Anderson Keeps Rolling on Tour; Hoium, Crouse, Gronwold Reach Victory Lane
RaceChaser was back at Viking Speedway for Night 2 of the Memorial Day weekend doubleheader. A busy night was ahead with two makeup B features and four makeup A features — plus a full show. The one thiing I will say about the weekend is Parker Anderson is on some kind of hot streak in his #27P Wissota Street Stock.
A Steffes Street Stock Tour record 45 streets were on hand, a terrific field.
The rain on Saturday kinda made a mess of the whole weekend for Viking. It rained enough to shut down Saturday’s show but not enough to really help the racing surface (which could have used a soaking rain, frankly). A decent amount of rain could have soaked in and gotten some moisture on the track to work in. Viking’s surface is a major challenge to work in. Once the sun comes out and hits that sandy surface, it dries and peels fast. It made for a challenging and frustrating night for drivers, officials and everyone involved.
Viking started at 5 p.m. to try and get everything in, but the tough racetrack conditions led to several cautions in the makeup features from Saturday. I’m a believer in putting time limits on feature races — 20 minutes — except for the street stocks which was a special event. You’d be surprised at how the racing cleans up when you put a time limit on things. You won’t have these cars spin by themselves and wait for the caution flag.
The midwest modifieds got their feature in, but the street stocks got rained out about halfway through. My opinion would have been to run the street stocks first since they were a tour with a lot of out-of-town cars. Maybe starting earlier than 5 would have been better too, although you still would have dealt with the sun and dust on the track so not sure how that would have gone. Hindsight is 20/20. Frankly I don’t like talking about operational things, I’d rather talk about the racing on the track.
On to the racing. The UMSS Sprints got both features in — Chase Viebrock won the UMSS Winged for the second straight night over Mark Chevailer. Rick Schroeder of Montevideo, Minn., was third while Jeremy Kerzman of Grey Eagle was fourth. Mike Mueller of Oak Grove topped Kerzman for the traditional sprint win with Cam Schafer of St. Paul taking third.
Here’s a look at the other classes.
Wissota Street Stock
This was an outstanding race once again.
The street stock makeup feature saw Daniel Aberle of Finley, N.D., and long-time veteran Royce Jawaski of Horace on the front row. Aberle took the early lead. Soon moving up to challenge for the lead were Ryan Satter of Dent, Cody Kummer of Medford, Wis., and Hunter Carter of West Fargo. Also moving into the top five was national points leader Parker Anderson of Phillips, Wis., who was interviewed above.
Aberle’s hopes for a win ended with a spin in turn one, sending him to the tail. It’s too bad because I think he had a top five car.
Once again, the battle up front turned into a race between Satter, Carter and Anderson — just like Friday night at I-94 Sure Step Speedway. What a show those three put on once again. This time, Satter was able to take the top spot, but Anderson stuck his #27P machine to the bottom and stayed there as he pressured Satter. Carter was right there as well.
Meanwhile, Kummer and Justin Vogel of Brooten had a great battle going on for fourth.
Anderson eventually took over the top spot from Satter, and a late restart bunched the field together. Anderson opened up a few car lengths on the field as Carter took over second, and Vogel passed Satter for third. Anderson had a little breathing room as Carter and Vogel now battled hard for second.
Anderson, who also won the rain-shortened Sunday feature, is on right now. He’s won eight consecutive starts and 11 of the last 12. And what’s scary, he is only 17 years old.
Carter held off Vogel for second with Satter coming home fourth. Russell Kostreba of Zimmerman crossed the line fifth; however he was DQed in postrace tech inspection, moving Kummer to fifth. Three-time Viking champion Andrew Bangsund of Alexandria ran a solid sixth. Joe Potter was the hard charger, taking 11th after starting 23rd.
Defending tour champion Jonny Carter of Lisbon and defending tour runner-up Eric Riley of Morris shared the front row for the street stock feature.
Anderson started third but got to the front with Vogel moving into second and Riley settling into third. Hunter Carter, who started seventh, moved into the top five.
Rain started to fall about halfway through, and the race was called final. Anderson won — he won all three tour stops this weekend — with Vogel picking up his third straight top five of the weekend. Riley finished third for the second time in three starts, while Hunter Carter finished fourth for this third straight top four finish. Genett took fifth.
Billie Christ of Jamestown finished seventh after starting 14 while Braden Brauer of Eyota, Minn., finished eighth after starting 17th.
Wissota Midwest Modified
Restarts proved pivotal in this race. Travis Engebretson of Cyrus held the lead with six to go and looked to be on his way to the win, but Brendan Blascyk of Kensington made a charge on the restart to take over the top spot, on the way to his second win of 2021. Blascyk quickly made his move to get past Engebretson.
I visited with Blascyk and he told me it’s been a lot of trial and error over time to get that #9B car, but clearly they’ve figured some things out. He now is one of the top runners in western Minnesota.
Shawn Olson of Alexandria also ran well the whole night, and worked his way from eighth to second at the line. Travis Saurer of Dalton was third, and Engebretson was forth. Cory Berquist, making the long drive from Huron, S.D., ended up in fifth.
