Shaw Trucking Returns as WISSOTA Challenge Series...
Momentum Truck Group: New Challenge Series ‘Powere...
Willy's Carburetor and Dyno Partnership Announceme...
Shaw Trucking Returns as WISSOTA Challenge Series...

Shaw Trucking Returns as WISSOTA Challenge Series...

2/20/2024 -
East Bethel, Minnesota’s Shaw Trucking has signed on again to be the official Start Zone Sponsor for the 2024 Structural Buildings WISSOTA Late Model
Momentum Truck Group: New Challenge Series ‘Powere...

Momentum Truck Group: New Challenge Series ‘Powere...

2/16/2024 -
ST. CLOUD, MN – St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Momentum Truck Group has entered into an agreement with WISSOTA and Structural Buildings to become the “pow
Willy's Carburetor and Dyno Partnership Announceme...

Willy's Carburetor and Dyno Partnership Announceme...

2/8/2024 -
WISSOTA is excited to announce our latest partnership with Willy's Carburetor and Dyno! Willy’s Carburetor & Dyno opened its doors in 1985 as an autom

Latest News

Shaw Trucking Returns as WISSOTA Challenge Series Start Zone Spon

Shaw Trucking Returns as WISSOTA Challenge Series Start Zone Spon...

East Bethel, Minnesota’s Shaw Trucking has signed on again to be the official Start Zone Sponsor for the 2024 Structural Buildings WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series powered by Momentum Truck Group Freightliner Western Star this season. Shaw Trucking, owned by Don and...more
Momentum Truck Group: New Challenge Series ‘Powered By’ Sponsor

Momentum Truck Group: New Challenge Series ‘Powered By’ Sponsor

ST. CLOUD, MN – St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Momentum Truck Group has entered into an agreement with WISSOTA and Structural Buildings to become the “powered by” sponsor of the Challenge Series for the 2024 season. The series will be officially renamed the: “Structural...more
Willy's Carburetor and Dyno Partnership Announcement!

Willy's Carburetor and Dyno Partnership Announcement!

WISSOTA is excited to announce our latest partnership with Willy's Carburetor and Dyno! Willy’s Carburetor & Dyno opened its doors in 1985 as an automotive diagnostic shop for consumer owned street cars and trucks as well as area automotive dealerships. In 1988, Willy...more

Quick Info

https://linktr.ee/wissotaautoracing All of WISSOTA Auto Racing in one place.

Structural Buildings Challenge Series
Click the logo for the Schedule

2023 Speedway Motors WISSOTA 100 Recap



2023 Speedway Motors WISSOTA 100 Recap

Thursday, September 14
Thursday was the second night of action during the 37th annual WISSOTA 100 at I-94 Speedway. For the Modifieds, Super Stocks, Mid Mods and Street Stocks, it was qualifying for the outside row (of the three-wide start) for Saturday night’s big features.

It was slightly different for the Late Models. Since the Challenge Series was considered to be separate from 100 qualifying, the results from Wednesday were not applicable to the starting order for the finale on Saturday. Ten Late Model drivers qualified for Saturday through Thursday’s action, and 10 more on Friday, with the rest coming from Last Chance racing on Saturday. The qualifying spots for Thursday and Friday were staggered between the inside and outside rows.

One of the beauties of the 100 format is that every night is a fresh night of racing. Therefore, even if one does awful one night, they start from scratch the next and can still get a good qualifying spot and who knows—maybe the pole!
Another good thing with this format is that new drivers can show up any night before Saturday and have an equal chance of making the show. Not everyone can take a full week off and some drivers just prefer to start on Thursday or Friday. They have the attitude that if they make it, they make it. This always adds a little intrigue to other nights outside of opening night.

This year 16 new drivers arrived on Thursday. This gave us 275 different drivers who have raced so far this week in just five divisions. There were new drivers on hand in all five of the classes, with the Supers and Late Models tying for the most.

While the number of drivers racing on Thursday was slightly smaller because there were drivers already locked in after Wednesday, the Late Model field was actually larger than it was on Wednesday for the Challenge Series event.
One team I wanted to catch up with was the Michael Leach Late Model team out of Montana. They have received quite a bit of press recently and announced that after doing well in the home area, they were looking forward to traveling east and racing against WISSOTA’s best.

