by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, August 13 — On a night when the ABC Raceway inducted its third Hall of Fame class and fans came through once again with a huge contribution for a worthy cause, Kevin Eder stole the show by winning both the WISSOTA Modified and WISSOTA Midwest Modified features at the northern Wisconsin speedplant on Saturday night.
The WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series five-division program was presented by Zar’s Banquet Hall of Ashland and included the enshrinement of nine new members into its Hall of Fame. In addition, over $1,700 was raised thanks to the generosity of race fans through “split-the-pot” ticket sales and a matching donation by Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland.
The Class of 2016 includes retired drivers Mel Ferguson, Jerry Hartman, Johnny Johnson and Ron Weinberger; and volunteers and contributors Kurt Beeksma, Ray & Dawn Berglund and family, Don & Alice Hudack, and Rudy and Lorraine Marincel. CG Bretting Mfg Co Inc of Ashland was also added as an Honorary inductee.
Eder, of Ashland, worked the outside line around the three-eighths-mile red-clay oval to near perfection on his way to his fourth “big Mod” A-main win of the year here and seventh overall this season at ABC. Prior to a stoppage just three laps into the 20-lap affair for a safety check on Dustin Hudack’s car, pole starter Steve Lavasseur had fought off early threats from Jeff Spacek for the lead. After the restart, Eder used a “split-the-difference” move between Brian Mikkonen and Steve Stuart to take away third place, and then he switched to the upstairs line, swooping around Spacek on lap 5 to claim second.
With Lavasseur also using the high road, Eder dove low to pass him for the lead on lap 7, and from there he drove away, pushing his lead to a second-and-a-half within four short laps. Stuart drew up to challenge Lavasseur for second, and the pair staged an entertaining battle for the position as Eder pulled away.
The duel also allowed Paul Wrazidlo to reel them in, and while driving under the white flag Wrazidlo slipped past Stuart for third. Lavasseur barely held off Wrazidlo for second, albeit a full 2.57 seconds behind Eder, with Stuart close behind in fourth. Bill Byholm was a distant fifth.
In the 20-lap Mid-Mod main, Eder started deeper in the field (inside on row 4), but that just meant it took him longer to get to the front. Several early squabbles kept the race from moving along, including a two-car scrum on the opening lap, Jeremy Lindquist’s grind against the front straight concrete on lap 6, a four-car mess on the ensuing restart, and another two-car get-together on lap 8. But Eder didn’t rely on the yellow flags to pick off positions; he worked the high groove to get by Wayne Stricker for fourth on lap 3 and repeated the move to gain third ahead of Tanner Byholm prior to the lap 6 stoppage.
Eder beat Dave Flynn for runner-up honors on that restart, and then a lap later he swept around outside front-row starter Shane Kisling for the lead. From there he simply outran the field as the remaining 12 laps after the last caution-flag slowdown clicked off non-stop.
Eder led by a second-and-a-half when he caught and began to pass backmarkers with five circuits remaining, but Flynn could not trim much of that lead down. Eder’s third win of the year in the division came 1.22 seconds before Flynn took the checkered, with Ryan Adamzak, Byholm and Kisling filling out the top five.
One week after another “top-gun” WISSOTA Pure Stocker – Rice Lake’s Jason Havel – came to town to turn some laps in preparation for the upcoming “Pure Excitement 25,” defending AmsOil Speedway champ and current points leader Ryan Savoy of Superior held off Matt Deragon for his first career feature win here.
The race for the win was tight throughout the 15-lap run, with Andrew Hanson working around pole starter Jeff Christman for the early advantage. Deragon, who started behind Hanson, followed the leader’s tire tracks into second, and Randy Graham and points leader Justin Weinberger also threatened to overtake Christman just before the yellow flag flew for Jake Nevala’s stalled ride on lap 3.
Graham did get by Christman for third just after the restart, and another caution stop – this time for Annika Hammitt’s lost tire and other debris on lap 6, put him with the lead pair for the next green flag. Unfortunately for Graham, Savoy started his charge with that restart, slipping below Graham for third on lap 8 just as Deragon made his move by Hanson for the lead.
Another stop for a lost tire – this time from the car of Andy Poll – allowed Savoy to continue his forward progress, taking advantage of Graham’s departure from the race due to a flat tire of his own. Savoy immediately worked outside to get by Hanson for second, and then he switched lanes and drove under Deragon for the lead with four to go. The defending track champ did not let the visitor get too far away, but Savoy held on by a car-length or so for his landmark win, while another first-nighter – rookie Dylan Shelton – raised eyebrows with his third-place effort. Hanson and Weinberger completed the top five.
The closest finish for a win on this night came in the WISSOTA Super Stock feature, where Flynn clipped points leader Nick Oreskovich by just 32 one-thousandths of a second at the checkers. Cory Casari grabbed the early lead by riding the high line, while polesitter Terran Spacek stayed alongside on the low groove. Flynn, from Superior, followed Casari as he battled with Pat Beeksma door-to-door for third, and Oreskovich was side-by-side with DJ Keeler behind them.
The leaders stayed in formation for most of the first eight laps, with Casari not enjoying much more than a half-second lead at any given time, until Jeff Klopstein’s slowed racer brought out the only caution flag of the 20-lap run. At the same time, Beeksma’s racer spun after incurring damage, ending his run and moving Oreskovich to fourth for the restart.
Flynn began to scramble with Spacek for second, with Oreskovich close behind, but Casari couldn’t take advantage to pull away. On lap 14 Flynn cleared the others and dropped low to challenge Casari, and with a classic “slide job” coming out of turn 4 on lap 16 Flynn took the lead.
