Byholm, Flynn, Eder Grab RoC Qualifiers at ABC
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, July 18 — On a night when the ABC Raceway added to its Hall of Fame roster, the feature winners visiting Victory Lane on Saturday included some repeat performers as well as one familiar face that hadn’t been there in a while.
Bill Byholm of Glidden won his first WISSOTA Modified feature since August 2010 to earn an invitation to the Afco Shocks Race of Champions in mid-September in Huron, SD, during the WISSOTA 100. Others earning invites to the prestigious event included Superior’s Dave Flynn and Ashland’s Kevin Eder, while Forrest Schultz of Ashland and Tim Carlson of Superior collected their second wins of the season here.
During intermission of the race program, nine new inductees were entered into the ABC Raceway Hall of Fame and introduced to the large, appreciative crowd on hand on a warm, breezy evening. In the Drivers category, the Class of 2015 included Dick Christman, Steve Kieber, Don Koivisto and Jule Wilcox, while in the Volunteer & Contributor category the inductees included the late Chuck & Lucy Anderson and their family, Bob & Gerladine Korpela, Walt & Diane Martens, Mike & Linda Sorenson and their family, and Lorraine and the late Jerry Zifko.
Kieber, the former Mod standout here, threw the green flag over that division’s 20-lap A-main, and early on it seemed no one was going to catch front-row starter Jeff Spacek, who swept around polesitter Rick Rivord for the initial lead. Spacek pulled to a 1.2-second lead in a matter of just five laps, while Rivord held off a heated battle between Brian Mikkonen and Eder.
As the laps clicked off without any yellow-flag delays Eder surged forward, taking third on lap 6 and then staying on the upper groove of the wide, slick smooth red-clay oval to overtake Rivord for second a lap later. Eder then began to eat into Spacek’s cushion while Al Uotinen drove up to fourth with a three-wide pass of Mikkonen and Byholm on lap 9.
As Eder reeled in Spacek, Byholm nabbed third on lap 12, and within another four laps Eder was taking peeks to the inside on Spacek going into the corners while Byholm was within a couple car-lengths. It was while maneuvering through lapped traffic that Eder and Byholm swapped lanes while attempting to overtake Spacek, and Eder had the lead coming under the white flag. But Byholm split between the other two and edged ahead down the back straight, holding on to win his 26th career feature here by .61 seconds.
Spacek, who set the fast lap-time of the race at 18.794 seconds, nipped Eder for second by a couple feet, while Rivord and Uotinen completed the top five. Ironically, it was one year ago this weekend that Byholm sustained a severe injury from a freak accident while unloading his race car at the Ashland track that cost him the second half of the 2014 racing season.
Flynn was on a mission tonight in both his WISSOTA Super Stock and Midwest Modified tonight, and he wheeled the Super Stock to his 11th career win in Ashland. In what is believed to be the 500th Super Stock feature run at the ABC Raceway, Flynn drove under front-row starters DJ Keeler and Shawn McFadden Jr and sprinted to a 1.6-second lead just three laps into the 20-lap event. When Shane Kisling worked the high side to pull alongside Keeler in the battle for second, there was - for a moment - the chance that he and Flynn would repeat the thrilling side-by-side race for the lead that they had the week before.
But Keeler was determined not to let Kisling by, and after a lap 5 restart Kisling made a rare error and spun himself out while trying to clear Keeler for second. Curt Myers then challenged and eventually overtook Keeler, then stayed in Flynn’s tire tracks for the next 11 laps.
Just as the lead pair caught the backmarkers, Mike Hince spun to put the leaders into the clear, and behind them the racing was furious for third between Keeler, Jeff Klopstein and Scott Lawrence. Eventually Keeler got shuffled back a few positions, and it was his spin on lap 16 that tightened up the field again. Myers slipped up the track on the restart, costing him second, before the race was stopped for debris on the next lap.
From there Flynn held off a furious effort by Klopstein to earn the win, and collected the fast-lap bonus in the process (18.854 seconds). Lawrence was less than a car-length back in third, just ahead of Myers and a nice fifth-place effort by Andy Grymala.
The start of the 20-lap WISSOTA Midwest-Modified A-main was slowed when David Simpson and Ryan Adamzak tangled coming off the first turns, but from there Mickey Nosser set the early pace while Eder was on the charge. Looking for his second straight win the Mid-Mods here, Eder worked past pole-starter Cody Carlson for second on lap 3, just before Adamzak, who had followed Eder into third, looped his ride to bring out the yellow flag again.
Over the next dozen non-stop laps, Eder first snuck a peek to the outside, then completed the outside move to take the lead from Nosser on lap 6 and pulled away in a hurry. That’s because charging through the field were Mike Truscott - from his 11th-place starting spot to third by lap 6 - and Flynn, who started dead-last in the 11-car semi-feature to the win there, and then started the feature 21st but clawed his way to fifth by lap 10. Truscott took second from Nosser on lap 14, and Flynn swiped fourth away from visiting Kyle Runkle just before Runkle spun himself out of contention with five laps remaining.
Eder scooted away to a 1.2-second lead on Truscott after the restart, but Truscott trimmed that to .58 seconds at the checkered, with Flynn finishing his impressive run in third just ahead of Nosser and Tanner Byholm. Eder padded his paycheck by adding the fast-lap bonus with a lap of 18.964 seconds during the run.
As he alluded to in his Victory Lane interview, the last three laps of the 15-lap Six-Cylinder feature may have been the longest of Schultz’s racing career. That’s because a series of caution stoppages put arguably the top three cars in the division right on his tail for restarts.
Tyler Hudack set the initial pace and stretched his lead to a comfortable margin on front-row starters Bubba Anderson and Adam Traaholt. But Schultz, who won his first-ever feature here on July 27, worked his way by Anderson for second just two laps in, and Dale Coddington followed suit to third on lap 3.
