Viking Speedway Fall Classic a successJohnson, Doar, Shaw, Mikkelson and Rosen victorious at Fall Classic
By Ray Beste
All The Dirt! Racing News
Zach Johnson put a cap on his 2008 WISSOTA Late Model National Championship by winning the 6th Annual Viking Fall Classic at Viking Speedway in Alexandria.
Pat Doar charged from mid-pack to garner his first ever Fall Classic trophy in the WISSOTA Modifieds while Don Shaw picked up his third straight win in the WISSOTA Super Stock division.
Perhaps the most impressive run of the weekend was turned in by Jamestown, ND driver Ryan Mikkelson in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified.
Cory Rosen put an exclamation point on another great season by winning the WISSOTA Street Stock finale.
A whopping 263 race teams packed the pits, while the stands were full of fans from all over WISSOTA country.
The Midwest Modifieds got the program underway. The 68 cars were divided into seven heat races with Matt Weisman, Brian Haben, Josh Thoennes, Dusty Bitzan, Ryan Mikkelson, Randy Klein and Brock Gronwold picking up wins.
Other heat qualifiers included Brendan Blascyk, Wes Hines, Cale Arneson, Andy Jones, Brandon Nelson, Jeremy Kerzman and Travis Saurer.
Qualifiers of the B features held Saturday included Jason Hoffman, Josh “Buzz” Muzik, Shane Sabraski, Ron Saurer, Ryan Restad, Kyle Koehntop, Korey Krafthefer, Ron Jones and Pete Loecken. Marshal Tofte received a provisional.
The Street Stock division boasted 52 cars with heat race wins going to Cory Rosen, Justin Pogones, Henry Peters, Cory Tammen, Jim Williams and Scott Paulson. Others qualifying for the main event through heats included: Justin Vogel, James Tandeski, Devin Neske, Jason Babcock, Cory Crapser, Tyler Lambert, Rusty Kollman, Levi Babcock, Travis Berends, Kris Peterson, Shawn Wageman and Mike Jans.
B-main qualifiers were Ryan Buer, Scott Walker, Chuck Olson, Chanda Fjorden-Nord, Mark Blom and Roger Christiansen.
The 50-car Super Stock field was divided into five 10-car qualifying events with Jason Vejtruba, Todd Carter, Corky Thomas, Rick Kobs and JB Stortz all reigning victorious.
Don Shaw, Jon Stepan, Dave Mass, Mike Peterson, Roger Host, Jeff Flaten, Tim Johnson, Matt Sparby, Jim Gullikson and Shawn Nolan were all successful in qualifying as well.
Speedway regulars Larry Lund and Dominic Baker transfered through B-mains, as did Derek Lemke, Leo Feeleus, Eric Thiesse and Paul Veert.
A loaded field of 58 Modifieds took to the speedway next. Heat race wins were collected by Scott Gilbertson, Keith Tourville, Ron Jones, Jason Thoennes, Craig Thatcher and Joey Jensen.
Other heat qualifiers were Terry Engebretson, Pat Doar, Scott Tofte, Jay Richardson, Danny Bayer, Dale Mathison, JJ Schuelke, Shane Sabraski, Dennis Bitzan, Scot Danzeisen, Randy Tarno and Kent Wilms.
Modified B-mains were dominated by John Corell, Trent Follmer, Brad Loveday, Don Eischens and Jamie Lemke.
The Late Models boasted 35 cars, split into four heat races with Dave Tyrchniewicz, Shaun Peterson, Don Shaw and Zach Johnson all garnering wins.
Heat qualifiers were Jeff Wildung, Ricky Weiss, Blaine Doppler, Scott Greer, Shawn Kirwin, Brad Seng, Joel Cryderman, Dave Zimmerman, Jeff Hinkemeyer, Pat Doar, Mike Balcaen, Rick Schroeder, Danny Bayer, Ryan Corbett, Matt Aukland, Brady Johanneck.
B qualifiers were Lance Matthees, Dave Mass, Tom Corcoran and Joey Jensen.
