by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, July 11 — Kevin Eder of Ashland grabbed two feature wins tonight at the ABC Raceway – including one that paid him $800.
Eder took advantage of a mechanical failure for Steve Stuart and held off a charging Joey Jensen for the “Modified Mayhem” win, presented by Lake Shore Cafe & Catering of Ashland. Earlier in the show he held off Ryan Adamzak and Tyler Luger for the win in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds.
A field of 100 entries visited the award-winning northern Wisconsin red-clay oval for PolyDome Dirt Track Series racing action on a gorgeous 80-degree Saturday evening, and nearly every one of those drivers came out to visit with the capacity crowd on hand for the Little Caesar’s Pizza-sponsored “Meet the Drivers’ session held on the front straightaway prior to green-flag action.
Stuart set a new track single-lap record during group timed qualifying for the WISSOTA Modifieds, with a lap of 15.979 seconds – the first-ever sub-16-second lap turned at ABC in a “big Mod.” In fact, the drivers posting the five fastest times in qualifying were all under the previous track record, and a sixth was only one one-thousandth of a second over Stuart’s old mark.
The defending champ easily pulled away from the field in the early stages of the 25-lap WISSOTA Modified headliner, after a lap 1 incident that nearly put Eder into the front straightaway wall. After just five green-flag laps Stuart had a two-second lead on a great battle for second between Eder and Al Uotinen, and he extended that lead even further during the nine-lap green-flag run.
The complexion of the race changed, however, when Steve Lavassuer’s car stalled near the turn 4 pit exit; as the caution flag was shown to the field, Stuart’s car mysteriously slowed and he coasted it into the pits, ending his dominant run.
This gave the lead to Eder for the restart and, after a lap 10 mishap involving Dustin Hudack and Jeff Spacek, he used a strong run around the high groove of the wide, fast race track to outrun Uotinen and the rest of the field. Jensen, who started on the last row of the 16-car grid, knifed his way into second with eight laps remaining, but he could get no closer to Eder than a few car-lengths back as he finished runner-up in Ashland for the second straight show.
Uotinen held on to third, while Neil Balduc survived a race-long battle with Destin Lorimor for fourth. Stuart, who also set the Northern Clearing fast lap of the race at 16.690 seconds, saw his points lead trimmed to just two, ahead of Eder and Uotinen.
The Mid-Mod feature started out fast and clean, with pole-starter Luger gaining the early advantage ahead of several dogfights for position. Eder, who had started on the outside of the third row, used a high-side move to get around Rob Weber for second after four laps, and then spent the next three laps cutting into Luger’s half-second cushion.
Two laps after Eder swept by Luger for the lead, Cody Carlson and Duane Dunbar came together in a grinding crash, and that sparked a series of yellow-flag stoppages over the next four laps that slowed the race’s exciting pace. Eder, however, held off challenges by Luger on each of the restarts, and then over the final half-dozen laps he fended off a determined Adamzak, who had moved by Tad Bretting into third after the final restart on lap 14. Eder held a lead of .38 seconds on Adamzak at the checkers, with Luger, Bretting and visiting Mark Kangas completing the top five.
Eder, who admitted in Victory Lane after the win that his car owner actually considered leaving the Mid-Mod home on this night, also collected the fast-lap bonus from that race with a time of 17.533 seconds. And as in the Mods, Eder pulled to within two points of leader Paul Suzik in the track’s Mid-Mod standings.
Perhaps the most thrilling feature of the night was in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, where Dave Flynn of Superior stole the win from Shane Kisling on the final lap, after a race-long, side-by-side battle. They started on the front row together – Flynn on the pole, Kisling on the outside – and that’s where they stayed for nearly the entire 20 laps.
The early circuits saw Kisling work around Flynn and edge ahead, with an impressive effort by Pat Beeksma putting him in third, but on lap 5 Flynn returned the favor, finding enough grip on the bottom groove to retake the lead. Two laps later, with Kisling charging back, Flynn used the slower Keith Corcilius as a pick to keep Kisling at bay.
