Rivord Rakes In $1,500 for ABC ‘Mid-Mod Madness’ Win
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, August 8 — Superior’s Jack Rivord stayed patient through a series of significant caution flags that ground up several challengers and was awarded the win in the 14th annual “Midwest Mod Madness” at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.
In a program presented by the Lake Shore Cafe of Ashland, the win earned Rivord $1,500, thanks to a generous contribution by Zielies Tree Service to that division’s purse, on a hot, muggy night.
All 24 drivers that registered for the 25-lap “Mid-Mod Madness” spotlight event started the race, but a lightning-fast track surface and some aggressive driving took its toll on the field. Pole-starter Jimmy Latvala grabbed the initial lead from fellow front-row starter Donnie Lofdahl, but third-running Marcus Dunbar bumped Latvala before lap 1 was done and broke loose, collecting several cars and bringing about the first of seven caution stoppages.
Lofdahl got the jump on the field on the re-do, but visiting Rick Siiter’s spin after one circuit brought up another quick halt. Another visitor, two-time defending national champ Skeeter Estey, worked his way past Lofdahl for the lead on the next start, with the sixth-starting Rivord following to second. Rivord then drove low on Estey for what turned out to be the winning pass on lap 3, and he extended his lead as much as he could before the next yellow flag flew, for Clay Passuello’s spin on lap 5, which gathered up several other mid-pack racers.
On that restart, Kennedy Swan’s loose ride, which made contact with Bryan Lund, drew the next yellow flag, and Diamond Bressette’s spin on the next try, in which Swan and Lund were both collected, kept the race from gathering any momentum. Latvala got by Estey with an inside move under green, but the pass was negated when Lofdahl’s ride turned around and three more cars were collected in a grinding crash that stopped the race again, with only seven laps completed over 27 minutes.
After a lengthy clean-up, officials shortened the race to just ten more laps or one more caution, but when Dunbar and Tanner Hicks crashed together on the very next restart, the race was called complete and Rivord was deemed the winner. Estey, Latvala, 11th-starting Hicks and Tyler Vernon completed the top five.
Vernon found the sticky-quick red-clay oval much more to his liking in the WISSOTA Modified feature, where the Ashland speedster flew to his first-ever career win at ABC in the division by a huge margin.
Starting from the pole, Vernon wasted no time in establishing his dominance over the field, sprinting away from fellow double-duty driver Lofdahl by 1.6 seconds over the first four tours before the 20-lap race’s only caution stoppage was called for debris.
Paul Suzik captured second from Lofdahl as the race went back to green, but Vernon was nearly two seconds out front within the next five laps and continued to pull away. The leader had a cushion of half the length of the front straight on Suzik with eight laps remaining, and Suzik was still further ahead of Lofdahl, who had his hands full fending off Cole Spacek and Shane Kisling.
Vernon’s final margin over Suzik was just shy of 4.4 seconds, with Lofdahl a full third of a lap back, just ahead of Spacek and 13th-starting visitor Mike Anderson.
Another race of attrition, although not as lengthy timewise, was the 20-lap WISSOTA Super Stock A-main. Seven of the 12 scheduled starters took the checkers, but points leader Dave Flynn of Superior got there first.
Shawn McFadden took the lead from pole-starter Andrew Mackey and paced the first couple of laps before Terran Spacek’s spin stopped the run. Steve Stuart grabbed second away from Mackey immediately after the restart and stayed in McFadden’s tire tracks through the next three circuits.
On lap 6 McFadden’s car got very sideways going through turn 4, and the tightly-packed field scattered to avoid contact. McFadden gathered up control of his ride, but everyone behind him got stacked up, causing Matt Deragon, Cory Casari and Nick Oreskovich to jumble together into a pile-up on the front straight. Deragon was the only one able to continue, and McFadden was penalized to the tail of what was, at the time, an eight-car line-up.
Stuart led the field back to the green, but his time there as short-lived as Flynn, restarting third, sped by the slowing Andrew Mackey and slipped low on Stuart for the lead before the lap was completed. From there Flynn cruised to his second feature win of the season here and 20th of his career at ABC, with Stuart better than a second back. McFadden charged back to claim third ahead of Deragon, while Aaron Mashlan finished a lap down in fifth.
The WISSOTA Pure Stocks and Hornets and the ABC Six-Cylinders completed the program by running 28 feature laps with only two quick caution flags. In the Pure Stocks rookie Tanner Gehl started outside on the front row, beat RJ Holly to turn 1, and held on to the point the rest of the way for his second career feature win in the past two shows at Ashland.
Holly spent the majority of the race defending his second-place standing from a determined Randy Graham, but Holly’s bobble in turn 2 with three laps remaining left the bottom open for Graham to slip by. Gehl had enough of a lead that Graham couldn’t close the gap, and Holly recovered to come home third just a couple car-lengths back of Graham.
