Hron Sprints to ABC Northern Renegades Win

by Nick Gima

               Ashland, WI, August 13 – On a cool mid-August night during which divisional points leaders as well as track fast-lap records took a beating, Ken Hron of Grand Rapids, MN, ran to a clean sweep of the action for the visiting Northern Renegades Traditional Sprints at the ABC Raceway on Saturday.

The program, presented by the Heartland Communications Group of radio stations in the Chequamegon Bay area, was run on a smooth, sticky, lightning-fast three-eighths-mile red-clay surface that had been prepped to near-perfection after light misting rain moved through the area early Saturday afternoon. This resulted in track records broken in three of the seven divisions run here on this night, including by Hron, who set the new standard for the wingless 360 sprints while winning the division’s first heat of the night with a lap of 15.768 seconds (85.616 mph avg), then bettered that lap with a tour at 15.536 seconds (86.895) en route to the second-heat win.

Hron started alongside polestarter Paul Schultz for the sprints’ 15-lap A-feature, won the drag race to the first turn, and never looked back for his first career feature win on the historic northern Wisconsin oval. After Lucas Logue took second from Schultz just two laps in, the race’s only yellow-flag stop came about due to Travis Case’s spin, eliminating Hron’s 1.09-second advantage.

Over the remaining 12 laps, however, there would be no catching Hron, who had rebuilt his cushion to over 1.6 seconds within a couple of laps of the restart and extended it to nearly 2.5 seconds in the late stages on his way to his landmark win.

Logue, who won the feature in the Renegades’ visit here in June, trimmed the final margin down to just under 2.2 seconds at the checkers, well ahead of a great battle for third won by Brandon Copp, who borrowed Jake Barsness’ racer for his first-ever try at wheeling a sprint car. Copp won an exciting three-car battle for third over Danny Wait Jr and Schultz.

Prior to the sprint car run, Copp took advantage of a controversial call and grabbed his third feature win of the year at ABC in the Outlaw Wraps & Apparel WISSOTA Modifieds.

The first 15 laps of the 20-lap “big Mod” headliner clicked off quickly, with polestarter Jeff Spacek running out to an early healthy advantage. Copp, who had started outside on row 4, worked the outside groove expertly as he swept around fourth-starting Colin Chaschuk into fifth within the first couple of laps, then dove low to follow Jake Hiatt and Jack Rivord past Shane Kisling to claim fourth.

Copp trailed closely as Hiatt and Rivord swapped second spot often over the middle stages of the run, but eventually they left an opening on the outside line and Copp took advantage to edge into second on lap 12. Hiatt fought back and gave Copp a great race for the position, with the rookie Rivord just a few feet behind, as the threesome reeled Spacek in.

With five laps remaining, Spacek’s car broke loose in turn 4, forcing the next three behind him to take evasive action. Copp slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting Spacek broadside and his car stopped cold, with his motor shutting down from the jolt. This brought about the only caution stop of the races, and after a long discussion officials determined that Spacek’s near-spin was ruled the cause of the incident.

Copp, who hails from Brule, restarted at the front and held off the last challenges from Hiatt for the win, which strengthened his grip on the Modifieds’ points lead. Rivord followed closely behind in third, with Rick Rivord and Chaschuk completing the top five at a distance.

During Modified heat race action earlier, the Canadian visitor Chaschuk set a new track record for the division with a lap of 15.703 seconds (85.971 mph) on his way to a win. Copp set a fast lap in his heat of 15.791 seconds (85.492), which was also under Ashley Anderson’s previous mark of 15.821 seconds (85.330), set about a year ago.

The one divisional points leader whose night took the worst turnaround was Nick Oreskovich, who blew a motor up while running third and coming to the white flag in his Arrowhead Auto Glass WISSOTA Super Stock heat race. He and his crew hustled his car onto his trailer and hightailed it for his home in nearby Mason in order to change the motor, but by the time he made it back to the Raceway, his division’s 20-lap main event had already started without him.

Oreskovich’s sour luck became Steve Stuart’s good fortune, as the defending Super Stock champ from Ashland came from the fourth row to claim his fourth feature win of the year and retake the division’s points lead for the first time since mid-June.

