New Daddy Stuart Strong in ABC Mods
Nye, Beeksma, Tody return to Victory Lane
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, June 30 — After a two-week layoff due to wet weather, racers were chomping at the bit to get back on the ABC Raceway’s red-clay oval. As a result, the four divisions in action provided some thrilling racing moments on a humid, muggy night, in an AmsOil Dirt Track Series program presented by Northern Clearing and WITC-Ashland Campus.
Just a couple weeks after becoming a first-time father, Steve Stuart of Ashland celebrated by charging through the field and capturing his first WISSOTA modified feature win of the season. Outside front-row starter Ross Lightner beat pole-sitter Scott Hudack to the first corner and led throughout the first half of the 20-lap A-feature, although he did not get far away from a close pack of cars all fighting for top-ten spots. After a first-lap spin by Kevin Eder while racing for third, Steve Lavasseur began a side-by-side battle with Hudack for second just off Lightner’s trunk-lid. Behind them things continued to stay close and positions were shuffled, with Stuart using an inside move on Jeff Spacek to take over fifth. Lavasseur was scored second just ahead of Hudack at the race’s mid-point, and on the next circuit Bill Byholm spun to bring about a caution-flag slowdown. Hudack looped his ride in about the same spot on the restart, taking him from contention and putting Curt Myers into third. Myers made a move on Lightner with the return of the green flag but couldn’t complete the pass, and Stuart grabbed third and brought Spacek to fourth. On lap 12 Stuart made a daring dive-bomber move to the inside on the lead pair and beat them into turn 3, taking the lead away for good just before Jared Loos’ spin on the next lap. From there Stuart pulled to a 1.4-second lead with five to go and extended that to a 2.6-second margin over Myers at the checkers. Lightner regained his momentum and took third from Spacek in the closing laps, and Al Uotinen slipped past Spacek for fourth with two to go.
the season. The Mid-mods ran off their 15-lap main event in non-stop fashion, with Tyler Luger outrunning rookie and pole-starter Cole Spacek through the
first pair of turns to claim the early lead. Alex Van Natta, who started alongside Nye in row 4, drove low by several cars to move into second by lap 2 and immediately threatened to take the lead from Luger. By lap 4 Nye had worked his way to the bottom groove of the smooth, wide, racy surface and was scored in third, and he followed Van Natta by Luger into second when Van Natta became the race leader. After a couple laps
of great racing Nye grabbed the inside line and took over the lead on lap 7. By lap 10 Nye had built up a 1.3-second advantage on Van Natta, and that lead grew to over three seconds by the time the checkered flag fell, in a race that lasted just shy of five minutes. Spacek raced hard with Luger before edging him for third, and another rookie, 12th-starting Paul Suzik, finished fifth to cap off an impressive night for several younger drivers at the track.
Pat Beeksma of Ironwood, MI, re-established his stonghold on the six-cylinder class by collecting his fourth feature win of the season in five shows on Saturday. Beeksma was also the third of the four feature winners to come from row 4 in their respective races. Dale Coddington slipped around the first two rows of cars to challenge Neil Adamzak for the initial lead, and he stayed there after the restart for Aaron Mashlan’s stalled ride on lap 2. In an tight eight-car pack up front, Tyler Hudack got by Tad Bretting for third on lap 3 just before Bretting spun and collected two other cars, with fifth-running Greg Jaeger getting sent to the back for the incident. Hudack got a run on Adamzak on the restart to take second and had a shot to take the lead from Coddington, but the car came out from under him and he spun, forcing another yellow flag and costing him his good run for the time being. Shawn McFadden Jr was next to overtake Adamzak for second, but Beeksma followed him into third and stole runner-up honors away within another lap. Jaeger and Hudack, while racing for position deep in the field, got together again on lap 8, with Jaeger tossed from the event for what was deemed as intentional aggressive driving by track officials. The event only got uglier from there, as it took the field five more attempts to score another lap, including one caution stoppage for a five-car wreck that included fifth-place Bretting, and another when McFadden, while running third, lost his left-rear wheel. After Don Muzzy’s spin on lap 9, Beeksma finally got a chance to work the outside line against Coddington, and after some persistence he grabbed the lead for good with four of the scheduled 15 laps remaining. From there Beeksma held off one last challenge by Coddington for his 24th career ABC win – all in the sixes – while Hudack recovered for a distant third-place effort, ahead of Bretting and Adamzak.
