Ebert, Dunbar, Sabraski, Truchon Snare ABC Farm Stock Special Wins
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, June 30 – The ABC Raceway hosted its first-ever Farm Stock Special on Thursday, with the WISSOTA Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Modifieds running for greatly enhanced purses on a warm, windy late June night.
White River Ag Products of Mason presented the rescheduled program, with support from local businesses Deer Creek Farms, Windy Acres Farm, GDM Farms, Kully’s Truck Accessories, Lulich Implements and Tractor Central. The show, which had been rained out on its originally-slated Memorial Day Saturday date, drew 102 cars in four classes, and despite a persistent westerly wind, track prep crews misted the red-clay surface often enough to provide multiple-groove racing right to the very end of the four-hour, 20-race program.
Dan Ebert of Lake Shore, MN, an infrequent visitor to the historic northern Wisconsin speedplant, passed Cole Spacek coming off a restart to capture the $2,500-to-win Outlaw Wraps & Apparel WISSOTA Modified headliner. It was only Ebert’s second feature win in Ashland, with the other coming back in early June 2018.
After a four-car tangle as the green flag initially fell on the 35-lapper, Rodney Sanders – possibly the first-ever Texas driver to race on ABC’s red-clay oval – jumped ahead of polestarter Tyler Luger to pace the opening laps. Spacek moved by Luger on the second circuit and was still chasing Sanders when the Texan slowed down on the front straight and pulled off the turn 1 exit with an unknown mechanical issue on lap 7, gifting the lead to Spacek.
One lap after Sanders’ exit, Parker Anderson looped his broken ride to bring out the race’s second caution flag. Spacek restarted with Dan Bargender and Shane Sabraski side-by-side behind him, and the eighth-starting Ebert alongside Luger behind them. At the green Sabraski and Ebert ganged up on Bargender to take second and third, respectively, and just after Ebert swept around Sabraski to take second on lap 10, a spin by Ashley Anderson brought about the race’s final stoppage.
Spacek couldn’t prevent Ebert from gaining the point with an inside move after the restart, and from there Ebert pushed his advantage out to as much as 1.2 seconds before catching the tail end of the field. Ebert’s margin was cut only a bit as he maneuvered through slower traffic, while Spacek had all he could do to fend off Sabraski. Over the final tours Spacek and Sabraski each stumbled a bit to allow the other to sneak by, with Sabraski finally getting the best of that for second, but Ebert was a full second ahead at the checkers.
Bargender was not far back in fourth, and Brandon Copp nursed an injured car home for fifth.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds provided a pleasant surprise by running the first 28 laps of their 30-lap main event non-stop. But those last two laps provided more excitement than the long green-flag run.
Visiting Brandon Jensen pulled ahead of polestarter and former ABC champ Marcus Dunbar for the initial lead, with a couple more visitors – Tony Bahr and Brandon Mehrworth – hot on Dunbar’s heels. Jensen sped away to a 2.25-second lead in just seven laps as the battle for second became very intense; eventually Dunbar secured the position by lap 11, but Jensen’s lead was still increasing.
Once the leader caught the backmarkers, however, that big advantage dwindled quickly. By midrace Dunbar was within a second-and-a-half of Jensen, with Bahr and Mehrworth swapping third seemingly on every lap. With seven laps left Dunbar was nearly tapping Jensen’s rear bumper, and the next time around Dunbar dove low to take the lead.
The four frontrunners were battling both slower traffic and each other as the laps wound down, but with two laps left William Moelter – who had an impressive fifth-place run going – spun in turn 2 to bring about the race’s only caution flag. This set up a green-white-checkered finish that had fans on their feet.
Going into turn 1 at the drop of that green flag, Mehrworth – who restarted third, just off of Dunbar’s left flank – dove low to muscle his way under the leader, while Jensen, who started to Mehrworth’s right, slipped just high enough in the corner to allow Bahr to dip below and try for third. But Dunbar changed lanes down the back stretch and pulled the same low-lane move on Mehrworth going into turn 3, retaking the lead as he charged toward the white flag. Jensen got back by Bahr on the final lap and both displaced Mehrworth to fourth, as Dunbar, of Marenisco, MI, edged Jensen by .168 seconds at the final stripe for his second win here this season and the $1,800 first-place check that went with it.
Only eight-tenths of a second – not much more than two car-lengths – separated the top four finishers, while Scott Splittstoesser, who started 12th on the grid, stole fifth in that final two-lap flurry.
While maybe not as dramatic as Dunbar’s win, Sabraski’s run to victory in the Arrowhead Auto Glass WISSOTA Super Stock 25-lap A-main was certainly impressive, as the two-time defending national champion from Rice, MN, actually doubled what was already a significant lead while weaving his way through slower traffic over the final ten laps of the $1,200-to-win run.
Polestarter Terran Spacek, fellow front-row starter Jake Froemke, and Nick Oreskovich battled for early pacesetter honors, but Sabraski showed his hand early by taking an inside route to get by both Oreskovich and Froemke into second on lap 2, just one circuit before a spin by the visiting Jordan Henkemeyer. Sabraski continued to harass Spacek, who held firm to the lead despite frequent yellow-flag interruptions – for Cory Casari’s spin on lap 4, Aaron Mashlan’s spin on the ensuing restart, and a three-car get-together on the next try.
Just prior to the latter of those slowdowns, Sabraski made an outside pass of Spacek for the lead, but the caution flag negated the move. So on the next restart he tried again – and this time it counted, as the field had scored lap 5 before a two-car skirmish stopped the action once more.
