Racing For A Reason July 24th

NASCAR Xfinity Series star Noah Gragson, who drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr, will be at the ABC Raceway in Ashland on Saturday, July 24, with his JR Racing Beard Oil Distributing-sponsored car to sign autographs as part of the track’s “Racing for a Reason” program. (NASCAR file photo)

Northern Clearing, ABC Raceway to Host ‘Racing for a Reason’ this Saturday NASCAR star Gragson, sprint cars to highlight free grandstand admission show by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, July 22 – Of all the special nights of stock car racing at the ABC Raceway on the 2021 season schedule, few aim to be more so than the program planned for this coming Saturday, when Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland will present its annual “Racing for a Reason” fundraiser event.

            The program will feature the second visit of the season to the northern Wisconsin speedplant by the Northern Renegades traditional sprint car series, along with five of the Raceway’s six regular weekly divisions in action.

           The event is geared as a fundraiser for two very special causes – the American Cancer Society, and The Brick Ministries local food shelf. In addition to the action on track, there will be several events, raffles, and other ways for fans to contribute to these two great causes going on throughout the evening at the track. Including button sales with proceeds’ going to the local cancer center.

            “We are so proud to be associated with the Vernon family and Northern Clearing when it comes to this night,” Raceway president Eric Erickson stated earlier this week. “This is an incredible opportunity for the racing family to contribute to two important causes in the Chequamegon Bay area, and the generosity of Northern Clearing helps make this possible.”

            Also in support of this program are Beard Oil, White River Ag Products, Country Corner Equipment and Windy Acres Farms.

            In addition, NASCAR Xfinity Series star Noah Gragson, who drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr, will be on hand with his JR Racing Beard Oil Distributing-sponsored car to sign autographs.

            Add to that the fact that the ABC Raceway is offering free admission to all fans who wish to watch the show from the main grandstands, and you have the makings of what will be a memorable night of fun and action for the whole family.

            Chris Lewis of Grand Rapids, MN, held off multiple challenges to win a thrilling Renegades traditional (or wingless) sprint car feature during the series’ June 26 visit to ABC. All of the 15 Renegades racers that were here on that night, plus perhaps several others, have voiced their intent to travel from Minnesota’s Iron Range to compete on the three-eighths-mile Ashland oval.

            “The drivers in our series have been talking about getting back to the ABC Raceway since we were there last month,” said Renegades tour director Randy Murray recently, in reference to the tour’s June 26 visit to the award-winning red-clay oval. “They had a great time and put on a heck of a show for the fans, and it should be even better this time around.”

            Saturday’s race program will also include the track’s WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Midwest Mods, WISSOTA Pure Stocks, WISSOTA Hornets, and ABC Raceway Six-Cylinder.

            There will be no admission price to get into the main grandstand for this special show, and fans are encouraged to arrive early for the festivities. The grandstands will open at 4:30 pm, hot laps start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is scheduled for 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air live updates from 4-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts aired online via 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

On Saturday, July 24, the ABC Raceway will host its annual fundraiser night for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society as well as the Chequamegon Bay area’s The Brick Ministries food shelf with its “Racing for a Reason” night, to be presented by Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland. Joining the WISSOTA Modifieds, Midwest Mods, Pure Stocks and Hornets and the ABC Sixes will be the Northern Renegades traditional sprint cars, and all fans who come to enjoy the show in the main grandstands will be admitted free of charge.

During the night there will be a number of ongoing fundraising activities to help raise money for these two very special causes.

The grandstand gates and pits will open at 5 pm, hot laps at will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is scheduled to fly at 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online via 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,

Hall of Fame Ceremony July 17

On Saturday, July 17, the ABC Raceway will formally induct the members of its Class of 2021 into its Hall of Fame in a ceremony during intermission of its six-division race program. Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall will be the presenting sponsor of the evening’s festivities. The grandstand gates and pits will open 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 via 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

444 Memorial Race July 29th

ABC Raceway Planning ‘444 Memorial’ to be Very Special

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 11 – Just prior to the start of the 2021 stock car racing season, the ABC Raceway added an extra event to its schedule. That event, named the “444 Memorial,” has developed into what could be one of the biggest nights of racing in the Upper Midwest.

The event, slated for Thursday, July 29, will be held in honor of Tanner Byholm, a third-generation up-and-coming WISSOTA Modified and Midwest Mod racer and the son of 2017 ABC Raceway Modified champion Bill Byholm and his wife Michelle, who tragically lost his life in an aviation accident on February 16 near Janesville.

The ‘444 Memorial” will include a WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series program as well as full heat and feature action in the Mods and Mid-Mods. The event designation comes from Tanner’s car number, which stems from his father’s car number, 4, and his third-generation standing.

Due to the ongoing efforts of both the Byholm family and the Raceway, a huge purse has been created that, as of press time, is set to pay the Late Model feature winner $3,444, while the Modified winner will receive $2,444, and the Mid-Mod winner will take home $944. Special trophies have also been designed for the top finishers in each of the features, and “444”-themed bonuses will be available to the competitors.

“Contributions have been pouring in for this event,” according to a statement by Raceway Board president Eric Erickson on Saturday. “The purse is changing almost daily. We should have something set very shortly, but it’s easy to say that this will be one of the better-paying events of the season, and certainly one of the best for the Challenge Series.”

