Viebrock Uses Late Cautions to Score UMSS Sprint Win at ABC
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, May 27 – Bright blue skies, temperatures in the upper 70s, and a visit from 14 UMSS winged sprints gave fans plenty to enjoy during Saturday’s race program presented by NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland and Washburn at the ABC Raceway.
The three-and-a-half-hour race program was highlighted by plenty of drama and two first-time feature winners.
The A-main for the UMSS sprints started with some pre-race drama, as John Breitenfeldt, who won his heat race earlier in the show, could not get his sprinter started for the feature. His coveted outside-front-row starting position thus went to Mike Mueller, who took advantage by grabbing the initial lead and pulling to a two-second lead over the first five laps.
It was at that point in the 20-lap run that Chase Viebrock slipped low on polesitter Jamey Ogston to take over second. Sixth-starting Eric Wilke followed into third a lap later, and he chased Viebrock as the New Richmond pilot chipped away at Mueller’s lead.
Mueller’s lead was down to 1.6 seconds as he caught the tail-end of the field on lap 13, but Tony Gernert’s spin changed the complexion of the race. With the frontrunners out of slower traffic, Viebrock dove low on the leader going into turn 1 on the single-file restart and executed a perfect “slide-job.” Although Mueller fought back for a lap, Viebrock set the pace for the remainder of the run, including holding on after a green-white-checkered restart brought about by Casey Lang’s spin.
Viebrock’s first-ever margin of victory at ABC was a scant .667 seconds over Mueller, while Mark Chevalier took third away from Wilke on that final restart. Eleventh-starting Patrick Heikkinen was impressive with a patient climb to fifth.
Brandon Copp of Brule scored his second Outlaw Wraps & Apparel WISSOTA Modified feature win in as many weeks here, although not quite in the same runaway fashion as in last Saturday’s opener.
Polestarter Bill Byholm fended off fourth-starting Nick Oreskovich for the early advantage, with Justin Weinberger slipping by Jake Hiatt into third after a couple of laps. Under heavy pressure from Oreskovich, Byholm lost the handle while negotiating the tricky turn 1 surface, giving Oreskovich his first-ever lead in a “big Mod” feature.
Pat Cook’s damaged racer spun to a stop in the front-straight infield grass on lap 5 to bring about the 20-lapper’s only yellow-flag slowdown, and it also put Copp, who started eighth, on Oreskovich’s right flank for the restart. At the green Copp cleared Weinberger and dogged Oreskovich for eight laps until finally making an inside pass stick for the race’s winning move, although Oreskovich stayed as close as possible until the waning laps.
Copp’s 11th career win at Ashland was by 1.1 seconds over Oreskovich, with Weinberger a distant third but well ahead of Byholm and Rick Rivord.
The Superior Floral WISSOTA Super Stock feature brought about more late-race drama, as what looked to be a sure win for Shawn McFadden turned into a golden opportunity for Andrew Mackey.
McFadden beat polestarter Don Livingston to the first corner and claimed the lead at the start, and over 16 non-stop laps he built a margin of over 1.3 seconds on Matt Deragon, who had his hands full with a swarm of racers – which included Mackey – hovering at his back bumper while swapping positions with practically every tour of the three-eighths-mile red-clay oval.
On lap 12 McFadden began working his way through slower backmarkers, which he did with relative ease. But on lap 16 he attempted to put Aaron Mashlan a lap down with an outside pass heading into turn 1. Mashlan inadvertently pushed high as McFadden pulled even in the corner, and the heavy contact between them caused significant damage to the left-rear of the leader’s racer. McFadden slowed as the rest of the field sped by and then pulled into the infield just a few feet from the track, forcing officials to stop the race for his safety.
This gave Deragon the lead for the lap 17 re-do, but Mackey, who restarted third alongside Steve Stuart, worked his way around Deragon and held on for the Duluth, MN, driver’s third career win at Ashland by a thin .358-second margin. Stuart was overtaken by both Patrick Beeksma and Oreskovich for a moment but recovered for fourth, with Beeksma just ahead of him and Oreskovich just behind.
Another Duluth driver – Paul Ripley – scored his first-ever career win in the Harmony Wealth Management WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, leading all 20 laps of the non-stop run in impressive manner.
Ripley, who has run strong in his early efforts this season, started outside on the front row and worked the higher groove around the Ashland oval to perfection. An early challenge by Marcus Dunbar was thwarted by contact in heavy traffic, allowing James Vendela to move up to third and Evan Checkalski to fourth behind Ripley and polestarter Jesse Polson, with Ripley pulling to a half-second edge within five quick laps.
That lead ballooned to 1.9 seconds over the next five laps as Ripley continued to work the high line and Checkalski moved into second. Checkalski suffered damage and slipped back just after mid-race, though, giving second back to Vendela and third to Canadian visitor David Simpson, which is where they would finish, as Ripley worked his way efficiently through backmarkers for the landmark win by an impressive 2.61-second cushion. Tyler Vernon and George Dalbeck completed the top five.
In another non-stop feature, Travis Hazelton of Chippewa Falls grabbed a late lead and held on for first-place money in the Patsy’s Bar & Grill WISSOTA Pure Stock headliner.