Kisling recovered and pulled alongside Flynn again, and as the lead pair tried to sneak past the slower Spenser Sorenson they made heavy contact with one another – Flynn’s car bouncing up as it tagged the nose of Kisling’s ride – but both drivers surged on by.
Curt Myers’ spin shortly after that incident slowed the torrid pace, but it worked to Kisling’s advantage as he again swept on by on the high side with seven laps left. Kisling’s lead was a half-second just as the white flag was about to wave, but DJ Keeler’s spin forced a green-white-checkered dash. Flynn gained momentum coming off turn 2 on the final lap to pull even with Kisling, and he made a strong drive off the bottom of the final corner to take the checkered flag by just 48 one-thousandths of a second – about a third of the length of his car.
Jeff Klopstein diced through the field to another impressive finish with his third-place run, while Scott Lawrence overtook Beeksma for fourth on the final lap. Kisling posted the fastest lap of the race with a tour in 17.005 seconds, while Lawrence became the division’s standings leader, with Klopstein and Randy Spacek trailing by just one point.
Hayward’s Dale Coddington survived a caution-filled Six-Cylinder feature to win for the second time this season here. Colton Vernon surprised the front-row combo of Ken Tyykila and Bubba Anderson to flash by for the initial lead, but a two-car spin deep in the field negated the move. When Anderson retired his ride to the pits, Vernon lined up alongside the veteran for the restart, but this time he barely edged ahead.
Contact between Tyykila and DeJay Mihalek during a four-wide race down the front straight behind Vernon on lap 3 caused Mihalek to spin, and shortly after the restart Coddington slipped past Vernon and into the lead. After another stoppage for debris on lap 5, Ron Hmielewski drove low on Vernon and stole second place away, with Tiffany Hudack following suit into third a lap later, before Tykkila’s car stalled on lap 8 to slow the action again.
Hudack challenged Hmielewski on the restart but spun after contact between the two, forcing the field to scatter behind them and sending Hmielewski to the end of the line for the next re-do. From there Coddington was able to outrun Hudack for the final four laps – interrupted one last time by a stalled Cole Vernon – for his second feature win of the season, solidifying him at the top of the standings, while picking up the fast-lap bonus (18.063 seconds) to boot. Hudack was only a couple car-lengths back in second, while Colten Vernon, a resurgent Hmielewski and Forrest Schultz completed the top five.
Tim Carlson of Superior returned to ABC’s Victory Lane for the first time in two seasons with his Pure Stock feature win. Justin Weinberger scooted away from Ryan Madsen for the early advantage, with Randy Conner following him into second. A three-car mess on lap 3 restacked the field, and Matt Deragon took advantage by slipping around Tim Carbon into third.
On lap 9 of the scheduled 15, Connor worked his way by Weinberger for the lead, and he held on despite an ill-handling race car while the field ran in tight formation behind him. Carlson, who was running fourth after a lap 10 restart, passed Carbon for third before Brandle Pupp’s stalled ride slowed the field, and then low road while Deragon went high-side, and the pair displaced Connor and began their own battle for the lead.
Carlson was scored as the leader when the yellow lights blinked on for Madsen’s spin, and he stayed there despite one more slowdown for Scott Lawrence’s spin, taking the win by a four-car margin over Lawrence, Conner and Deragon. Tim’s brother Chad Carlson was awarded fifth after Weinberger failed to visit the post-race scales and technical inspection area.
Deragon continues to lead the points in the division, ahead of Randy Graham, who finished sixth.
Several drivers pooled their resources and donated over a dozen bikes and bike helmets as prizes for young fans on this night. Involved in the giveaway were Super Stock drivers Shawn McFadden, Jr, Jeff Klopstein and Nick Oreskovich, Mid-Mod driver Tyler Luger, Aaron Mashlan from the Six-Cylinders, and Paul Niznik, who runs both a “big Mod” and a Mid-Mod. Also, Mid-Mod racers Cy Hoaglan donated t-shirts as prizes.