Many top racers from throughout WISSOTA, as well as drivers from other regional sanctioning bodies, have made verbal commitments to compete in the July 29 program. Many are racers who got to know Tanner during his time attaining his flight instructor certification at Fox Valley Technical College, studying aeronautics at UW-Oshkosh, and serving our country, first as a Marine Reservist for six years and later as an Air Force Reservist. Tanner was also a graduate of Chequamegon High School in nearby Park Falls.

Prior to his passing, Tanner had been selected to become a pilot with the 190th Fighter Squadron, based in Boise, ID, from a field of 175 applicants. Tanner also had recently become involved in competitive shooting, and he was an avid snowmobiler and snowboarder.

Tanner raced in the WISSOTA Modified division at ABC from 2017-’20, finishing ninth and claiming Rookie of the Year honors in ’17. Prior to that he competed in the WISSOTA Midwest Mods from 2011-‘16, finishing in the top ten in points in 2012 and ’13. Tanner’s final race came at ABC on August 15 of last year, one of two nights that he competed here in 2020. On both of those nights, like so many others before, he raced with his father.

Admission
Grandstands
Adults 13 and older $25.00, Kids 6 to 12 $10.00
Pit Admission $35.00

More details on the “444 Memorial” will be released soon, through various media and social media outlets and on the Raceway’s website, www.abcraceway.com, as they are finalized.

July 10th Results

Balduc, Stuart, Jarecki Stay Hot on ABC Bike Race Night

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 10 – The ABC Raceway hosted one of its long-time favorite nights – the annual kids’ bike races – and saw three of its drivers continue their winning ways in feature action on Saturday.

In a program presented by Chicago Iron & Supplies of Ashland on a warm, comfortable night, Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, and Ashland drivers Steve Stuart and DeJay Jarecki kept winning streaks alive. Four of the six features were marred by multiple caution flags, as drivers struggled to master a sticky-fast race track.

In the 20-lap WISSOTA Modified headliner, front-row starters Jeff Spacek and Rick Rivord swapped the lead for a couple of laps until Balduc, who started behind Spacek in row 2, used outside-line moves to get around Rivord for second and then Spacek for the lead on consecutive laps.

Jake Hiatt’s spin on lap 5 triggered a series of five slowdowns over the next five laps, including one by Rivord that sent him to the tail of the field. Despite the closeness of the rest of the field behind him, Balduc kept his composure and held off a determined Spacek on every restart as the field shuffled frequently behind them.

After the final stoppage, for debris on lap 10, the race settled into a much smoother tempo, with Balduc eventually pulling away from Spacek for his second straight win and tenth of his career here. Robby Bunkelman, the Raceway’s 2010 Modified champ, made his first visit of the year pay off with an impressive third-place run after starting 11th, finishing just ahead of 12th-starting Pat Cook and Shane Kisling.

Stuart won the WISSOTA Super Stock feature for the third straight time, but this one wasn’t nearly as easy as the previous two. He started the run from the fourth row in his month-old car and fought through heavy traffic and stubborn opposition to get to the front late in the 20-lap run.

Polestarter Justin Weinberger held the early lead through the first two attempts to start the race, both of which were stopped by melees due to congested traffic. After one lap was finally scored a third yellow flag flew, for Patrick Beeksma’s spin, but for the next five laps the fans were treated to some incredible close-quarters racing at the front, as Shawn McFadden slipped around Weinberger to take over the lead on lap 3, and Nick Oreskovich worked inside to take third from Matt Deragon on lap 4.

Weinberger’s great run ended with a slowdown on lap 6, but what followed were ten laps of tense battles throughout the field. Stuart had worked his way to third by this point and joined McFadden and Oreskovich in a thrilling dogfight at the front, while Deragon had his hands full trying to hold onto fourth ahead of Cory Casari and Beeksma. Oreskovich and Stuart swapped the runner-up spot while tapping on McFadden’s rear bumper until lap 15, when Oreskovich slipped up high in turn 4, opening the door for Stuart. Oreskovich then spun on the next lap, setting up an intense battle for the win.

On that restart Deragon spun, collecting several others, and on the next try Casari got a strong run to pull alongside McFadden. But Stuart squeezed between both of them and shot through for the lead, although McFadden momentarily clawed back by. Finally, on lap 17, Stuart cleared McFadden and set off to his 38th career feature win, tying him with Late Model great Tim McMann for tenth on the track’s all-time list. McFadden held on to second ahead of Casari, while Oreskovich recovered to steal fourth from Beeksma in the final corner.

Jarecki ran his feature win streak to a track-leading five straight as he dominated the WISSOTA Hornets’ eight-lap A-main. After the initial start of the race was waived off, Jarecki bolted around the front-row pair of Brandon Hummelmeier and Derek Dunbar and ran off to his ninth career win.

Dunbar followed Jarecki into second, but Hummelmeier took the spot a lap later. Then, on lap 4, Shane Basina – in a Hornet for the first time driving Jarecki’s spare car – went around both Hummelmeier and Dunbar and went on to finish a distant second. Dunbar regained third late in the run.

Tanner Hicks of Ashland survived a WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature that was slowed eight times by caution flags, so he was as much relieved as he was overjoyed in Victory Lane. Polestarter Diamond Bressette spun in front of the field on the initial corner of the 20-lap event, and the realignment moved Hicks into the front row for the restart, which he immediately took advantage of.

James Vendela’s spin after a fourth-place restart forced a second attempt to begin the race, and another jam-up of cars delayed the start again. Then, after one lap was finally scored, Dalton Mains went high-side to get around Matt Jacobson for second before John Darwin looped his ride. The field did get in five good laps from there, during which Jack Rivord, who originally started eighth, worked the lower lane to get by Jacobson to third, with Tyler Vernon following into fourth. Hicks had established a healthy lead margin by lap 6, but that disappeared when a three-car mess deep in the field stopped the pace.

