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Wissota 100 Night 3: More Drivers Lock Themselves Into Saturday's Main Events

Don Eischens held off a fierce challenge from Tyler Peterson to win the Wissota Modified qualifier. (Photo by Collin Nelson)

Night 3 of the Wissota 100 gave drivers another opportunity to lock themselves in Saturday’s main events. Again, the racing wrapped up around 10 p.m. as despite some yellows and wrecks in a few of the features the show moved along fairly well.

As a fan, and maybe I see things differently, you can see the urgency increase for drivers fighting to get into the show and unfortunately, in some cases, the patience disappears, and it leads to some bent fenders and hurt feelings. Saturday will feature last chance qualifiers in each class, and that will be a further clash of these two things.

Wissota Street Stock

Qualifying from Friday (will start in middle row on Saturday): Jim Gullikson, Kyle Dykhoff, Nick Traynor, Tucker Pederson, Justin Vogel, Mike Jans, Tyler Klugman, Kolby Kiehl

Inside row (from Wednesday): Andrew Hanson, Kyle Genett, Jeff Nowak, Tim Johnson, Tommy Pogones, Geoff Hellman, Cody Kummer, Cole Greseth

Outside row (from Thursday): Eric Riley, Maria Broksieck, Levi Randt, Kyle Anderson, Zach Flickinger, Troy Murner, Ty Agen, Cole Kannegiesser

You had a lot of good cars still trying to qualify for the street stocks. Some by choice – Thursday’s winner Justin Vogel declined his spot, which would have been the front row, to race again on Friday. Some would ask why but it’s simple – he’s chasing the Wissota national championship and Friday represented another chance for a full national points night with the win.

I’ll be honest about this race – it was a cluster at times. In part I think it was a lot of guys fighting hard to get into the show, and some impatience.

Defending national champion Kyle Dykhoff of Starbuck was in the front row along with national point contender Braden Brauer of Eyota. Dykhoff jumped to the lead.

Kolton Brauer of Eyota, in fourth in the national points, was fighting hard with veteran Jim Gullikson of Nowthen for second with Braden Brauer running fourth and Nick Traynor of Barron, Wis. Vogel, who started 13th, was fighting Traynor for fifth.

The top eight was vital as no spots would be declined on this night. Josh Long of Canby, Mike Jans of Clarkfield and Kasey Ussatis of Nome were fighting for that spot. However with three to go, Ussatis got turned into the backstretch wall by Ethan Iliams and that created a mess. Also wrecked were Trey Hess of Grand Forks, and one other car (didn’t see the number).

Braden Brauer and Gullikson would get together on the next restart leading to another caution, sending Gullikson around. Brauer was charged with the yellow and was not happy about it.

On the ensuing restart, Dykhoff got spun out of turn four to bring out another caution. The caution was charged to Kolton Brauer.

Gullikson would nudge past Dykhoff for the lead on the ensuing restart and would take the win, earning the middle starting front-row starting spot. Dykhoff was second, Traynor was third, Tucker Pederson of East Grand Forks was fourth and Vogel, who survived a scrape with the turn two wall, took fifth. Vogel gave up a front row starting spot from Thursday to try and get national points and settled for fifth. He will be a factor on Saturday, trust me, no matter where he starts.

Also qualifying were Mike Jans, who is from my hometown of Clarkfield, Tyler Klugman of Wheaton and Kolby Kiehl of Barron, Wis.

Some very good race cars will need to qualify on Saturday in the last chance race – Kolton Brauer, Braden Brauer, Kyle Howland, Josh Long, Hess and Ussatis being among them.

