By: Ryan Schmitz All the Dirt Racing News
Dennis Bitzan held off a late race charge by Cody Skytland in order to claim the WISSOTA Modified feature win during fair night at Viking Speedway. Other drivers who found their way to Alexandria Motors victory lane included Eric Breeschoten in the WISSOTA Late Models, Jeff Crouse in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Brett Miller in the WISSOTA Street Stocks, and Travis Saurer in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. First time visitor Tami Naslund was victorious in the Viking Pure Stocks during Integrity Title, Prairie Trailer, Pepsi, and 99.7 Hot Rod Radio night at the speedway.
With all the heat race action in the books, sixteen of the seventeen scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature took to the grid for their fifteen lap main event. Zach Hintermeister and Josh Muzik led the field to the green and Muzik moved to the early lead with Hintermeister in tow. With only one lap in the books, last week’s feature winner, Jason Hoffman, slipped over the banking in turn one ending his bid for back to back wins. Muzik led Hintermeister, Dusty Bitzan, and current WISSOTA national point leader, Travis Saurer to the green. Muzik once again moved to the high side of the track while Bitzan and Saurer were able to work their way around Hintermeister into the second and third spots. Three laps into the feature, Bitzan’s car would lose the driveshaft on the front chute, causing a multi car accident and ending Bitzan’s night early. On the restart Muzik raced to the lead ahead of Saurer and would continue to lead for the next three laps. With ten laps remaining Saurer went to the low side of turn three and completed the pass on Muzik. Saurer would continue to lead and the caution would fly for the final time with six laps remaining when Andrew Bangsund shot over the banking in turn three. This gave Muzik one last shot at Saurer, but Saurer proved too be to strong as he cruised to the win. Muzik was second, track point leader Jamie Thorstad was third, Brock Gronwold came home fourth, and Enderlin, ND visitor Randy Klein was fifth in his first visit to the speedway in 2013.
Brett Miller and Mark Blom led the nine car WISSOTA Street Stock field to the green and Miller wasted no time jumping to his preferred groove, the high side, and blasted out to the lead. Miller would continue to stretch his advantage over the field as Blom began to be challenged by WISSOTA Rookie of the Year contender Shane Kruger and track point leader, Adam Burrows for the second spot. The trio were locked into a nice battle while Miller continued to pull away up front. The race would go caution free and see Miller pick up his second straight win at the track with Blom holding on to second, Kruger third, Burrows fourth, and Ryan Satter rounded out the top five.
Dominic Baker and Derek Quinn, both in search of their first WISSOTA Super Stock win, led fifteen WISSOTA Super Stocks to the green for a twenty lap shoot out. Quinn jumped to the lead at the drop of the green and Rocky Yeats was able to get around Baker to move into the second spot. Meanwhile back in traffic, track point leader, Jeff Crouse moved his way around Baker into the third spot and raced up to challenge Yeats for the second spot. The first of many cautions in the event flew on lap five when last week’s winner Derrick Lemke shot off the back chute. Lemke would be able to continue and Quinn once again moved to the lead ahead of Crouse and Yeats. Crouse would go to the low side of the track on the following lap and completed the pass of Yeats and quickly raced up to challenge Quinn for the lead. With eleven laps remaining Yeats and Brooke Hellerman would have contact sending Yeats off the track. Yeats would be forced to pit and caught the tail of the field while Hellerman continued. Quinn now lead Crouse and Hellerman to the green and this time Crouse was trucking the tires on the low side of the track while Quinn tickled the cushion on the high side. Crouse pulled even with Quinn down the back chute and worked his way by into the lead with ten laps to go. The final caution of the event would fly over the track with five laps remaining for a Jon Stepan and Lemke incident on the back chute, ending both drivers nights. Back up front Crouse would cruise to the win ahead of Quinn, Mike Peterson was third, Yeats raced his way back to fourth, and Hellerman was fifth.
Seventeen of the eighteen scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Modified feature came to the green led by Brandon Aggen and Dennis Bitzan. Bitzan was able to gain the advantage on the high side of the track while Aggen was in a battle with Jason and Josh Thoennes for the second spot. The first caution of the event would fly on lap three when former track champion Travis Saurer dropped over the banking in turn one. With Saurer tagging the end of the field, Bitzan once again led the field to green. As the lead group of cars crossed the flag stand, Don Shaw made contact with the wall. Shaw would limp his car around the speedway, but the caution would come back out once more when Shaw couldn’t exit the speedway due to suspension damage. On the ensuing restart, fifth place running Josh Thoennes would spin down the front stretch bringing out the caution once more. Thoennes, the current point leader, would retire pit side with heavy damage and Bitzan once again assumed the point with Aggen and Jason Thoennes in row two. Bitzan moved up to the top side of the once again and began to break away from the field while Thoennes worked his way around Aggen for the second spot. Back in traffic, Cody Skytland began his march to the front and raced by Aggen and Thoennes on laps seven and eight respectively. From that point on it was a two man race with Skytland quickly closing the gap on Bitzan. On several occasions over the final ten laps, Skytland was able to work to the low side of the track only to see Bitzan power back on the high side. In the closing laps Bitzan once again began to pull away and cruised to the win. Skytland settled for the second spot, Thoennes was third, Aggen fourth, and Brett Hoium rounded out the top five after starting in the number twelve spot.
