WISSOTA Modified rookie driver Brady Gerdes stole the show on Saturday night as he piloted his #2x machine to his first career modified win during WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series action. Other drivers finding thier way to victory lane on a hot and steamy Saturday night included Chris Mensen in the Sower Power sponsored WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Andrew Bangsund in the Extreme Auto sponsored WISSOTA Street Stocks, Jeff Crouse in the Alexandria Refrigeration sponsored WISSOTA Super Stocks, and Zach Johnson in the Marthaler Chevrolet sponsored WISSOTA Late Models. The night’s racing program was sponsored by Glenwood State Bank of Glenwood, Alexandria, and Villard.
With all the heat race action in the books, twenty one WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds lined up to do battle in the first feature of the evening. Alexandria driver Chris Mensen, seeking his first win of 2012, blasted to an early lead from his pole starting position. Mensen continued to lead as Brandson Spanswick and Jason Hoffman battled for the runner up spot during the first three laps of the event. The first caution of the feature would fly on lap three when West Fargo, ND driver Darrin Smith expirienced supsension issues and his car stopped in turn two. The field would come back to life with Mensen again jumping out to a nice advantage. Behind the lead pack, heavy hitters Travis Saurer and Dusty Bitzan went on the attack. Both drivers were able to use the low side of the speedway to work around Hoffman and Spanswick. The duo raced up to challenge Mensen for the lead when the yellow would fly once again for Zach Hintermiester, who slipped off the banking with only nine laps remaining. On the restart Mensen jumped to the high side of the speedway, while Saurer and Bitzan battled for second. Saurer was able to dispose of Bitzan and raced up to challenge Mensen with a handful of laps remaining. Saurer raced hard into turn three with a couple laps to go and his car would push allowing Mensen to open up a nice advantage and allowing Bitzan to sneak by into second. Mensen would hold on to pick up his first win of the 2012 campaign, Bitzan came home second, Saurer was third, Hoffman fourth, and Spanswick turned in his best finish of the season to finish fifth. Mensen, Travis Vanderby, and Hintermiester were victorious in heat race action earlier in the program.
Two time track champion Andrew Bangsund and Tiffany Maus-Krippner led the eight car WISSOTA Street Stock field to the green for the twelve lap feature. Bangsund would quickly jump up to the high side of the speedway with Maus-Krippner in tow, as both drivers tried to find the fastest line around the half mile track. The yellow would fly early in the event for a Chris Winter spin in turn two. Winter would continue on and it was determined the Brett Miller made contact with Winter and Miller was sent tail end. Up front Bangsund continued to lead Maus Krippner, Winter, and Mark Blom. The driver on the move was track point leader Adam Burrows. While everyone else worked the high side of the track, Burrows moved down the the middle groove and was able to get by Blom and Winter. He then raced up to challenge Maus-Krippner for second spot. With three laps remaining, Burrows was able to slip by Maus-Krippner and move into second spot. By that point Bangsund had opened up a large lead and cruised to the win ahead of Burrows, Maus-Krippner, Blom, and Winter. The lone heat race in the division was won by Blom.
Matt Miller and Jeff Crouse manned row one for the twenty lap WISSOTA Super Stock feature. Crouse moved his #29* machine to the high side of the track at the drop of the green and opened up a nice advantage as Miller was locked in a battle with Jon Stepan. Crouse would continue to stretch his advantage until yellow would fly over the speedway for a Dominic Baker spin in turn two. This put Miller and Stepan on Crouse’s back bumper when the green flew once again. Once again Crouse jumped to the high side of the track and raced out to an advantage. This time Stepan was able to work his way past Miller and raced up to challenge Crouse for the lead. Lap after lap, Crouse’s advantage would shrink, until the veteran found the bottom groove in turns three and four. Crouse would go on to pick up his fifth Viking Speedway feature win of the season. Stepan turned in a strong second place run, Miller was third, Larry Lund was fourth, and Alan Johnson rounded out the top five. Crouse was the lone heat race winner in the class.
Twelve WISSOTA Modifieds rolled onto the track for thier twenty lap feature event. Rookie Brady Gerdes and Mark Esala led the field to the green, and Gerdes made a power move to the high side of the track. Fourth starter Travis Saurer, quickly moved into second to challenge Gerdes. The front two drivers began to pull away from the field as Dave Schroeder quickly moved into the third spot from his sixth starting position. The first yellow of the race would wave for a Peter Loecken spin in turn two. The field would tighten back up and once again Gerdes was able to jump out to a lead over Saurer. Saurer raced hard to the low side of the speedway and pulled even with Gerdes coming out of turn four only to see the rookie driver rocket back by on the high side. The yellow would fly once again over the speedway for Kyle Koehntop, when his car came to a stop near the enterance to pit road. Head flagman Mike Commerford again dropped the yellow and Gerdes jumped to a lead. At this point Schroeder raced up to challenge Saurer and allowed Gerdes to open up a bigger advantage. Saurer would mount one last charge with a handful of laps remaining, but Gerdes would not be denied his first career Modified win. Saurer settled for second, Schroeder was third, Jason Thoennes fourth, and Josh Thoennes fifth. Heat race wins went to Dwayne Clarke and Saurer.
