Honorary Inductees (unanimously chosen by Selection Committee for outstanding contributions to the Raceway’s and the Association’s success)
Class of 2017
NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland & Washburn for over 25 years, this Ashland-area business has been a season-long sponsor of racing at ABC, providing one of the longest-running continuous sponsorship partnerships with the track … it supports racing through sponsorships of a number of race teams, and it has hosted race car showings and more to help highlight the sport in this community … it has acted as the presenting sponsor of the IRA sprint car series’ recent visits to the track, and prior to that it presented the COMO Modified Series for several years … not only a presence at this track and in area racing, but the business is also active in supporting other area services and charitable functions as well (accepting on behalf of: Jim Hinmann, Jim Habas, John Habas)
FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating, Ashland for the past 14 years, this Ashland business has been a season-long sponsor of racing at ABC … Chris Bretting and his crew bring their race support van here and to a number of other area tracks to help supply drivers with the parts they need to compete … it provides sponsorship to many area race cars and generous help to dozens more … FastLane has most recently acted as the title sponsor of the Northland Super Stock Series for that tour’s entire existence, and for the Raceway’s Super Stock Challenge Series long before that … it also became one of presenting sponsors of the Red Clay Classic in 2015 … FastLane has been generous in its contributions to fundraisers and other activities within the racing community (accepting on behalf of: Chris Bretting)
Driver category (retired minimum 5 yrs; recognized for outstanding accomplishments, and loyalty and “ambassadorship” to ABC Raceway)
Class of 2017
Don Copp the numbers speak for themselves when arguing Don’s place in this track’s Hall of Fame: 45 career feature wins (tied for 7th all-time at time of his induction), 30 Modified feature wins (3rd all-time), 14 Street Stock feature wins (7th), and eight ABC Raceway track championships (2nd), including six in a row in the Mods from 1987-’92, along with his first one, in the Streeters in 1983, and his last one, in the Mods in 1998 … Don also won the 1989 RCC Modified feature … he moved into Late Models during his final years in racing in the early 2000s … today his legacy continues with his son Brandon sporting his dad’s familiar black #22
Jim Eliason making his way here from Duluth to race on a regular basis, Jim became one of the earliest ambassadors from the Twin Ports to race at ABC Raceway, and one of most successful … he was the 1978 Late Model champion here, and his 21 total feature wins here, from 1972 to ‘82, were all in the Late Model division, making him the fourth-winningest LM driver in track history at the time of his induction … he was also instrumental in the development of the Tri-State Racing Association in the 1970s, of which this track was a part … they say he was so fast, that it was because of him that they had to change the rules!
Larry Haderly one of ABC’s all-time best in the Street Stock division … over his 15-year career here, Larry won five track championships in a span of eight years – from 2002-’09 – and finished top-5 in points seven other times … he also scored 18 career feature wins, all in Street Stocks, putting him in a tie for fourth-best all-time in that division here at the time of his induction … Larry then jumped into a Super Stock in 2006 and finished sixth in points that season … he left his mark forever on this facility (literally) when he took a violent roll along the top of the back straight guardrail – the dent he left is still visible today!
Scott Hipsher from late ‘80s to early ‘90s, Scott was one of the top Super Stock drivers in the region … he finished second in Super Stock points in 1990 and ‘94, and he was a two-time Red Clay Classic Super Stock champion (1990, ‘93) … he ended his career with nine feature wins – all in Supers … one of the Red Clay Classic’s most memorable races was in the 1993 Super Stock feature, when Scott and Rich Bishop – both sporting the #10, raced side-by-side for nearly 15 laps before Scott edged ahead for the win!
Volunteer / Contributor category (minimum 10 yrs service; recognized for significant positive contributions to local organization)
Class of 2017
George & Mary Bowers both have contributed to the Raceway as members and officers of the Board of Directors, as well as in other capacities … Mary held the position of track treasurer for two years, and has also served as its concessions manager; at the time of her induction she was the track’s ticket sales manager and Red Clay Classic reservations director … George has acted as a flagman, an on-track official, and the grounds maintenance manager … during the summer weeks, either one or the other – or often both – can be found at the track mowing the lawns
Mike Eder a very behind-the-scenes type of person, Mike has contributed for many years with track preparation and equipment maintenance, and as a highly-skilled mechanic he has been instrumental in helping keep the Raceway’s fleet of trucks and other equipment working properly … Mike also served on the Board of Directors and was also involved with several rules committees as a technical advisor
Tom Lajcak Tom spent many years assisting with equipment maintenance and track prep work at the Raceway … he earned the nickname “Shade Tree” (or simply “Tree”) during his time serving in the Military due to his penchant for being able to fix just about anything without spending a lot of money – a trait which came in handy during the track’s earliest days, when money was tight
Nick Nye one of the most knowledgeable, talented and skilled mechanics around, Nick gained a reputation for being able to fix just about anything mechanical … he has contributed to the track as a mechanic, technical inspector and equipment maintenance director … his expertise with graders, loaders and other heavy-duty equipment earned him the job of track prep director for several years … he has also donated equipment for the Raceway to use for a variety of projects, and he has built engines for several area race drivers over the years