Prelude to the Clay Results

Massingill, Gilbertson, Sabraski Claim First-Ever ABC ‘Prelude to the Clay’ Features

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, September 3 — If the rest of the invitational schedule provides as many thrilling moments as Thursday night’s “prelude to the Clay” did at the ABC Raceway, the six weeks of this region’s stock car racing season will be remembered for a long time.

Jeff Massingill of Keewatin, MN, stole the 40-lap WISSOTA Late Model headliner win from Jimmy Mars on the final lap and took home $3,000; Matt Gilbertson of Montevideo, MN, barely outran Jeff Hartung and Shane Sabraski for the $2,000 WISSOTA Modified feature win; and Sabraski, from Rice, MN, grabbed the $1,000 win in the WISSOTA Super Stock A-main just ahead of a wild battle for second.

The kick-off event of 2020’s invitational season in the Northland, presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, saw 89 entries take to a fast, sticky-smooth red-clay race surface. Cloudy skies and windy conditions at race time eventually gave way to cool conditions that resulted in plenty of horsepower and lots of two- and three-wide action. Supporting sponsors for the program included Van House Construction of Silver Bay, MN; Rivord Auto Center of Superior; Rapid Performance of Sauk Rapids, MN; Lake Shore Cafe of Ashland; and Chicago Iron & Supplies of Ashland.

The event was held as a one-year replacement for the Silver 1000, historically the region’s first invitational, which was cancelled due to COVID-19 social-gathering restrictions placed upon the Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor, MN. The ABC Raceway offered a portion of its proceeds from the “Prelude” event toward covering operating costs incurred by the Proctor track this past summer.

Mars provided a preview of the action ahead by setting a new track record for WISSOTA-rules Late Models in group-timed qualifying with a lap of 14.922 seconds (90.470 mph) – the only one of the 27 Late Models to crack the 15-second mark in qualifying, and the first WISSOTA-sanctioned driver to ever record a 90-mph lap since electronic timing was introduced here in 2008.

But Mars spent much of the 40-lap feature patiently wading his way to the front, with Massingill in tow, as Steve Laursen edged ahead of polestarter Dan Ebert to claim the lead at the completion of lap 1. Over the first six laps Laursen clung to a three-quarter-second advantage on Ebert just before Denny Cutsforth’s turn-3 spin closed the field up for the restart.

After James Kannegiesser’s spin negated the first re-do, Travis Budisalovich worked the fast outside line to pull alongside Ebert, allowing Laursen to slip away by nearly a full second. Mars, who started seventh, had closed in on the battle for second by lap 10, with Jesse Glenz, Massingill and Pat Doar running a few lengths back.

Budisalovich cleared Ebert and, over the next four laps, drew up to Laursen’s right-rear fender, threatening to take the lead. But Tim McMann’s car came to a stop in turn 2 after contact with the guardrail there, again stalling the proceedings. Two laps after the restart John Kaanta spun to bring the caution lights on once again, and then Laursen pulled away as Budisalovich was challenged by Ebert again. Chad Mahder’s spin on lap 24 allowed the 12th-starting Massingill to pass Mars on the restart for fourth, although Mars had the spot back before Joe Kienzle Jr’s spin on lap 26.

That restart was heartbreaking for Laursen, whose car simply did not go when the green lights came back on. Ebert tried to go low to avoid Laursen’s broken racer and climbed over the left-front tire of the leader’s car, sending Ebert airborne for a split-second. Laursen’s great run ended with a push to the pits, leaving the lead to Budisalovich, but a lap after going back to green he smacked the turn 2 guardrail, and in the scramble to miss Budisalovich’s loose car Mars slipped around Ebert and claimed the lead, with Massingill following in his wake to second.

Over the final seven laps the lead pair pulled away, with Massingill just a car-length or two behind the six-time Red Clay Classic champ. On lap 36 they worked their way past the slower Kannegiesser, allowing Massingill to draw just a bit closer. On the final lap Massingill, hugging the very inside groove of the track, found a little traction coming off the final corner and pulled ahead of Mars at the checkers, just .073 seconds ahead in one of the closest finishes and perhaps most improbable upsets seen at ABC in many years.

Ebert, Glenz and a charging Kevin Eder, who started 19th, completed the top five. The Late Model portion of the show was slated as night number one of the four-race Tri-Star Engines Labor Day Weekend Series, which was to continue at Grand Rapids, MN, on September 4, and at Hibbing, MN, on September 5-6.

Gilbertson, whose only other appearance at the ABC Raceway was in 2017, led every one of the 30 laps of the Modified A-main, although the final half-dozen might have been a little more pressure-filled than he wanted. Gilbertson started on the pole and, despite delays for two grinding crashes that delayed the first lap from being completed, fended off Hartung’s threats over the first four scored circuits, while Ebert snuck past Jody Bellefeuille and Mike Anderson for third.

After Steve Lavasseur’s spin on lap 4, the rest of the laps clicked by without further interruption, with Ebert taking on Hartung and allowing Gilbertson to quickly stretch his lead to 1.4 seconds. Just before mid-race Sabraski, who started outside on row 9, began to work on Ebert for third, which left Hartung free to go after Gilbertson. Hartung trimmed all but a car-length off of Gilbertson’s substantial lead over a stretch of 12 laps.

As the leaders caught backmarker Paul Suzik, it took the better part of two laps for Gilbertson to work his way by, as Suzik stuck as close to the bottom groove of the track as he could to stay out of the way. Gilbertson, who had been working the low line himself, made the adjustment to go around Suzik on the outside, which was what Hartung had used to make up his deficit. At the white flag Hartung was practically tapping on the leader’s rear bumper, with Sabraski closing in as well. Gilbertson crossed under the checkered flag a mere eighth of a second ahead of Hartung for his landmark win, with Sabraski an even closer third.

Ebert, one of several drivers pulling double-duty on this night, was a distant fourth, just ahead of Bellefeuille.

Sabraski provided a little less drama during his winning run in the Super Stock feature, although behind him the fireworks were on full display. Polestarter Shawn McFadden Jr worked hard to stay ahead of Patrick Beeksma and Sabraski at the onset of the 25-lap run, but Beeksma held the advantage for the restart after Don Muzzy’s ride stalled on lap 3.

Andrew Mackey spun on the first attempt to restart the race, after which newly-crowned ABC Supers champ Dave Flynn snuck past Matt Deragon and McFadden for third. On lap 6 Sabraski made the winning pass with an outside move on Beeksma, and he pushed the lead out to a full second within two more tours.

That’s when Kevin Burdick began a drive to the front, getting by both Flynn and Beeksma within lap 10 to take second. Defending Red Clay Classic champ Curt Myers also made a charge forward, with passes of Flynn on lap 11 and Beeksma on lap 14 to move into third.

Sabraski was about 3.3 seconds ahead of Burdick and Myers when Steve Stuart and Terran Spacek got together on the back straight on lap 14 to bring about a lengthy caution stoppage. When the crowded field went back to green, the driveshaft dropped from McFadden’s car, with a section of it hitting him in the leg; he immediately dove to the infield and stopped, but the field was put under a red flag as EMTs tended to McFadden’s injury.

Over the final 11 laps Sabraski held enough of a lead to finish without much concern for his second feature win of the year in Ashland in the Supers. Behind him, however, Burdick and Myers were engaged in quite a tussle, with Burdick diving low on Myers coming into turn 4 and heading for the finish. The heavy contact between the two cars spun them both from the event; Burdick was deemed as the cause for the restart and penalized to the tail end of the field, while Myers was awarded second, ahead of Flynn, Cory Casari and Deragon.

Mars earned a $100 bonus for his fast time in the Late Models, and Sabraski received a Hoosier racing tire from FastLane Motorsports, complements of former Mod racer Don Aas of Hibbing, MN, for his charge from 18th to third in the Mods. Burdick was the recipient of a $500 coupon toward the purchase of an Affordable race chassis from Rapids Performance as the last scored Super Stock racer running at the finish of that feature; and Wayne Dean gained the most spots in the Supers’ feature to earn that division’s $100 hard-charger bonus, complements of Mike’s Place of Superior.

The fastest timed laps in each feature were set by Laursen in the Late Models (16.269 seconds, 82.980 mph), Hartung in the Mods (17.140 secs; 78.763 mph), and Sabraski in the Supers (17.165; 78.648).

The ABC Raceway will now prepare for its 45th annual Red Clay Classic, to be held on Friday and Saturday October 2-3, and to be presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating, Tim’s Automotive Machine, and Red’s Auto. This prestigious event is expected to draw in excess of 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods for a chance at a share of a pure in excess of $100,000.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the Red Clay Classic are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info is available by calling (715) 209-1373. Additional information regarding the event will be released in the coming weeks.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA LATE MODELS

Feature: 1-10: Jeff Massingill, Keewatin, MN; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Jesse Glenz, Cadott; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Derek Vesel, Hibbing, MN; Rick Hanestad, Boyceville; Jeff Provinzino, Hibbing, MN; Aaron Lillo, Proctor, MN; Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing, MN.

11-20: Buddy Hanestad, Boyceville; Keith Niemi, Gilbert, MN; Chad Mahder, Bloomer; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis, MN; Clint Larson, Munger, MN; Joe Kienzle Jr, South Range; James Kannegiesser, Boyceville; Steve Laursen, Cumberland; Cole Provinzino, Hibbing, MN.

21-26: Pat Doar, New Richmond; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Tim McMann, Duluth, MN; Denny Cutsforth, Rice Lake; Tim Lillo, Superior.

Heat 1: J Mars; VanHouse; A Lillo; McMann; Cutsforth; Mahder; T Lillo.

Heat 2: Laursen; Ebert; J Provinzino; Vesel; C Provinzino; Larson; Kienzle.

Heat 3: Glenz; Budisalovich; R Hanestad; Niemi; Eder; Peterlin; B Hanestad.

Heat 4: Kaanta; Doar; Massingill; Bellefeuille; Kannegiesser.

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Matt Gilbertson, Montevideo, MN; Jake Hartung, Elmwood; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Jesse Glenz, Cadott.

11-20: Kelly Estey, Kelly Lake, MN; Andy Jones, Princeton, MN; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jeffrey Wood, Chisholm, MN; Greg Chesley, Duluth, MN; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Rick Rivord, Superior; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Curt Myers, Cameron.

21-24: Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Pat Cook, Washburn; Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Bill Byholm, Glidden.

Heat 1: Gilbertson; Spacek; Cain; Jones; Cook; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake; Paul Niznik, Medford.

Heat 2: Ebert; Kingsley; Estey; Rivord; Chesley; Adam Ayotte, St Paul, MN; Kyle Helling, Rice Lake; Jeremiah Passow, Foreston, MN.

Heat 3: Bellefeuille; A Anderson; Truscott; Sabraski; Lavasseur; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Cooper Berlin, Rice Lake.

Heat 4: M Anderson; Wood; Copp; Suzik; Vernon; Mike Knopps, Chippewa Falls; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua.

Heat 5: Hartung; Glenz; Byholm; Myers; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Jason Richardson, Spring Valley.

Semi-Feature 1: Lavasseur; Cook; Ayotte; Richardson; Hiatt; Helling; Berlin; Niznik.

Semi-Feature 2: Vernon; Chesley; Spacek; Hoffman; Van Natta; Al Uotinen, Superior; Balduc; Lofdahl; Passow.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Curt Myers, Cameron; Dave Flynn, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; DJ Keeler, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Kyle Copp, Brule; Eric Olson, Ladysmith.

11-20: Wayne Dean, Eau Claire; Brian Carl, Duluth, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Darrel Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips.

