Previewing the Wissota 100: RaceChaser Picks
The Wissota 100 is back at I-94 Speedway this week. Action starts Tuesday as the Wissota Hornets and Pure Stocks will make their first-ever appearance at the event; it is a practice night for other classes.
It's time to make some RaceChaser picks. Last year, I was 2-for-6 picking Weiss and Mass. I did mention all of the other winners as contenders, though. There were no big surprises other than Tim Johnson hopping into a Mod 4 and winning.
A few things. First, please don’t be offended if your driver is not mentioned. There are probably 30-40 drivers in each class you could make a case for except the Mod 4s. And this is totally a crapshoot, and honestly there may be some of the drivers I pick who won’t even attend. I may change my picks if I learn specifically who is or isn't showing up. I also for the fun of it listed my projected car count (my total ends at 435, we will see how close it is).
Wissota Street Stock (projected car count 50)
2018 winner: Justin Vogel
My 2019 pick: Kyle Dykhoff
Contenders: Parker Anderson, Ryan Satter, Danny Richards, Justin Vogel, Jonny Carter
Under the Radar: Dustin Doughty
This to me is wide open. Defending champion Justin Vogel will be there at the end, you know that. Satter, the 2019 I-94 champ, knows Fergus as well as anyone and is really fast there. Danny Richards of Mondovi, Wis., nearly won the big show a year ago and is as good as anyone in Wissota.
Parker Anderson of Phillips, Wis., is one of the top runners in Wisconsin and I think he will be a factor this week. National point leader Jonny Carter of Lisbon hasn't had the best luck at I-94 but did win the ROC qualifier there, and don't discount him being in the hunt.
I don't know if Montana driver Cory Craver will attend -- he is third in national points -- but if he does I'll add him to the contender list. Doughty is my under the radar pick he is in the top 10 in Wissota national standings.
My pick is Kyle Dykhoff. The #11 car is really fast now, he knows the track well and can get to the front. It should be a great battle with 6-8 cars capable of winning.
I hope a few SE Minnesota cars come up to I-94, there are some good runners who compete at Chateau and Deer Creek.
Wissota Midwest Modified (projected car count: 90)
2018 winner: Skeeter Estey
My 2019 pic: Cole Searing
Contenders: Skeeter Estey, Cody Lee, Brock Gronwold, Lucas Rodin, Haley Lee, Brandon Copp, Corey Storck
Under the Radar: Shane Howell
There are a ton of drivers who can win this class.
If Brandon Copp of Brule Wis., does indeed race at the 100, he is one of my top contenders. He has wins at I-94, Sheyenne, Gondik Law and Proctor this year and is in the top 10 at national points.
I am so tempted to pick Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls, he is the I-94 track champion and can fly around the high side of that track like few others. Defending champ Skeeter Estey of Hibbing is bad fast as well. It wouldn't shock me to see either win.
Cody Lee of Alexandria, Corey Storck of Morris, and Haley Lee of Starbuck are all people who know that track well and have been in the top five several times this season. Cody is a past track champion and usually rises up when the money is on the line. Storck has been so close to winning at I-94. Haley Lee picked up her first career win at Sheyenne in August and has nine top five finishes this year, including two seconds at I-94.
Lucas Rodin of Marion, N.D, has been the fastest midwest modified in eastern North Dakota of late. He won specials at Devils Lake, Sheyenne and Tri-County in Wishek.
Shane Howell of Buffalo won the King of the Dirt at I-94 and always runs well there.
My pick is the national point leader. I think Cole Searing of Huron gets it done in what should be a wild few days in that class.
Wissota Super Stock (projected car count: 50)
2018 winner: Dave Mass
My 2019 pic: Kevin Burdick
Contenders: Curt Myers, Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass, Trevor Nelson, Cole Searing
Under the Radar: Trevor Saurer
It's very tempting to pick Dave Mass to repeat and wouldn't shock me at all if he did. I consider him the greatest Wissota Super Stock driver and you know he will be there battling at the end, if he doesn't win it.
Shane Sabraski of Rice is very good in a super and is fourth in national points. Very smooth.
Curt Myers is interesting to me. He is out of the Cameron, Wis., area and has won a ton of races in the super and street stock classes. If he runs the Wissota 100 he will be a factor.
