By: Ryan Schmitz All the Dirt Racing News
The 10th Annual MN Modified Nationals presented by Performance Auto, kicked off on a sunny and hot Saturday night at Viking Speedway. A great field of 67 WISSOTA Modifieds were on hand, all looking to lock into Sunday’s 70 lap finale. Joining the modifieds, a solid group of 40 Sower Power WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and 15 Alexandria Refrigeration Super Stocks were also on hand for a complete show. The evening’s festivities were sponsored by Pederson’s Agri Service and Diamond Buick GMC.
All 15 of the scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Super Stocks rolled to the speedway for the first feature event of the evening, with Andy Hofteig and local pilot Brian Hellerman leading the field to the green. Hellerman quickly moved to the front of the pack, but was overtaken by Shane Sabraski as he shot to the lead from his second row starting spot. Sabraski would work the bottom of the speedway while track point leader Jeff Crouse put his car on the top side. The caution lights would blink over the half mile speedway on lap seven for debris on the speedway. This put Crouse and Mike Peterson on Sabraski’s back bumper for the restart. Crouse made a move to the bottom of the speedway in an attempt to clear Sabraski, but could not make the pass. Peterson then worked his way past Crouse and raced up to challenge Sabraski. As Sabraski continued to stretch his lead, Crouse and Peterson were joined by Trevor Saurer in the battle for the second through fourth spot. Up front Sabraski would continue to lead and he cruised to the feature win, Peterson had a solid second place run, Crouse was third, Saurer was fourth, and Derek Quinn rounded out the top five after an early race spin.
After a B main trimmed the field from 40 to 24, the Midwest Modifieds were next to the track from their $500 to win feature event. Andrew Bangsund and Jason Vandekamp paced the field to the green and head flagman Mike Blom brought the field to life. Vandekamp was able to clear Bangsund as the cars shot down the back chute on the opening circuit and was able to lead lap one. Travis Saurer wasted no time in disposing of Bangsund and quickly moved into position to challenge Vandekamp for the lead. Saurer and Vandekamp had the crowd on the edge of their seats, with the duo racing side by side for several laps. Saurer was able to clear Vandekamp on lap eight to claim the lead. Up front Saurer continued to lead, but the main battle on the track was for the third spot with Bangsund, Cody Lee, Jason Hoffman, and Jason Schill all in the mix. As the laps ticked down, Saurer continued to lead and claimed the win after a great race. Vandekamp was second, Bangsund third, Hoffman fourth, and Wisconsin visitor Schill was fifth.
The field of 67 WISSOTA Modifieds were split into seven heat races, with each heat race going fifteen laps in length. Reigning WISSOTA Late Model national champion, Zach Johnson, and Hickson, ND rookie Tyler Peterson lead the first ten car heat to the green. At the drop of to the green Bob Broking was able to move to the low side of the speedway and claim the lead as the cars exited turn two on lap one. Johnson settled into second while Phil Braun moved into the third spot. The car on the move was Elrosa, MN driver Danny Bayer. Bayer quickly moved into the fourth spot and began to challenge Braun for the third spot. Up front Broking continued to build his lead while Bayer and Johnson began to battle for the second spot. With two laps remaining Bayer went to the lowside of the speedway in an attempt to pass Johnson for the second spot. As the duo entered lap traffic, Bayer was able to complete the pass. Back up front Broking continued to flex his muscle as he claimed the heat race win ahead of Bayer, Johnson, and Johnny Broking.
A pair of Viking Speedway regulars, Jason Thoennes and Jeremy Nelson paced heat two to the green and Thoennes, a former Mod Nationals champion wasted no time jumping to the high side of the speedway to the lead. With Thoennes building a commanding lead, the main battle on the speedway was for the third spot with Jerome Guyot and Don Eischens. Eischens was able to complete a pass on Guyot with nine laps left and moved into the third spot. The caution would fly over the speedway for Westport, MN driver Bobby Gierke on lap eight, when he cut a tire on the back chute. This put Eischens and Nelson on Thoennes back bumper for the restart and once again Thoennes was able to pull to the lead. The car on move in heat race two was Scot Danziesen, as he moved from his ninth starting spot to challenge Guyot for the number four spot. Eischens would make a move to the low side of the speedway on lap twelve and move into the second spot behind Thoennes, but in the end no one had anything for Thoennes as he cruised to the heat race win ahead of Eischens, Nelson, Danzeisen, and Guyot.
