Northern Clearing Inc. Race to Finish the Fight to Cure Cancer.
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, June 27 — As confident as he was going into the WISSOTA Super Stock feature at the ABC Raceway, even Curt Myers couldn’t believe what he had just accomplished.
Myers completed a clean sweep with heat and feature wins at all three participating tracks of the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, capping off the Series championship with another dominant performance on the award-winning three-eighths-mile red-clay oval just south of Ashland on Saturday night.
And as he climbed through the driver’s-side window of his racer in ABC’s victory lane, he sat on the door sill, buried his head in his folded arms on the roof of the car, and took a long moment to compose himself.
After all, it’s not often that a Super Stock driver earns a $3,500 payday.
The Series finale was but one highlight of a 94-car, 19-race WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series program on a gorgeous 80-degree evening in northern Wisconsin.
Another point worth noting was the never-failing generosity of the racing family. Nearly $2,000 was raised from “split the pot” ticket sales and a matching donation by the race night’s co-sponsor, Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland, for the Ashland-Bayfield County chapter of the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” fundraising program.
Myers, the perennial national championship contender from Cameron, stuck with a tried-and-true formula for winning features during the Series’ first two stops at the Superior and Proctor (MN) tracks last weekend: get out front quickly and pull away. It was helpful that he started on the front row, alongside polesitter Scott Lawrence, and he used a middle-groove sweep around Lawrence to gain the advantage coming out of turn 2 for the first time.
From that point on, the only way to catch Myers was under the yellow flag.
On lap 2 Marcus Dunbar’s spinning car collected at least a half-dozen others to stop the 25-lap A-main, but Myers built a 1.2-second lead within just three laps after the restart, while Lawrence worked overtime to fend off stiff challenges from Kevin Burdick and Andy Davey. Myers extended his lead to over four seconds – nearly a full straightaway – when Spencer Sorenson’s spin on lap 11 brought the field back to the leader’s rear bumper.
Jeff Klopstein moved by Burdick to take fourth on the lap 11 restart, and Davey worked hard to overtake Lawrence for second a couple of laps later. On lap 15 Klopstein gained third, and in four more laps the Super Stock rookie was threatening to take second from Davey, with Myers a full 2.5 seconds ahead. A lap after Klopstein displaced Davey, the caution lights blinked on again for a two-car spin with five laps remaining.
Although Klopstein proved to have a strong car, Myers was still able to pull away to a 1.5-second final margin of victory for his 19th overall feature win of the 2015 season. Davey, Lawrence and Randy Spacek completed the top five.
Myers earned a combined $1,700 for the three feature wins, another $1,600 for the Series’ points championship, and a $1,200 bonus for the three-feature sweep. In addition, he posted the fastest timed lap of the race at 17.488 seconds, earning that bonus from Northern Clearing as well.
Davey scored second place in the final Series points standings, and Lawrence moved up to third. Shane Kisling was awarded the “Hard Charger” bonus for gaining the most positions from his starting spot in Saturday’s feature, and Cory Casari earned the cumulative “Hard Charger” bonus for positions gained in all three features combined.
“This Series could not have been even attempted without the generosity of some very special sponsors,” Series organizer and Proctor Speedway president Dennis McCauley said prior to the race program. Those sponsors included FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating; Lulich Implement; Northern Clearing; White River Ag Products; Total Recreation; Arrowhead Printing; Duluth/Superior Trophy; Rick Gondik Law Office; Village Lanes; Como Oil & Propane; the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Duluth, Superior and Ashland; Halvor Lines; Dennis & Cathy Pattee; Tim’s Automotive; Stone Lake Oil and Sunoco; Northern Fitness Solutions; and the Kom-On-Inn Bar.
Luger Trucking and iFan Sports Network made contributions on Saturday to boost the Series’ overall Hard Charger bonus.
Although his was the first of the main events on the program, Ashland’s Forrest Schultz took a page from Myers’ playbook and ran off to his first career feature win in the Six-Cylinder 15-lapper. Schultz, starting outside on the front row, swept around pole-starter Bubba Anderson and pulled away to a strong advantage early. It took Tyler Hudack a couple extra laps to get by Anderson for second, but by that time Schultz’s lead was significant.
Dale Coddington weaved his way from a fourth-row start to gain third by lap 6, but the lead pair were too far away to catch. And with the race running without a yellow-flag slowdown, Schultz was too strong in the open field for anyone to challenge him.
There was one close call just past mid-race, when backmarker Cole Vernon bobbled coming off the high side of turn 4 and nearly chopped down in front of Schultz. The little bit of door-rubbing slowed Schultz enough for Hudack to draw to his rear bumper, but Schultz regained his momentum, rebuilt his lead, and held a nearly-full-second edge at the final stripe. Coddington trailed at a distance in third, ahead of Ron Hmielewski and Tiffany Hudack.
Ashland’s Steve Stuart, the defending WISSOTA Modified track champion, also got out front early and took advantage of a non-stop race to grab the 20-lap feature in that division. Stuart, who had to come from a third-row starting spot, used a split-the-difference move in traffic coming out of the first turn to move into the top three, behind leader Scott Hudack and polestarter Kevin Eder.
On lap 2 Stuart made two more impressive passes – an outside move around Eder, and then an inside dive against Hudack – to gain a lead that he would quickly extend to nearly two full seconds four laps later. Visiting Joey Jensen weaved his way up from the fourth row to slip past Eder into second on lap 9, but over the course of the remaining laps he could not cut into Stuart’s lead.