21-24: Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; David Elliott, Minocqua; Charlie Anderson, Ironwood, MI; Matthew Hammitt, Cloquet, MN.

Heat 1: Myers; Casari; Flynn; Keeler; Oreskovich; Mackey; Lawrence; Mashlan.

Heat 2: Sabraski; McFadden; Copp; Stuart; Muzzy; Hazelton; Dean; Hammitt.

Heat 3: Beeksma; Burdick; Deragon; Carl; Olson; Spacek; Anderson; Elliott.

Championship Saturday Night

ABC Raceway Crowns Five First-Time Champs

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 29 — “Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night” at the ABC Raceway will be long remembered for a lot of notable moments – the return of one driver to Victory Lane for the first time in 11 years; the return of another to the track in just as many; a popular local pair of brother-sister teammates switching rides for the night; and a down-to-the-wire battle between two title-winning veteran racers to cap off the evening.

But most significantly will be the fact that five drivers earned their first-ever ABC Raceway track championships on Saturday, as 88 entries came to race on a cool late-August evening for the final regular-season night of 2020.

Washburn’s Pat Cook held an 11-point advantage over Cole Spacek heading into the WISSOTA Modified feature – the closest of the championship battles to be decided on this night. To start the 20-lap “big Mod” main event Cook lined up just behind Spacek, a couple of rows back of front-row companions Jeff Spacek (Cole’s dad) and Bill Byholm – who between them own seven ABC titles.

The two wily veterans raced side-by-side for nearly every one of the 20 laps of the race, with Byholm flying around the uppermost groove of the smooth, fast red-clay oval while Spacek hugged the innermost lane. The senior Spacek gained an advantage on lap 7 just before Paul Suzik’s spin brought about the race’s first yellow-flag slowdown, and when the green lights came back on the younger Spacek restarted just ahead of Cook in sixth.

But Cook took advantage of the restart by diving low on both Cole Spacek and Brandon Copp to take fifth, then used a similar move to snare fourth from Alex Van Natta on lap 10 and third from Steve Lavasseur on lap 11.

Byholm and Jeff Spacek continued their classic battle just ahead of Cook and Lavasseur, with Byholm edging Spacek by a mere .002 seconds at the stripe on lap 18, just before Suzik’s second spin set up a green-white-checkered finish to the season. Byholm, of Glidden, held on to beat Spacek by .171 seconds for his 28th career feature win at Ashland but first since July 2016. Cook’s third-place performance was more than enough to earn him his first-ever points title at ABC, while Lavasseur took fourth and Cole Spacek fifth.

Dave Flynn of Superior also did just a little more than was needed on Saturday to score his first career track championship. Going into the WISSOTA Super Stock finale Flynn led four-time defending champ Nick Oreskovich by 42 points, meaning a 16th-place or better finish would secure the trophy for Flynn. Seventeen cars started the 20-lap feature, and Flynn didn’t let Oreskovich get too far out of reach.

After Andrew Mackey’s first-lap spin, DJ Keeler led Shawn McFadden, Cory Casari and the rest back to green. Flynn powered low to work past Oreskovich for fifth just after visitor Kevin Burdick took fourth away, but while Burdick picked his way forward to second over the next few laps, Flynn slipped back to as low as eighth.

Flynn rebounded at mid-race, swiping fifth from Scott Lawrence while the fourth-running Oreskovich chased Casari. As the leaders worked their way through backmarkers, Burdick made an inside pass of Keeler for the lead with four laps to go and then broke away.

Burdick had a lot of open space in front of him with two laps left, but a tangle involving Don Muzzy, Tom Karaba and Rita Anderson resulted in Karaba and Muzzy hitting the back-straight guardrail hard and Karaba’s car rolling once completely before settling on its roof. All drivers walked away uninjured, and it set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Burdick ran away to his fifth career win here, with Casari getting around Keeler on the restart for second. Flynn, who lined up alongside Oreskovich on the re-do, grabbed fourth and secured his championship.

Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, had all but cemented his first-ever WISSOTA Midwest Modified title at ABC by taking the green flag in that division’s 20-lap A-main, but just to be on the safe side he grabbed his second-straight feature win and third of the year for good measure.

Ross Fuhrman and Jimmy Latvala (third and second in points, respectively, behind Dunbar) started the race side-by-side on the front row, but Dunbar grabbed second from Latvala right away. Jesse Polson’s lap 2 spin stalled the show for a bit, but it allowed Latvala to work outside on Fuhrman and take the lead away within a lap after the restart.

Dunbar got by Fuhrman on the next lap, prior to Diamond Bressette’s spin on lap 4, and after a stoppage for debris Dunbar went on the attack and took the lead on lap 7. By lap 10 Dunbar was working his way through slower traffic, but a series of yellow flags for more debris, another Polson spin, and a Justin Weinberger spin that collected John Darwin slowed the pace considerably.

The final seven laps clicked off without further delay, with Dunbar cruising to a two-second-plus final advantage. Latvala battled a hard-charging Jack Rivord to the bitter end and edged the youngster for runner-up honors by .005 seconds. Jesse Aho and Tanner Hicks completed the top five.

Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs became the first true rookie to win a points title at Ashland in over 30 years, while Duluth, MN’s Cory Jorgensen capped off a solid month of August here with his third straight WISSOTA Pure Stock feature win.

A logjam at the front of the field kept nearly all eight entries in close quarters early on, as Aaron Bernick had RJ Holly and defending champ Randy Graham tapping on his rear bumper. Jorgensen stuck the nose of his racer into that crowd, and he, Bernick and Graham pulled away in tight formation from Holly, who was in a heated discussion with Gehl and visiting Samuel Blevins for fourth.

As the ten-lap run stayed green, Jorgensen edged around Graham for second, helping Gehl’s cause in the points battle, but when Holly took over fourth and Gehl slipped back to fifth it tightened up the standings again. On lap 7 Jorgensen got around Bernick for the lead and opened up a comfortable cushion, which he maintained to the end. Graham could not get by second-finishing Bernick, but Gehl did slip past Holly to retake fourth late and claim the title by a mere 13 points.

Graham, from Trego, successfully defended his ABC Six-Cylinders championship later in the night’s action, in part due to an unintentional birthday gift from second-in-points Forrest Schultz. During the early stages of his heat race Schultz’s motor blew up, meaning Graham would merely need to start the feature to retain the Sixes title.

Polestarter Jake Nevala led the first two laps, but Dennis Groom, in only his fifth night of racing after an 11-year hiatus, worked his way low to take the lead. Nevala then spun after a bump from Graham on lap 3, and shortly after the restart Josh Saunders looped his ride with a little help from Dominic Hmielewski, but from there on it was Groom’s race to keep.

An impressive Jordan Pearce kept the pressure on Groom over the final eight laps, and Tyler Hudack – driving his sister Tiffany’s championship-winning car while she drove Tyler’s Midwest Mod for the first time – closed a nearly-two-second deficit to the leaders over the last three laps. But Groom, the 2001 ABC Street Stock champ from Ashland, held on for his fourth career feature win here but first since May 2009. Graham recovered for fourth, clinching his fourth track title here in the past three years (two each in the Sixes and Pure Stocks), and Saunders followed in fifth.

One night after securing the WISSOTA Hornets championship in Superior, AJ House of Cloquet, MN, nailed down his first title here by winning his division-best fifth feature of the season at ABC and third in a row.

On the initial start Kristy Marken was bumped into the infield, which sent second-in-points DeJay Jarecki to the tail of the grid for the restart. Mitch Kieber then led from the pole, while first-time visitor Mike Klippenstein used the outside lane for a five-wide pass down the front straight to take second. House, who started in row 4, was battling with Casey Fitzpatrick for third by lap 4, while Jarecki had already weaved his way through most of the 15-car field to take fifth by lap 6.

With two to go Klippenstein pulled alongside Kieber for the lead, but on the next go-around House made a low-side move by Kieber for second and stayed there to outrun Klippenstein to the final corner and edge ahead for the win and the title. Fitzpatrick and Jarecki completed the top five.

Each of the feature winners received impressive five-foot-tall trophies in Victory Lane from Steve Parsons, who was in attendance to promote his annual organ and tissue donation awareness campaign in honor of his late daughter, Kim.

Along with Groom’s return to the winner’s circle, the Hudack siblings’ car swap, and the classic duel between Byholm and Spacek, Saturday night also marked the return to racing of multi-time Superior Speedway champ Randy Silverness Jr, who climbed behind the wheel of Rick Siiter’s Mid-Mod and turned his first competitive laps since 2009.

The fastest timed laps in each feature were set by Van Natta in the Mods (17.118 secs; 78.864 mph), Burdick in the Supers (17.330; 77.900), Dunbar in the Mid-Mods (17.529; 77.015), and Tyler Hudack in the Sixes (18.500; 72.973).

The ABC Raceway will host the first-ever “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, on Thursday night, September 3. WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks will compete for a share of a purse well in excess of $36,000 to kick off the region’s stock car racing invitational season.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the “Prelude” are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info are available by calling (715) 209-1373. Drivers who register via My Race Pass prior to September 2 will not have to pay a draw fee.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Bill Byholm, Glidden; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Pat Cook, Washburn; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Al Uotinen, Superior; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Shane Kisling, Butternut.

11-15: Rick Rivord, Superior; Paul Niznik, Medford; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI.

Heat 1: Copp; Byholm; J Spacek; Van Natta; Hiatt; Kisling; Niznik; Balduc.

Heat 2: C Spacek; Cook; Lavasseur; Uotinen; Rivord; Suzik; Luger.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal; DJ Keeler, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Kyle Copp, Brule.

11-17: Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Rita Anderson, South Range; Thomas Karaba, Superior; Matthew Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: Oreskovich; Burdick; Keeler; McFadden; Muzzy; Mashlan; Karaba; Popp; Stuart.

Heat 2: Flynn; Casari; Lawrence; Mackey; Deragon; Copp; Anderson; Hammitt.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Michael Blevins Sr, Hibbing, MN; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-20: Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Steve Altman, Mercer; Randy Silverness Jr, Superior; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Bryan Lund, Ashland; John Darwin, Iron River; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

21: Jesse Polson               Superior.

Heat 1: Hicks; Savoy; Fuhrman; D Dunbar; Weinberger; Mains; Lund.

Heat 2: Aho; M Dunbar; Rivord; Uotinen; Bretting; Barningham; Darwin.

Heat 3: Latvala; Blevins; Silverness; Altman; Bressette; Hudack; Polson.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-8: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Randy Graham, Trego; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; RJ Holly, Marengo; Mikey Blevins, Hibbing, MN; Samuel Blevins, Hibbing, MN; Jennie Krause, Aurora, MN.

Heat: Jorgensen; M Blevins; Graham; Bernick; Holly; Gehl; S Blevins; Krause.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Dennis Groom, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Joshua Saunders, Spooner; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Trenton Bond, Mason; Jakob Bond, Mason.

11: Dalton Truchon, Ashland.

Heat 1: Hudack; Saunders; Groom; Nevala; Rohlfing; Schultz.

Heat 2: Graham; Truchon; Pearce; Hmielewski; J Bond; T Bond.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-10: AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Colton Strong, Superior.

11-14: Noah Rose, Duluth, MN; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple.

Heat 1: Jarecki; House; Klippenstein; Rowe; Young; Rose; Wammer.

Heat 2: Kieber; Fitzpatrick; Strong; Marken; Gotelaere; Butterfield; Hummelmeier.

 

 

ABC 8/29/20 results

Championship Saturday August 29th

ABC Raceway to Crown 2020 Champs on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 26 — The points-paying portion of the 2020 stock car racing season at the ABC Raceway concludes this Saturday, with champions to be determined at the conclusion of each of the night’s six features.

