ABC Raceway to Crown ‘18 Champs This Saturday
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, August 25 — For a racing season that seemed to struggle to get started, 2018 is screaming toward a terrific finish at the ABC Raceway.
On Saturday, Pepsi-Cola, North Star Beverage of Hurley, and WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI, will present “Championship Saturday Night” at the award-winning three-eighths-mile red-clay northern Wisconsin oval. The points champions in the track’s five regular weekly divisions will be announced after the conclusion of each division’s feature.
Dominant performances all season long have allowed drivers in four of the divisions to be easily in line for titles. But one division’s championship won’t be decided until its feature race has been run, and many top-ten finishes in the final standings in all classes are yet to be determined.
Provided each one qualifies for Saturday’s WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, at least one of three drivers will be awarded that division’s 2018 crown. The leader going in, two-time champ Paul Suzik of Ironwood, has an 11-point edge on Superior’s Dan Kingsley, who wrapped up his second straight title at Proctor, MN, last Sunday. Should Kingsley win Saturday, Suzik would need to finish second or third in the feature.
But under the new WISSOTA points system, Suzik would have a larger margin of error if the pair were to finish deeper in the field. For example, if Kinglsey comes home fifth, Suzik could finish ninth and still win the title; if Kingsley takes ninth, Suzik only needs a 14th-place run.
And remember, we said, “at least one” could win the championship, because there is a mathematical chance that there could be a tie for the title. Ashland’s Tanner Hicks enters the night in third in Mid-Mod points; he can share the title with Suzik if he wins the feature, Kingsley finishes no better than 19th, and Suzik either qualifies but does not start the event or (if enough cars register and run the feature) takes 27th place or worse. If Kingsley takes 18th place under the same scenario, there would be a three-way tie for first.
All eyes will be on those three drivers in what should be one of the more interesting races of the night.
Kevin Eder of Ashland needs to only qualify for the WISSOTA Modified feature in order to nail down his first-ever track title. Eder, who has raced in six different divisions at this track during his 15-year career, holds a commanding 69-point advantage on five-time track champion Steve Stuart of Ashland.
Nick Oreskovich of Mason will nail down his third straight WISSOTA Super Stock crown here by simply qualifying for that division’s feature on Saturday, as he will bring a 73-point lead over Shawn McFadden Jr of Ashland to the Raceway.
Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack is well on her way to her third ABC Six-Cylinder championship in five seasons. Her 57-point advantage on Trego’s Randy Graham means that she, too, only needs to qualify for the Sixes’ main event in order to claim the trophy.
Graham, who won last Saturday’s Six-Cylinder and WISSOTA Pure Stock features, took over the Pure Stock points lead two weeks ago. Washburn’s Don Livingston moved into second place, but his 75-point deficit gives Graham the same luxury that Eder, Oreskovich and Hudack enjoy – merely qualify for the feature, and leave the track as a champion.
Hot laps will start at 6:15 pm and racing gets underway at 7. Adult admission tickets are just $11 each, and kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Fans can keep up with live race news and weather updates from the track by listening to “Z-93 Race Night” on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, online at www.wbszfm.com, or via the free HCG Radio app on their smart phones, tablets or other mobile devices, from 4:30-6 pm.
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