Wednesday was a disappointment when they earned a pole for a heat and then broke on the green. I was happy to see they hadn’t left and found out the source of their problem was a fuel cell. The safety foam had disintegrated and upon acceleration, plugged up the whole system and shut the car right down. They cleaned and changed and borrowed and had the car ready for Thursday. Leach later finished 11th in the Late Model feature, but threw out that finish and opted to return on Friday to try and improve his spot.

For those who don’t know, Michael’s father Paul, along with Steve Arpin, are the co-owners of Longhorn chassis, the hottest brand of Late Model chassis on the market.

Who would have thought that when I saw a 16-year-old Steve Arpin banging around the banks and banging off other cars at Proctor Speedway, he would become one of the hottest properties in all of dirt track racing these days.
For several days now, the weather forecasters promised Thursday was going to be a washout. High chances of rain were scaled back by Thursday morning and just a few sprinkles fell, causing no more than just a few minutes delay. It was probably good for the track.

Twenty-six qualifying events plus five feature races were on the card for Thursday. That sounds like a full night’s worth of racing and it was, although there might have been a record set for the quickest program ever for this event. The heats had only a single heat race which had more than two yellow flags and a number went green to checkers.

It is inevitable that there is a large crash at the 100, and Thursday it occurred during one of the Super Stock heats. Bailey Rosch got into the front stretch wall and then ended up broadside to the track. The field couldn’t all get shut down in time and “The Gas Man” Gary Husmann slammed into Bailey at a high rate of speed. Most fortunately, there were no injuries, but it was the grinding kind of collision that was heard even in the back corners of the pits.
The feature races were all 15 laps, with 24 cars starting each and the first eight earning starting spots in Saturday night’s show, should they accept them. The exception was in the Late Models, where it was the aforementioned top 10 finishers.

The Street Stock feature was first up and they were on their best behavior. They raced 15 laps without a yellow on a freshly watered track. As the cars circled the track before the start, Justin Vogel confirmed there was plenty of moisture on the top side and being a driver who likes to ride the cushion anyway, this was a sign of where he planned to go. Sure enough, as soon as the green flag dropped, Vogel tore to the cushion and in one lap, moved from sixth to take the lead. By the time the rest of the pack caught on, he was long gone.

Eric Riley had a nice run and he moved into second and held onto that spot for the rest of the race. Braden Brauer, who Vogel is battling in the national points race, was third at the line. Of course, both threw out their finishes and came back to race on Friday night, a risky move. Just one bad race or poor draw could end up forcing them into a Last Chance race on Saturday, where even the winner of an LCQ needs binoculars to see the front of the field. But both, along with Kyle Dykhoff and several others, made the decision to forgo their finish. Officials had to dip down to the 14th-place finisher to find eight who wanted to move on.

Travis Schulte led only the first lap of the Mid Mod main before he was passed by a high-side-riding Brennan Weight, who led the rest of this race to take the win.

Lucas Rodin, who has been pretty quick so far, worked his way up to second after a good battle with Schulte, with Travis Saurer completing the top three in his father’s car.

Bad luck knocked Justin Jones and Corey Storck out of the contest, while national point leader Zach Benson has yet to qualify as well. With the tough and big field of Mid Mods, all eight drivers who qualified took their spots.
Tyler Peterson seems to be the fastest Late Model around right now and he confirmed that yes, indeed, he is quick. He passed Cory Tammen after just one lap and drove away from the field for the Late Model win. Peterson led Cole Searing and Shane Edginton home for the win. Check out the top three on Thursday. All three are young drivers on their way up, as the balance of power in the Late Model class is slowly but inevitably shifting. Every one of the Late Models also claimed their spots.