The “Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night” program, to be presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI, and North Star Beverage of Hurley, with include qualifying heat races and features in the WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Mods, Pure Stocks and Hornets, as well as the ABC Six-Cylinders.

WISSOTA’s points system, which is used for all six divisions at Ashland, places a lot of emphasis on large gains for strong feature race efforts – as well as significant losses in the standings for poorer finishes. With 100 points awarded for a feature win and 45 points just to start the A-main, every division but one has at least two drivers within range of a title, and first-time champions will be named in two of the classes.

In the WISSOTA Modifieds, Pat Cook of Washburn turned a two-point deficit to Phillips’ Cole Spacek into an 11-point lead, with a third-place performance in last Saturday’s Mod feature besting Spacek’ seventh. Should Spacek win this Saturday night, Cook would need to finish third again, or better, to hold on for his first-ever championship here. Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, the track’s Mod champ back in 2016, sits in third, just 27 points behind Cook and is still very much in contention.

Dave Flynn of Superior chalked up his third WISSOTA Super Stock feature win of the season here last weekend, strengthening his grip on that division’s standings as he seeks his first career title here. Flynn sits 42 points up on four-time defending champ Nick Oreskovich of Mason and would need a feature finish of 16th or better to take the honors should Oreskovich grab Saturday’s win.

Theoretically, all Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, needs to do is start his heat race in order to qualify for the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, which in turn would give him his first-ever ABC Raceway title. His closest rivals in the standings, Jimmy Latvala of Solon Springs and Ashland’s Ross Fuhrman, both struggled through difficult nights here last weekend to all but eliminate themselves from contention.

Rookie Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs will have his hands full to maintain as much of his 17-point advantage as he can over defending WISSOTA Pure Stock champ Randy Graham of Trego with one night left. A feature win by Graham on Saturday means Gehl would have to finish in the top-five for his first-ever title – becoming the first divisional rookie to win a championship at Ashland since Jeff Klopstein Jr took the Super Stock crown in 2015.

Graham stands a pretty fair chance to successfully his Six-Cylinders title, though, bringing a 34-point advantage on Ashland’s Forrest Schultz into the final night of the season after winning his second-straight Sixes feature and sixth of the year in the class last Saturday. Graham would need to finish 12th or better if Schultz should win the division’s finale.

After capturing his fourth feature of the season here last weekend, AJ House of Cloquet, MN, picked up his fourth WISSOTA Hornets feature win of 2020 at ABC and pushed his points lead over DeJay Jarecki of Ashland to 33. House has to finish 12th or better in Saturday’s finale to lay claim to his first championship here.

After Saturday, the Raceway staff will prepare for its two “post-season” special events – its first-ever “Prelude to the Clay,” presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, on Thursday, September 3, and the 45th annual Red Clay Classic on Friday and Saturday, October 2-3.

Grandstand admission tickets for adults for this Saturday’s season finale are just $11, and kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or in advance online via www.myracepass.com.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstands will open at 5, hot laps will start at 6:15 and the first heat race of the night gets the green flag at 7 pm. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

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The ABC Raceway will complete the points-paying portion of its 2020 racing season on Saturday, August 29, with Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI. The track champions in all six regular weekly divisions will be crowned after a full evening of action. Then the Raceway will prepare for its “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, featuring WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks, on Thursday night, September 3, to kick off the region’s stock car racing invitational season.

Grandstand admission tickets for Saturday’s finale are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the “Prelude” are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info are available by calling (715) 209-1373. Drivers who register via My Race Pass prior to September 2 will not have to pay a draw fee.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

August 22nd Results

Uotinen Returns to ABC Victory Lane

Flynn, Dunbar, Graham, House solidify title chances

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 22 — Superior’s Al Uotinen held on despite two mid-race caution flags and captured his first WISSOTA Modified feature win at the ABC Raceway since August 2014 on Saturday night.

Also during the Raceway’s “Summer Blast” program, presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland, four drivers tightened their grips on their championship points leads by winning their respective features during a fast-paced show on a cool, muggy night in northern Wisconsin.

Uotinen, the six-time ABC “big Mod” points champ, started the 20-lap headliner on the inside of row 2 and used the low lane of a three-wide pass to get by polestarter Shane Kisling and Neil Balduc for second place behind initial leader Bill Byholm. Two laps later Uotinen slipped past the 2017 ABC Mod champ and began building a lead that grew to over two-and-a-half seconds by mid-race.

Pat Cook, who started outside on row 3, weaved his way forward until he had eventually gotten around Byholm on lap 9, with Brandon Copp and 11th-starting Jeff Spacek following into the top five. Although Uotinen looked unbeatable, a caution flag was thrown on lap 12 to bring the field back to the leaders. The close-quarters racing on that restart resulted in contact between Byholm and Copp on lap 13 that sent Byholm into a wild spin into the back-straight guardrail.

Over the final laps Uotinen had all he could do to keep Cook and Balduc at bay, but he survived for his 26th career feature win at Ashland. Balduc had gotten by Cook on the final restart and was close behind the winner at the checkers, and Spacek and Jake Hiatt completed the top five.

Cook’s podium finish, combined with a sluggish seventh-place run for Cole Spacek, resulted in the only change at the top of the points standings in any of the Raceway’s six divisions on this night. Cook will lead Cole Spacek by 11 and Balduc by 27 heading into Saturday’s season finale.

Superior’s Dave Flynn made it clear that he intends to claim his first WISSOTA Super Stock title at Ashland and snap Nick Oreskovich’s four-year grip on that crown by running away to a decisive feature win here on Saturday.

Flynn started roughly mid-pack – inside on row 4 – but had already moved up to fourth during the first two laps, behind polestarter Andrew Mackey, Cory Casari and Steve Stuart. After Jonathan Popp’s stalled ride on lap 3 brought about the only yellow flag of the 20-lap run, Flynn worked inside on lap 5 to take third from Casari, then used a similar move to grab the lead on lap 7.

From there Flynn ran away to a huge 4.46-second margin of victory. Behind him, though, as many as six cars clustered into a tight pack jostling for second, with Mackey eventually succumbing to the challenges of Casari on lap 10 and Matt Deragon following into third. Deragon overtook Casari on lap 13 but had nothing left to reel in Flynn, whose third win of the season was also the 21st of his career at ABC and helped him extend his points lead to 42 on Oreskovich, who finished fifth behind Stuart.

Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, not only won his second WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature of the season, but he also took advantage of some heartbreakingly bad luck cast upon his two closest challengers in the standings to greatly improve his chances for a first-ever title here.

Dunbar slipped by front-row mates Justin Weinberger and Tanner Hicks with a three-wide move right off the initial green flag and led all 20 laps of the race. Weinberger’s car slowed during the second circuit, and several cars bumped and bounced off of his, resulting in damage that knocked Weinberger’s as well as a couple of other cars from the run.

Dunbar was up by over half a second on Hicks and third-in-points Ross Fuhrman during lap 4 before John Darwin’s spin slowed the proceedings again, and two laps after that restart Fuhrman’s car shot sparks from its rear axle and he slid into the damp infield grass to stop the action again. Second-in-points Jimmy Latvala restarted in third, beat Hicks through the first set of turns back under green, and immediately began a determined assault on Dunbar’s lead.

Dunbar hugged the bottom groove while Latvala circled around the high lane, with Brady Uotinen following Latvala to get around Hicks for third. After Diamond Bressette’s lap 11 spin, Latvala used the upper route to close the gap on the leader, drawing nearly even with Dunbar on lap 13. But the leader switched to the high side once he was sure he had held Latvala off, and two laps later Latvala looped his racer to take himself out of contention.

From there Dunbar fled from first-night visitor Ryan Savoy to a 1.9-second win, with Uotinen solidly in third ahead of Hicks and Jesse Aho. Latvala and Furhman fell to 69 and 79 points back of the title spot, respectively, with their unfortunate nights.

Duluth, MN’s Cory Jorgensen was a repeat feature winner in the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and has moved into a tie for fourth place in the standings despite only running three nights here all season.

As opposed to the previous Saturday, when Jorgensen had to patiently thread his way through some difficult heavy traffic in order to get to the front, this night’s move to the lead was just a bit easier. Once he got around the front-row pair of polestarter RJ Holly and points leader Tanner Gehl, the defending national Pure Stock champ drew away to a significant 3.5-second cushion after just five laps, while Holly did an admirable job holding on to second ahead of Aaron Bernick, second-in-points Randy Graham, and Gehl.

Jorgensen had added another full second to his lead by lap 7 when the fifth-place Gehl spun, bringing the field back to the leader’s rear bumper for a three-lap sprint to the finish. But Jorgensen maintained for his second straight win here and third of his career at ABC. Holly held on to second, while Graham finished third to trim his points deficit to the fifth-finishing Gehl to just 17 with one night left. Bernick claimed fourth-place at the pay window.

Graham did add to his ABC Six-Cylinders points lead, though, by winning his fifth feature of the season in that division and 33rd of his career here.

It would take a late-race pass for the sixth-starting Graham to get the win, as Dennis Groom worked outside on polestarter Dominic Hmielewski before setting the early pace. Josh Saunders was strong in getting by Hmielewski for second on lap 2, with Graham following Saunders to third a couple of laps later.

Saunders continued his impressive run by taking the long way around Groom over laps 5 and 6 before staking his claim to the lead, while Graham used the shorter low line to displace Groom on lap 7. Graham stayed low to reel in Saunders, and with just three laps remaining the points leader from Trego took over the pace.

Graham’s final margin at the checkers was 1.066 seconds on Saunders, while Forrest Schultz edged Groom at the line for third. Dalton Truchon was a distant fifth. Graham’s points lead over Schultz has now grown to 34 going into next Saturday’s final night.

AJ House of Cloquet, MN, also built a little bit of breathing room between himself and DeJay Jarecki by winning his fourth WISSOTA Hornets feature of the season. House and Jarecki have combined to win eight of the nine features held for the division this summer.

In the non-stop ten-lap A-main, Jarecki drove by polestarter Mitch Kieber at the drop of the green and grabbed the initial lead, but House followed into second and the pair began another familiar battle for the win. This time House worked his way by Jarecki on lap 4 and fended off his foe’s advances throughout each of the remaining laps, winning by little more than a car-length.

First-time visitor Carson Gotelaere edged past third-in-points Josh Rose for third, and Kieber finished a solid fifth. House will lead Jarecki by 33 heading into Saturday’s finale.

The Raceway hosted bike races for kids in four different age groups during intermission, and well over a dozen new bikes were given away as well, thanks to donations from Home Expressions, Chicago Iron & Supply, Marcus Dunbar Racing, Bill Muhlig Racing, Saunders Racing, Mashlan Business Services, and the ABC Raceway and its front-gate crew. The Iron River Ambulance Service donated youth safety helmets that were given away as well.

The fastest posted feature laps on the night were set by Jeff Spacek in the Mods (16.605 secs; 81.301 mph), Flynn in the Supers (17.125; 78.832), Marcus Dunbar in the Mid-Mods (17.560; 76.879), and Graham in the Sixes (18.748; 72.008).

The ABC Raceway will complete the points-paying portion of its 2020 racing season on Saturday, August 29, with Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI. The track champions in all six regular weekly divisions will be crowned after a full evening of action. Then the Raceway will prepare for its “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, featuring WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks, on Thursday night, September 3, to kick off the region’s stock car racing invitational season.

Grandstand admission tickets for Saturday’s finale are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the “Prelude” are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info are available by calling (715) 209-1373. Drivers who register via My Race Pass prior to September 2 will not have to pay a draw fee.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Al Uotinen, Superior; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Pat Cook, Washburn; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Brandon Copp, Brule.

