Final Month of ABC Season Starts with Mid-Mod Madness
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI — Only four regular-season race nights remain in the ABC Raceway’s 2012 campaign, so a little madness is only fitting.
The track will be the host site of the third annual “Mid-Mod Madness,” presented by the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn. All five regular weekly divisions will be in action, but the WISSOTA Midwest modifieds will take the spotlight.
The Mid-mod feature winner will take home a $500 check, while just qualifying as one of the 24 scheduled starters in the feature field earns a driver a minimum of $60. Those who don’t make the main event will still take home $45.
Past winners of the event include George Dalbeck of Ironwood, MI (2010) and Matt Leer of Bruce (‘11).
The Mid-mods were added to the ABC Raceway’s weekly racing program in 2008, after four cameo appearances during the 2006 and ‘07 seasons. To date the division has run 62 features, with 26 different drivers taking wins. Dalbeck, who was also the 2011 track champion, leads the class with nine feature victories.
Madness may be an appropriate term for the final four race nights scheduled in the summer of ‘12 at ABC, as the championship chases in all five divisions are shaping up.
Jeff Spacek of Phillips has yet to record a feature win in 2012, yet he leads the WISSOTA modified standings on the strength of top-six finishes in all eight A-mains the
division has run here this summer. Jared Loos of Loyal, who has made quite a statement since making Ashland his regular Saturday night haunt, trails Spacek by eight points in the standings.
Scott Lawrence’s absence from the top of the WISSOTA super stock standings was short-lived. The Superior veteran pilot regained a one-point edge on Dave Flynn, also from Superior, after his third feature win of the season last weekend here and second in a row. Lawrence is attempting to extend his ABC track records for consecutive titles to nine and overall championships to 12.
Travis Nye of Ashland has built up a little breathing room on second-in-points Alex Van Natta of Minocqua in the battle for the track’s fifth Mid-mod points crown. Nye has two feature wins and has finished in the top five in seven of the eight feature races the division has competed to date in 2012.
Defending six-cylinder champion Pat Beeksma of Ironwood, MI, has had the most dominant season of any racer at Ashland, and, hence, enjoys the biggest points-lead margin. With six wins, two runner-up finishes and a fourth-place run, Beeksma’s lead on Ashland’s Tyler Hudack is a full 30 points heading into August action.
Unlike the sixes, however, the pure stock championship picture is very much in doubt. Ashland drivers Nick Nye, Matt Deragon and Ken Tody, Jr, are all tied for the points lead, with the Ashland team of Jim Eliason and Paul Tutor only five markers behind. Deragon, who won the first feature of his career on July 7, and Tody, who took back-to-back wins in June, are a pair of young guns trying to keep the pressure on Nye, a veteran racer who won points titles here in the early 1980s but is just this season getting back into full-time driving after sitting out the past 29 years.
The grandstand and pit gates will open at 5 pm on Saturday, with hot laps starting at 6:15. The first race of the evening is set for around 7 pm. Admission tickets for adults (ages 13 & older) are just $10, while fans ages 12 and under are welcome for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Prior to Saturday’s race program, “Race Night” will provide up-to-date track news and weather information live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30-6 pm. 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