Dexton Koch has been perfect so far this week and earned his second straight Super Stock feature win. Again he did so in impressive style. Koch started on the pole and drove away from the field. Curt Myers made a nice charge on the outside lane but then, faced with a choice after a late-race yellow, opted to stay back on the bottom. This cost him second when Dylan Nelson drove past him in the end. All except Trevor Nelson took their spots. Nelson, who was in third place in national points at this time, opted to try again on Friday.
The Modifieds wrapped up the evening and Kevin Adams, who started on the outside pole, drove away from the field in the nonstop main to claim the win. He pulled away from Blake Jegtvig to take the win in impressive style. Adams has not raced much this year. His main focus is his son, Blake’s, rookie season in the Mid Mods. The elder Adams’ races this season have not been particularly impressive, but when he takes the time and focuses on matters, he is still as fast as anyone around. He seemed to be racing I-94 with the style he used at Huron. If locked in, he might be tough to beat on Saturday night. It was also a nice run for Jegtvig, who also hasn’t raced a lot this year. Brady Gerdes just dropped in today and finished third. All the Mods also took their spots.

In previous years, it was always hard to get the information on who had taken their spots and who had declined to race again. Congrats to all involved in posting that info quickly and clearly. After all, it is interesting news and many fans were anxious to find out that info.

The night wrapped up with the Johnny Holmes Band. The crowd watching was huge and everyone seemed to be having a great time with Johnny, who is a staple in the upper Midwest. It was great to see the teams all getting together with their crews and families and having a great time. In other news, the crowd contributed to a 50/50 payoff of $3,770 on Thursday.

Friday, September 15
Round three of the preliminaries for the 37th annual WISSOTA 100 at Don Shaw’s I-94 Speedway took place Friday. It was a sunny but cool day, with a relatively stiff breeze from the northwest bringing in air with just a bit of a bite to it.

Only after I got to the track on Friday and spoke with locals did I learn how we lucked out on the weather Thursday. A couple of times while I was listening to Johnny Holmes, I could have sworn I saw lightning to the south. I just dismissed it as my old eyes not adjusting to the light show and all the camera phones blinding me. Turns out, I was right: just a few miles from the track they experienced a steady rain for much of the night. At best, it would have delayed us until the wee hours of the morning and at worst, it would have required a makeup show. The weather gods did smile on us after all.
There was plenty of frantic work going on in the pits Friday. A large number of teams have not yet qualified for the 100 and two days of racing have started to take their toll on the equipment. Body parts and pieces were strewn all over the place, with teams working hard to make one last attempt to get into the big show.

Even as the teams worked hard to get their cars ready for Friday night racing, more new teams filtered into the pits. In fact, another eight first-time drivers this week registered to race Friday across the five divisions, with new drivers in each class.

As proof it pays to show on Friday, even if you have work or other commitments earlier in the week preventing you from racing all four nights, two of the eight drivers who arrived Friday raced their way into the feature races on Saturday. Zach Schultz and Justin Froemming finished third in their Friday features and thus start in the third row for Saturday’s finale.
One driver showed even more dedication toward making the race. Bailey Rosch was the driver involved in the most serious crash so far this week, when he hit the wall last night. With nowhere to go, Gary Husmann slammed into him. Husmann’s car was unfixable and he reported to Ron Krog he was sore but okay. Meanwhile, Rosch found another Super Stock to drive and showed up to race behind the wheel of a second car. That is both determination and dedication, folks.

With no more new drivers expected to arrive on Saturday, we can with solid certainty determine the total count for the 2023 WISSOTA 100. In total, 283 different drivers will have raced in this year’s event. There were 66 Street Stocks, 75 Mid Mods, 48 Super Stocks, 45 Mods and 49 Late Models.
Comparing to last year, there were two less Streets, one less Modified and one more Late Model. There were 25 less drivers between the Supers and Mid Mods. These kinds of fluctuations happen from year to year, and I think most people agree there are plenty of cars here for racing.

Track officials have really gotten good at moving the show along with one heat ready to go and take the green as soon as the preceeding winner’s interview is completed. However, I received one suggestion relative to lineups that made a lot of sense to me—and perhaps should be considered for next year. This suggestion came from a Street Stock team. The Street Stocks are always first to race, so they run on a heavy track for their heats. It’s likely the same thing happens for their feature, after track prep is done following all the heats. Their surface is always heavy and hammer-down and for those drivers who don’t draw right in front for heats, it makes their job even tougher—on a heavy track, most everyone is fast.