11: Bill Byholm, Glidden.

Heat 1: Byholm; Suzik; Kisling; C Spacek; Hiatt; J Spacek.

Heat 2: Cook; Uotinen; Copp; Balduc; Luger.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Kyle Copp, Brule; Rita Anderson, South Range; Charlie Anderson, Ironwood, MI; David Elliott, Minocqua.

11: Jonathan Popp, Iron River.

Heat 1: Flynn; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Deragon; Elliott; R Anderson; Popp.

Heat 2: Oreskovich; Mackey; Casari; Stuart; Copp; C Anderson.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; John Kallas, Hurley; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

11-19: Steve Altman, Mercer; Chris Bretting, Washburn; John Darwin, Iron River; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jack Rivord, Superior; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

Heat 1: M Dunbar; D Dunbar; Aho; Uotinen; Mains; Kallas; Bressette.

Heat 2: Fuhrman; Hicks; Weinberger; Peterson; Barningham; Passuello.

Heat 3: Latvala; Rivord; Savoy; Altman; Darwin; Bretting.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-6: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Randy Graham, Trego; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Jamie Chlebecek, Lehigh Acres, FL.

Heat: Jorgensen; Graham; Bernick; Gehl; Holly; Chlebecek.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Randy Graham, Trego; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Trenton Bond, Mason.

Heat 1: Pearce; Graham; Schultz; Saunders; Bond.

Heat 2: Truchon; Nevala; Groom; Hmielewski; Rohlfing.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-9: AJ House, Cloquet, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Dan Moncher, Saxon; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Austin Bowens, Superior.

Heat: Jarecki; House; Kieber; Rowe; Gotelaere; D Moncher; Bowens

Superior; Hummelmeier.

 

Summer Blast August 22

Championship Battles, Bike Races Part of ‘Summer Blast’ at ABC Raceway on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 20 — And down the stretch they come!

Only two nights of regular-season racing remain for the 2020 stock car racing campaign at the ABC Raceway, and this Saturday’s program should be full of drama and excitement at the historic northern Wisconsin speedplant.

The Raceway’s annual “Summer Blast,” presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland, has become a favorite event on the track’s schedule over the past few seasons. It is a chance for the Raceway to say “thank you” to its loyal fans for supporting the track and enjoying the action here all summer long. And, with so few chances remaining, drivers will need to step up their games just that much more to gain valuable ground in the final championship points standings in their respective divisions, making for more thrills on the track.

To add to the excitement on the track, kids’ bike races have been added to Saturday’s docket. Kids will get to compete in four different classes – ages 2-4, 5-7, 8-10, and 11-12, and there will be bikes given away and other fun prizes aimed at the younger fans.

No one has nailed down a championship here yet, but no division is as close points-wise as the WISSOTA Modifieds, where Phillips’ Cole Spacek (son of the night’s co-sponsor, six-time track champ Jeff Spacek of Northern Wisconsin Fence) leads Pat Cook of Washburn by a mere two points. Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, moved into third, just 32 points behind Spacek, on the strength of his second feature win of the season here last Saturday, and Brandon Copp of Brule sits fourth, 45 points out.

By comparison, Dave Flynn of Superior has a seemingly comfortable grip on the WISSOTA Super Stocks standings, sitting 26 points up on four-time defending champ Nick Oreskovich of Mason. But under the current WISSOTA points system, which provides for big swings in the standings in the event of very good – or very bad – feature finishes, a win by Oreskovich combined with a Flynn finish outside of the top seven on Saturday could create a completely different complexion going into the season finale on August 29.

The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds has become a three-car race for the title, led by Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, who holds a 33-point lead on Jimmy Latvala of Solon Springs. The other of the race program’s co-sponsors – Ashland’s Ross Fuhrman of Outlaw Wraps & Apparel – has used top-five runs in four of the last five Mid-Mod features to close to within 39 points of Dunbar.

After winning the first feature of his career here on July 25, rookie Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs has endured a couple of tough nights on the track, but he still maintains a 24-point advantage on defending division champ Randy Graham of Trego in the WISSOTA Pure Stock standings. Meanwhile, Graham strengthened his defense of his ABC Six-Cylinders title by extending his lead to 25 points over Ashland’s Forrest Schultz, after picking up his Raceway-leading fifth feature win of the season last Saturday in that class.

Cloquet, MN’s AJ House picked up his third WISSOTA Hornets feature win last Saturday and, in so doing, extended his points lead over DeJay Jarecki of Ashland to 28. These two have won all but one of the eight Hornet features here this year and have put on some classic duels for the fans in the Raceway’s entry-level division.

Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or in advance online via www.myracepass.com.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstands will open at 5, hot laps will start at 6:15 and the first heat race of the night gets the green flag at 7 pm. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

August 15th Results

Emerson Tops Renegades Sprints at ABC

by Nick Gima

ALL PHOTOS CREDIT – Brandon Bowers

Ashland, WI, August 15 — Caley Emerson of Grand Rapids, MN, swept around leader Jake Kouba with two laps to go and gained a measure of justice in taking the feature win during the second visit of the season for the Northern Renegades’ traditional sprint cars to the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall of Ashland presented the seven-division race program that showcased 97 entries on a cloudy, cool, damp mid-August evening in the Chequamegon Bay area.

During the Northern Renegades’ first visit to Ashland back in late June, Emerson was leading their feature until a restart after a lap 8 caution, when his car refused to go and he steered into the infield and out of the event. So Saturday’s win had a very sweet taste to it.

The 13-car starting grid ran off its 20-lap A-main non-stop, with Jake Kouba challenging polestarter Jimmy Kouba right away. It took two laps before Jimmy clearly established himself at the point, with Emerson, who started outside on the front row, holding third ahead of Lance Solem and Chris Lewis.

The Kouba boys pulled away to duke it out as the race reached its midpoint quickly, with Josh Braford displacing Lewis for fourth. A couple of laps later Jake Kouba used an inside move to take the lead away from Jimmy, as Emerson closed the gap considerably.

With six laps remaining Emerson slipped by Jimmy Kouba to take over second, while Nick DaRonco used the very upper edge of the racing groove to sweep by Braford for fourth. Coming off of turn 2 with two laps left, Emerson completed an outside pass of Jake Kouba and held on for a three-quarter-second margin of victory.

Jimmy Kouba, DaRonco and Braford completed the top five. Jimmy Kouba set a new track single-lap record for the Northern Renegades during the early stages of the run with a time of 16.928 seconds (79.750 mph).

              Neil Balduc and Pat Cook put on a show for the large crowd in attendance in the 20-lap WISSOTA Modified feature, with Balduc, the 2016 track champ from Bessemer, MI, nipping Cook at the line for his second win of the season.

Polestarter Tanner Byholm took the initial advantage, but Balduc, who started right behind Byholm, followed him into second and then switched to the outside lane to sweep by before the first lap was completed.

Visiting former ABC Mod champ Robby Bunkelman worked his way around Byholm for second on lap 5, before Tyler Luger looped his car during the next circuit to bring out the first yellow flag and eliminate Balduc’s significant advantage. A lap after retaking the green flag, the field was slowed again when Cole Spacek’s car came to a stop after mid-pack contact.

Balduc had his hands full with Bunkelman and the seventh-starting Cook directly behind him for that restart, and under green Cook did all he could to get by the leader using the low groove of the smooth, sticky red-clay oval. But Balduc was fast around the high line and defended his position.

On lap 14 Bunkelman’s car mysteriously slowed on the back straight to stop the race again, and a lap after that the yellow flag was thrown for the final time for debris. From there Balduc and Cook battled side-by-side, with Tyler Vernon and Paul Niznik right on their tails. Cook drew nearly even with Balduc on a couple of occasions, including, coming to the checkers, and Balduc’s margin of victory was razor-thin – .077 seconds, according to official electronic scoring. Niznik overtook Vernon for third on the final circuit, and 12th-starting Paul Suzik was fifth.

Balduc set an early quick lap with a time of 16.517 seconds (81.734 mph). Spacek recovered from the early stop to finish eighth, but his points lead shrunk to just two as a result of Cook’s strong run.

                Kyle Copp of Brule led flag-to-flag for his first-ever win in the WISSOTA Super Stocks at ABC during Saturday’s 20-lap A-main. Copp started on the pole, beat Shawn McFadden Jr through turn 1, and then survived heavy pressure for the landmark win.

The intense battle for second behind Copp lasted much of the race and took its toll early, as Andrew Mackey, in a three-wide move for third, spun wildly and hit an infield marker tire on lap 2. The damage knocked him from the event as well as Matt Deragon, who was caught up in the incident.

Over the next seven green-flag laps McFadden and Scott Lawrence raced door-to-door for second, swapping the position, allowing Copp to scoot away. Divisional points leader Dave Flynn, who started eighth, weaved his way into the top five and joined the battle for second, but when he dove low on McFadden to try to take second on lap 9 he cause both cars to spin and was sent to the back.

The race ran caution-free from there, with Copp drawing away and McFadden and Lawrence still debating second. Lawrence eventually established himself as runner-up and, after closing the gap on Copp, threw every move he could at the leader. But the young second-generation speedster held off the wily veteran for a close .36-second margin of victory. Nick Oreskovich moved through the field late to take third and close the points gap on the fourth-finishing Flynn to just 26, and Steve Stuart came home fifth.

Copp also set the fast lap of the race at 17.051 seconds (79.174 mph).

Superior’s Jack Rivord showed that his big-money win in last Saturday’s “Mid-Mod Madness” at ABC was no fluke, charging past Tanner Hicks just before mid-race and dominating the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature.

Hicks took the initial lead for the 20-lap run from polestarter John Darwin and retained it after a lap 2 stoppage for Ryan Barningham’s slowed ride. Darwin was displaced on successive laps after the restart by Ross Fuhrman, Duane Dunbar and Rivord, and on lap 5 Dunbar got by Fuhrman for second. Rivord took third from Fuhrman two laps later, just before a Jesse Polson-Rick Siiter get-together slowed the pace.

Rivord’s car came to life on that restart, blowing past Dunbar and then Hicks over the next two laps. Diamond Bressette collected Polson for the final yellow flag of the race, and from there Rivord disappeared from the field, building a lead of over two-and-a-quarter seconds in just six laps and more than doubling that advantage over the final six for his second win of the season, while setting a quick-lap time of 17.316 seconds (77.963 mph).

Dunbar got around Hicks just after the restart and fended off 11th-starting Jesse Aho to claim second, and Fuhrman followed Hicks home for fifth. Marcus Dunbar took seventh, just one spot ahead of Jimmy Latvala, to extend his points lead over Latvala to 33 with two race nights left.

Duluth, MN’s Cory Jorgensen blew through the WISSOTA Pure Stock feature field in just two laps, survived two restarts, and cruised to his first feature win here this season.

                Granted, the field only consisted of six total cars. But Jorgensen, who was the sixth-place starter, had to get by points leader Tanner Gehl, quick teammate Aaron Bernick, and a determined Tyler Kachinske first, then pass an impressively-fast RJ Holly and defending track champ Randy Graham with a three-wide inside move to get to the front.

Holly’s bumping of an infield marker tire onto the track brought about the first of only two yellow-flag slowdowns on lap 2, but Jorgensen held firm when Graham threatened on the subsequent restart. Gehl’s spin with three laps left brought the field back to Jorgensen’s bumper, but the defending national Pure Stock champ was up to the task and drew away to a comfortable cushion at the checkers.

