by: Becky Schmitz
With the sun shining, the stands full and a field of 98 cars ready to race, the first night of the NLRA Memorial Day special sponsored by Apol’s Harley Davidson, went down packed full of action and excitement. Former WISSOTA Late Model champion Ricky Weiss held off Brad Seng and Jeff Wildung to claim the NLRA feature win.
The NAPA of Glenwood NLRA Late Models took the stage and the Viking Speedway welcomed Sprint Car legend Donny Schatz to the pack of twenty five cars waiting in the wings. As the green flag dropped Pat Doar was quick to jump into the lead but a caution half way into the first lap sent him into the pits with a flat tire. Doar’s crew was able to make the change, and he rejoined the field. The cars lined back up and Ricky Weiss bolted to the lead with Bill Mooney and Mike Balcaen not far behind. Jeff Wildung and Brad Seng battled it out as Eric Breeschoten wanted in on the action as well battling for second and third. Lap after lap Wildung, Seng, Breeschoten and Balcaen went toe to toe in an attempt to track down Weiss who was stretching out his lead. Schatz was also making his way through the pack until a caution on lap ten shook up the action and the cars lined back up to keep the battle going . Again Weiss lead the pack with Seng and Wildung right behind. Another caution on Lap 8 took Rick Nelson into the pits to change a flat tire. Dustin Strand who started fourteenth pushed his way through the cars and was now sitting in fourth place. Once again the green flag was out and Weiss continued to lead. As the laps winded down and the checkered flag flew Weiss clinched the win and the hard fought battled end with with Wildung claiming the runner up position followed by Seng, Strand and Balcaen. Donny Schatz finished seventh. Heat winners were; Pat Doar, Ricky Weiss and Bill Mooney.
Next up were the T&S Electric, Diamond Buick GMC WISSOTA Modifieds. With twenty laps on the board and twenty two cars ready for action an early lead went to Josh Thoennes. A half a lap later a spin out by Dave Schroeder followed by several other cars caused a caution. The modifieds lined back up and charging to the lead came Cody Skytland followed by Jason Thoennes and Shaun Peterson. The action began and by lap seventeenth Thoennes darted to the bottom passing Skytland while Peterson and Gerdes went head to head for the third place spot. Making his way through the pack was Dustin Strand and Schroeder also barreling through the pack after a disappointing start. Josh Thoennes continue to work his way towards the front battling Skytland for fifth. Jason Thoennes continue to pull away from the field while; Peterson, Gerdes, Strand, Skytland and Josh Thoennes battled turn after turn back and fourth. By lap four Jason Thoennes was working his way through lap traffic to hold his lead and Gerdes was giving Peterson a run for his money for the second position. As flag man Mike Blom raised the checkered flag Jason Thoennes clinched the victory followed by Peterson, Gerdes and Strand. Heat winners were; Dustin Strand, Jason Thoennes and Brady Gerdes.
Sixteen Alex Refrigeration WISSOTA Super Stocks lined up for a twenty lap action packed feature ending with a feature win for Jeff Crouse. An early lead went to Mike Peterson who took the lead and after two laps a caution stopped the field and into the pits came Jon Stepan with a flat tire, which soon ended his evening as he headed to his trailer. Once again the race was on and Jeff Crouse jumped to second with Trevor Saurer and Dave Mass battling for fourth. Caution on Lap sixteen made the cars line back up and so started the intense battle for first with Peterson and Mass, lap after the lap the two went back and fourth with Mass going high and Peterson going low, then Mass going low and Peterson going high. Crouse and Saurer worked their way towards the action. The action all came to end on lap four when Peterson’s car appeared to break and Mass blew the engine. Crouse then pulled into the lead and with the race winding down he claimed the victory with Miller, Saurer in second and third. Heat winners were Matt Miller and Dave Mass.
The Sower Power WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds were next to the track with fifteen laps on the board and twenty two cars ready for action Jamie Thorstad took the early lead and held off the track through all fifteen laps. Cody lee and Andrew Bangsund worked their way back and fourth through out the race while Hayden Hanson continued to be hot on the trail towards the lead. A caution on lap twelve set the field for a stand off between Lee, Bangsund and Saurer all looking ahead to that lead position. By lap eleven Bangsund and Hanson were back and fourth for that third position and Saurer fell back to fifth. With the final laps approaching Saurer was hot on the heels of Bangsund while Thorstad and Lee pulled away. As the checkered fell Thorstad captured the win with Lee in second and Bangsund in third. Heat winners were William Lund, Andrew Bangsund and Brock Gronwold.