On Saturday night the ABC Raceway will induct its second group into its Hall of Fame as part of a full five-division race program to be presented by the Safari Tavern of Ashland. In addition, the WISSOTA-sanctioned divisions will compete for their chance to qualify for the Afco Shocks Race of Champions, to be held during the WISSOTA 100 in Huron, SD, in mid-September. 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. “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: Kevin Eder, Ashland; Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; Al Uotinen, Superior; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Destin Lorimor, Superior; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Paul Knauf, Marshfield; Paul Niznik, Medford; Pat Cook, Washburn; Rick Rivord, Superior; Dustin Hudack, Ashland; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Zack Pagels, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls.
Heat 1: Stuart; Lorimor; Balduc; Mikkonen; Knauf; Rivord; D Hudack; Jensen.
Heat 2: Eder; Lavasseur; Uotinen; Niznik; Spacek; Cook; S Hudack; Pagels.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Dave Flynn, Superior; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Jeff Klopstein, Tomahawk; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Andy Grymala, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; DJ Keeler, Superior; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Ken Truscott, Greenland, MI; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Myron Basina, Washburn; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Spencer Sorenson, Duluth, MN; Keith Corcilius, Phillips; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Curt Myers, Cameron; Brad Kisling, Rice Lake; Willie Johnsen, Superior; Brady Mesko-Jokinen, Mellen.
Heat 1: R Spacek; Flynn; Klopstein; Casari; Grymala; Keeler; Kuklinski; Jokinen; B Kisling.
Heat 2: S Kisling; Myers; Beeksma; Dunbar; T Spacek; C Spacek; Muzzy; Johnsen.
Heat 3: Lawrence; Truscott; McFadden; Oreskovich; Basina; Sorenson; Corcilius; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Kevin Eder, Ashland; Ryan Adamzak, Ashland; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Mark Kangas, Eveleth, MN; Rob Weber, Ashland; Mickey Nosser, Phillips; George Dalbeck, Ironwood, MI; Paul Niznik, Medford; Brad Seavers, Rib Lake; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ron Ranttalo, Thunder Bay, ON; Cody Carlson, Superior; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI.
Heat 1: Hicks; Suzik; Dunbar; John Kallas, Hurley; Kangas; R Barningham; Lindquist; JR Anderson, Superior; Jordan Barningham, Bayfield; Mike Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON.
Heat 2: T Bretting; Luger; Dalbeck; Vernon; Muhlig; Ranttalo; Robert Hyde, Ashland; Cole Chernosky, Thunder Bay, ON; Seavers.
Heat 3: Eder; Adamzak; Weber; Nosser; Niznik; Carlson; C Bretting; Simpson; Cy Hoaglan, Ashland.
Semi-Feature: Simpson; Lindquist; C Bretting; Seavers; Anderson; Hoaglan; Hyde; J Barningham; Jacques.
Feature: Dale Coddington, Hayward; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Colton Vernon, Ashland; Ron Hmielewski, Marengo; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Jonathon Popp, Iron River; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Cole Vernon, Ashland; Ken Tyykila, Iron River; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Tyler Hudack, Ashland.
Heat 1: Schultz; Coddington; Colton Vernon; Anderson; Hmielewski; Mashlan; Cole Vernon.
Heat 2: Tyler Hudack; Tiffany Hudack; Tyykila; Mihalek; Traaholt; Popp.
Feature: Tim Carlson, Superior; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Randy Conner, Hayward; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Chad Carlson, Superior; Randy Graham, Trego; Chad Nikstad, Superior; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Steve Pohl, Manitowish Waters; Don Livingston, Bayfield; Andy Poll, Two Harbors, MN; Charles Jahn, Mellen; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Nick Paoli, Ironwood, MI; Ryan Madsen, Foxboro; Brandle Pupp, Ashland.
Heat 1: Graham; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Deragon; Madsen; Hanson; Nikstad; Nevala; Livingston; Jahn.
Heat 2: Conner; Lawrence; Carbon; T Carlson; C Carlson; Pupp; Poll; Pohl; Paoli.