Night 2 of the Wissota 100 at I-94 EMR Speedway is in the books. The weather forecast early in the day didn’t look good but the weather cooperated, thankfully. You do not want to get into situations where you have to make up a whole night’s show, trust me.
By my count there were gains in every class. You can’t judge it by the myracepass numbers for Thursday alone as eight cars in each class, except the late models, qualified on Wednesday and did not need to race Thursday. The late models did not qualify anyone on Wednesday because it was a challenge series race. By my count there have been 274 different cars at I-94 this week, and if you add the 71 cars that competed at the AFCO Wissota MPH Invitational in Bemidji that is about 345. I imagine a few more might try and qualify tomorrow.
The entire show was done by 9:52 p.m. –four hours and 52 minutes – which is a very good night with 242 cars competing and gave folks a chance to have some beverages and enjoy the Johnny Holm Band. There were no cautions in the mod or street features and just two in the lates and supers. There were no major pileups in any of the five features but there was some carnage in the heats.
Let’s get into the qualifying features.
Wissota Street Stocks
Qualifying from Thursday (will be outside row on Saturday): Eric Riley, Maria Broksieck, Levi Randt, Kyle Anderson, Zach Flickinger, Troy Murner, Ty Agen, Cole Kannegiesser
The national points race took center shape in the street stocks with Maria Broksieck, who is fifth in the national points, on the front row. Braden Brauer, second in the national points, started in the second row and Justin Vogel started in the third row. And the Wolverine – Vogel’s nickname -- made a statement. He went from sixth to first in one lap in what turned into a dominant performance.
Eric Riley of Morris, looking to rebound from a disappointing night on Wednesday, moved into second. The battle was third between Levi Randt of Siren, Maria Broksieck of Goodwin, SD, Braden Brauer of Eyota and defending national champion Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck was intense.
Riley didn’t let Vogel get away, but the 10 car was in control in picking up a 1.150 second win. From a national points chase standpoint, the feature win is huge for Vogel, who came into the night with a one-point lead over Brauer unofficially. Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks, third in the national points, finished ninth, just outside a spot in the main event.
Riley crossed the line second with Brauer third and Broksieck fourth. Randt, a street stock rookie, was fifth ahead of Kyle Anderson of Jamestown, Dykhoff and Jim Gullikson of Nowthen was eighth.
Then, it becomes down to who would claim their spots and who would give them up. Vogel announced in his victory lane interview he was giving his up so he can race tomorrow and chase another win for national points purposes. Brauer, Dykhoff and Gullikson also gave up their spots, which moved four drivers into the show – Zach Flickinger, Rapid City driver Troy Murner, Ty Agen and Cole Kannegiesser.
Wissota Midwest Modifieds
Qualifying from Thursday (will be outside row on Saturday): Brennon Weight, Lucas Rodin, Travis Saurer, Travis Schulte, Mike Nichols, Kyle Langland, Nate Reinke, James Trantina
Brennon Weight of LaMoure, who entered the night with 10 feature wins, jumped out to the lead of the Wissota Midwest Modified feature. James Trantina of St. Joseph and Travis Schulte settled into third.
The Nightmare Lucas Rodin and national point leader Zach Benson of Princeton were also in the top five. Justin Jones of Bemidji, who won the Rebel Midwest Mod Tour, and Corey Storck of Morris were also lurking outside the top five.
Rodin moved into third and was pressuring Schulte for the second spot. Benson was a solid fourth with Storck moving into fifth.
Weight built a 2.342 second lead on Rodin who had edged ahead Schulte for second. With three to go, however, Storck’s 57 machine was turned around in turn three.
With three to go Rodin and Schulte looked for a way around Weight, but a chain reaction deal saw Landyn Randt come down into Jones, who would make contact with Saurer, sending both cars spinning. Jones would pull in with some damage. Randt was charged with the yellow.
The caution brought defending race champion Travis Saurer into fourth, and Mike Nichols of Watertown had snuck into fifth.
Weight would win by 1.0 seconds over Rodin, with Saurer edging Schulte for third. Nichols was fifth. Kyle Langland of Enderlin ran well and avoided some of the mishaps to take sixth, with Nate Reinke of Lisbon and Trantina was eighth. All eight starters elected to keep their positions for Saturday.
Wissota Late Models
Qualifying from Thursday (will take top 10 odd spots for Saturday -- 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc): Tyler Peterson, Cole Searing, Shane Edginton, Cory Tammen, Jeff Massingill, Ryan Mikkelson, Josh Zimpel, Jon Tollakson, Kevin Burdick, Dustin Bluhm
Danny Vang and Cory Tammen were in the front row for the late model feature with Tammen leading lap one.
Josh Zimpel of Braham was also battling towards the front with Tyler Peterson of Hickson closing quickly. The caution would wave for a second time when Vang’s 47 car was turned around in turn two after contact with Peterson. The yellow was charged to Vang.
On the restart Tammen led with Zimpel and Peterson in the top three. Defending national champion Cole Searing of Huron and John Seitz Memorial winner Shane Edginton of East. ST. Paul, Man., were in the top five.