Jacobson spun on the ensuing restart, after which Rivord drove low to edge ahead of Hicks prior to another stop, this one for debris on lap 8. Hicks got a measure of revenge by sticking to the higher line and, on lap 10, reclaimed the lead. Rookie Neil Dees’ stalled ride on lap 14 was the last of the yellow-flag slowdowns, and over the final laps a great battle involving Hicks, Rivord, Vernon and Jesse Aho ensued.

Vernon slipped ahead of Rivord with three to go, and when Rivord bobbled coming to the white flag, Aho dove low to pull alongside Vernon. Hicks held on for the final circuit for his first win here since 2018, while Vernon edged out Aho for second within a few feet of the winner’s rear bumper. Rivord held on for fourth ahead of Mains.

With only three WISSOTA Pure Stocks in the house, both the heat and feature for that division ran off non-stop. In the feature, Aaron Bernick of Duluth, MN, scored a long-awaited first feature win at Ashland.

Bernick, who had taken both races in a double-header the weekend before in Superior for his first-ever career wins, started Saturday’s run here on the outside of the front row, beat Zene Anderson to the first turn, and led every one of the feature’s eight laps. RJ Holly also got by Anderson and put up a valiant chase, staying within three to four car-lengths of the leader, but he could not close the gap. Anderson finished a distant third.

The ABC Six-Cylinders’ feature win looked to be well in hand for Dale Coddington, as the three-time track champion from Hayward started on the pole and led every lap, despite numerous caution stoppages. However, each of those stops brought Coddington’s primary challengers – Tiffany Hudack, Dennis Groom and Dalton Truchon – closer to the front.

Coddington immediately ran away from his front-row starting mate, rookie Julian Root, but Root spun on lap 2 to bring about the first of the 12-lapper’s half-dozen yellow flags. The next seven laps clicked off without concern, with Coddington building a significant buffer ahead of Truchon, who had gotten the better of Bubba Anderson for second.

It was after Root’s second spin that things got both nerve-wracking for Coddington and testy for the rest of the field. The lap 9 restart resulted in a mess on the front straight which gave Anderson a flat tire, knocking him from competition. On the next try, both Truchon, to the inside, and Jake Nevala, to the outside, tried to overtake Coddington, squeezing him in a three-wide move that ended in Coddington’s car breaking loose, causing a chain reaction of cars scattering behind the leaders.

On the next attempt, Truchon’s car ground to a stop with damage in the first turn, knocking him out of the event. This put Nevala, Groom, and Hudack directly behind the leader for the next lap, which was completed before Jakob Bond and Mathew Rohlfing tangled while racing for seventh.

Nevala lost the handle on his racer on the first of the green-white-checkered attempts to finish the race, causing a pile-up that forced Groom to hustle to the pits to change a flat tire. Coddington fended off a determined Hudack for the final two laps to finally reach the checkers, with Basina, Rohlfing and Groom completing the top five. Only six of the 13 cars that started the event made it to the finish.

On Saturday, July 17, the ABC Raceway will formally induct the members of its Class of 2021 into its Hall of Fame in a ceremony during intermission of its six-division race program. Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall will be the presenting sponsor of the evening’s festivities. The grandstand gates and pits will open 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 via 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.

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Pat Cook, Washburn; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Paul Niznik, Medford; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN.

11-12: Rick Rivord, Superior; Brandon Copp, Brule.

Heat 1: J Spacek; Hiatt; Balduc; Copp; C Spacek; Cook.

Heat 2: Rivord; Niznik; Kisling; Klippenstein; Van Natta; Bunkelman.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; Leslie Leu, Medford.

11: Scott Lawrence, Superior.

Heat 1: McFadden; Oreskovich; Weinberger; Mashlan; Leu; Jase Lien, Mora, MN.

Heat 2: Stuart; Deragon; Beeksma; Lawrence; Casari; Anderson.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Jack Rivord, Superior; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; James Vendela, South Range; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Chris Bretting, Washburn; John Darwin, Iron River.

11-19: Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Neil Dees, Hurley; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jesse Polson, Superior.

Heat 1: Vernon; Hicks; Jacobson; Hudack; Polson; Kieber; Bryan Lund, Ashland.

Heat 2: Rivord; Aho; Suzik; Dunbar; Bretting; Dees; Fuhrman.

Heat 3: Vendela; Bressette; Mains; O’Brien; Darwin; Barningham.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-3: Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Zene Anderson, Superior.

Heat: Holly; Bernick; Anderson.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Dale Coddington, Hayward; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jakob Bond, Mason; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Trenton Bond, Mason.

11-13: Bubba Anderson, Trego; Austin Olby, Marengo; Julian Root, Ashland.

Heat 1: Groom; Hudack; Coddington; Truchon; Basina; J Bond; Olby.

Heat 2: Anderson; Rohlfing; Root; Nevala; Traaholt.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-4: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Brandon Hummelmeier, Ashland.

Heat: Jarecki; Basina; Hummelmeier; Dunbar.

Kids Bike Races July 10th

The ABC Raceway will sit idle over the Independence Day weekend but will be back in action on Saturday, July 10, for a full six-division race program presented by Chicago Iron & Supplies of Ashland. Included in that night’s program will be bike races for the kids.