Hazelton, who led the division with five feature wins here in 2022, kept his cool while waiting for an opportunity to present itself in congested traffic during the ten-lap affair. Tyler Kachinske worked his way around the front-row pair of Tom Treviranus and Brent Mindock to score the early lead, but the first six cars stayed in tight formation, shuffling Mindock by Kachinske to the front after four laps and putting Hazelton a close second after a couple more circuits.
Hazelton slipped by Kachinske with an inside move with three laps left and held on for his sixth feature win at ABC, while Mindock and Treviranus followed closely behind Kachinske. Jessie Treviranus took advantage of late-race damage to opening-night winner Aaron Bernick’s car to claim fifth.
Ashland’s Dalton Truchon saw a sure win in last week’s Lightning Storm Graphics ABC Six-Cylinder feature slip from his grasp with three laps to go when his motor blew. On this night he gained a measure of revenge by capturing his seventh career Ashland win.
Truchon started from the pole and led every one of the race’s 15 laps, pulling away from race-long chaser Mathew Rohlfing. Within five laps Truchon’s lead was up to 1.82 seconds, and although the field came back to Truchon’s bumper after Cody Eichmann’s spin as a result of contact with Bubba Anderson on lap 6, no one had anything for the young sixth-year racer, who sped away for a huge 3.2-second buffer at the checkers.
Austin Olby trailed Rohlfing at a distance in third, and Shane Basina edged Jakob Bond and a resurgent Anderson for fourth.
A very special night of action is on tap at the ABC Raceway on Saturday, June 3, when Northern Clearing Inc presents its annual “Racing for a Reason” fundraiser night for the American Cancer Society. Several fun opportunities to help raise money for this very worthwhile cause will be available to fans on hand, who will also be treated to free grandstand admission.
All five of the Raceway’s divisions will also be in action. The grandstand gates and pits will open at 5 pm on Saturday, followed by hot laps at 6:30 and the first green flag of the night scheduled for 7 pm.
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.
UMSS Winged Sprints
Feature: 1-10: Chase Viebrock, New Richmond; Mike Mueller, Oak Grove, MN; Mark Chevalier, Blaine, MN; Eric Wilke, Genesee; Patrick Heikkinen, Eveleth, MN; Jamey Ogston, Duluth, MN; Brett Peterson, Amery; Austin Phillips, Osceola; Tony Gernert, Luck; Cole Stella, Minocqua.
11-12: Casey Lang, Linwood, MN; Mitch Hagen, Cottage Grove, MN.
Heat 1: Viebrock; Ogston; Lang; Mueller; Peterson; Heikkinen; Stella.
Heat 2: John Breitenfeldt, Isanti, MN; Chevalier; Gernert; Wilke; Phillips; Hagen.
Outlaw Wraps & Apparel WISSOTA Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Brandon Copp, Brule; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Justin Weinberger, Elk Mound; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Rick Rivord, Superior; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Hunter Anderson, Phillips; Jeff Spacek, Phillips.
11-12: Tyler Vernon, Mason; Pat Cook, Washburn.
Heat 1: Byholm; Oreskovich; Hiatt; Weinberger; J Spacek; Dunbar.
Heat 2: Copp; Anderson; Rivord; Cook; Vernon; C Spacek.
Superior Floral WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Andy Grymala, Superior; Don Livingston, Washburn; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; John Garrity, Thunder Bay, ON.
11-12: Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland.
Heat 1: Oreskovich; Beeksma; Stuart; Livingston; Nevala; Myron Basina, Bayfield; Garrity.
Heat 2: Grymala, McFadden, Mackey, Deragon, Anderson, Mashlan.
Harmony Wealth Management WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; James Vendela, South Range; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Tyler Vernon, Mason; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Jesse Polson, Superior; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.
11-17: Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Kolby Reed, Kakabeka Falls, ON; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Evan Checkalski, Duluth, MN.
Heat 1: Vernon; Simpson; Polson; Lund; Jacobson; Barningham.
Heat 2: Ripley; Checkalski; Mains; Reed; Fuhrman; Lindquist.
Heat 3: Dalbeck; Vendela; Dunbar; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Suzik; Jorgensen.
Patsy’s Bar & Grill WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: 1-9: Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; Brent Mindock, Prentice; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; Jessie Treviranus, Hawthorne; Katlin Pritzl, Park Falls; Zene Anderson, Superior; Kristy Rose, Duluth, MN; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN.
Heat: Hazelton; Kachinske; T Treviranus; Bernick; Mindock; J Treviranus; Pritzl; Rose.
Lightning Storm Graphics ABC Six-Cylinders
Feature: 1-10: Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Austin Olby, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Jakob Bond, Mason; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Brad Hanson, Glidden; Cody Eichmann, Park Falls; Bella Bretting, Washburn; Alex Bond, Iron River.
Heat 1: Basina; Olby; J Bond; Eichmann; Trenton Bond, Mason; Cameron Bond, Mason.
Heat 2: Rohlfing; Truchon; Anderson; Hanson; Bretting; A Bond.
ABC 5/27/23 UMSS sprints results