Years ago, the running order was always rotated between the Street Stocks and Mid Mods. This seems like a fair way to do it to me and I don’t see why it couldn’t be practiced once again. It would be more fair.

Right from the start on Friday, it was apparent that drivers were racing with a different attitude than earlier in the week. It was understandable, as the program was the final chance for some of them and they wanted to make the most of it. Hard driving from earlier in the week turned into really hard driving and there wasn’t the give-and-take there had been earlier, mostly just take. The slide jobs were ruthless and there were lots of folks banging off the walls. There were more yellow flags and drivers weren’t nearly as cooperative about getting in line on restarts. There was infighting for positions under the yellow.
The pressure was on and everyone wanted to make the big show and of course, that isn’t possible.

The Friday show is not my favorite because if the drivers don’t finish well enough, their week might be done and we won’t see them again on the track. That’s actually kind of sad—but is tempered by the fact that some have also worn out their welcome, with multiple yellows over the course of three nights. It is probably time for them to put their machines on the trailer and take a break.

Dylan Arndt was an example of aggressive driving with bad results. Right off the bat in his Street Stock heat he was crowded into the frontstretch wall and got up on two wheels. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a car get so high up on two and not go over. By way of great driving Arndt was able to bring the car back to earth and keep on racing like nothing had happened at all.

This must be a really tough race for a brand-new driver to experience. I’m told that Mid Mod driver Baleigh Rasmusen is brand-new to the sport and so far, it has been a tough go for him. The first two nights, he spun in turn one of his heat and under the one spin rule, he was then done. Later on Friday he made it as far as turn three before the same thing happened and he was out. I don’t know whether he will make a Last Chance on Saturday or not, but I admire his “keep trying” attitude.

The routine remained the same with qualifying heats for all five classes, and then a main event. The last eight Saturday night starters were determined in those heats except for the Late Models, where 10 moved on. More in that class were set to come out of the Last Chance races on Saturday.
I don’t think I need to go into a blow-by-blow of the five Qualifying Features but let me throw out just a few thoughts.

After a solid week so far, the Street Stock feature on Friday was a nightmare and the worst possible kind of race. It was plagued by eight yellow flags and several top running cars were sent to the back for over driving and taking out other cars. It was like a snowball rolling downhill. One moment stood out when, during consecutive yellows late in the race, the Brauer brothers followed each other to the back of the pack after assisting other drivers in spins. They had to race the Last Chance races to make the main on Saturday.
Justin Vogel, who was playing with fire all week when he passed on good starting spots, almost got burned on Friday night. When his starting spot for the feature was not good, he had to drive like blazes just to make the top eight. He is certainly capable of winning from the seventh row, but it will be a monumental task to do so.

Kolby Kiehl, who has been so close all week, came from 18th to take the last open spot with a last-corner pass that put him into the show. Kyle Dykhoff, who survived folks beating on his rear bumper for 14 laps, slipped up just a bit on the final corner and with some aid from Jim Gullikson, opened himself up just enough for Gullikson to squeeze by and win the feature for a front-row start Saturday.

Did I think that Blake Adams would be this good in his rookie Mid Mod season? No. I knew that he did well in go-karts and won some big events, but karts and Mid Mods are two different things. He has shown ability in his rookie season far beyond expectations, however, and he makes smart decisions. He reads most race tracks better than drivers who have been at it for generations. I’m sure that he gets plenty of help from his father, friends and other relatives, and he has top-notch equipment—but he still has to drive the car. He has proven that he knows what he’s doing on the track. And he is quiet, respectful and remains grounded, all very important things as his success mounts and folks pay more and more attention to him.

On Friday he started in the third row but quickly moved to the cushion and drove up into third. Following a restart, he drove past a couple of pretty stout runners in Zach Benson and Corey Storck to take the lead, and then withstood some withering pressure from Storck to take the win.

Have two members from the same family ever qualified for the 100 before? Yes, I believe so. Have a father and son ever both qualified for the 100 before? Probably. But have a father and son both qualified for the 100, with both sitting on the front row for that event? I seriously doubt it, but perhaps some 100 historians can help me out here.