Trevor Nelson and Cole Searing are arguably the top two super stocks in South Dakota. Searing is third in national points. Nelson is a strong runner at Brown County.
Trevor Saurer of Dalton is my under the radar pick; he is the 2019 Viking Speedway track champ and has run well.
My pick is the national point leader, Kevin Burdick of Proctor. He had a top five finish a year ago and has dominated the Iron Range competition all year. He has more than 30 wins.
Wissota Modified (projected car count: 56)
2018 winner: Dave Cain
My 2019 pic: Johnny Broking
Contenders: Brady Gerdes, Dan Ebert, Shane Sabraski, Ward Imrie, Jeremy Nelson, Landon Atkinson, Tyler Peterson
Under the Radar: Don Eischens
This is very, very wide open. I listed eight contenders but could have listed 20. Cain has not had the kind of year we are used to seeing from him, but he also could rise to
Brady Gerdes of Villard is the 2019 I-94 Track Champ and is really fast at the 3/8-mile oval. It wouldn't shock me at all if he won the 100. Same for Ebert, Nelson, Sabraski or Atkinson. Any of that group could win it and not shock anybody. Ebert and Atkinson have USMTS wins this year; Sabraski won the Advantage RV Tour title while Nelson won the Advantage RV Tour race at I-94 in June.
Imrie, of Winnipeg, is in the hunt for a third straight Wissota national title. He has run so well at I-94 in the past and is really good on a slick track.
Tyler Peterson of Hickson is as hot as anyone right now; he swept both nights of the Seitz Memorial last weekend. Watch out for the 1TPO car.
It's hard to consider a veteran like Don Eischens of Richmond, Minn., under the radar but his 9E car has been really, really good at I-94 this summer. He has finished in the top five at all four trips to the track this year.
My pick, assuming he shows, is Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids. He is third in the national points and has been fast pretty much everywhere he has unloaded. He has 13 wins on the year, including the Advantage RV Tour stop at Casino Speedway. A lot of drivers I could pick for this.
Wissota Late Model (projected car count: 45)
2018 winner: Ricky Weiss
2019 pick: Shane Edginton
Contenders: Don Shaw, Cole Schill, Marshall Fegers, Dan Ebert
Under the Radar: Kyle Peterlin
It's not likely Weiss will be back to defend his title. The easy pick is Shaw; he dominated the class all year and won the track title at I-94; he only lost one feature at the track all year. But, for the fun of it, I will pick someone different.
This will all depend on who shows up. I am guessing the Kaanta/Doar/Redetzke/Mahder/Glenz group will race at Cedar Lake; some of the range cars I expect to be there, too. Not sure which NLRA cars will make the trip either. And who knows who shows up out of South Dakota. It's hard to predict this class because of those unknowns. For example if Chad Becker of Aberdeen comes, I will pick him as a contender.
Cole Schill is a former track champion at I-94. I like the way he races -- clean -- and usually is around at the end.
I really hope Marshall Fegers makes it to I-94; he was second last year but DQed at the scale for being light. Very underrated in big races. If Dan Ebert runs the 66 car this week, I expect him to contend, plain and simple.
Peterlin had a top five finish at the 100 last year. He is consistently one of the top runners on the Iron Range.
My pick, though is Shane Edginton of Winnipeg. He is second in national points. He won the track title at River Cities Speedway and was second in the NLRA points this year. He was fourth at the Seitz Memorial last Saturday, and last year had a podium finish at the 100. Even though a lot of people will pick Shaw, I'll dare to be different.
Wissota Mod 4 (projected car count: 26)
2018 winner: Tim Johnson
2019 pick: Adam Prieve
Contenders: Dustin Holtquist, Keith Thell, Tyler Larson, Justin Will
Under the Radar: Dean Larson
This is a tougher one to pick simply because I don't see this class often at all. Prieve is the national point leader so will go with him. I think there are several that will contend.
Wissota Pure Stock and Hornet (25 car per class)
I don't see the Wissota pure stocks or hornets race up this way. So at least with the pure stocks, I have no clue who to pick. We will go with an Iron Range driver, Kevin Baumgarner.
The hornets will have some I-94 regulars competing so I feel safer make some picks. Jake Smith of St. Joseph is my pick with Corey Mehrwerth, Daniel Harstad and Austin Lammers being contenders.