Wildung earns $4,000 at delayed Fall Classic
By Ray BesteViking Speedway
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (April 16-17) — The weather-postponed Viking Fall Classic was held in the springtime, but as any Viking Speedway fan knows, Jeff Wildung is liable to show up in victory lane no matter the season.
Wildung, the reigning WISSOTA Late Model points champion, rallied from his ninth starting spot Saturday at the half-mile oval in central Minnesota for a $4,000 victory. Wildung outdueled fellow Minnesota drivers Zach Johnson of Kensington and Lance Matthees of Winona en route to the WISSOTA-sanctioned victory. Marshall Fegers of Mound, Minn., was fourth and young Canadian Ricky Weiss of Winnipeg, Manitoba, rounded out the top five. | Slideshow
Paul Mueller and Shawn Kirwin started on the front row of the 40-lapper with Kirwin leading the first lap as the fourth-starting Johnson quickly took second. Matthees, who started 11th, also quickly moved into contention.
Johnson blasted by Kirwin on the low side to grab the lead on the ninth lap exiting turn two to take command while the low-running Matthees slipped past Weiss and Pat Doar a few laps later to grab third.
Matthees took second from Kirwin before the halfway point while Wildung began his surge to the front in his familiar yellow No. 50. The high-running Wildung began to track down the frontrunners, who were glued to the inside groove.
A lap-28 yellow bunched the field and Matthees was out front as Wildung took the second spot from Johnson the restart. A side-by-side duel between Matthees and Wildung commenced with Wildung edging ahead with eight laps remaining.
Johnson slipped by Matthees in the final laps for a last-ditch charge of Wildung, but Wildung stayed in control the rest of the way to win his first start of the season.
Notes: Wildung's Sturdy-powered Rocket Chassis is sponsored by Lucas Oil, Viet Company, Lubrication Technologies and Pro Auto Sales & Service. .... The race was plagued by poor weather last season that forced its postponement to the 2010 opener at Viking. ... Wildung won 20 races last season en route to the WISSOTA weekly championship. ... Don Shaw picked up the hard charger honors with his 21st-to-10th run. ... Viking opens weekly racing on April 24.
Viking Fall Classic: (1) Jeff Wildung, (2) Zach Johnson, (3) Lance Matthees, (4) Marshall Fegers, (5) Ricky Weiss, (6) Justin Fegers, (7) Shawn Kirwin, (8) Pat Doar, (9) John Kaanta, (10) Don Shaw, (11) Brad Seng, (12) Corey Nelson, (13) Matt Aukland, (14) Mike Balcaen, (15) Shaun Peterson, (16) Dave Tyrchniewicz, (17) Scott Greer, (18) Seth Brede, (19) Rick Nelson, (20) Rick Schroeder, (21) Dave Zimmerman, (22) Joel Waba, (23) Paul Mueller, (24) Joel Cryderman, (25) Steve Laursen, (26) Darrell Nelson. Heat race winners (among 26 cars): Kirwin, M. Fegers, Doar.