by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, August 22 — Hayward’s Dale Coddington outran Tiffany Hudack and grabbed a division-record paycheck in winning the ninth annual Six-Cylinder “Summer Sizzler” feature at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night
The headline event of the PolyDome Dirt Track Series program, presented by the Auto Value Auto Parts store of Ashland, capped off the northern Wisconsin oval’s penultimate regular-season night of the 2015 stock car racing campaign. The win, bolstered by an enhanced purse, a generous contribution from the family of the late 1996 Sixes champion Rich Morrison, and the bonus for posting the fastest lap in the 15-lap A-main (19.207 seconds), earned Coddington a $675 payday – the biggest check the Raceway has ever awarded to a Six-Cylinder driver.
Even with 106 registered entries, strong southerly winds, and a storm front threatening from the south and west, the fast-paced program was completed just after the 10 pm hour on another wide, smooth, fast track.
The track was so fast, in fact, that in group qualifying prior to the first heat race, Hudack set a new Sixes single lap track record of 17.903 seconds (75.406 mph avg), breaking the old mark of 17.987 seconds set by Scott Ovaska in 2011.
Coddington lined up behind polestarter Forrest Schultz for the 15-lap headliner and followed him past Bubba Anderson at the drop of the green flag. After the first lap the yellow lights came on for debris on the track, and on the ensuing restart Coddington again worked inside to slip past Schultz for the winning pass.
Coddington had a second-and-a-half lead on the field when the only other yellow-flag stoppage occurred on lap 7, again for debris. On this restart, however, Tyler Hudack and his sister Tiffany each snuck by on the restart into second and third, as Schultz’s car failed to respond and fell out of the top five. Tiffany moved by Tyler for second with six laps remaining and spent the final circuits cutting into the big margin Coddington had built up, but the two-time track champ and current points leader was still a full second ahead at the final stripe.
Anderson gained third ahead of Tyler Hudack in the closing laps, while Neil Adamzak ran to a strong fifth-place effort. Coddington will carry a nine-point lead over Tiffany Hudack into the final night of the season.
Duluth, MN’s Jody Bellefeuille made a rare visit to the Ashland track and ran off to the WISSOTA Modified feature win. Bellefeuille, the 2007 Red Clay Classic champ, raced around the high side of the three-eighths-mile oval and dominated in recording his first win here since June 2011.
Outside front-row starter Scott Hudack edged past polesitter Paul Niznik at the end of lap 1 for the early lead, but Mod points leader Al Uotinen pulled alongside of Hudack the next time around. Bellefeuille, who started on the outside of row 3, made a split-the-difference move between the lead pair in a run for the top spot on the next lap, but it was negated by a yellow for the spun car of Steve Stuart.
The final 17 laps ran off without interruption, with Uotinen and Bellefeuille overtaking Hudack on either side on the restart, and Bellefeuille continuing around Uotinen for the lead by lap 5. From there Bellefeuille was untouchable, building a lead of over a second-and-a-half by midrace and increasing it to well over two seconds despite having to weave through slower traffic over the final three laps.
At the checkers Bellefeuille had a three-second advantage and the fast-lap bonus (18.033 seconds), while Uotinen’s second-place performance helped him increase his points lead to 17 over Jeff Spacek heading into the final night of the regular season next weekend. Kevin Eder came on strong in the latter half of the run for third-place money, ahead of Spacek and an impressive Destin Lorimor.
Jeff Klopstein of Tomahawk hit the trifecta in the WISSOTA Super Stock feature – he scored his first career feature win the division, he broke a tie for the points lead with Shane Kisling, and he set the fast lap of the run (18.032 seconds). Klopstein entered the night with a one-point edge on Kisling, but the pair were tied going into the feature after Kisling’s win in his earlier heat race and Klopstein’s second-place effort in his heat.
After Michael Truscott’s stalled car collected a couple others in the opening corner of the 20-lap A-feature, the 23-car field clicked away the balance of the event without a slowdown. Early on it looked as though Willie Johnsen Jr and Kevin Eder might run off to decide this one for themselves, while Terran Spacek spent the first few laps trying to keep from giving up third to his dad Randy. But on lap 6, when Randy slipped up the track in turn 4, Klopstein was there to capitalize, while also overtaking Terran in the process.
Klopstein’s stout run continued as he reeled in Eder and got by on lap 8, and then he spent a short number of laps nipping at Johnsen’s heels before diving low to steal the lead away on lap 14. After that Klopstein drew away steadily to a 2.28-second margin of victory, ahead of Johnsen and Eder, while Cole Spacek took fourth away from his cousin Terran in the late stages.
Klopstein’s points lead grew to six after Kisling’s sixth-place run, as the Super Stock rookie looks for his first-ever points title.
While Truscott seemed to struggle with his father’s Super Stock, there was no doubt he had full confidence in his own WISSOTA Midwest Modified, as the 2014 track and Red Clay Classic champ from Chippewa Falls chalked up his 14th career ABC feature win.
Tyler Luger grabbed the early lead from the pole as he outran Tanner Byholm out of the first turn. Truscott, who started outside on the fourth row, took very little time in moving up to challenge for third in the tight lead pack, and after the race was slowed by its only caution flag for Ross Fuhrman’s stalled ride, Truscott took to the high side while the visiting Dan Kingsley dove low, and the pair displaced Byholm for second and third on the race’s only restart.
A lap later Truscott swapped lanes with Kinglsey and drove under him in a pass for second, and in just three more laps he went back to the high side and swept around Luger for the lead. Truscott had a cushion of over a second before midrace, and, although he spent the last quarter of the 20-lap run working his way through traffic, he was a full 3.9 seconds ahead of Luger at the checkered flag.
