HURON — Britt Williams of Ft. Pierre has wheeled his way around Dakota State Fair Speedway for numerous years. His best 15 laps around the 3/8-mile oval came Saturday and resulted in his first career feature victory.
Williams led from start to finish in the 15-lap WISSOTA Midwest modified main event.
“It’s just been a combination of hard work and persistence, and staying at it,” Williams said of his trek to reach Victory Lane at DSFS. “In this game you just can’t give up, because there’s 10 guys out there who are top-10 winners and it can happen anytime. We were fortunate tonight to start up front and we had everything working for us for once.”
After purchasing a new car that he has named Marticia three years ago, Williams said things started heading in the right direction recently.
“It’s been a three-year struggle with her. We’ve chased her tail around, trying to get this and that done,” he said. “We’ve made excellent progress the last couple of months.”
Williams started on the outside of the front row for Saturday’s feature race and was able to snag the lead on the opening lap. He was able to hold off a strong challenge from polesitter Cole DeJong during the first eight laps of the race.
During the final four laps it didn’t get much easier, as he had to outrun 11-time track champion Lorin Johnson of Miller, who has a total of four track titles in the Midwest modified division.
“You’re always thinking that Lorin Johnson and every other fast guy is right on your bumper. You don’t know where they are at, but you drive it like you stole it and the car was working beautiful,” Williams said of the his final laps to the win. “We couldn’t have asked for a better running, working car. I want to thank all my sponsors and Ron at Dirt Track Supply. It was a hell of a night, it really was.
“It was a gratifying experience. It’s pretty humbling to win something like that against the top guys that are out here,” he said. “This is a tough track and the competition is probably the best here as anywhere, so if you can win one here, you know you’re doing something.”
Johnson passed DeJong for the second spot with four laps remaining and stayed there for the rest of the race, despite cutting into William’s advantage considerably.
Kyle Knouse of Huron was third, followed by defending Midwest modified track champion, Brock Hess of Sioux Falls and Aaron Michel of Jamestown, N.D., who was making his first appearance of the season at the Huron oval.
Johnson and Knouse were the heat race winners in the Midwest modified division.
Also snapping a long winning drought on Saturday at DSFS was Chad Becker of Aberdeen.
Despite having a career-total of 19 feature wins during his career at the speedway, Becker hadn’t found his way to Victory Lane since Aug. 4, 2012. The current leader in the WISSOTA late model national point standings left little doubt that he had the car to beat on Saturday.
After starting on the outside of the fourth row, Becker needed just two laps to reach the front of the 12-car field. He then proceeded to put more than a half a lap between himself and the runner-up finisher during the next 18 laps.
“It was hammer down tonight and it was fun,” Becker said of his first-ever win in a late model at DSFS. “I hadn’t got a win in Huron yet and it was the only place we haven’t. It seems like most of the time you have a really good guy starting in the front row and he runs away, and with no yellows, you don’t have time to catch him on this big track.”
Saturday’s victory added to an already impressive showing this season for Becker.
“We made a little bit of chasis change, different cars and different setup stuff,” he said of the success he has found this season. “The sponsors behind us have helped a bunch and it’s shaping up to be an awesome year.”
Becker leads a contingency of five regulars at Dakota State Fair Speedway, who currently hold the top five spots in the WISSOTA late model national standings.
Scott Ward of Watertown is second, 197 points behind Becker’s total of 1,584 points. David McDonald of Huron is 239 points back in third, while Aberdeen drivers Kent Arment and Curt Gelling are fourth and fifth, respectively.
“It’s still a ways out, so you never know what can happen,” Becker said of possibly winning a national title. “But, we’ve got a decent little lead so we’ll see how that plays out. You can’t get too confident.”
Jordan Heiman of Sioux Falls, who led the first two laps on Saturday after starting on the pole, trailed Becker across the finish line on Saturday. McDonald was third, followed by Gary Brown Jr. of Brandon and Chad Olsen of Hendricks, Minn.
McDonald and Becker were the heat race winners in the late model division.
A two-car battle for the top spot in the WISSOTA modified main event on Saturday was ended when the car of Justin Boomsma of Hitchcock made heavy contact with the outside retaining wall in the middle of turns three and four and rolled several times before coming to rest on its lid. He escaped the incident uninjured and regrouped the 11-car field for the final eight laps of the 15-lap main event.
Dale Ames of Huron, who started alongside Boomsma on the front row, led the first seven laps. He was able to hold on to the top spot for the first five laps following the restart, but could not hold off Alex Guthmiller of Huron.
Guthmiller, who started seventh, used the low side of the track in turn three to grab the lead and led the final three laps for his second win of the season and fourth overall.
Ames would finish second, followed by David Carlson of Huron, Olsen and Nick Grehl of Hitchcock
Guthmiller and Nick Wranek of Harrisburg secured wins in the modified heat races.
Blayne Baloun of St. Lawrence earned his second straight win in the WISSOTA street stock division on Saturday at DSFS. It was his fourth feature win of the season and 10th overall.
Baloun, who started seventh, passed Walter Cable of Geddes for the lead on the sixth lap after the duo passed the flagstand just inches apart to cap the previous lap. He led the remainder of the 12-lap main event, while the battle for the second spot was a fierce one.
Broc Stout of Winner used a three-wide move down the back straightaway to move into second on the eighth lap, but a caution just two laps later regrouped the field for the final three-lap sprint to the finish.
Preston Blackwell of Miller capitalized on the restart and was able to snag the second spot, while Stout was third. Cole Phillips of Winner was fourth, followed by Andy Rossow of Florence.
Baloun and Michael Bogh of Huron were the street stock heat race winners.