Former Mod Nationals champ, Dave Cain and Fargo, ND driver Austin Arneson lead a loaded heat race three to the green and Arneson blasted to the lead with Cain in tow. The first caution of the heat race would fly on lap two, for Skeeter Estey, who slid off the banking in turn three. Arneson once again blasted to the lead and Cain was joined by Blake Jegtvig in a battle for the second spot. On the following lap, the caution would once again come out for an incident involving regining national champion, Mike Stearns and Ulen, MN driver Cody Erickson. Stearns would tag the end of the field and be able to continue while Erickson was placed back in his spot in the running order. Arneson once again moved out to the lead while Jegtvig and Cain battled for the second spot again. The car on the move was Happy, TX driver Rodney Sanders. Sanders moved into the fourth spot after starting in the number nine spot by lap seven, when another caution would come out for Casey Arneson, who blew a tire on the front stretch. On the ensuing restart, Jegtvig made a power move to the low side of the track and lost the bite bringing out the caution once again. With the field reset, Arneson once again was able to move the lead and continued to hold off pressure from Cain and Sanders for the win. Sanders, who had a motor blow up as he crossed the finish line, was scored second, while Cain was third, and Stearns was fourth.
Josh Thoennes and Todd Berg sat on the front row for heat race four and Thoennes made a move to the highside of the speedway to claim the lead on lap one. With Thoennes up front the main battle on the speedway was for the second spot with Matt Gilbertson, Dennis Bitzan, Brett Hoium, and Matt Leer all in the mix for the spot. Gilbertson was able to clear the pack and move into the second spot while Bitzan and Hoium locked horns for the third spot. Leer, who was running fifth was quickly joined by Shane Sabarski, Brain Haben and Tyler Limoges and the foursome battled lap after lap. Up front Thoennes continued to lead and claimed the heat race win. Gilbertson was second, Hoium ended up in the third spot, and Bitzan finished fourth.
WISSOTA legends, Corky Thomas and Darrell Nelson paced heat five to the green and Thomas moved to the highside of the speedway and moved ahead of Nelson. With Thomas and Nelson locked in a great battle for the lead, Joey Jensen quickly moved into the third spot after starting sixth. Nelson was able to clear Thomas for the lead on lap five and Jensen was able to move by Thomas as well. Nelson and Jensen continued to battle for the lead until Jensen was able to make a pass on lap nine. Jensen then started to build a lead over Nelson, and the main battle on the speedway was for the number four and five spots with Jordan Foster and Andy Gordon doing battle. Jensen would claim the win ahead of Nelson, Thomas, Foster, and Gordon rounding out the top five.
Aaron Holtan and Dave Schroeder sat on the front row for heat race six, and Holtan quickly moved to the high side of the half mile speedway into the lead. Last year’s Mod Nationals champion, Jason Grimes moved into the second spot with Brady Gerdes in third when the first caution of the heat would come out for Scott Greer. Greer would be able to continue and tagged the end of the field. With the green back out, Grimes made a move to the low side of track and took the lead with twelve laps remaining. Holtan continued to hold the second spot, but was under heavy seige from Kelly Estey, Gerdes, and ninth starting Dale Mathison. Estey completed a pass of Holtan with six laps left and raced into the second spot. Back out front Grimes continued to build his lead and he cruised to the heat race win ahead of Estey, Mathison, and Gerdes.
The seventh and final heat race of the evening rolled onto the speedway and Cody Skytland used his pole starting spot to blast to the lead over Jesse Glenz. Meanwhile, back in traffic, Travis Saurer, Jeff Wildung and Dev Malmlov were locked in a battle for the four through six spots. With eight laps remaining, Mark Trautner, who was running in the third spot, saw his machine lose power and he coasted into the infield. This moved Saurer into the third spot, but back up front Skytland continued to dominate and he cruised to the win, by nearly half a lap, over Glenz, Saurer and Wildung.
The final event of the evening was the twenty five lap Modified Qualifying feature to set the line up for Sunday’s $10,001 to win feature. Austin Arneson sat on the outside of row one and quickly moved out ot the lead with Joey Jensen in the second spot. The caution would fly on lap three for Travis Saurer, who went over the banking in turn two. Up front Arneson once again blasted to the lead, while Dale Mathison moved ahead of Jensen into the second spot. Meanwhile, back in traffic Jason Thoennes and Cody Skytland began to make their move to the front of the field and had the fan’s attention as they sliced and diced through car after car. Back up front Mathison started to chip away at Arneson’s lead and pulled even with him on the back chute with five laps remaining. Arneson would power back on the high side and he would hold on for the win ahead of Mathison, Jensen, Grimes, and Estey.
