Spacek Cashes In Big with ABC Mod Special Win
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, May 29 – An emotional Cole Spacek of Phillips collected the $2,000 winner’s check at the conclusion of the first round of the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Mod Series at the ABC Raceway during the track’s 57th season opener on Saturday night.
The program, presented by the Lake Shore Café of Ashland and Zielies Tree Service of Bruce, drew a big crowd and 101 entries to the historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval despite temps dropping to around 40 by the final checkered flag. Other feature winners included Cole’s cousin Terran Spacek of Phillips in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Brandon Jensen of Ellsworth in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Jared Akervik of Superior on the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack in the ABC Six-Cylinders, and Dan Moncher of Saxon in the WISSOTA Hornets.
Cole Spacek was emotional for a couple of different reasons. On one hand, he benefitted from a late-race caution flag to restart directly behind Tyler Vernon, who was clearly the class of the field for the first 17 laps of the 25-lap WISSOTA Modifieds spotlight event. Later, Spacek choked back a few tears in Victory Lane when he dedicated his win to fellow young second-generation racer Tanner Byholm, who was killed in an aircraft accident earlier this year.
Polestarter Shane Halopka – no stranger to ABC’s Victory Lane himself – took the early advantage until Vernon powered by on the high line of the wide, fast track after just two laps. A circuit later, a wild multi-car crash on the front straight scrambled the field and eliminated mid-pack runners Shane Kisling and Cooper Berlin.
Vernon used the next 14 green-flag laps to draw away from the field, while Cole Spacek followed his dad – six-time ABC Mod champ Jeff Spacek – past Brandon Copp and Daniel Bargender to move into third and fourth. Cole took third away from Jeff with ten laps remaining and eventually displaced Halopka for second on lap 16.
Vernon had been easily dispensing with backmarkers for about a half-dozen laps when he came upon a three-car battle for position, and unintended contact by Jake Hiatt sent the leader into a spin, bringing out the caution flag. Cole Spacek took advantage of the restart, working a lower line to slip past Vernon for the lead and run away for the final seven laps to the huge payday.
Jeff Spacek got by Halopka late for third, Johnny Broking patiently worked to a fourth-place finish, and Halopka, who was caught up in a final-corner incident, was replaced to fifth in the final rundown.
“I had a good co-pilot with me tonight,” Cole stated after the run as he honored Byholm with his fifth career feature win here and second in a “big Mod.”
In the 25-lap Midwest Mod feature Vernon was the one on the charge, but Jensen, who started on the pole, led every lap and won by a pretty stout margin.
Jensen beat Jesse Aho through the first set of turns and never looked back, although a series of well-spaced yellow-flag slowdowns kept the field within reach. After a Paul Suzik spin on lap 3, Jack Rivord began a battle with Aho for second that allowed Jensen to pull away, and a lap after the restart Vernon went to the high side to motor past Cody Carlson for fourth.
Cory Jorgensen looped his ride near the back of the field on lap 5 to bring everyone back to Jensen’s rear bumper, but again the leader drew away under green. Vernon got by Aho to third on lap 7, and then the field settled in for a half-dozen smooth, incident-free laps until Suzik spun again on lap 13.
Vernon grabbed second from Rivord on that restart, just before Marcus Dunbar’s car stopped with a flat tire, but Jensen was too strong on this night, pulling away and catching the tail end of the field within a half-dozen laps. Jensen drove on to his first-ever feature win in Ashland – worth $1,500 – with Vernon, Rivord, Aho and 11th-starting visitor Dan Wheeler completing the top five.
Jensen also dedicated his win to Byholm in Victory Lane.
The Super Stock 20-lapper went green-to-checkered without stoppage, giving Terran Spacek the chance to build a significant lead on the way to a $1,200 paycheck. Spacek started on the pole and ran away from Nick Oreskovich in the early stages, and Kyle Copp took second from Oreskovich just three laps into the run.
Ninth-starting Dave Flynn found the bottom lane to his liking and climbed forward to fifth just prior to the halfway point of the race, then getting by Shawn McFadden for fourth with Kevin Burdick in tow soon after. By lap 12 Flynn had taken third from Oreskovich, and Burdick copied Flynn’s inside pass of Oreskovich on lap 14, and that set the top five for the remainder of the run.
Spacek’s final margin was nearly the length of the front straight on Copp as he chalked up his sixth career win on Ashland soil and his fourth in a Super. Flynn, Burdick and Oreskovich were well-distanced from one another to fill out the top five.
Akervik was unchallenged once he took command of the 12-lap Pure Stock feature. He followed outside front-row starter Cory Jorgensen into second spot on the initial drop of the green, and then he used an inside move to take the lead away from Jorgensen by the time the first lap was complete.
Aaron Bernick’s stalled car on the front-straight wall a lap later brought the action to a halt, but Akervik pulled Jorgensen and Dylan Shelton with him away from the rest of the field as the green lights came back on. When Jorgensen’s car bobbled on lap 2, Shelton took over second, and Tom Treviranus followed soon after and gave Shelton a fierce battle for runner-up honors.
Akervik pulled away from that dogfight for a dominant sixth career ABC Raceway feature win, with Shelton fending off Treviranus for second. Pure Stock rookie AJ House and RJ Holly followed at a distance in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Hudack was on her A-game in scoring the Six-Cylinder feature win in decisive fashion. After taking much of 2020 off to concentrate on her career, the three-time division champ looked like as dominant as ever.