With the white flag in the air Oreskovich slipped low to take over second, and then he ran the outside line to pull up alongside Flynn coming out of turn 4 coming to the finish line. The pair scraped fenders while racing for the win, with Flynn prevailing by a mere few feet. Casari, Spacek and Scott Lawrence were not that far back as they finished third through fifth.
The Six-Cylinder feature turned out to be a repeat performance from the previous two weeks, with Trego’s Bubba Anderson holding off points leader Tiffany Hudack for his third straight win. Caution flags played a significant role in this one as well, starting with a two-car incident just a circuit into the 15-lap affair.
Neil Adamzak drove hard to get by pole starter Cole Vernon after the restart, and Anderson tried to repeat the inside move to take second. But Joe Newago lost a tire to stop the run on lap 2, which put Anderson back to third, and DeJay Jarecki spun on the re-do. Anderson’s attempt to pass Vernon was more successful the next time, and on lap 4 he sped past Adamzak for the lead.
Anderson was nearly a full second up on lap 8, but Adamzak drew to the leader’s rear bumper by lap 12. That’s when the third-running Vernon flew off the pit exit and tagged the guard rail behind turn 1 with apparent mechanical problems, stopping the race and setting up a three-lap sprint to the finish. Hudack restarted fourth, a row behind Adamzak and Scott Ovaska, but with the green flag out Ovaska’s car failed him and he faded, allowing Hudack to take third. She drove by Adamzak while taking the white flag, but she could get no closer than a half-second back as Anderson grabbed his fourth feature win of the year. Forrest Schultz and Jarecki completed the top five.
The fast-lap bonuses in the features went to Stuart in the Mods (17.002 seconds), Casari in the Supers (17.472), Eder in the Mid-Mods (17.246), and Hudack in the Sixes (18.219).
The ABC Raceway will invite Pure Stockers from throughout the region for its 13th annual “Pure Excitement 25” special on Saturday, August 20. The feature is set to pay at least $500 to win, and fans and businesses are asked to help increase the overall purse to the entry-level division’s feature by donating as much as they want to whatever finishing position they wish.
Hot laps are set for 6:15 pm, and the first green flag should fly at 7. Adult tickets are $11, and fans ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. “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 more information visit the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or call the track on racedays at (715) 682-4990.
Feature: Kevin Eder, Ashland; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Paul Wrazidlo, Duluth, MN; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Al Uotinen, Superior; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Paul Niznik, Medford; Destin Lorimor, Superior; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Rick Rivord, Superior; Scott Miller, Rice Lake; Jacob Hiatt, New Richmond; Dustin Hudack, Ashland.
Heat 1: Eder; Lavasseur; Mikkonen; Balduc; Uotinen; Lorimor; Hiatt; Niznik.
Heat 2: Stuart; Byholm; Wrazidlo; Spacek; D Hudack; S Hudack; Miller; Rivord.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Dave Flynn, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Cory Casari, Montreal; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Shawn McFadden Jr; Ashland; DJ Keeler, Superior; Shane Kisling, Park Falls; Charlie Anderson, Ironwood, MI; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Cory Marincel, Ashland; Myron Basina, Washburn; Colten Vernon, Ashland; Matt Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Jeff Klopstein Jr, Tomahawk.
Heat 1: Oreskovich; Casari; Flynn; McFadden; Lawrence; Kisling; Kuklinski; Mashlan; Vernon.
Heat 2: Beeksma; Klopstein; Keeler; Spacek; Basina; Anderson; Marincel; Hammitt.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Kevin Eder, Ashland; Dave Flynn, Superior; Ryan Adamzak, Ashland; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Shane Kisling, Park Falls; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Cody Carlson; Superior; Brandon Copp, Eau Claire; Kevin Monteith, Thunder Bay, ON; Brady Mesko-Jokinen, Mellen; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Robert Hyde, Ashland; Mike Jaques, Thunder Bay, ON; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Darren Zorich, Marenisco, MI; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland.
Heat 1: Flynn; Kisling; W Stricker; Spacek; Bretting; Hicks; Carlson; Jaques; Gunner Peterson, Drummond.
Heat 2: Adamzak; Suzik; Byholm; Mesko-Jokinen; Hyde; Lindquist; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Zorich; Jared Stricker, Highbridge.
Heat 3: Eder; Monteith; Copp; Hudack; Passuello; Muhlig; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Jordan Barningham, Bayfield.
Semi-Feature: Carlson; Jaques; Zorich; R Barningham; J Stricker; Peterson; Vernon.
Feature: Bubba Anderson, Trego; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Neil Adamzak, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Rob Weber, Ashland; Brendon Ottman, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Bella Bretting, Washburn; Cory Cook, Spooner; Scott Ovaska, Marengo; Cole Vernon, Ashland; Joe Newago, Bayfield; Tyler Vernon, Ashland.
Heat 1: T Vernon; Schultz; Traaholt; C Vernon; Bretting; Newago; Cook.
Heat 2: Hudack; Anderson; Jarecki; Adamzak; Ovaska; Weber; Ottman.
WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: Ryan Savoy, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Randy Conner, Hayward; Steve Pohl, Manitowish Waters; Bob Skrobot, Manitowish Waters; Carter Nelson, Hermantown, MN; Jeff Christman, South Range; Nick Paoli, Ironwood, MI; Brock Beilke, Hayward; Brandle Pupp, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Andy Poll, Two Harbors, MN; Annika Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Don Livingston, Ashland.
Heat 1: Weinberger; Hanson; Graham; Hammitt; Pohl; Poll; Pupp; Nevala; Skrobot.
Heat 2: Savoy; Deragon; Shelton; Christman; Conner; Livingston; Nelson; Paoli; Beilke.