By: Ryan Schmitz All the Dirt Racing News
Dave Schroeder held off numerous challenges from Austin Arneson and Jason Thoennes to claim his first Viking Speedway Modfied win of the season. The win comes less than a month after Schroeder destroyed his car in a violent roll over at the speedway. Other drivers who found their way to victory lane in WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series action included, Jeff Wildung in the WISSOTA Late Models, Jeff Crouse in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Dusty Bitzan in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, and Adam Burrows in the WISSOTA Street Stocks. The event marked the midseason point of the season and was sponsored by Beck’s Radiator, Engrebretson Sanitary Services, Wildman Seeds, and Cowing Robards.
With all the heat race action in the books, fifteen WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds took to the track for their fifteen lap main event. Pole sitter Zach Hintermeister paced the field to the green and as the cars entered turn one on the first circuit, Alexandria driver Shawn Olson powered to the outside of the track to claim the lead. Olson would lead the first two laps until the yellow would fly for a Tyler Vanderby spin in turn three. Vanderby would tag the rear of the field and Olson led the field to the green. Olson moved to the high side of the track once more and held the lead over Jamie Thorstad and Jason Hoffman as the cars motored down the back chute. Thorstad was able to clear Hoffman and set his sights on Olson as the packed entered turn three. Thorstad threw his car hard into the turn and was able to complete the pass as the field completed lap three. Hoffman was also able to navigate his way around Olson, as was sixth starter Dusty Bitzan. Thorstad continued to lead and caution would fly again over the speedway for a Vanderby and Haley Lee incident in turn four. During the yellow flag period, third place running Hoffman retired pit side with a mechanical issue moving Olson back to the third spot. Thorstad once again led the field to the green and as the leaders exited turn two, Thorstad’s machine began to slip over the bank allowing Bitzan to race by to the lead on the low side of the track. Bitzan continued to lead the field using the low side of the track as Thorstad tried to get back to the lead using the high side of the track. The caution would come out for the final time in the event for Hintermeister, who slipped off the banking in turn three. Bitzan led Thorstad and Olson to the green with seven laps remaining, and held off a hard charging Thorstad to claim the feature win. Thorstad finished second, Olson third, Ryan Schleusner was fourth, and Josh Muzik, who got married the night before, rounded out the top five.
Eight WISSOTA Street Stocks lined up for the next event of the evening. West Fargo, ND driver Adam Burrows, wasted no time using his front row starting spot to jump to the lead. Burrows used to high side of the track and continued to build his lead lap after lap. The real battle on the speedway was for the second spot between Justin Vogel, Brett Miller, Ryan Satter, and Mark Blom. With eight laps remaining Vogel was able to move into the second position and set his sights on Burrows, as the laps continued to count down. Miller was able to clear Satter and Blom as well and moved into the third spot, but up front it was all Burrows, and he raced to his seventh win of the 2013 season. Vogel finished a distant second, Miller third, Satter fourth, and Blom was scored fifth.
Local drivers, Matt Miller and Cody Lee, manned the front row for the twenty lap WISSOTA Super Stock feature. Head flagman, Layne Roberts, dropped the green and Lee wasted no time moving his #50 machine to the high side of the speedway and jumped to the lead. Lee would lead lap one, with fourth starter Jeff Crouse on his bumper as the leaders completed the first lap. Crouse was able to find his way around Lee on the next lap and began to build a large lead. Back in traffic, Fargo traveler, Dave Shipley worked his way up from the seventh spot to challenge Lee for second. Shipley was able to make the pass with fourteen laps left, and this left Lee to battle with Jon Stepan for the third spot. Two laps later, Stepan was able to make the pass on Lee and settled into the third spot. Up front, Crouse continued to pad his advantage and raced unchallenged to the feature win. Shipley came home second, Stepan third, Lee fourth, and Dalton, MN driver Trevor Saurer was fifth.
Twenty Three WISSOTA Modifieds took to the grid next for their twenty lap main event. Dave Schroeder and Austin Arneson led the field to the green. At the drop of the green Schroeder moved his GRT car to the top of the track with Arneson and Jason Thoennes in tow. Arneson drove his car hard into turn three and was able to make a pass of Schroeder on lap two, only to see Schroeder reclaim the lead on the following lap. The yellow would come out for the first time in the event on lap three when veteran driver Mike Storck shot off turn two and retired pit side with suspension damage. Schroeder once again led Arneson and Thoennes to the green and moved back to the high side to stay in the lead. With Schroeder building a commanding lead up front, Arneson and Thoennes locked horns in the battle for the number two spot. The duo would continually swap the position lap after lap and were quickly joined by eight starter Cody Skytland and Jeff Wildung. All four drivers continued to work different lines and were side by side over the next few laps until Jeff Flaten slipped off the banking in turn two brining out the caution once more. Schroeder led Thoennes and Arneson to the green once more and Thoennes made a bold move on the bottom of the track and was able to sneak by Schroeder as the cars exited turn two. All Thoennes’s work would be washed away though, when the caution came back out before the cars could complete a lap. This put Schroeder back on the point and this time Dave’s car handled better in turns one and two allowing him to keep the lead. Thoennes continued to work the low side of the track in an effort to stay ahead of Arneson and the duo would make contact with six laps remaining sending Arneson over the banking in turn three. The officals determined that Thoennes initiated the contact and he was sent to the tail of the field while Arneson reclaimed the second spot. With the green back out, Schroeder continued to dominated and cruised to his first Viking win of the season ahead of Arneson, who finished second, Skytland was third, Wildung fourth, and Brady Gerdes was scored in the number five spot.