With twelve laps lit up on the board Street Stocks waited to hit the track. As the green flag dropped Adam Burrows bolted to the front of the pack with Brett Miller working to hold his position. As a caution was thrown and the restart about to go under way Jake Huston, Justin Vogel, Adam Burrows and Durand Peterson all looked to the first place prize. Vogel charged after Burrows and by Lap seven Vogel took the lead. Vogel continued to pull ahead of the field at lap five his car slid although Vogel was able to maintain control of the car to keep the lead. Burrown and Huston continued to battle it out for second. As the checkered came out, Vogel came across the finish line claiming the victory followed by Burrows and Peterson. Heat winners; Adam Burrows and Ryan Satter.
WIth night one of the double header complete the track looked great and the racing action was one to remember. A big thank you goes out to the the Kids Club sponsors this year; Pete’s County Market, the Jr. Pit Crew sponsor, and Centrasota Electric, along with Jake’s Bikes have given kids the opportunity to win a bike of their choice this year. For more racing information and photos continue to follow through the track on their website or “like” them on facebook.
NLRA Late Models:
Heat 1: Bill Mooney, Brad Seng, Dave Smith, Eric Breeschoten, Steven Anderson, Cole Schill, Clarence Washburn, Kevin Robertson, Dustin Bluhm
Heat 2: Ricky Weiss, Mike Balcaen, Brad Parson, Zach Johnson, Dustin Strand, Rick Schroeder, Jeremy Keller, Coard Allard, Josh Johnson
Heat 3: Pat Doar, Rick Nelson, Jeff Wildung, Donny Schatz, Shane Edginton, Norm Olson, Dusty Peterson, Scott Lehn
Feature: Weiss, Wildung, Seng, Strand, Balcaen, Breeschoten, Schatz, Doar, Parson, Bluhm, Edginton, Schroeder, Smith, Mooney, Anderson, Schill, Olson, Washburn, Lehn, Robertson, Nelson, Johnson, Allard, Peterson, Keller, Z. Johnson
Heat 1: Brady Gerdes, Cody Skytland, Terry Engebretson, Keith Tourville, Dennis Bitzan, Mike Storck, Todd Berg, Brandon Aggen
Heat 2: Jason Thoennes, Shaun Peterson, Mark Esala, Jeremy Nelson, Jeremy Keller, Jake Wildman, Tyler Limoges, Brett Hoium
Heat 3: Dustin Strand, Josh Thoennes, Dave Schroeder, Robert Gierke, Danny Bayer, Landon Atkinson, Jeff Flaten, Zach Johnson
Feature: Ja. Thoennes, Peterson, Gerdes, Strand, Skytland, Jo. Thoennes, Nelson, Keller, Bayer, Schroeder, Esala, Johnson, Bitzan, Wildman, Atkinson, Gierke, Limoges, Engebretson, Berg, Aggen, Tourville, Flaten, Storck, Hoium
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Heat 1: Dave Mass, Robert Holtquist, Erik Robertson, Dominic Baker, Bryan Hellerman, Jeff Kluver, Ben Johnson, Craig Hiemstra
Heat 2: Matt Miller, Mike Peterson, Trevor Saurer, Jon Stepan, Jeff Crouse, Wally Mass, Rocky Yeats, David Gallbraith
Feature: Crouse, Miller, Saurer, Hellerman, Kluver, Holtquist, Hiemstra, Yeats, Baker, Gallbraith, Mass, Peterson, Wa. Mass, Johnson, Stepan, Robertson
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Heat 1: Brock Gronwold, Cody Lee, Scott Zimmerman, Justin Froemming, Haley Lee, Blake Boelens, Greg Platzer
Heat 2: Andrew Bangsund, Ronald Saurer, Jason Hoffman, Shawn Olson, Dalton Johnson, Luke Lick, Richard Schwardt
Heat 3: William Lund, Jamie Thorstad, Hayden Hanson, Josh Muzik, James Wall, Mckenzie Gerdes, Nick Bruder
Feature: Thorstad, Lee, Bangsund, Saurer, Hanson, Hoffman, Lund, Zimmerman, Muzik, Olson, Wall, Gerdes, Froemming, Johnson, Lick, Boelens, Gronwold, H. Lee, Bruder, Schwardt, Platzer
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Heat 1: Ryan Satter, Jake Huston, Justin Vogel, Scott Huston, Taylor Willms, Lee Kramer
Heat 2: Adam Burrows, Brett Miller, Durand Peterson, Darrin Landmark, Cody Wall, James Williams
Feature: Vogel, Burrows, J. Huston, Peterson, Satter, Miller, Wall, Landmark, Willms, Williams, S. Huston, Kramer