Diehard Fans and Racers Brave Brutally Cold Temps to Enjoy the 20th Annual MTH Fall Classic Presented by FYE Motorsports
By: Tami Jo Kuehn
Ogilvie, MN (October 7) – Brutally cold temps, damp air and breaks of sunshine is what mother nature sent Wagamon’s Ogilvie Raceway for the 20th Annual MTH Fall Classic presented by FYE Motorsports. An impressive 310 drivers signed in to battle over the duration of the weekend, and an even more impressive number of fans came to sit and watch the best of WISSOTA battle for the title, Fall Classic Champion.
Friday night’s program had heats for all eight WISSOTA classes and featured 294 cars, 55 races, 440 laps all being completed in four hours’ time. Saturday night’s program welcomed the USRA Late Models for a complete show in addition to B-features and Feature events for the WISSOTA Classes. The night proved to be exciting and eventful with side by side action, close battles, cautions, rollovers and some fence work, but, fans were treated to multiple hours of watching dirt fly.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks were the first of nine features of the night, with Brady Larson and Keith Tourville on the front row. Trouville snagged the early lead as Cody Kummer took second and Kyle Dykhoff claimed third. Dykhoff however retired to the infield, which allowed the top two drivers to pull away. Soon the yellow flag waved, and this would be the first of many yellow flags to fly. After the laps were chipped away, Kummer made his way into the top position. Cody Kummer held the lead the second half of the event and took the win. Jim Gullikson, Jeff Ekdahl, Keith Tourville and Hunter VanGilder claimed the top five points.
Andrew Inman claimed the early lead in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature and drove away while Wyatt Boyum and Brady Larson battled for second. Larson took the point and closed the gap Inman had established. The first caution of the race was triggered which started a snowball effect. As the drivers made their way through a handful of cautions, Larson secured the lead, but Inman and Boyum didn’t let him get away. With a handful of laps to go, one final caution slowed the drivers, and as the field was regrouped, Zach Benson and Inman gave it a final push to get the win. Inman, Benson and Larson raced three-wide for the lead and Benson remained at Larson’s door until the checkers waved. The margin of difference between first and second was a mere 0.056 seconds, and Brady Larson took the prize. Zach Benson settled for second with Andrew Inman, Haley Lee and Nick Ayotte rounding out the top five points.
After a couple of feature events plagued with cautions, the WISSOTA Late Models took the clay for their event and had a similar pattern. Pat Doar took the initial lead, but James Giossi moved in to battle for the point. Giossi nosed ahead on lap two, but a caution slowed the drivers. As the drivers retook the green, Giossi was in command but spun in the curve. Drivers scattered, contact occurred and both Giossi and Don Shaw rolled. More cautions took place throughout the event, including another incident with a driver going over on his side, and fence repairs had to take place. The feature was eventually completed in it’s entirety with Pat Doar making all the right and strategic moves on the track to earn him the win. Remaining top points were claimed by Daniel Bargender, Michael Leach, Nick Panitzke and Dave Mass.
The WISSOTA Modifieds also had a couple cautions in the opening laps, but when the race resumed, Shane Sabraski claimed the lead. Dave Cain and Ryan Gierke battled side by side for second, and they remained door to door for multiple laps until Gierke spun in turn three. The yellow was triggered which put Dan Ebert at Cain’s side. Sabraski led them back to green and Cain and Ebert fought for second. Ebert and Cain moved forward to go three-wide with Sabraski for first. Sabraski held the lead, but Ebert remained glued to his rear. After a few laps, Ebert nosed ahead for the lead, but Sabraski slid low and then high to take the point. As they exchanged slide jobs, Cain came back to battle. After a caution reset the field, Ebert, Sabraski and Cain went three-wide again for the lead with Ebert still in command. Slower drivers soon came into view and Ebert began to put drivers down a lap. Cain then found Clayton Wagamon at his door and they battled for second as they encountered lapped traffic. With the checkers in the air, Dave Cain took the second point followed by Clayton Wagamon, Don Eischens and Jody Bellefeuille as Dan Ebert took the win.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks also began their feature with a caution on lap one, however after the initial caution, they completed the remainder of their event without incident. As the green flew, drivers raced three and nearly four-wide on the race surface. Brandon Duellman nosed out first with Tim Johnson and Dylan Nelson to his rear. Duellman stretched his lead as Shane Sabraski took third and put pressure on Johnson. Johnson, Sabraski and Cole Chernosky raced three-wide for second as cars covered the entire race surface. Duellman prepared to lap slower cars which allowed Sabraski to reel in Duellman. Chernosky followed Sabraski and they both caught Duellman in traffic. They were nearly four-wide in the field as they fought for positions. Soon, the top six drivers all had a chance at the lead as they raced wide across the track with lapped cars mixed in. Shane Sabraski however made his way through the traffic and pulled away from the competitors to take the win. Dexton Koch, Dylan Nelson, Cole Chernosky and Brandon Duellman rounded out the top points.
