The Dirt Race Central Wissota Street Stock Tour presented by Shocker Hitch paid a visit to Madison Speedway with an excellent 31-car on hand.
I remember when Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck told me at the Fall Classic last year he was going to take the 2023 season off. He was fried from all the traveling in chasing the national championship and was ready for a break. I was skeptical; and I figured he’d be back at some point this season. I ran into him at I-94 EMR Speedway earlier this year and he said he had a car – one of Duffy Froemke’s old cars – and was going to try to get it ready for the Little Dream. Well, he made his debut at the I-94 doubleheader on June 30 and July 1 – and won the street stock tour on the second night out. He hasn’t raced a ton of nights but clearly has picked up where he left off last year. More on him later.
A stacked Wissota Street Stock feature was on hand at Madison with Kolton Brauer of Eyota and Jeff Nowak of Wausau leading the field to the green. It would turn into a terrific race with cars racing on several different lanes.
Nowak would lead the first lap but Brauer and Andrew Hanson of Iron River, Wis., were close behind. Brauer took the lead with Hanson in second caution waved two laps into it for debris. Brauer had Hanson battling him as Nowak and Dykhoff battled with Justin Vogel of Brooten, already armed with two tour wins at Canby and Fiesta City this week, for third. Eric Riley of Morris was also closing in on that group.
Hanson would take over the lead with 20 to go as Brauer now had Vogel on his heels. Dykhoff was running fourth.
Vogel moved into second past Brauer as Dykhoff was closing in on third. Riley and Nowak were joined by Mike Jans of Clarkfield, a long-time top runner at Fiesta City and Madison. Dykhoff got by Brauer for third as Vogel was closing on Hanson with 13 to go. Of course as things were heating up at the front, the damn caution waved.
Dykhoff the defending national champion, had a great restart and took over the top spot from Hanson. Viogel moved into second. Hanson now had Riley to contend with for third with Brauer and Nowak fighting for fourth
Dykhoff resumed the lead with eight to go as Hanson took a look at Vogel for second. Vogel, however saw his hopes for a third straight win end as he broke with six to go; it was a broken rocker arm that was his undoing. The quality of rocker arms has been a frustration for street stock drivers for years and it’s long-past due to address it.
You had a lot of cars battling, including a fierce four-car tussle between Anderson, Nick Traynor of Barron, Jans and Nowak. Nowak’s night would end with a flat tire.
Hanson, after Vogel’s departure, started to gain on Dykhoff with two laps left, running a much higher lane, but would run out of time as Dykhoff prevailed. Hanson was second with Riley holding on for third. Brauer and Kyle Genett of Auburndale, Wis. – who started 13th – finishing fifth. The top 10 in this race, I would take to any track in Wissota.
One guy who really needed a good run was Riley, He has not had a great summer battling some mechanical woes but ran well all night and took home third after fighting with Kyle Genett and Brauer for that spot over the final laps.
One driver who is having a miserable week is former tour champion Jonny Carter of Lisbon, who was a DNF for the third straight night. The past two nights he has not drawn well and been stuck in the back of tough heats. Three drivers advanced 11 spots in the field and shared hard charger – Ross Bjerkeset, Kolby Kiehl and Dylan Arndt.
I apologize in advance but I did not get to see the Pure Stock feature at Madison I was watching Viking Speedway’s features. Ty Schuler of Montevideo was victorious after starting seventh with Coltyn Schuler of Montevideo taking second. Jesse Timm of Wood Lake was third Tad Peterson of Dawson was fourth and Joe Arndt of Ortonville was fifth.
Shane DeJong of Boyd and Derek Rieck of Ortonville led the Wissota Midwest Modified field to green and Rieck would have the early advantage. Unfortunately this race would turn into a caution-filled marathon.
Justin VanEps of Kandiyohi has been fast lately with a pair of runner-up finishes in his last two starts, and moved into third ahead of Jamie Thorstad of Morris and Jarrett Carter of Lisbon.
Rieck checked out as VanEps was closing in on DeJong for second. He took over the spot with 15 laps remaining, and now set his sights on Rieck, who had a three -second lead. Jarrett Carter moved past DeJong into third with 13 to go. Dominick Dieken spun with 12 to go to bring out the first caution, wiping out Rieck’s huge lead.
Rieck was really quick on the high lane and opened up a few car lengths as Carter and VanEps raced hard for second. Thorstad and DeJong had a nice duel going for fourth. The caution would wave with eight to go.
It was going to take a big-time effort to catch and get by Rieck, who just flew on the restarts on the high lane. VanEps took a shot down low in turns one and two, but Rieck’s surge on the high side opened up more breathing room. VanEps, however, did not go away and was within a couple of car lengths. Three cars spun out of turn four to bring out another yellow.
