Mellen, Wisconsin driver Todd Frank, led flag to flag in the Marthaler Chevrolet WISSOTA Late Model feature to claim his first career Viking Speedway win on Saturday night. Other drivers finding thier way to victory lane during WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series competion included: Dusty Bitzan in the Sower Power WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Brett Miller in the Extreme Auto WISSOTA Street Stocks, Alan Johnson in the Alexandria Refrigeration WISSOTA Super Stocks, and two time national champion Blake Jegtvig in the Morris Auto Plaza WISSOTA Modifieds. The night’s racing action was sponsored by Prairie Trailer Sales, 360 Active, and Beck’s Radiator.
With all the heat race action in the books, and after a brief rain shower, nineteen of the twenty scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature made thier way to the track for thier fifteen lap event. Zach Hintermeister and Shawn Olson led the field to the green and Olson moved out to a slight advantage as the field made thier way down the back chute, but before a lap could be completed, Hintermeister lost the bite on his #16 machine and collected Tyler Vanderby in the process. The field would be reset with Olson and Dusty Bitzan now on row one. At the drop of the green Bitzan used the low groove to move around Olson and into the lead. Behind Bitzan, Olson began to battle with national point leader Cory Crapser, Dennis Czech, Travis Saurer, and Jason Hoffman for the second spot. Crapser soon found his way around Olson and moved into the second spot. A few laps later Czech would move into the third spot, and Saurer into fourth as they all tried to track down Bitzan. A late race caution would fly for a Dan Rice spin and it gave Crapser and Czech one last chance to derail Bitzan as the duo lined up on his back bumper. Layne Roberts threw the green once more and Bitzan was able to race out to a lead and cruised to pick up the win over a strong field of Midwest Mods. Crapser, who made the trip from Chippewa Falls, WI turned in a strong second place finish in his first visit to the speedway this season. Czech continued his strong performances at Viking and came home third, Saurer was fourth, and current track point leader William Lund was scored fifth. Heat race winners included Crapser, Lund, and Olson.
Seven of the nine WISSOTA Street Stock drivers lined up next for thier tweleve lap feature event. At the drop of the green, Alexandria driver Brett Miller moved his car to the high side of the speedway and blasted to a nice advantage over the rest of the field. Two time track champion Andrew Bangsund worked his way into the runner up spot and began his pursuit of Miller as the laps continued to tick down. The front two cars continued to pull away from the pack as the rest of the field raced for position. With two laps remaining Bangsund tried a bold high side move in an effort to sneak around Miller on the high side of the track, and the duo would have contact as they exited turn two. This would give Miller the cushion he would need as he held off Bangsund for the win. Chris Winter came home in the number three spot, Tiffany Maus-Krippner was fourth, and Mark Blom came home fifth. Bangsund was victorious in the lone heat race for the class.
The WISSOTA Super Stock feature proved to be the race of the night, with three cars battling for the win on the final lap. Max Dondelinger and Matt Miller led the thirteen car field to the green flag. Miller used outside starting spot to jump to the lead with Alan Johnson and Dondelinger in tow. With a handful of laps completed Miller still led over Johnson, who had now worked his way past Dondelinger, and Larry Lund as he continued to blast around the high side of the track. Johnson and Lund continued thier hard fought battle for the second and third spots and Jeff Crouse raced up to challenge Dondelinger and Trevor Saurer for the fourth spot. As the field was coming to the white flag Miller, who is searching for his first career win, slipped over the banking in turn four bringing out the first caution of twenty lap event. After a short delay, to get Miller’s car free from the guardrail off turn four, the field was reset. Johnson now led with Crouse and Lund on his back bumper. At the drop of the green Johnson left no doubt that he was the car to beat and he jumped to a nice cushion over the two veterans. Johnson would lead the final two circuits to claim his first career Super Stock feature win. Lund was scored in the runner up spot, Crouse was third, Saurer was fourth, and Brainerd traveler Dondelinger was fifth. Heat race wins went to Lund and Jon Stepan.
A couple weeks back, Travis Saurer and Brady Gerdes put on one of the best modified races in recent memory at Viking Speedway and on Saturday night the duo manned the front row once more. Gerdes and Saurer would battle for the lead over the first few laps and Gerdes would ultimatly gain the advantage as Saurer became locked in a dual with two time national champion Blake Jegtvig for the second spot. Saurer continued to use his perferred high line while Jegtvig worked the bottom. Jegtvig was able to dispose of Saurer and raced up to challenge the rookie Gerdes. Behind the three lead cars a great battle was shaping up between brothers Josh and Jason Thoennes, Dave Schroeder, and Perley, MN driver Bryce Borgen. The yellow would fly with only a handful of laps remaining when Josh Thoennes clipped a tractor tire on the infield and it found it’s way to the racing surface. This would give Saurer and Gerdes one last chance to get by Jegtvig, who had opened up a large advantage. On the restart Jegtvig blasted back out to the lead on the low side as Saurer worked his way past Gerdes once more into second. Jason Thoennes was able to make his way around Gerdes and moved into the third spot, but out front Jegtvig continued to dominate and he picked up his first Viking Speedway win of the season. Saurer came home in the runner up spot, Jason Thoennes was third, Brady Gerdes fourth, and eleventh starter Borgen rounded out the top five. Earlier in the night heat race wins went to Jason Thoennes and Saurer.
