48th Red Clay Classic to be Biggest Yet for Drivers, Fans

by Nick Gima

               Ashland, WI, September 10 – The 48th annual Red Clay Classic, to be presented September 29-30 at the ABC Raceway, is set to offer the most money to its drivers and the most fun to its fans of any Red Clay Classic yet.

The WISSOTA Dirt Track Series event, presented by Red’s Auto of Ironwood, MI; FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland; and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, will offer a scheduled purse in excess of $120,000 – the largest purse ever offered in the history of the Classic.  In addition, a huge amount in bonuses and contingencies are once again being offered to the 200-plus WISSOTA Late Model, Modifieds, Super Stock and Midwest Modified competitors expected to compete at this prestigious event, meaning that the total payout could exceed $145,000.

Nearly every finishing position in Saturday’s four main events has been increased from a year ago. The 50-lap WISSOTA Late Model feature, will headline the two-day program on Saturday night, with the winner once again receiving $6,000, but the victors’ shares of the WISSOTA Modified, Super Stock and Midwest Modified A-mains have been increased to event- and Raceway-record amounts, paying $5,000, $4,000 and $2,000 to win, respectively.

Contributing to the overall payouts to the drivers are several businesses jumping on board to support the four divisions which will be in action. Red’s Auto and KME of Keewatin, MN, have teamed up to present the Late Models, while Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland joins Tim’s Automotive Machine for the Modifieds. Superior Floral of Ashland is joined by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating to support the Super Stocks, and Harmony Wealth Management will present the Midwest Mods.

Other bonuses and contingencies to be paid out over the course of the RCC weekend include: $100 to each heat race winner, presented by Dirt Race Central; $100 for the fastest lap posted in each feature, presented by Northern Clearing; $100 to each driver who posts a “clean sweep” of the heat and feature, presented by Kleen Air Heating & Cooling of Washburn; bonuses to the “hard charger” advancing the furthest in each feature, including $125 presented by Clint Larson Trucking and $250 from Dalbeck Logging; and a $250 bonus to the third-place finisher in each feature, presented in memory of Todd Huhn.

The popular “Bridesmaid’s Challenge” bonus will once again be put up by the Neighborly Bar of Ashland. This pays a bonus to the runner-up in each of Saturday’s four features, should each of those drivers accept the challenge of donning a formal “bridesmaid’s gown” in Victory Lane for their interviews and photos. This bonus comes from contributions to raffles and other prize drawings held at the Neighborly Bar from Thursday, September 28, at 6 pm through the race weekend until Saturday at 3 pm. Last year’s “Bridesmaid’s” bonus in each class was in excess of $2,000.

Another gain for the drivers will be in the over $11,000 being presented to drivers pre-registering for this year’s Classic, thanks to a huge number of businesses and private sponsors who have donated generously for this cause, to cover their draw fee and Friday admission fee. All pre-registered drivers will pay their full admission and draw fee when they arrive but will be reimbursed Friday night after the races. This means drivers will be above to race for the big money offered at this year’s Classic at a net cost of only about $40 to them.

For drivers who don’t make the features, there will be plenty of random cash bonuses awarded.

Finally, fans can vote online for the favorite drivers to compete in the Red’s Auto Fans’ Choice Late Model feature on Friday night after the heat races. The top 16 drivers in the final online voting will race a 16-lap dash paying $800 to win.  More info on the online voting will be made available very soon on the Raceway’s FaceBook page.

The Red Clay Classic hasn’t forgotten about the fans for that weekend, either. During Friday’s portion of the program fans will be able to compete in a costume contest, with prizes to be awarded. This year’s theme is “beach fun.” There will also be a corresponding camping-site decorating contest with the same “beach fun” theme, with an assortment of camping gear as the top prize.

There will be a dance on Friday night after the races have been concluded at the grandstand pavilion area.

On Saturday, the annual Red Clay Classic Golf Tournament will start at 9 am at the Chequamegon Bay Golf Club, located just west of Ashland. This is a four-person “best-ball” event, with lots of prizes to be awarded.

Also on Saturday, a bean-bag tournament will begin at noon at the track. Participants can register on the My Race Pass site, and a cash prize will be awarded to the winning team. And on Saturday, there will be a drivers’ souvenir apparel station set up in the main grandstand area, where fans can shop for gear from their favorite racers.

The 48th annual Red Clay Classic kicks off on Friday, September 29, with the pits opening at 12:30 pm, the grandstands opening at 3:30 pm, hot laps starting at 5:30 pm, and preliminary action, including heat races and the Red’s Auto Fans’ Choice Late Model feature, starting at 7 pm.

On Saturday, the pits will open at noon, the grandstands at 2:30 pm, and the pre-race ceremonies, the final qualifying races and the four big features starting at 4:30 pm. Tickets are available online at www.myracepass.com/abcraceway. For information on the ABC Raceway, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

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