Jimmy Mars is the 2021 Speedway Motors WISSOTA 100 Champion
By Tony Steuck
All The Dirt! Racing News
FERGUS FALLS, MN (September 18) - Jimmy Mars held off a late high-side
charge from Dave Mass to win his first WISSOTA 100 Late Model
championship in 25 years Saturday night. Mars assumed control early in
the race and dominated the middle stages, but had company as the laps
Cole Searing grabbed the lead when the green flag waved over the 50-lap
WISSOTA 100 Late Model feature. Travis Budisalovich fell to second early
and Mars moved to third out of turn two. Budisalovich looked under the
leader briefly while Don Shaw battled by Mars for third on lap two. The
first caution waved with two laps scored and the next appeared with four
Searing remained at the point after the restart with Mars second ahead
of Shaw, Mass and Mike Greseth. Mars got busy and looked to the outside
of Searing for the lead; he raced by Searing out of turn two and assumed
control on lap six. The top drivers spread out briefly before they
caught the tail of the field on the 12th circuit. Mass tried to take
third from Shaw as the top four tightened in traffic. Greseth joined the
battle and raced three wide with Mass and Shaw on lap 18. Budisalovich
and Sam Mars tracked down the lead pack before a caution appeared with
20 laps recorded.
Jimmy Mars remained at the front when the race resumed, but Shaw raced
by Searing for second. Searing attempted to reclaim the position and did
so before Shaw slowed and dropped from the race on lap 23. Mass powered
around the cushion and charged up to challenge Searing before a caution
just before the halfway point.
Mass battled with Searing for second after the restart and Sam Mars
tested Greseth in the top five. Jordan Tollakson, who started 15th, Ryan
Mikkelson and Budisalovich ran together in the next group of cars.
After a pair of cautions just after halfway, Sam Mars hugged the low
groove and claimed third. Mars raced to the inside of Searing in the
battle for second and claimed the spot on lap 30. In the back half of
the top five, Tollakson shed Greseth to hold fifth.
Jimmy Mars continued to stretch his lead while Mass found his line on
the cushion and gained speed. Mass climbed to third and tracked down Sam
Mars; he raced into the runner-up spot on lap 35 and set off to chase
down the elder Mars. Traffic became a factor and Mass continued to chip
away at the disadvantage. He was within striking distance with nine laps
to go, but had trouble navigating slower cars and Mars opened his gap
again. Mass got through traffic with four laps to go and closed on the
leader once again. He drew onto his rear deck, but Mars held off his
charge for the $10,000 WISSOTA 100 victory. The win was the second
WISSOTA 100 title for Mars, his first came at Cedar Lake Speedway during
the 1996 event.
Mass settled for a close second with Sam Mars third, Searing fourth and
Tollakson fifth. Budisalovich, Derek Vesel, Greseth, Sam Zender and
Mikkelson rounded out the top 10.
Six drivers earned a spot in the big show in the 15-lap Late Model Last
Chance Qualifier, held to kick off the division’s action. Shane Edginton
blazed away to an early lead with Cole Babcock second. Kent Arment, Jon
Tollakson and Chad Becker battled in the top five before Blake Swenson
picked off Becker for position. Becker still ran sixth, but Kinzer
McCord and Greg Meyer licked their chops as they eyed the final transfer
After a caution with five laps scored, Arment grabbed second and
Tollakson moved by Babcock for third. Meyer continued to pressure Becker
for sixth and pounced at the opportunity when Becker slipped high on lap 10.
Arment closed on Edginton as they entered traffic late in the event, but
settled for a second-place finish. Babcock finished third ahead of
Swenson and Tollakson; Becker made a last-lap attempt to regain the
final transfer from Meyer, but could not stick a pass.
Submitted By: Carson Gramm