Wissota Midwest Modified

Qualifying from Friday (will start in middle row): Blake Adams, Corey Storck, Tony Leiker, Zach Benson, Tanner Bitzan, Justin Jones, Landyn Randt, Corey Mehrwerth

Inside row (from Wednesday): Matt Schow, Dan Ebert, Haley Lee, Derek Rieck, Jamie Norman, Scott Bintz, Terry Reilly, Taylor Bitzan

Outside row (from Thursday): Brennon Weight, Lucas Rodin, Travis Saurer, Travis Schulte, Mike Nichols, Kyle Langland, Nate Reinke, James Trantina

Two local drivers, Corey Storck of Morris and Tanner Bitzan of Brandon were on the front row for the Wissota Midwest Modified feature.

Storck led early with national point leader Zach Benson of Princeton moving into second. Blake Adams of Cameron, Wis., advanced to third ahead of Rebel Midwest Modified Tour champion Justin Jones of Bemidji.

Storck and Benson broke away but Adams was closing. Meanwhile, Wyoming driver Tony Leiker grabbed the fifth spot. Corey Mehrwerth of St. Stephen was just outside the top five.

The first caution waved with nine to go when Darren Engesser’s 11 machine was spun.

After the restart, Adams would make a move for the lead and would take control up front with Storck in second. Leiker, meanwhile, was climbing through the field and moved into third ahead of Benson.

Adams would top Storck by .437 seconds with Leiker taking third. Benson was fourth and Tanner Bitzan was fifth. Jones, Landyn Randt of Siren, Wis., and Corey Mehrwerth rounded out the top eight and qualified for Saturday.

Blake Adams’s father, Kevin “Buzzy” Adams, will be on the front row for Saturday’s Wissota Modified feature.

Some good cars not in the show include Shane Howell, Tommy Nichols, Justin VanEps, Zach Reinke, Reise Stenberg and Jake Hagemann.

Wissota Late Model

Qualifying from Friday (even spots 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20): Cody Overton, Jake Redetzke, Pat Doar, John Seng, Jayson Good, Bryce Sward, Matt Gilbertson, Dave Mass, Mike Greseth, Travis Budisalovich

Qualifying from Thursday (odd spots 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19): Tyler Peterson, Cole Searing, Shane Edginton, Cory Tammen, Jeff Massingill, Ryan Mikkelson, Josh Zimpel, Jon Tollakson, Kevin Burdick, Dustin Bluhm

The Iron Range veteran Jeff Provinzino and John Seng of Grand Forks were on the front row for the late model qualifier. It was Cody Overton of Georgia – driving one of Don Shaw’s cars – who would surge into the lead.

Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., grabbed third with Jake Redetzke of Eau Claire, Wis, settling into fifth.

Overton stuck the 42o machine to the cushion and was flying. Provinzino was running well but broke while running second, which will send him to the last chance qualifier on Saturday.

That put Doar and Redetzke behind Overton on the restart with eight to go. Also moving into the top five was Jayson Good of Watertown, S.D., who was involved in a wreck during his heat race on Thursday.

Overton resumed the top spot on the restart and pulled away as Doar and Redetzke fought for second.

Seng and Good were dueling for fourth as the laps waned. Overton had no issues up front, winning by 3.289 seconds over Redetzke, who edged Doar for second. Seng had a good run in fourth with Good in fifth.

Bryce Sward of Nelson was sixth, and he was followed by Matt Gilbertson of Montevideo, Dave Mass of East Bethel, Mike Greseth of Harwood and Travis Budisalovich of Minneapolis, all of whom are in the show.

Ten cars will advance out of Saturday’s last chance qualifier, and there are many quality drivers not yet qualified. That includes Chad Becker, who is fighting with Tyler Peterson for the national points lead, Chase Gelling, Dustin Arthur, Provinzino, Danny Vang, Sam Mars and Jordan Tollakson being among them.

