Nelson Claims FastLane Series Feature as ABC Opens 60th Season

Nelson Claims FastLane Series Feature as ABC Opens 60th Season

by Nick Gima

               Ashland, WI, June 8 – Dylan Nelson of Merrifield, MN, took control late in the 30-lap FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series feature and collected his first career feature win at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

The wild night of racing, presented by SuperOne Foods and with 104 entries filling the line-up sheets, marked the 60th opening night of stock car racing at the historic three-eighth-mile red-clay oval in northeastern Wisconsin on a comfortably cool night.

The 30-lap Superior Floral WISSOTA Super Stock feature saw plenty of carnage early amongst the 26 entries in the $3,000-to-win run, with a five-car pile-up occurring just as the field was completing its first lap. After a delay for a “jump” penalty on the second attempt to start the run, polestarter Shane Kisling established himself at the front, followed closely by fellow front-row starter DJ Keeler, Randy Graham, Tucker Quinn and Nelson.

After lap 1 was scored as official, a Kyle Copp-Austin Niemeyer get-together brought about a third yellow flag, and just after that Andrew Johnson and Copp met up to delay the proceedings again. The field settled in to score some green-flag laps after that, with Kisling and Keeler separating themselves a bit from the pack.

Nelson, who started the race from the seventh spot, overtook Quinn for third on lap 5 and reeled in Keeler a few circuits later, as Kisling stretched his lead to over a second-and-a-half. Quinn’s night ended with a stalled racer on lap 10, though, which brought the field back to Kisling for the restart, two laps after which Nelson overtook Keeler just before a Patrick Beeksma spin brought about the last caution stop of the race.

Nelson, as well as Keeler, took advantage of Kisling on this final re-do, with Nelson going to the outside and Keeler diving down low to complete a three-wide pass for the lead. Nelson claimed the lead, though he and Keeler stayed door-to-door for a number of laps, with Keeler edging ahead for a couple of rounds, until Nelson used a big run off of turn 2 with seven laps remaining to secure the point for good.

Nelson’s final margin of victory was 1.2 seconds, with Kisling an even greater distance back of Keeler for third-place money. Jordan Henkemeyer and 15th-starting Joey Jensen were closing on Kisling late to complete the top-five.

“It took a lot of patience,” Nelson said after the race in Victory Lane when asked about surviving the early rash of caution flags. But he was thrilled with the end result of his efforts, saying about the win, “This ranks right up there with my WISSOTA 100 win last year.”

Mike Anderson of Jim Falls dominated the Fuhrman Designs WISSOTA Modified feature, leading all 20 laps for his fifth career ABC win.

Anderson beat polestarter Jake Hiatt off of turn 2 at the start of the run and, after a lap 1 tangle between Cole Spacek and Justin Weinberger, was never challenged, despite the efforts of Nick Oreskovich, Hiatt, Weinberger and others during the early stages.

The remaining laps clicked off without delay, and as Anderson extended his advantage, Oreskovich distanced himself from the battle for third between Hiatt and Weinberger, eventually won by Weinberger, who then proceeded to catch and take second from Oreskovich at mid-race.

With six laps remaining Anderson had caught the backmarkers while building his lead up to about 3.5 seconds. He patiently weaved his way through the slower traffic and took the checkers surrounded by lapped cars but still a full 3.88 seconds ahead of the impressive young Weinberger. Brady Uotinen also showed moxie in coming through with a strong third-place performance, while Oreskovich and Tyler Vernon filled out the top-five.

“I love coming here,” Anderson told the crowd from Victory Lane afterwards. “This is one of my favorite tracks. I just wish we could get here more often; it’s just so far away.”

The early laps of the Lightning Storm Graphics WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds’ A-main was marred with damaged race cars, with two red-flag conditions occurring before a lap was scored. But Forest Lake, MN’s Joey Jensen survived to win his 12th career feature at Ashland, and third in a Mid-Mod.

