posted September 02, 2001 02:14 PM
Larson Lands in Grove Creek Winner's Circle, Derek Zieske and Merkins Were also First Time Victors
by Greg Johnson
GROVE CITY, MN - Saturday nights was Season Championship night at the Creek and it was sponsored by Kandi Steel & Graphics and K-95.3. This was the last night to gather points and there were some close points battles in most classes. 120 cars checked in the back gate and there was plenty of action in all divisions.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks ran a consi as there were 26 Streets Stocks on hand, six out of the consi advanced to the main. With a strong field of Streets, the feature would be a good one. Mike Ogdahl of Paynesville took the initial lead from his outside front row position and led the around to turn three where he got a little loose and spun to the infield. Brandon Larson of Grove City made light contact with Ogdahl and came to a stop in turn four. Larson was able to refire the 22L machine and rejoin the pack for the restart. Everything must have been OK with Larson's car as he too the lead on the restart with Chad Walz of Big Lake directly behind him. Larson drove as hard as he could and Walz would challenge on every lap. Right behind the leaders, several cars were on the move as Steve Eggersgluess of Jordan was in third and Mike Loomis of Forest Lake moved into fourth. Dave Mass of Brainerd was moving up through the pack until lap eight when he broke an axle taking him out of the hunt. On the restart, Walz stuck his nose underneath Larson several times only to have Larson hold him off. Larson took the checkers with Walz second and Dan Gullikson of Forest Lake taking third. It was a jubilant Brandon Larson in victory lane and he pounded on the roof and stood with arms in the air and celebrated his first ever feature win. Scott Paulson of Kimball had a good point cushion and will be the season champion
There was good racing action in the WISSOTA Mod-Four main. Jason Voigt of Richmond took the lead at the wave of the green and led the first two laps. Matt Halls then took over the top spot with Voigt in second and Derek Zieske of Renville in third. Voigt dropped out of the race on lap six and Zieske stated to put the heat on Halls. Lap eight saw Zieske make his move and right behind him was brother Dustin with Ryan Canon and Ken Hron going at it for position. Derek was able to keep his car at the point and recorded his first Grove Creek victory of the year. Dustin Zieske was second and Ryan Canon was third. Steve Johnson of Alexandria finished sixth, but was enough to lock him in as season champion in the division.
There were some new cars and lots of action in the WISSOTA Super Stock feature. Nick Musel of Brainerd got the jump on the pack at the start and led the pack for the first half of the event. He had to do battle with Greg Bent of Litchfield and then Scott Thompson of Willmar. Several yellows closed the field up and Thompson moved into the front position and Chris Groth of Plymouth then slid up to second and gave Thompson everything he had as the two were side-by-side for several laps but Biggie wasn't going to let this one slip away as he held on for the win with Groth right there for second and Musel was third with Dustin Nelson of Ogilvie fourth. Groth secured the track championship.
Randy Schumm of Rogers took the lead in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified main. Schrumm was keeping Corey Koenig at bay until James Merkins of Hutchinson blasted his way through the pack and caught Schumm on lap six and took away the lead. Merkins, driving a new car, then powered his way to the feature win followed by Lonnie Walz of Big Lake and Schumm. John Odegaard of Brooklyn Center was fourth.
The WISSOTA Modified feature was a fast one and saw only one leader as Chad Nieland of Spicer had his car dialed in and flying. Nieland took the lead right from the start and never looked back. There was plenty of action behind him as many positions were being challenged. A couple of yellows tightened the pack as Jason Vejtruba of Lake Lillian ran second for most of the race but couldn't make a move on the restarts as Nieland would pick it right back up. Shawn Nolan of South Haven had the MRS #12 on the move as he moved into second on lap 15 but couldn't track down Nieland. Nieland got the win with Nolan second and Vejtruba third and ray Hoberg of Blomkest fourth. Jamie Lemke of Hutchinson amassed enough points to lock up the season championship.
The Creek Stock feature proved to be a wild one as several point positions were very much up in the air and this was the final shootout and chance to get into the top five. It turned out to be a race that really couldn't get going with only five green flag laps and eight yellow flags, the race was ended after a half an hour when Ryan Buer of Atwater barrel rolled his car off of turn two. It was decided to go back to the last complete lap and Buer was awarded the win. That helped the young driver feel a little better as he climbed from the wreckage. It was Buer's first ever win and the end to a wacky race. Dave Henderson of Monticello was second with Dustin Johanneck third. Mike Christensen of Hutchinson ended up being the season champion