Bitzan wins on fair night at Viking Speedway
Dennis Bitzan held off a late race charge by Cody Skytland in order to claim the WISSOTA Modified feature win during the Douglas County Fair night at Viking Speedway.
Other drivers who found their way to Alexandria Motors victory lane included Eric Breeschoten in the WISSOTA Late Models, Jeff Crouse in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Brett Miller in the WISSOTA Street Stocks, and Travis Saurer in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds.
First time visitor Tami Naslund of Little Falls was also victorious racing in the Viking Pure Stocks. She raced against four other drivers in the feature. With the win, Naslund became just the second women to win a feature at the Viking Speedway.
With all the heat race action in the books, 16 of the 17 scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature took to the grid for their 15 lap main event. Zach Hintermeister and Josh Muzik led the field to the green and Muzik moved to the early lead.
Three laps into the feature, Dusty Bitzan's car would lose the driveshaft on the front chute, causing a multi-car accident and ending Bitzan's night early.
With 10 laps remaining, Saurer, a current WISSOTA national point leader, went to the low side of turn three and completed the pass on Muzik. Saurer continued to lead and the caution would fly for the final time with six laps remaining when Andrew Bangsund shot over the banking in turn three. This gave Muzik one last shot at Saurer, but he proved to be too strong and cruised to the win.
Brett Miller and Mark Blom led the nine car WISSOTA Street Stock field to the green, and Miller wasted no time jumping to his preferred groove, the high side, and blasted out to the lead.
Miller continued to stretch his advantage over the field as Blom began to be challenged by WISSOTA Rookie of the Year contender Shane Kruger and track point leader, Adam Burrows, for the second spot.
The race ran caution free as Miller earned his second straight win at the track with Blom holding on to second, Kruger third, Burrows fourth and Ryan Satter rounding out the top five.
Dominic Baker and Derek Quinn, both in search of their first WISSOTA Super Stock win, led 15 WISSOTA Super Stocks to the green for a 20 lap shootout.
Quinn jumped to the lead at the drop of the green and Rocky Yeats was able to get around Baker to move into the second spot. Meanwhile, back in traffic, track point leader Jeff Crouse moved his way around Baker into the third spot and raced up to challenge Yeats for the second spot.
Crouse pulled even with Quinn down the back chute and worked his way into the lead with 10 laps to go. After the final caution, Crouse cruised to the win ahead of Quinn.
Seventeen of the 18 scheduled starters in the WISSOTA Modified feature came to the green led by Brandon Aggen and Dennis Bitzan.
Bitzan gained the advantage on the high side of the track, while Aggen was in a battle with Jason and Josh Thoennes for the second spot.
After a caution, fifth place running Josh Thoennes spun down the front stretch bringing out the caution once more. Thoennes, the current point leader, retired pit side with heavy damage and Bitzan once again assumed the point with Aggen and Jason Thoennes in row two.
Bitzan moved up to the top side once again and began to break away from the field, while Thoennes worked his way around Aggen for the second spot. On several occasions over the final 10 laps, Cody Skytland was able to work to the low side of the track only to see Bitzan power back on the high side.
In the closing laps Bitzan once again began to pull away and cruised to the win.
The final event of the night belonged to the WISSOTA Late Models. Veteran drivers Shawn Kirwin and Eric Breeschoten led the 12 car field to the green and Breeschoten wasted no time moving to the high side of the track to gain the advantage on Kirwin as the first lap was completed.
A trio of former WISSOTA national champions, Zach Johnson, Jeff Wildung, and John Kaanta, joined local driver Rick Nelson in the battle for the third through sixth spots.
With seven laps remaining, Breeschoten encountered lap traffic and searched for a way around the lap car. Breeschoten was able to clear Brad Parson with four laps remaining and began to build his lead once again.
On the final lap, Wildung looked to the inside of Breeschoten for the lead, but to no avail, as Breeschoten held on for the win.
Naslund found herself in a two-lap shootout with track point leader Lee Kramer in the Pure Stock feature event.
The duo was side-by-side entering turn one in what became a drag race to the finish as they came to the checkered flag. Naslund worked her way to the low side and crossed the finish line first by a bumper.
In the process, Naslund joined Tiffany Maus-Krippner as the only female drivers to ever win a feature race in the 48-year history of the track.
WISSOTA Late Models
Feature: Eric Breeschoten, Jeff Wildung, Zach Johnson, Don Shaw, Casey Meyer, John Kaanta, Clarence Washburn, Shawn Meyer, Rick Nelson, Shawn Kirwin, Brad Parson, Scott Lehn
Feature: Dennis Bitzan, Cody Skytland, Jason Thoennes, Brandon Aggen, Brett Hoium, Jeremy Nelson, Brady Gerdes, Travis Saurer, Mark Esala, Jeff Flaten, Mike Storck, Bobby Gierke, Kyle Koehntop, Todd Berg, Terry Engebretson, Josh Thoennes, Don Shaw, Dave Schroeder
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Jeff Crouse, Derek Quinn, Mike Peterson, Rocky Yeats, Bryan Hellerman, Trevor Saurer, Matt Miller, Dominic Baker, Ross Reed, Jon Stepan, Donna Schmidt, Craig Hiemstra, Jeff Kluver, Rob Lynch, Derrick Lemke
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: Brett Miller, Mark Blom, Shane Kruger, Adam Burrows, Ryan Satter, Aaron Blacklance, Durand Peterson, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Vern Stewart
Feature: Travis Saurer, Josh Muzik, Jamie Thorstad, Brock Gronwold, Randy Klein, Justin Froemming, Tyler Vanderby, Ryan Schleusner, Shawn Olson, Andrew Bangsund, Brandon Spanswick, Zach Hintermeister, Tim Kanten, Dalton Johnson, Dusty Bitzan, Jason Hoffman, Tyler Spanswick
Feature: Tami Naslund, Lee Kramer, Brock Volker, Craig Gardner, Travis Kunz