Over the past nine years, racers and fans from all over WISSOTA country have converged on Viking Speedway, located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, in Alexandria, MN for the running of the annual Viking Fall Classic. This year marked the tenth year of the event, presented by Shaw Trucking, with support coming from NAPA of Glenwood and GRP Motorsports. The event was promoted by FYE Motorsports, as it has been since it’s inception in 2003.
After being postponed a week, by unseasonably cold weather, the action got underway with a practice session on Thursday night. Friday night featured heat race action for all 6 WISSOTA classes and the event was capped up with the feature races on Saturday evening.
Zach Johnson capped off an incredible season, as he raced unchallenged to the WISSOTA Late Model feature win. It marked the second time Johnson has found his way to victory lane at the Classic and it was his fourth Classic win overall. Cody Skytland reigned supreme in the WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA national champion Shane Sabraski dominated the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Jamie Thorstad claimed his first Classic crown in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Justin Vogel added his name to the Classic Hall of champions in dramatic style in the WISSOTA Street Stocks, and Dustin Zieske claimed his second Classic title in the WISSOTA Mod 4 class.
With all the heat races, b-mains, and last chance races in the books, the 14 car WISSOTA Street Stock feature lined up to do battle on the High Flying Half Mile. Mark Blom and past Classic champion, “Nitro” Jimmy Williams paced the field to green and at the drop of the green Blom worked his way to the high side of the speedway and into the lead. With Blom continuing to lead the yellow would fly for the first time on lap 3 for a multi car incident near the rear of the field. With the green flag back out, Blom raced back to the high side and into the lead with Justin Vogel in tow. The duo raced hard for the top spot and was soon joined by national point champion Dave Read. Read would work his way around Vogel near the midway point of the race. The yellow would fly once again with 9 laps remaining for an incident involving Justin Tammen, Williams, and Adam Burrows. It was determined that Burrows was at fault for the yellow and he was forced to tag the rear of the field. Blom once again lead Read and Vogel to the line and jumped back to the lead. The trio would race for the lead until the caution would come on over the speedway with 4 to go when Oriska, ND pilot Ryan Pommerer suffered a flat tire on the back stretch. Head flagman Mike Commerford would bring the field back to life once more and as the cars entered turn one, Blom’s car jumped the cushion and he slipped over the banking in turn 2 bringing out yet another caution. This put Read in the lead, ahead of Vogel and Brett Miller. With the green flag back out, Read was able to build up a nice advantage as Vogel and Miller battled for the second spot. As Read was rounding turn 3, with 2 laps remaining, he jumped the cushion and allowed Vogel to dive to the inside. Vogel would complete the pass as the duo raced hard into turn 1. Vogel planted his #10 machine on the cushion and Read made contact with Vogel sending him over the banking in turn 2 bringing out the final caution of the 20 lap event. Read was charged with the caution and Vogel would race unchallenged to the largest victory of his young career. Miller held on the runner up spot, Tammen was third, Burrow was fourth, and Read charged his way back up to round out the top five.
Next on the docket was the 10 car WISSOTA Mod Four main event. Ryan Buer and Brain Oehlert lead the field to the green and Buer jumped out to the early lead with Landon Atkinson and Dustin Zieske in tow. Buer would continue to lead for the first five laps of the twenty lap event while Atkinson and Zieske battled for second. Zieske was finally able to clear Atkinson and raced up to challenge Buer. Eventually, Zieske would make the pass near the midway point of the race. Zieske opened up a nice lead until Atkinson was able to clear Buer and raced up to challenge Zieske. Lap after lap the margin between the two began to shink, but it was apperant that Atkinson had motor issues as his machine began to spew smoke and finally expired an engine. This left Zieske with a straightaway lead on the field and he would cruise to his second Classic title. Milbank, SD driver Dustin Holtquist was second, Buer held on for the a podium finish in third, Cory Van Mil was fourth, and Tyler Larson rounded out the top five.
Shawn Olson and thirty time feature winner Brian Haben sat on the front row for the highly anticipated WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature. The field came to life and as the duo entered turn one, there was contact with Olson and Haben, sending Haben off the end of the speedway. It was determined by track officials that Olson was at fault and he was sent tail end. Haben now set the pace and he bolted to the lead, but his car would suffer mechanical issues and come to rest in turn four before a lap could be completed. This would put Jamie Thorstad in the front and Thorstad broke out to a nice lead over the Denis Czech and Dusty Bitzan as the field tried to complete another lap. The caution would fly once more, after a couple laps, for Bitzan as his 10b machine came to a stop on the backstretch. Thorstad lead the field to the green and once more he jumped to the lead over Czech, Jason Vandekamp, Shane Sabraski, and Travis Saurer. The top four cars would begin to seperate themselves from the field until the a red flag would come out on lap 15, for veteran driver Ron Saurer, when he rolled his car off turn one. Once more Thorstad led the field to the green and once more he was able to keep the lead. As the lead pack exited turn 2 Sabraski would get up into the marbles and almost slip off the track. This would leave Thorstad, Vandekamp, and Saurer to settle things for the Classic Crown. Saurer and Vandekamp would continue to battle for the second spot as the laps ticked down, which allowed Thorstad to hold his line and race to the biggest win of his career. Vandekamp was second, Saurer third, Czech fourth, and Brett Hoium rounded out the top 5.