As much as the six-cylinders struggled to get their feature in, the pure stocks clipped off their A-main event with only one caution flag, and Ken Tody Jr of Ashland became the first driver in the division to win for a second time this summer here. The feature was extended from 12 to 15 laps for the entry-level class on this night, and rookie Dean Waby jumped to the lead from the pole and was very impressive in drawing away from the field, while Tody and Matt Deragon engaged in a whale of a battle for second. Tody’s car broke loose during the scuffle and he nearly lost control after contact with Tim Carbon, but both drivers made stellar saves, and within two more laps Tody was back to challenging Deragon and Nick Nye for second.
Contact between Nye and Deragon on lap 5 sent both cars spinning to bring about the only caution stoppage of the race, and Tody, who restarted third, took advantage of the opportunity to threaten Waby for the lead. Chad Carlson was racing hard with Carbon for fourth on lap 7, but Carlson, driving his brother Tim’s car, bobbled and slipped into the infield grass on lap 7, handing fifth place to Jim Eliason. Tody finally made his winning pass on lap 8, and from there he pulled away to a lead of nearly half a straightaway at the final stripe, while Carbon and Deragon used a three-wide move to take second and third, respectively, from Waby late in the run. Deragon continued his drive past Carbon to claim second-place pay, and Eliason also displaced Carbon a spot for third. Waby held on for a career-best fifth-place run.
The Northern Clearing fast-lap awards were earned by Lightner in the “big mods” and Van Natta in the Mid-mods. The WISSOTA super stocks were given the night off but are set to return to action at ABC on July 7.
The ABC Raceway will next host two special events in one night, when the Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center present the “Six-Cylinder Summer Sizzler,” to be run along with the AmsOil Race of Champions qualifying features for the three WISSOTA-sanctioned divisions, presented by Baxter’s Speed Shop. An enhanced purse will be offered for the sixes, and the winners of the WISSOTA division features will qualify for a chance to race in the prestigious AmsOil Race of Champions at the WISSOTA 100 in Huron, SD, in mid-September.
Hot laps will start at 6:15 pm, and racing gets underway at 7. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com from 4:30-6 pm with live 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; Curt Myers, Cameron; Ross Lightner, Washburn; Al Uotinen, Superior; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Paul Knauf, Marshfield; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Rick Rivord, Superior; Bill Byholm,
Glidden; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Pat Cook, Washburn; Paul Niznik, Medford; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Jared Loos, Loyal.
Heat 1: Myers; Hudack; Spacek; Lightner; Rivord; Byholm; Cook.
Heat 2: Stuart; Eder; Uotinen; Lavasseur; Loos; Knauf; Niznik.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Travis Nye, Ashland; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; John Kallas, Hurley; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Rick Przybylski, Ashland; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Cody Carlson, Superior; Bill Muhlig, Calumet, MI; Chad Adamzak, Ashland.
Heat 1: Van Natta; Spacek; Fuhrman; Kallas; Dunbar; Suzik; Byholm; Muhlig.
Heat 2: Nye; Balduc; Luger; Przybylski; Adamzak; Paul Niznik, Medford; Carlson; George Dalbeck, Ironwood, MI.
Feature: Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Neil Adamzak, Ashland; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Cory Casari, Montreal; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Zach Pagels, Marengo; Ron Lillie, Wakefield, MI; Shawn McFadden, Jr, Ashland; Bill Anderson, Wakefield, MI; Cory Marincel, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.
Heat 1: Beeksma; McFadden; Bretting; Adamzak; Pagels; Mihalek; Traaholt;
Marincel; Forrest Schultz, Ashland.
Heat 2: Hudack; Greg Jaeger, Mellen; Casari; Coddington; Muzzy; Popp; Mashlan; Lillie; Anderson.
Feature: Ken Tody Jr, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Jim Eliason, Ashland; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Dean Waby, Ashland; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Steve Udeen, Superior; Brandle Pupp, Ashland; Chad Nikstad, Superior; Nick Nye, Ashland; Andy Udeen, Superior; Rita Anderson, South Range; Bob Anderson, Iron River; Chad Carlson, Superior.
Heat 1: Carlson; Eliason; Tody; Waby; Hudack; R Anderson; Nikstad.
Heat 2: Deragon; Nye; S Udeen; Carbon; A Udeen; B Anderson; Pupp.