Corey Storck of Morris took the lead from the outside pole over veteran Scott Tofte of Madison, Minn. Storck took the lead but was soon was pressured by Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls, who won Friday at I-94 Sure Step Speedway.
Blascyk was also making his presence felt as he joined the battle up front. Storck slid off the backstretch briefly and lost four spots as Gronwold took over the lead. Blascyk moved into second. Justin Froemming of Elbow Lake also moved up into the top three.
Gronwold had to survive some restarts, but was the class of the field in picking up the win. Blascyk capped off a great night with a runner-up finish while Froemming took a solid third. Tofte, a long-time Wissota Modified driver, was fourth and Storck settled for fifth.
Wissota Super Stock
Much like the midwest modifieds, a restart changed the complexion of the makeup feature. Jon Crouse of Alexandria led the first several laps running a low line. However, defending Viking champion Trevor Saurer of Dalton was starting to find some traction on the high side, and the veteran Jeff Crouse of Alexandria, interviewed above, took notice. On a restart, Crouse was in third but had the outside line, and powered past Jon Crouse for the lead. Saurer did the same as he moved into second.
Crouse has had nice start to the 2021 season. He has two wins and finished second three times, and looks poised to challenge for the track title at Viking.
Saurer ran a solid second, and another young driver who had a good run was Karter Reents of Glenwood, who challenged for the lead on the low line briefly before finishing third. Jon Crouse capped off a nice run in fourth with Shawn Fernkes of Pennock finishing fifth.
Rained out, will be held at a later date
The modified makeup feature was an adventure and a marathon. Tough track conditions and cautions led to a long race. For whatever reason, this race had a ton of caution laps.
Joseph Thomas of Glyndon led early, and was challenged early by Brett Hoium of Villard, interviewed above. Brady Gerdes of Villard also made a charge and was closing in on Thomas. Gerdes had momentum into the corner and pulled a slider; he took over the lead in turn three, but couldn’t hold it and slid over the cushion and spun and had to go to the rear. He recovered nicely, however, and worked his way back to third at the checkered.
That left Hoium to give chase. Also making a big charge from the final starting spot was Zach Johnson of Lowry, driving Corey Svor’s #6x. It soon turned into a three-car battle up front. Hoium made the pass as Thomas slid high, but a caution came out to reset Thomas back in the lead.
On the restart, Thomas slowed in and pulled in — I didn't get a chance to find out what happened to the #7T. Hoium — who had slid off the backstretch earlier but made a great save to not lose much ground — picked up his first win of the year. A driver who made a big-time charge through the field late was Dusty Bitzan of Brandon; he was outside the top five most of the race but thanks to some restarts and some timely moves, wound up in second ahead of Gerdes.
Danny Bayer of Elrosa, another driver who started well back in the field, finished in fourth and Johnson, armed with a new engine in the #6x car, was fifth.
Former national champion Mike “Superman” Stearns of Aberdeen was running in the top three at one point, but slid high in turns three and four and lost some spots. He finished seventh.
Rained out, will be held at a later date.
—Speaking of Brady Gerdes, he has switched to an Elite Chassis this year after running an SSR for years. Gerdes put on one heck of a show during his win at I-94 Sure Step last week. Gerdes is running a 2018 Elite; that chassis is built in Mooresville, S.C.
—Several new cars pulled in for the Wissota Street Stocks — Jamestown drivers Jay Schlotfeldt, Billie Christ and Jaden Christ, along with the Brauer brothers (Brayden and Kolton) from Eyota, Minn. Schlotfeldt, Billie Christ and Brayden Brauer all made the feature.
The Red-Headed Rebel, Scott Bintz of Jamestown, also brought his Wissota Midwest Modified to town. Bintz may be the most traveled midwest modified in all of Wissota, he seems to have raced all over the place — and we aren’t even in June yet.
—It wasn’t a great weekend for defending champion Jonny Carter; he finished ninth at I-94 and had a pair of DNFs on Sunday. But, remember this — the tour counts 12 of 20 finishes, meaning he has plenty of time to record some wins. The tour will go to several tracks — Sheyenne, Jamestown, Brown County, Devils Lake — where Carter is dang tough. It’s still early in the points although it was an incredible weekend for Parker Anderson with three wins.
—Avery Anderson of Alexandria went for a wild ride off of turns one and two and rolled his #51 Wissota Midwest Modified pretty hard in the makeup feature. He was OK but the car had significant damage. He did not race in the heat and feature of the regular show.
Likewise, Taylor Garberich of Maynard took hard contact in the super stock makeup feature, with the front of the car getting tore up bad. His night was over.
—Travis Scott of Glenwood had another top five finish slip away in the super stock feature as his fan broke after contact with another car.
—Viking is off next week from regular racing as I-94 Sure Step Speedway hosts the King of the Dirt. A demo derby will be held. Viking’s next action is June 12 when it hosts the Rebel Midwest Modified Tour.