Next up was the 40 lap WISSOTA Late Model feature event. Local drivers, Zach Johnson and Jeff Wildung led the stacked field to the green and Johnson quickly jumped to the lead ahead of Wildung. Just a handful of laps into the race, Wildung began to be challenged by Lance Matthees for the second spot. Matthees was able to dispose of Wildung on the low side of the speedway and tried to mount a charge on Johnson, who now owned a large lead over the field. The first caution of the event would fly when Justin Fegers lost a tire on his car, which is a former John Seitz owned car, and Johnson held the lead with 28 laps remaining. With the green back out, Johnson once again raced away from Matthees and Wildung and opened up a sizeable advantage. The real battle on the speedway at the time was for the fourth spot. Pat Doar, Cody Skytland, Brad Seng, and Adam Hensel would continue to swap the position over the course of the next 15 laps. With only 12 laps remaining, Montevideo, MN driver Rick Schroeder’s car came to a stop in turn two bringing out the caution flag. Johnson was once again able to gain the advantage on the restart as Wildung continued to hound Matthees for the second spot. The final caution of the event would fly with four laps remaining, when Rick Nelson lost control of his 12N machine and shot off the top side of the track in turn two. This gave Wildung and Matthees one more shot, but to no avail, as Johnson pulled away for the win. Wildung nipped Matthees at the line for second, Skytland was fourth, and Doar rounded out the top five.
Twenty five of the twenty six scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Modified feature came to the track next for thier 30 lap main event with Fargo area drivers Cody Skytland and Blake Jegtvig pacing the field. The field came to life and Jegtvig wasted no time getting to the high side of the speedway and jumped to the lead over Skytland, Jason Thoennes, and Jeff Wildung. With only one lap in the books, the yellow would fly for Logan Atkinson, as his machine slowed on the back chute. The field would be reset with Jegtvig on the point, but before another lap could be completed the caution flew once more for an incident involving Jason Blaysck and Scott Tofte. Jegtvig led the field to the green once more and Skytland wasted no time making a power move to the low side of the speedway to make his way around Jegtvig and into the lead. Skytland would begin to strech his lead until lap six when Brett Hoium spun and collected Jay Richardson, brining out the third caution in the event. At this point Skytland led Jegtvig, Thoennes, and Wildung to the green once more until two laps later when Modified legend Mark Noble’s 6x car dropped a drive shaft and collected several cars in turn 1. Skytland once again used a great start to jump back to the lead over Jegtvig. Over the course of the next five laps Skytland used the high side of the speedway to stretch his lead, while Jegtvig powered his MB Customs mod around the low side. The caution would come out over the speedway again for fifth place runner Dave Schroeder, when he lost the bite on his machine and slipped over the banking in turn three. Mike Commerford brought the field to life once more and Skytland began to strectch his lead once more with Jegtvig comfortably in second over Thoennes and Wildung. Over the course of the final 17 laps Skytland powered his way around the high side, while Thoennes and Wildung waged a war for the third spot. In the end no one had anything for Skytland as he cruised to his first career Classic title. Jegtvig followed in second, Wildung was third, Thoennes fourth, and track champion Travis Saurer rounded out the top five.
The final event of the season belonged to the WISSOTA Super Stocks. Jon Stepan and WISSOTA national champion Shane Sabraski paced the field to the green and Sabraski wasted no time showing why he was the cream of the crop in the class this season as he raced to a large advantage. Before a lap could be completed Kevin Salin lost the bite on his machine and came to a stop in turn 1 bringing out the caution. With order restored Sabraski once again moved to the high side and raced out to a big lead. Quietly, Dave Mass and Don Shaw began to work thier way to the front and by lap 10, the two found themselves in second and third respectivly. Up front it was the Sabraski show though as he dominated the field and cruised to his 46th Super Stock win of 2012. Mass was second, Shaw third, Cody Lee was fourth, and Dave Shipley rounded out the top five.