The final event of the night belonged to the WISSOTA Late Models. Veteran drivers Shawn Kirwin and Eric Breeschoten led the twelve car field to the green and Breeschoten wasted not time moving to the high side of the track to gain the advantage on Kirwin as the first lap was completed. A trio of former WISSOTA national champions, Zach Johnson, Jeff Wildung, and John Kaanta joined local driver, Rick Nelson in the battle for the third through sixth spots. Up front Breeschoten continued to stretch his advantage over Kirwin, while Johnson and Wildung worked their way around Nelson into the third and fourth spots. With seven laps remaining, Breeschoten would encounter lap traffic and searched for a way around the lap car. Breeschoten was able to clear Brad Parson, the lap car, with four laps remaining and began to build his lead once again. On the same lap, Kirwin went to the low side of Parson in order to lap him, and the two drivers would have contact. Kirwin would retire pit side with heavy damage and Parson’s night came to an end on the hook. With only four laps remaining, Breeschoten now had Johnson and Wildung on his back bumper. With the green back out, Wildung went to the low side of Johnson and moved into the second spot. On the final lap, Wildung looked to the inside of Breeschoten for the lead, but to no avail, as Breeschoten held of for the win. Wildung was second, Johnson came home third, Don Shaw was scored fourth, and Casey Meyer rounded out the top five.
Travis Kunz and track point leader Lee Kramer led the five car Viking Pure Stock to the green. At the drop of the green, Kunz wasted no time jumping to the lead in his white #22 machine, while Kramer settled into the second spot. Kunz continued to build his lead until lap three when he lost the bite on his car and spun allowing the rest of the field to race by on the inside. This put Kramer in the lead, while Little Falls, MN visitor Tami Naslund moved into the second spot. Naslund quickly moved to the low side of the speedway, while Kramer worked the cushion on the high side. The duo would be side by side coming to the white flag, when the caution would fly for Brock Volker, who hit the wall coming out of turn four, ending his evening. This set up a two lap shoot out between Naslund and Kramer and with the green back out, the duo were side by side entering turn one. As the duo came to the checkered flag, it was clear that is was going to be a drag race to the finshing. Naslund worked her #114 machine to the low side and crossed the line first, by a bumper over Kramer, who finished second. Volker was credited with a third place finish, Craig Gardner of Elbow Lake was fourth, and Kunz rounded out the top five. Naslund joins Tiffany Maus-Krippner as the only female drivers to ever win a feature race in the 48 year history of the track.
The “High Flyin’ Half Mile”, Viking Speedway, is located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. The track will be back in action next Saturday, August 20th, with the green lap flying at 6pm. The UMSS Sprint Cars will make their first visit to the speedway with Viking Pure Stocks, WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Super Stocks, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, and WISSOTA Street Stocks joining the action. The night’s program will also be the Kluver Memorial Super Stock Special with $1000 going to the winner of the Super Stock feature. For more information on the track please visit them online at http://www.vikingspeedway.net/ or like the track on facebook.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature: Eric Breeschoten, Jeff Wildung, Zach Johnson, Don Shaw, Casey Meyer, John Kaanta, Clarence Washburn, Shawn Meyer, Rick Nelson, Shawn Kirwin, Brad Parson, Scott Lehn
Heat 1: Johnson, Kaanta, Nelson, Kirwin, S. Meyer, Lehn
Heat 2: Breeschoten, Shaw, Wildung, C. Meyer, Parson, Washburn
Feature: Dennis Bitzan, Cody Skytland, Jason Thoennes, Brandon Aggen, Brett Hoium, Jeremy Nelson, Brady Gerdes, Travis Saurer, Mark Esala, Jeff Flaten, Mike Storck, Bobby Gierke, Kyle Koehntop, Todd Berg, Terry Engebretson, Josh Thoennes, Don Shaw, Dave Schroeder
Heat 1: Shaw, Jo. Thoennes, Aggen, Bitzan, Flaten, Esala, Koehntop, Storck, Berg
Heat 2: Gerdes, Saurer, Ja. Thoennes, Skytland, Nelson, Hoium, Gierke, Engerbretson, Schroeder
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature: Jeff Crouse, Derek Quinn, Mike Peterson, Rocky Yeats, Bryan Hellerman, Trevor Saurer, Matt Miller, Dominic Baker, Ross Reed, Jon Stepan, Donna Schmidt, Craig Hiemstra, Jeff Kluver, Rob Lynch, Derrick Lemke
Heat 1: Stepan, Saurer, Crouse, Yeats, Hellerman, Lynch, Hiemstra, Miller
Heat 2: Quinn, Kluver, Baker, Lemke, Reed, Peterson, Schmidt
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature: Brett Miller, Mark Blom, Shane Kruger, Adam Burrows, Ryan Satter, Aaron Blacklance, Durand Peterson, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Vern Stewart
Heat 1: Burrows, Kruger, Miller, Blom, Satter, Peterson, Maus-Krippner, Stewart, Blacklance
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature: Travis Saurer, Josh Muzik, Jamie Thorstad, Brock Gronwold, Randy Klein, Justin Froemming, Tyler Vanderby, Ryan Schleusner, Shawn Olson, Andrew Bangsund, Brandon Spanswick, Zach Hintermeister, Tim Kanten, Dalton Johnson, Dusty Bitzan, Jason Hoffman, Tyler Spanswick
Heat 1: Saurer, Bitzan, Thorstad, Hoffman, Schleusner, Gronwold, B. Spanswick, Olson, Johnson
Heat 2: Klein, Muzik, Bangsund, Hintermeister, Kanten, Froemming, Vanderby, T. Spanswick
Feature: Tami Naslund, Lee Kramer, Brock Volker, Craig Gardner, Travis Kunz