At least half of the 22-car feature field was involved in one way or another in the first incident, which occurred in turn 2 after the drop of the initial green flag, and included the back end of James Vendela’s car coming to rest atop the roof of Blake Adams’ racer. After a lengthy clean-up process, the field was reset for the restart, but a wild scramble at that green flag resulted in David Simpson’s car taking a horrible hit on the passenger-side and rolling onto its driver’s-side before ever getting to turn 1.

After the long delays the race was cut from its original distance of 20 laps to 15, and with the next restart Jensen quickly established control of the race, pushing his lead to nearly 1.8 seconds on polestarter Cody Carlson after just a few laps. Another series of stoppages over laps 7 through 9 – for Matt Jacobson’s spin, a five-car collection, and Cory Jorgenson’s spin on successive laps – kept the field closely packed, but from there the race ran to its conclusion without another yellow, and Jensen kept a safe lead on Carlson to the finish, winning by 1.6 seconds.

Behind Carlson for most of the green-flag laps, Jimmy Latvala, Tanner Hicks and Nick Koehler jostled for third and occasionally threatened Carlson, with Latvala and Koehler taking advantage of what grip they could find in the upper lanes to eventually get to third and fourth, leaving Hicks to fifth.

Travis Hazelton of Chippewa Falls has won more feature races at ABC over the past two seasons (ten) than any other driver in any class, and on Saturday night he added to that total with the win in the Patsy’s Bar & Grill WISSOTA Pure Stock headliner.

Tom Treviranus worked the low line to take the early lead away from polestarter Rob Christman, who subsequently was spun a lap later to bring about the race’s only stoppage. Hazelton, who started the 12-lap race fourth, restarted behind Treviranus and proceeded to put the pressure on.

Impressive newcomer Eric Crosby worked his way past Christman for third just a lap after the restart and followed the battle for the lead, which culminated with Hazelton finally slipping low-side past Treviranus for what would be the winning pass on lap 4. Later, as Hazelton pushed his lead to nearly a second, Treviranus’ right-front tire gave out, dropping him from the event and handing second to Crosby with four laps to go.

Hazelton’s final margin of victory was roughly half a straightaway on Crosby, while Aaron Bernick, defending track champ Brent Mindock, and visiting Charlie Pitcavage rounded out the top-five. In his victory interview, Hazelton dedicated his win to his friend and former Super Stock racer Mark Stender, who is dealing with significant health issues.

In the only non-stop feature of the night, Travis Swanson of Ashland was dominant as he won his seventh career Berglund Customs ABC Six-Cylinders feature but his first since August 2008.

Swanson, the son of former two-time Sixes champ Ron Swanson, had taken a sabbatical from racing for a few years before returning midway through the 2023 season. After some mixed results, Travis proved on this night to have put together a program that could be the benchmark for the division in 2024.

Swanson started from the pole, beat defending divisional champ Shane Basina through the first set of corners, and ran away from the field, leading by over a second-and-a-half just five laps into the run. Well behind Basina, Dalton Truchon mixed it up with Roger Walker – another driver making a return to racing after several years away – for multiple laps for third.

Swanson lapped up to sixth-place Matthew Rohlfing – an unheard-of effort in this division – in posting a 3.043-second advantage on Basina at the checkers. Truchon held off a determined Walker for third, and Jakob Bond ran to a solid fifth-place effort.

The 2024 racing season continues at the ABC Raceway on Saturday, June 15, with Teacher Appreciation Night, to be presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI. All teachers and other educational administrative personnel who present their ID from their respective schools will be offered free grandstand admission for a four-division night of racing featuring the Modifieds, Mid-Mods, Pure Stocks and Sixes.

Fans who did not attend the June 8 program but still have their wristband from the rained-out May 25 event can redeem the wristband for admission to the June 15 program.

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, log on to the track’s website,, or check out its FaceBook page.


Furhman Designs WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Justin Weinberger, Elk Mound; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Brandon Copp, Brule; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Shaun Kreyer, Hayward; Pat Cook, Washburn.

