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.

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