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  • tombergie01

Ebert Adds Another Win; Sabraski and Blascyk Victorious at Viking

The Advantage RV Mod Tour was at Viking Speedway on Saturday with 23 cars on hand. The street stocks had the night off.

Dusty Bitzan of Brandon took the lead from the green flag over Ryan Gierke of Villard and was flying around the high side.

The race went the first 20 laps caution free as Bitzan led Dan Ebert of Lake Shore. Gierke settled into third while Travis Saurer of Dalton was in fourth. With the high line dominant for the first portion, the cars absolutely flew around the half-mile. It was a frantic pace.

On the move was the #6X of Zach Johnson, who started 11th. He was battling Tyler Peterson of Hickson for fifth.

The caution waved on lap 21 and that brought the group together. Saurer, who started eighth, and Ebert were battling for the second spot — which would eventually prove to be huge in terms of the outcome of the race — as Bitzan retained the advantage. Saurer took over second for a few laps and stayed close to Bitzan but couldn’t make enough of a run to threaten for the lead. Ebert would regain the spot at the line.

Making a charge late was Brady Gerdes of Villard, who started 15th. He worked into the top five and was battling Johnson for fifth.

Bitzan cross the line first at the checkered. Bitzan, however, was disqualified in post-race tech — the deck height was too high on the #10x machine. That gave Ebert, who edged Saurer at the line for second, the win with Saurer second and Gierke third. Ebert also won Friday at I-94 Sure Step Speedway Gierke was third, Gerdes fourth and Zach Johnson fifth. Gerdes told me before the race that his #2x car gets better after some fuel burns off, and you could see that on Saturday. He was the Hard Charger.

I checked with Bitzan and he was disappointed about the disqualification. But he didn't make excuses.

It was a good run for Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids, who finished sixth. Peterson finished ninth but gained two points on Shane Sabraski of Rice, who finished 10th. Sabraski leads Peterson by eight points and Broking by 13 heading into Sunday’s show at Granite City.

Brendan Blascyk of Kensington is just so fast right now in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds. Coming off of a big win at I-94 Sure Step Speedway on Friday, Blascyk took about two laps to go from fourth to first. He overtook early leader Brooke Hellerman and led the rest of the way for his sixth win of the year.

Veteran Jon Stepan of Brandon — an eight-time track champion at Viking — hopped behind the wheel of one of Justin Froemming’s 33x machines. He settled into second with Avery Anderson of Alexandria — making his first appearance since a rollover on Memorial Day weekend — settling into third.

There wasn’t a lot of drama the rest of the way as Blascyk was in firm control, and Stepan and Anderson were settled into second and third, respectively. Josh Muzik of Alexandria, who started seventh, moved into fourth with the veteran Ron Saurer of Dalton in fifth. That order stayed that way til the checkered. Muzik crossed the line fourth, but was disqualified in post-race tech, giving fifth to Sam Zender of Fergus Falls.

Shawn Olson of Alexandria finished sixth but has a commanding 115-point lead over Blascyk in the season standings.

I’ve asked Blascyk to do video interviews — he’s a good guy but doesn’t like the video thing, which is totally fine.

The Wissota Super Stock feature was plagued with cautions and at times was frustrating. Shane Sabraski — who is third in national points — took three laps to go from fifth to the top spot, and dominated the race, which should surprise no one.

Veterans Bryan Hellerman of Parkers Prairie and Jeff Flaten of Hancock battled for second, with Jeff Crouse of Alexandria in the hunt. There was an incident in turns one and two — which I did not see at all — involving Flaten and Crouse to bring out the caution. Crouse was charged with yellow and sent to the tail. I didn’t see it so I can’t comment on anything.

Surviving a few cautions, Sabraski wasn’t challenged. The battle was for second behind Hellerman, Flaten and Trevor Saurer of Dalton. Saurer eventually took over second with Hellerman in third.

Sabraski won going away with Saurer, Hellerman, Matt Miller of Glenwood and Flaten rounding out the top five. It was a costly night in points for Crouse, who finished eighth and now trails Saurer by 48 points. Miller is second in the points, just 21 points back.

Saturday Notes

—Brendan Mullen of Grand Forks won the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint feature Saturday at Devils Lake Speedway near Crary, N.D. Riley Goodno of Knoxville, Iowa, was second, Jade Hastings of Grand Forks third, Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks fourth and Jack Croaker of East Grand Forks fifth.

Daniel Aberle of Finley topped Greg Jose of Grand Forks for the Wissota Street Stock feature win. Trey Hess of Grand Forks was third with Brian Johanson of Edmore taking fourth and Cody Armstrong of Devils Lake taking fifth.

Jaden Varnson of Lakota topped Cole Haugland of Brocket for the Wissota Midwest Modified win. Chris Kruk of Langdon was third, Logan Salazar of Neche was fourth and Nate Reynolds of Hoople was fifth.

Carter Tuenge of Rugby won the Pure Stock feature Saturday at Devils Lake with Joe Armstrong of Crary taking second. Ken Hron of Grand Rapids won the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprints feature over Chris Lewis. Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks was third and Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake was fourth.

--Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday at Greenbush Race Park. He now has 11 wins between his midwest modified and street stock cars. Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks won the Wissota Street Stock feature for his first win of 2021.

—Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday night at Madison Speedway. Gronwold is eighth in the latest midwest mod national points.

—National point leader Parker Anderson of Phillips, Wis., won the Steffes Street Stock Tour stop at Ogilvie Raceway. Kyle Genett of Auburndale was second, Justin Vogel of Brooten third, Justin Pogones of Princeton fourth and Hunter Carter of Fargo fifth.

Other Thoughts

—Corky Thomas is a respected veteran driver, and I’ve talked to several drivers who’ve talked to him about car setup over the past few years. I was joking at I-94 that my new nickname for him is the Sage of Setups (meant as a compliment). Corky, one of the great characters you meet in racing, looked very good on Friday in his heat — starting 8th and getting up to 3rd — but pulled in during the feature.

—Mike Greseth of Harwood leads the NLRA Late Model Point Standings by 34 points over Shane Edginton of Winnipeg. Greseth has won three of the last four NLRA features and has four wins overall. No other driver has more than one NLRA feature this season — Dave Mass, Dustin Strand, Ryan Mikkelson and Don Shaw each have one.

—Mike “Superman” Stearns of Aberdeen debuted a new MB Customs Modified Friday at I-94 Sure Step Speedway. The night didn’t go well unfortunately as he had a DNF in the heat and B feature. Stearns, a former national champion, drove a Mastersbilt by JMR for a decade.

—Former mod and B mod driver Jason Strand of Portland got off to a slow start in his rookie season in the Wissota Late Models, but of late, has really run well. In his last four starts, he has finishes of fifth, fourth, sixth and a season-best second which came on Friday at River Cities. He has finished in the top 10 in eight of his last nine features. I predict he breaks through and gets a feature win this season. He is driving a Millennium Chassis built by Dustin Strand.

—Mark Dobmeier is 2-for-2 in his return to the Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprints, and I don’t think anyone should be shocked. He dominated the class for several years, and I didn’t expect him to show much rust even after a one-year layoff. He hasn’t.

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