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Arneson Ambushes Field For WISSOTA Record $10,001 Mod Nationals Victory

By Ryan Schmitz

ALEXANDRIA, MN (July 6) - Fargo, ND driver Austin Arneson held off former Mod Nationals champions Scot Danzeisen and Dale Mathison to win the 10th Annual Minnesota Modified Nationals Championship presented by Performance Auto on a beautiful Sunday evening. In doing so, Arneson picked up the biggest win of his young career and the largest Modified payout in WISSOTA history, $10,001.

In other AMSOIL Dirt Track Series action, Shane Sabraski picked up wins in both the Midwest Modified and Super Stock divisions. The night's festivites were sponsored by Allstate Insurance and Elden's Fresh Foods.

Austin Arneson and Dale Mathison paced the star-studded 29-car WISSOTA Modified feature to the green for the 70-lap, $10,001-to-win feature event. At the drop of the green, Mathison made a power move and quickly moved ahead of Arneson along with Joey Jensen, who settled into the number two spot. On lap two, fourth starter and last year's Mod Nationals champion, Jason Grimes, slipped over the banking, which dropped him to the back of the field. With six laps in the books, Travis Saurer, who was running in the top 15, slowed and pulled into the infield pit area with mechanical issues.

Back up front, Mathison continued to lead Jensen and Arneson before the first caution came out with only 10 laps in the books. Zach Johnson brought out the yellow, but was able to make a quick tire change and tagged the end of the field.
Mathison paced the field to the green and Arneson moved to the extreme high side of the speedway and completed the pass on both Mathison and Jensen to move back into the lead. With Arneson in firm control out front and Mathison a solid second, Kelly Estey moved into the third spot with Jason Thoennes in fourth. The second caution of the event came out on lap 18 when Dev Malmlov's Performance Auto machine came to a stop on the back chute.

That put Mathison and Estey on Arneson's back bumper for the restart and Arneson once again moved out to the lead while Mathison and Estey battled for second. Meanwhile, back in traffic, Mike Stearns began his charge to the front and moved into the top five with 49 laps remaining.
Stearns was able to clear Estey for third with 43 laps remaining and set his sights on Mathison for the second spot. Arneson led the field to the fuel-stop yellow on lap 30 with Mathison in second, Stearns third, Estey fourth and Scot Danzeisen fifth.

With the cars refueled, Arneson led Mathison and Stearns to the green; he jumped back to the cushion and into the lead while Mathison and Stearns locked horns for the second spot. The caution once again came out with 37 laps left on the board when Dennis Bitzan shot off the banking in turn one.

Arneson led the field to the green, moved his machine back to the cushion and took off to a nice lead while Stearns and Danzeisen looked for a way around Mathison for second. With 23 laps remaining, Stearns' machine jumped the cushion and that allowed Danzeisen to get by into the third spot behind Arneson and Mathison. Mathison continued to look for a way around Arneson, but to no avial. The caution came out once more when fifth place runner Cody Skytland cut a tire on the front chute. Skytland was able to make a tire change and tagged the end of the field with only 19 laps remaining.

On the ensuing restart, Mathison's car struggled to get off the line and Danzeisen was able to move into the second spot before he began his assult on Arneson. Lap after lap, Danzeisen moved his familiar orange machine to the low side of the speedway in an attempt to take the lead.  With 15 laps remaining, Danzeisen made a strong run to the low side of turn two and took the lead when the cars motored down the back chute.  When the leaders entered turn three, Arneson blasted to the high side of the track and the duo raced side by side to the flagstand. Arneson gained the advantage once again while Danzeisen settled into the second spot. Meanwhile, back in traffic, the duo of Dave Cain and Blake Jegtvig had moved into the top 10 after starting in the number 22 and 23 spots, respectively. The caution came out again with 10 laps remaining for a Jeremy Nelson spin in turn two.

Danzeisen and Mathison were back on Arneson's back bumper one more time, but once again Arneson was able to fight off the duo. The final yellow flew with only two laps remaining when Darrell Nelson slowed on the back stretch. That set up a green-white-checkered finish for the big prize.

Arneson led the field to the green and planted his right rear on the cushion while Danzeisen and Mathison looked to the low side, but Arneson continued to lead when the pack took the white flag. On the final lap, Arneson pulled away and raced to the $10,001 win ahead of Danzeisen, Skytland, who raced back to third, Mathison and Jason Thoennes.

Mark Esala led the WISSOTA Modified non-qualifer feature from flag to flag and picked up the $1,000 check. Jamie Trautner, Brady Gerdes, Jason Blasyck and Brian Haben rounded out the top five.

A stong field of 11 WISSOTA Super Stocks took to the track for their 15-lap feature event. Head flagman Mike Blom dropped the green and Shane Sabraski jumped to the high side of the track and claimed the lead. When the cars entered the back chute on the opening lap, Jeff Crouse had already moved his Dairy Queen South machine into second after starting in the number eight spot. Rice, MN driver Dexton Koch was able to make a pass on Crouse on the following circuit and moved into the second spot behind Sabraski. The lone caution of the event flew with eight laps remaining when Derek Quinn slid off the banking in turn two.