Wissota Super Stock

Qualifying from Friday (middle row): Trevor Nelson, Max Dondelinger, Zach Schultz, Ryan Satter, Matt Johnson, Jeremy Meirhofer, Shawn Fernkes, Karter Reents

Qualifying from Thursday (outside row): Dexton Koch, Dylan Nelson, Curt Myers, Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass, Austin Niemeyer, Trevor Saurer, Brayden Hedtke

Qualifying from Wednesday (inside row): James Trantina, William Lund, Jordan Henkemeyer, Tristan LaBarge, Dustin Nelson, Ryan Kostreba, Tim Johnson, Russell Kostreba

Trevor Nelson of Warner, S.D., took a gamble, giving up qualifying spots further back in the field on Wednesday and Thursday, to try again on Friday. Well after a good heat race he redrew the pole and was the early leader in the Wissota Super Stock main event.

Grand Rapids driver Max Dondelinger moved into second ahead of Ryan Satter of Dent, who is making his super stock debut this week. Zach Schulz of Grove City was having a very good run in fourth with Karter Reents of Glenwood and Matt Johnson of Aberdeen fighting for fifth behind him. Dennis Czech of Gilman and Shawn Fernkes of Pennock were not far behind.

The caution would fly for a multi-car tangle in turn two with eight to go. Unfortunately another pileup happened shortly after which left Bailey Rosch’s 3M car pretty banged up. Rosch was driving a backup car than his usual #28 machine. Austin Carlson and Carson Miller were also involved, I didn’t see what triggered it.

Nelson broke away from the field on the next restart as Schultz and Dondelinger battled for second. Satter and Johnson were side by side for third.

Nelson opened up a 1.628 second lead by the checkered to earn the front row starting spot for Saturday. Dondelinger ran a strong second with Schultz taking third. Satter was fourth, capping off a good night, with Johnson in fifth.

Also qualifying were Jeremy Meirhofer of Belgrade, Mont., Fernkes and Reents.

Wissota Modified

Qualified from Friday (middle row): Don Eischens, Tyler Peterson, Justin Froemming, Mike Stearns, Landon Atkinson, Jake Timm, Kennedy Swan, Nate Heinrich

Qualified from Thursday (outside row): Buzzy Adams, Blake Jegtvig, Brady Gerdes, Johnny Broking, Travis Saurer, Shane Sabraski, Jason Thoennes, Brendan Blascyk

Qualified from Wednesday (inside row): Dan Ebert, Dave Cain, Parker Anderson, Zach Johnson, Brandon Copp, Dusty Bitzan, Brett Hoium, Brian Haben

The Ice Man Don Eischens of Richmond seized the lead of the Wissota Modified qualifier with Tyler Peterson of Hickson moving into second. Jake Timm of Winona, Minn., driving Austin Chyba’s 11X machine, was third with Justin Froemming of Garfield was fourth. Superman Mike Stearns of Aberdeen was fifth. The first caution waved just two laps in the feature.

Eischens would lose it in turns one and two and slide into the infield, but got a huge break when the caution waved for Lee Grosz’s spin – sending the race to the last completed lap.

Brock Gronwold and Seth Brede suffered damage on the next caution on the backstretch, didn’t see what happened but there was a good deal of bent sheet metal on both cars.

Eischens resumed the lead with Peterson moving into second. Froemming – who was making his first appearance of the week – battled with Stearns for third.

Former Wissota 100 champion Landon Atkinson of Little Falls was able work into the top five.

Timm was running seventh while Kennedy Swan of Chippewa Falls, Wis., -- the leader in the Wissota Modified Rookie of the Year race – was in the hunt for a transfer spot along with Nate Heinrich of Bellingham.

Eischens would hold off a fierce challenge from Peterson late to snare the win by .133 seconds, putting him in the middle of the front row. The front row on Saturday will consist of Dan Ebert, Eischens and Buzzy Adams, three stout veterans.

Froemming made the show by finishing third with Stearns fourth and Atkinson fifth. Timm was sixth, Swan was seventh and Heinrich was eighth as all are qualified for Saturday.

Again, several good cars will seek to qualify on Saturday, including Dale Ames, Lee Grosz, Gronwold, Josh Beaulieu, Randy Klein, and Michael Truscott.

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