Two More for Sabraski During FastLane Series Stop at ABC
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, July 30 – Shane Sabraski continued his tear through the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series with his fourth straight sweep of heat and feature action on the tour at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.
Neither a stout field of 32 WISSOTA Super Stocks nor an over-two-hour mid-program delay due to a local power outage could stop the Rice, MN, star as he not only chalked up the feature win in that class but also in the WISSOTA Modifieds on his march towards 800 overall career feature victories.
NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland & Washburn presented the program, which also saw Tanner Gehl collect his first-ever feature win in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. Travis Hazelton, Dalton Truchon and DeJay Jarecki were A-main winners as well, as another great turn-out of fans enjoyed the warm mid-summer conditions and hung around despite the long delay.
The power outage occurred midway through the Super Stock semi-feature, affecting half of the Raceway’s facility as well as some neighboring properties. The race was completed as dusk was just reaching the Chequamegon Bay area, while local power company service crews were summoned to investigate the occurrence. When power was restored at 11 pm, the 26-car Super Stock feature field was quickly called onto the track.
Polestarter Scott Lawrence took early command of the 30-lap, $700-to-win main event, just ahead of Series points leader Dustin Nelson, the fourth-starting Sabraski and Terran Spacek. The close-knit foursome swapped positions over the first two laps before the race’s lone yellow flag waived for a four-car jumble, after which Spacek stole the lead away from Lawrence on the restart.
Sabraski got by Lawrence within the next couple of laps and closely trailed Spacek as the lead pair pulled away and caught tail-runners by lap 10. While Spacek and Sabraski negotiated traffic, Nelson caught up and worked inside against Sabraski to steal second, and on lap 17 Nelson grabbed the lead as Spacek opted to work the high side to try to get by some more slower cars which were hugging the preferred lower line. Sabraski also took advantage to take second away, and on lap 19 he moved outside on Myron Basina, while Nelson dove low, and completed a three-wide pass for the lead.
Over the final 11 laps Sabraski weaved expertly through the field on his way to a 1.28-second advantage, which was trimmed to .724 seconds at the checkers by Nelson as the leader found himself bottled up behind another slower car. The win was Sabraski’s fourth in as many FastLane Series events – he did not compete in the Series opener at Grand Rapids, MN, on July 14 – and moved him well into contention for the Series points title with two events remaining (at Proctor, MN, and Ogilvie, MN).
Spacek followed at a distance, with Lawrence and Nick Oreskovich completing the top five.
The 20-lap Modified feature immediately followed, and Sabraski practically picked up right where he left off, but this time he benefitted greatly from the race’s only caution stop.
Jeff Spacek grabbed the early advantage from polestarter Shane Kisling and sped away to a 1.4-second lead within just four laps. Sabraski, who started eighth on the 13-car grid, had already worked his way around Pat Cook and national big-Mod points leader Jack Rivord into fifth by lap 2, then went low to pass Alex Van Natta and Bill Byholm for third two circuits later.
On lap 7 Sabraski caught and dispatched Kisling for second and began to cut away at Spacek’s 2.3-second cushion, and he had already trimmed a half-second off over the next go-around before the caution flag came out for Brandon Copp’s spin, thus eliminating the leader’s healthy margin.
It took a couple of laps after the restart, but Sabraski finally made an inside pass of Spacek stick at mid-race, and from there the leader was not to be harassed. Cook also took full advantage of the race’s lone restart, quickly moving up to third within a lap and then getting by Spacek for second on lap 12.
Cook and Spacek entertained the crowd with a great battle for runner-up honors, and further back a five-car dogfight ensued for fourth between Van Natta, Kisling, Copp, and cousins Jack and Rick Rivord. But none of that mattered to Sabraski, who pulled away to a dominant 3.25-second victory – his third of the season here and ninth of his career at ABC. Cook outlasted Spacek for second, and Van Natta held on to take fourth ahead of Copp.
Gehl took advantage of his pole-position start and led flag-to-flag in the 20-lap Midwest Mod feature, although a restart tested the youngster’s mettle late in the run. Gehl, a third-generation racer from Solon Springs, had only won once before at Ashland – and that was in a Pure Stock during his 2020 championship season here.
Gehl looked smooth as he grabbed the immediate lead and pulled away from the fierce battles for position behind him, extending his edge to 1.4 seconds by lap 3 as James Vendela and Jesse Polson tussled for second. Within another half-dozen circuits young Canadian David Simpson had moved up to challenge Vendela, while former track champ Paul Suzik worked the outside line to close in on that battle, but Gehl continued to pull away.
With four laps remaining Simpson finally overtook Vendela for second, and before the lap was completed Suzik swept around Vendela for third. Then Polson and Ross Fuhrman got together to bring out the race’s only slowdown – and eliminate Gehl’s massive 4.5-second lead. Fortunately for the leader, Simpson and Suzik were too busy battling with each other side-by-side for second to keep up, as Gehl pulled away to his landmark win by .83 seconds. Suzik grabbed runner-up honors from Simpson in the closing laps, and George Dalbeck and Duane Dunbar completed the close-formation top five.
The WISSOTA Pure Stock feature ran off its ten laps without delay, with polestarter Tyler Kachinske beating Aaron Bernick to the early advantage. Hazelton, who hauls here from Chippewa Falls to become a track regular, followed Kachinske to second and pressured the youngster immediately, diving low to take over pacesetter duties as Kachinske worked the outer groove.
Midway through the 10-lapper Hazelton had built a 1.5-second lead, and he continued to improve on that as Kachinske was challenged by track and WISSOTA national points leader Cory Jorgensen throughout the back half of the race. Hazelton crossed under the checkers for the third time this season a full 2.13 seconds ahead of Jorgensen, who edged Kachinske for second. Bernick and Steve Pohl followed at a distance for fourth and fifth, respectively.