Sabraski paced the field to the green and again moved to the lead with Koch in second. The battle for third began to heat up when Trevor Saurer moved to the inside of Crouse and completed a pass on lap 10. Out front, Sabraski continued to widen his lead while Saurer raced up to challenge Koch for the number two spot. Sabraski cruised to the win with Saurer in second, Koch third, Crouse in the number four spot and Mike Peterson fifth.

The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds took to the speedway and, at the drop of the green, Shane Sabraski shot to the high side of the track and into the lead while Mack Estey and Cody Lee battled for the number two spot. The driver on the move was Jason VandeKamp, who quickly powered into fourth behind Sabraski, Estey and Lee. Estey made a strong move to the low side of the speedway but Sabraski continued to lead when the race was checkered due to a multi-car accident and time constraints. Sabraski was declared the winner, Estey settled for second, Lee was third, VandeKamp came home fourth and Jamie Thorstad rounded out the top five.

Viking Speedway is a high banked half mile speedway located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria, MN. The track will be back in action Saturday, July 12 with all regular classes in action. Race time is 6:45 p.m. For more information the speedway, please visit online at

WISSOTA Modifieds:

Feature - Austin Arneson, Scot Danzeisen, Cody Skytland, Dale Mathison, Jason Thoennes, Blake Jegtvig, Dave Cain, Jesse Glenz, Corky Thomas, Kelly Estey, Shaun Peterson, Jeremy Nelson, Andy Gordon, Matt Leer, Jeff Wildung, Josh Thoennes, Darrell Nelson, Zach Johnson, Mike Stearns, Joey Jensen, Jason Grimes, Matt Gilbertson, Dennis Bitzan, Shane Sabraski, Scott Greer, Dev Malmlov, Don Eischens, Travis Saurer, Bob Broking

B Feature 1 - Gilbertson, Johnson, Cain, Brett Hoium, Casy Arneson, Terry Engebretson, Brian Haben, Scott Greer, Tyler Peterson, Shane Sabraski, Clayton Wagamon, Dano Ostrander, Mark Esala, Todd Berg, Brady Gerdes, Jamie Trautner, Chris Mensen

B Feature 2 - J. Nelson, D. Nelson, Jegtvig, Corky Thomas, Cory Tammen, Aaron Holtan, Alex Engelstad, Jason Blascyk, Cody Erickson, Jeff Broking, Landon Atkinson, Dennis Bitzan, Phil Braun, Nikki Wrazidlo, Rodney Sanders, Mark Trautner, Dave Schroeder

B Feature 3 - B. Broking, Malmlov, Gordon, Jordan Foster, Skeeter Estey, Johnny Broking, Tyler Limoges, Bobby Gierke, Jake Wildman, Corey Sersha, Jake Bitker, Tim Thomas, Jerome Guyot, Shaun Peterson, Mike Johnson, Jeff Flaten, Danny Bayer

Last Chance - Corky Thomas, Casey Arneson, Cory Tammen, Alex Engelstad, Terry Engebretson, Brian Haben, Corey Sersha, Clayton Wagamon, Jake Bitker, Cody Erickson, Jason Blascyk, Jordan Foster, Johnny Broking, Brett Hoium, Jake Wildman, Aaron Holtan, Skeeter Estey, Jeff Broking, Dano Ostrander, Tyler Limoges, Bobby Gierke, Tyler Peterson, Scott Greer, Shane Sabraski, Landon Atkinson

Non Qualifier Feature - Mark Esala, Jamie Trautner, Brady Gerdes, Jason Blasyck, Brian Haben

WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature - Shane Sabraski, Trevor Saurer, Dexton Koch, Jeff Crouse, Mike Peterson, Dan Gullikson, Denis Czech, Derek Quinn, Jason Cook, Donna Schmidt, Jon Stepan

Heat 1 - Saurer, Czech, Gullikson, Schmidt, Quinn, Stepan

Heat 2 - Crouse, Sabraski, Peterson, Koch, Cook

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
 Feature - Shane Sabraski, Mack Estey, Cody Lee, Jason VandeKamp, Jamie Thorstad, Jason Hoffman, Travis Saurer, Denis Czech, Andrew Bangsund, Tyler Peterson, Corey Storck, William Lund, Justin Froemming, Tim Ims, Blake Swenson, Shawn Olson, Tyler Vanderby, Shane Howell, Hayden Hanson, Jeff Nelson, Wade Skindelien, McKenzie Gerdes, Shawn Fernkes, Haley Lee

Heat 1 - T. Saurer, VandeKamp, Storck, Froemming, Skindelien, Hanson, R. Saurer, VanOverbeke, Backman

Heat 2 - Thorstad, Estey, Nelson, Vanderby, Lund, Muzik, Cousins, Lick, Boelens

Heat 3 - Sabraski, Czech, Bangsund, Olson, Gerdes, Fernkes, James, Ricks, Deters

Heat 4 - C. Lee, Hoffman, Peterson, Swenson, H. Lee, Ims, Howell, Kruger

B Feature - H. Lee, Hanson, Gerdes, Fernkes, Howell, Ims, Luke Lick, Kurt Deters, Ryan Cousins, Ron Saurer, Chad VanOverbeke, Blake Boelens, Josh Muzik, Wyatt Ricks, Nick James, Shane Kruger, Josh Backman