Polestarter Jeff Eisner was under direct pressure from the drop of the green in feature, but he held on for the first seven laps as Don Livingston, Andrew Mackey and Shawn McFadden battled three-wide at times for second. Stuart, who has made the outside line around the Ashland oval work to his advantage all season, swept around McFadden and Livingston for second on lap 6 and was about to dispose of Eisner when Livingston looped his ride to bring about the race’s only stop.

After the restart Stuart sped past Eisner and ran strong, consistent laps to build up a huge lead, while McFadden stole second on lap 8 and trailed Stuart at an ever-increasing distance. By the time the checkered flag flew Stuart had a lead of over 3.5 seconds on McFadden, while Matt Deragon passed Mackey for third on the final lap. Patrick Beeksma completed the top five.

On his way to an earlier heat win, Stuart posted a quick circuit of 16.390 seconds (82.367 mph), replacing Oreskovich’s previous Super Stock fast lap of 16.478 seconds (81.927) set in 2017.

Paul Suzik of Ironwood, MI, is determined to make things interesting in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified points chase, as his second feature win of the season trimmed just a bit more of the difference away from points leader Marcus Dunbar.

Tyler Hudack looked to be in command of the Mid-Mod 20-lapper early, beating polestarter Ryan Barningham to the lead and extending it to as much as three-quarters of a second on James Vendela over the first five laps. From there, however, Vendela, with Dunbar in tow, closed that gap up by half before the caution lights came on for debris on the track left behind by Diamond Bressette’s broken suspension on lap 9.

Dunbar dove low to steal the lead from Hudack on the restart, but Suzik, who started the race inside on row 4 but was running fourth at the time of the caution, gave Dunbar a taste of his own move with a low-line pass for the lead on lap 11. Dunbar fought back, and the lead pair ran side-by-side until Suzik gained a sliver of an edge just before lap 15, when Vendela and Marcus’ dad Duane Dunbar collided to stop the race for the final time.

Suzik held on over the final laps and grabbed the win by .7 seconds over the junior Dunbar, who had his hands full fighting off threats from a fast-closing Cody Carlson. Jimmy Latvala and Ross Fuhrman, who started dead last on the 15-car grid.

Another driver whose points championship margin took a major blow on this night was Cory Jorgensen. The WISSOTA Pure Stock points leader from Duluth, MN, finished third in his heat but did not come out for the feature.

This left the door open for Aaron Bernick, who started the 12-lap Pure Stock main on the pole and led the first couple of laps, before Travis Hazelton slipped past. From there Hazelton, the Chippewa Valley pilot who has taken quite a liking to Ashland’s red-clay oval, put the field away for his fourth feature win here this year.

The run went without a delay, allowing Hazelton to pull away to a final 5.1-second advantage – better than a straightaway – on the fierce battle for second between Bernick, Tyler Kachinske and Tom Treviranus. The trio shuffled positions on nearly every lap before Bernick eventually nipped Kachinske at the line for runner-up honors – and drawing to within three points of Jorgensen with two races remaining. Treviranus was in close formation with the other two but settled for fourth, while RJ Holly cruised home a distant fifth.

Hudack, who started on the pole of the Midwest Mod feature but settled for sixth, started eighth on the 15-car ABC Six-Cylinder A-main grid and won his first feature since 2015.

Polestarter Bubba Anderson, with a badly-smoking car, drew away from the field early and led the first six laps of the race, despite constant pressure from cousins Trenton and Jakob Bond. In fact, Anderson and Trenton Bond were dead-even at the start-finish line to complete lap 2 – just before points leader Dennis Groom spun to bring about the race’s only stoppage.

After the restart Jakob kept his cousin occupied for a circuit, allowing Anderson to gain a little breathing room. But Hudack, who restarted seventh, moved all the way to second by the end of lap 7 and then chipped away at the leader’s .7-second buffer. Within two more tours Hudack had an inside run on Anderson, and once out front the Ashland product powered away to a commanding 2.6-second win.

Anderson held on for second ahead of Jakob Bond, Trenton Bond, and rookie Jacob Johnson.

Although the result of the Lightning Storm Graphics WISSOTA Hornets feature was very familiar – Ashland’s DeJay Jarecki scored another dominant win – the way the race played out and ended was anything but usual.

