ABC Raceway Points Battles Far from Over
by Nick Gima
 Ashland, WI
— Quite possibly the only thing that might seem comfortable about this Saturday night’s race program at the ABC Raceway may be the weather.
The popular northern Wisconsin 3/8th-mile red-clay oval will host another night of exciting stock car racing action, with the championship standings in all five divisions still very much undecided.
Rivord Trucking of Superior will present the program, which will again feature WISSOTA-sanctioned modified, super stocks and Midwest mods, as well as the track’s own six-cylinders and pure stocks. And the action in all five divisions will continue to heat up as racers jockey for position in their respective divisional points battles.
For example, in the modifieds Jeff Spacek of Phillips saw his points lead trimmed to just four after his first A-feature finish outside of the top six this summer. Loyal’s Jared Loos closed up the margin on the strength of a fourth-place run in last Saturday’s mod main, which was won by Ross Lightner of Washburn, who grabbed his first win since exactly five years ago tonight.
Superior’s Scott Lawrence gained precious little breathing room in the super stock standings, extending his lead to just five points on Dave Flynn, also from Superior, after last weekend’s action. Randy Spacek of Phillips was the runaway winner of that night’s feature and sits in third in the standings, but he has work to do to catch the stout-running lead pair.
As he told the crowd after taking third in last Saturday’s “Midwest Mod Madness” feature, Ashland’s Travis Nye is in “uncharted territory.” Nye is hoping to maintain as much of his 31-point advantage as he can over young Minocqua hotshoe Alex Van Natta as he aims for his first-ever track title. But defending Mid-mod champ George Dalbeck of Ironwood, MI, looked to be back to his trophy-winning form as he dominated the $500-to-win special event.
Pat Beeksma of Ironwood, MI, seems to be in cruise control as he continues to hold court over his fellow six-cylinder pilots. Beeksma scored his track-leading seventh feature win in ten shows this summer on Saturday, and his lead is now 35 over Ashland’s Tyler Hudack as he heads for what could be a second straight title.
Going into last weekend’s action three Ashland drivers – Nick Nye, Matt Deragon and Ken Tody, Jr – were tied for the pure stock points lead, while the team effort of Jim Eliason and Paul Tutor, also of Ashland, trailed them by five points. The lead trio finished Deragon-Tody-Nye in their heat race, but in the exact reverse order in the feature behind Eliason, who wheeled his racer to his first feature win since August 2005. The threesome will come into Saturday’s action still tied for the lead, but with the Eliason-Tutor team now just one back in what could be a wild championship shootout over the final three scheduled race nights.
With August racing also comes the potential for several area WISSOTA-division travelers to come to compete on the Ashland oval, as they prepare for a potential return trip here to run in the Red Clay Classic in late September. This could hold even more true tonight for non-ABC regular pure stockers, who could then come back to fill the pits on August 18 for a chance at some big money during that night’s Pure Excitement 25 special.
Rivord Trucking has been as deeply involved in racing as any sponsor can be. The popular Twin Ports family has produced a long and successful line of competitors over the past 40-plus years of area stock car racing, up to and including current ABC regulars Rick Rivord in the modifieds and Shawn Rivord in the super stocks.
But the family business has also been generous with its support of other drivers, sponsoring as many as 25 or more racers in recent years.
The grandstand and pit gates will open at 5 pm on Saturday, with hot laps starting at 6:15. The first race of the evening is set for around 7 pm. Admission tickets for adults (ages 13 & older) are just $10, while fans ages 12 and under are welcome for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Prior to Saturday’s race program, “Race Night” will provide up-to-date track news and weather information live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30-6 pm. The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990