morris Auto Plaza sponsored WISSOTA Modifieds. The night’s midseason championship racing program was sponsored by Wildman Seeds of Glenwood, MN, Engrebretson and Son’s Disposal of Morris, and NAPA Auto Parts of Glenwood.
With all the heat race action in the books, Tyler Vanderby and Kurt Deters lead the twenty three car WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature to the green flag. The first caution of the main event would fly with one lap in the book when Chris Mensen slid over the banking in turn two and came to a stop on the back stretch. With the field lined back up Deters led Dustin Bitzan and Casey Arneson back to the green flag. Once the green came back out, Bitzan and Arneson would go on the assult and tried to race around Deters. Before a another lap could be completed the yellow would fly once again over the half mile speedway. Deters led the field back to the green and Arneson quickly jumped to the highside of the speedway to make a pass for the lead. Deters car would slow on the back chute and collected Josh Muzik’s number 23 machine in the process. Deters would retire pitside and Arneson assumed the lead with Bitzan on his back bumper along with two time national champion Travis Saurer. The field would come to life once more and Arneson raced out to a small lead as Bitzan settled into the runner up spot. Near the midway point a wreck involving Saurer and Vanderby brought out another caution and ended Saurer’s run to the front. With order reset, it was clear that the car on the move was the blue “duece” of Dennis Czech. With ten laps remaining Czech lined up behind Arneson and Bitzan. With the green back out, Czech disposed of Bitzan and raced up to challenge Arneson for the lead. The two drivers would battle for several laps until Czech was able to move by on the bottom of the speedway and raced to his first career feature win at Viking Speedway, from his thirteenth starting spot. Arneson would come across the line second, last week’s winner Bitzan was third, eighteeth starter Shawn Olson finished fourth, and Mensen raced back through the field to claim the final spot in the top five. Heat race wins went to Bitzan, Saurer, and Muzik.
Twelve WISSOTA Street Stocks to the track for thier twelve lap main event. At the drop of the green West Fargo’s Adam Burrows made a bold highside move as he got around outside pole starter Tim Jodsaas. Burrows would race out to a healty lead over the rest of the field, with the real battle being for second through seventh spots. Jodsaas, Mark Blom, Brett Miller, Justin Vogel, Chris Winter, and Justin Tammen were locked in a race long battle with each driver looking to move up into second to challenge Burrows. Out front Burrows continued to use the high side of the track and raced to a dominant feature win. Jodsaas won the battle for second, Blom would be scored third after starting seventh, Miller moved up six spots to claim fourth, and Vogel rounded out the top five. Claiming the checkers in heat race action were Winter and Tammen.
Derrick Lemke and Mike Peterson manned the front row for the twenty lap WISSOTA Super Stock feature. At the drop of the green Lemke bolted out to an early advantage over fourth starter Jeff Crouse, as he motored around the high side of the track. The running order up front would continue to be the same until Lemke’s car slowed and came to a stop bringing out the yellow flag. With Lemke out of the race, Crouse assumed the point as he led track point leader Trevor Saurer and Jon Stepan to the green. Crouse continued to run his torrid pace on the outside of the track and began to pull away as Saurer and Stepan battled for second. The yellow would fly once again with nine laps remaining as Jeff Flaten’s 15F machine came to a stop. Head flagman Mike Commerford brought the field to life once again and it was the same result, Crouse jumped out to a nice advantage, as Saurer battled with Stepan for the runner up spot. Saurer would make the pass on Stepan and once again the caution would fly for a Cody Lee spin in turn two. This gave Saurer the chance to pick the low line and make one more charge at Crouse. In the end it was to no avail as Crouse jumped back up to the cushion and sped away to claim the feature win. Saurer continued his great season coming in second place, Larry Lund crossed the stripe in third, Chris Groth was fourth, and Milbank, South Dakota vistitor Bob Holtquist rounded out the top five in his first Viking Speedway appearance of the season. Crouse and Stepan corraled heat race wins earlier in the show.
With the $7000 to win Mod Nationals just a week away, twenty four WISSOTA Modifieds lined up for a final tune up before the big show. Matt Gilbertson jumped out to an early lead until former Mod nationals champion Jason Thoennes was able to find his way by on the inside of the track. Thoennes would continue to lead until the caution would fly for Brady Gerdes as he flew off the back strectch. With order restored Thoennes would lead Cody Skytland and Scot Danziesen to the green. Thoennes was able to open a small lead as the drivers behind his jockeyed for position. Near the midway point of the race Thoennes changed his line and moved up a groove which allowed Skytland to make a pass for the lead. Luckily for Thoennes the yellow would fly before a lap was completed when Danny Bayer spun in turn two. This put Thoennes back on point and allowed a new player into the mix. Brooten’s Dave Schroeder had found the outside groove and gotten around Danziesen in the process. With the green back out Thoennes moved back down to the low side of the speedway and Schroeder to the top as he moved past Skytland for second spot. Thoennes would hold on for a hard fought feature win ahead of the hard charging Schroeder. Danzeisen was able to work his way back up to third, Skytland ended up fourth, and Travis Saurer capped another amazing run to finish fifth after starting in twenty first spot. Skytland, Schroeder, and Josh Thoennes were victorious in heat race action.