Young Midwest Modified drivers Brian Haben and Ryan Mikkelson shared the front row. Mikkelson took the early lead. On lap three, Haben had a mechanical breakdown, causing a chain reaction, sending Cale Arneson into a series of rolls. Arneson and Kyle Koehntop were unable to continue. Order was restored and Mikkelson again took the lead. Josh Thoennes and Brock Gronwold waged a great battle for second.
Thirteenth starter Travis Saurer and 17th starter Korey Krafthefer worked their way through the field.
Mikkelson scored the win ahead of Thoennes, Gronwold, Saurer and Krafthefer. Ron Jones picked up the hard charger award, starting 20th and finishing seventh.
Cory Tammen and Cory Rosen were in the front row for the 25-car Street Stock main. Rosen beat Tammen to turn one and grabbed the lead. Tammen settled into 2nd, while eighth starter Shawn Wageman cracked the top five early on.
Midrace, 2nd place runner Tammen headed pit side to change a flat tire. Wageman took over the position. Back in traffic, Tyler Lambert and Mark Blom began moving up. Rosen worked the high line while Wageman followed closely. Babcock, Lambert and Blom battled for 3rd.
On the final lap, Rosen jumped the cushion in turn three, which allowed Wageman to work to the inside. When the two crossed the line, it was Rosen taking the victory by a half of a car length. Fourteenth starter, Babcock, finished 3rd ahead of Lambert and Blom. Blom was the hard charger moving up 17 positions in 20 laps.
Don Shaw took the lead from the outside of row one in the Late Model division. He immediately stretched his advantage out front while Jeff Wildung quickly moved his way forward.
Pole-sitter Danny Bayer remained strong early on before fading back. Joel Cryderman, who started in 16th, moved up eight positions in the first 12 laps. Lance Matthees, who started 21st, cracked the top 10.
Eighth starter Zach Johnson moved by Wildung for 2nd on lap 21 before tracking down Shaw. Shaw rode the high side with Johnson in the ditch.
The two remained side by side for five laps before Johnson took the lead off turn four. Wildung was able to overtake Shawn using the high groove.
In the end, it was Johnson picking up the biggest win of his young career. Wildung was 2nd ahead of Shaw, Cryderman and Matthees. Matthees moved up 16 spots to earn the hard charger award.
Joey Jensen took the lead on the opening lap of the Modified finale. Sixth starter Ron Jones looked as if he might be the car to beat early on. Fifteenth starter Scot Danzeisen looked impressive as he moved into 7th eight laps into the event.
Jensen still held the lead on lap 12 as Pat Doar and Craig Thatcher were locked in battle for 2nd. Danny Bayer moved into the top five from his 11th starting spot on lap 17.
Doar found the high side of the speedway to his liking as he pedaled by Jensen for the top spot. A late restart put Thatcher and Jensen next to each other. As the field entered turn one, Thatcher worked his way past Jensen for 2nd while Doar continued to pound the high side.
Danzeisen continued to chip away at the field, moving into 3rd. Thatcher tried everything to reel in Doar, but in the end it was Doar taking his first ever WISSOTA Modified win at Viking. Doar was joined by Thatcher, Danzeisen, Jensen and Bayer. Don Eischens picked up the hard charger award, starting 22nd and finishing 8th.
The final event belonged to the Super Stocks. Tim Johnson stole the lead from Corky Thomas early on. Don Shaw blasted by on the extreme high side on lap 5. Shaw continued to run the high side while Johnson diamonded the corners.
Shawn Nolan made a hard charge from deep in the field. With four laps remaining, he found himself in a battle with Dave Mass for 4th. He overtook Mass for a short time, before Mass worked back to the inside.
Deer Park, WI native Rick Kobs looked strong as well, finishing third.
For the third year in a row, Don Shaw picked up the Fall Classic win in the Super Stock division. He was followed by Johnson, Kobs, Mass and Nolan. Nolan picked up the hard charger award starting 20th and finishing 5th.