The divisional points leader started inside on the second row and had worked his way to the lead before the first of the race’s ten laps was completed. From there the defending track champ disappeared to a straightaway-plus advantage en route to his track-leading sixth feature win and the 20th of his career.

Behind him, though, was a rather intriguing battle between Holly, Brandon Hummelmeier, and first-night rookie Brandon Anderson. The trio never gained much separation from one another, and they frequently swapped running positions – right up until the final turn.

Going into turn 3, contact between Hummelmeier and Holly caused Holly to spin. Anderson, trailing closely, tried to avoid the incident but bumped Hummelmeier, who turned due right and nailed the guardrail nose-first and hard, which then caused his car to turn over onto its roof. None of the three drivers finished the race, although fortunately no one was injured.

Oddly enough, for the second time this season Jarecki was the only Hornet to take the checkered flag in a feature here. Officials ruled that Holly, Anderson and Hummelmeier would complete the running order in second through fourth, respectively.

On Saturday, August 20, the ABC Raceway will welcome back the WISSOTA Street Stocks for an increased-purse event, with the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce presenting the program. In addition, the track will host a back-to-school backpack giveaway for the younger fans. The show will be another seven-division race program, as the Super Stocks will be included but not running for track points. The grandstand gates and pits will open at 5 pm, with hot laps to be run at 6:15 followed by heat-race action at 7 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, or log on to the track’s website,


WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Brandon Copp, Brule; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Jack Rivord, Superior; Rick Rivord, Superior; Colin Chaschuk, Neebing, ON; Pat Cook, Washburn; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON; Hunter Anderson, Phillips; Al Uotinen, Superior; Shane Kisling, Butternut.

11-14: Bill Byholm, Glidden; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN; Jeff Spacek, Phillips.

Heat 1: Chaschuk; Spacek; J Rivord; Wolkowski; Anderson; Cook; Luger.

Heat 2: Copp; Hiatt; Kisling; R Rivord; Byholm; Uotinen; Klippenstein.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Jeff Eisner Jr, Merrill; Randy Graham, Trego; Myron Basina, Bayfield; Don Livingston, Washburn; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

11: Rita Anderson, South Range.

Heat 1: Stuart; Beeksma; Livingston; Deragon; Basina.

Heat 2: McFadden; Mackey; Eisner; Mashlan; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Anderson.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Cody Carlson, Superior; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Kolby Reed, Thunder Bay, ON; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; James Vendela, South Range.

11-15: Austin Blom, Saginaw, MN; Neil Dees, Hurley; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

Heat 1: Vendela; Hudack; Barningham; D Dunbar; Bressette; Reed; Dees.

Heat 2: Suzik; M Dunbar; Carlson; Latvala; O’Brien; Blom; Lund.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-7: Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; RJ Holly, Marengo; Anthony Woodhull, Superior; Brent Mindock, Prentice.

Heat: Bernick; Treviranus; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Hazelton; Mindock; Kachinske; Woodhull; Holly.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Jakob Bond, Mason; Trenton Bond, Mason; Jacob Johnson, Cable; Austin Olby, Marengo; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield.

11-15: Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Julian Root, Ashland; Brad Hanson, Glidden; Bella Bretting, Washburn; Jimmy Stearns, Superior.

Heat 1: Hudack; Groom; J Bond; Truchon; Johnson; Schultz; Bretting.

Heat 2: Anderson; Olby; T Bond; Basina; Rohlfing; Root; Hanson; Stearns.


Feature: 1-4: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; RJ Holly, Marengo; Brandon Anderson, Superior; Brandon Hummelmeier, Ashland.

Heat: Jarecki; Hummelmeier; Holly; Anderson.

Northern Renegades Traditional Sprints

Feature: 1-7: Ken Hron, Grand Rapids, MN; Lucas Logue, Rush City, MN; Brandon Copp, Brule; Danny Wait Jr, Cohasset, MN; Paul Schultz, Grand Rapids, MN; Travis Case, Swan River, MN; Brad Larson, Ely, MN.

Heat 1: Hron; Logue; Schultz; Copp; Larson; Case; Wait; Tyler Wass, Big Fork, MN; Chris Lewis, Grand Rapids, MN.

Heat 2: Hron; Schultz; Case; Logue; Copp.


ABC 8/13/22 Sprints results

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