Bill Byholm, who worked past Eder during the second half of the run, came home in third, and Al Uotinen earned fifth-place money.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modified 20-lap feature was underscored by a race-long battle for the lead between several combinations of cars, with eventual winner Ryan Adamzak involved throughout.
In the only feature significantly marred by cautions, Adamzak muscled his way below Paul Niznik for the initial lead and stayed there despite several challenges, starting just two laps in by Tanner Hicks. But after a lap 3 restart for Mike Jacques’ spin, Hicks was overtaken by Niznik, who then threatened to take over the lead.
After another restart, this time on lap 8 for Robert Hyde’s spin of Clay Passuello, Hicks again charged by Niznik, with Paul Suzik following him to third. But Niznik regrouped and worked past both drivers within the next circuit, and coming off turn 4 to complete lap 11 Niznik finally had a clean shot to drive past Adamzak for the lead. But a seven-car pile-up behind them negated the pass and took out some strong top-ten runners in the process.
Suzik got the better of Niznik for second on the restart, but Adamzak held on over the final nine laps, which clicked off without further delay, and he held a half-second advantage on Suzik under the checkers. Niznik followed at a distance, ahead of Hicks and visiting Canadian guest David Simpson.
Matt Deragon of Ashland slipped past Randy Conner with just four laps to go and took his second Pure Stock feature win here this summer. Conner started on the pole and established a good early lead ahead of a four-car battle for second.
Deragon, who started sixth, split the gap between Tim Carbon and Randy Graham to take third, then fought with Andrew Hanson for second for a good three laps before capturing that position.
It took two more laps before Deragon could overtake Conner, but once out front the defending track champ pulled away to a commanding win. Carbon, Hanson and Graham completed the top five.
Others earning fast-lap bonuses included Stuart in the Mods (17.100 seconds), Hicks in the Mid-Mods (17.588), and Tyler Hudack in the Sixes (18.121).
The ABC Raceway will take a break from racing on July 4, but it will return to action on Saturday, July 11, with its “Modified Mayhem” special event, to be presented by Lake Shore Cafe & Catering of Ashland. In addition, the track will hold its Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night festivities, to be presented by Little Caesar’s Pizza of Ashland, on the same night.
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: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Al Uotinen, Superior; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Pat Cook, Washburn; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Rick Rivord, Superior; Paul Knauf, Marshfield; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Dustin Hudack, Ashland; Paul Niznik, Medford.
Heat 1: Stuart; Byholm; Lavasseur; Mikkonen; Knauf; Cook; D Hudack.
Heat 2: Jensen; S Hudack; Eder; Spacek; Rivord; Uotinen; Niznik.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Curt Myers, Cameron; Jeff Klopstein, Tomahawk; Andy Davey, Hibbing, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Andy Grymala, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Ken Truscott, Greenland, MI; Cory Casari, Montreal; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Willie Johnson, Superior; Terran Spacek, Phillips; DJ Keeler, Superior; Spencer Sorenson, Duluth, MN; Myron Basina, Washburn; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge.
Heat 1: Myers; Oreskovich; Truscott; Johnson; C Spacek; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Dave Elliott, Minocqua.
Heat 2: Davey; Lawrence; Flynn; Grymala; Kisling; Casari; McFadden.
Heat 3: R Spacek; Klopstein; Sorenson; Stricker; Basina; Brady Mesko-Jokinen, Mellen; Keith Corcilius, Phillips.
Heat 4: Burdick; Dunbar; Keeler; Beeksma; T Spacek; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI.
Semi-Feature: McFadden; Casari; Elliott; Mesko-Jokinen; Corcilius; Muzzy; Kuklinski.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Ryan Adamzak, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Paul Niznik, Medford; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; John Kallas, Hurley; JR Anderson, Superior; Brad Seavers, Rib Lake; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Jordan Barningham, Bayfield; Rob Weber, Ashland; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Tad Bretting, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Ironwood, MI; Robert Hyde, Ashland; Mike Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON.
Heat 1: T Bretting; Eder; Simpson; C Bretting; Vernon; Fuhrman; Lindquist.
Heat 2: Hicks; Suzik; Seavers; Muhlig; Hyde; Passuello; J Barningham; Jacques.
Heat 3: Dalbeck; Adamzak; Niznik; Weber; Anderson; R Barningham; Kallas.
Feature: Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Ron Hmielewski, Marengo; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Colton Vernon, Ashland; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Ken Tyykila, Iron River; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Brendon Ottman, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Jonathon Popp, Iron River; Cole Vernon, Ashland.
Heat 1: Tyler Hudack; Coddington; Colton Vernon; Anderson; Tyykila; Mashlan; Ottman.
Heat 2: Hmielewski; Tiffany Hudack; Schultz; Mihalek; Popp; Traaholt; Cole Vernon.
Feature: Matt Deragon, Ashland; Randy Conner, Hayward; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Randy Graham, Trego; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Jon Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Al Rapp, Saginaw, MN; Brandle Pupp, Ashland; Andy Poll, Two Harbors, MN; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Jeff Christman, South Range; Chad Nikstad, Superior; Ryan Madsen, Foxboro; Andy Compton, Ashland; Bob Skrobot, Manitowish Waters; Nick Paoli, Ironwood, MI.
Heat 1: Lawrence; Deragon; Carbon; Hanson; Pupp; Nikstad; Poll; Compton; Paoli.
Heat 2: Conner; Graham; Hammitt; Christman; Skrobot; Madsen; Rapp; Weinberger.
Fast Lane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series Final Top Three in points.
Left to right, Dennis McCauleyProctor Speedway President-Series Organizer, 1st Curt Myers, 2nd Andy Davey, 3rd Scott Lawrence.