Viking Speedway: Jason Thoennes earns special win in Alexandria on Hall of Fame Night

Jason Thoennes of Garfield captures the win in the Modified feature, while Dent native Ryan Satter wins his sixth feature of the season.

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Garfield's Jason Thoennes looks up at the fans in the grandstands after winning the Modifieds feature on July 30, 2022 at Viking Speedway.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA - Saturday, July 30, was a special night for Garfield native Jason Thoennes at Viking Speedway in Alexandria on Hall of Fame Plus Vintage Cars night.

Thoennes found his way to victory lane after winning the WISSOTA Modifieds feature race. And he did this on the night that his aunt, Elaine Thoennes, became the first woman to become a part of the speedway’s hall of fame.

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Alexandria's Elaine Thoennes became the first woman inducted to the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame on July 30, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“There is not a better feeling than winning in a race car,” Jason said. “To come out on top is always a good feeling. But this was extra cool because we had extra family and friends with Hall of Fame night. There were just a lot of extra people. So it was a good night to win the trophy.”

Thoennes’ win on Saturday is his second of the season at Viking Speedway, with his first coming on June 11.

Thoennes won by holding off a late push from a couple of competitors, including his brother Josh, who finished third.


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Garfield native Jason Thoennes propelled himself into third place in the modifieds points race with his second win on the season on July 30, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“I went to the top side right away on [turn] one and two and was kind of flirting with that top side in three and four as well,” Jason said. “And then about five or six laps in, my brother of all people came in underneath on turns three and four and I knew I needed to make a move and switch my line up a little bit. I was happy with [turns] one and two what I was doing there, but three and four, I changed up what I was doing and I think it was the right choice because I think we ended up pulling away a little bit enough to get the win.”

Longtime driver and car owner Dennis Bitzan of Farwell, who is very close with Jason and who Jason pitted for at one time, was also inducted into the speedway’s hall of fame.

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Dennis Bitzan of Farwell holds up his Viking Speedway Hall of Fame plaque after being inducted into the hall of fame on July 30, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

“Hall of Fame night to me is always one of the coolest nights of the year because I grew up around this place and I’ve been coming here since the 80s,” Jason said. “It was really special because my aunt, Elaine, and Dennis Bitzan, who drove their car for years and who I used to root for and even pitted for a little while when I was a kid, they were both inducted. And he drove the 52 for a long time. So for me to get to drive a 52 and then win on this night was really cool.”

Farwell's Dennis Bitzan finished in the top five of the season point standings 22 times during his 30-year racing career at the Viking Speedway in Alexandria. A look back on his life at the track before he and Alexandria's Elaine Thoennes are honored on Hall of Fame Night on July 30.

Saturday’s races came after a two-week hiatus due to a scheduled week off and a rainout on July 23.

Josh Thoennes finished third ahead of Brandon native Dustin Bitzan but finished behind Villard native Brady Gerdes in second. Jason Thoennes sits in third in the Modifieds season points race with 775, as of July 30, behind Bitzan, who has 817 points, and Gerdes, who has 833 points.

Ryan Satter wins his sixth Street Stock race of the season

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Ryan Satter of Dent has six wins on the season with the most recent win in the Street Stock feature on July 30, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Ryan Satter of Dent continued to lead the pack in the Street Stock race by winning his sixth feature of the year.

Satter’s win on Saturday is his fifth straight street stock victory at the track. That streak dates back to June 11.

On Saturday, Satter beat out an 18-car field that included second place finisher Scott Horn of Deer Creek and third place finisher JJ Nieuwbeerta of Alexandria.


Satter has 848 points this season and has a 105-point lead over Jason Thimmesh of Garfield. Nieuwbeerta is in third place in the points race with 729. Nieuwbeerta has now finished in the top 10 in seven of the eight features he’s raced and has four top-five finishes.

In the Midwest Mods feature, Brendan Blascyk of Hoffman won his second feature race of the year. Ron Saurer of Dalton and Travis Saurer of Elizabeth finished second and third, respectively.

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Hoffman's Brendan Blascyk won his second Midwest Mods feature of the year on July 30, 2022 at Viking Speedway.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Blascyk is the current points leader with 815, while Travis Saurer, who has won three features, is in second with 801. Shawn Olson of Alexandria, who didn’t finish Saturday’s race, is in third in the points race with 757. Ron Saurer is fourth in the points race with 748.

Ryan Kostreba of Elk River won his first feature of the season at Viking Speedway in Super Stocks on Saturday. Kostreba finished ahead of Russell Kostreba of Zimmerman, who finished in second place.

Glenwood driver Karter Reents finished in third on Saturday and is in third in the points race (780) behind fellow Glenwood driver Matt Miller (821) and Trevor Saurer of Dalton (831).

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Ryan Kostreba (17), Elk River, and Russell Kostreba (14) of Zimmerman finished one-two in the Super Stock feature at Viking Speedway on July 30, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Shawn Beto, who made the trip from Wahpeton, North Dakota, for Saturday’s Short Trackers feature, finished in first ahead of Shawn Robinson of Dalton and Hunter Goulet of Fargo.

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Shawn Beto made the trip from Wahpeton, North Dakota, to compete in the short trackers feature on July 30, 2022, at Viking Speedway in Alexandria. Beto won the feature.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Fergus Falls natives David and Kevin Wahl are the top two point leaders in the short trackers (David, 1st, 814; Kevin, 2nd, 784). Tristan Raths of Donnelly is in third place with 782 points.

The next night of races at the speedway is set for Aug. 13.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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