ALEXANDRIA, MN (July 14th, 2012) – by Scott Searcy
The crowd at the Viking Speedway was treated to quite a show on Saturday night full of drama and excitement. In the Midwest Modified feature they saw a huge lead erased by a late caution, the Street Stocks featured a last lap pass for the win. The leader in the Super Stocks went off the track, then the second place car “reeling in” and catching the leader with two laps to go in the Modified Feature. And the Late Models gave us all the speed fix that we needed to get through the week.
After all the heat races were complete, 15 Midwest Modifieds rolled out onto the track for a 15 lap main event with Travis Saurer on the pole along side of Jason Vejtruba and one row behind them was the June 30th feature winner Dennis Czech and your current point leader, William Lund . When the green flag flew, Vejtruba got a great jump and took the lead into turn one with William Lund following him past Saurer and into the second spot. Down the backstretch, the 5th through 10th place cars were all bunched up and there was not enough room for Dan Greeley as he went high off turn three but as the pack passed him by, he was able to get back on the track without causing a yellow, unfortunately though, Greeley was almost a lap down by the time he got back up to speed and that would later almost have a huge effect on the race. But for now, Vejtruba would lead Lund and Saurer past the flag to lead lap one. Lund was right on Vejtruba’s back bumper, occasionally making a run on the outside then ducking back in as Vejtruba would slide up the track. Lund finally got a good enough run on the third lap as he got beside Vejtruba coming out of turn two and held his line down the backstretch. Lund completed the pass in turn four and quickly put space between him and the rest of the pack. As the laps went by, the main action was between Saurer & Ebert for the third spot and the one car that was picking off his opponents one-by-one, Jamie Thorstad in the #34 machine. Lund kept opening up a larger lead as he put nearly a straightaway between him and Vejtruba in the second spot. Then with five laps to go, Greeley, who had went off earlier and was just ahead of Lund on the track, spun off of turn two and was almost T-boned by Lund. Fortunately Lund avoided the wreck but now Lund had to restart the race separated only by inches instead of the nearly ¼ lap he had lead by. Lund choose the outside which left Saurer just behind on the inside for the restart. In turn one, Saurer dove inside Lund and got beside him but Lund was able to shoot out of the turns like a rocket and he quickly put space between him and the pack again. With three laps to go, the yellow flew again when a car went off turn four. On that restart, Vejtruba got a better jump and he and Lund were side-by-side for much of the next lap. But at the white flag, Lund had opened up a one car-length lead. Another car on the move was Thorstad, who originally started 7th, as he got past Ebert and Saurer to take over the third spot. Vejtruba tried one more dive inside Lund but Lund just had too much motor as he took the checkered flag for his first win of the 2012 season. Vejtruba, Thorstad, Saurer & Ebert rounded out the top five. In a post race interview, Saurer said he “gave Lund everything he had and this week he would take it apart and put it back together again” in hopes of gaining back the edge on his competition. – The Heat race winners were Czech and Saurer.
As Lund was on top of his car taking in the crowd’s cheers, the Street Stock class took the track with 16 cars and Travis Ulmer and Justin Tammen on the front row. When flagman Mike Comerford dropped the green, Tammen got a run from the outside and took the lead in turn one. Right behind Tammen was Viking Speedway’s newest grandpa, Brett Miller in the #33 Chevy. Everything was smooth through the first couple laps but as Tammen lead the field on lap three, the 10th place car of Tim Jodsaas got loose in turn four brushing Justin Vogel then shooting up the track while spinning 180 degrees then Mark Blom, with nowhere to go, collided head on with Jodsaas, sending Bloms car over the edge with the nosepiece, both fenders and the hood smashed in. Jodsaas’ car was not any better as it resembled a demo derby car with the fenders and hood pushed up into the air. Both cars retired to the pits and Tammen lead the field to a restart from the outside spot. A half a lap later, Adam Burrows would get tangled with another car and end up on the inside of the track on the backstretch. Burrows was awarded his spot back as the field was reset. Tammen jumped out front again putting about a 10 car-length gap between him and Burrows, Miller and Bangsund who were all fighting for the second spot. Justin Vogel who started 11th had moved all the way to sixth and was battling Chris Winter for the 5th spot. One lap later Vogel put Winter in his proverbial rear view mirror and made it a four car battle for second. With three laps to go the 22C of Chad Claassen pulled in with engine trouble. Tammen was still out front with Burrows and Bangsund in a tight battle for second and Miller and Vogel right behind them. Tammen looked to have the race wrapped up but on the white flag lap, he got a little high and gave Bangsund room on the bottom. Bangsund got a good run coming into turn three and took the lead from Tammen. As Tammen drove in hard to fight off Bangsund, he couldn’t get the back-end around and he pushed into turn four and that allowed Burrows and Vogel to slide underneath. Miller also had trouble in the last turn and Tiffany Maus-Krippner got around him at the flag. Bangsund was the happy benefactor of Tammen’s handling problems as he took home his second Viking Speedway trophy of the year. I talked to Tammen in the tech shed before he got out of his car and he simply said “I pushed it”… well, that’s not all he said but those were the words I could write. One of his crew members said “it was tight as [a duck]”… or something close to that anyway. The mood was a bit different in the Bangsund pit as they celebrated a much needed win after their recent streak of bad luck. — Bangsund and Ryan Pommerer won the heat races.