Finishing in fourth was 80-year-old Zene Anderson, who told a track official earlier in the evening that running a race at Ashland was on his “bucket list” for 2020.
It took Dalton Truchon of Ashland the first three laps of the Six-Cylinders’ 12-lap main event to get by pole-starter Joshua Saunders for the lead, but once there he pulled away to his second straight feature win here.
Truchon used an outside pass to take the lead away from Saunders, who spent the rest of the run keeping points leader Graham behind him. Eventually Forest Schultz and Tiffany Hudack closed the gap, and second-in-points Schultz took a shot at an inside move on Graham in the late laps, but Graham held on.
Truchon had nearly two seconds on Saunders for the win, with Graham a close third. Hudack got by Schultz on the white-flag lap for fourth.
Ashland’s DeJay Jarecki overcame a one-row penalty for a “jump” of the start of the WISSOTA Hornets feature to claim his fourth feature win of the season. Both afore-mentioned yellow-flag slowdowns came in this race – the first for Jarecki’s jump of the original start, and the other one lap later for debris.
Josh Rowe held the initial lead, but after the first restart he was overtaken by Jarecki and AJ House, the two primary combatants for the division’s points title this year. Jarecki went outside on Rowe to take the lead on the second restart, House went inside, and the lead pair drove away as Caleb Decker overtook Rowe for third on lap 2.
Points leader House could not mount a serious challenge for the win, as Jarecki became the Raceway’s all-time feature wins leader in the division. Rowe retook third in the closing laps from Decker, and Mitch Kieber was scored in fifth at the checkers.
As evidence of just how fast the track was on this night, the quick times recorded in the features by Vernon in the Modifieds (16.275 secs; 82.949 mph), Flynn in the Supers (16.785; 80.429), and Rivord in the Mid-Mods (16.897; 79.896) were each within three-tenths of a second of matching the Raceway’s one-lap records in their respective divisions, while Hudack in the Sixes (18.472; 73.084) was within six-tenths of a second of the track record for that class.
Next up at the ABC Raceway is the second visit of the season for the Northern Renegades traditional, or wingless, sprints, on Saturday, August 15. All six regular weekly divisions will be on hand as well, with the pit gates opening at 4:30 pm, the grandstands at 5, hot laps starting at 6:15, and the first heat race of the night going green at 7 pm.
Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.
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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.
Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Brandon Copp, Brule; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Pat Cook, Washburn; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Paul Niznik, Medford.
11-14: Jake Hiatt, Mason; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs.
Heat 1: C Spacek; Vernon; Suzik; Kisling; Niznik; Gehl; Luger; Anderson.
Heat 2: Copp; Cook; Lofdahl; Hiatt; Zack Drews, Superior; Balduc.
WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS
Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Rita Anderson, South Range; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal; Nick Oreskovich, Mason.
11-12: Scott Lawrence, Superior; Terran Spacek, Phillips.
Heat 1: Stuart; Mackey; McFadden; Deragon; Mashlan; Popp.
Heat 2: Oreskovich; Spacek; Casari; Flynn; Lawrence; Anderson.
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS
Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; Skeeter Estey, Kelly Lake, MN; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; John Darwin, Iron River; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.
11-20: Bryan Lund, Ashland; Zach Slayton, Springbrook; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls; Mark Kangas, Eveleth, MN; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.
21-24: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Rick Siiter, Esko, MN; Ross Siiter, Esko, MN.
Heat 1: Anderson; Passuello; Latvala; Kangas; Mains; Hudack; Barningham; Lund.
Heat 2: Estey; Rivord; Vernon; Hicks; Darwin; Weinberger; Slayton.
Heat 3: M Dunbar; D Dunbar; Lofdahl; Fuhrman; Swan; Bressette; Rick Siiter; Ross Siiter.
WISSOTA PURE STOCKS
Feature: 1-4: Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Randy Graham, Trego; RJ Holly, Marengo; Zene Anderson, Superior.
Heat: Graham; Holly; Gehl; Anderson.
Feature: 1-10: Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Joshua Saunders, Spooner; Randy Graham, Trego; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo.
11-13: Jakob Bond, Mason; Ethan Beeksma, Mellen; Trenton Bond, Mason.
Heat 1: Truchon; Saunders; Groom; Schultz; Rohlfing; Hmielewski; Beeksma.
Heat 2: Hudack; Graham; Pearce; Traaholt; J Bond; T Bond.
Feature: 1-8: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Caleb Decker, Mahtowa, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Jake Wammer, Ashland.
Heat: Jarecki; House; Rowe; Kieber; Decker; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Butterfield; Wammer; Hummelmeier.
ABC 8/8/20 results