Jeff Provinzino has been at his best this year at invitational time, having some solid runs. He led the first six laps of Friday night’s Late Model feature before he was overtaken by Cody Overton, who raced on for the win. With his roots in Georgia, Overton is likely the first driver to win from such a great distance away. On Friday night he moved from the Victory car that he drove the first two nights to Don Shaw’s personal car. As I’ve mentioned in this column before, Overton had a lot to do with its construction.

He made it fly, as he pulled away from the field for the big win. Bad luck struck Provo when he broke while running second, and Jake Redetzke nipped Pat Doar off the final corner to finish second. Doar had a shaky start to his qualifying after he won the Challenge Series race on Wednesday. But, now he starts the Championship Feature from a solid position.

Trevor Nelson has been playing with fire all week, too. On Friday, it all clicked for him. A front-row spot translated into a feature win after he led from start to finish. He will now start on Saturday from the front row. Max Dondelinger, who has been absent from the sport for the last 10 years but has already won this year, was very fast and finished second. He was another surprise of the week. And, Zach Schultz just showed up on Friday but there he was in third at the finish. He worked a full week and still made the 100!

Veteran racer Don Eischens won the Modified feature, but it was how he did it and the smart thing he did that made it most special. Eischens led the opening lap but was then crossed up and spun toward the infield in turn one on lap two. He got on the gas, fought his way back on to the track, and only dropping several spots, continued to race. Most fortunately for him, just seconds later another car spun on the front chute and with the race yellowed and scored back to the last completed lap, Eischens found himself back in the lead.

Let’s pause here for a moment. How many times have you seen a driver spin slightly or just perhaps get slowed down and then anchor the brakes, hoping for help after they produce a yellow? With the one spin rule used here this weekend, way too many drivers aren’t figuring out that if you spin or slow or get turned sideways, the answer is to kick the car back into gear and keep racing.

As an aside, the one-spin rule should be used at every track in WISSOTA to keep the shows moving. Long racing nights are among the most common complaints of fans and the biggest thing that keeps them from coming every week. But I digress.

The cunning Eischens, along with just a bit of luck, retained his spot and went on for the win, with Tyler Peterson and Froemming battling it out for second. Froemming, as you remember, just showed up on Friday afternoon but will now start in row three on Saturday.

Interestingly enough, there were seven drivers who managed to qualify multiple cars for the 100 main events. They included Tim Johnson, Dan Ebert, Travis Saurer, James Trantina, Shane Sabraski, Dave Mass and Tyler Peterson, with Cody Kummer and Kolby Kiehl and perhaps others still having that chance pending the Last Chance races.

For the second straight night, all racing was completed by 10 p.m. and that was with needed track prep.

Saturday, September 16
The 37th annual WISSOTA 100 concluded Saturday. It was a cool and cloudy day with a touch of autumn in the air. The cloud cover probably helped with the preparation of the track and the cool weather did not deter the crowd from filing into the speedway.

It was by far the largest crowd of the weekend, with the frontstretch grandstand mostly filled and for the first time this week, quite a few people in the backstretch grandstand as well.

Friday night more than $5,000 was given away for the 50/50, and Saturday they nearly doubled that with more than $10,000 given out to the lucky winner.
The program consisted of the Last Chance qualifiers for the five classes, and of course the five big feature races. Along with all of that was the pageantry of the Parade of Champions, which is always a big hit for the fans.

Most of the teams returned for the Saturday night finale with just a few with cars too wrecked to continue. There were also a few with poor qualifying spots and facing a long ride home, they opted to get on the road earlier. The three drivers picked to be included in the feature field, based on their three-night attendance, is always interesting and does provide one last sliver of hope for some teams plagued by bad luck, bad draws or perhaps some other difficulties.

When all was said and done, 33 drivers took the green for each of the five feature races.

But first we had to get through the five Last Chance races, where the congenial attitude of the drivers earlier in the week was replaced by one of desperation in many cases.