Schultz tracked down Hudack and eventually displaced him as the leader with a strong move on lap 6, but before he could build any amount of a lead Aaron Mashlan’s spin brought the field back to his rear push-bar.
Over the next five laps Coddington, Tyler Hudack, and Tyler’s sister, defending track champ Tiffany Hudack, waged a fierce battle for second place, allowing Schultz to pull away to a significant advantage. Then Jonathan Popp spun with three laps left, negating Schultz’s big lead, and then Colton Vernon hit the front straight concrete hard coming out of turn 4 to change the green lights to yellow. With Coddington and the Hudack siblings restarting right on his tail, Schultz was smooth on his getaways and held on for his second win in three race nights, while setting the last lap in the process (19.735 seconds).
Tiffany Hudack won the battle for second, while Coddington grabbed third as Tyler Hudack’s car slowed coming off the final corner. Brandon Ottman drove to an impressive career-best fifth-place paycheck.
Like Eder in the Mid-Mods, Tim Carlson also captured his second-straight feature, coming in the 15-lap Pure Stock finale. Carlson raced side-by-side with rookie Justin Weinberger for a couple of laps before a lap 2 safety caution, and then Carlson, Randy Graham and Matt Deragon surrounded and overwhelmed the rookie for the top three spots.
As Deragon drew alongside Graham in a battle for second, Carlson pulled away by a safe distance, but Jake Nevala’s spin brought the field up close at mid-race. Deragon won the battle for second, and he chased Carlson away from the rest of the field for a couple more laps before back-to-back caution slowdowns on lap 11 bunched things up again, but Carlson was able to hold off any threats by Deragon for his fifth career feature win in Ashland. Graham held on for third ahead of strong efforts turned in by Tim Carbon and Andrew Hanson.
On Saturday night the ABC Raceway will offer a half-price adult admission ticket as part of its annual “Jam the Stands” Night festivities, presented by Heartland Communications, WBSZ-FM and WJJH-FM, and the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland & Washburn. The program will be part of the state-wide Kim Parsons Memorial Trophy Tour. Adult tickets are $10, and fans ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Hot laps are set for 6:15 pm, followed by heat and feature action at 7. “Z-93 Race Night” will air live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and stream online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30-6 pm with at-the-track news and weather updates.
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.
Feature: Bill Byholm, Glidden; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Rick Rivord, Superior; Al Uotinen, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Pat Cook, Washburn; Paul Niznik, Medford; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Dustin Hudack, Ashland; Zack Pagels, Ashland.
Heat 1: Stuart; Spacek; Uotinen; Byholm; Cook; Niznik; Pagels.
Heat 2: Eder; Rivord; Mikkonen; Balduc; D Hudack; Lavasseur; S Hudack.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Dave Flynn, Superior; Jeff Klopstein, Tomahawk; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Curt Myers, Cameron; Andy Grymala, Superior; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Ken Truscott, Greenland, MI; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Dave Elliott, Minocqua; DJ Keeler, Superior; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Myron Basina, Washburn; Brady Mesko-Jokinen, Mellen; Luke Schultz, Cameron; Mike Hince, Medford; Brad Kisling, Rice Lake; Randy Spacek, Phillips.
Heat 1: Flynn; Keeler; Oreskovich; C Spacek; T Spacek; Elliott; Dunbar.
Heat 2: Lawrence; S Kisling; McFadden; Grymala; Truscott; Hince; Jokinen.
Heat 3: Klopstein; Myers; R Spacek; B Kisling; Casari; Basina; Schultz.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Kevin Eder, Ashland; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Dave Flynn, Superior; Mickey Nosser, Phillips; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; George Dalbeck, Ironwood, MI; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge; Cody Carlson, Superior; Kevin Monteith, Rosslyn, ON; Paul Niznik, Medford; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Karl Kolek, Menomonie; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Ross Fuhman, Ashland; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Kyle Runkle, Chetek; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Brad Seavers, Rib Lake; Robert Hyde, Ashland; John Kallas, Hurley; Ryan Adamzak, Ashland.
Heat 1: Simpson; Runkle; R Barningham; Hyde; Passuello; Jordan Barningham, Bayfield; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Cy Hoaglan, Ashland.
Heat 2: Carlson; Byholm; Seavers; Hicks; Fuhrman; Kallas; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; Mike Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON.
Heat 3: Eder; Adamzak; Truscott; Niznik; Dalbeck; Suzik; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Flynn.
Heat 4: Monteith; Nosser; Stricker; Vernon; Kolek; Dunbar; Rob Weber, Ashland.
Semi-Feature: Flynn; Dunbar; Suzik; Kallas; Luger; Lindquist; Weber; Jacques; J Barningham; Bretting; Hoaglan.
Feature: Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Brendon Ottman, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Cole Vernon, Ashland; Ken Tyykila, Iron River; Colten Vernon, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River.
Heat 1: Tyler Hudack; Anderson; Colten Vernon; Ottman; Mashlan; Cole Vernon.
Heat 2: Tiffany Hudack; Coddington; Mihalek; Schultz; Tyykila; Popp.
Feature: Tim Carlson, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Brandle Pupp, Ashland; Randy Conner, Hayward; Scott Haedrick, Duluth, MN; Don Livingston, Bayfield; Bob Skrobot, Manitowish Waters; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Andy Compton, Ashland; Nick Paoli, Ironwood, MI; Jeff Christman, South Range.
Heat 1: Weinberger; Graham; Carbon; Christman; Conner; Compton; Nevala; Paoli.
Heat 2: Carlson; Deragon; Hanson; Pupp; Haedrick; Livingston Skrobot.