Riley Edges Carter -- Again! Saurers Win at Viking Speedway, Hastings, Reynolds Win at Devils Lake
Man the Steffes Street Stock tour is putting on some shows. Saturday night was a phenomenal classic at Viking Speedway in Alexandria as Eric Riley and Jonny Carter once again fought to a thrilling finish decided by mere inches.
It was also a good night for the Saurer family, as Ron Saurer and Trevor Saurer both reached victory lane. Brett Hoium of Villard controlled the entire 20-lap Wissota Mod feature while Dustin Johanneck won the Limited Late Models in decisive fashion.
Shawn Wageman of Breezy Point went for a wild ride in his X super stock in his heat race. A car came into turn one a little hot and hit Wageman and he went flying off of turns one and two and rolled hard at least three times. The car was badly damaged. Wageman was taken to the hospital to get checked over. I haven’t seen a super stock wreck like that in years, maybe ever. That was a nasty tumble.
Car counts were good for the opener with 78 cars on hand, highlighted by the 24 street stocks for the Steffes Tour. A few North Dakota cars pulled in along with Wisconsin driver Parker Anderson. Jake Froemke of International Falls — who likely will win the long haul award most nights — plans to run as much of the tour he can.
What a classic street stock feature. Jonny Carter of Lisbon took the lead from the outside pole and looked strong. The battle was for second as Eric Riley of Morris and Parker Anderson of Phillips, Wis., waged a heck of a battle.
Riley, interviewed above, cleared Anderson and then set his sights on Carter. Riley went up to a higher line and closed the gap and with three to go, took over the lead. Carter fought back on the lower line and the last two laps, the two drivers raced side by side as the fans got one heck of a show.
Carter inched ahead at the white flag, and the battle intensified. The two were side by side down the front stretch, and at the flag, Riley edged Carter by .07 of a second — much he like did at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks earlier this summer. It was Riley’s third tour win and ended a personal vex at Viking — it was his first ever win in Alexandria. What an incredible finish to an incredible race, and it's one that will be talked about for years at Viking.
Carter picked up his second runner-up finish in as many nights with Anderson running a solid race in taking third. Ryan Satter of Dent, Friday’s winner at I-94, started ninth and finished fourth, while Jack Koranda of Bluffton finished fifth.
Some contenders had tough luck. Andrew Bangsund of Alexandria, who has a win at I-94 Sure Step Speedway this season, broke in his left-front suspension, ending his night; moments later, Justin Vogel of Brooten suffered the same fate with what looked to be the almost exact same issue left front-suspension issue. Kyle Anderson of Jamestown had a likely top five finish in the works but had to pull in because of engine overheating. Jake Froemke also had to pull in.
The long-time veteran Ron Saurer of Dalton, 67, survived several challenges to pick up the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win. He was challenged early by Ryan Gierke of Westport — who won his first career feature Thursday at KRA Speedway. Gierke pulled in under caution, ending his night.
That brought Corey Storck of Morris and Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls (who has two wins this week already) into the mix. Those two battled for second as they also pressured Saurer up front. But the veteran from Dalton didn’t flinch and picked up his first win of the year. Saurer, interviewed above, turns 68 in November, and his sons, Travis and Trevor, have become good drivers in their own right. Storck edged Gronwold for second while Randy Laage of Long Prairie was fourth and Jon Stepan, driving Justin Froemming’s 33 car, finished fifth. Stepan is a long time super stock veteran at Viking.
Speaking of Trevor Saurer, he dominated the Wissota Super Stock main event. He started on the pole and led every lap and survived a late caution to pick up the win. Jim Gullikson of Nowthen started sixth but finished second. Jason Cook of Brandon was third, Jon Crouse of Alexandria fourth and Davey Krutchen of Burtrum fifth.
Much like Saurer controlled the super stock feature, Hoium was as impressive in the modifieds. He took the lead from the outside pole and opened up a commanding lead over Ryan Gierke. The 20-lapper went caution free as the modifieds flew around the half mile. Gierke made up some ground on Hoium but it wasn’t nearly enough as Hoium picked up his first win of 2020. Gierke ran a great race and finished second. Brady Gerdes of Villard moved through the field, starting sixth and finishing third. Dusty Bitzan of Brandon started eighth and finished fourth while Brian Haben of Appleton finished fifth.
Buddy Thorstad of Morris led the first portion of the Limited Late Model feature, but Dustin Johanneck of Litchfield, who already has a win at I-94, was closing fast. Johanneck made the pass for the lead, and Thorstad slid off the top of turn two and lost several positions. Johanneck just took off after that, building a straightaway lead to pick up the win.
William Lund of Brandon — driving the Polydome 77 car — was second. This was only in his second night in the car. Lund has a super stock win at I-94 this season. Blake Saathoff of Alexandria ran well all night. He won the heat race and finished third which was his best official finish in a Limited Late Model. It was a good night for the youth pastor. Finishing fourth was Scott Lehn of St. Cloud and Thorstad recovered to finish fifth.
—I talked to Corey Svor, owner of the 6X modified Zach Johnson drives and also a Viking Speedway board member, and he told me a couple of downpours created some havoc for Viking in getting the track ready. Things got off to a little bit of a late start but the heats were done in about an hour and 10 minutes, and this was in spite of a red flag in the super stocks. The night was over at 10:11 p.m., well before curfew.
—I talked to Hunter Carter, formerly of Lisbon, now racing out of Fargo. He is the co-promoter of Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon but also was a good street stock driver years ago before stepping away. He won the King of the Dirt at I-94 Sure Step Speedway in 2014. He hasn’t raced since 2014, and his car is a home-built 2001 chassis. With Sheyenne taking July off, Carter will look to get in some shows this month. Carter, unfortunately, blew a motor in the feature.
—There were only nine limited late models at Viking. One reason was a huge pileup which wrecked some cars at I-94 on Friday.
—Ryan Pommerer of Oriska, N.D., was doing double duty on Saturday in both a street stock and modified.
Hastings, Reynolds Win at Devils Lake
Jade Hastings of Grand Forks won the NOSA Sprint Car feature Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway. Wade Nygaard of Grand Forks, who started dead last on the 17-car field, finished second, while Brendan Mullen of Grand Forks was third. Jordan Adams of Reynolds was fourth and Jack Croaker of Grand Forks fifth.
Nate Reynolds of Hoople picked up the win in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature. 22 cars took the green in the feature. Jarett Lovcik of Rugby was second, Jason Halverson of Devils Lake third, Randy Thompson of Lakota fourth and Jaden Varnson of Lakota fifth.
Dustin Ebensteiner of Devils Lake won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Trey Hess of Lakota.
Jack Berger of Lake Elmo, Minn., topped Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks for the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprints win.
Steven Richards of Finley topped Joe Armstrong for the Pure Stock win.
Saturday Night Notes
—Hunter Hougard of Warren won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday night at Greenbush Race Park. Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks won the Wissota Modifieds. Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks won the Wissota Street Stock feature for his second in as many nights.
Torey Fischer of West Fargo finished a strong third in the IMCA Sport Mods Saturday at the North Central Speedway in Brainerd.
Maria Broksieck of Goodwin, S.D. won the Wissota Street Stock feature at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen on Saturday. Chad Becker of Aberdeen won the Dacotah Rumble Late Model feature taking home $10,000 for the win.