Admission will be free for all students that attend, with the pits opening at 4:30 pm, and the grandstand gates opening at 5 pm. Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night will fly at 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online via 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

June 26th Results

Lewis Hangs On for First ABC Raceway Renegades A-Main Win

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, June 26 – Chris Lewis of Grand Rapids, MN, fended off persistent race-long challenges to win his first-ever Northern Renegades traditional sprint car feature at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

Lewis, who has collected a number of runner-up finishes so far in the regional wingless sprint car tour’s 2021 campaign, led nearly every lap to collect his first win of the season. The seven-division program, presented by Heartland Communications Group of Ashland, saw a combination of other first-time as well as repeat winners on a cool, cloudy night that saw light sprinkles dampen the track throughout the features.

Lewis started outside on the front row of the very quick, non-stop 20-lap A-feature and beat Brad Larson to the initial lead. Paul Schultz slipped past Larson into second and pestered Lewis throughout the run, using daring moves to grab the lead on a couple of occasions, only to give it back to Lewis shortly thereafter.

Lance Solem, who started alongside Schultz on row 3, fought through early traffic and soon caught the lead pair, creating a thrilling three-car battle for the win that lasted the final 14 laps. Lewis held his line, while Solem and Schultz swapped second place just a few feet behind him. On the closing lap Solem took one last shot at a pass for the win, but Lewis held on for a half-second margin of victory, with Schultz close behind in the third.

Caley Emerson and Zach Olson completed the top five. Solem posted a lap time of 16.160 seconds, or 83.540 mph, during the A-main run, obliterating the previous Renegades feature-lap track record of 16.928 seconds (79.750 mph) set by Jimmy Kouba last August. Earlier Solem ran a lap in 15.889 seconds (84.964 mph) to establish a record for Renegades in heat-race action.

After a pair of caution flags over the first scored lap, the WISSOTA Modified feature ran off its remaining 19 laps caution-free, allowing Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, to get out front and run away with his first feature win here since last August.

After a spin by Jeff Spacek to start the run, polestarter Tyler Luger made things difficult for Balduc in the early stages, holding the lead as the caution came out after one lap for another Spacek spin, this time caused by Brandon Copp. A lap after that restart, however, Balduc overcame the determined Luger to take the lead, and within three laps his advantage was a full second.

Shane Kisling got by Al Uotinen for third on lap 7 and passed Luger for second a lap later, but by then Balduc was better than two seconds up on Kisling and lapping slower traffic. As the laps wound down Uotinen caught and passed Luger for third, bringing Steve Lavasseur along to fourth, and late in the run Paul Niznik edged Lavasseur to steal fourth, as Balduc scored the win by nearly 3.4 seconds.

In a WISSOTA Super Stock feature that had more than its fair share of carnage, Ashland’s Steve Stuart turned in another dominant performance in his brand-new racer.

Multi-car incidents marred the first couple of attempts to score the opening circuit of the 20-lap A-main before Keith Kern established himself as the leader. Another stoppage on lap 3 gave Stuart, who restarted third, the chance to use a three-wide sweep around Kern and Scott Lawrence to take the lead, but Kern stubbornly fought back.

It took a couple more circuits before Stuart seized control, just prior to a caution stop for debris on lap 6. Then Lawrence’s car, which restarted third, ground to a stop on the front straight, knocking him from his strong run.

The final 13 laps clicked off without further delay, allowing Stuart to cruise to a 2.1-second winning margin – his second in as many nights in the week-old car. Dave Flynn fought his way through heavy traffic to take second from Kern after the final restart, and Shawn McFadden stayed in the top five throughout the run to claim fourth, ahead of Kyle Copp.

The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds also struggled to get through their 20-lap feature, but eventually Tyler Vernon of Ashland became the division’s first repeat winner over the first five races of the season.

After a messy first lap slowed by two yellow flags for spins and crashes, Tyler Hudack took the lead away from Matt Jacobson and began to build up a strong cushion, with Diamond Bressette following into second. Over the next six laps Jesse Aho and Jack Rivord overtook Jacobson and Bressette in tandem to claim second and third, three-quarters of a second back of Hudack.

A caution flag for a three-car incident on lap 6 brought the field back to Hudack’s rear bumper, and on the ensuing restart Aho snared the lead, with the eighth-starting Vernon in tow to second. Vernon worked on an outside pass for a couple of laps, but then dove low to work his way past Aho for the lead with seven laps remaining.

Bressette’s spin on the front straight with three laps left, followed by Chris Bretting’s spun ride on the restart, briefly delayed Vernon’s sprint to his second straight feature win. Rivord got by Aho on the final restart and was two-thirds of a second back of Vernon at the checkers, with Hudack and Paul Suzik close behind.

Close-quarters racing and a chaotic finish marked another wild WISSOTA Pure Stock 10-lap headliner, which was won by Cory Jorgensen of Duluth, MN, for the second straight week and third time this season.

RJ Holly grabbed the early lead and built up some breathing room on the dogfight for second, in which Aaron Bernick tried to fend off threats from Jorgensen and Jared Akervik. On lap 2 Jorgensen moved low to edge into the runner-up spot, and a lap later Akervik went outside to take third. It took another four laps before Jorgensen caught the leader, just as first-nighter Tim Carlson lost a tire and spun to bring about the race’s only stoppage.

On the restart Jorgensen went low to try to work past Holly, and Akervik went high, and the three-wide battle went to Jorgensen by inches at the white flag. However, heavy contact between Akervik and Bernick sent both cars spinning into turn 2 on the final lap, and since all cars had crossed under the white flag before the incident, the race was ruled complete, giving Jorgensen the win.

