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Gierke, Dykhoff, Wolden Lead Winners at I-94; Blacklance Wins at Devils Lake

Ryan Gierke (26) won the Wissota Mods on Saturday.

The second night of the I-94 Sure Step Speedway doubleheader saw 138 cars in attendance on Saturday. Interestingly, there was only one repeat winner from Friday — that was Shane Sabraski in the Wissota Super Stocks.

It was another big win in the Wissota Modified class — this time by 17-year-old Ryan Gierke — while Matt Baker, Kyle Dykhoff, Ben Wolden, Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass and Matt Pederson also found victory lane.

Austin Chyba led the Midwest Modifieds early, but Matt Baker of St. Joseph overtook him early, and then opened a sizable lead. Chyba settled into second while Ron Saurer of Dalton and Shane Howell of Buffalo battled for fourth. Saurer would drop out during later caution.

Howell moved into second, Mike Nichols of Watertown, the runner-up on Friday, was on the move and took over fourth, and set his sights on Howell and Chyba.

The caution came out for a spin in turns one and two, and Baker’s more than two-second lead was gone.

Howell took over second on the restart with Nichols moving into third. Scott “Rebel” Bintz of Jamestown started 12th but moved in the top five.

Baker survived a host of restarts, and by the checkered had a several-car length lead over Brendan Blascyk of Kensington at the checkered. Baker’s win shouldn’t be a surprise at all — he won at I-94 five times a year ago.

One driver who always seems to find his way into the top five in the midwest mods at I-94 is Sam Zender of Fergus Falls. He stayed patient and on a late restart made his move on the bottom; he took third behind the runner-up Blascyk. Nichols and Howell rounded out the top five.

Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck had a rough Friday; he got spun and was turned, and another car hit him head on. It was a total reversal of fortune.

On Saturday, he took the lead early over Parker Anderson of Phillips, Wis.

Anderson and Justin Vogel of Brooten battled it out behind Dykhoff, and Todd Carter of Lisbon — who won Friday night at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan — moved into the top five.

Vogel moved into second but was pressured by Anderson. They got together in turn three and four — to the point where Vogel nearly spun. The two were slowed considerably but kept going to avoid a caution. However, this allowed Dykhoff to build a commanding lead of more than five seconds on his way to a convincing win. Vogel and Carter were second and third, respectively. Joe Potter of Euclid made a nice run to fourth ahead of Friday’s winner Ryan Satter of Dent.

A persistent Ben Wolden worked and worked on Watertown, SD driver Tony Croninger for the lead and made the pass late to pick up another Limited Late Model feature. Croninger looked good and finished second, Derek Quinn of Brandon was third, Friday’s winner Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria fourth and Dustin Johanneck of Litchfield fifth.

I’m going to tell you, Shane Sabraski of Rice is my pick to win the Wissota Super Stock national title Over the last season and a half, he’s been the most dominant super out there, and on Friday it took him six laps to move from eighth to first. Trent Brutger of Watkins led the first six laps and was solid on the low line.

Sabraski just demolished the field — winning by more than seven seconds. Jeff Crouse of Alexandria drove a nice race; he started sixth and held off Dave Mass of East Bethel, who started 15th, for the runner-up spot. Trajan Schmidt of Watertown was fourth and Jared Zimpel of Braham.

It was a breakout win for Villard’s Ryan Gierke. Gierke drove a flawless race and he had to. First, he was pressured by defending I-94 champion Dusty Bitzan, and then, pressured by multi time track champion Bray Gerdes of Villard.

The #26 car was struck to his line and never wavered to pick up his win. Gerdes, Bitzan, Tyler Peterson of Hickson and Shane Sabraski rounded out the top five.

It looked like young Bryce Sward would could get the breakthrough win in the Wissota Late Models; he led the first several laps of teh feature. However on a restart midway through the feature, it was Dave Mass who exploded like a bullet on the high side, and went from about seventh to first in two laps to take the lead. Mass was not threatened the rest of the way as he picked up the win. Sward was second. Jeffrey Massingill of Keewatin, Friday’s winner, moved up from ninth to third, with Shane Edginton of Winnipeg was fourth.

Late model rookie Mike Greseth of Harwood (fifth) scored his second top five in as many nights; I think he’ll take that for a good opening weekend.

Cole Schill of Horace had a tough break; he had an all-but-certain top five run in the late models end with a flat tire.

The Short Trackers always make me a little nervous at the start, especially with 22 cars on hand. But things settled down pretty nicely early. Matt Pederson of Lake Park did a nice job in his 4P machine, leading a large part of the race for teh win. Brady Molter of Rothsay gave pretty steady pursuit of Pederson but couldn’t catch him; Molter held off Zach Kort of Fergus Falls for the runner-up slot. Kevin Youngquist of Barney scored his second top five finish of the week in taking fourth, ahead of Curtis Huseth of Underwood. The Short Trackers went caution free.

Blacklance Wins at Devils Lake

Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls won the Wissota Street Stock feature on Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway. Stoney Kruk of Langdon was second, Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks third, Dan McNamee of Arvillla fourth and Greg Jose of Grand Forks fifth. Jose, by the way, bought Eric Riley’s car from 2020.

Logan Salazar of Neche won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature over Preston Carr of Carrington. Jaden Varnson of Lakota was third, Nate Reynolds of Hoople fourth and Jory Berg of Grand Forks fifth.

Steven Richards of Finley won the Pure Stock feature.

Joel Larson of Fertile won the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprints feature. Brandon Palm of Portland was third.

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