Satter, Blascyk, Shaw, Crouse and Haben Win at Viking Speedway
RaceChaser was back at Viking Speedway in Alexandria for Week 2. The late models were in town for one of their three appearances at the half-mile this year.
It was a long night, and at times frustrating as cautions plagued the early parts of the Wissota Midwest Modified feature and almost all of the Wissota Super Stock feature. Not surprising for an early-season show, those types of nights happen as drivers iron out the bugs.
Long nights at Viking bring out the dreaded ‘C’ word — curfew — and I’m sure track officials want to avoid getting close to that like last night. Racing got started a bit late, and farming the track at a half-mile track simply takes time. A lot of factors involved.
I am guessing the night tested flagman Justin Nieland’s patience at times — he has more than me, as I would have lost mine pretty quick (which is why I blog and not flag!).
The Wissota Midwest Mod feature got off to a shaky start with cautions. A first lap tangle in turns one and two led to several cars scrambling. It left last week’s winner, Travis Saurer of Elizabeth, with some front suspension damage and also led the pole sitter Tim Pederson of Alexandria. with a flat. Saurer got assistance from several others to try and get his #42x machine back on the track, but there was too much damage and he pulled in moments after going back on the track.
Once things settled in, what a show by Brendan Blascyk of Kensington. He survived a challenge on the restart from defending Viking champion Brock Gronwold and on the final long green flag run, pulled away to a straightaway lead in his #9B machine. It isn’t often Gronwold, a top runner locally, trails by a straightaway. It’s a credit to how fast Blascyk was.
The best battle for the whole race came for third between veteran Shawn Olson of Alexandria and young driver Avery Anderson of Carlos. The two ran side by side for several laps before Olson eventually snuck out the third spot at the checkered. It was a great run for Anderson. Ron Saurer of Dalton, who was charged with a caution early in the race and went to the rear, made a good comeback to finish fifth.
Blascyk, by the way, won his heat, the fast dash and feature, giving up the clean sweep bonus and nice bit of extra money.
The Wissota Street Stocks got off to a good start with several green flag laps. And once again it turned into a battle up front between Ryan Satter of Dent and Justin Vogel of Brooten.
After a restart where Vogel had inched into the lead, Satter regained the top spot after powering on teh lower line. And that proved to be the most effective route for the 67. Vogel stayed with on the high side for a few laps but lost some ground. Late in the race, multi-time track champion Andrew Bangsund of Alexandria was on Vogel’s heels.
The best battle was from fourth to about eighth. Tanner Horn of Wadena, Craig Gardner, Bryan Crandall of Herman and Roger Berkness of Eagle Bend were all involved at some point as there was plenty of jockeying for spots.
Satter won comfortably with Vogel holding off Bangsund for second. Ironically, it was the exact finish from the week before. Tanner Horn had an excellent run, finishing fourth after starting 10th. Gardner rounded out the top five with another solid run.
Satter also picked up the extra clean sweep bonus money.
I expected Don Shaw’s experience to play a role in the late models and the Ham Lake veteran -- who knows Viking as well as anyone -- quickly moved to second and pressured his teammate, Dave Mass of East Bethel, for a several laps before taking over the top spot.
I thought young Bryce Sward of Nelson looked really good. He was closing the gap some on the top two as they battled, and had closed the gap on Mass for second. Meanwhile, Cole Schill of Horace and Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria had a good battle for fourth.
The feature got pretty strung out late as the top five settled in at the checkered -- Shaw, Mass, Sward, Schill and Mikkelson.
The super stocks, well frustrated me. Caution after caution turned it in a long race -- certainly longer than it needed to be. As a fan it was maddening!
But the good story was Jeff Crouse of Alexandria getting to victory lane. A week earlier he had gotten spun out which ended his night. This time, after running second to veteran Jeff Flaten of Hancock, he made a pass on the restart -- and survived the numerous cautions -- to pick up the win.
Every time Crouse opened a few car length lead, or the racing started to get good in traffic, a caution would fly. It also led to a lot of shuffling for positions on restarts.
Dave Mass, Karter Reents of Glenwood and Travis Scott of Glenwood were among the cars battling for the top five. But thanks to a flurry of restarts, Trevor Saurer of Dalton and Matt Miller of Glenwood, who were outside the top five most of the race, had worked into the top five.
Mass gave Crouse persistent chase over the final three laps but couldn’t make the pass as Crouse picked up the win. Mass settled for second. Saurer held off Miller for third with Travis Scott picking up his second straight top five finish, finishing fifth.
The super stock marathon brings to mind putting a firm time limit on feature races and also using the yellow and black flags after three cautions. I know it's only the second night, too plus having 20 cars -- hopefully next week will be smoother when the supers have their special.
Brian Haben of Holloway had a DNF during the first week at Viking but rebounded well in the Wissota Modifieds, taking the win. Tyler Peterson of Hickson, N.D., with three wins already, was second after starting fifth. Brett Hoium of Villard, Ryan Gierke of Villard and Jake Wildman of Glenwood rounded out the top five.
Haben, like Blascyk and Satter, also completed the sweep, winning his heat, dash and feature.
--It was a short-lived opener for Zach Johnson of Lowry, who drives Corey Svor's 6X car. Johnson lasted a few laps in his modified heat before blowing the motor. It's a bummer to start the year and hopefully the 6X is back on the track soon.
--It was good to see Tyler Peterson pull in with his #1TPO machine. He's having a good start to the year with three wins already, including one at I-94 Sure Step Speedway last week. He has eight top fives already. I’m expecting when the Advantage RV Tour swings through the area he’ll be a prime contender for some wins there.
--Street stock rookie Daniel Harstad of Fergus Falls has battled some overheating issues in his #77 machine, and they are working to get that issue remieded.
--Don Shaw’s win in the Wissota Late Models shouldn’t surprise anyone. He’s a three-time Viking Speedway track champion and has won countless features at the half-mile over the past 20-25 years.
Hess, Cole Haugland Win at Devils Lake
Trey Hess of Lakota won the Wissota Street Stock feature Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway. Dustin Ebersteiner of Devils Lake was second, Ryne Uhrich of Langdon third, Josh Barker of Thompson fourth and Joe Potter of Euclid, Minn., fifth.
Cole Haugland of Brocket topped Eric Haugland for the win in the Wissota Midwest Modifieds. Randy Thompson was third, Logan Salazar of Neche fourth and Jory Berg of Grand Forks fifth.
Dexter Dvergsten topped Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks for the Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint win. Alan Truscinski of Greenbush was second, Weston Olson of Warren third and Patrick Brejcha of Wahpeton fifth.
Dusty Lawson of Minot topped Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks for the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprint win. Steven Richards of Finley won the Pure Stock feature.
Rodin, Jonny Carter Win at Jamestown
Lucas Rodin of Marion topped Dustin Strand of East Grand Forks for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature. Preston Carr of Carrington was third, Scott Bintz of Jamestown and Alex Langland of Enderlin fifth.
Alex Kukowski of Edgeley won the INEX Legend feature Saturday at Jamestown. Ryan Braseth of Ulen was second.
Jonny Carter of Lisbon topped Bob Banish Jr. of Milnor for the Wissota Street Stock win. Todd Carter of Lisbon was third and Dustin Erickson of Jamestown was fourth.
Casey Arneson of Fargo topped Rodin for the IMCA Modified feature. Jarrett Carter of Lisbon was fourth.