In his quest for a WISSOTA Late Model national point championship, Todd Frank has become a regular at Viking Speedway and on Saturday he sat on the outside of row one along side of Wahpeton, ND driver Casey Meyer for the final event of the evening. Frank blasted out to a nice advantage on the start as fourth starting Ricky Weiss and sixth starting Jeff Wildung moved into the number two and three spots respectively. The caution would fly once in the main event when Meyer lost the bite on his #03 machine and slipped over the banking with ten laps remaining. On the restart Frank once again moved his car to the middle of the track and held onto the lead. With only two laps remaining Weiss made a hard charge to get around Frank, but to no avail as Frank held on for his first career Viking Speedway win. Weiss, the two time defending national champion, finished a solid second, track point leader Wildung was third, Morris, Mn driver Shawn Kirwin was fourth, and Winnipeg traveler Mike Balcaen rounded out the top five. Heat race winners in the the class were Balcaen and Kirwin.
Next Saturday, August 11th, the track will host it’s annual Hall of Fame night. This years nominees are former modified aces Scott Hillig and Dave Storck. The festivities begin at 3:30 with a meet and greet season in the Lions Building at the fairgrounds followed by racing action at 6pm. All five WISSOTA classes will be in action. For the latest Viking Speedway news, results, standings, and photos, please visit the track online at www.vikingspeedway.net or you can like the track on facebook.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Heat 1: Kirwin, Wildung, Weiss, Frank, Brede, Storbakken, Nelson
Heat 2: Balcaen, Keller, Johnson, Meyer, Parson, Lehn, Michealsohn
Feature: Todd Frank, Ricky Weiss, Jeff Wildung, Shawn Kirwin, Mike Balcaen, Jeremy Keller, Rick Nelson, Micheal Johnson, Jason Storbakken, Brad Parson, Casey Meyer, Billy Michealsohn, Seth Brede, Scott Lehn
Heat 1: Saurer, Jo. Thoennes, Gerdes, M. Trautner, Hoium, Borgen, Merten, Clarke
Heat 2: Ja. Thoennes, Bitzan, Jegtvig, Olson, J. Trautner, Gierke, Schroeder, Engebretson
Feature: Blake Jegtvig, Travis Saurer, Jason Thoennes, Brady Gerdes, Bryce Borgen, Dave Schroeder, Josh Thoennes, Dennis Bitzan, Brett Hoium, Dwayne Clarke, Robert Gierke, Terry Merten, Jamie Trautner, Aaron Olson, Mark Trautner, Terry Engebretson
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Heat 1: Stepan, Crouse, Baker, Dondelinger, Flaten, Kluver, Lemke
Heat 2: Lund, Johnson, Miller, Saurer, Lee, Cook
Feature: Alan Johnson, Larry Lund, Jeff Crouse, Trevor Saurer, Max Dondelinger, Jon Stepan, Jeff Kluver, Cody Lee, Matt Miller, Jeff Flaten, Derrick Lemke, Dominic Baker, Jason Cook
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Heat 1: Bangsund, Miller, Winter, Reents, Maus-Krippner, Burrows, Satter, Blom, Vogel
Feature: Brett Miller, Andrew Bangsund, Chris Winter, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Mark Blom, Adam Burrows, Gary Reents, Ryan Satter, Justin Vogel
WISSOTA Midwest Modifeds:
Heat 1: Crapser, Hoffman, Berg, R. Saurer, T. Mensen, Karl, Rice
Heat 2: Lund, T. Saurer, Hintermeister, C. Mensen, Laage, Ty. Vanderby, Reents
Heat 3: Olson, Czech, Bitzan, Braaten, Tr. Vanderby, Froemming
Feature: Dusty Bitzan, Cory Crapser, Dennis Czech, Travis Saurer, William Lund, Jason Hoffman, Shawn Olson, Ron Saurer, Randy Laage, Kyle Reents, Travis Vanderby, Chris Mensen, Tim Mensen, Justin Froemming, Zach Hintermeister, Dan Rice, Darrin Braaten, Dustin Karl, Tyler Vanderby, Todd Berg