Copp, Flynn, Rivord, Jorgensen, Hudack, Jarecki Grab ABC Feature Wins
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, June 5 – Brandon Copp of Brule, Superior’s Dave Flynn, and DeJay Jarecki of Ashland each piggy-backed off successful runs the night before to claim feature wins during the ABC Raceway’s “Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night” program, presented by Little Caesar’s Pizza of Ashland, on Saturday night.
In addition, Tiffany Hudack of Ashland won her second feature in as many weeks at ABC, and Superior’s Jack Rivord and Cory Jorgensen of Duluth, MN, picked up their first wins of the year here.
After a large crowd of fans poured onto the front straightaway of the northern Wisconsin red-clay oval for a “meet and greet” autograph session with the 69 racers in attendance, heat race action was completed in a shade over an hour under near-ideal weather conditions. Temperatures by feature time dipped into the upper 60s, offering the fans on hand a respite from the brutal upper-90s temps experienced here over the previous 36 hours.
For Copp, Flynn and Jarecki, their wins in Ashland came less than 24 hours after collecting feature wins in their respective classes at Gondik Law Speedway in Superior.
The 20-lap WISSOTA Modified feature ran off without stoppage, with polestarter Rick Rivord beating Jake Hiatt for the initial advantage. As Rivord built a sizable lead over the first half of the race, Hiatt was well ahead of a thrilling battle for third between Paul Niznik and Copp, which went on for about three laps before Copp got the best of Niznik with an outside pass.
Rivord had over a full-second lead when Copp slipped low to get by Hiatt at mid-race, but it didn’t take long for the second-generation driver to bite off large chunks of that lead. By lap 13 Copp was less than a third of a second behind Rivord, and three laps later Copp worked the outside line to fly around Rivord coming off turn 4.
From there Copp drove to a 1.667-second margin of victory – his first of the season here and fourth of his career at ABC – while Rivord held off late-race charges from Hiatt, Niznik and Pat Cook. Earlier in the run Rivord had set the fastest lap-time of the event at 17.872 seconds, or a 75.537 mph average speed around the three-eighths-mile oval.
Copp gave kudos to the track prep crew for a fast, competitive track, and also to his fellow drivers at ABC, who he said he considers make up some of the best competition in all of WISSOTA.
Flynn may have started a fun new tradition for himself. After crossing the scales following his wins both here and in Superior, he brought his preschool-aged son in the race car with him to Victory Lane. Then the child climbed out of the car first and onto its roof, waiving a checkered flag that’s larger than he is, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
Flynn took control of the 20-lap WISSOTA Super Stock A-main a lot earlier than Copp did – just three laps in, after divisional rookie Justin Weinberger battled with Matt Deragon door-to-door over the first couple of circuits. Once Deragon cleared Weinberger for the lead, Flynn followed into second, and on the next tour around he drove inside on Deragon to take over as pacesetter.
From there Flynn drove off to a two-and-a-half-second lead, while Deragon worked hard to keep Weinberger and Nick Oreskovich at bay. And even though a lap 9 spin by Kyle Copp brought the field to Flynn’s trunklid for a restart, no one could catch the Raceway’s 2020 division champ the rest of the way, as he motored to the 22nd win of his career here by 1.7 seconds.
Oreskovich edged by Deragon momentarily after the lap 9 restart, but Deragon reclaimed the spot and held it to the checkers. Oreskovich earned third ahead of Steve Stuart and Cory Casari. Flynn’s 17.968-second (75.134-mph) lap during the first half of the run was the quickest in the field.
Jarecki exorcized whatever demons haunted his WISSOTA Hornet from the week before – or maybe he just changed to another car. In any event, he started from the pole and led all ten laps of the division’s finale, after not even finishing last Saturday’s race.
With one lap in the books, Derek Dunbar tapped second-place-running Gavyn Moncher and spun him to bring about the event’s lone caution. From there Jarecki quickly dispensed with the field and ran away to his fifth career win at ABC by a vast distance.
Moncher restarted in second, but he could not hold off the threat of Carson Gotalaere, who took runner-up honors away on lap 3 and held them to the end. Moncher held off his father Dan Moncher for fourth, and Dunbar recovered for fifth.
The ABC Six-Cylinders struggled to get their 12-lap A-feature going initially, but once the laps started clicking off it was only a matter of time before Hudack found her way to the front.
Debris and a spin by Trenton Bond brought about caution flags on each of the first two laps, but from there the race ran without further delay. In between those stoppages, Dennis Groom came from the third row to sneak by both Trenton Bond and his cousin Jakob Bond to take second, and then Groom passed polestarter Jake Nevala for the lead just before Trenton’s spin.
Hudack, who had started outside on row 4, was already up to third prior to the lap 2 restart, and within a lap she had overtaken Nevala and set out to catch Groom. Dale Coddington, who had started the race alongside Hudack, followed her into third, and the lead trio pulled away to decide the outcome.
