Viking Speedway: Six classes race in annual Fall ClassicOver the past nine years, racers and fans from all over WISSOTA country have converged on Viking Speedway for the running of the annual Viking Fall Classic.
By: By Ryan Schmitz, Viking Speedway, Alexandria Echo Press
Over the past nine years, racers and fans from all over WISSOTA country have converged on Viking Speedway for the running of the annual Viking Fall Classic.
Zach Johnson capped off an incredible season as he raced unchallenged to the Late Model feature win. It marked the second time Johnson has found his way to victory lane at the Classic and it was his fourth Classic win overall.
Cody Skytland reigned supreme in the Modifieds, national champion Shane Sabraski dominated the Super Stocks, Jamie Thorstad claimed his first Classic crown in the Midwest Modifieds, Justin Vogel added his name to the Classic hall of champions in dramatic style in the Street Stocks and Dustin Zieske claimed his second Classic title in the Mod 4 class.
With all the heat races, b-mains and last chance races in the books, the 14-car Street Stock feature lined up to do battle.
Mark Blom and past Classic champion, Jimmy Williams paced the field and, at the drop of the green, Blom worked his way to the high side of the speedway and into the lead.
Blom raced to the high side and into the lead with Justin Vogel in tow. The duo was soon joined by national point champion Dave Read.
Read worked his way around Vogel near the midway point of the race, and after a yellow flag with nine laps remaining, Blom led Read and Vogel to the line and jumped back to the lead.
A pair of caution flags put Read in the lead ahead of Vogel and Brett Miller. As Read was rounding turn three with two laps remaining, he jumped the cushion and allowed Vogel to dive to the inside. Vogel completed the pass as the duo raced hard into turn one.
Vogel planted his #10 machine on the cushion and Read made contact with Vogel, sending him over the banking in turn two and bringing out the final caution. Read was charged with the caution and Vogel would race unchallenged to the largest victory of his young career.
Next on the docket was the 10-car Mod Four main event. Ryan Buer jumped out to the early lead with Landon Atkinson and Dustin Zieske in tow.
Buer led for the first five laps of the 20-lap event, while Atkinson and Zieske battled for second. Zieske was finally able to clear Atkinson and raced up to challenge Buer.
Zieske made the pass near the midway point of the race and opened up a nice lead until Atkinson was able to clear Buer and race up to challenge Zieske.
Lap after lap, the margin between the two shrank, but Atkinson had motor issues as his machine began to spew smoke. This left Zieske with a straightaway lead on the field and he cruised to his second Classic title.
Shawn Olson and 30-time feature winner Brian Haben sat on the front row for the highly anticipated Midwest Modified feature.
When the field entered turn one, there was contact between Olson and Haben, sending Haben off the end of the speedway.
Track officials determined that Olson was at fault and Haben now set the pace, bolting to the lead, but his car suffered mechanical issues before a lap could be completed.
This put Jamie Thorstad in the front and he broke out to a lead over Dennis Czech and Dusty Bitzan. The caution flew once more for Bitzan as his 10B machine came to a stop on the backstretch. Thorstad jumped to the lead over Czech, Jason Vandekamp, Shane Sabraski and Travis Saurer.
The top four cars began to separate themselves from the field until a red flag came out on lap 15 for veteran driver Ron Saurer when he rolled his car off turn one.
Thorstad was able to keep the lead, and as the lead pack exited turn two, Sabraski got up into the marbles and almost slipped off the track. This left Thorstad, Vandekamp and Saurer to settle things for the Classic Crown. As the laps ticked down, Thorstad held his line and raced to the biggest win of his career.
The 40-lap Late Model feature event was next, and local drivers Zach Johnson and Jeff Wildung led the stacked field to the green where Johnson quickly jumped to the lead.
Just a handful of laps into the race, Matthees disposed of Wildung on the low side of the speedway and tried to mount a charge on Johnson, who now owned a large lead.
The first caution of the event flew when Justin Fegers lost a tire on his car and Johnson raced away from Matthees and Wildung, opening up a sizeable advantage.
With 12 laps remaining, Montevideo driver Rick Schroeder’s car came to a stop in turn two, bringing out the caution flag. Johnson gained the advantage on the restart.
The final caution of the event flew with four laps remaining, when Rick Nelson lost control of his 12N machine and shot off the top side of the track in turn two.
This gave Wildung and Matthees one more shot, but to no avail, as Johnson pulled away for the win.
Twenty five of the 26 scheduled starters in the Modified feature came to the track next for their 30-lap main event, with Fargo area drivers Cody Skytland and Blake Jegtvig pacing the field.
Jegtvig wasted no time getting to the high side of the speedway and jumped to the lead over Skytland, Jason Thoennes and Jeff Wildung.
With one lap in the books, the yellow flew for Logan Atkinson as his machine slowed on the back chute. The field was reset with Jegtvig on the point, but before another lap could be completed, the caution flew for an incident involving Jason Blaysck and Scott Tofte.
Jegtvig led the field to the green and Skytland wasted no time making a power move to the low side of the speedway to make his way around Jegtvig and into the lead.
Skytland began to stretch his lead until lap six when Brett Hoium spun and collected Jay Richardson, bringing out the third caution in the event.
Skytland led Jegtvig, Thoennes and Wildung until two laps later when Modified legend Mark Noble’s 6X car dropped a drive shaft and collected several cars in turn two.
Over the next five laps, Skytland used the high side of the speedway to stretch his lead, while Jegtvig powered his MB Customs mod around the low side.
The caution came out over the speedway for fifth place runner Dave Schroeder when he lost the bite on his machine and slipped over the banking in turn three.
