Class of 2014
Honorary Inductees (unanimously chosen by Selection Committee for outstanding contributions to the Raceway’s and the Association’s success)
Inaugural Class of 2014
Frank & Verna Brevak Frank and Verna were the original owners of the property that the ABC Raceway occupies today … Frank constructed what was then known as the Chequamegon Raceway in 1957 on this land and maintained the grounds and buildings himself for many years, while Verna helped with everything from food concessions to ticket sales; she became famous for her homemade barbeque that she served at the track … the Brevak family sold the property to the Association on October 31, 1965, but both Frank & Verna remained actively involved with the track and the club, with Frank serving at least 13 years on the Raceway Board, right up until their respective deaths – Frank passed away in November 2001, while Verna had passed a few years before … in relating the story of how they sacrificed their savings in order to purchase the property and constructed the track, Weaver Wherritt once stated, “Without Frank and Verna, we would not be here today. How many of us would have taken money saved to build a house and use it to build a race track for the area’s young people to race on and to keep them off the streets?”
Northern State Bank the long-time Ashland-based banking institution has provided financial support for Association since 1965, including backing the loan by the club to purchase the track from the Brevak family … the late Frank Phillips, during his tenure as president of the bank, arranged loans to the club to purchase and install lights in the early 1970s, and did so again in 2008 for the purchase of a new tractor; Mr Phillips assured the Raceway that the purse for the first-ever Red Clay Classic in 1976 would be covered, helping to make that event a success … NSB continues to provide valuable financial services to the Association and has also become a long-time sponsor of the Raceway.
Vernon Family & Northern Clearing Inc both the Vernon family and its business has been generous in their support of and active membership in the ABC Raceway since the track’s earliest days … brothers Wayne and George Vernon competed as racers here during many of the earliest years of the track’s existence, and George’s wife Louise generously lent a hand in the concession stands … in later years George’s sons Todd, Richard and Craig all raced here, and more recently cousins Cole, Colten, Paige and Tyler have competed as third-generation supporters of the Raceway … over the years Northern Clearning has donated time, equipment and manpower on many occasions to help with significant track projects, and at least three times its crews have assisted with major track reshaping work … the Vernons have always been first in line to contribute when the club has needed heavier equipment and other assistance for its larger projects.
Driver category (retired minimum 5 yrs; recognized for outstanding accomplishments, and loyalty and “ambassadorship” to ABC Raceway)
Inaugural Class of 2014
Bob Brevak the driver of the #18 was an early two-time track champion – in 1968 (single division) and 1970 (Late Models) … Brevak garnered 16 career feature wins here before moving on to compete successfully in such national stock car series as ARCA and NASCAR’s Truck Series; he was the 1990 ARCA national champion … he also served as Association president in 1968-’69
Dwaine “Oulu” Erickson “Oulu” was a five-time ABC Raceway track champion – in 1973-‘75 in Super Stocks, and in 1977 and ‘80 in Late Models … he also won points titles in the former Northwest Racing Circuit in Late Models in ‘77 and again in ‘80 … his 44 feature wins ranked him among the top-10 all-time here at the time of his induction … he was also inducted into the Superior Speedway Hall of Fame in 2003 … the popular driver of the #62 passed away June 5, 2014, after a long battle with cancer; his wife Mary accepted his induction on her husband’s behalf
Ron Hmielewski a long-time racer who had competed here since the track’s beginning, Ron earned just four career feature wins, but he contributed mightily as both a popular driver as well as a long-time volunteer, Association member and member of the club’s Board of directors .. in recent years his familiar black #55 had been honored by being displayed on his son Ron’s race cars
Bob Root the driver of the popular orange-&-black #37 was a five-time ABC Raceway track champion, including its first-ever champ in 1966 (single division); he also won points titles in 1973, ‘76, ‘79 & ‘83 (Late Models) … his 45 feature wins ranked among top-10 all-time at the time of his induction … Bob was the Northwest Racing Circuit Late Model points champ in 1973 & ‘76, and he also won points titles at tracks in Superior, Proctor & Ironwood, as well as the Modified feature at the 1995 Silver 1000 … he is also a member of the Superior Speedway Hall of Fame … Bob retired from racing in 2004, but as a local hero to many young race fans, his positive influence has helped several racers over his four-decade career.
Volunteer / Contributor category (minimum 10 yrs service; recognized for significant positive contributions to local organization)
Inaugural Class of 2014
Dennis Asbach Dennis became involved with Association through his marriage to his wife Jane, whose family had been part of the club since its beginning … he became club treasurer in 1972 and served in that capacity for 11 years, then assisted with that job for another four years … he also served or assisted as Red Clay Classic treasurer for 22 years, and he served many terms on the Board of Directors … in all, he has served the Association for over 40 years as a trusted, responsible volunteer of high integrity
Ron & Jeanne Hmielewski this entire family has been involved with the Association since 1965, and both Ron and Jeanne have served on its Board of Directors … Ron was one of original members of the Board in ‘65 and served on it for at least nine years; he has had a hand in every aspect of running the club and maintaining the racing facility ever since … in her 50 years of working at the track, Jeanne served as the club’s secretary for over ten years, was the track’s first publicist, and has been the chief scorer and points director for the majority of those years; she has also received the track’s Chuck Anderson Award for volunteer service and its Outstanding Service Award, and she has been recognized by the National Race Promoters Hall of Fame … they are joined in their induction by their children Karen, Sue, Ron and Donna, who have also all contributed to the success of the organization in a variety of ways
Bob & Sandy (posthumously) Root a major part of the Association since 1965, Bob was directly involved in the purchase of the property now known as the ABC Raceway, and he was elected the club’s first president in ‘65, serving in that capacity three times for a total of five years; he also served as vice-president in 1977 and as a Board member for at least nine years … his trucking business frequently donated equipment for the club’s use and assisted with its transportation needs for many years … Sandy acted as club secretary for ten years and as Red Clay Classic treasurer for another eight years
Weaver Wherritt a member of the Association since 1969, Weaver has served as club president twice for a total of eight years, and vice president three times for a total of 17 years, most recently through 2016; he has served as a Board member for a total of 40 years … he has been involved with the day-to-day operations of the track, has chaired or worked on many important committees, and has received significant recognition for his efforts, including the Raceway’s Outstanding Service Award, its President’s Award, and the Chuck Anderson Award, as well as recognition in the National Race Promoters Hall of Fame … he is a highly-respected leader and ambassador of the Raceway
Earl & Chris Zar Earl and Chris have been members of Association since 1965 … Earl joined the club in 1965, was later elected to Board of Directors, and served as Association vice-president for two years before becoming president for five years in the late 1980s; he has worked here in nearly every capacity, from running the beer stand concession to working as part of infield safety and tech crew, and most recently he was valued part of the Hall of Fame committee … Chris has run the track’s beer concession for over 40 years and continues to do so to this day … their son Eric worked with Frank Brevak for several years helping with track prep, and their daughter Lisa became involved by selling 50/50 tickets, running the grandstand concession, and eventually helping her mom in the beer stand (postscript: Earl passed away in late 2018).