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Miller, Thoennes, Bangsund Lead Viking Victory Lane Parade; Corbett, Hess Among Saturday Winners

RaceChaser was back at Viking Speedway for NAPA night, which meant free admission to the stands for those who picked up their tickets at NAPA in Alexandria during the week. A solid 70-car field was on hand.

Matt Miller, Josh Thoennes and Andrew Bangsund earned their first Viking wins of the year while Ryan Mikkelson and Brendan Blascyk returned to victory lane. Wayne Oftedahl of Hanley Falls, Minn., won the Vintage Car feature.

Roger Host of Watkins, who bought one of the former cars driven by Dave Mass, had the outside pole for the Wissota Super Stock feature and took the early lead. Matt Miller of Glenwood, interviewed above, driving the Mopar-powered #13 machine, gave chase as did Jeff Crouse of Alexandria.

Lapped traffic played a huge role in the super stocks, and it gave Miller the opening he needed. Host was slowed by a lapped car and Miller shot around on the outside to take the lead. Two laps later, the caution came out, but Miller had assumed the lead. On the restart with four to go, Miller had the lead while Crouse took over second. Crouse gave chase but Miller picked up his first win of 2020. Crouse was third and Trevor Saurer of Dalton fourth. Jason Cook of Brandon had a nice run, taking fifth.

Veteran Josh Thoennes of Nelson, interviewed above, out for only the seventh time in 2020, had the outside pole in the Wissota Modified feature and took the lead from the green. He opened some breathing room on second when the caution came out for Travis Saurer’s flat tire. Saurer had been running in the top five.

On the restart Thoennes opened the lead up on second-place Brady Gerdes of Villard, who was locked in a great battle with Dusty Bitzan of Brandon for second. Bitzan took over the spot for a few laps and this allowed Thoennes to build some breathing room.

Gerdes regained second, and he found something on the bottom as both he and Bitzan cut into Thoennes’s lead. In fact Gerdes poked underneath Thoennes in turns three and four but Thoennes had enough momentum on the high side to hold on for a thrilling win. Bitzan had another good run to take third while Zach Johnson of Kensington finished fourth. Brett Hoium has run well all year long at Viking and added his third top five of the year by placing fifth.

Bitzan leads the points by 26 over Gerdes after Saturday’s show.

Andrew Bangsund of Alexandria, a three-time Wissota Street Stock champion at the half-mile, started on the inside pole for that division’s feature. He took the lead from the green flag and led the entire 15-lap event for his first Viking win of 2020. Justin Vogel of Brooten started fourth and moved into second and gave chase but never mounted a serious threat to the 70 car. Bangsund, interviewed above, won by several car lengths with Vogel, the 2018 Wissota Street Stock national champion, taking second.

Season point leader Ryan Satter of Dent was bottled up in traffic for the first half of the race but worked his way to third. He gained some ground on Vogel but without a caution wasn’t able to challenge for second. He settled for third. He holds a 13-point lead over Jack Koranda.

Craig Gardner of Eagle Bend won a great battle for fourth which included several cars, including Tanner Horn of Wadena, Jack Koranda of Bluffton, Brett Miller of Alexandria and Roger Berkness of Eagle Bend. Horn ran in fourth much of the race but Gardner made a late pass to secure the spot at the checkered. Horn picked up his second top five of the year by taking fifth.

Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria made quick work of a small Limited Late Model field. He started fifth and in less than two laps was up front. He had a commanding lead but the caution came out a couple of times. It didn’t matter, Mikkelson regained control and won by a comfortable margin; he has three Limited Late Model wins in five nights at Viking. Dustin Johanneck of Litchfield was second, making a good night for the Polydome cars.

Greg Umlauf of Rothsay ran a solid race in the Limited Lates, taking third with Scott Zimmerman of Rothsay fourth and Zach Tysdal of Fergus Falls fifth.

Usually when Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls takes the lead at Viking, its lights out for the rest of the Wissota Midwest Modified field. That wasn’t the case on Saturday. Gronwold quickly took the lead from his eighth starting spot and looked to turn into a runaway. Brendan Blascyk of Kensington and Ron Saurer of Dalton had other ideas. The two passed Gronwold to take over first and second, respectively. Gronwold got past Saurer to regain second, but Blascyk was dang good on this night. He had a several car length lead on Gronwold -- who won at Miller Central Speedway on Friday -- at the checkered for his second Viking win in a row. He started seventh, by the way, in the caution free race.

Saurer settled for third. Justin Froemming of Garfield had a good run, starting 13th and finishing fourth; he was plagued with some motor issues last time I talked to him. Shawn Olson of Alexandria also ran well, starting 12th and finishing fifth.

Devils Lake Wins to Hess, Berg, Tomlinson and Reynolds

Trey Hess of Lakota topped Daniel Aberle of Finley for the Wissota Street Stock feature Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway near Crazy, N.D. Cody Armstrong took third, Greg Jose of Grand Forks fourth and last week’s winner Ryne Uhrich of Langdon fifth.

Jason Berg of West Fargo picked up his first Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint feature of the season Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway. Cody Swenson of Middle River was second. Travis Surerus of Fargo was fourth and Mark Williams of Grand Forks was fifth.

Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake picked up the Western Renegade Non-Winged sprint feature after starting eight. Brandon Palm of Portland was fourth.

Joe Armstrong of Crary was back in victory lane in the Pure Stocks over Daniel Bromstad of Luverne.

Nate Reynolds of Hoople topped Cole Haugland of Brocket for the Wissota Midwest Modified win. Logan Salazar of Neche was third and Kyle Lovcik of Rugby fourth.

Saturday Notes

-Ryan Corbett of Grand Forks won the NLRA Late Model feature Saturday night at Greenbush Race Park in Greenbush, Minn. Brad Seng of Grand Forks was second, Brody Troftgruben of Grand Forks was third, Joey Pederson of East Grand Forks fourth and Dustin Bluhm of Herman, Minn., fifth. A total of 17 late models were on hand.

Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature from seventh. That is a new car Blacklance debuted with a Crate engine. Hunter Hougard of Warren was third.

-Corey Storck of Morris won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday night at Madison Speedway.

-Marlyn Seidler of Underwood, 67, won the IMCA Modified feature Saturday at Jamestown Speedway. Nick Thoreson of Valley City was second in the Bomber feature.

Tye Wilke of Detroit Lakes was second in the INEX Legend feature with Alex Braseth of Ulen third and Ryan Braseth of Ulen fourth

Reise Stenberg of Argusville won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature for his second victory of 2020. Lucas Rodin of Marion was second, Brennon Weight of LaMoure third, Lindsey Hansen of Fargo fourth and Aaron Michel of Jamestown fifth.

Billie Christ of Jamestown won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Jonny Carter of Lisbon. Royce Jawaski of Horace was third, Todd Carter of Lisbon fourth and Kasey Ussatis of Nome fifth.

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