Graham fought back late challenges from Bernick for second, and Kachinske was awarded fourth and Holly fifth after a two-position penalty was assessed to Gehl for a “jump” of the final restart, allowing Graham to close to within 24 points of Gehl in the standings.

Graham strengthened his points lead slightly in the ABC Six-Cylinders with his fifth win of the season in the division’s 12-lap main event. The defending division champ from Trego took the lead after a first-lap restart and was uncatchable after that.

The restart was a result of Josh Saunders’ stopped ride before the field got to complete lap 1, but on that re-do Graham “threaded the needle” between front-row starters Jakob Bond and Adam Traaholt and then pulled away, with second-in-points Forrest Schultz working his way around Bond for third a lap later. On lap 2, heavy contact between Bond and Mathew Rohlfing put Bond’s car on its side and nearly over onto its roof before landing on all fours with significant damage. Neither driver was injured, but both cars were towed to the pits.

Schultz got by Traaholt for second on the restart but could not keep up with Graham despite setting the fastest lap of the race at 18.524 seconds (72.878 mph). Graham won by nearly two seconds and holds a 25-point lead on Schultz heading into next Saturday’s action, while Saunders, Jordan Pearce and Dominic Hmielewski completed the top five.

                AJ House of Cloquet, MN, snapped DeJay Jarecki’s WISSOTA Hornets feature win streak at three by claiming Saturday’s race and, at the same time, gave himself a little more margin of error in the division’s points battle.

After visitors Logan Braford and Justin Barsness collected each other on the initial start, House stormed from the fourth row to get by polestarter Cully Butterfield on lap 3 for the lead. An impressively fast Casey Fitzpatrick worked his way around Butterfield to second a lap later, with Jarecki in tow to third, just before Braford hit the turn 4 guardrail hard to halt the run. Jarecki got by Fitzpatrick on the restart but couldn’t shake free to attack the leader, and Fitzpatrick retook second a lap later and frustrated Jarecki’s efforts from then on.

House’s win was his third of the season, to go along with his five runner-up efforts, and he extended his points edge to 28 on Jarecki. Mitch Kieber and Josh Rowe rounded out the top five.

The ABC Raceway will host its annual “Summer Blast” race night on Saturday, August 22, to be presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland. Kids’ bike races have been added to the program on that night, and all six regular weekly divisions will be on hand for this next-to-last points-paying night of the 2020 season.

Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

Northern Renegades Traditional Sprints

Feature: 1-10: Caley Emerson, Grand Rapids, MN; Jake Kouba, Minneapolis, MN; Jimmy Kouba, Byron, MN; Nick DaRonco, Britt, MN; Josh Braford, Grand Rapids, MN; Chris Lewis, Grand Rapids, MN; Lance Solem, Duluth, MN; Jake Barsness, Grand Rapids, MN; Paul Schultz, Grand Rapids, MN; Zach Widdes, Rice Lake.

11-13: Brian Trembath, Hastings, MN; Corey Olson, Duluth, MN; Brad Larsen, Ely, MN.

Heat 1: Solem; Jimmy Kouba; Lewis; Trembath; Widdes; Larsen; Teal Arnason, Balsam, MN.

Heat 2: DaRonco; Emerson; Braford; Jake Kouba; Schultz; Barsness; Olson.

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Pat Cook, Washburn; Paul Niznik, Medford; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Al Uotinen, Superior; Rick Rivord, Superior; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua.

11-19: Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Kelly Checkalski, Poplar.

Heat 1: Balduc; Bunkelman; T Byholm; Gehl; Uotinen; B Byholm; Copp.

Heat 2: Cook; Vernon; Niznik; Rivord; Luger; J Spacek.

Heat 3: Hiatt; C Spacek; Checkalski; Suzik; Kisling; Van Natta.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Kyle Copp, Brule; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Dave Flynn, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; Jonathan Popp, Iron River.

11-12: Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: Oreskovich; Flynn; Deragon; Mackey; Casari; Popp.

Heat 2: Stuart; Lawrence; McFadden; Copp; Mashlan; Anderson.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI.

11-20: Brady Uotinen, Superior; John Darwin, Iron River; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Jesse Polson, Superior; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Rick Siiter, Esko, MN; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

Heat 1: Rivord; M Dunbar; Darwin; Lund; Polson; Bressette; Uotinen.

Heat 2: Vernon; Fuhrman; Mains; Aho; Bretting; Siiter; Weinberger.

Heat 3: Hicks; Latvala; D Dunbar; Passuello; Barningham; Ripley.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-6: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Randy Graham, Trego; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs.

Heat: Bernick; Graham; Holly; Gehl; Kachinske; Jorgensen.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Randy Graham, Trego; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Joshua Saunders, Spooner; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Ethan Beeksma, Mellen; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable.

11-12: Jakob Bond, Mason; Trenton Bond, Mason.

Heat 1: Graham; Schultz; Rohlfing; Traaholt; Beeksma; T Bond.

Heat 2: Truchon; Saunders; Groom; J Bond; Pearce; Hmielewski.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-10: AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Noah Rose, Duluth, MN; Logan Braford, Grand Rapids, MN.

11-14: Jake Wammer, Ashland; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Justin Barsness, Grand Rapids, MN; Shawn Young, Stone Lake.

Heat 1: Moncher; Butterfield; Wammer; Marken; Barsness; Hummelmeier; Young.

Heat 2: Jarecki; Fitzpatrick; House; Kieber; Rowe; Braford; Rose.

COVID-19 Statement

The Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association is making a concentrated effort to make our facility as clean and safe as possible during the current viral pandemic. We ask your cooperation by taking the following extra precautions to help minimize the spread of this highly contagious disease while at the track:
• Please use the hand-sanitizing stations located throughout the Raceway grounds as often as possible
• Please wash your hands frequently, using warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
• We encourage you to observe social distancing guidelines, using the six-foot-apart rule as much as possible, sitting at least a row apart in the bleachers, and keeping social congestion in all areas of the Raceway to an absolute minimum
• Please observe the re-designed accesses for our concession areas, using the six-foot distancing marks on the ground as guidelines, and being mindful of the specific ordering and pick-up locations
• We encourage you to purchase tickets for upcoming race programs online, using the My Race Pass website, to minimize the handling of currency by you and our staff
• We encourage you to purchase beverages from our vending machines whenever possible
• Face masks are not required but are recommended for use
• Our Raceway staff will perform frequent cleaning and sanitizing routines of the facility to help minimize viral infection
We hope that you will cooperate with the ABC Raceway in our efforts to protect you, your fellow race fans, the drivers and crews, our Raceway working staff, and our local communities against the spread of the coronavirus – thank you very much for your cooperation!

Northern Renegades Sprints August 15th

Next up at the ABC Raceway is the second visit of the season for the Northern Renegades traditional, or wingless, sprints, on Saturday, August 15. All six regular weekly divisions will be on hand as well, with the pit gates opening at 4:30 pm, the grandstands at 5, hot laps starting at 6:15, and the first heat race of the night going green at 7 pm.

Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

August 8th Results

Rivord Rakes In $1,500 for ABC ‘Mid-Mod Madness’ Win

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 8 — Superior’s Jack Rivord stayed patient through a series of significant caution flags that ground up several challengers and was awarded the win in the 14th annual “Midwest Mod Madness” at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

In a program presented by the Lake Shore Cafe of Ashland, the win earned Rivord $1,500, thanks to a generous contribution by Zielies Tree Service to that division’s purse, on a hot, muggy night.

All 24 drivers that registered for the 25-lap “Mid-Mod Madness” spotlight event started the race, but a lightning-fast track surface and some aggressive driving took its toll on the field. Pole-starter Jimmy Latvala grabbed the initial lead from fellow front-row starter Donnie Lofdahl, but third-running Marcus Dunbar bumped Latvala before lap 1 was done and broke loose, collecting several cars and bringing about the first of seven caution stoppages.

Lofdahl got the jump on the field on the re-do, but visiting Rick Siiter’s spin after one circuit brought up another quick halt. Another visitor, two-time defending national champ Skeeter Estey, worked his way past Lofdahl for the lead on the next start, with the sixth-starting Rivord following to second. Rivord then drove low on Estey for what turned out to be the winning pass on lap 3, and he extended his lead as much as he could before the next yellow flag flew, for Clay Passuello’s spin on lap 5, which gathered up several other mid-pack racers.

On that restart, Kennedy Swan’s loose ride, which made contact with Bryan Lund, drew the next yellow flag, and Diamond Bressette’s spin on the next try, in which Swan and Lund were both collected, kept the race from gathering any momentum. Latvala got by Estey with an inside move under green, but the pass was negated when Lofdahl’s ride turned around and three more cars were collected in a grinding crash that stopped the race again, with only seven laps completed over 27 minutes.

After a lengthy clean-up, officials shortened the race to just ten more laps or one more caution, but when Dunbar and Tanner Hicks crashed together on the very next restart, the race was called complete and Rivord was deemed the winner. Estey, Latvala, 11th-starting Hicks and Tyler Vernon completed the top five.

Vernon found the sticky-quick red-clay oval much more to his liking in the WISSOTA Modified feature, where the Ashland speedster flew to his first-ever career win at ABC in the division by a huge margin.

Starting from the pole, Vernon wasted no time in establishing his dominance over the field, sprinting away from fellow double-duty driver Lofdahl by 1.6 seconds over the first four tours before the 20-lap race’s only caution stoppage was called for debris.

Paul Suzik captured second from Lofdahl as the race went back to green, but Vernon was nearly two seconds out front within the next five laps and continued to pull away. The leader had a cushion of half the length of the front straight on Suzik with eight laps remaining, and Suzik was still further ahead of Lofdahl, who had his hands full fending off Cole Spacek and Shane Kisling.

Vernon’s final margin over Suzik was just shy of 4.4 seconds, with Lofdahl a full third of a lap back, just ahead of Spacek and 13th-starting visitor Mike Anderson.

Another race of attrition, although not as lengthy timewise, was the 20-lap WISSOTA Super Stock A-main. Seven of the 12 scheduled starters took the checkers, but points leader Dave Flynn of Superior got there first.

Shawn McFadden took the lead from pole-starter Andrew Mackey and paced the first couple of laps before Terran Spacek’s spin stopped the run. Steve Stuart grabbed second away from Mackey immediately after the restart and stayed in McFadden’s tire tracks through the next three circuits.

On lap 6 McFadden’s car got very sideways going through turn 4, and the tightly-packed field scattered to avoid contact. McFadden gathered up control of his ride, but everyone behind him got stacked up, causing Matt Deragon, Cory Casari and Nick Oreskovich to jumble together into a pile-up on the front straight. Deragon was the only one able to continue, and McFadden was penalized to the tail of what was, at the time, an eight-car line-up.

Stuart led the field back to the green, but his time there as short-lived as Flynn, restarting third, sped by the slowing Andrew Mackey and slipped low on Stuart for the lead before the lap was completed. From there Flynn cruised to his second feature win of the season here and 20th of his career at ABC, with Stuart better than a second back. McFadden charged back to claim third ahead of Deragon, while Aaron Mashlan finished a lap down in fifth.

The WISSOTA Pure Stocks and Hornets and the ABC Six-Cylinders completed the program by running 28 feature laps with only two quick caution flags. In the Pure Stocks rookie Tanner Gehl started outside on the front row, beat RJ Holly to turn 1, and held on to the point the rest of the way for his second career feature win in the past two shows at Ashland.

Holly spent the majority of the race defending his second-place standing from a determined Randy Graham, but Holly’s bobble in turn 2 with three laps remaining left the bottom open for Graham to slip by. Gehl had enough of a lead that Graham couldn’t close the gap, and Holly recovered to come home third just a couple car-lengths back of Graham.

