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Thoennes, Muzik, Saurer, Satter Post Wins at Viking

Viking Speedway held its second-to-last points race of 2021 on Saturday. It was Kids Night at Viking and there were a lot of kids on hand, which is great to see. Many prizes were given away at intermission including several bikes.

There were no real surprises on this night as far as feature winners.

The dashes started out with good participation at Viking but faded as the season went on. In fact there were some with as few as two or three cars. That’s unfortunate, but I heard some didn’t want to add extra laps to their cars because of the tire shortage, or risk damaging their car for the feature. I don’t expect them to be back in 2022. It was a good idea to try to get more people to race weekly, but this summer the t

I’m concerned with the Wissota Mod counts at Viking. Keep in mind, A mod counts are down everywhere in this region, whether it’s a Wissota or IMCA track. But this used to be a signature class at Viking, and to be hovering around nine or 10. I-94 Sure Step, when it hasn’t run special events, has been in the lower teens. I think there are a variety reasons of this, and I hope to see a few more people moving into the A mods locally in 2022.

The veteran Ron Saurer of Dalton charged to the front early in the Wissota Midwest Modified feature, with Avery Anderson of Alexandria and Taylor Bitzan of Brandon giving chase. Season point leader Shawn Olson was also in the hunt.

There were some early cautions that plagued the midwest modified feature — solo spins that irritate me. But things settled in after that.

Saurer and Olson battled for the top spot, both running lower, but it was Josh Muzik of Alexandria who made a big time charge on the outside, passing both for the lead. After a second caution for Connor Busse, Muzik took firm control and ran away from the field to pick up win, his second in 2021.

Olson, Saurer, Bitzan and Andreson rounded out the top five.

It is probably time to put a bounty on Ryan Satter in the Wissota Street Stocks at Viking. Entering the night, out of the 10 features contested at the half-mile this season, he had eight wins. Parker Anderson won the other two during the Steffes Street Stock Tour on Memorial Day.

It was a rough night for several of the street stock challengers. Jason Thimmesh of Garfield was making a run to the front but broke and pulled in; Justin Vogel of Brooten, second in the national points, pulled in after a big puff of smoke appeared from his #10 machine. Former Viking champion Andrew Bangsund also pulled in with an issue.

JJ Nieuwbeerta of Alexandria, who has improved all season, was the leader with Roger Berkness of Eagle Bend battling for the top spot. Satter was on the move as usual, taking over third. Berkness eventually took over the top spot when a caution flew with seven to go.

Satter made his move on the restart and pulled away steadily from the field to pick up his ninth win in 11 starts at Viking. He’s running away for the season points title.

Berkness capped off a good run in second. Craig Gardner of Alexandria — who is second in the season points — finished a solid third after starting fifth. Nieuwbeerta and Derek Wettstein of Little Falls rounded out the top five.

The Short Trackers brought 12 cars to the starting grid, and went caution free. It was the eighth starter, Shawn Robinson of Dalton, who was the class of the field on this night.

Jeff Hanson of Barrett led early but Robinson charged to the front. He built a big advantage on second and ran away with the win.

Hanson capped off a great run with a season-best second, holding off David Wahl of Fergus Falls for that spot. He is hungry for that first career win, and if he runs like he did on Saturday, that’ll happen sooner than later. Jeff is a nice guy, by the way, and is always willing to visit at I-94, and happy he joined RaceChaser as a sponsor.

Wahl settled for third with Kole Kampsen of Brooten taking fourth. Brent Engler of Barrett finished a solid fifth.

Robinson has a good batting average this season — he has three wins in six starts. Madison Schreiber has been racing the #7Z car quite often at I-94 Sure Step Speedway and running well.

Karter Reents of Glenwood was looking for his second win overall of 2021 in the Wissota Super Stocks. He took the lead and ran the high side.

Defending Viking champion Trevor Saurer of Dalton stuck his #21 to the low line and closed the gap on Reents. Veterans Matt Miller of Glenwood and Jeff Crouse of Alexandria were also in the top five.

Saurer passed Reents for the lead; after a caution, it turned into a three-car battle for second, briefly, between Reents, Miller and Crouse. Saurer had control of the lead.

Reents was able to pull away from Miller for second, and it turned into a race around the high side for the final laps. Saurer went up top and while Reents still was within 4-5 car lengths but got no closer as Saurer picked up his sixth win of the year and added to his point lead over Miller, which was 38 points going into the evening. Reents finished second, Miller took third, Crouse fourth and super stock rookie Bailey Rosch of Alexandria fifth.

Defending champion Brady Gerdes of Villard entered the night with a 32-point lead over Dusty Bitzan of Brandon in the Wissota Mod point standings. The points race got a bit closer on Saturday.

Tyler Kaeter of St. Cloud proved that you can’t win the race on the first lap, but you can lose it. He was on the inside pole and looked to take the lead in turns one and two; but he slid high and part of the way off the track, and lost several positions.

The high side proved to be the place to be as veteran Josh Thoennes went up top and led the entire way to pick up his second win of 2021. Thoennes powered the #51 along the high side and didn’t flinch.

The only deterrent was a lapped car, and that allowed Bitzan to cut into the lead somewhat, but it wasn’t enough. Bitzan did gain 11 points on Gerdes heading into the season championship on Aug. 28 but still trails by 21, unofficially.

Following the runner-up Bitzan in third was former national champion Blake Jegtvig of Hawley. Travis Saurer of Dalton was fourth. Gerdes was off the pace on this night, dropping from third to fifth, but managed to finish and keep his points lead.

Saturday Notes

--Austin Chyba of Browerville won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday night at Madison Speedway. The event was the Timmy Ims Midwest Modified special. Corey Storck of Morris was third.

Justin Tammen of Clara City won the Wissota Super Stock feature.

Brad Staples of Herman was second in the Viessman Late Model feature Saturday at Madison.

--Alex Truscinski of Greenbush won the POWRi Minn-Kota Lightning Sprint Shootout race Saturday night at Greenbush Race Park. The race was Night 3 of the Shootout, which concludes on Sunday at Buffalo River Speedway. Kelsi Pederson of East Grand Forks was fourth.

Dan McNamee of Arvilla won the Wissota Street Stock feature over Chase Boen of Karlstad.

--Dustin Ebensteiner of Devils Lake won the Wissota Street Stock feature Saturday night at Devils Lake Speedway. Stoney Kruk of Langdon was second, Trey Hess of Lakota was third and Seth Klostreich of Grand Forks was fourth.

Preston Carr of Carrington topped Jory Berg of Grand Forks for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature win. Reise Stenberg of Argusville was third and Matt Schow of McIntosh, the winner Friday at River Cities, was fifth.

Dusty Lawson of Minot won the Western Renegade Non-Winged Sprint feature over Adam Sobolik of Grand Forks. Myles Tomlinson of Turtle Lake was third.

--Brennon Weight of LaMoure won the Wissota Midwest Modified feature Saturday at Jamestown Speedway. Jaren Wibstad of Jamestown was second. Lindsey Hansen of Fargo was fifth.

Kyle Anderson of Jamestown topped Jonny Carter of Lisbon for the Wissota Street Stock feature win at Jamestown. Billie Christ of Jamestown was third and Todd Carter of Lisbon was fourth.

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