Skytland began to stretch his
lead once more, with Jegtvig comfortably in second over Thoennes and Wildung. In the end no one had anything for Skytland as he cruised to his first career Classic title.
The final event of the season belonged to the Super Stocks. Jon Stepan and national champion Shane Sabraski paced the field to the green. Sabraski wasted no time showing why he was the cream of the crop in the class this season as he raced to a large advantage.
Before a lap could be completed, Kevin Salin lost the bite on his machine and came to a stop in turn one, bringing out the caution. Sabraski moved to the high side and raced out to a big lead.
Sabraski dominated the field and cruised to his 46th Super Stock win of 2012.
Feature: Zach Johnson, Jeff Wildung, Lance Matthees, Cody Skytland, Pat Doar, Adam Hensel, Brad Seng, Caley Emmerson, Shawn Kirwin, Steve Laursen, Danny Bayer, Shaun Peterson, Harry Hanson, Don Shaw, Clarence Washburn, Steve Anderson, Rick Nelson, Paul Mueller, Rick Schroeder, Marshall Fegers, Dave Mass, Shane Edginton, Justin Fegers, Jeremy Keller, Scott Greer, Corey Nelson, John Kaanta.
Heat 1: Matthees, Wildung, Mass, C. Nelson, Schroeder, Emmerson, Edginton, Peterson, Laursen.
Heat 2: Johnson, Bayer, Skytland, Hensel, R. Nelson, Keller, Anderson, Kaanta, Greer.
Heat 3: Doar, J. Fegers, Seng, Shaw, M. Fegers, Kirwin, Hanson, Mueller, Washburn.
B-main: Hanson, Kaanta, Peterson, Edginton, Laursen, Anderson, Washburn, Greer, Mueller.
Feature: Cody Skytland, Blake Jegtvig, Jeff Wildung, Jason Thoennes, Travis Saurer, Josh Thoennes, Scot Danzeisen, Shawn Strand, Dave Schroeder, Brady Gerdes, Ryan Aho, Shane Sabraski, Brian Swenson, Dennis Bitzan, Tom Silver, Jason Blascyk, Mike Storck, Corky Thomas, Matt Gilbertson, Mark Trautner, Logan Atkinson, Scott Tofte, Mark Noble, Jay Richardson, Brett Hoium, Aaron Olson.
Heat 1: Skytland, Danzeisen, Storck, Blascyk, Aho, Lamb, C. Thomas, Maasch, Olson.
Heat 2: Jegtvig, Wildung, Trautner, Swenson, Atkinson, Tofte, Odegard, T. Thomas.
Heat 3: Ja. Thoennes, Silver, Jo. Thoennes, Saurer, Gerdes, Gilbertson, Engebretson, Menk.
Heat 4: Bitzan, Schroeder, Hoium, Noble, Sabraski, Richardson, Strand, Merten.
B-main 1: Richardson, Olson, C. Thomas, Blasyck, Engebretson, Menk, Tofte, Maasch.
B-main 2: Atkinson, Strand, Gilbertson, T. Thomas, Lamb, Odegard, Merten.
Feature: Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass, Don Shaw, Cody Lee, Dave Shipley, Jon Stepan, Steve Weber, Scott Lawrence, Dave Read, Ryan Aho, Cory Tammen, Jeff Flaten, Mike Peterson, Donna Schmidt, Chris Winter, Al Cleveland, Travis Forcier, Dominic Baker, Kevin Salin, Derek Quinn, Bryan Hellerman.
Heat 1: Stepan, Peterson, Salin, Winter, Forcier, Cleveland, Tammen.
Heat 2: Mass, Aho, Shaw, Lawrence, Baker, Quinn, Flaten.
Heat 3: Lee, Sabraski, Shipley, Read, Weber, Hellerman, Schmidt.
Feature: Jamie Thorstad, Jason Vandekamp, Travis Saurer, Dennis Czech, Brett Hoium, Brian Kakela, Darren Pfau, Tim Ims, Shane Sabraski, Josh Muzik, Tyler Peterson, Corey Eystad, Kelly Haack, Justin Froemming, Ron Saurer, Jeremy Kerzman, Andrew Bansgund, Blake Swenson, Scott Zimmerman, Shawn Olson, Chris Menson, Brooke Hellerman, Tyler Vanderby, Dusty Bitzan, Brian Haben.
Heat 1: Haben, Bitzan, Kakela, T. Saurer, Froemming, Hellerman, Reents, Menson, Bansgund.
Heat 2: Olson, Czech, Vandekamp, Hoium, Ims, Zimmerman, Haack, R. Saurer, Hoffman.
Heat 3: Thorstad, Sabraski, Peterson, Pfau, Kerzman, Vanderby, Eystad, Muzik, Swenson.
B-main: Eystad, R. Saurer, Muzik, Haack, Bangsund, Menson, Swenson, Reents, Hoffman.
Feature: Justin Vogel, Brett Miller, Justin Tammen, Adam Burrows, Dave Read, John Adams, Gary Reents, Mark Blom, Rick Pommerer, Ryan Pommerer, Tiffany Maus-Krippner, Jimmy Williams, Ryan Satter, Jake Huston.
Heat 1: Blom, Miller, Vogel, Ry. Pommerer, Satter, Reents, Maus-Krippner.
Heat 2: Adam, Read, Williams, Tammen, Huston, Burrows, Ri. Pommerer.
Feature: Dustin Zieske, Dustin Holquist, Ryan Buer, Corry Vanmil, Tyler Larson, Tim Hart, Mike Hart, Jesse Ouren, Brian Oehlert, Landon Atkinson, Jamie Flickinger.
Heat 1: Atkinson, T. Hart, Oehlert, Ouren, M. Hart.
Heat 2: Zieske, Vanmil, Buer, Larson, Holquist.