A spin by polestarter Jake Nevala in the first turn spoiled the start of the ABC Six-Cylinders’ 15-lap main, but Nevala maintained the lead position over the first four laps after the restart, ahead of Truchon and a side-by-side battle for third between Mathew Rohlfing and Tyler Hudack. On lap 4, however, Truchon muscled his way by Nevala on the inside and took over the lead for good.
Rohlfing’s spin on lap 5 bunched up the already tightly-packed field for the restart, after which Truchon drew away to as much as a 1.7-second advantage. Hudack, driving his sister Tiffany’s championship-winning car, cleared Nevala for second but needed another caution slowdown in order to catch the leader – and he got it when Nevala was spun again with two laps to go. But Truchon was not to be denied, as the Ashland youngster held a .85-second advantage at the finish for his second win of the season and fifth of his career here.
Nevala, rookie Jacob Johnson, and Jakob Bond rounded out the top five.
Jarecki continued his dominance of the WISSOTA Hornet field on his hometown track, running away to his fourth feature win of the season and the 18th of his career here. The division’s defending champ and current points leader started outside on the front row and was never challenged, but behind him polestarter RJ Holly had his hands full with visitor Carter Matthews, who got by Holly for second after two laps.
Matthews appeared to be gaining on Jarecki in the closing laps, but the leader had established too much of a cushion to overcome and Matthews settled for second. Holly was a ways’ back in third, and another long-distance visitor, Alyssa Nelson, and first-nighter Jonathan Popp completed the top five.
To start the final month of the regular season, the ABC Raceway will next host its first-ever Small Car Classic, to be presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club, on Saturday, August 6. WISSOTA Street Stocks will join the Super Stocks, Midwest Mods, Pure Stocks, Sixes and Hornets, and the rescheduled kids’ bike races will also be held.
The Hornets will run for $300 to win in their feature on this night, while the other five classes will race for $500 to win in their respective A-mains.
The Raceway has announced that it will add a second appearance by the Street Stocks on August 20, with $1,500 on the line for the feature winner that night. All six of the track’s regular weekly divisions will also be on hand, although the Supers will run for National points only (no track points) on that night.
The Northern Renegades’ traditional sprint cars are still slated for an August 13 appearance, and the regular season will conclude on August 27, with season champions to be crowned on that night.
The grandstand gates and pits will open this coming Saturday at 5 pm, with hot laps to be run at 6:15 followed by heat-race action at 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air race and weather updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday.
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: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Pat Cook, Washburn; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Brandon Copp, Brule; Rick Rivord, Superior; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jake Hiatt, Mason.
11-13: Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Tyler Luger, Oxford.
Heat 1: Rivord; J Spacek; Copp; Kisling; Hiatt; R Rivord; C Spacek.
Heat 2: Sabraski; Van Natta; Byholm; Cook; Luger; Klippenstein.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Dylan Nelson, Merrifield, MN; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Dustin Nelson, Ogilvie, MN; Randy Graham, Trego; Austin Niemeyer, Brainerd, MN; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN.
11-20: Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith; Cory Casari, Montreal; Andrew Johnson, Brainerd, MN; Jake Froemke, International Falls, MN; Don Livingston, Washburn; Chris Johnson, Superior; Stefan Hogue, Altoona.
21-26: DJ Keeler, Superior; Jeremy North, Huron, SD; Josh Schmidt, Becker, MN; Myron Basina, Bayfield; Jeffrey Frey, Ogilvie, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.
Heat 1: Sabraski; Mackey; Niemeyer; Livingston; Schmidt; Dan Peterson, Foxboro; Mashlan; Rita Anderson, South Range.
Heat 2: Dylan Nelson; Graham; Deragon; Casari; C Johnson; A Johnson; Allan Cleveland, Breckenridge, MN; Thomas Karaba, Superior.
Heat 3: Spacek; Dustin Nelson; Stuart; Keeler; Beeksma; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Basina; William Fisher, Shell Lake.
Heat 4: Oreskovich; Lawrence; McFadden; Quinn; Froemke; Hogue; North; Frey.
Semi-Feature: A Johnson; Hogue; Basina; Frey; R Anderson; Karaba; North; Peterson; Cleveland; Mashlan; Saunders; Fisher.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; James Vendela, South Range; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Dane Olson, Littlefork, MN; Jesse Polson, Superior; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.
11-17: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Neil Dees, Hurley.
Heat 1: Suzik; Vendela; Gehl; Fuhrman; Latvala; Hudack; Jacobson; Lund; Diamond Bressette, Spooner.
Heat 2: Polson; Olson; Simpson; M Dunbar; D Dunbar; Dalbeck; Kieber; Barningham; Dees.
WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: 1-5: Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Steve Pohl, Manitowish Waters.
Heat: Brent Mindock, Prentice; Hazelton; Jorgensen; Bernick; Kachinske; Pohl; RJ Holly, Marengo.
Feature: 1-10: Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jacob Johnson, Cable; Jakob Bond, Mason; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Austin Olby, Marengo; Dennis Groom, Ashland.
11-13: Trenton Bond, Mason; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Julian Root, Ashland.
Heat 1: Hudack; Groom; Truchon; Schultz; Anderson; T Bond; Jimmy Stearns, Superior.
Heat 2: Rohlfing; Johnson; J Bond; Nevala; Olby; Basina; Root.
Feature: 1-6: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Carter Matthews, Clearbrook, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Alyssa Nelson, Merrifield, MN; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Brandon Hummelmeier, Ashland.
Heat: Jarecki; Matthews; Nelson; Holly; Popp; Hummelmeier.