Dykhoff, Saurer, Becker, Lund and Peterson Win Wissota 100 Night 1 Qualifiers
Night 1 of the Wissota 100 at I-94 Sure Step Speedway qualifying is in the books. Because of work, I attended the finale at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, but made it home in time to watch the qualifying features on Wednesday, thanks to the excellent work of the folks at Dirt Race Central.
I won’t delve into a lot of play-by-play but highlight the top eight of the five classes that feature. All five feature winners indicated they willl take their starting spot on the inside pole for Saturday’s finales. At least for the features I watched, the track was excellent with multi lanes.
Keep in mind, if you finish in the top eight, you have a spot in Saturday’s feature as the top eight spots of the inside row would be taken care of.. However, you can give up your spot and try again on Thursday and Friday which many drivers elected to do. If you win a qualifying feature on Thursday or Friday, you start on the front row. If you have a bad night on Wednesday, you can come back on Thursday with a clean slate.
Wissota Street Stock:
Top eight finishers: 1. Kyle Dykhoff; 2. Scott Bintz; 3. Hunter VanGilder; 4. Justin Vogel (declined spot); 5. Justin Pogones; 6. Kaden Woodie; 7. Taylor Garberich; 8. Ross Bjerkeset
National point leader Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck took the lead from the green and just checked out on the field for the win. In victory lane he said he wasn’t going to give up his spot, meaning he will be the inside pole car for Saturday’s main event. Dykhoff has 26 wins this season and Wednesday was good for his national championship hopes.
Scott “Rebel” Bintz of Jamestown finished second, and I don’t expect him to give up that spot. Wisconsin driver Hunter VanGilder was third ahead of former Wissota 100 winner and national champion Justin Vogel. Vogel declined his spot -- I'm not surprised by that decision -- and will try again on Thursday. As a result, Maria Broksieck, who finished ninth, is the final qualifier from Wednesday night.
Kyle Anderson, Cole Greseth, Ty Agen, Braden Brauer and Kyle Howland are among the drivers who finished outside of the top eight on Wednesday and along with Vogel will try again on Thursday.
It was a 24-car, 15-lap feature with zero cautions or majorly tore up race cars. Excellent work by those drives.
Wissota Midwest Modified
Top eight finishers: 1. Travis Saurer; 2. Michael Truscott; 3. Randy Laage; 4. Shane Howell; 5. Brock Gronwold (declined spot); 6. William Molelter; 7. Travis Schulte (declined spot); 8. Zach Benson (declined spot).
After a big pileup in turn four prior to the start, the Wissota Midwest Modified feature got rolling, and so did four-time national champion Travis Saurer of Elizabeth. He put the 42X on the top line and flew to the front to pick up the win in very impressive fashion. Saurer confirmed he will take his inside pole spot for Saturday’s feature. Saurer has more than 510 career wins and has to be in the discussion for the greatest Wissota Midwest Modified driver of all-time.
Wisconsin driver Michael Truscott was second, Randy Laage of Brooten third, and Shane Howell of Buffalo fourth. All four took their spots for Saturday. Former I-94 champion Brock Gronwold rounded out the top five, but declined his spot, as did Travis Schulte and my prediction, Zach Benson. Greg Pfifer Jr., Justin Froemming and Matt Heinzerling of Spearfish, S.D. are now in the show -- they will start in the sixth, seventh and eighth rows, respectively.
Some prominent cars who finished outside the top eight on Wednesday included Corey Storck (by one spot), Zach Reinke, Kennedy Swan and Reise Stenberg. Adam Brotherton of Huron, Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown and Brendan Blascyk of Hoffman were all DNFs.
Wissota Late Model
Top eight: 1. Chad Becker; 2. Cole Searing; 3. Danny Vang; 4. Jordan Tollakson; 5. Pat Doar (declined spot); 6. Travis Budisalovich; 7. Blake Swenson; 8. Shane Edginton (declined spot)
Former national champion and Wissota 100 Chad Becker of Aberdeen took the lead from the green, weathered a challenge from 2021 national champion Cole Searing of Huron to pick up the win. Searing settled for second.
Danny Vang of Deerwood (third) and Jordan Tollakson of Montevideo (fourth) both looked really good. The top four drivers all claimed their spots for Saturday.
Pat Doar finished fifth but declined hit spot and will try again. Also declining his spot was Shane Edginton. Shawn Meyer of Wahpeton, the 2022 I-94 track champion, is in the show as a result. A very interesting twist: only seven drivers claimed spots for Saturday.
Prominent drivers who finished outside the top eight on Wednesday included 2021 champion Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., Jeff Massingill of Keewatin and Lance Matthees of Winona. Cole Schill, Dave Maas and Sam Mars were among the DNFs.
Wissota Super Stock
Top eight: 1. William Lund; 2. Trevor Nelson; 3. Dustin Nelson; 4. Brandon Duelleman; 5. Jack Koranda; 6. Gary Husmann; 7. Dylan Nelson; 8. Ryan Kostreba
This was the surprise of the night. William Lund of Brandon is a very good driver and has won at I-94 in the past but entering last night had raced the #54 super stock twice all year. His dad, Larry had raced it a handful of time. Lund would fend off Trevor Nelson of Warner, S.D., for the win and indicated he will take his pole spot on Saturday.
Nelson is having a great season and finished second. Dustin Nelson of Ogilvie went from 14th to third. Jack Koranda of Bluffton was fifth after starting 15th. All top eight finishers claimed their spots for Saturday.
The top two cars in the national points — Shane Sabraski of Rice and Dexton Koch of Becker — were DNFs and will have to try again.
Top eight: 1. Tyler Peterson; 2. Shane Sabraski; 3. Johnny Broking; 4. Landon Atkinson; 5. Jody Bellefeuille; 6. Michael Truscott; 7. Jason Thoennes (declined spot); 8. Dave Cain (declined spot)
Peterson has won eight of his last 10 starts and has all but wrapped up his second straight national title. After a late restart he made a pass of former Wissota 100 winner Landon Atkinson of Little Falls to the win. Peterson said he will take his inside pole spot for Saturday.
Former national champion Shane Sabraski of Rice finished second with two-time Advantage RV Mod Tour champion Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids third. The top six finishers all claimed their spots for Saturday. Seventh-place finisher Jason Thoennes and eighth place finisher Dave Cain declined their spots. As a result, Mike Stearns of Aberdeen and Dusty Bitzan of Brandon are in the show.
Finishing outside the top eight included Don Eischens of Richmond, and Brandon Copp of Brule, Wis. Defending champion Dan Ebert of Lake Shore, Travis Saurer, Ryan Gierke and Brett Hoium were among the DNFs.
—There were 291 cars on hand on Wednesday. That included 181 Minnesota drivers, 41 from South Dakota, 24 from North Dakota, 19 from Wisconsin and 21 from Montana. Four Wyoming drivers and one Canadian driver were on hand as well. I’m expecting, when you include the 17 cars on hand on Tuesday and the addition of the mod 4s, plus other drivers who will race for the first time on Thursday and/or Friday, the total will be around 350.