By Ryan Schmitz All the Dirt Racing News
Jamestown, ND driver Jason Grimes recorded the biggest win of his racing career on Sunday night and in the process became the ninth driver to win the Minnesota Modified Nationals presented by Performance Auto. Grimes started Sunday’s 60 lap feature event in the number eighteen spot and made a last lap pass on Cody Skytland to claim the feature. In other WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track racing action, Jason Vandekamp, doubled up, and won both Midwest Modified feature races, Jeff Crouse claimed another WISSOTA Super Stock win, and Jeremy Nelson won the non qualifier feature for the WISSOTA Modifieds. The night’s event was sponsored by Performance Auto, Allstate, Wildung Racing, and Elden’s Fresh Foods.
With twelve laps remaining, in a feature that was suspended due to curfew on Saturday night, Ryan Schluesner led a hungry pack of WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds to the green. Head flag man, Layne Roberts, dropped the green and night two of the Mod Nationals was off and running. Schluesner would continue to lead the pack as Tim Ims, Jeremy Kerzman, and Jamie Thorstad did battle for the second through fifth spots. The yellow would fly on the speedway for Ron Saurer who slipped over the banking in turn two and retired to the pit area with mechanical issues. Schluesner once again paced the field to the green and Jason Hoffman and Jason Vandekamp joined the front group along with Josh Muzik. Vandekamp would complete the pass for the lead with three laps left on the board, and the yellow would fly on the following lap, for an incident involving Schluesner, Hoffman, and Muzik. Muzik suffered front end damage and was forced to pull of the speedway, along with Hoffman who was charged with the yellow. Vandekamp lead the field to the green for the final restart and never looked back as he raced to the win. Thorstad came home in the number two spot, Ims was third, Kerzman fourth, and Schluesner rounded out the top five.
Next on the agenda was B main number one for the WISSOTA Modifieds. The top two finishing drivers would make the “big dance” later in the evening, while drivers finishing in the number three through nine spot would be put in the last chance qualifying race, later in the day. A pair of Performance Auto drivers, Dev Malmlov and Mike Johnson, manned the front row for the twenty lap event. At the drop of the green Malmlov jumped to the outside of the speedway to gain the race lead. Eight starter Jason Thoennes wasted no time putting his car on the low side of the speedway and jumped into the number two spot behind Malmlov. With six laps in the books, the yellow would come out for Kyle Koehntop, who suffered a flat right rear tire. This put Thoennes and Scot Danzeisen on Malmlov’s back bumper as the field came to life once more. With eleven laps remaining Danzeisen worked to the inside of Thoennes and moved into the critical number two spot. The remaining laps would go caution free with Malmlov and Danzeisen advancing to the feature.
Jason Grimes and Bobby Gierke led the twelve car b main two to the green and Grimes wasted no time finding that the high side of the speedway was fast as he jumped to an early race lead. Grimes would continue to stretch his advantage as Jamie Trautner moved into the second spot after a battle with Jeremy Nelson. The caution would come out over the speedway with ten laps remaining when Corey Sersha shot over the bank in turn three. Grimes once again jumped to the lead and Nelson moved into the second spot and raced up to challenge the leader. The field would only complete one lap before the yellow came out once more for Jeffery Lein Jr, who spun and collected Brandon Aggen and Skeeter Estey. During the yellow flag period Nelson’s car began to smoke and he pulled into the pit area, this moved Trautner back to the second spot. With the green back out, Grimes powered his way to a large advantage as Trautner was being pressured by Terry Engebretson and Aggen for the second spot. Grimes would cruise to the win and Trautner held on to the second spot and both drivers advanced to the feature.