The final event of the evening belonged to the WISSOTA Late Models. Scott Lehn and Clarence Washburn paced the ten car field to the green and the duo would race side by side for the first two laps. As the leaders completed lap three, sixth starter Jeff Wildung moved to the high side of the speedway and claimed the lead. Wildung began to stretch his lead and Mandan, ND driver, Jeremy Keller quickly moved up to challenge Washburn for the second spot. Keller was able to make the pass with sixteen laps remaining and set off in an effort to reel in Wildung. Lap after lap the advantage that WIildung had on Keller stayed roughly the same. As the laps ticked down it was clear that WIldung was uncatchable and he raced to his second straight Late Model win at the speedway. Keller was second, Rick Nelson was third, Matt Aukland fourth, and Clarence Washburn fifth.
VIking Speedway is a half mile banked oval located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. The speedway will be busy this week as the 9th Annual Minnesota Modified Nationals presented by Performance Auto of Fargo are set to take place over the weekend. Friday July 5th will feature an open practice night from 6pm-9pm, with racing action beginning on Saturday July 6th at 6:00 pm. Sunday’s show begins at 3pm and will end with the 60 lap, $7000 to win WISSOTA Modified feature. The track will also have a fireworks display on Sunday at the conclusion of the racing action. For more information on the Mod Nationals please visit FYE Motorsports online at www.fyemotorsports.com and for more information on Viking Speedway please visit them online at www.vikingspeedway.net or like the track on Facebook.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature: Jeff Wildung, Jeremy Keller, Rick Nelson, Matt Aukland, Clarence Washburn, Scott Lehn, Brad Parson, Casey Meyer, Josh Johnson, Shawn Meyer
Heat 1: Wildung, Nelson, Keller, Lehn, Johnson
Heat 2: Aukland, C. Meyer, Parson, Washburn, S. Meyer
Feature: Dave Schroeder, Austin Arneson, Cody Skytland, Jeff Wildung, Brady Gerdes, Josh Thoennes, Dennis Bitzan, Danny Bayer, Jake Wildman, Jeremy Nelson, Blake Jegtvig, Jason Thoennes, Curt Lund, Michael Johnson, Jeff Flaten, Todd Berg, Kyle Koehntop, Mark Esala, Brett Hoium, Mark Noble, Dale Mathison, Matt Aukland, Mike Storck
Heat 1: Jegtvig, Jo. Thoennes, Ja. Thoennes, Gerdes, Aukland, Nelson, Bitzan, Bayer
Heat 2: Mathison, Esala, Koehntop, Wildman, Johnson, Noble, Flaten, Berg
Heat 3: Schroeder, Arneson, Skytland, Wildung, Hoium, Storck, Lund
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature: Jeff Crouse, Dave Shipley, Jon Stepan, Cody Lee, Trevor Saurer, Derrick Lemke, Matt Miller, Mike Peterson, Brian Hellerman, Chris Winter, Jeff Kluver, Derek Quinn, Dominic Baker, Rocky Yeats
Heat 1: Miller, Stepan, Crouse, Shipley, Hellerman, Quinn, Winter
Heat 2: Saurer, Lemke, Lee, Peterson, Yeats, Baker, Kluver
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature: Adam Burrows, Justin Vogel, Brett Miller, Ryan Satter, Mark Blom, Durand Peterson, Shane Kruger, Vern Stewart
Heat: Satter, Blom, Burrows, Miller, Vogel, Peterson, Stewart, Kruger
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature: Dusty Bitzan, Jamie Thorstad, Shawn Olson, Ryan Schleusner, Josh Muzik, Chris Mensen, Justin Froemming, Brandon Spanswick, Haley Lee, Zach Hintermeister, Andrew Bangsund, Tyler Spanswick, Corey Storck, Jason Hoffman, Tyler Vanderby
Heat 1: Bitzan, Muzik, Schleusner, Mensen, Lee, Vanderby, T. Spanswick, B. Spanswick
Heat 2: Hoffman, Olson, Thorstad, Hintermeister, Bangsund, Froemming