Two-time defending track champion Cole Searing of Huron secured his third win of the season and 21st overall in the WISSOTA super stock division on Saturday.
Searing won two of the first three feature races this season at the Huron oval, but was winless in the next four events. After starting on the outside of the second row, he muscled his way to the front of the 16-car field on the second lap of the 15-lap feature race.
Kip Myers of Ethan would get past Kipp Degroot of Platte with five laps remaining to claim the second spot. Degroot would finish fourth with Kelly Duffy of Winner edging in front of him at the line on the final lap.
Rounding out the top five was Chris Walker of Spearfish.
Searing and Kevin Aga of Sturgis were the heat race winners in the super stock division.
Racing returns to Dakota State Fair Speedway at 7 p.m. Saturday with all five classes competing in the Race of Champions qualifier. Winners from Saturday’s program qualify to compete in the Race of Champions during the 2017 Speedway Motors WISSOTA 100, which will be held Sept. 13-16 at Dakota State Fair Speedway.
Advance tickets for the WISSOTA 100 are available at www.wissota.org. For more information on Dakota State Fair Speedway, visit www.dakotapromotions.com.
WISSOTA Street Stock
Heat 1: 1, Blayne Baloun, St. Lawrence; 2, Preston Blackwell, Miller; 3, Andy Rossow, Florence; 4, Logan Pearson, Watertown; 5, Mathew Goth, Madison; 6, Broc Stout, Winner; (did not finish) 7, Warren Pourier, Kyle.
Heat 2: 1, Michael Bogh, Huron; 2, Scott Borstad, Volga; 3, Clifford Houser, Kimball; 4, Walter Cable, Geddes; 5, Jeremy Sengelmann, Dallas; 6, Cole Phillips, Winner; 7, Dave Brooker, Tulare.
Main event: 1, Baloun; 2, Blackwell; 3, Stout; 4, Phillips; 5, Rossow; 6, Bogh; 7, Cable; 8, Sengelmann; 9, Pourier; 10, Brooker; 11, Goth; 12, Borstad; (did not finish) 13, Pearson; 14, Houser.
WISSOTA Midwest Modified
Heat 1: 1, Lorin Johnson, Miller; 2, Cole DeJong, Cavour; 3, Britt Williams, Ft. Pierre; 4, Brock Hess, Sioux Falls; 5, Kyle Carter, Wolsey; 6, Brian Bachmann, Pierre; (did not finish) 7, Blake Meyer, Huron; 8, Nathan Grehl, Hitchcock; 9, Tanner Grohs, Wessington Springs.
Heat 2: 1, Kyle Knouse, Huron; 2, Aaron Michel, Jamestown, N.D.; 3, James Reiner, Wessington Springs; 4, Scott Hansen, Garden City; 5, Lane Johnson, Miller; 6, Jayme Peterson, Highmore; 7, Jeremy Groenewold, Yale; 8, Cory Berquist, Huron.
Main event: 1, Williams; 2, Lorin Johnson; 3, Knouse; 4, Hess; 5, Michael; 6, Reiner; 7, Lane Johnson; 8, Hansen; 9, Carter; 10, Peterson; 11, Bachmann; 12, Grehl; 13, Meyer; 14, Groenewaold; 15, Berquist; (did not finish) 16, DeJong; (did not start) Grohs.
Heat 1: 1, Nick Wranek, Harrisburg; 2, Justin Boomsma, Hitchcock; 3, Dale Ames, Huron; 4, David Carlson, Huron; 5, Andrew Michel, Jamestown, N.D.; (did not finish) 6, Chris Prussman, Brookings.
Heat 2: 1, Alex Guthmiller; Huron; 2, Tyler McDonald, Huron; 3, Chad Olsen, Hendricks, Minn.; 4, Nick Grehl, Hitchcock; 5, Chris Moore, Madison; 6, Chaun Peterson, Mina.
Main event: 1, Guthmiller; 2, Ames; 3, Carlson; 4, Olsen; 5, Grehl; 6, Wranek; 7, Peterson; 8, Michael; (did not finish) 9, McDonald; 10, Boomsma; (did not start) Moore; Prussman.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Heat 1: 1, Kevin Aga, Sturgis; 2, Kipp Degroot, Platte; 3, Blake Whitlock, Watertown; 4, Alan Dorris, Wolsey; 5, Kelly Duffy, Winner; 6, Corey Elward, Mitchell; 7, Brandon Tingle, Mitchell; 8, Dale Tomes, Dell Rapids.
Heat 2: 1, Cole Searing, Huron; 2, Corey Aga, Sturgis; 3, Chris Walker, Spearfish; 4, Kip Myers, Ethan; 5, Jeremy North, Huron; 6, Tyler Myers, Ethan; 7, Dave Brooker, Tulare; 8, Daniel Tingle, Mt. Vernon.
WISSOTA Late Model
Heat 1: 1, David McDonald, Huron; 2 Chad Olsen, Hendricks, Minn.; 3, Brian Diede, Huron; 4, Jordan Heiman, Sioux Falls; 5, John Kaiser, Lake Norden; 6, John Hoefert, Sioux Falls.
Heat 2: 1, Chad Becker, Aberdeen; 2, Gary Brown Jr., Brandon; 3, Dustin Arthur, St. Lawrence; 4, Kelly Duffy, Winner; (did not finish) 5, Scott Borkowski, Mitchell; 6, Rich Thomas, Aberdeen.
Main event: 1, Becker; 2, Heiman; 3, McDonad; 4, Brown Jr.; 5, Olsen; 6, Diede; 7, Duffy; 8, Arthur; 9, Hoefert; 10, Kaiser; 11, Thomas; 12, Borkowski.