Veteran drivers Jeff Wildung and Mike Storck led the final b main to the green and Wildung used his outside starting spot to jump to the lead with Storck in tow. Near the midway point in the race, Brady Gerdes and Johnny Broking were able to get around Storck as the duo battled for the final transfer spot. Meanwhile, back in traffic the best battle on the speedway was between Travis Saurer and Darrell Nelson for the number four spot. Both drivers continued to search for a way to close the gap on Broking and Gerdes. As the cars entered turn three, on the final lap, Broking dove his MB Customs machine to the low side of the speedway in an attempt to make a pass on Gerdes. Broking couldn’t make the pass stick and he and Gerdes made contact sending Gerdes over the banking in turn four. It was determined by track officials the Broking was at fault for the yellow, and Gerdes was given credit for the second place finish behind Wildung.
With only two tickets left to be punched to the Modified feature, Jason Thoennes and Terry Engebretson led eighteen cars to the green in the modified Last Chance Race. Thoennes quickly jumped to the lead and Engebretson settled into the second spot. As Thoennes continued to stretch his advantage over Engebretson, the best battle on the speedway was between Saurer, Darrell Nelson, and Jeff Broking for the number three spot. Saurer was able to clear Nelson for fourth spot and raced up to challenge Broking with six laps remaining. Meanwhile, up front Thoennes cruised to the win, ensuring he would start the Mod Nationals feature for the ninth consecutive season, and Engebreston would hold on for the second spot.
Jeremy Nelson jumped to the early lead in the twenty lap, $1000 to win, modified non qualifier feature. Nelson would lead the first two circuits until Travis Saurer slid off the back stretch brining out the caution. With order restored, Nelson led Darrell Nelson and Danny Bayer to the green. The running order would remain the same and the caution would fly once again on lap ten for Canadian driver Ward Imrie, as he went off turn two. With the field reset J. Nelson once again led D. Nelson to the green. This time a new challenger moved up to challenge D. Nelson, as Scott Greer raced to the inside in an attempt to make a pass. Up front J. Nelson continued to check out and he raced to his first career modified win. D. Nelson came home second, Greer was third, Mike Storck fourth, and Saurer raced his way back to the number five spot.
Jeff Crouse and Jeff Kluver paced the seventeen car WISSOTA Super Stock feature to the green. Crouse quickly powered his way to the high side of the track and claimed the race lead as the cars completed lap one. Saturday night’s winner, Shane Sabraski quickly jumped into the second spot and set his sights on Crouse. Sabraski would be able to motor by Crouse on the top of the track five laps into the event, but Crouse would stay glued to his back bumper. With eleven laps left Sabraski moved to the bottom of the track in an effort to find more traction. Crouse moved to the high side of the track in turns three and four and completed the pass on Sabraski with ten laps left. On the following lap, the caution would fly for Rocky Yeats, when he slipped off turn two. Crouse led Sabraski and Cory Tammen to the green and the trio began to look for the fastest way around the High Flyin Half Mile speedway. Crouse glued his machine to the high line and would lead the next four laps as Sabraski and Tammen battled for the second spot. With six laps remaining, Dominic Baker and Don Eischens would make contact in turn two brining out the caution. Eischens would retire pit side with damage during the yellow period. Back up front Crouse once again jumped to the cushion and went on to lead the remaining six laps to claim the win. Sabraski was second, Dexton Koch was third, Tammen settled for fourth, and Trevor Saurer rounded out the top five.
Twenty nine WISSOTA Midwest Modified drivers lined up for twenty laps of battle on the half mile speedway. Jason Hoffman and Jason Vandekamp paced the field to the green. Vandekamp, who had picked up the most passing points earlier in the night, moved to a quick advantage over Hoffman and Ron Saurer. With one lap complete, Saurer would lose the bite on his machine and slip off the banking brining out the first of many cautions in the twenty lap event. With the green back out, Vandekamp jumped to the lead over Hoffman who was left to battle with Jeremy Kerzman and Dusty Bitzan for the second spot. Hoffman would hold onto the position and the yellow would once again fall on the speedway when Travis Saurer suffered a flat tire and slipped off turn four. Vandekamp lead Hoffman and Kerzman to the green again, and this time Kerzman was able to make the pass of Hoffman to move into the second spot. Meanwhile, the driver on the move was sixteenth starter Brock Gronwold who quickly moved his way up to challenge for the number five spot. Vandekamp would continue to lead and cruised to his second feature win of the night. Bitzan was second, Travis Saurer raced from the back of the field to third, Gronwold was fourth, and Kerzman rounded out the top five.