Finishing in fourth was 80-year-old Zene Anderson, who told a track official earlier in the evening that running a race at Ashland was on his “bucket list” for 2020.

It took Dalton Truchon of Ashland the first three laps of the Six-Cylinders’ 12-lap main event to get by pole-starter Joshua Saunders for the lead, but once there he pulled away to his second straight feature win here.

Truchon used an outside pass to take the lead away from Saunders, who spent the rest of the run keeping points leader Graham behind him. Eventually Forest Schultz and Tiffany Hudack closed the gap, and second-in-points Schultz took a shot at an inside move on Graham in the late laps, but Graham held on.

Truchon had nearly two seconds on Saunders for the win, with Graham a close third. Hudack got by Schultz on the white-flag lap for fourth.

Ashland’s DeJay Jarecki overcame a one-row penalty for a “jump” of the start of the WISSOTA Hornets feature to claim his fourth feature win of the season. Both afore-mentioned yellow-flag slowdowns came in this race – the first for Jarecki’s jump of the original start, and the other one lap later for debris.

Josh Rowe held the initial lead, but after the first restart he was overtaken by Jarecki and AJ House, the two primary combatants for the division’s points title this year. Jarecki went outside on Rowe to take the lead on the second restart, House went inside, and the lead pair drove away as Caleb Decker overtook Rowe for third on lap 2.

Points leader House could not mount a serious challenge for the win, as Jarecki became the Raceway’s all-time feature wins leader in the division. Rowe retook third in the closing laps from Decker, and Mitch Kieber was scored in fifth at the checkers.

As evidence of just how fast the track was on this night, the quick times recorded in the features by Vernon in the Modifieds (16.275 secs; 82.949 mph), Flynn in the Supers (16.785; 80.429), and Rivord in the Mid-Mods (16.897; 79.896) were each within three-tenths of a second of matching the Raceway’s one-lap records in their respective divisions, while Hudack in the Sixes (18.472; 73.084) was within six-tenths of a second of the track record for that class.

Next up at the ABC Raceway is the second visit of the season for the Northern Renegades traditional, or wingless, sprints, on Saturday, August 15. All six regular weekly divisions will be on hand as well, with the pit gates opening at 4:30 pm, the grandstands at 5, hot laps starting at 6:15, and the first heat race of the night going green at 7 pm.

Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Brandon Copp, Brule; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Pat Cook, Washburn; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Paul Niznik, Medford.

11-14: Jake Hiatt, Mason; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs.

Heat 1: C Spacek; Vernon; Suzik; Kisling; Niznik; Gehl; Luger; Anderson.

Heat 2: Copp; Cook; Lofdahl; Hiatt; Zack Drews, Superior; Balduc.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Rita Anderson, South Range; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal; Nick Oreskovich, Mason.

11-12: Scott Lawrence, Superior; Terran Spacek, Phillips.

Heat 1: Stuart; Mackey; McFadden; Deragon; Mashlan; Popp.

Heat 2: Oreskovich; Spacek; Casari; Flynn; Lawrence; Anderson.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; Skeeter Estey, Kelly Lake, MN; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; John Darwin, Iron River; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-20: Bryan Lund, Ashland; Zach Slayton, Springbrook; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls; Mark Kangas, Eveleth, MN; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

21-24: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Rick Siiter, Esko, MN; Ross Siiter, Esko, MN.

Heat 1: Anderson; Passuello; Latvala; Kangas; Mains; Hudack; Barningham; Lund.

Heat 2: Estey; Rivord; Vernon; Hicks; Darwin; Weinberger; Slayton.

Heat 3: M Dunbar; D Dunbar; Lofdahl; Fuhrman; Swan; Bressette; Rick Siiter; Ross Siiter.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-4: Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Randy Graham, Trego; RJ Holly, Marengo; Zene Anderson, Superior.

Heat: Graham; Holly; Gehl; Anderson.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Joshua Saunders, Spooner; Randy Graham, Trego; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo.

11-13: Jakob Bond, Mason; Ethan Beeksma, Mellen; Trenton Bond, Mason.

Heat 1: Truchon; Saunders; Groom; Schultz; Rohlfing; Hmielewski; Beeksma.

Heat 2: Hudack; Graham; Pearce; Traaholt; J Bond; T Bond.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-8: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Caleb Decker, Mahtowa, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Jake Wammer, Ashland.

Heat: Jarecki; House; Rowe; Kieber; Decker; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Butterfield; Wammer; Hummelmeier.

 

 

ABC 8/8/20 results

Prelude to the Clay Sept 3

ABC Raceway to Host Two Big Post-Season Specials

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 26 — The ABC Raceway is proud to announce that it will host two significant stock car racing events during the 2020 invitational season.

The historic northwestern Wisconsin speedplant will be the site of the first-ever “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, on Thursday, September 3. The Prelude is being held this season in place of the traditional kick-off event of the region’s post-season specials, the Silver 1000 at Proctor, MN.

The Ashland track will also host its 45th annual Red Clay Classic on Friday and Saturday, October 2-3. The Classic is one of the most popular and prestigious stock car racing events in the Upper Midwest.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health concerns it has caused, officials at the Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor determined soon after the 2020 stock car racing season began in the Northland that they would not be able to host events there without serious financial risk. Significant restrictions placed by the State of Minnesota and St Louis County on attendance and other social aspects of operating a racetrack during the pandemic made opening the Speedway’s doors this summer impractical.

The Board of Directors of the Ashland track took into serious consideration the importance of the survival of Proctor’s track, the interests of the two facilities’ common fan base and racer pool, and the protection of the Silver 1000’s traditional Thursday-before-Labor-Day date when proposing hosting the Prelude to HLS officials. As part of the offer, the ABC Raceway will present a portion of the Prelude’s proceeds to officials of the Proctor track to help defer their 2020 operating expenses.

The Prelude will feature WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks running for a purse well in excess of $35,000. Late Models have been the premier offering of every Silver 1000 since its inception in 1973, and Mods were added to that event in 1989.

The Prelude will also be the starting event of the first-ever Tri-Star Engines & Transmissions Labor Day Weekend Series presented by Quality Freight Rate – a four-night, three-track tour that will include shows at Grand Rapids, MN, on Friday, September 4, and Hibbing, MN, on Saturday and Sunday, September 5-6. The tour will offer drivers a chance at an $8,000 points fund as well as four winner’s checks totaling $10,500.

At Ashland, the Late Models will be presented by Van House Construction of Silver Bay, MN, and will race to qualify for a 40-lap feature paying $3,000 to win, with a minimum of $250 going to all feature qualifiers.

Rivord Auto Center of Superior will present the Modifieds, which will run for a chance at a $2,000 feature winner’s paycheck at the end of 30 laps, and all drivers that make the A-main will take home at least $150.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks will be presented by Rapid Performance of Sauk Rapids, MN. It was announced on Monday that the 25-lap feature winner’s paycheck has been increased to $1,000, thanks to donations from the Lake Shore Cafe and Chicago Iron & Supplies, both of Ashland. Feature qualifiers will earn a minimum of $80 to start, and Rapid Performance will present a $500 certificate toward the purchase of one of its new Affordable race-car chassis to the last driver still running at the end of the Super Stock headliner.

“We need Proctor to be successful,” ABC Raceway Board president Eric Erickson stated in explaining the thinking behind hosting the Prelude. “By holding this race on this date, our intent is to help maintain the integrity of their event, so that next year we hope that we can all go to Proctor for the 48th Silver 1000 on the Thursday before Labor Day.”

It was also announced this week that the Late Model feature winner’s share at this year’s Red Clay Classic has been increased to $5,500. Modifieds, Super Stocks and WISSOTA Midwest Mods will join the Late Models for this popular special, which is expected to once again draw huge crowds as well as upwards of 200 entries competing for a purse in excess of $100,000.

In addition, Red’s Auto of Ironwood, MI, has signed on as a presenting sponsor of this year’s Classic, joining FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer. Red’s Auto will present a special race for Late Models on the Friday night of the Classic, the details of which will be released shortly.

For the “Prelude to the Clay,” adult grandstand ticket prices are just $28, tickets for kids ages 6-12 are just $8, and kids ages 5 and under are admitted free. Limited reserved seating is available in advance for an additional $10 per ticket, and a limited number of reserved overnight camping sites at the track are also available for just $15 each. For reserved seating and camping reservations, call Mary at (715) 292-2672. General grandstand admission tickets can be obtained in advance via www.myracepass.com or at the grandstand gate on race day.

For race teams, pit admission is $35 per person. Draw fees will be waived for all drivers who pre-enter via the My Race Pass website before September 2. Reserved pit sites are available for $15 each by calling Cheryl at (715) 209-1373.

The pit gates will open that Thursday night at 3 pm and the grandstands will open at 4, with hot laps set for 6:15 and the first heat race of the night getting the green flag at 7 pm. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

More information regarding the Red Clay Classic will be released within the next couple of weeks.

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 call (715) 682-4990 on race days, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

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ABC Raceway’s ‘Prelude to the Clay’ to Kick Off Northland’s Invitational Season

by Nick Gima

Ashland, WI, August 15 — The ABC Raceway has released additional information regarding its upcoming “Prelude to the Clay” on Thursday, September 3.

With title sponsorship from Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, the “Prelude” will be the first of the region’s stock car racing post-season specials. WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks will be in action for a complete program of heats, semi-features and A-features.

For the past 47 racing seasons, the honor of opening the invitational season in the Northland has gone to the Proctor (MN) Speedway’s Silver 1000. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced officials of that track – renamed Halvor Lines Speedway earlier this year – to close for the entire 2020 season. Thus, the continuity of one of the Nation’s longest continually-running stock car racing invitationals was in jeopardy.

As a gesture of goodwill between neighboring race tracks, a portion of the proceeds collected from ABC’s “Prelude” event will be donated to Halvor Lines Speedway to help defer expenses from their lost season.

“We feel that it is important for racing in our region for Proctor’s track to be open and operating,” said Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association Board president Eric Erickson recently. “Our tracks are only about 70 miles or so apart. We share many of the same racers and fans.

“We feel that it is equally important for the Silver 1000 to retain its tradition as the official start of the invitational season in our area. Our Board felt that it was in the best interests of local racing to maintain in some way the integrity of the Silver 1000 and the tradition of its date (historically the Thursday before Labor Day weekend).

“This event is a one-year-only deal. We are hoping that Halvor Lines Speedway can host its 48th Silver 1000 in 2021.”

The Late Models’ portion of the program will be sponsored by Van House Construction of Silver Bay, MN. The drivers in WISSOTA’s premier division will run a 40-lap feature to headline this event, which pays $3,000 to win and a minimum of $250 to all feature qualifiers. Last year Pat Doar of New Richmond was the Silver 1000 Late Model winner.

Rivord Auto Center of Superior will be the sponsor for the Modified races on this night. The “big Mods” will run for a chance at a $2,000 feature winner’s paycheck, while all drivers that make the feature will earn at least $150 to start the race. Ashley Anderson of Elk Mound took home the win at last Fall’s Silver 1000 in Proctor.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks, which have never run at the Silver 1000 but have been added for the event at Ashland, will be presented by Rapid Performance of Sauk Rapids, MN. The Super Stock feature will pay $600 to win and $80 to start as of press time, and Rapid Performance will also present a $500 certificate toward the purchase of a new Affordable chassis to the last driver still running at the end of the Super Stock feature.

For fans wishing to attend the “Prelude to the Clay,” adult grandstand ticket prices are just $28, and kids ages 12 and under can get in for just $8. Reserved seating is available for an additional $10 per ticket, and a limited number of reserved overnight camping sites at the track are also available for just $15 each, by calling Mary at (715) 292-2672. Other general grandstand admission tickets can be obtained via www.myracepass.com or at the grandstand gate on race day.

