ABC to Offer ‘Pure Excitement’ Saturday
by Nick Gima
 Ashland, WI
— On Saturday night at the ABC Raceway, drivers in the entry-level pure stock division get their chance to soak up the spotlight.
The track will host its ninth annual “Pure Excitement 25” special event, presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsman’s Club, which is expected to attract pure stock drivers from at least five surrounding-area racetracks to compete for a total purse that, at press time, was in excess of $4,500 and still growing.
Fans, businesses and other racers are all encouraged and welcome to contribute to the overall purse, specific finishing positions in the features, or other aspects of the event as they so choose. The first-place share is currently posted at $700 – that’s seven times what a feature winner makes during a regular race night at Ashland and most other tracks. And with more contributions expected by race time, that amount and the overall purse could grow by staggering proportions.
Contributions can be made in a number of ways at the track during Saturday night’s race program. In addition, the Sportsman’s Club will be holding its annual fundraiser drawing at the track, with tickets available throughout the race program for the chance to win high-quality firearms or cash.
The man behind the “excitement” is former pure stock and WISSOTA street stock racer Bruce Kalmon, whose BK Racing enterprise has developed a loyal following of pure stock drivers who have enjoyed a significant level of proven success driving Kalmon-built cars.
Kalmon, whose heart has remained true to the grass-roots style of racing that pure stockers enjoy, has pounded on doors and passed the proverbial hat for seven of the past nine years to build the event into one of the region’s most anticipated pure stock races of each summer.
The record payout for the “Pure Excitement 25” was posted in 2009, when Superior’s Ron Christman won his first-ever race in Ashland and was paid over $1,300 for his efforts, out of an event-best purse in excess of $5,500, made up mostly of fan and sponsor contributions.
In the eight previous runnings of this event, there have been seven different winners. After Cory Casari of Montreal took the first two “Pure Excitement 25” wins in 2004-’05, Tom Morinville of Duluth, MN, won in 2006 as part of a weekend in which he also won on the night before in Superior and on the following night in Proctor, MN.
Duluth’s Glenn Dammer, a former ABC pure stock champ, won this race in 2007, followed by Dan Larsen of Hermantown, MN, whose ‘08 win was the first of his career anywhere. After Christman in 2009, ABC regulars Paul Milanowski (‘10) and Ken Tody, Jr (‘11), both of Ashland, collected the big money.
Points battles in all five regular weekly divisions will continue to be contested during this penultimate scheduled night of the 2012 campaign. Jeff Spacek of Phillips will carry a seven-point lead into Saturday night’s action in the WISSOTA modifieds, while Superior’s Scott Lawrence clings to an eight-point edge in the WISSOTA super stocks.
Matt Deragon of Ashland holds the track’s smallest advantage in a heated pure stock points chase, but Ashland’s Travis Nye (WISSOTA Midwest mods) and Pat Beeksma of Ironwood, MI (six-cylinders) could wrap up their respective division titles with a weekend of action still remaining.
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