With all the other action in the books, the twenty five car, star studded modified feature rolled onto the speedway. After an out of car introduction session and four wide salute to the fans, Dave Schroeder and Matt Gilbertson led the field to the green. Schroeder wasted no time jumping to the high line on the speedway and took the early lead with Gilbertson in tow. As the leaders began to distance themselves from the field, the main battle on the track was for the number three spot. Jeremy Houle, Dale Mathison, and Cody Skytland locked horns and over the course of the next few laps raced side by side for position. Meanwhile, back in traffic all eyes were on Jason Grimes as he continued to work his way towards the front from his eighteenth starting spot. With twenty laps completed in the feature, Schroeder held a comfortable lead over Gilbertson, Mathison, Houle, Skytland, Kelly Estey, and Grimes. Grimes would make quick work of Estey and raced up to challenge Skytland for fourth. After a handful of laps, Grimes, who was using the very top of the speedway, moved by Skytland to fourth. On the next lap, Grimes was able to race by Houle and Mathison to move into the number three spot. The mandatory fuel stop yellow would fly over the track at lap thirty and at that point Schroeder led Gilbertson, Grimes, Skytland, Mathison and Houle. Once all cars were filled with fuel, Schroeder led the pack to the green. On the restart, Mathison and Skytland were able to clear Grimes and the duo raced up to challenge Gilbertson for the second spot. The first caution of the race would fly with twenty six laps to go when Jamie Trautner spun exiting turn four. On the restart Schroeder led Gilbertson and Mathison to the green. Skytland and Grimes were able to work their way around Mathison on the restart and the duo looked to close in on Schroeder and Gilbertson. The final caution of the race would fly with twenty three laps to go for an incident involving Rick Niemi, Brady Gerdes, Terry Engebretson, and Trautner. This put Skytland and Gilbertson back on Schroeder’s back bumper for the final restart. As the leaders entered turn one, Schroeder moved from his preferred high line to the low side in order to keep Skytland at bay. As the lead trio raced out of turn two, both Gilbertson and Skytland were able to clear Schroeder. On the following lap, Schroeder was able to get back by Gilbertson and raced up to challenge Skytland, the new leader. With Schroeder running the low side and Skytland the top side, the duo would race side by side for the next handful of laps. Behind the lead back, Grimes was able to clear Gilbertson with thirteen laps to go and quickly closed in on the lead duo. With five laps remaining Grimes looked to make it three wide for the race lead as the cars exited turn four and was able to get by Schroeder in the process. Grimes quickly moved back to the high side of the track in order to track down Skytland. With two laps remaining, Grimes moved to the low side of the speedway in turn one and completed a pass on Skytland, only to see Cody come back and take the lead on the back chute. As the leaders came to the white flag, contact was made as Grimes tried to go back to the low side. As the leaders entered turn one on the final lap, Grimes went to the bottom of the track and was able to pull even with Skytland as the duo drag raced down the back stretch one final time. The duo would enter turn three on the final lap side by side and Skytland looked to the bottom of Grimes, and the pair would make contact sending Skytland spinning in turn three. Grimes would go on to take the checkered and claim the $7000 payday. Schroeder finished in second, Gilbertson a solid third, Jeff Wildung finished fourth after starting nineteenth, and Scot Danzeisen advanced from twentieth to fifth.
All of the staff at Viking Speedway and FYE Motorsports would like to thank all the racers, sponsors, and fans for joining them for a great weekend of racing. The high flying half mile speedway, located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, will be back in action with all five WISSOTA classes in action. For more information on the speedway please visit the track online at www.vikingspeedway.net and for more information on FYE Motorsports events, please visit them online at www.fyemotorsports.com.
