Racing: Thoennes picks up second straight win at Viking Speedway
By: By Ryan Schmitz, Viking Speedway, Alexandria Echo Press
Garfield driver Jason Thoennes used a late race pass for the second week in a row to claim his second straight Morris Auto Plaza WISSOTA Modified feature win during the Douglas County Fair at the Viking Speedway.
Other drivers who found their way into the 99.7 HOTROD Radio and Pepsi victory lane included: Travis Saurer in the Sower Power WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Justin Vogel in the Extreme Auto WISSOTA Street Stocks, Trevor Saurer in the Alexandria Refrigeration WISSOTA Super Stocks and Shaun Peterson in the Marthaler Chevrolet WISSOTA Late Models.
After scheduled pole sitter Josh Muzik scratched from the Midwest Modified feature, Casey Arneson and Chris Mensen led the 21-car field to the green. Head flagman Mike Commerford dropped the green and Mensen raced out to the early race lead.
The caution would fly for the first time in the event on lap two when 14-year-old Justin Froemming spun in turn four and had contact with Kyle Reents.
During the yellow flag period, track point leader William Lund retired pit side with engine issues. The field would come to life once more with Mensen still at the point.
The caution would fly again shortly after that for a wreck on the front chute, which saw Brandon Spanswick’s #88 car come to rest on the concrete barrier. The wreck also collected Kelly Haack, Patrick Brejcha, Tyler Vanderby, and Dan Rice.
After a short delay, so that Spanswick could receive medical attention, the green came back out.
This time, Mensen jumped back to the lead and a nice six-car battle for the top six spots ensued. The yellow would fly again on lap seven when third-place running Arneson got high in turn one and went over the banking.
On the restart, Ron Saurer, Travis Saurer and Dustin Bitzan were able to find their way around Mensen. The lead group would battle for the top spot until Travis Saurer was able to grab the upper hand with a handful of laps remaining.
The final caution of the event would fly with two laps remaining for Jason Hoffman, who shot off the turn one banking and hit the pine trees that guard the outside of the speedway.
On the final restart, Bitzan drove his car hard into turn one in an effort to derail Saurer, but Saurer was able to hang on for his third win of the weekend. Bitzan was second, Ron Saurer was third, Shawn Olson continued his solid season with a fourth place finish, and Mensen, who fought brake issues all race long, rounded out the top five.
With the win, Saurer was also able to regain the points lead over Lund. Heat race winners in the division were Randy Laage, Travis Saurer and Mensen.
Tiffany Maus-Krippner and Chris Winter paced the 11-car Street Stock field to the green for their 12-lap feature event.
At the drop of the green, fifth place starter Justin Vogel jumped to the low side of the track and by the end of lap one found himself in the lead.
Vogel began to stretch out a nice advantage, while track points leader Adam Burrows and Brett Miller waged a battle for the second spot. With six laps remaining, Burrows was able to find his way around Miller and raced up to challenge Vogel. In the end, Vogel was able to hold on for the win despite Burrows’ heavy pressure. Burrows extended his point lead with the second place finish, Miller was third, Dent rookie driver Ryan Satter raced from 11th to fourth and Andrew Bangsund rounded out the top five.
Veteran driver Jeff Kluver sat on the pole and paced the 15-car Super Stock to the green. Outside pole sitter Derrick Lemke was able to use his momentum on the high side to get around Kluver and gain the lead after lap one.
Lemke would continue to lead as a nice battle ensued behind him between Trevor Saurer, Jeff Flaten, Jeff Crouse and Larry Lund.
Only a handful of laps into the event the caution would fly for an incident between Crouse and Lund in turn two, which left Lund with a flat tire and Crouse with severe damage to the right front of his car.
Crouse would be able to continue and Lund was asked to leave the track due to track incidents.
Back up front, Lemke led Saurer and Flaten as the cars came to life once more. Saurer was able to power his TRC race car #21 to the front with a power move on the bottom of the speedway.
With 12 laps remaining, Lemke, who was running the second spot, got up into the marbles and slipped off the turn four banking.
This put Flaten in the second spot as he tried to corral Saurer. Saurer would continue to hold off Flaten for the remaining laps to claim his second win of the season at the big half mile.
Flaten turned in a solid second place run, Matt Miller piloted his Mopar to a third place finish, Dawson driver Mike Peterson was fourth and Jon Stepan rounded out the top five.
Thirteen Modifieds took to the track for their 20-lap main event, and veteran Dwayne Clarke jumped out to an early lead. Clarke would lead the first four circuits with heavy pressure from Villard driver Brett Hoium.