Charlie Olson and Lucas Peterson brought the USRA Late Models to the stand for the next feature event, and Olson claimed the lead. Matthew Larson and Peterson kept close to Olson as the top three drivers separated themselves from the field. Peterson dropped back on the track while Larson remained glued to Olson. A quick caution was triggered for debris, but as the race resumed Olson was in command. Olson tried to speed away, however Larson kept close. With five laps to go, Larson nosed ahead at the line. Matthew Larson secured the lead the final couple laps and took the checkers for his first ever USRA Late Model win. Charlie Olson, Cade Nelson, Zack Drews and Lucas Peterson grabbed points two through five.
The WISSOTA Mod Fours took the track with Tommy Bawden and Dustin Holtquist on the front row. This race event was the final chance for Mod Fours to earn national points, and going into the event, Bawden and Holtquist were in a tie for the lead. They took the green side by side, and Bawden nosed ahead with the lead. Tyler Larson and Holtquist remained close, but Holtquist then got loose on the back stretch, which allowed Bawden to speed away from his competitor. Laps passed with Bawden tracking down slower drivers, and as he found traffic a caution was triggered. With only five laps to go, Bawden had Holtquist and Larson on his rear. They sped off when the green waved and Bawden held the lead. Holtquist, Larson and Tommy Pogones raced three wide for second when Holtquist raced back to Bawden’s side. They were nose to nose when the white waved, but as the checkers were raised, Holtquist’s pace slowed, and Tommy Bawden sped off to take the win. Tommy Pogones finished second with Tyler Larson, Dustin Holtquist and Connor Hass as the top finishers.
Jake Smith and Ryan Olson led the WISSOTA Pure Stocks to the stand for their feature event, and Olson claimed the early lead. Although a caution occurred and slowed the drivers, Olson was not affected by it. Ryan Olson led every lap of the feature event and took the win in a dominating performance. Remaining top points went to Austin Carlson, Rob Grabon, Jake Smith and James Rahn.
With the race event nearing the eighth hour of racing, the WISSOTA Hornets took the track to close out the 2023 Fall Classic. Mac Johnston, Joe Wilber and Adam VanDerostyne grabbed points one, two and three as the green waved. The top five drivers drove in a single file line, while drivers in points six through ten were nearly five-wide. With the race half over, the mid-pack racers still raced close for points as Johnston remained in the lead. With seven laps to go, the yellow lights flickered on and the drivers were sorted and reset. A couple more restarts occurred before the Hornets finished those seven laps, but it was Mac Johnston who remained the top racers and took the win. Joe Wilber, Travis Olafson, Anthony Jenson and Adam VanDerostyne rounded out the top five points.
The final checkers had flown, countless laps were turned, 310 drivers took the clay, and the 2023 MTH Fall Classic presented by FYE Motorsports was officially in the books. Thank you to all the drivers and fans who braved the brutally cold temps to enjoy hours of race action at Wagamon’s Ogilvie Raceway. The 2023 season will come to a close on Friday October 20th and Saturday October 21st at the 13th Annual Topless Nationals. This is always a fun event, be sure to put it on your calendar and join us one final time this year, at the Big O.
Article Credit: Photo By: Troy Powers