I suspected we wouldn’t be able to get through all four nights without flipping at least one car, and that occurred when Casey Steffenson went for a tumble on the back chute after he was turned into the wall. That seems to be the problematic area for many drivers here, especially those who don’t race here often. Things narrow up coming off the corners and if drivers don’t give, the outside row can frequently either be pushed up into the wall or be turned toward the concrete. Fortunately Steffenson was okay, but his flip was topped later by another of an even more spectacular nature—but more on that later.
After the Last Chance races were completed, two more drivers managed to qualify multiple cars for the 100 features: Scott Bintz and Cody Kummer.

The real heroes of this entire week are the pit crews who slave over these race cars, generally without pay and certainly without recognition, except by the drivers they help out. There were multiple examples of cars that seemed so badly damaged or broken that it was crazy to think they’d make it back out for Last Chance races, but there they were again, ready to give it another shot. The crews do amazing work and most of it out of the back of a trailer. There is an incredible amount of borrowing and lending going on concerning parts and the like. It is crazy how teams who want to beat the tar out of others once they are on the track will bend over backwards to try and help them get on the track so they can do that. Just one of the remarkable and sometimes unexplainable parts of this sport.

The Street Stock feature got off to a rocky start, as did most of the feature races unfortunately. But after two yellow flags before the first lap was scored, the rest of the race ran off nonstop. What a strong performance by Eric Riley on his way to the victory. Riley has been racing quite a few years in the Street Stocks and makes a lot of shows every year as part of the “rat pack” that includes Vogel, Satter and the Dykhoffs. He maybe doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves because of that, but this race belonged to him. He led from start to finish and was never seriously challenged.

Kyle Genett is getting well known on both sides of the Midwest for his Street Stock speed when he races with that group. He’s also known for his Stock Car speed when he travels east to race that class. Bad luck ended strong runs for both Andrew Hanson and Kyle Anderson, as well as both the Brauers. To be successful at this event, it takes both great skill and the right amount of luck. It makes multiple-time champions of this race even more impressive.

Duplicating the effort of Riley was that of Brennan Weight. He started on the outside of row one, a great spot to start as long as the pack doesn’t squeeze you into the wall on the opening lap. He then led the entire race to get the win. Folks from the eastern side of WISSOTA probably aren’t terribly familiar with him, but Dakota fans and other drivers know how fast he is. Again we couldn’t get the first lap completed smoothly but once the drivers settled in, there were only two more yellows after that. Matt Schow continued the tear he has been on and challenged Weight several times for the lead, only to jump the cushion each time he was closing. And it was no surprise that Travis Saurer, driving the fast car of father Ron, was right in the mix as well. Dan Ebert and Corey Storck both had mechanical issues that ended strong runs for each of them.
Is 50 laps for the Late Models too many laps for this event? I would say so, and not because Tyler Peterson came within six pounds of not making weight. I just think that 50 laps is too much of a marathon, instead of a sprint which is what this race is supposed to be. And especially so on a track that was juiced up and near hammer down for the whole distance. The number of cars that dropped out reflects the fact that if you weren’t running right toward the front, the strain on the motors wasn’t worth the risk.

Again, the Late Model drivers couldn’t convert the first lap without a pileup and this was an expensive one, with several contenders going off on the wrecker. More on this later.

What a remarkable year it has been, and continues to be, for TPO. It is hard to fathom the fact that he is just a rookie, albeit it a very talented one, in the Late Models. He’s won a number of feature races and big races as well. When he settles in and runs his race, he has remarkable car control and seems to be able to put his car wherever necessary. There can be no doubt that his first year of success is one of the big stories in the entire country when it comes to Late Model racing, much like second-place finisher Cole Searing, when he tore things up as a Late Model rookie himself not too long ago.

Cody Overton is a much smoother driver than he was when he left Shaw’s employment and moved back home down south. He managed to nurse one of Don’s cars home for third, despite the fact that the motor was smoking heavily.

The Super Stock feature had some surprises and turns of events throughout the course of this race. This was the only feature to make a clean first lap and they actually raced nine laps before the first yellow waved. Dexton Koch sat on the pole and as good as he has been running lately, he seemed hard to beat. Dylan Nelson got into a rhythm, however, and he was able to drive around Koch and take over the lead on lap 10. Once in front, he drove on for the win.

