Travis Saurer has been here, there and pretty much everywhere to race in his 20 years on the track, and he's about to get rewarded with quite a milestone.
Saurer is only nine wins away from capturing the 500th feature win of his standout career behind the wheel. That's after winning two more during Saturday night's Viking Speedway races in Alexandria during the sixth annual Mike Commerford Memorial Special.
"It's crazy," Saurer said. "When I started, every week I'd just pray for one feature. Here I am looking for 500. It's almost like a dream, really."
Saurer got into his Late Model number 77 and cruised to the win in his first feature on the night at the Viking Speedway. After visiting victory lane, he jumped out of the Late Model and into his Modified and grabbed his second straight win in a matter of minutes.
"With the Mod, I knew (turns) one and two, the top was going to be the dominant line," he said. "Three and four, you had to kind of search around. I was a little tight, so the top seemed to fit my car. I just kept rolling up there and I didn't see anyone underneath me."
Saurer bided his time in second place through much of that Modified race. Tyler Kaeter of St. Cloud was cruising out in front until three laps to go when a problem with his front tire brought out the caution and forced Kaeter out of the race.
That put Saurer out front on the restart, and he wasn't about to give up the lead.
"(Tyler) had us covered, no doubt about it," Saurer said. "After the caution, I was just going to try to run my same line and try to hit my marks and not screw up."
Drivers who really love to race will go all over to do so, and Saurer fits that bill.
He raced in Cedar Lake, WI last week in a $40,000-to-win-show. Next week, he'll be in Aberdeen, SD on Friday and Devils Lake, ND on Saturday for stops on the United States Modified Touring Series. Alexandria, about an hour away from his home in Elizabeth, has been another frequent stop on his schedule over the years.
"We put some miles on," Saurer said. "It's just kind of been my passion to race. I just love it. I love the racing and getting around and meeting everybody."
Nights like Saturday where the wins pile up, those are a bonus for all of the commitment that goes into this.
"I put a lot, a lot of time into it. Me and my crew," he said. "You're not out making a living on it or anything. However we finish, we finish, but if you get a win it's definitely a bonus."
The wins have come fast and furious over his career. Saurer has 28 track championships, and now 491 feature victories. At age 40, he figures to have plenty of racing left in the tank.
"I hope so," Saurer said with a smile. "We'll just keep grinding away, keep it fun and try to do the best we can."
Osakis' Jesse Waldorf got things going during the running of the feature races with a win in the Pure Stocks on Saturday.
That led up to a Street Stock feature that saw some tempers flare. Alexandria's Andrew Bangsund had the lead with five laps to go with fellow Alexandria driver Jeff Crouse right by his side. Crouse contacted Bangsund going into a turn as the caution came out.
Bangsund's day was done but not before he slowly pinned Crouse's car up against the wall in front of the grandstand to have some words with him. Crouse was disqualified from the feature race, as well.
That opened the door for Justin Vogel of Brooten. Vogel had been in a close third before the yellow flag, and he cruised to the feature win after the race resumed.
Crouse came back in the Super Stocks feature and made his way all the way up from the back of the pack to finish second. Jason Cook of Brandon held off all challengers during a myriad of cautions in his Super Stock to get the feature win.
Brock Gronwold of Fergus Falls rounded out the feature winners on the night as he took the Midwest Modified race.