The final event of the evening belonged to the high powered WISSOTA Late Models. A pair of Morris, MN drivers shared the front row and at the drop of the green Shawn Kirwin bolted to the lead ahead of Brad Parson. Three laps in the feature, Bismarck, ND driver Jeremy Keller was able to work his way around Parson and move into second spot. Jeff Wildung was also able to clear Parson two laps later and raced up to challenge Keller. Keller moved his 11k machine to the highside of the speedway and lap after lap continued to chew into Kirwin’s lead. With Keller closing in on the lead, the yellow would fly for Billy Michaelsohn’s spin off the back chute. Kirwin led Keller and Wildung to the green once again with ten laps remaining. The running order would remain the same until the final lap when Keller made a hard charge to the top of the speedway only to see his car lose the bite and let Wildung slip by. Kirwin held on for his first Viking Speedway win of the season, Wildung charged to second, Keller was third, two time defending national champion Ricky Weiss was fourth, and current national point leader Todd Frank was fifth. Heat race wins were claimed by Grand Rapids, MN driver Caley Emmerson and Alexandria’s Rick Nelson.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Heat 1: Emmerson, Keller, Kirwin, Wildung, Edginton, Gavel, Washburn, Michaelsohn
Heat 2: Nelson, Weiss, Frank, Parson, Lehn, Jarvis, Johnson
Feature: Shawn Kirwin, Jeff Wildung, Jeremy Keller, Ricky Weiss, Todd Frank, Rick Nelson, Brad Parson, Caley Emmerson, Kyle Gavel, Shane Edginton, Scott Lehn, Matt Jarvis, Billy Michaelsohn, Zach Johnson, Clarence Washburn
Heat 1: Skytland, Ja. Thoennes, Mathison, Gierke, Engebretson, Greer, Bayer, Loecken
Heat 2: Schroeder, Gilbertson, Esala, Wildman, Bitzan, Merten, Gronwold, Koehntop
Heat 3: Jo. Thoennes, Danziesen, Lund, Gerdes, Smith, Arneson, Saurer, Gulbrandson
Feature: Jason Thoennes, Dave Schroeder, Scot Danziesen, Cody Skytland, Travis Saurer, Dallas Gulbrandson, Robert Gierke, Dennis Bitzan, Curt Lund, Austin Arneson, Scott Greer, Brock Gronwold, Matt Gilbertson, Matt Smith, Dale Mathison, Jake Wildman, Danny Bayer, Kyle Koehntop, Terry Merten, Mark Esala, Josh Thoennes, Terry Engebretson, Peter Loecken, Brady Gerdes
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Heat 1: Stepan, Saurer, Holtquist, Lee, Groth, Berends, Miller, Baker
Heat 2: Crouse, Lemke, Lund, Peterson, Flaten, Johnson, Kluver, Yeats
Feature: Jeff Crouse, Trevor Saurer, Larry Lund, Chris Groth, Bob Holtquist, Jon Stepan, Mike Peterson, Rocky Yeats, Alan Johnson, Cody Lee, Jeff Flaten, Jeff Kluver, Matt Miller, Travis Berends, Derrick Lemke, Dominic Baker
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Heat 1: Tammen, Vogel, Jodsaas, Stewart, Spanswick, Mass-Krippner
Heat 2: Winter, Burrows, Blom, Bangsund, Miller, Deters
Feature: Adam Burrows, Tim Jodsaas, Mark Blom, Brett Miller, Justin Vogel, Chris Winter, Justin Tammen, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Vern Stewart, David Deters, Tyler Spanswick, Andrew Bangsund
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Heat 1: Muzik, Braaten, Deters, Laage, Czech, R. Saurer, Greeley, T. Mensen
Heat 2: T. Saurer, Arneson, Mensen, Reents, Schleusner, Haack, Spanswick, Hintermeister
Heat 3: Bitzan, Berg, Ty. Vanderby, Lund, Thorstad, Olson, Tr. Vanderby
Feature: Dennis Czech, Casey Arneson, Dusty Bitzan, Shawn Olson, Chris Mensen, Ryan Schleusner, Ronald Saurer, Josh Muzik, William Lund, Tyler Vanderby, Kelly Haack, Dan Greeley, Darrin Braaten, Todd Berg, Zach Hintermeister, Randy Laage, Kyle Reents, Tim Mensen, Travis Saurer, Brandon Spanswick, Kurt Deters, Jamie Thorstad, Travis Vanderby