Peterson took over the top spot with 12 to go as Searing went to work on Tammen for second. Jeff Massingill of Keewatin was just outside the top five but challenging Zimpel.
Searing moved into second as Edginton took over fourth. Zimpel had all kinds of heat from Massingill and Ryan Mikkelson of Alexandria.
Peterson had a comfortable gap on Searing and would win by 2.624 seconds. Edginton finished third while Tammen was fourth. Massingill was fifth, Mikkelson was sixth and Zimpel seventh. Jon Tollakson of Montevideo finished eighth. The late models are running under a bit of a different format and qualified 10, meaning Kevin Burdick of Proctor and Dustin Bluhm of Kindred are also in the show. That group will start in the top 10 odd positions for Saturday (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19).
Wissota Super Stocks
Qualifying from Thursday (will be outside row on Saturday): Dexton Koch, Dylan Nelson, Curt Myers, Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass, Austin Niemeyer, Trevor Saurer, Brayden Hedtke
Dexton Koch of Becker, who won the Wissota Super Stock feature on Wednesday but gave up his spot. He had the inside pole and took the lead from the green.
Dylan Nelson of Merrifield moved into second while defending Wissota 100 champion Trevor Nelson of Warner, S.D., moved into third. Trevor Saurer of Dalton was fourth but had former Wissota 100 winner Curt Myers of Cameron, Wis., pressuring him. Myers would move into fourth with 12 to go.
Koch opened up a 1.738 second lead over Dylan Nelson who had Trevor Nelson to contend. The caution would wave with nine to go when Justin Tammen’s 71 machine was turned around.
On the restart Dylan Nelson and Trevor Nelson ran side-by-side for second, but starting to sneak up was Shane Sabraski, who started 15th but worked up to fifth and soon passed Trevor Nelson.
Myers was running a higher line and was making it work and was challenging Dylan Nelson for second. The caution would wave with three laps to go as a car hit one of the infield tractor tires.
Koch would weather the final restart to pick up his second win of the week, although Dylan Nelson made a final charge before coming up short. The margin of victory was .358 seconds. Myers was third, Sabraski fourth and Trevor Nelson was fifth. Mass was sixth while Austin Niemeyer was seventh and Saurer eighth.
It was a pretty clean super stock race with just one caution and 23 of 24 cars finished. Only one driver – Trevor Nelson – declined his spot, and he will try again on Friday. Brayden Hedtke of Atwater was the final qualifier as a result.
Qualifying from Thursday (will be outside row on Saturday): Kevin Adams, Blake Jegtvig, Brady Gerdes, Johnny Broking, Travis Saurer, Shane Sabraski, Jason Thoennes, Brendan Blascyk
A pair of former national champions had the front row for the Wissota Modified feature – Blake Jegtvig of Hawley and Buzzy Adams of Cameron, Wis.
Adams took the lead from the green over Jegtvig. Brady Gerdes of Villard moved into third while Johnny Broking of Grand Rapids was fourth. Shane Sabraski was running fifth.
Adams, a former Wissota 100 winner, said in victory lane he doesn’t race as much anymore; he’s now focused on being the crew chief for his son, Blake, who is leading the Wissota Midwest Modified Rookie of the Year chase. But Buzzy still has four feature wins and has won this event before, and that is something to consider for Saturday.
Jegtvig was second while Gerdes went from seventh to third. Broking was fourth and Travis Saurer of Elizabeth got by SAbraski for fifth. Jason Thoennes of Garfield and Brendan Blascyk of Hoffman rounded out the top eight.
I thought a few might give up their spots, but all top eight finishers kept their spots for Saturday’s main event.
--Ryan Satter sold his Wissota Street Stock; he’s been a top car for many years at I-94 EMR Speedway and Viking Speedway, and you could argue the top car in recent years. He’s picked up a Wissota Super Stock which he debuted this week. I think the class is a perfect fit for him.
--Watertown driver Jayson Good had a hard wreck in his late model heat, and according to his Instagram post they hope to have the 85 machine repaired for Friday. The car was really beat up.
--Sophie Anderson of Chokio, who won her first career feature in the Pure Stocks earlier this year and has five wins, is in the street stock field this weekend. It should be great experience for her running against many of the top guns in Wissota.
I’m going to take a shot at this, but here are the siblings racing this weekend that I counted.
Levi and Landyn Randt (street and midwest modified)
Zach and Nate Reinke (midwest modified)
William Lund and Michelle Hutt (super stock and midwest modified)
Mike and Tommy Nichols (midwest modified)
Jordan and Jon Tollakson (late models)
Cory and Justin Tammen (late models and super stocks)
Braden and Kolton Brauer (street stocks)
Travis and Trevor Saurer (mods and super stocks)
Taylor and Tanner Bitzan (midwest mods)
Bob and Johnny Broking (mods)
Buzzy and Blake Adams (midwest mods and mods)
Tim and Andrew Johnson (super stocks)
Spencer and Jordan Johnson (street stocks)
Zach and Onyx Johnson (modified and midwest modified)