Holly was awarded second and Bernick third, with Akervik penalized to the tail of the field as the cause of the incident. First-nighters Jason Simonson and Anthony Woodhull completed the top five.

Tiffany Hudack’s bid for a fifth-straight ABC Six-Cylinders feature win to start the season fell just 47 one-thousandths of a second short, as Ashland’s Dennis Groom held on for a photo-finish feature win.

Front-row starter Trenton Bond enjoyed a strong initial run, leading the first four of the race’s 12 laps and surviving two early restarts before Groom, who started alongside Hudack on the fourth row, worked his way alongside Bond on lap 5 to take over. Groom was about to pull away when Hudack, who is masterful in running the bottom groove in this class, found room low and worked past Bond into second, just a half-lap before Bond’s car broke and spun on lap 7.

Groom held off Hudack for three laps before Mathew Rohlfing’s spin set up a green-white-checkered finish, and an inside pass by Hudack after the restart was spoiled by a Jake Nevala spin. Groom took advantage of the reprieve and adjusted his line, forcing Hudack to dive just a bit lower coming off the final corner, but he slipped up from his own line just a bit and Hudack pulled alongside, coming up a foot or so short of the win at the final stripe.

Dalton Truchon, Jakob Bond and Shane Basina came home third through fifth, respectively.

DeJay Jarecki kept his winning streak alive in taking home his fourth-straight WISSOTA Hornets feature win in decisive fashion. Jarecki started outside on the second row of the 10-lap program finale and immediately drove around front-row mates Derek Dunbar and Carson Gotelaere for a lead that he would not relinquish.

Dunbar pulled away from Gotelaere to maintain second throughout the run, and Gotelaere held off Brandon Hummelmeier during the middle stages of the run to hold on to third, as Jarecki cruised to his eighth career feature win in the Hornets, extending his track record for wins in that division. Visiting Justin Barsness came home a distant fifth.

The sticky-fast conditions generated lap times that challenged the track records in the other electronically-timed divisions. Besides Solem’s record-setting laps in the Renegades, Spacek set a fast pace of 16.445 seconds (82.092 mph) in the Mod A-main, coming within three-tenths of a second of Todd Gehl’s feature-lap record set in 2018. Stuart’s 16.643-second (81.115 mph) lap in the Super Stock main event was less than two-tenths slower than Nick Oreskovich’s 2017 record lap. Vernon posted a 17.072-second (79.077 mph) circuit that was within a half-second of Brandon Copp’s Midwest Mod fast time back in 2018. And Tiffany Hudack’s best lap in the Sixes (18.667; 72.320) was within a second of her own 2015 track record.

Thirty bikes, four scooters and 16 youth bike helmets were given away to lucky young fans at the track on this night, thanks to the efforts of the Raceway’s Kids’ Club and contributions from 22RVR Racing; Anderson Well Drilling & Repair; Arctic Ice; Brandon Copp Racing; Cole & Ashley Spacek; Copp’s Tire & Auto and Kyle Copp Racing; Diamond Bressette Racing; FastLane Motorsports; Groom Racing and Patti’s Family Daycare; Hiatt & Son Trucking; Holly Racing; Iron River Ambulance Service and John Darwin; Jarecki Racing; Jimmy & Renee Baross; Lightning Storm Graphics; Mashlan Business Services and Mashlan Racing; Mathew Rohlfing Racing; Matt Deragon Racing; Nevala Racing; Oreskovich Racing; Robert & Sandy Lowndes; Spacek Racing; Vendela Racing; Zene Anderson; and the ABC Raceway.

The ABC Raceway will sit idle over the Independence Day weekend but will be back in action on Saturday, July 10, for a full six-division race program presented by Chicago Iron & Supplies of Ashland. Included in that night’s program will be bike races for the kids.

Admission will be free for all students that attend, with the pits opening at 4:30 pm, and the grandstand gates opening at 5 pm. Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night will fly at 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online via 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.

Results

Northern Renegades Traditional Sprints

Feature: 1-10: Chris Lewis, Grand Rapids, MN; Lance Solem, Duluth, MN; Paul Schultz, Grand Rapids, MN; Caley Emerson, Grand Rapids, MN; Zach Olson, Grand Rapids, MN; Brad Larson, Ely, MN; Casey Lang, Linwood, MN; Jake Barsness, Grand Rapids, MN; Jesse Grife, Grand Rapids, MN; Danny Wait Jr, Cohasset, MN.

11-15: Allen Stettner, Hastings, MN; Brian Trembath, Hastings, MN; Teal Arnason, Balsam, MN; Zach Widdes, Rice Lake; Ken Hron, Grand Rapids, MN.

Heat 1: Hron; Barsness; Larson; Arnason; Olson; Wait; Grife; Lucas Logue, Rush City, MN.

Heat 2: Solem; Emerson; Lewis; Schultz; Lang; Trembath; Widdes; Stettner.

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Al Uotinen, Superior; Paul Niznik, Medford; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Pat Cook, Washburn.

11-13: Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Anthony Forfa III, Blythe, CA; Rick Rivord, Superior.

Heat 1: Hiatt; Rivord; Kisling; Luger; Copp; Niznik; Forfa.

