Mass Wins Kluver Memorial; Froemming, Satter and Saurer Victorious
The Wissota Super Stocks took center stage at Viking Speedway on Saturday for the $1,000 to win Jerry Kluver Memorial. Once again Dave Mass of East Bethel, pictured above, rose to the top as his #2 car was a bullet in the feature.
For a $1,000-to-win $100 to start super stock purse, seeing only 14 cars in attendance was puzzling to me. That’s a pretty good purse in the super stocks. Last week for a regular show there was 20.
Justin Froemming, Ryan Satter and Travis Saurer also found victory lane at the half-mile oval.
Jeff Crouse of Alexandria jumped to the early lead in the Wissota Super Stock feature, and but soon faced pressure from former national champion Dave Mass of East Bethel. Mass, much like Satter, stuck his car to the bottom and mad the pass for the lead, and then went on to win by nearly half lap.
Crouse was running all alone in second and Travis Scott of Glenwood was running a strong third, also with a good advantage over fourth. Scott’s likely top three finish ended when his gears broke, which was a bummer.
Matt Miller of Glenwood and Karter Reents of Glenwood were both having solid runs into the top five.
Mass, interviewed above, won in commanding fashion while Crouse, a former winner of the Sonny Kluver Memorial, taking second. Miller was a solid third, Reents fourth and Shawn Fernkes of Pennock fifth. Mass also won the dash, meaning he went home with $1,100 on the night; he had won the NLRA Late Models Friday at I-94 Sure Step Speedway.
I was pretty rough on the supers last week after their caution filled feature, but this week’s feature went caution free and saw some good racing. It was nice work by the drivers.
The biggest deterrent for Justin Froemming of Elbow Lake was restarts. Each time he opened a comfortable lead in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature, the caution would wave. And each time, that brought former national champions Travis Saurer of Dalton and Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls to his rear.
Froemming, interviewed above, took the lead from the green with a lot of shuffling behind him. Last week’s winner Brendan Blascyk of Kensington was running well in the top three again but something broke on the #9B car and he left on the hook.
Gronwold tried a slider on a restart and briefly led but Froemming regained the spot with a surge off of turn two. Gronwold and Saurer battled for second and that allowed Froemming to open some breathing room.
Sam Zender of Fergus Falls, Corey Storck of Morris and Ron Saurer of Dalton were also batting in the top five much of the night.
Zender made a run at second and third using a low line; the car on the move was Shawn Olson of Alexandria, who started 18th on the 20-car field. He moved into the top eight and soon was fighting for the top five.
Froemming opened a nice advantage over the final green flag run for his second win of 2021. He had won at Fiesta City Speedway earlier this month. Gronwold was second, Saurer third, and Zender, who has run well this season at both Viking and I-94, was fourth. Olson made a great run through the field to get fifth.
Ryan Satter is bad fast right now in his #67 at Viking. That car just sticks to the bottom line and flies around the half mile. He started eighth on Saturday and picked up his third win at the half ile this season.
Eric Riley of Morris, coming off of a win at Fiesta City on Friday, had the pole and led early before Justin Vogel overtook him. Satter, running the bottom line, was fast and overtook Riley and then passed Vogel for the top spot -- and checked out.
Riley and Vogel battled for second but Vogel’s night ended with a broken rocker arm. That was the same thing that happened to Riley in the heat. Maybe, the street stock drivers need to be listened to a bit more by Wissota on some of the engine rules…
Steady veteran Andrew Bangsund of Alexandria, Joe Potter of Euclid and Roger Berkness of Eagle Bend were all having good runs in the top five.
Satter is now 3-for-3 at Viking in features, and Riley finished second. Bangsund was a solid third at the finish, while Potter was fourth and Berkness fifth. The street stocks also went caution free and did a nice job.
Two drivers who haven’t had the greatest success in recent years in their mods — Travis Saurer and Blake Jegtvig of Hawley — certainly took some big steps forward during Saturday’s Wissota Mod feature.
Josh Thoennes of Nelson led early from the outside pole with Blake Boelens of Garfield giving chase. Saurer, running way up top, was moving through the field, and soon passed Thoennes for the top spot.
Jegtvig, who started ninth on the 11-car field, was also on the move. He moved into the top three and soon passed Thoennes for second.
Brady Gerdes of Villard, the defending Viking champion, was also making up some ground, and moved into the top four.
Saurer went on to pick up the win with Jegtvig taking second. I’m thinking both drivers will be happy with how their cars worked on Saturday. Gerdes took third, Thoennes fourth and Joseph Thomas of Glyndon, making his first appearance at Viking, was a solid fifth.
--A couple of new streeters pulled into town -- Kasey Ussatis of Nome, N.D., and Potter. Ussatis had never raced a half-mile track -- one that is starkly different than mostly quarter-mile tracks in eastern North Dakota -- so it was a good experience for him. Potter, a veteran, already has a win at River Cities Speedway this season.
—Olson a former track champion at Viking, had an oil valve leak in his midwest modified heat; he was able to get it fixed for the future but the DNF in the heat left him a long way back on the starting grid in the b mods. He is running a Razor Chassis once again and has switched to a Crate engine in his #32 machine.
—Street Stock rookie Daniel Harstad is having a miserable start to the year. He was battling overheating issues the first few weeks; that got remedied but on Saturday the rear end went out of his #77 car. He’s frustrated and understandably so; the car was loaded and gone by intermission.
—The dashes have been added this year, and if you think drivers don’t race hard to win those, think again. It’s not only worth $100 but it keeps your eligible for a clean sweep bonus. In the super stocks Jeff Crouse was leading Mass late but the two got together in turns one and two, sending Mass off the track. Crouse was charged with the yellow.
—Ryan Gierke of Villard was winning his heat race in pretty impressive fashion when something broke on the #26G car. He was pushed in and did not make the start for the feature.
--Teenager Jack Koranda of Bluffton has moved into the Super Stock class after spending a couple of years in the street stock class. He made his debut in the supers on Saturday and finished a solid 10th.
Carter, Salazar Win at Devils Lake
Jonny Carter of Lisbon won the Wissota Street Stock feature Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway near Crary, N.D.
Carter started eighth on the field and moved to the front to pick up his third win of 2021 and has yet to finish outside the top two in six starts this season.
Kyle Anderson of Jamestown finished a strong second in the street stock main event while Ryne Uhrich of Langdon was third. Stoney Kruk of Langdon and Greg Jose of Grand Forks rounded out the top five.
Logan Salazar of Neche won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature for his second win of 2021. He has four top fives in four starts this year. Nate Reynolds of Hoople ran a solid second while Lindsey Hansen of Fargo earned his best finish of the year by placing third. Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown had a good run to take fourth while Jory Berg of Grand Forks, who has yet to finish outside the top five in seven starts this season, was fifth.
Joel Larson of Fertile won the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprints over Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks. Nick Otto of Grand Forks was third, Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake fourth and Cory Palm of Bismarck fifth.
Joe Armstrong of Crary topped Dan Arends of Devils Lake for the Pure Stock win. Dylan Steele of Jamestown was third, Dion Slaubaugh of Walford fourth and Steve Nordhagen of Thief River Falls fifth.
--Tyler Peterson of Hickson, N.D., won the Wissota Modified feature Saturday night at Ogilvie Raceway.