Hudack started from the pole and held off another three-time champ, Dale Coddington, over the first three laps before a get-together involving Mathew Rohlfing and Trenton Bond slowed the pace. After the restart Coddington had his hands full in fighting off a determined Dalton Truchon, allowing Hudack to pull away.
A stoppage for Jake Nevala’s lost wheel on lap 6 tightened up the pack, but Hudack simply drove away again over the final six laps for her 21st career feature win here, with Coddington, Truchon, Dennis Groom and Bond trailing at a distance.
Moncher, who raced for three years in the Sixes here but never really enjoyed much success, jumped into his son Gavyn’s Hornet late in the 2020 campaign – his first time behind the wheel of a race car since 2008 – and loved it so much that he got his own. After his win in the 10-lap A-main on this night, he may never get out of racing again.
The elder Moncher led from the pole but was challenged throughout the first couple of laps, by Derek Dunbar, DeJay Jarecki, and his son Gavyn, until Gavyn bumped Dunbar’s car into an infield marker tire to bring about a caution stop. Jarecki then bolted around both Dunbar and Dan Moncher on the restart to steal the lead away for the next five laps.
A mechanical gremlin caused Jarecki’s car to lose power with five laps left, allowing Dan Moncher to retake the lead and pace the way to the finish for his first career feature win. Dunbar, Gavyn Moncher, and rookie Adam Young finished a fair bit back in second through fourth, and Jarecki was able to bring his car home fifth, one lap down.
Several businesses jumped on board to make Saturday’s event a huge success, including divisional sponsors Lulich Implement, Custer Farms and Windy Acre Farm; White River Ag Products for covering the draw fees for the Mod, Super Stock and Mid-Mod drivers; and Bragging Rights Land Management for posting a $250 “long-haul” award in each of those three divisions.
On Saturday, June 5, the ABC Raceway will host one of its long-standing popular events, when Little Caesar’s Pizza presents Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night. All six divisions will be in action, the grandstands and pits will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is 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: Cole Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Brandon Copp, Brule; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Tyler Peterson, Hickson, ND; Al Uotinen, Superior.
11-20: Daniel Bargender, Menomonie; Pat Cook, Washburn; Cole Anderson, Le Center, MN; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Paul Niznik, Medford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Craig Lofdahl, Wilmar, MN; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI.
21-25: Rick Rivord, Superior; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Bob Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Cooper Berlin, Rice Lake; Denny Cutsforth, Rice Lake.
Heat 1: Vernon; C Spacek; Lavasseur; Lofdahl; Niznik; Gehl.
Heat 2: J Broking; J Spacek; Anderson; Kisling; B Broking; Luger; Berlin.
Heat 3: Copp; Bargender; Rivord; Cutsforth; Cook; Kingsley.
Heat 4: Peterson; Hiatt; Uotinen; Truscott; Balduc; Halopka.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Terran Spacek, Phillips; Kyle Copp, Brule; Dave Flynn, Superior; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; DJ Keeler, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal.
11-14: Keith Kern, Superior; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.
Heat 1: McFadden; Keeler; Deragon; Copp; Flynn; Kern; Weinberger; Mashlan.
Heat 2: Burdick; Stuart; Oreskovich; Spacek; Casari; Mackey; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Brandon Jensen, Ellsworth; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Dan Wheeler, Savage, MN; Scott Splittstoesser, Cottage Grove, MN; Cody Carlson, Superior; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs.
11-20: Paul Niznik, Medford; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; John Darwin, Iron River; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Darrin Lawler, Grand Rapids, MN; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Tyler Hudack, Ashland.
21-24: Ryan Savoy, Superior; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI.
Heat 1: Carlson; Suzik; Savoy; Dalbeck; Barningham; Mains; Darwin; Jesse Polson, Superior.
Heat 2: Dunbar; Fuhrman; Splittstoesser; Gehl; Lawler; Niznik; Neil Dees, Hurley.
Heat 3: Jensen; Rivord; Wheeler; Hudack; O’Brien; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.
Heat 4: Aho; Vernon; Uotinen; Latvala; Hicks; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Jorgensen.
Semi-Feature: Mains; Niznik; Darwin; Jorgensen; Kieber; Bretting; Dees; Polson.
WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Jared Akervik, Superior; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Jason Simonson, Poplar; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Zene Anderson, Superior; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN.
Heat 1: Jorgensen; House; Akervik; Rose; Simonson.
Heat 2: Treviranus; Shelton; Bernick; Anderson; Holly.
Feature: 1-10: Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Trenton Bond, Mason; Jakob Bond, Mason; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Austin Olby, Marengo; Julian Root, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland.
11: Adam Traaholt, Ashland.
Heat 1: Coddington; Truchon; Shane Basina, Bayfield; J Bond; Rohlfing; T Bond; Root.
Heat 2: Hudack; Groom; Nevala; Traaholt; Olby; Bubba Anderson.
Feature: 1-7: Dan Moncher, Saxon; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Adam Young, Hayward; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Nathan Rose Jr, Duluth, MN.
Heat: D Moncher; G Moncher; Marken; Dunbar; Young; Jarecki; Rose.