For race teams, pit admission is $35 per person. Draw fees will be waived for drivers who pre-enter via the My Race Pass website before September 2. Reserved pit sites are available for $15 each by calling Cheryl at (715) 209-1373.

The pit gates will open that Thursday night at 3 pm and the grandstands will open at 4, with hot laps set for 6:15 and the first heat race of the night getting the green flag at 7 pm. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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 call (715) 682-4990 on race days, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

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ABC Raceway Planning to Host Invitational on Sept 3

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 2 — In an attempt to maintain the integrity of the date which traditionally kicks off the region’s stock car racing invitational season, the ABC Raceway has announced that it plans to host a special event on Thursday, September 3.

Although many details remain to be hashed out, the event will include heat races, semi-features and features for WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks.

“We have been working with the Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor, MN, to try to host a special event to replace their Silver 1000,” according to ABC Raceway Board president Eric Erickson. “The folks there have been unable to open their gates for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government restrictions in Minnesota and St Louis County for large event gatherings.

“As a track that understands the importance of working with our neighboring tracks, we want to do all we can to help maintain as much of the integrity and historic importance of the Silver 1000 as possible. So we will run this event to start the invitational season, and we intend to provide Halvor Lines Speedway with a financial contribution of some type from our revenues from the event.”

A purse has been set that includes a $3,000 winner’s check for the Late Models, $2,000 for the Modified winner, and $600 to the winner of the Super Stock feature.

More information, including overnight parking info, ticket prices and a complete purse breakdown, will be released over the next couple of weeks. Hot laps are set for 6:15 pm, with heat racing following at 7 pm. Once prices have been set, advance tickets will be made available online via www.myracepass.com as well as at the gate on September 3.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

Mid Mod Madness

Big Money for Mid-Mods at ABC Saturday

by Nick Gima

Ashland, WI, August 5 – On Saturday night, the ABC Raceway will try once again to host a big-money show for area WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds.

The 15th annual “Mid-Mod Madness” special will be presented by the Lake Shore Café of Ashland and will pay $1,500 to the winner of Saturday’s Midwest Mod feature, thanks to a significant donation to that division’s purse from Zielies Tree Service. Due to the fact that a couple of nearby Saturday-night race tracks will not be hosting programs, a large number of racers are expected to visit the three-eighths-mile northern Wisconsin speedplant.

The event was initially set to be part of a three-race series spread out over the course of the summer schedule at ABC. But the coronavirus pandemic and recent bad weather have double-teamed to hamstring the first two attempts to get the series started, so the effort has been condensed into a single night of racing.

All six of the Raceway’s regular weekly division will be in action, and with a suddenly limited amount of possible shows now remaining in 2020, the battles for the points championships should become quite thrilling. In the WISSOTA Modifieds, for example, less than 100 points (not a significant amount under the current WISSOTA points system) separate the top eight in the standings, led by a tooth-and-nail battle between Cole Spacek of Phillips and Washburn’s Pat Cook.

In the WISSOTA Super Stocks only two points separate Dave Flynn of Superior and four-time defending track champ Nick Oreskovich of Mason, with the next four in the standings behind them all within less than 70 points of leader Flynn.

By comparison, Marcus Dunbar’s advantage of 37 points almost seems comfortable over Ashland’s Ross Fuhrman, as the second-generation driver from Marenisco, MI, aims to join his father Duane as an ABC Raceway champ.

In the WISSOTA Pure Stock class, rookie Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs used his first career feature win from two weeks ago to vault well ahead of defending division champ Randy Graham of Trego. But Graham, with the help of teammate and former two-time ABC Six-Cylinder champ Dale Coddington of Hayward, is pacing that division’s standings in the hope of a successful title defense there, albeit with Ashland pilots Forest Schultz and Dalton Truchon closing the gap a couple weeks back.

Another battle that is very much up-for-grabs is in the entry-level WISSOTA Hornets, where loyal long-distance traveler AJ House of Cloquet, MN, is trying to hold off a fierce late-season charge from DeJay Jarecki of Ashland.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm and the grandstands will be open at 5, with hot laps set for 6:15 and the first heat race of the night getting the green flag at 7 pm. Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com.

“Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

Mid-Mod Madness

by Nick Gima

The ABC Raceway will now prepare for its upcoming “Mid-Mod Madness” special, to be held on Saturday, August 8. The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds will be running for a $1,500 feature winner’s check as part of a full six-division race program, to be presented by Lake Shore Cafe and Zelies Tree Service.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm and the grandstands will be open at 5, with hot laps set for 6:15 and the first heat race of the night getting the green flag at 7 pm. Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com.

“Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

Red Clay Classic 2020

Seating, Camping, Pit Spots Still Available for ABC Raceway’s 45th Red Clay Classic

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 26 — The ABC Raceway has announced that advance ticket sales, reserved seating, overnight camping sites and pit spots are currently available for the 45th Red Clay Classic, to be held Friday and Saturday, October 2-3.

Presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland, Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, and Red’s Auto of Ironwood, MI, the Red Clay Classic is one of the most popular and prestigious short-track stock car racing events in the Upper Midwest, with over 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Modifieds from throughout the Midwest and Canada expected to compete on the award-winning three-eighths-mile red-clay oval for a share of a purse set to be in excess of $100,000.

Fans who had purchased reserved seats and camping sites for last year’s Classic will have until July 31 to contact the Raceway’s ticket department to retain those same seats and sites for this year’s show. Racers who had reserved pits spots for the 2019 event must do likewise if they wish to park in the same spot for the 2020 race. As of August 1, all reserved seats, sites and pit spots not claimed will be made available to the general public and other racers.

Fans who hold reserved seats and drivers with reserved pit parking during the regular season still need to contact the Raceway in order to retain them for the Classic. The VIP decks can only be used by their current renters for the Red Clay Classic.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting travel restrictions, fans and racers from Canada who may not be able to attend this year’s Classic but had reserved seats, camping sites and pit spots from 2019 should call the Raceway to advise of this. The track’s Board of Directors has confirmed that, upon confirmation that Canadian fans and racers with prior reservations will not be able to attend this year, the Raceway will offer those seats, sites and spots to others for 2020 but will again hold them for their 2019 owners first for the 2021 Red Clay Classic.

“We understand the complications of travel during this time and the difficulty for many Red Clay Classic fans and racers to attend this year’s show,” Raceway Board president Eric Erickson recently stated. “We don’t feel it’s fair that our loyal fans and racers from north of the border should lose the rights to their reservations because of the pandemic.

“All we ask is that they call us to let us know that they can’t make it this year. We’ll certainly miss them. But basically, if any racer or fan from Canada had a seat, site or spot in 2019 and can’t make it for 2020, it’s still yours first for 2021.”

To purchase advance tickets with reserved seating, or to reserve a campsite on Raceway grounds, please call (715) 682-2672 Monday through Friday (evenings only) or send an e-mail to tickets@abcraceway.com. A very limited number of bring-your-own lawnchair spots along the top walkway of the main grandstand can also be reserved in advance only, for the price of an adult two-day pass plus the additional reserved-seat charge.

The Raceway Board will soon advise if the owner of the property to the east and directly adjacent to the track’s pit area will be offering first-come, first-served overnight parking during the RCC weekend.

Pit parking can be reserved by calling (715) 746-2390 (evenings) or by e-mailing tickets@abcraceway.com.

Non-reserved advance tickets for the Red Clay Classic, and all upcoming 2020 events at the ABC Raceway, are available online via the My Race Pass website, www.myracepass.com.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. Additional event information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com. Additional Ashland area hotel and community information is available by visiting www.visitashland.com.

July 25th Results

Sabraski Dominates FastLane Super Stock Series Field at ABC

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 25 — Shane Sabraski of Rice, MN, continued his dominance of “northern tier” WISSOTA tracks with runaway feature wins in two divisions at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

In a program presented by Chicago Iron & Supplies of Ashland, Sabraski collected his third feature win in the first four races of the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series by over half a lap, shortly after a win by over three seconds in the WISSOTA Modified A-main. It was the second time in the past two seasons that Sabraski won both features in Ashland on the same night.

Eighty total entries took to the northern Wisconsin red-clay oval on a hot, muggy night during which thunderstorms surrounded the Chequamegon Bay area but never threatened the completion of the program.

In the non-stop 30-lap Super Stock spotlight event, Sabraski outran polestarter Andy Grymala and never looked back, taking just four laps to build a lead of nearly two seconds on Nick Oreskovich. Scott Lawrence raced door-to-door with Grymala for several laps before securing third.

By lap 10 Sabraski had already caught backmarkers, but he skillfully threaded his way through the slower traffic to continue to build on his margin. By the time Oreskovich began picking his way through the back of the pack at mid-race, the leader was over four seconds in front. The tail-end traffic also cost Oreskovich his runner-up position, as Lawrence squeezed by for that spot on lap 20.

Every entry in the 25-car field finished the event, which took only 11 minutes to complete. Sabraski’s final margin of 9.8 seconds was better than a half-lap ahead of Lawrence, with Oreskovich just behind in third. Cory Casari closed to within a car-length of Oreskovich in fourth, and Dave Flynn came home fifth to maintain a scant two-point lead in the track standings.

Sabraski, whose win total for the year in the Supers reached 14 with the victory at Ashland, can secure the 2020 FastLane Series title with not much more than a start in the Series finale feature, to be held August 1 in Oglivie, MN.

Just before his performance in the Super Stock feature, Sabraski worked his way through the field to win the Modified 20-lapper, which was also caution-free. In this race, though, he needed to work a little harder, after starting from the eighth spot on the 16-car grid.

Front-row starters Rick Rivord and Jake Hiatt edged each other for the lead over the first couple of circuits before Hiatt gained the upper hand. As Hiatt drew away to a three-quarter-second lead, Rivord fended off challenges from Al Uotinen, while Sabraski ran just outside of the top five, patiently waiting for an opportunity to move forward.

That opportunity came on lap 7, when Sabraski found room at the outer edge of the track’s wide racing groove. With no other racers venturing up there, Sabraski swept around visiting Cory Mahder for fifth, Pat Cook for fourth, and Uotinen for third by duplicating the same outside pass coming off of turn 4 over a four-lap span. On lap 12 he repeated the move to get by Rivord for second, then eliminated Hiatt’s lead over the next two tours before taking the lead away with the same type of pass.

Sabraski had a 3.3-second cushion on Hiatt when the checkers waived, while Brandon Copp followed the winner’s high line around the field to take third late in the run. Uotinen recovered for fourth-place money ahead of points leader Cole Spacek.

There were some interesting surprises in several of the features on this night, not the least of which was Duane Dunbar’s flag-to-flag win in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. Dunbar, the father of divisional points leader Marcus and a former three-time ABC Super Stock champ from Marenisco, MI, started outside on the front row and survived several restarts for his 22nd career feature win in Ashland but first since June 2017.

In only his second night out this season, Dunbar outran polestarter Tanner Hicks for the early advantage. Hicks supplied pressure for the lead but bumped an infield marker tire from turn 2 onto the track on lap 2, the penalty for which was a restart at the back of the field. After a Chris Bretting spin, Dunbar pulled away from Jimmy Latvala, who in turn had some distance on the battle for third between rookie Brady Uotinen and Ross Fuhrman.