Kingsley challenged Luger often for second as the pair worked through backmarkers in the closing laps but had to settle for third, while Tanner Hicks capped off an impressive run by taking fourth from Paul Suzik late in the go. Suzik extended his points lead to five over eighth-place-finishing Ryan Adamzak with one night remaining.
Like Klopstein and Truscott earlier, Ashland’s Matt Deragon started on the outside of row 4 in the 15-lap Pure Stock feature, but Deragon stayed outside and passed half the field in half of the race, then disappeared to his third win of the season and padded his points lead.
After a Brandle Pupp spin, outside-front-row starter Randy Graham grabbed the point, but a lead pack of about eight or so cars stayed in close formation behind him. Deragon was already scored in fourth place by the end of the first lap, and he continued to use a line that no one else tried as he picked off visiting Andy Poll for second on lap 3.
On the restart after Glenn Dammer’s spin on lap 6 Deragon challenged Graham for the lead, but Poll then spun and collected a couple cars to end that threat. Deragon tried the outside pass again under green, and on lap 8 he cleared Graham and began to pull away.
In the scramble for positions behind him, Pupp worked hard to get by Tim Carbon for third, and Andrew Hanson took fifth away from Randy Conner, before visitor Nick Ziegler’s car slowed on the front straight to stop the race on lap 10. From there Deragon took off and held a ten-car-length advantage over Graham at the final stripe, with Pupp close behind in third. Carbon and Dammer completed the top five.
Deragon’s lead is 22 over Carbon with one show remaining.
The 2015 track champions will be crowned as part of the ABC Raceway’s Championship Saturday Night on August 29, presented by Pepsi, North Star Beverage of Hurley, and WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI. 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 live 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: Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; Al Uotinen, Superior; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Destin Lorimor, Superior; Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; Paul Niznik, Medford; Rick Rivord, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Jared Loos, Loyal; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake; Pat Cook, Washburn; Jake Hiatt, New Richmond; Dustin Hudack, Ashland; Paul Knauf, Marshfield; Bill Byholm, Glidden.
Heat 1: Uotinen; Lorimor; Niznik; Mikkonen; Stuart; Loos; Balduc; Cook; Hiatt; Knauf.
Heat 2: Eder; Bellefeuille; S Hudack; Spacek; Byholm; Rivord; Jensen; D Hudack; Hoffman.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Jeff Klopstein, Tomahawk; Willie Johnsen Jr, Superior; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Tristan LaBarge, Kelly Lake, MN; Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Charlie Anderson, Ironwood, MI; Cory Casari, Montreal; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Peter Jokinen, Mellen; Dave Elliott, Minocqua; Myron Basina, Washburn; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Keith Corcilius, Phillips; Mike Hince, Medford; Andy Grymala, Superior; Kyle Oman, Cloquet, MN.
Heat 1: Kisling; T Spacek; Oreskovich; C Spacek; Jokinen; McFadden; Elliott; Hince.
Heat 2: Eder; Klopstein; Johnsen; Anderson; Grymala; Lofdahl; Oman; Corcilius.
Heat 3: R Spacek; LaBarge; Beeksma; Lawrence; Casari; Truscott; Basina; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Jeff Lien Jr, Mora, MN; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Ryan Adamzak, Ashland; Mickey Nosser, Phillips; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Niznik, Medford; Rob Weber, Ashland; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; George Dalbeck, Ironwood, MI; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; Ricky Davis, Bruno, MN; Peter Jokinen, Mellen; Jordan Barningham, Bayfield; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.
Heat 1: Suzik; Luger; Lien; Dalbeck; Fuhrman; Jokinen; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Niznik.
Heat 2: Truscott; Kingsley; Vernon; Josh Wahlstrom, Rice Lake; Dunbar; Lindquist; Davis; Mike Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON.
Heat 3: Hicks; Byholm; Eder; Nosser; C Bretting; Robert Hyde, Ashland; Shane Howell, Buffalo, MN.
Heat 4: Weber; Adamzak; T Bretting; Muhlig; J Barningham; John Kallas, Hurley; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.
Semi-Feature: Niznik; Jokinen; Lindquist; Davis; Howell; Passuello; R Barningham; Hyde; Jacques.
Feature: Dale Coddington, Hayward; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Neil Adamzak, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Colten Vernon, Ashland; Travis Swanson, Washburn; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Ken Tyykila, Iron River; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Brendon Ottman, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Olivia Bretting, Washburn; Ron Hmielewski, Marengo.
Heat 1: Tiffany Hudack; Adamzak; Schultz; Tyler Hudack; Mihalek; Popp; Mashlan; O Bretting; Hmielewski.
Heat 2: Coddington; T Vernon; Anderson; C Vernon; Traaholt; Swanson; Ottman; Tyykila .
Feature: Matt Deragon, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Brandle Pupp, Ashland; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Glenn Dammer, Duluth, MN; Randy Conner, Hayward; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Erik Pederson, Alborn, MN; Andy Poll, Two Harbors, MN; Bob Skrobot, Manitowish Waters; Rita Anderson, South Range; Charles Jahn, Mellen; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Nick Paoli, Ironwood, MI; Nick Ziegler, Cloquet, MN.
Heat 1: Deragon; Pupp; Skrobot; Poll; Nevala; Pederson; Weinberger; Anderson.
Heat 2: Hanson; Conner; Graham; Dammer; Carbon; Paoli; John; Ziegler.