The Supers had their share of bad luck and they also had their share of crashes. Curt Myers took a very wild and scary looking ride after he got turned into the frontstretch wall and went sailing off into the night, getting as much altitude as I have seen a Super Stock get in a long time. It was a scary-looking ride. Fortunately Myers is as tough as nails and except for some back soreness later, he was okay.

The same couldn’t be said for the race car, which was junk. I believe just the motor is salvageable. In fact, they had to do some torch work just to get it on a borrowed open trailer to get it back to Cameron, WI. Myers doesn’t skimp on safety equipment, and has the best seat that money can buy. While no penalty was given to anyone for the incident, there will be accountability eventually—drivers have long memories.

Nelson has been a big winner for the past several years, but perhaps not quite as noticeable as this WISSOTA 100 win will be. And how about Tim Johnson? Driving the Brian Lee car that he borrowed just before the Fast Lane Series started, Johnson drove all the way up from 14th to finish a strong second and challenge at times for the lead. Koch, meanwhile, settled for third, but I’m sure he was hoping for more.

The Modified feature wrapped up a great week of racing. Though in my estimation the preliminary nights exceeded the finale in terms of entertaining racing overall, the Modified feature Saturday provided the best battle for the lead and win—and it went right down to the checkered flags.

The start, however, was no better than three of the four that proceeded it. A wild scramble off turn two on the opening lap sent fan favorite Kennedy Swan for a fast ride through the grass and a very short outing. Others involved in the early race scrambles included Zach Johnson, Brandon Copp, Shane Sabraski and Brady Gerdes, who were all done early.

The drama for Kevin Adams was even crazier. Scheduled to start on the outside front row and certainly a real threat from that spot, Adams had a suspension failure before the green flag even flew. He did try to go anyway and actually somehow managed to lead the first three laps before he stumbled in the corners and eventually called it a night.

This brought Don Eischens to the front and the veteran almost won the race and put a period on his long and decorated career in both Super Stocks and Modifieds. Tyler Peterson did start to cut into his lead but whether or not he could have made a pass became a moot point when Eischens slowed under yellow on lap 25 after his fuel pump belt flipped off. What a way to lose!
This then produced the best green flag racing for the lead and win of the week. Peterson inherited the lead but suddenly had Dave Cain all over him and challenging. He passed Peterson for the lead on lap 26.

Peterson, however, would not go away and moved to Cain’s tail and with a display of both speed and handling, he ripped around Cain in turn one and retook the lead. The last 10 laps were sensational, as Cain searched around on the track for a lane past Peterson.

Cain took a shot on the final lap but came up a car length short in what was a very dramatic and entertaining finale. Blake Jegtvig had his best finish in a big race in quite some time, closing out the night in third. This was a good race to conclude the night, as folks left talking about this one and also about the achievement TPO pulled off, winning both of the big feature races. One wonders what he can do for an encore.

Among the most disappointed drivers regarding the weekend outcomes is likely Shane Sabraski. He came into this weekend seemingly on a roll and running well with both his cars but things just did not go well for him on Saturday. He was a DNF with both cars, an unusual circumstance for him. Still, he left the weekend seemingly in a good place to win two more national titles, as the weeks of racing begin to wind down.

One last comment on the final night’s racing. The three-wide starts are certainly spectacular and a trademark for this event but I have to wonder, based on the track record of the last couple of years, whether or not that procedure should be revisited. In eight of the 11 feature races started here in the last two years, the field didn’t make a green flag lap before they were slowed due to yellows, some of the multi-car and damaging variety.
Based on the shape of this track, I still feel that it is perfectly capable of handling 32 or 33 race cars but I’m just not sure if the three-wide start is the way to go. I would also vote for a few less laps for a couple of the feature races as well.

I heard many of the drivers remark this was one of the most organized and smoothly run of 100s for many years and I tend to agree. For this, the WISSOTA board and employees along with volunteers, along with all the track workers from I-94, should be commended.

Congrats to the drivers and crews also for coming prepared to race and for adjusting on the fly as need be. It was a quiet week for the tech shed. Hopefully everyone had a good time and enjoyed themselves because above all, this is still supposed to be for fun.

Article provided by All The Dirt! Racing News

Article Credit: Ed Richert

Submitted By: Camryn Sullivan

Back to News