Saurer, Bitzan, Youngquist, Anderson and Gave Win Night 1 at Viking
Viking Speedway held Night 1 of its Labor Day doubleheader with an excellent 116-car field on hand, led by 29 Wissota Midwest Modifieds. There was a nice crowd on hand as well on a nice September evening.
The bottom line seemed like the place to be on this night. I don’t know if the top was too dirty or what the situation was, but it seemed like the bottom third was were the majority of the cars ran. And the cars that dared to go up to the top and try it, well they paid for it by losing positions.
Some interesting names pulled in for the Wissota Midwest Modifieds, including Shane Howell of Buffalo, Brennan Gave of Princeton, and long-time South Dakota great Lorin Johnson of Miller, S.D. Ryan Satter of Dent hopped behind the wheel of Justin Froemming’s second 33 machine.
It was a stacked Wissota Street Stock field on hand with four of the top six in national points on hand: Parker Anderson (first), Braden Brauer (second), Justin Vogel (fourth) and Ryan Satter (sixth).
Gave and Jon Carlson of Brandon led the 29-car Wissota Midwest Modified field to the green. Gave jumped out to the advantage from the start.
Shane Howell moved into second, with Brendan Blascyk of Kensington moving into the top three. Corey Storck of Morris had his hands full with the 68-year-old Ron Saurer of Dalton.
After a caution with 10 to go, Gave re-established the lead with Howell in second and Blascyk in third. Travis Saurer for got by his father for fourth and set his sights on third.
Gave opened a comfortable lead over Howell, who was pressured by Blascyk. Travis Saurer was able to get by Blascyk for second when another caution came out.
ON the restart, Howell pressured Gave for a lap; however, a red flag came out with four to go for Colton Vogel who went off of turn two. Vogel was OK but checked out in the ambulance.
Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls had worked into the top five by the red flag, but pulled his #2G into the pit area during that time.
ON the restart, Travis Saurer made a run at the lead, moving into second. He went into turn three and bumped Gave out of the way and took the lead over for a second. However the caution came out for Connor Busse; there have been some rough moments in his rookie season for the #33B.
Frankly there are some inexperienced Wissota Midwest Modifieds who just are good for 2-3 cautions a night. Constant solo spinouts. I understand they are inexperienced but we are in September. It is so irritating as a fan.
On the ensuing restart, Gave, got off to a much better start and pulled away from Howell to pick up the win. It was his second feature win of 2021 and first since a win at Cedar Lake Speedway in April. Howell ran a solid second, while Ron Saurer got by Travis for third. Blascyk rounded out the top five. A couple of other notes — Lorin Johnson went from 16th to seventh, while Satter went from 24th to ninth.
It spells big trouble for the field when Parker Anderson is on the front row of the Wissota Street Stock feature, and that was the case again on Saturday. The 17-year-old, who leads the national points and has 30 feature wins this year, took the lead from the outset.
Justin Vogel of Brooten, who had a big feature win on Friday at River Cities Speedway, got by Derek Wettstein for second. On the move was another 17-year-old, Braden Brauer of Eyota moving up through the field after starting ninth.
Anderson led with Vogel settling into second. Brauer, meanwhile was closing in on Vogel for second. Wettstein settled into fourth, although he was getting heat from Kasey Ussatis of Nome, N.D., and the 2021 Viking track champion, Ryan Satter.
Brauer got by Vogel and closed the gap on Anderson as another caution waved. Anderson would hold on for the win with Brauer settling for second. Vogel was third, Satter was fourth and Ussatis was fifth. Anderson is up to 31 wins on the year, that’s damn impressive.
The fastest Hornet/Short Tracker/Mini Stock in this area this year has been Kevin Youngquist of Barney, N.D. He is the 2021 I-94 Sure Step Speedway track champion, and has wins at I-94, Viking and Norman County Raceway. The #00, which is for sale, has been quick no matter where he races.
He started sixth on the 26-car field and picked up win #10 on the season. Shawn Robinson of Dalton was third, Randy Thompson of Lake Park was fourth and Hunter Goulet of Fargo — who started 24th — finished fifth ahead of Shawn Beto of Wahpeton.
Jeff Crouse of Alexandria took the lead in the Wissota Super Stock feature after starting third over outside pole starter Jack Koranda of Bluffton.
After starting eighth, 2021 Viking champion Trevor Saurer of Dalton was making his way to the front. He moved into third and was working on Koranda.
Honestly, cautions restarts were probably Jeff Crouse’s undoing. I’m not sure the field catches him without the yellows. But those are part of the game.
On the restart, Saurer moved into second and then found some speed on the lowest line. Saurer could stick that #21 machine just a bit lower than Crouse, and that was the difference as Saurer took over the top spot.
After a restart with seven to go, Crouse gambled and went up to the higher line to try and get around Saurer. But as he and others found out, there just wasn’t anything up there — and it cost him two spots as Matt Miller of Glenwood and rookie Jack Koranda of Bluffton got by him.
Saurer had opened up a 2.597 second lead over Miller when a caution waved for a Jon Crouse spin in turn four. Koranda slipped up and lost a couple of spots as well and eventually dropped out of the top five.
Trevor Saurer picked up the win, his seventh of 2021. He is one of my sleeper picks for the 2021 Wissota 100. Jeff Crouse made a nice recovery to finish second ahead of MIller’s Mopar-powered #13 M. Josh Zimpel of Braham ran well all night — and finished fourth after starting fifth. Ryan Kostreba of Elk River was the hard charger, going from 21st to fifth.
One other note on the Wissota Super Stocks. Travis Scott of Glenwood is leading the Wissota Rookie of the Year by a large margin and would be a nice accomplishment for the young driver.
Dusty Bitzan made a big move at the beginning of the Wissota Modified feature, and it paid off. He split two cars out of turn two and took the lead, and checked out on the field for a convincing win.
Danny Bayer of Elrosa moved into second and ran there much of the race; but Zach Johnson of Lowry, a multi-time Viking track champion, was able to get by him for second by the checkered.
2021 Viking champion Brady Gerdes of Villard was fourth and Josh Thoennes of Nelson was fifth. The mods went caution free, and they needed to to avoid the city curfew.
Night 2 for Viking is Sunday.
Carter, Sobolik, Pfau Win at Devils Lake
Devils Lake Speedway hosted Night 1 of its doubleheader with 69 cars competing.
Steven Richards of Finley, N.D., won the Pure Stock feature over Carter Tuenge of Rugby. Brodee Eckerdt of Grand Forks was fourth.
Jonny Carter of Lisbon topped Dustin Ebensteiner of Devils Lake for the Wissota Street Stock win. Kyle Anderson of Jamestown was third, Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks fourth and Ryne Uhrich of Langdon fifth. Trey Hess of Lakota, the season point leader at Devils Lake, was sixth.
Darren Pfau of West Fargo won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature over Lucas Rodin of Marion, who is the national point leader. Reise Stenberg of Argusville was third, Cole Haugland of Brocket fourth and Jason Halverson of Devils Lake fifth.
Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks won for the second straight night in the wingless sprints with Ken Horn of Grand Rapids taking second. Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake was third.
Saturday Night Notes
--Aaron Blacklance of Thief River Falls won the Wissota Street Stock feature Saturday night at Greenbush Race Park. He was third in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature won by Patrick Sobolik of Hallock.
--Tyler Peterson of Hickson, N.D., won the Big Buck Nationals Wissota Modified feature Saturday night at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen. The win is a boost to his national title hopes.