Special Friday Night Program at ABC Raceway to Feature LM Challenge Series
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, June 29 — The ABC Raceway will deviate ever so slightly from its tradition of hosting Saturday night stock car racing action by putting on a huge program on Friday night. In the spotlight this week will be WISSOTA’s premier division – the mighty Late Models.
The Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center of Odanah will be the presenting sponsor of a four-division race program that will include a visit by the WISSOTA Wollak Construction Late Model Challenge Series – one of the most prestigious Dirt Late Model touring series in the Midwest. Many of the top Late Model drivers in the Upper Midwest are expected to be on hand for the first of only two visits to the northern Wisconsin red-clay oval in 2018.
Also on the slate will be WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods, giving fans a taste of what will be coming up in late September.
“We’re billing this as sort of a ‘mini-Red Clay Classic’,” Raceway president Eric Erickson said earlier this week, referring to the track’s traditional end-of-season special and the four divisions in action. “Of course, we won’t be paying out quite as much of a purse, but fans will still get a chance to see many of the drivers who will be competing here for the bigger money in September.”
Still, the Late Models will be fighting for some good-sized paychecks – including a $2,000 one for the winner of Friday night’s feature and a minimum of $250 to every driver that starts the 40-lap headliner.
The Late Model Challenge Series will have reached the mid-point of its 2018 schedule with Friday’s visit to Ashland. Of the first ten shows, only last Saturday’s event in Miller, SD, has been lost to bad weather. So far, four drivers have won two features each on the tour – defending Series champion John Kaanta of Elk Mound; Ricky Weiss of Headingley, MB; Don Shaw of Ham Lake, MN; and Kent Arment of Aberdeen, SD. Menomonie’s Jimmy Mars captured the other one.
But the man who has enjoyed the best overall run on the tour has been New Richmond’s Pat Doar. He has parlayed seven top-five finishes in the first nine shows into the Series’ points lead, which he will bring with him when he arrives here for Friday’s show.
On August 12 of last year, the Challenge Series raced at the ABC Raceway for the first time since 2009. Kaanta, who comes in second in points, won the feature that night, and he went on to win the Series championship for the sixth time in his career.
The ABC Raceway is pulling out all the stops for this special program, offering a great night of entertainment for fans and drivers alike. For the fans, the fun starts well before the racing begins, as at least a half-dozen Late Model drivers have offered to put their cars on display next to the grandstand pavilion. The ABC Raceway Kids’ Club is inviting fans of all ages to see the cars, meet the drivers, and get photos and autographs from 5 pm until at least 5:30.
Also, the Raceway is offering a two-dollar discount on the adult grandstand admission price to all fans who bring in their grandstand admission wristband from last Saturday’s UMSS Traditional Sprint Car special here to the ticket window.
For the drivers, the ABC Raceway is offering to cover the entry fee for all Late Model entrants for Friday’s show. In addition, the Raceway will be giving away ten $50 gas cards by random drawing to Modified, Super Stock and Mid-Mod entries.
The track also is offering free overnight camping in the Raceway parking area for Friday night, to accommodate those planning to make the trip to Superior for the big two-day Modified special there on Saturday and Sunday. Plus, there are other activities and entertainment in the works for the evening.
The pit area opens at 4:30, and the grandstands open at 5 pm. Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first heat race will take to the track at 7 pm. Adult admission tickets are just $20 each for this special event, but, as mentioned, there is a two-dollar discount for fans who bring in their admission wristband from the June 23 sprint car show. As always, kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Despite the recent heavy rains, all major routes to the Raceway are open, albeit some with minor detours that will not add significant travel time.
“Z-93 Race Night” will air live updates from the track on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and stream them online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30-6 pm. Fans can also listen to the pre-race coverage by downloading the free HCG Radio app onto their smart phone, tablet or other mobile device.
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, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.