The Super Stock Feature was paced by Allan Johnson on the pole and Cory Tammen on the outside. Tammen took the early lead as Jeff Crouse and Larry Lund made their way past Johnson. Six laps into the event, it was apparent that the Tammen curse did not leave the track with Justin as Cory slid off turn three while trying to hold off the hard charging DQ #29 of Jeff Crouse. The field was reset and Crouse had the front row all to himself while Jon Stepan and Larry Lund shared row two. Soon Jeff Flaten would take over the third spot from Lund and eventually the second spot from Stepan. Crouse would prove harder to pass as Flaten could get his nose beside his door but no further than that as Crouse would take the win, Flaten close behind with Lund, Stepan and Johnson rounding out the top five. — Stepan and Crouse were the heat race winners.
The Modifieds were next with Kyle Koehntop on the pole and Terry Merten on the outside with 16 more cars behind them. At the drop of the green, Koehntop took the lead while the second row starters of Cody Skytland and Jason Thoennes made their way around Merten. Also making a quick move to the front was Dave Schroeder who jumped from his starting spot of 7th up to third within the first two laps. Four laps in, Skytland would pass Koehntop coming out of turn four for the lead with Schroeder and Jason Thoennes quite a ways behind the leaders in third and fourth. A lap later, caution flew when Josh Thoennes slid off turn two. With the field reset, Skytland took the lead from the pole and Schroeder and Jason Thoennes passed Koehntop and battled it out for the second position with Thoennes finally able to grab it. At this time Skytland had a about a ten car-length lead on Jason Thoennes but each lap Thoennes was reeling him in. While Jason Thoennes was working on Skytland, there were some great battles in the middle of the pack as Brett Hoium, Brady Gerdes and Jake Wildman were three wide. Josh Thoennes was moving his way through the pack along with Dennis Bitzan. As the laps went on, Jason Thoennes finally caught Skytland and completed the pass on the frontstretch just two laps before the finish. Jason Thoennes would go on to win the race with Skytland in second and Schroeder in third followed by Blake Jegtvig and Josh Thoennes, who started 16th, finished in the 5th spot. — The heat race winners were Jason Thoennes, Skytland and Koehntop
The Late Models ran the final event of the night with Zach Johnson on the pole beside Mike Balcaen. Johnson took the lead from the start and held onto it the entire race with Balcaen occasionally poking his nose under Johnson but ultimately unable to complete a pass. Jeremy Keller held on to the third spot from start to finish and Jeff Wildung battled past Rick Nelson to take the fourth spot. Johnson cruised to victory, his second in two nights as he also won Friday night’s Race of Champions qualifier at Fiesta City Speedway — The heat race winners were Nelson and Keller.
Make sure to get out to the Viking Speedway next Saturday night for 5 classes of Wissota racing starting at 6:00pm, gates open at 4:00 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria. For the latest Viking Speedway News, please visit the tracks website at www.vikingspeedway.net and make sure to “like” the track on www.facebook.com/vikingspeedway and check out www.facebook.com/cricketprints for some great action photos and to answer the Viking Speedway trivia question that will be in the Viking Speedway News, a weekly program sold at the track.