Heat 2: Balduc; Uotinen; Lavasseur; J Spacek; C Spacek; Cook.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Dave Flynn, Superior; Keith Kern, Superior; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Kyle Copp, Brule; Darin Meierotto, Superior; Jeffery Eisner Jr, Merrill; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Matthew Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Rita Anderson, South Range.

11-16: Scott Lawrence, Superior; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

Heat 1: Lawrence; Mashlan; Stuart; Eisner; Beeksma; Weinberger; Muzzy; Hammitt.

Heat 2: Kern; Flynn; Oreskovich; Deragon; McFadden; Copp; Anderson; Meierotto.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; James Vendela, South Range; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

11-15: Anthony Forfa Jr, Phillips; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Jesse Polson, Superior; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Brady Uotinen, Superior.

Heat 1: Hicks; Aho; Jacobson; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Vendela; Gehl; Bretting; Neil Dees, Hurley; Jesse Polson, Superior.

Heat 2: Vernon; Suzik; Hudack; Barningham; Rivord; Kieber; Uotinen; Forfa.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-8: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Jason Simonson, Poplar; Anthony Woodhull, Superior; Jared Akervik, Superior; Tim Carlson, Superior; Zene Anderson, Superior.

Heat: Jorgensen; Akervik; Carlson; Holly; Bernick; Anderson; Woodhull; Simonson.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Dennis Groom, Ashland; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Jakob Bond, Mason; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Austin Olby, Marengo; Julian Root, Ashland; Trenton Bond, Mason.

11: Dale Coddington, Hayward.

Heat 1: T Bond; Hudack; J Bond; Coddington; Nevala.

Heat 2: Groom; Truchon; Basina; Root; Olby.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-7: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Brandon Hummelmeier, Ashland; Justin Barsness, Grand Rapids, MN; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Joe Pajtash, Lake Nebagamon.

Heat: Jarecki; Gotelaere; Hummelmeier; Dunbar; Barsness; Adam Young, Hayward; Moncher.

June 26th Bike Giveaway

ABC Raceway Bringing Renegade Sprints to Town on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, June 24 – Hoping that the second time is a charm, the ABC Raceway will once again attempt to host a visit by the Northern Renegades sprint cars this coming Saturday night.

The Heartland Communications Group of radio stations will be the presenting sponsor, as the regional touring series – based primarily out of Minnesota’s Iron Range – will join the Raceway’s six weekly divisions for what should be an action-filled night of stock car racing.

“We’re excited to be coming back to the Ashland area and the legendary speedplant that is the ABC Raceway,” stated Renegades tour director Randy Murray recently. “There are some very hungry, talented drivers in the group. They’re all ready to take the checkers at the ‘clay by the bay’.”

The Renegades’ traditional (or wingless) sprint car teams will be coming off of shows at Grand Rapids, MN, and Superior over the two nights prior to their Ashland visit. The group includes several drivers who are known for their racing successes in other stock-bodied divisions around this region.

As is the case with just about any sprint car, the Renegades can be a handful to drive – especially without the significant downforce that the huge air foils that are on top of a “winged” sprint car provides. The Renegades have posted average laps in the 75-85 mph neighborhood in the past at ABC and can get close to 100 mph on the straightaways.

Drivers who have enjoyed wins in the early part of the Renegades’ 2021 season include sophomore pilot Zach Olson of Grand Rapids, MN, and Teal Arnason of Balsam, MN, who have each won twice on tour. Others who are perhaps more familiar to local fans include Caley Emerson, Ken Hron and Paul Schultz of Grand Rapids; and Jori Hughes of Tower, MN. Hughes and Emerson have each won at ABC in the Renegade sprints, in 2000.

Last Saturday’s feature winners at Ashland include Cole Spacek of Phillips in the WISSOTA Modifieds; Steve Stuart of Ashland in the WISSOTA Super Stocks; Tyler Vernon of Ashland in the WISSOTA Midwest Mods; Cory Jorgensen of Hermantown, MN, in the WISSOTA Pure Stocks; Tiffany Hudack of Ashland in the ABC Six-Cylinders; and DeJay Jarecki of Ashland in the WISSOTA Hornets.

On Saturday from 2-4 pm, several Renegade sprint drivers will have their cars on display at the NAPA Auto Parts store on the corner of Ellis Ave (State Hwy 13) and Third Street West in Ashland. More sprinters will be on display at the track prior to hot laps, and there will be a bike giveaway for the youngsters during the race program.

Admission into the main grandstand for this seven-division special will be the same as for a regular six-division show – $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and young fans ages 5 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps 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 aired online via 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

June 19th Results

Spacek, Stuart, Vernon Take ABC RoC Qualifiers

Jorgensen, Hudack, Jarecki repeat

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, June 19 – The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce presented Saturday’s stock car racing action at the ABC Raceway, and a lot of familiar folks took their places in Victory Lane.

On a cool, comfortable night, Cole Spacek of Phillips and Ashland’s Steve Stuart and Tyler Vernon punched their tickets to compete in the prestigious Afco Shocks Race of Champions event, to be held during the WISSOTA 100 weekend at I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls, MN, on September 14-18. Also, Cory Jorgensen of Duluth, MN; and Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack and DeJay Jarecki repeated as feature winners.

Spacek’s win, coming in the 20-lap WISSOTA Modified A-feature, was his third over the first four weeks of the 2021 season at ABC, and his second in a row. He started inside on the second row, bided his time after an early caution, and flexed his car’s muscle when the opportunity presented itself to run off to a dominant win.

