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.