Johnson wins big payday at Viking Speedway
Kensington, MN driver Zach Johnson gained some valuable national points and earned the $4,444 winner’s check as he picked up a hard fought WISSOTA Late Model win at Viking Speedway this past Sunday after Saturday’s action was rained out.
Meanwhile, Shawn Olson raced to the WISSOTA Midwest Modified win in front of a large crowd on the second night of what was supposed to be the Labor Day Doubleheader.
After some very entertaining heat races and a late-model B feature, a nice field of 21 WISSOTA Midwest Mods took to the starting grid.
Shawn Olson made a move to the low side as the cars entered turn one of the track to claim the lead, from his third starting spot. Olson continued to work the high side of the speedway with Jeremy Kerzman in tow and the first caution of the event flew on lap three for a Kyle Reents, Andrew Bangsund, and Jason Hoffman incident.
Reents and Hoffman retired to the pits with heavy damage, while Bangsund was able to get back on after a quick tire change. Olson paced the field to the restart and Dusty Bitzan was able to race past Kerzman into the second spot and quickly charged up to challenge Olson for the lead.
Olson continued to run the high groove, as Bitzan tried desperately to get by on the inside. As the laps continued to tick down, Olson began to stretch his lead and raced to the win.
Zach Johnson and Winnipeg, Manitoba driver Mike Balcaen paced the 26-car WISSOTA Late Model feature to the green.
At the drop of the green, Johnson wasted no time in blasting to the lead while Balcaen was forced to battle with Eric Breeschoten and Dustin Strand for the number two spot. Both Breeschoten and Strand, along with Don Shaw were able to get by Balcaen before the first yellow would come out for Bill Mooney, who cut a tire in turn three.
Johnson led the field to the green and once again broke out to the lead while Breeschoten and Strand were joined by Jeff Wildung in the race for the second spot. Strand found the middle groove on the track and broke away in an effort to catch Johnson.
Wildung worked his way into the third spot when the caution flew once more for Cole Schill, who slipped off the banking in turn four with 32 laps remaining. On the ensuing restart, Johnson moved back to the lead, while Breeschoten raced back past Wildung for the third spot.
The caution flew once more for Lake Elmo, MN driver Brent Laursen, who cut a tire and spun to a stop on the back chute with 26 laps remaining. Viking Speedway officials decided to use this caution as the fuel stop for the event, as well. After the fuel stop, Johnson bolted back to the lead and never looked back, as he raced to the $4,444 special win.
The final two events of the evening, the WISSOTA Modified feature and WISSOTA Street Stock feature were cancelled due to the curfew. The track will now sit idle until the first weekend in October, when the 11th Annual Viking Fall Classic rolls into town.
By Ryan Schmitz
All the Dirt Racing News
WISSOTA Late Models
Feature: Zach Johnson, Dustin Strand, Eric Breeschoten, Jeff Wildung, Brad Seng, Adam Hensel, Chad Mahder, Lance Matthees, Casey Meyer, Norm Olson, Dusty Peterson, Steve Anderson, Bill Mooney, Corey Nelson, Todd Frank, Mike Balcaen, Brent Larson, Dave Zimmerman, Nate Beyenhof, Cole Schill, Nick Beyenhof, Don Shaw, Cody Skytland, Rick Nelson, Shawn Kirwin, Joey Pederson
WISSOTA Street Stocks
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Shawn Olson, Dusty Bitzan, Justin Froemming, Ron Saurer, Josh Muzik, Travis Vanderby, Cody Lee, Tim Mensen, Scott Zimmerman, Jamie Thorstad, Oren Hoeper, Todd Soderstrom, Brooke Hellerman, Dalton Johnson, Wyatt Ricks, Terry Merten, Jeremy Kerzman, Dennis Kuhnau, Andrew Bangsund, Kyle Reents, Jason Hoffman