The final feature of the evening was the twenty lap WISSOTA Late Model feature. Clarence Washburn and Winnipeg rookie Shane Edginton led the twelve car field to the green and Edginton jumped ahead of Washburn as the cars raced into turn one. Zach Johnson quickly raced up from his third starting spot to challenge Edginton and eventually get by him on lap three. The first yellow would also fly on lap three when Washburn and Mandan, ND driver Jeremy Keller had contact in turn one, sending Keller over the banking. Washburn would be charged with the yellow and Keller able to continue with minimal damage. Johnson led the field to the restart and Keller moved into second after a turn one pass of Don Shaw. The duo raced out ahead of the field until the yellow flew once again for Edginton, when he stalled on the front chute. Once again the green would fly and Johnson led Keller. Johnson continued to run the low side of the speedway while Keller searched the high side of the track looking for another groove. With ten laps remaining Keller found the outside groove and blew by Johnson to take the lead. Before a lap could completed the yellow flew for Washburn once more when he slipped off turn two. This put Johnson back in the lead and Jeff Wildung along side of Keller for the restart. At the drop of the green Johnson moved his machine up to the higher groove and raced out to a huge lead while Keller and Wildung battled for second. Keller would eventually get by Wildung, but by that point Johnson was too far out front and cruised to his second straight win at the speedway. Keller turned in a solid second place run, Wildung was third, two time defending national champion Ricky Weiss was fourth, and Rick Nelson rounded out the top five. Johnson and Nelson claimed heat race wins earlier in the show.
The high flyin’ half mile will be back in action next Saturday July 28th, with all 5 WISSOTA classes in action. Fans, don’t forget that this Saturday’s show is also “Jam the Stands” night with free grandstand admission for everyone. Racing action begins at 6 pm at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. For the latest Viking Speedway news, results, and standings please visit up online at www.vikingspeedway.net. You may also find the track on Facebook.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Heat 1: Johnson, Keller, Peterson, Wildung, Shaw, Lehn
Heat 2: Nelson, Edginton, Weiss, Washburn, Parson, Michaelsohn
Feature: Zach Johnson, Jeremy Keller, Jeff Wildung, Ricky Weiss, Rick Nelson, Don Shaw, Brad Parson, Billy Michaelsohn, Shaun Peterson, Scott Lehn, Clarence Washburn, Shane Edginton
Heat 1: Saurer, Ja. Thoennes, Gerdes, Koehntop, Jo. Thoennes, Reents
Heat 2: Clarke, Schroeder, Esala, Hoium, Bitzan, Loecken
Feature: Brady Gerdes, Travis Saurer, Dave Schroeder, Jason Thoennes, Josh Thoennes, Dennis Bitzan, Brett Hoium, Dwayne Clarke, Gary Reents, Peter Loecken, Mark Esala, Kyle Koehntop
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Heat: Crouse, Johnson, Stepan, Lund, Miller, Saurer, Baker, Horn, Flaten
Feature: Jeff Crouse, Jon Stepan, Matt Miller, Larry Lund, Alan Johnson, Dominic Baker, Trevor Saurer, Jeff Flaten, Scott Horn
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Heat: Blom, Bangsund, Burrows, Winter, Maus-Krippner, Miller, Satter, Stewart
Feature: Andrew Bangsund, Adam Burrows, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Mark Blom, Chris Winter, Brett Miller, Ryan Satter, Vern Stewart
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Heat 1: Hintermiester, Muzik, Spanswick, R. Saurer, Reents, Krog, Smith
Heat 2: Tr. Vanderby, Hoffman, Brejcha, Olson, Ty. Vanderby, Karl, Berg
Heat 3: Mensen, Bitzan, Lund, Saurer, Schleusner, Vejtruba, Froemming
Feature: Chris Mensen, Dusty Bitzan, Travis Saurer, Jason Hoffman, Brandon Spanswick, William Lund, Jason Vejtruba, Ryan Schleusner, Ron Saurer, Brian Krog, Patrick Brejcha, Justin Froemming, Zach Hintermiester, Josh Muzik, Shawn Olson, Dustin Karl, Kyle Reents, Tyler Vanderby, Travis Vanderby, Darrin Smith, Todd Berg