On the next restart, Froemke’s car – which was running a strong fourth just behind Shawn McFadden – was slow to respond to the green flag and he coasted to a stop, ending an otherwise impressive night. That would be the last delay the field would endure, as the remaining 19 laps clicked off without a hitch. The long run allowed Sabraski to set a healthy pace by running the outer groove of the back-slick racing surface while building a 1.5-second lead in just four laps.
Sabraski’s lap 15 cushion was well over two-and-a-half seconds on Spacek, who himself had an equally safe margin on the five-car tussle for third led by McFadden, when the leader reached the tail end of the running order. From here, Sabraski’s masterful maneuvering through traffic allowed him to build up a significant lead of nearly 6.8 seconds when the checkered flag flew overhead, giving him his seventh career feature win here and fourth here in a Super Stock.
Spacek trailed at a distance, while McFadden held on ahead of Patrick Beeksma and Oreskovich for third.
The ABC Raceway’s own Six-Cylinders joined the festivities on this special night, and Dalton Truchon of Ashland took full advantage of his pole-position starting spot for his first feature win of the season and fourth of his career here.
Truchon shot away as the green flag dropped, with defending track champ Dennis Groom following him to second. Truchon wasn’t going to allow Groom, who had won the last two Sixes features here, a chance for a third straight win, as he drew away to a 1.7-second margin within the first four laps of the 15-lap run, while Austin Olby maintained a solid grip on third place ahead of Tyler Hudack.
Truchon continued his impressive open-field running throughout the go, extending his advantage to three-and-a-half seconds on Groom when the checkers fell on the non-stop event. Olby closed up some on Groom over the final laps but settled for third-place money, ahead of Hudack and Mathew Rohlfing.
The ABC Raceway will sit idle on Saturday, July 2, but action will resume on Saturday, July 9, when Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall of Ashland presents the eighth induction ceremony for the track’s Hall of Fame. WISSOTA Pure Stocks and Hornets will join the Mods, Supers, Mid-Mods and Sixes for a full slate of heat and feature action, and during intermission six more members will be honored as Hall of Fame inductees.
The grandstand gates and pits will open at 5 pm and hot laps will be run at 6:15, followed by heat-race action at 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online via the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.
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, www.abcraceway.com.
Feature: 1-10: Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Daniel Bargender, Menomonie; Brandon Copp, Brule; Al Uotinen, Superior; Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Pat Cook, Washburn; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls.
11-20: Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Rick Rivord, Superior; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Paul Niznik, Medford; Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Parker Anderson, Phillips.
21-24: Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Curt Myers, Cameron; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Rodney Sanders Happy, TX.
Heat 1: Copp; Cook; Truscott; Hiatt; Cain; Myers; Niznik; Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN.
Heat 2: Ebert; Sanders; A Anderson; Gehl; Lavasseur; R Rivord; Duane Dale, Hibbing, MN.
Heat 3: C Spacek; Sabraski; Uotinen; J Spacek; Byholm; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Jack Rivord; Superior.
Heat 4: Bargender; Luger; Van Natta; M Anderson; P Anderson; Lofdahl; Hunter Anderson, Phillips.
Semi-Feature: Myers; R Rivord; Niznik; Lofdahl; Kisling; Dale; J Rivord; Klippenstein.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Kyle Copp, Brule; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Jordan Henkemeyer, Sauk Rapids, MN; Steve Stuart, Ashland.
11-20: Randy Graham, Trego; Don Livingston, Washburn; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Chris Johnson, Superior; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Rita Anderson, South Range; David Elliott, Minocqua; Larry Both, Thunder Bay, ON; Myron Basina, Bayfield.
21-23: Jake Froemke, International Falls, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.
Heat 1: Froemke; Copp; Beeksma; Lawrence; Graham; Basina; Johnson; Saunders.
Heat 2: Sabraski; Stuart; McFadden; Henkemeyer; Livingston; Anderson; Both; Mashlan.
Heat 3: Spacek; Mackey; Oreskovich; Casari; Deragon; Mike Sirois, Duluth, MN; Jorgensen; Elliott.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Brandon Jensen, Ellsworth; Tony Bahr, Haugen; Brandon Mehrwerth, Foley, MN; Scott Splittstoesser, Cottage Grove, MN; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Cody Carlson, Superior; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Dalton Mains, Foxboro.
11-20: Jesse Aho, Twin Lakes, MI; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Mark Rose, Dorchester; Austin Blom, Saginaw, MN; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; William Moelter, Elk Mound.
21-24: George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Andrew Inman, Canyon, MN; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Zach Benson, Princeton, MN.
Heat 1: M Dunbar; Moelter; O’Brien; Barningham; Dalbeck; Zach Slayton, Springbrook; Taylor Madrinich, Duluth, MN; Jesse Polson, Superior.
Heat 2: Mehrwerth; Fuhrman; Splittstoesser; Suzik, James Vendela, South Range; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Evan Checkalski, Duluth, MN; Neil Dees, Hurley.
Heat 3: Latvala; Benson; Carlson; Mains; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Vernon; Eric Gadach, New Richmond.
Heat 4: Bahr; Inman; Uotinen; Swan; Rose; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner.
Heat 5: Jensen; Aho; D Dunbar; Savoy; Blom; John Carpenter, Hibbing, MN; Cole Elton, Dalbo, MN
Semi-Feature: Dalbeck; Blom; Vernon; Rose; Elton; Jacobson; Gehl; Kieber; Slayton; Polson; Dees; Bressette; Carpenter; Checkalski; Vendela; Gadach.
Feature: 1-10: Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Austin Olby, Marengo; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Jakob Bond, Mason; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Jacob Johnson, Cable; Trenton Bond, Mason.
11: Julian Root, Ashland.
Heat 1: Truchon; Groom; Basina; Hudack; Johnson; Nevala.
Heat 2: Rohlfing; T Bond; Olby; J Bond; Root; Bubba Anderson, Trego.