The Viking Speedway is a high banked half mile, located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. The track will be back in action on Sunday, July 6th with racing beginnning at 4pm. The Speedway Board of Directors and FYE Motorsports would like to thank all drivers, sponsors, and fans for their support. For more information on the speedway, please visit them online at www.vikingspeedway.net and for more information on FYE Motorsports, please visit them at www.fyemotorsports.com.
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature: Shane Sabraski, Mike Peterson, Jeff Crouse, Trevor Saurer, Derek Quinn, Jon Stepan, Dexton Koch, Rocky Yeats, Bryan Hellerman, Jason Cook, Jeremy Tyson, Christopher Lynch, Andy Hofteig, Craig Hiemstra, Larry Lund
Heat 1: Cook, Stepan, Hellerman, Peterson, Koch, Quinn, Lund, Saurer
Heat 2: Sabraski, Crouse, Yeats, Hofteig, Tyson, Lynch
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature: Travis Saurer, Jason Vandekamp, Andrew Bangsund, Jason Hoffman, Jason Schill, Cody Lee, William Lund, Jamie Thorstad, Justin Froemming, Rob VanMil, Ron Saurer, Blake Swenson, Shane Sabraski, Hayden Hanson, Shawn Olson, Tyler Peterson, Kurt Deters, Corey Storck, Tim Ims, Ryan Cousins, Shawn Fernkes, Wade Skindelien, Nick Bruder, Mack Estey
Heat 1: Vandekamp, C. Lee, Hoffman, Deters, Cousins, Kramer, Bruder, Gerdes, VanOverbeke, Backman
Heat 2: Schill, T. Saurer, Swenson, Olson, Storck, Peterson, H. Lee, Vanderby, Ricks, Johnson
Heat 3: Thorstad, Bangsund, Skineleien, VanMil, Sabraski, Estey, Ims, James, Schwardt, Muzik
Heat 4: Hanson, Lund, R. Saurer, Froemming, Fernkes, Nelson, Kruger, Haack, Boelens, Howell
B-Main: Sabraski, Peterson, Estey, Bruder, Ims, Fernkes, Jeff Nelson, Shane Howell, McKenzie Gerdes, Tyler Vanderby, Chad VanOverbeke, Blake Boelens, Wyatt Ricks, Nick James, Josh Muzik, Kelly Haack, Haley Lee, Cory Kramer, Josh Backman, Shane Kruger, Dick Schwardt, Dalton Johnson
Heat 1: Bob Broking, Danny Bayer, Zach Johnson, Johnny Broking, Terry Engebretson, Tyler Peterson, Clayton Wagamon, Landon Atkinson, Phil Braun, Jake Bitker
Heat 2: Jason Thoennes, Don Eischens, Jeremy Nelson, Scot Danziesen, Jerome Guyot, Alex Engelstad, Corey Sersha, Tim Thomans, Jeff Flaten, Bob Gierke
Heat 3: Austin Arneson, Rodney Sanders, Dave Cain, Mike Stearns, Dano Ostrander, Skeeter Estey, Blake Jegtvig, Cody Erickson, Shaun Peterson, Casey Arneson
Heat 4: Josh Thoennes, Matt Gilbertson, Brett Hoium, Dennis Bitzan, Matt Leer, Shane Sabraski, Tyler Limoges, Brain Haben, Todd Berg, Arne Anderson
Heat 5: Joey Jensen, Darrell Nelson, Corky Thomas, Jordon Foster, Andy Gordon, Jamie Trautner, Jeff Broking, Jason Blascyk, Nikki Wrazidlo
Heat 6: Jason Grimes, Kelly Estey, Dale Mathison, Brady Gerdes, Aaron Holtan, Dave Schroeder, Scott Greer, Mike Johnson, Mark Esala
Heat 7: Cody Skytland, Jesse Glenz, Travis Saurer, Jeff Wildung, Cory Tammen, Dev Malmlov, Jake Wildman, Chris Mensen, Mark Trautner