A Diamond Bressette spin on lap 7 slowed the pace for a bit, but the field rattled off eight more laps under green before rookie John Darwin’s spin sent him to the pits. Justin Weinberger, who was running fourth, looped his ride on the restart, and visiting Zach Slayton spun in the first turn after the next green flag dropped. But over the final five laps Dunbar outran Latvala to a 1.1-second margin of victory, with Uotinen, an impressive Dalton Mains and Fuhrman completing the top five.

Another eye-opener was supplied by Ashland’s Dalton Truchon, who kicked off the evening’s feature action with his first career win in the ABC Six-Cylinder main. Truchon, in his fourth season, started on the outside of the front row, beat Mathew Rohlfing to the first corner, and held on through three well-spaced caution slowdowns for his landmark win.

From the start it looked as though Truchon and Josh Saunders were going to run off to decide the win between them, as they separated themselves from Forrest Schultz. The battle between Rohlfing and Dennis Groom for fourth was won by Groom just before Saunders’ motor gave out on him on lap 2, bringing about the first of the yellow flags.

After lap 3 was scored Jordan Pearce and Dominic Hmielewski got together to stop the action again, and Truchon had Groom and Schultz directly behind him for the restart. Dale Coddington charged past Schultz for third within the next lap, and Truchon held tight to his lead before rookie Trenton Bond’s spin with five laps left slowed the pace for the final time.

Coddington’s car slowed a lap after the restart and he dropped out of the event, and Schultz took advantage to move up to challenge Groom, with Pearce in tow. But this allowed Truchon the breathing room he needed to pull away over the final three laps to a one-second advantage at the checkers. Groom, the Raceway’s 2001 WISSOTA Street Stock champion who last raced in 2009, took second back from Schultz on the white-flag lap, and Pearce followed in fourth ahead of Rohlfing.

It won’t matter to Tanner Gehl that there were only four WISSOTA Pure Stocks in the field on this night, or that Jared Akervik’s car broke on lap 4 after he had challenged Gehl for the early lead. History will show that the second-generation rookie driver from Solon Springs won his first career feature by a big margin.

The 12-lapper went non-stop, and Gehl, too, started outside on the front row and grabbed the lead right away, beating RJ Holly to the first corner. Akervik, who had won the night before in Superior, quickly got to Gehl’s back bumper and followed the rookie closely over the first couple of laps.

Holly, while running third, spun his car on lap 3 but straightened it out soon enough in order to keep the race under green, falling to fourth. But at the same time Akervik’s car began to act up, and on lap 4 he coasted to the pits, leaving Gehl with a straightaway margin on Jeff Vendela, driving brother James’ car for the first time.

Gehl maintained the big advantage on Vendela for his first-ever win, with Holly scored a distant third.

The WISSOTA Hornets capped off the night with a non-stop ten-lap feature, in which DeJay Jarecki held off a determined AJ House for his third win of the season.

House, the division’s points leader who started last on the five-car grid, was called for a jump on the initial start. The penalty didn’t hurt him for the restart, though, and he collaborated with Jarecki on a three-wide pass of leader Mitch Kieber on lap 2.

Throughout the rest of the run House dove low on Jarecki and threw his car hard into the corners, but he couldn’t overtake the Ashland driver, who had three car-lengths on House at the checkers. Josh Rowe quietly went about his business to nail down a solid third-place finish, and Jake Wammer overtook Kieber’s ailing ride on the final lap for fourth.

The fastest laps timed in feature action on this night were set by Sabraski in both the Mods (17.608 secs; 76.670 mph) and the Supers (17.580; 76.792); Dunbar in the Mid-Mods (17.962; 75.159); and Truchon in the Sixes (19.060; 70.829).

On Saturday, August 1, the ABC Raceway will welcome the Interstate Racing Association’s “outlaw” winged sprint cars as part of a program to be presented by the Heartland Communications Group of radio stations and the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club. The IRA 410 sprints are capable of lap speeds of over 100 mph on the sticky red-clay oval, and they will be part of a program that will include the Modifieds, Midwest Mods and Hornets.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm and the grandstands will be open at 5, with hot laps set for 6:15 followed by sprint-car qualifying; the first heat races of the night should get the green flag by 7 pm. Grandstand admission tickets are just $18 for adults, and $5 for kids’ ages 5-12. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com.

“Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Brandon Copp, Brule; Al Uotinen, Superior; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Rick Rivord, Superior; Pat Cook, Washburn; Cory Mahder, Elk Mound; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI.

11-16: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Kelly Checkalski, Poplar; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua.

Heat 1: Hiatt; Spacek; Mahder; Sabraski; Copp; Suzik; Gehl; Luger.

Heat 2: Rivord; Cook; Uotinen; Van Natta; Anderson; Kisling; Balduc; Checkalski.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Cory Casari, Montreal; Dave Flynn, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Chris Wark, Zimmerman, MN; Andy Grymala, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN.

11-20: Dylan Nelson, Merrifield, MN; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Kyle Copp, Brule; DJ Keeler, Superior; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Austin Niemeyer, Brainerd, MN; Shawn Fernkes, Pennock, MN; Matt Fester, Grove City, MN; John Adams, St Croix Falls; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith.

21-25: Mike Loomis, Columbus, MN; Josh Schmidt, Elk River, MN; Ronnie Malecki, Superior; Brian Carl, Duluth, MN; Kevin Schmidt, Becker, MN.

Heat 1: Lawrence; Casari; Mackey; Niemeyer; J Schmidt; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; Jonathan Popp, Iron River.

Heat 2: Sabraski; Stuart; Flynn; Burdick; Loomis; Adams; Josh Bach, Barron.

Heat 3: Oreskovich; Wark; Fester; Quinn; Deragon; Fernkes; K Schmidt.

Heat 4: Grymala; McFadden; Keeler; Nelson; Copp; Malecki; Carl.

Semi-Feature: Fernkes; Malecki; Carl; K Schmidt; Mashlan; Anderson; Adams; Bach.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Jesse Polson, Superior; Chris Bretting, Washburn.

11-15: Anthony Forfa Jr, Phillips; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Zach Slayton, Springbrook; John Darwin, Iron River; Tanner Hicks, Ashland.

Heat 1: Weinberger; Latvala; Fuhrman; Hicks; Bressette; Bretting; Slayton; Forfa.

Heat 2: M Dunbar; D Dunbar; Uotinen; Mains; Barningham; Polson; Darwin.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-4: Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Jeff Vendela, South Range; RJ Holly, Marengo; Jared Akervik, Superior.

Heat: Akervik; Holly; Vendela; Gehl.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Jacob Bond, Mason; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Trenton Bond, Mason; Joshua Saunders, Spooner.

Heat 1: Truchon; Coddington; Groom; Pearce; J Bond.

Heat 2: Saunders; Schultz; Rohlfing; Hmielewski; T Bond.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-5: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Jake Wammer, Ashland; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

Heat: Jarecki; House; Rowe; Kieber; Wammer.

IRA 410 Outlaw Winged Sprints August 1

IRA Winged Sprints Return to ABC Raceway this Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 30 – Race teams from the Interstate Racing Association’s “outlaw” winged sprints will invade the ABC Raceway for this Saturday night’s Heartland Communications Group Night at the Races, to be presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club.

The scheduled five-division race program will also include a full complement of heat and feature races for the WISSOTA Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds and Hornets, and the ABC Six-Cylinders.

Saturday will also be the final night to purchase tickets from the Sportsmen’s Club as part of its annual fundraising raffle. Tickets will be sold at the track right up until intermission of the race program, at which time the Club will hold its drawing. Interested persons can also purchase tickets from any Club member or by calling (715) 373-2088 right up until Saturday’s race program. Raffle ticket purchasers need not be present at the Raceway to win.

The IRA 410 winged sprints have raced on the historic northern Wisconsin red-clay oval five times in the past nine seasons, and in each of those five shows Bill Balog of Hartland has stood in Victory Lane after winning their A-main. A native of North Pole, AK, Balog has won the IRA championship a Series-record nine times, including seven straight from 2008-‘14. Leading up to this weekend’s three-race swing in Plymouth (Thursday), Antigo (Friday) and here, Balog had won six straight IRA features dating back to June 13.

Other Series stars expected to compete here on Saturday include former IRA champs Jake Blackhurst of Hanna City, IL, and Jeremy Schultz and Scotty Neitzel of Beaver Dam. Along with Balog, these drivers have laid claim to 13 Series titles and all currently sit in the top-five in the IRA standings. Other drivers who have voiced their intentions to travel to Ashland include Sheboygan’s Scotty Thiel, Russ Borland of Kewaskum, Kris Spitz of Salem, Wayne Modjeski of Oak Creek, and Sean Rayhall of Woodstock, GA.

Like most everything else, the IRA has had to endure several postponements, cancellations, and rearrangements of its schedule in 2020. The event at ABC became the 26th event on the Series schedule when it was added late last month, out of 41 now slated, but prior to Thursday’s show in Plymouth the tour had only completed nine events.

“Our drivers haven’t raced as much as they’ve hoped to this summer,” IRA Series director Steve Sinclair stated recently. “Adding Ashland to our schedule is a huge plus for us and for the fans there – it gives our teams a chance to run at another track that they enjoy, plus gives the fans up there a chance to see these cars reach some awesome speeds on that track.”

The 1,400-pound, 700-plus-horsepower cars, with their huge nose- and roof-mounted wings creating enormous amounts of downforce to help them stick to the ground, are easily capable of reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph on nearly every track they compete at, including here. IRA driver Thiel holds the all-time track record for a timed single lap around the Raceway’s three-eighths-mile oval, at 12.373 seconds, for an incredible 109.109 mph average. By comparison, the fastest lap recorded in a WISSOTA Modified at ABC is 15.979 seconds (84.486 mph average) by former Raceway champ Steve Stuart of Ashland.

Grandstand admission ticket prices will be just $18 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-12; children ages 5 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Advance tickets are also available online via the My Race Pass website, www.myracepass.com.

The grandstand and pit gates will open at 4:30 pm on Saturday, and hot laps will start at 6:15. IRA timed qualifying will take place shortly after hot laps, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. Additional event information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

On Saturday, August 1, the ABC Raceway will welcome the Interstate Racing Association’s “outlaw” winged sprint cars as part of a program to be presented by the Heartland Communications Group of radio stations and the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club. The IRA 410 sprints are capable of lap speeds of over 100 mph on the sticky red-clay oval, and they will be part of a program that will include the Modifieds, Midwest Mods, Hornets & Six Cylinders.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm and the grandstands will be open at 5, with hot laps set for 6:15 followed by sprint-car qualifying; the first heat races of the night should get the green flag by 7 pm. Grandstand admission tickets are just $18 for adults, and $5 for kids’ ages 5-12. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com.

“Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series July 25

Sixth annual FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series on Saturday, July 25.

It’s the Fast Lane Motorsports Super Stock Series presented by Chicago Iron & Supplies this Saturday night at the ABC Raceway! All classes will be racing along with the best Superstocks in the Northland! We are making a few changes to the facility to ensure the safety of our fans and staff. We also will continue to work closely with the County Health Dept to monitor the situation. Ashland & Bayfield Counties have indoor mask advisories in place and we encourage our patrons to observe social distancing. The bleachers will be modified slightly to help with the distancing and temperature checks will be done at both gates. Please treat each other with respect and help ensure the safety of all. If we work together, we can continue to run our program and all enjoy some fantastic racing every Saturday night at the ABC Raceway!

The pit gates are scheduled to open at 4:30 pm and the grandstands at 5, with hot laps set for 6:15 and green-flag racing scheduled for 7 pm. Adult grandstand admission tickets are just $11 per person, either at the gate or online via www.myracepass.com, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Ten-race punch passes are also available at the Raceway’s ticket window on race nights, and advance pit passes are also available online.

“Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

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, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.