Paul Niznik edged out polestarter Brandon Copp for the initial lead, and after Vernon’s car slowed with problems at the end of the first lap to bring out the caution flag, Niznik pulled away to a nearly-full-second lead over the next five laps. Jake Hiatt took second as Copp bobbled just after the restart, and he gave Niznik a quick threat but fell back to race with Spacek.

Spacek had secured second by lap 6 and quickly chipped away at Niznik’s lead, trimming it down to a car-length in just two laps. On lap 9 Spacek used an inside pass for the lead, and from there he sped away, building up a two-second advantage over the next seven circuits.

As the race stayed under green to the finish, a thrilling battle for second ensued between Niznik, a resurgent Copp, and Cole’s dad, Jeff Spacek. The elder Spacek eventually won that dogfight and followed his son to the checkered flag – albeit at a 2.2-second distance – with Copp and Niznik close behind, and Hiatt a distant fifth.

Stuart broke in his brand-new WISSOTA Super Stock in style, putting it in Victory Lane after its maiden 20-lap feature voyage. And it wasn’t a close contest.

A multi-car scramble at the initial green flag brought about a complete restart, but from there the race ran non-stop to the checkers, which was great for Stuart and bad for everyone else. The former Modified and Midwest Mod track champ came from the third row and used a first-turn, four-wide sweep move on the restart to gain second, and within another lap he pulled past polestarter Shawn McFadden for the lead.

With Stuart two seconds ahead of everyone, Terran Spacek drove around McFadden to take second on lap 4. Positions swapped often behind Spacek, with Nick Oreskovich eventually nailing down third before mid-race, and Kyle Copp working the outside groove to take fourth soon thereafter.

Stuart had nearly a full straightaway advantage as he took the white flag, and he crossed under the checkers 5.4 seconds ahead of Spacek for his 36th career feature win at ABC, but first ever in a Super Stock. Oreskovich, Copp and Dave Flynn completed the top five.

Vernon wasn’t able to enjoy many long green-flag runs en route to his WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature win, nor did he have the huge margin of victory at the end. Vernon started inside on the third row and scrapped his way to the lead, then held on through multiple yellow-flag delays and a huge challenge in the final turn.

Polestarter Paul Suzik was impressive with a strong early run, holding off Jack Rivord and then Vernon over the six laps. Vernon grabbed second from Rivord on lap 3 and was .89 seconds back of the leader, but a caution for a bumped infield marker tire offered Vernon the opportunity to take the lead one lap after a second attempt at the restart, due to a three-car mess on the first try.

Vernon was up by 1.3 seconds by lap 9 when Marcus Dunbar took second away from Rivord, and a lap later Matt Jacobson’s spin brought the field back to the leader’s rear bumper. Suzik got a great run on the restart and pulled alongside Vernon, but Mitch Kieber’s stalled ride erased that move. After another lap under green Dunbar moved around Suzik and battled with Rivord, allowing Vernon to slip away to a 1.2-second margin. But that disappeared when Sean O’Brien spun with three laps left.

In the congestion on the restart, Dunbar’s car broke loose and spun, stacking up those directly behind him and sending him to the back as the cause. Vernon couldn’t get away from Rivord over the three-lap sprint to the finish, and on the final corner the 16-year-old made a bold dive to the bottom of turn 3, attempting a “slide job” in front of the leader. But he couldn’t hold the move, allowing Vernon to slip back by and edge Rivord at the stripe by .282 seconds.

Suzik finished a distant third, with George Truscott and an impressive Jesse Polson completing the top five.

The WISSOTA Pure Stocks lacked numbers on this night, but the 10-lap feature maintained more than its fair share of excitement, as three cars stayed within feet of each other in a great debate for the win.

Jorgensen started outside on the front row and beat polesitter Aaron Bernick to the initial lead. But Bernick never gave up the fight and dogged Jorgensen throughout the non-stop run, sticking to the leader’s left-rear fender practically from the green flag to the checkered.

Dylan Shelton started last on the five-car grid but quickly moved by RJ Holly to third, and within a lap or so became the third member of the lead formation. Jorgensen maintained a mid-groove line, Bernick stuck to the inside, and Shelton alternated following each of them throughout nearly every lap.

The trio maintained their close formation – and their positions – as they took the checkered flag, with Jorgensen claiming his second straight win here. Holly and Zene Anderson were well back in fourth and fifth, respectively.

For Hudack, it was business as usual in the ABC Six-Cylinders – start mid-pack, wait for openings on the bottom groove, take advantage and speed away to a fourth straight feature win to start the season.

After a first-lap spin by rookie Austin Olby, Hudack worked her way through heavy traffic from her outside-fourth-row starting spot, eventually disposing of Dalton Truchon, then Dennis Groom, and finally Bubba Anderson to take second spot behind polestarter Shane Basina with five laps remaining. It helped Hudack’s cause that the pack was kept tightly-bunched due to spins by Trenton Bond on lap 2 and Julian Root on lap 6 as well.

On lap 8 of the 12 scheduled, Hudack caught and passed Basina for the lead, and from there the three-time champ sped away to a 2.4-second cushion. Basina finished his solid run by holding off Groom for second, with Truchon and Anderson close behind to round out the top five.

Jarecki made it three straight in the WISSOTA Hornets, running away from a small feature field. He moved quickly past a pair of first-nighters on the front row – Brandon Hummelmeier and Joe Pajtash – and was not to be challenged again as the 10-lapper ran off non-stop.