11-20: Cole Spacek, Phillips; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Rick Rivord, Superior; Aiden Hoffman, Rice Lake; John Kallas, Hurley; Jack Rivord, Superior; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jody Bellefeuille, Carlton, MN; Kevin Adams, Cameron; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs.

Heat 1: Oreskovich; Adams; Hiatt; Copp; Bellefeuille; J Spacek; Hoffman.

Heat 2: Anderson; C Spacek; Uotinen; Kreyer; R Rivord; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Gehl.

Heat 3: Weinberger; Vernon; Wolkowski; Cook; Kallas; Dunbar; J Rivord.

Superior Floral WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Dylan Nelson, Merrifield, MN; DJ Keeler, Superior; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Jordan Henkemeyer, Sauk Rapids, MN; Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Dexton Koch, Becker, MN.

11-20: Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Tim Johnson, Brainerd, MN; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Randy Graham, Trego; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Chad Johnson, Colfax; James Trantina III, St Joseph, MN; Rick Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Don Livingston, Washburn.

21-26: Andrew Johnson, Brainerd, MN; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith; Kyle Copp, Brule; Austin Niemeyer, Brainerd, MN; Curt Myers, Cameron; Darin Meierotto, Superior.

Heat 1: Graham; Trantina; Meierotto; McFadden; Niemeyer; Simpson; Beeksma; A Johnson.

Heat 2: Quinn; Nelson; Koch; E Olson; Lawrence; Wes Hines, Nisswa, MN; Trenton Bond, Iron River.

Heat 3: Keeler; C Johnson; Richards; T Johnson; Copp; William Fisher, Shell Lake; Dan Peterson, Foxboro.

Heat 4: Kisling; Myers; Stuart; Deragon; Jason Garner, Iron River; Ryan Olson, Ladysmith; Paul Gucinski, Superior.

Heat 5: Henkemeyer; Spacek; Jensen; Livingston; Kenny Davis, Elk Mound; Myron Basina, Bayfield; Rita Anderson, South Range.

Semi-Feature 1: Niemeyer; Copp; Beeksma; R Olson; Hines; Davis; Peterson; Anderson.

Semi-Feature 2: Lawrence; Simpson; Basina; Garner; Gucinski; Fisher; Bond.

Lightning Storm Graphics WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; Cody Carlson, Superior; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Nick Koehler, Bloomer; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; James Trantina III, St Joseph, MN; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; James Vendela, South Range; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI.

11-20: Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Jesse Polson, Superior; Zach Slayton, Hayward; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Evan Checkalski, Duluth, MN; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Blake Adams, Cameron; Mitch Kieber, Rhinelander.

21-22: Rory Taber, Webster; Bryan Lund, Ashland.

Heat 1: Jensen; Polson; Carlson; Checkalski; Vernon; Jacobson; Slayton; Simpson.

Heat 2: Koehler; Adams; Vendela; Trantina; Mains; Lund; Barningham.

Heat 3: Latvala; Jorgensen; Hicks; Kieber; Taber; Suzik.

Patsy’s Bar & Grill WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-9: Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Eric Crosby, Amery; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Brent Mindock, Prentice; Charlie Pitcavage, Menomonie; Nicholas Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Rob Christman, Superior; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; Shane Basina, Bayfield.

Heat 1: Bernick; T Hazelton; Pitcavage; N Hazelton; Mindock.

Heat 2: Crosby; Treviranus; Christman; Basina; Zene Anderson, Superior.

Berglund Customs ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Travis Swanson, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Roger Walker, Phillips; Jakob Bond, Mason; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Jimmy Stearns, Superior; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Mady Anderson, Mason; Justin Pratt, Glidden.  Heat 1: Rohlfing; Walker; Eichmann; Stearns; M Anderson; Jim Anderson, Cable; Alex Bond, Iron River.

Heat 2: Swanson; Truchon; J Bond; Basina; Pratt; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Adam Traaholt, Ashland.


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