Danzeisen Set Standard for Modifieds at Viking Speedway
When it comes to modified racing at Viking Speedway, Scot Danzeisen’s accomplishments are second to none.
Ten modified track championships — including an unprecedented nine in a row. Countless feature wins. Wins in big races like the Mod Nationals and the Fall Classic there. Oh, and he added four straight Wissota Super Stock titles in a row as well.
On Saturday, the Herman resident will be inducted into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame and deservedly so. He credits a lot of work during the week to prep the car for each Saturday night.
“It was everybody that was involved. I had a good-sized crew, and they all wanted it as much as I did,” Danzeisen said. “My dad (Bob) is probably the sharpest engine guy around. What was under the hood was never in question. I couldn’t let them all down by making mistakes.”
And he didn’t. In fact, for many years, he was the guy who set the standard for modified racing at Viking.
Danzeisen, now 47, stepped away from racing after the 2019 season. His dad, Bob his crew chief for many, many years, started facing some health issues and other members of his pit crew became busier with family life.
“I’m getting older, and everybody else got so busy with kids and a normal person’s life,” Danzeisen said. “Everybody grew up, so it was time for me to grow up.”
Growing up in Herman, a fellow child was racing in the go-karts in the 1980s, which is how he got his start behind the wheel.
“His family and our family were friends,” Danzeisen said. “I wanted to do that so bad.”
He raced in go-karts until age 14, and then at age 17 in 1991, hopped in a modified — the class where he rewrote the record books at Viking.
It didn’t take him long to get his first feature win — accomplished in July 1991. He was running in second then began battling for the top spot.
“Brian Rust was leading, and I kept working on him and working on him,” Danzeisen said. “I finally got by him. At the end, Dave Storck was knocking on the door. I could see him, I was trying not to pay attention to him. I snuck it out I guess.”
He won nine straight NASCAR/Wissota Modified titles from 1996-2004 — which has never been equaled in any other class at Viking and likely never will — and added another title in 2007. He also won four Wissota Super Stock titles in a row at Viking from 2004-07. His 14 total track championships are a record that likely will never be broken.
“With championships, you’ve got to have zero DNFs,” Danzeisen said. “We were super consistent through my whole career.”
Danzeisen, who now works for Bobcat of Morris, was a driver who thrived running the bottom line at Viking. He wasn’t sure if that was because several of the top runners preferred the high line at the time he started— of if he and his car just felt more comfortable there. In either case, he proved to be nearly unbeatable for many years running there.
“I like a really tight race car and it’s hard to run the cushion with a tight race car,” Danzeisen said.
Plus, he learned how to drive through traffic, because he often had to start further back in the field.
“I don’t like to fix stuff so I’m not out to wreck anything,” Danzeisen said. “I have respect for people around me. One thing I was really good at — with the point average start, I had a high point average, I started back quite a ways, which trained my eyes…I got so good at traffic. When you get used to starting back a ways, that’s what you do.”
After several years in the modified, he got the opportunity to drive a super stock in the early 2000s, and won four straight track titles in that car.
“That was the fastest thing on the planet for a super stock, or at least as good as everybody else,” Danzeisen said.
Is he retired for good? He says “I wouldn’t ever say no to coming back” but is content with his decision to walk away from driving, despite missing being at the track.
“What I do miss, is all my friends that I never see unless I’m at the track,” Danzeisen said.