On the restart with seven to go, Rieck opened a few car lengths on VanEps as Cartercontinued to run well on the lower line in third. But again, another pileup in turns one and two brought out the caution with five to go. On the restart Rieck stayed in front as he and VanEps were stuck to the very high line. Carter was making that lower lane work in third. VanEps would brush the wall briefly and lose some ground, but Rieck was in control in picking up the feature win.
VanEps would spin in turn four on the final lap and lose several spots, which was unfortunate because he had a great run going. Carter would finish second, Jamie Thorstad third, Terry Reilly of Watertown fourth and Scott Tofte of Madison – who I would guess by far has more laps at Madison than any driver in the pit area on Saturday – was fifth.
Jordan Henkemeyer of Sauk Rapids stormed out to the lead in the Wissota Super Stock feature, building an advantage of more than four seconds. Brayden Hedtke and Matt Johnson of Aberdeen dueled for second.
Trevor Nelson of Warner, S.D., the defending Wissota 100 winner who has been the fastest super stock in South Dakota in recent years, was starting to move up from seventh. He was into the top five and then caught the battle between Hedtke, Gary Husmann of Litchfield and Johnson. Soon, Nelson was into second about halfway through, but faced a massive deficit for the top spot.
The last person who wanted to see a caution in the race was Henkemeyer, and that happened with four laps left. Nelson had closed to within 3.5 seconds at that point but was not catch Henkemeyer without a yellow.
Nelson made a run at a slider in turn two and led briefly but Henkemeyer used an effective crossover to regain the lead, on his way to his third feature win of 2023. Nelson settled for second, Johnson was third. Andrew Hedtke of Grove City went from ninth to fourth with Brayden Hedtke rounding out the top five.
Nate Heinrich of Bellingham, who made his comeback after several years off, jumped out to a massive lead in the Wissota Mod feature and turned the race into a complete rout.
Ryan Flaten of Madison, who picked up his first modified win earlier this summer, quickly moved up to second but Heinrich had opened up a large gap on the field. Tony Konold of Clear Lake moved up to third but Jake Smith of St. Cloud moved into third 2with 10 to go.
Brian Haben of Holloway had worked into sixth and was giving Matt Anderson of Kandiyoji some heat for a top five spot.
Smith, the defending Wissota Midwest Modified national champion, had caught Flaten for second. Konold was running solidly in fourth with Anderson and Haben battling for fifth
Heinrich laid a complete whipping on the field in the caution-free race, winning by 6.794 seconds over Flaten, who outlasted Smith for second. Konold was fourth and Anderson rounded out the top five.
The Wissota Hornets capped off the night with Adam VanDerostyne of Canby leading and Brayden Begalka of Elkton, S.D., settling into second. Bradley Rossow of Florence, S.D. was running third. Carter Matthews of Clearbrook, Minn., the national point leader, moved into third as Rossow claimed second. Justin Erp had moved to fourth.
VanDerostyne controlled the race from the get-go as things got tense between Matthews and Rossow for second with some contact. VanDeroystyne, much like Heinrich, won by a very comfortable margin with Matthews taking second. Rossow was third with Erp and Dalton Haag of Dawson rounding out the top five.
Thomas Wins Moonshine Mod Tour at Greenbush
Joe Thomas of Fargo picked up the Moonshine Mod Tour win Saturday at Greenbush Race Park. Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls was second. It was the second tour win of the year for Thomas who is running near the top of the Wissota Mod national points.
Zach Johnson of Lowry, who won Thursday at Norman County Raceway, finished third after starting 21st. Brady Gerdes of Villard was fourth after starting seventh while Tanner Williamson of Fort Frances, Ont. Taking fifth. Johnson was the Hard Charger.
The four stops on the tour this week found four different winners – Blake Jegtvig (Buffalo River), Johnson (Norman County), Dustin Strand (River Cities) and Thomas.
Kate Taves of Detroit Lakes picked up her first career feature win in the POWRI Minn-Kota Lightning Sprints. Alex Truscinski of Greenbush was second, Dylan Langevin of Thief River Falls was third, Matthew Taves of Detroit Lakes was fourth and Jason Berg of West Fargo was fifth.
Taylor Jacobson of Roseau won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature over Blacklance. Justin Olson of Thief River Falls was third, Gary James Nelson of Ponemah was fourth and Connor Graff of Greenbush was fifth.
Trey Hess of Grand Forks, running in the top six of the Wissota national points, won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Jeremy Gust of Strathcona. Jerome Berger of Roseau was third, John Halvorson of Warren was fourth and Greg Jose of Grand Forks was fifth.
Jake Smith of Cohasset won the Pure Stock feature over Josh Berg of Bemidji.