FYE Motorsports and Viking Speedway would like to send a big thank you to all the drivers, fans, crew members, and sponsors who supported the 10th Annual Viking Fall Classic. For more information on the speedway, and it’s plans for the 2013 racing season, please visit the track online at www.vikingspeedway.net. For more information on all FYE Motorsports promoted events please visit them at www.fyemotorsports.com.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature: Zach Johnson, Jeff Wildung, Lance Matthees, Cody Skytland, Pat Doar, Adam Hensel, Brad Seng, Caley Emmerson, Shawn Kirwin, Steve Laursen, Danny Bayer, Shaun Peterson, Harry Hanson, Don Shaw, Clarence Washburn, Steve Anderson, Rick Nelson, Paul Mueller, Rick Schroeder, Marshall Fegers, Dave Mass, Shane Edginton, Justin Fegers, Jeremy Keller, Scott Greer, Corey Nelson, John Kaanta
Heat 1: Matthees, Wildung, Mass, C. Nelson, Schroeder, Emmerson, Edginton, Peterson, Laursen
Heat 2: Johnson, Bayer, Skytland, Hensel, R. Nelson, Keller, Anderson, Kaanta, Greer
Heat 3: Doar, J. Fegers, Seng, Shaw, M. Fegers, Kirwin, Hanson, Mueller, Washburn
B-main: Hanson, Kaanta, Peterson, Edginton, Laursen, Anderson, Washburn, Greer, Mueller
Feature: Cody Skytland, Blake Jegtvig, Jeff Wildung, Jason Thoennes, Travis Saurer, Josh Thoennes, Scot Danzeisen, Shawn Strand, Dave Schroeder, Brady Gerdes, Ryan Aho, Shane Sabraski, Brian Swenson, Dennis Bitzan, Tom Silver, Jason Blascyk, Mike Storck, Corky Thomas, Matt Gilbertson, Mark Trautner, Logan Atkinson, Scott Tofte, Mark Noble, Jay Richardson, Brett Hoium, Aaron Olson
Heat 1: Skytland, Danzeisen, Storck, Blascyk, Aho, Lamb, C. Thomas, Maasch, Olson
Heat 2: Jegtvig, Wildung, Trautner, Swenson, Atkinson, Tofte, Odegard, T. Thomas
Heat 3: Ja. Thoennes, Silver, Jo. Thoennes, Saurer, Gerdes, Gilbertson, Engebretson, Menk
Heat 4: Bitzan, Schroeder, Hoium, Noble, Sabraski, Richardson, Strand, Merten
B-main 1: Richardson, Olson, C. Thomas, Blasyck, Engebretson, Menk, Tofte, Maasch
B-main 2: Atkinson, Strand, Gilbertson, T. Thomas, Lamb, Odegard, Merten
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass, Don Shaw, Cody Lee, Dave Shipley, Jon Stepan, Steve Weber, Scott Lawrence, Dave Read, Ryan Aho, Cory Tammen, Jeff Flaten, Mike Peterson, Donna Schmidt, Chris Winter, Al Cleveland, Travis Forcier, Dominic Baker, Kevin Salin, Derek Quinn, Bryan Hellerman
Heat 1: Stepan, Peterson, Salin, Winter, Forcier, Cleveland, Tammen
Heat 2: Mass, Aho, Shaw, Lawrence, Baker, Quinn, Flaten
Heat 3: Lee, Sabraski, Shipley, Read, Weber, Hellerman, Schmidt
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Jamie Thorstad, Jason Vandekamp, Travis Saurer, Dennis Czech, Brett Hoium, Brian Kakela, Darren Pfau, Tim Ims, Shane Sabraski, Josh Muzik, Tyler Peterson, Corey Eystad, Kelly Haack, Justin Froemming, Ron Saurer, Jeremy Kerzman, Andrew Bansgund, Blake Swenson, Scott Zimmerman, Shawn Olson, Chris Menson, Brooke Hellerman, Tyler Vanderby, Dusty Bitzan, Brian Haben
Heat 1: Haben, Bitzan, Kakela, T. Saurer, Froemming, Hellerman, Reents, Menson, Bansgund
Heat 2: Olson, Czech, Vandekamp, Hoium, Ims, Zimmerman, Haack, R. Saurer, Hoffman
Heat 3: Thorstad, Sabraski, Peterson, Pfau, Kerzman, Vanderby, Eystad, Muzik, Swenson
B-main: Eystad, R. Saurer, Muzik, Haack, Bangsund, Menson, Swenson, Reents, Hoffman
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: Justin Vogel, Brett Miller, Justin Tammen, Adam Burrows, Dave Read, John Adams, Gary Reents, Mark Blom, Rick Pommerer, Ryan Pommerer, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Jimmy Williams, Ryan Satter, Jake Huston
Heat 1: Blom, Miller, Vogel, Ry. Pommerer, Satter, Reents, Maus-Krippner
Heat 2: Adam, Read, Williams, Tammen, Huston, Burrows, Ri. Pommerer
WISSOTA Mod Fours
Feature: Dustin Zieske, Dustin Holquist, Ryan Buer, Corry Vanmil, Tyler Larson, Tim Hart, Mike Hart, Jesse Ouren, Brian Oehlert, Landon Atkinson, Jamie Flickinger
Heat 1: Atkinson, T. Hart, Oehlert, Ouren, M. Hart
Heat 2: Zieske, Vanmil, Buer, Larson, Holquist