Drivers at the Viking Speedway would have loved to get in one more regular season night of racing to put the finishing touches on point championships this past Saturday, but by that point in the summer, class titles are often already wrapped up.
The races were rained out on Saturday in what was set to be the final features for season point titles. Alexandria’s Shawn Olson (Midwest Modifieds), Villard’s Brady Gerdes (Modifieds), Dent’s Ryan Satter (Street Stocks) and Dalton’s Trevor Saurer (Super Stocks) earned championships at Viking Speedway in the four regularly-running classes. It was Gerdes’ fourth straight track championship in Modifieds and Saurer’s third straight in Super Stocks.
All of them have had standout summers, but no one dominated in Alexandria quite like Satter did as he wrapped up his second straight season with a point championship at Viking Speedway. Satter finished with 1,193 total points in 11 features. That was a 205-point gap between second-place finisher Craig Gardner of Alexandria. Satter also finished off a track title in Fergus Falls last week as part of an impressive summer for the 26-year old.
“When I set the year out, I kind of play it week to week,” Satter said. “Last night doesn’t matter, and we’re starting over tonight. We historically don’t race for track championships. The last two years we’ve kind of been buttoned down to stay closer to home than normal. But the Viking Speedway one specifically, that’s kind of where I cut my teeth and where I grew up watching. To win one there is pretty big for me. Viking has got the history. It’s just such a rich history track that to say you’ve won at the high flying half mile is a pretty cool deal.”
Satter won over and over again in Alexandria this summer. His 2020 track championship included two feature wins. This year, he has nine. He has finished in the top 10 every single night and has won six straight features dating back to May 30 when he finished sixth.
“We weren’t where we wanted to be last year,” Satter said. “When we went to the track, we were off just a little bit and we knew it. We went to the shop over the winter and went to work. We found some more speed, and we kept finding more and more speed as the summer went on.”
Satter has raced in other divisions since he got behind the wheel in 2012, but he has settled into a zone in the Street Stocks.
“I’ve had the most fun there,” he said. “It’s clean, competitive racing. Just the group of guys and the camaraderie is unbelievable.”
"It’s hard to explain. The drive, the competitive nature is to be just that much better."
- Dent driver Ryan Satter
The Viking Speedway saw up and down car counts throughout this season. There were weekends like the Memorial Day Doubleheader where more than 20 drivers raced in the “A” feature each night, but there were also nights where that number was closer to 10 cars in the lone feature in each division.
“I think it’s a good group of guys that are there,” Satter said. “There’s plenty of nights where I just got lucky. Cautions come out or somebody broke. The 15 cars we seem to get there weekly is a good group of guys. I think the fans can tell you that too. Street Stocks specifically, we’re three-wide racing it seems like all the time.”
Satter has often traveled around to as many as 10 tracks a summer to race. He has grown to crave that competition and is proving to be one of the top young drivers in his division on a lot of nights.
“It’s hard to explain. The drive, the competitive nature is to be just that much better,” he said. “It’s on you. You put the time in at the shop, you go to the track and you see the results. It just fuels the fire. I’ve said it’s more expensive than any drug addiction you could have, I’m pretty sure. It’s just fun. I can go to the lake on a Saturday once a month, and that’s cool, but Sunday we have to go. I can’t relax that long. I have to tinker in the shop. I just enjoy being around cars and the competitive side of it.”
That’s why he is excited about the final weekend of races at the Viking Speedway this Saturday and Sunday night. Alexandria will host a Labor Day Doubleheader with a little more money on the line for drivers. That usually draws a good field of cars, and Satter is excited to get back on the track to try to put the finishing touches on an already great summer.
“That’s the ultimate goal is to do the weekend sweep on it,” Satter said. “I take it one night at a time. If the car goes home after the weekend in one piece, that’s the biggest thing. But I’m looking forward to hopefully get some travelers into town who have never been there or are making a return.”
2021 VIKING SPEEDWAY FINAL POINT STANDINGS - TOP-THREE FINISHERS
MIDWEST MODIFIEDS - 1. Shawn Olson, Alexandria (second track title) - 1,205 points; 2. Taylor Bitzan, Brandon - 1,025 points; 3. Josh Muzik, Brandon - 1,000 points
MODIFIEDS - 1. Brady Gerdes, Villard (fifth track title) - 1,200 points; 2. Dustin Bitzan, Brandon - 1,174; 3. Travis Saurer, Elizabeth - 1,115
STREET STOCKS - 1. Ryan Satter, Dent (second track title) - 1,193; 2. Craig Gardner, Alexandria - 988; 3. Roger Berkness, Eagle Bend - 939
SUPER STOCK - 1. Trevor Saurer, Dalton (third track title) - 1,250; 2. Matt Miller, Glenwood - 1,203; 3. Jeff Crouse, Alexandria - 1,185