By: Ryan Schmitz All the Dirt Racing News
Jason Thoennes held off his brother, Josh Thoennes, to claim the win in an exciting WISSOTA Modified feature on an overcast and humid evening at Viking Speedway. Other drivers who found their way to victory lane on Fat Daddy’s Bar and Grill, Beck’s Radiator, Auto Value, and KMRS radio night were, Travis Saurer in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, John Adams in the WISSOTA Street Stocks, Cory Tammen in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, and Ricky Weiss in the WISSOTA Late Models. Each of the five winners will represent Viking Speedway in the WISSOTA AMSOIL Race of Champions, held during the WISSOTA 100 in Huron, SD in September. Eric Gardner was victorious in non WISSOTA support action as he picked up his second straight win in the Viking Pure Stock Class.
The evening was also a special evening at the speedway as the track, sponsors, drivers, and fans paid tribute to former flagman Mike Commerford. Mike passed away this winter and there was extra money put into the purse for each class, checkered flags given to all children in attendance, and the flag tower at Viking Speedway will now always be known at the Mike Commerford Flag Stand. The speedway along with Commerford Gravel and Winning Edge Graphics unveiled a beautiful sign on the flag stand at intermission.
With all the heat races and intermission festivities in the books, sixteen WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds took the starting grid. Former national champion, Travis Saurer and local driver Shawn Olson paced the field to the green and Saurer jumped to the early lead over Olson on the high side of the speedway. Dan Ebert quickly moved his machine to the high side of the speedway and raced past Olson and began to track down Saurer. The yellow flag would fly over the speedway on lap three for debris in turn three. This put Ebert and Olson on Saurer’s back bumper and Saurer and Ebert once again locked horns. With Saurer on the high side of the track, and Ebert looking to use the low side of the track, the real battle on the track was for the third through fifth spots. Dusty Bitzan and Jason Hoffman were able to get passed Olson and Bitzan quickly closed on Ebert and the duo began to battle for second. With nine laps remaining, the yellow would come out for the final time, as Andrew Bangsund slipped over the turn three banking. This time Saurer led Ebert and Bitzan to the green and again Saurer powered to the lead on the cushion. Ebert was able to clear Bitzan to settle into the second spot, but up front Saurer cruised to the win, Ebert was second in his first visit to the speedway in 2013, Bitzan was third, Hoffman fourth, and Olson rounded out the top five. As the leaders took the checkered flag, a scary scene unfolded in turn four when Jamie Thorstad lost control of his car and collected Cory Storck sending Storck rolling off turn four. Both drivers would be ok and Storck was credited with a sixth place finish.
Adam Burrows and John Adams manned the front row for the thirteen car WISSOTA Street Stock feature. At the drop of the green Burrows jumped to the high side of the track and began to build a lead over Adams. Behind the leaders, Mark Blom, Justin Tammern, and Brett Miller were locked in a battle for the third spot. All three drivers continued to search for the fastest way around the track as Burrows continued to stretch his lead. The caution would come out on lap four when Benson, MN veteran driver, Scott Huston spun in turn four. This put Adams and Miller on Burrows back bumper for the restart. Burrows, who has been strong all season at Viking, moved back to the lead and Adams was able to clear Miller and settled into the second spot. Adams would continue to cut into Burrows lead each lap and with two to go Adams was looking to make a pass on Burrows when the yellow came out for a Ryan Satter spin in turn four. During the yellow period, fifth place running, Shane Kruger’s machine came to a stop on the back chute, ending his evening. With the green back out, Adams once again looked to make a move on Burrows, as the leaders entered turn three on the final circuit, Adams moved to the outside of Burrows. The pair were side by side as they exited turn four and as the drivers drag raced to the flag stand, there was contact between Burrows and Adams sending Burrows spinning backwards across the finish line. Adams would be credited with the win, Burrows was scored second, Blom third, Miller fourth, and Tammen rounded out the top five.
Local products Matt Miller and Derek Quinn led the twelve car WISSOTA Super Stock feature to the green. At the drop of the green, Cory Tammen blasted from his fourth starting spot and jumped to the lead over Miller. Tammen would lead the first lap and before the second lap could be completed, the yellow would come out for a crash in turn four involving Trevor Saurer and Cody Lee. Once speedway officials cleaned up the crash, Tammen led Miller and Jon Stepan to the green. Tammen would waste no time moving back to the high side of the track and started building his lead once again. Meanwhile, back in traffic, Stepan was able to move into the second spot and Jeff Crouse moved into third. Lap after lap Stepan and Crouse searched for a way around Tammen, but to no avail. Tammen would continue to lead and the caution would once again fly on lap ten for debris on the speedway. During the yellow, third place running Crouse, pulled to the pit area after losing a driver shaft. This put Miller back into the third spot behind Tammen and Stepan. Tammen once again raced to the lead and Stepan settled into the number two spot. With six laps remaining, Stepan moved to the low side of the track and made a pass on Tammen heading down the back stretch only to see Tammen power back by as the cars exited turn four. From there Tammen would pull away for the win, Stepan was second, Miller turned in a strong third place run, Derrick Lemke was fourth, and Quinn rounded out the top five.