Hudack used a strong inside move to slip by Groom with four laps remaining, and from there she drew away to a 1.4-second advantage at the checkers for her 22nd career win here. It took Coddington until the white flag lap to finally get by Groom for second, and Nevala and Mathew Rohlfing completed the top five at a distance.
Hudack posted the fastest single lap of the race, at 18.956 seconds (71.218 mph).
The WISSOTA Midwest Modified main event was a test of patience for all involved, as no less than seven restarts littered front half of the 20-lap run. And although George Dalbeck had the car to beat, his patience would not be rewarded.
Three separate incidents, for spins and minor crashes, kept the first lap of the race from being scored, but then Dalbeck paced the field for seven competitive non-stop circuits well ahead of a tight group of about six cars. Brady Uotinen’s spin then stopped the progress, followed by another slowdown for debris, after which Tyler Vernon employed the high line around the track to make his way up to fourth before another delay – this time for Marcus Dunbar’s bump of Rivord and subsequent spin while battling for second on lap 10.
Dalbeck’s lead was a stout 1.45 seconds at the time of that stop, and Rivord took advantage when he moved low to displace Dalbeck two laps after the restart. A loose car cost Dalbeck a couple more positions – giving Vernon second and Tanner Hicks third – as the second half of the race went non-stop.
Rivord’s fifth career ABC win was by two full seconds on Vernon, while Hicks was equally as far back in third. Dalbeck, who posted the race’s fastest lap time at 17.853 seconds (75.618 mph) recovered to secure fourth ahead of Dalton Mains.
Arguably the most entertaining race of the night was the ten-lap WISSOTA Pure Stock feature, as Jorgensen won it from the pole but had to earn every bit of it.
After RJ Holly’s first-turn spin brought about the race’s only caution flag, Jorgensen fought every lap to fend off multiple challenges, as the front five runners were never more than a car-length or so apart, and often raced two- and three-wide. Dylan Shelton had a run on Jorgensen on the high side early in the go, but he slipped too wide and fell back from second to fifth. Then Aaron Bernick came on strong to threaten, with Jared Akervik alongside him to take third, but each lost a spot or so in the lap-by-lap shuffle.
Finally, Akervik moved into second just as the lead pack was closing in on backmarker Jessie Limberios with two laps left. Jorgensen held his line, and Akervik had to make a quick course correction to avoid contact with the slower car, giving Jorgensen just enough of an opening to hang on for his fifth career feature win at Ashland. Tom Treviranus, Bernick and Shelton completed a closely-grouped top five.
Saturday, June 12, will mark the second round of the three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series at the ABC Raceway, as well as the third stop of the opening leg of the Advantage RV Mod Series regional tour, creating what could potentially be one of the biggest race nights for WISSOTA Modifieds in the early half of the season. A large contingent of racers is expected to be on hand for a chance at the $2,000 feature winner’s check.
The NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn will present the program, in which all divisions except the Super Stocks will be in action. Adult grandstand tickets will be available for just $18, with the gates and pits opening at 5 pm, followed by hot laps at 6:15 and the first green flag of the night scheduled for 7 pm.
WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online on 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: Brandon Copp, Brule; Rick Rivord, Superior; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Paul Niznik, Medford; Pat Cook, Washburn; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Al Uotinen, Superior; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI.
11-12: Shane Kisling, Butternut; Tyler Luger, Oxford.
Heat 1: Uotinen; C Spacek; Vernon; Rivord; Kisling; J Spacek.
Heat 2: Cook; Niznik; Hiatt; Copp; Balduc; Luger.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Kyle Copp, Brule; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.
Heat 1: Beeksma; Copp; Flynn; Oreskovich; Deragon; Casari.
Heat 2: Weinberger; Stuart; Lawrence; Mashlan; Shawn McFadden, Ashland.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; John Darwin, Iron River; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Jesse Polson, Superior.
11-20: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Neil Dees, Hurley.
Heat 1: Uotinen; Mains; Dunbar; Suzik; Bretting; Lund; Polson.
Heat 2: Vernon; Fuhrman; Darwin; Barningham; Dees; Kieber.
Heat 3: Dalbeck; Rivord; Hicks; Hudack; O’Brien.
WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: 1-8: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Jared Akervik, Superior; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Zene Anderson, Superior; Jessie Limberios, Poplar.
Heat: Akervik; Treviranus; Jorgensen; Shelton; Holly; Bernick; Limberios; Anderson.
Feature: 1-10: Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Austin Olby, Marengo; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Trenton Bond, Mason; Jakob Bond, Mason; Julian Root, Ashland.
11-12: Shane Basina, Bayfield; Dalton Truchon, Ashland.
Heat 1: Hudack; Groom; T Bond; J Bond; Rohlfing; Root.
Heat 2: Truchon; Coddington; Nevala; Olby; Anderson; Basina.
Feature: 1-6: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Dan Moncher, Saxon; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Adam Young, Hayward.
Heat: Jarecki; D Moncher; Gotelaere; Dunbar; G Moncher; Young.