Feature: Jason Grimes, Dave Schroeder, Matt Gilbertson, Jeff Wildung, Scot Danzeisen, Dale Mathison, Dave Cain, Kelly Estey, Austin Arneson, Shane Sabraski, Brady Gerdes, Bob Broking, Bryce Borgen, Josh Thoennes, Jason Thoennes, Jake Wildman, Mark Noble, Dev Malmlov, Cody Skytland, Jamie Trautner, Jeremy Houle, Rick Niemi, Terry Engebretson, Tony Leiker
Non Qualifier Feature: Jeremy Nelson, Darrell Nelson, Scott Greer, Mike Storck, Travis Saurer
B Main 1: Malmlov, Danzeisen, Ja. Thoennes, Danny Bayer, Jeff Broking, Ward Imrie, Ryan Mikkelson, Mark Trautner, Mike Johnson, Jason Gross, Brian Haben, Kyle Koehntop, Charlie Hillukka
B Main 2: Grimes, J. Trautner, Engebretson, Brandon Aggen, Bobby Gierke, Jeff Flaten, Greer, Corey Sersha, Skeeter Estey, Jeffery Lien Jr., Jeremy Nelson, Scott Tofte, Matt Leer
B Main 3: Wildung, Gerdes, Storck, D. Nelson, Travis Saurer, Ryan Kereluk, Johnny Broking, Wildman, Brian Swenson, Brett Hoium, Clayton Wagamon, Cody Erickson, Matt Smith
LCQ Race: Ja. Thoennes, Engebretson, Je. Broking, Saurer, D. Nelson, Imrie, Storck, Mikkelson, Aggen, Greer, M. Trautner, Flaten, Johnson, Kereluk, Bayer, Sersha, Wildman, Gierke, Jo. Broking, S. Estey, Swenson
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature: Jeff Crouse, Shane Sabraski, Dexton Koch, Cory Tammen, Trevor Saurer, Jon Stepan, Dominic Baker, Chris Winter, Rocky Yeats, Matt Miller, Jay Hedtke, David Galbraith, Derek Quinn, Don Eischens, Travis Berends, Jeff Kluver, Bob Holtquist
Heat 1: Kluver, Stepan, Quinn, Miller, Hedtke, Holtquist, Yeats, Galbraith, Berends
Heat 2: Sabraski, Crouse, Tammen, Koch, Saurer, Eischens, Baker, Winter
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature: Jason Vandekamp, Dusty Bitzan, Travis Saurer, Brock Gronwold, Jeremy Kerzman, Jason Hoffman, Casey Arneson, Chris Mensen, Josh Muzik, Ryan Schleusner, Corey Storck, Scott Sroufe, Shawn Olson, Jamie Thorstad, Mike Schwardt, Mack Estey, Kyle Reents, Justin Froemming, Ron Saurer, Wyatt Ricks, Tyler Spanswick, Shane Howell, Jeffery Lien Jr, Brandon Spanswick, Matt Weisman, Tim Ims, Andrew Bangsund, Nick James, Randy Laage
Heat 1: Thorstad, Hoffman, Froemming, Ims, T. Saurer, Muzik, Lien Jr., James, Howell, Mensen
Heat 2: Bitzan, R. Saurer, Vandekamp, Storck, Gronwold, Weisman, Arneson, Laage, Ricks, Schwardt
Heat 3: Kerzman, Bangsund, B. Spanswick, Estey, Schleusner, Reents, Sroufe, Olson, T. Spanswick
Make up Feature: Vandekamp, Thorstad, Ims, Kerzman, Schleusner, Sroufe, Mensen, T. Saurer, Olson, Lien Jr., Froemming, Reents, Howell, Storck, James, Laage, Ricks, Muzik, Hoffman, R. Saurer, Bangsund, Estey, Vanderby, Gronwold, Bitzan, Lee, Schwardt, Vanoverbeke, Arneson