Hoium was able to get around Clarke on lap five and began to race away from the field as he rocketed around the high side of the track.
The best battle on the track at that point was for third, where Jason Thoennes and Brady Gerdes were locked in a duel for the spot. Thoennes was able to clear Gerdes with 10 to go and began to close the gap on Hoium. With six laps remaining, Thoennes was able to get around Hoium on the bottom side of the track and raced to his second straight feature win at the track.
Hoium turned in his best run of the year in second, Gerdes continues to impress with a third place run, track point leader Travis Saurer was fourth and Josh Thoennes rounded out the top five.
Fourteen Late Models, including the last five national champions, lined up for the final event of the evening.
Winnipeg, Manitoba rookie driver Shane Edginton bolted from his outside pole starting spot to the lead. Edginton would continue to stretch his lead until the caution would fly on lap three for national point hunter Todd Frank as he flew off the turn three banking.
Frank would be able to continue and tagged the end of the field for the restart. Edginton once again got out to a nice lead as fellow Canadian Ricky Weiss and Shaun Peterson battled for the second spot.
Peterson was able to clear Weiss and once again raced up to Edginton’s back bumper as the laps continued to tick down. With five laps remaining, Edginton got high exiting turn four and lost the bite in his #5e machine, allowing Peterson to slip by.
Peterson would lead the remaining circuits and picked up the win ahead of Edginton, Weiss, Zach Johnson and Jeff Wildung.
Next week the Late Models have the night off as the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association (NOSA) invades the high flying half mile located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Racing action begins at 6 p.m.
The NLRA Late Model Doubleheader is on September 1-2.
For the latest Viking Speedway news, visit www.vikingspeedway.net.
Feature – Shaun Peterson, Shane Edginton, Ricky Weiss, Zach Johnson, Jeff Wildung, Doug Herrick, Todd Frank, Rick Nelson, Brad Parson, Casey Meyer, Jeremy Keller, Scott Lehn, Seth Brede, Clarence Washburn.
Heat 1 – Herrick, Wildung, Frank, Keller, Johnson, Washburn, Parson.
Heat 2 – Weiss, Peterson, Edginton, Meyer, Lehn, Brede, Nelson.
Feature – Jason Thoennes, Brett Hoium, Brady Gerdes, Travis Saurer, Josh Thoennes, Dwayne Clarke, Dave Schroeder, Dennis Bitzan, Jake Wildman, Gary Reents, Terry Merten, Pete Loecken, Danny Bayer.
Heat 1 – Jo. Thoennes, Clarke, Gerdes, Bitzan, Merten, Reents.
Heat 2 – Ja. Thoennes, Saurer, Hoium, Bayer, Schroeder, Wildman.
Feature – Trevor Saurer, Jeff Flaten, Matt Miller, Mike Peterson, Jon Stepan, Jeff Crouse, Alan Johnson, Jeff Kluver, Cody Lee, Derrick Lemke, Scott Horn, Scott Baker, Bryan Hellerman, Jay Hedtke, Larry Lund.
Heat 1 – Crouse, Peterson, Kluver, Flaten, Stepan, Miller, Horn, Lee.
Heat 2 – Lund, Saurer, Johnson, Lemke, Hedtke, Hellerman, Baker.
Feature – Justin Vogel, Adam Burrows, Brett Miller, Ryan Satter, Andrew Bangsund, Chris Winter, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Tyler Spanswick, Tim Jodsaas, Andrew Hedtke, Mark Blom.
Heat 1 – Vogel, Blom, Miller, Jodsaas, Hedtke, Spanswick.
Heat 2 - Bangsund, Burrows, Maus-Krippner, Winter, Satter.
Feature – Travis Saurer, Dustin Bitzan, Ron Saurer, Shawn Olson, Chris Mensen, Kyle Reents, Casey Arneson, Travis Vanderby, Zach Hintermeister, Brent Kahout, Randy Laage, Jason Hoffman, Dan Nice, Brandon Spanswick, Patrick Brejcha, Kelly Haack, Tyler Vanderby, Hayden Hanson, William Lund, Justin Froemming, Darrin Braaten, Josh Muzik.
Heat 1 – Laage, R. Saurer, Froemming, Reents, Kahout, Braaten, Spanswick, Rice.
Heat 2 – T. Saurer, Olson, Muzik, Tr. Vanderby, Brejcha, Ty. Vanderby, Lund.
Heat 3 – Mensen, Arneson, Hoffman, Bitzan, Haack, Hintermeister, Hanson.