Former track champion Jason Thoennes and Glenwood’s Jake Wildman led a hungry field of seventeen WISSOTA Modifieds to the green. Thoennes jumped to the early lead with brother Josh, and Travis Saurer in tow. The running order up front would remain the same for the first three laps, and the caution would fly for Don Shaw, who lost the bite on his machine in turn three. Thoennes once again led the pack to the field and broke away from Josh and Saurer as they battled for second. Two laps later, the caution would once again come out over the speedway when Dennis Bitzan shot over the banking in turn two. At this point Jason led Josh, Sauer, Dave Schroeder, and Cody Skytland had cracked the top five after starting in the number nine spot. With the green back out, Saurer went to the top shelf of the track in an effort to track down the Thoennes brothers. Saurer pulled even with Jason on lap ten, but was unable to complete the pass, as Josh raced by him on the low side of the track. The top five would remaing the same for the next nine laps until caution would fly over the track once again for Dennis Bitzan and Brandon Aggen slowed on the back chute. With the green back out Jason jumped to the lead and raced to the win ahead of brother Josh, Saurer was third, Skytland was fourth, and Shaw raced back to fifth after the early race spin.
Scott Lehn and Zach Johnson led the fourteen car WISSOTA Late Model feature to the green. Johnson moved to the early lead and Canadian driver Ricky Weiss moved into second after completing a pass on Lehn in turn three. Johnson would lead the first two laps until Weiss moved to the low side of the track, and moved passed Johnson on lap four. From there Weiss jumped to a large lead as the leaders entered lap traffic. The car on the move was Don Shaw and he would race passed Johnson on lap eleven and looked for a way to reel in Weiss. The lone caution of the event would fly with four laps remaining, when Mike Balcaen got tangled with Casey Meyer, sending Balcaen into the front stretch wall. Weiss led Shaw and Johnson to the green and once again Weiss powered to the lead, and Rick Schroeder was able to work his way around Johnson for third. Back up front it was clear that Shaw had nothing for Weiss and Ricky cruised to the win. Shaw was second, Schroeder turned in a great third place run, Johnson was fourth, and Jeff Wildung was fifth.
The Viking Speedway is located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. The High Flyin’ Half Mile will be back in action next Saturday night for Beck’s Mod Night and Glenwood night. All five WISSOTA divisions will be in action along with the Viking Pure Stocks, with racing action starting at 6:00pm. For more information on the speedway, place visit our website at http://www.vikingspeedway.net/ or like the track on facebook.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature: Ricky Weiss, Don Shaw, Rick Schroeder, Zach Johnson, Jeff Wildung, Shawn Kirwin, Dan Ebert, Brad Parson, Casey Meyer, Scott Lehn, Shawn Meyer, Clarence Washburn, Billy Michaelsohn, Mike Balcaen
Heat 1: Johnson, Weiss, C. Meyer, Schroeder, Balcaen, Parson, S. Meyer
Heat 2: Shaw, Wildung, Lehn, Ebert, Washburn, Kirwin, Michaelsohn
Feature: Jason Thoennes, Josh Thoennes, Travis Saurer, Cody Skytland, Don Shaw, Dave Schroeder, Bobby Gierke, Mike Storck, Brady Gerdes, Jake Wildman, Brett Hoium, Terry Engebretson, Todd Berg, Jeff Flaten, Brandon Aggen, Dennis Bitzan, Jeremy Nelson
Heat 1: Skytland, Ja. Thoennes, Aggen, Gierke, Flaten, Storck
Heat 2: Schroeder, Jo. Thoennes, Gerdes, Shaw, Engebretson, Berg
Heat 3: Sauer, Bitzan, Wildman, Nelson, Hoium
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature: Cory Tammen, Jon Stepan, Matt Miller, Derrick Lemke, Derek Quinn, Trevor Saurer, Cody Lee, Mike Peterson, David Galbraith, Jeff Crouse, Jeff Kluver, Chris Winter
Heat 1: Tammen, Quinn, Stepan, Lee, Saurer, Winter
Heat 2: Crouse, Miller, Lemke, Peterson, Kluver, Galbraith
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature: John Adams, Adam Burrows, Mark Blom, Brett Miller, Justin Tammen, Durand Peterson, Jake Huston, Ryan Satter, Luke Lick, Scott Huston, Chuck Lundeen, Vern Stewart, Shane Kruger
Heat 1: Burrows, Blom, Tammen, Lick, Satter, Kruger, Peterson
Heat 2: J. Huston, S. Huston, Adams, Miller, Stewart, Lundeen
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature: Travis Saurer, Dan Ebert, Dusty Bitzan, Jason Hoffman, Shawn Olson, Corey Storck, Justin Froemming, Josh Muzik, Andrew Bangsund, Todd Soderstrom, Kelly Haack, Jamie Thorstad, Tyler Vanderby, Ron Saurer, Zach Hintermeister, Jeremy Kerzman
Heat 1: T. Saurer, Bangsund, Froemming, Muzik, R. Saurer, Hintermeister, Soderstrom, Kerzman
Heat 2: Ebert, Olson, Bitzan, Hoffman, Storck, Haack, Vanderby, Thorstad
Viking Pure Stocks:
Feature: Eric Gardner, Brock Volker
Heat: Volker, Gardner