Aukland, Wildung nab NLRA victories at Viking
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (May 23-24) — Matt Aukland of Fargo, N.D., snapped the Viking Speedway win streak of Jeff Wildung of Nassau, Minn., in the Memorial Day weekend opener, but Wildung rebounded for a victory in the second half of the Northern LateModel Racing Association doubleheader. | Slideshow
In Saturday's opener, the third-starting Aukland overtook outside front-row starter Rick Schroeder of Montevideo, Minn., midway through the feature and led the rest of the way. Marshall Fegers of Mound, Minn., improved seven positions to finish second while Michael Johnson of Fargo, N.D., polesitter Kerry Hanson of Baldwin, Minn., and Shawn Kirwin of Morris, Minn., rounded out the top five. Schroeder finished ninth and Wildung, who was 3-for-3 in the first three regular-season events at Viking, was 12th.
In Sunday's finale, the 10th-starting Wildung tracked down outside front-row starter Scott Greer of East St. Paul, Manitoba, on the 13th lap and raced to a victory. Greer held on to finish second while the polesitter Johnson finished third. Aukland and reigning NLRA champion Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, Manitoba, rounded out the top five.
Notes: Aukland's No. 12A is sponsored by Northwest Auto Body and M&J Auto Parts. ... Wildung, won won last year's NLRA finale at Viking, drives a Rocket Chassis sponsored by Veit, Lube-Tech and Lucas Oil Products. ... Aukland's season had a rough start when he rolled his No. 50 in an April 24 practice session at Viking. ... Since then, Wildung has four victories in five starts. ... Saturday's feature was cut five laps because of time constraints. ... Mike Balcaen announced his retirment from racing, but he's competing occasionally until he sells his equipment. ... NLRA competitors return to action June 6 at Jamestown (N.D.) Speedway.
May 23 feature: (1) Matt Aukland, (2) Marshall Fegers, (3) Michael Johnson, (4) Kerry Hanson, (5) Shawn Kirwin, (6) Jeff Hinkemeyer, (7) Mike Balcaen, (8) Shaun Peterson, (9) Rick Schroeder, (10) Ricky Weiss, (11) Jeremy Keller, (12) Jeff Wildung, (13) Cody Skytland, (14) Tim Jodsaas, (15) Seth Brede, (16) Brad Seng, (17) Mike McCaughan, (18) Rick Nelson, (19) Scott Johnson, (20) Joe Johnson, (21) Paul Mueller, (22) Scott Greer, (23) Darin Zimmerman, (24) Steve Anderson, (25) John Henkemeyer. Heat race winners (among 25 cars): Wildung, Kirwin, Jodsaas.
May 24 feature: (1) Jeff Wildung, (2) Scott Greer, (3) Michael Johnson, (4) Matt Aukland, (5) Mike Balcaen, (6) Kerry Hanson, (7) Brad Seng, (8) John Henkemeyer, (9) Jeff Hinkemeyer, (10) Jeremy Keller, (11) Cody Skytland, (12) Ricky Weiss, (13) Eric Breeschoten, (14) Paul Mueller, (15) Tim Jodsaas, (16) Steve Anderson, (17) Seth Brede, (18) Mike McCaughan, (19) Joe Johnson, (20) Scott Johnson, (21) Rick Nelson, (22) Shaun Peterson. Heat race winners (among 22 cars): Wildung, Aukland, Balcaen.