Derek Dunbar followed Jarecki into second, but Hummelmeier eventually chased him down and regained the position late in the run, when Dunbar experienced handling issues. Pajtash came home fourth, and Adam Young was awarded fifth even though he pulled off the track early with mechanical woes.

Brandon Copp (Modifieds, 16.539 seconds, 81.625 mph), Stuart (Supers, 16.570 secs, 81.473 mph), Vernon (Mid-Mods, 17.030 secs, 79.272), and Hudack (Sixes, 18.462 secs, 73.123 mph) posted the fastest timed laps in their respective features on a sticky, smooth red-clay race surface.

On Saturday, June 26, the ABC Raceway will host a visit by the Northern Renegades traditional (wingless) sprints, in a program presented by Heartland Communications Group of Ashland. All six regular weekly divisions will also all be in action, and there will be a bike giveaway for the younger fans. There will be no increase in grandstand admission prices for this night of racing, making this one of the best “bang for the buck” nights of entertainment on the 2021 schedule.

The grandstand gates and pits will open 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 via 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.

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Cole Spacek, Phillips; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Paul Niznik, Medford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Rick Rivord, Superior; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Pat Cook, Washburn; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Tyler Luger, Oxford.

11: Tyler Vernon, Mason.

Heat 1: Niznik; Copp; C Spacek; Balduc; Rivord; Al Uotinen, Superior.

Heat 2: Vernon; Kisling; J Spacek; Hiatt; Cook; Luger.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Kyle Copp, Brule; Dave Flynn, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

11-14: DJ Keeler, Superior; Jeffrey Frey, Ogilvie, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range

Heat 1: Stuart; Oreskovich; Flynn; Spacek; Keeler; Weinberger; Mashlan.

Heat 2: Copp; Casari; Beeksma; McFadden; Deragon; Anderson; Frey.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jack Rivord, Superior; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; George Truscott, Greenland, MI; Jesse Polson, Superior; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-20: Bryan Lund, Ashland; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; John Darwin, Iron River; Neil Dees, Hurley; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs.

Heat 1: Mains; Vernon; Latvala; Hudack; Darwin; Barningham; Gehl.

Heat 2: Dunbar; Rivord; Suzik; Hicks; Lund; Kieber; Dees.

Heat 3: Fuhrman; Polson; Truscott; Bretting; O’Brien; Jacobson.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-5: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Zene Anderson, Superior.

Heat: Jorgensen; Bernick; Shelton; Holly; Anderson.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Jakob Bond, Mason; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Trenton Bond, Mason; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Austin Olby, Marengo.

11-12: Julian Root, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward.

Heat 1: Groom; Coddington; Basina; J Bond; Nevala; Rohlfing.

Heat 2: Hudack; Anderson; Olby; Truchon; T Bond; Root.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-5: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Joe Pajtash, Lake Nebagamon; Adam Young, Hayward.

Heat: Jarecki; Hummelmeier; Dunbar; Pajtash; Young.

444 Memorial Race for Tanner Byholm

ABC Raceway Planning ‘444 Memorial’ to be Very Special

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 11 – Just prior to the start of the 2021 stock car racing season, the ABC Raceway added an extra event to its schedule. That event, named the “444 Memorial,” has developed into what could be one of the biggest nights of racing in the Upper Midwest.

The event, slated for Thursday, July 29, will be held in honor of Tanner Byholm, a third-generation up-and-coming WISSOTA Modified and Midwest Mod racer and the son of 2017 ABC Raceway Modified champion Bill Byholm and his wife Michelle, who tragically lost his life in an aviation accident on February 16 near Janesville.

The ‘444 Memorial” will include a WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series program as well as full heat and feature action in the Mods and Mid-Mods. The event designation comes from Tanner’s car number, which stems from his father’s car number, 4, and his third-generation standing.

Due to the ongoing efforts of both the Byholm family and the Raceway, a huge purse has been created that, as of press time, is set to pay the Late Model feature winner $3,444, while the Modified winner will receive $2,444, and the Mid-Mod winner will take home $944. Special trophies have also been designed for the top finishers in each of the features, and “444”-themed bonuses will be available to the competitors.

“Contributions have been pouring in for this event,” according to a statement by Raceway Board president Eric Erickson on Saturday. “The purse is changing almost daily. We should have something set very shortly, but it’s easy to say that this will be one of the better-paying events of the season, and certainly one of the best for the Challenge Series.”

Many top racers from throughout WISSOTA, as well as drivers from other regional sanctioning bodies, have made verbal commitments to compete in the July 29 program. Many are racers who got to know Tanner during his time attaining his flight instructor certification at Fox Valley Technical College, studying aeronautics at UW-Oshkosh, and serving our country, first as a Marine Reservist for six years and later as an Air Force Reservist. Tanner was also a graduate of Chequamegon High School in nearby Park Falls.

Prior to his passing, Tanner had been selected to become a pilot with the 190th Fighter Squadron, based in Boise, ID, from a field of 175 applicants. Tanner also had recently become involved in competitive shooting, and he was an avid snowmobiler and snowboarder.

Tanner raced in the WISSOTA Modified division at ABC from 2017-’20, finishing ninth and claiming Rookie of the Year honors in ’17. Prior to that he competed in the WISSOTA Midwest Mods from 2011-‘16, finishing in the top ten in points in 2012 and ’13. Tanner’s final race came at ABC on August 15 of last year, one of two nights that he competed here in 2020. On both of those nights, like so many others before, he raced with his father.

Admission
Grandstands
Adults 13 and older $25.00, Kids 6 to 12 $10.00
Pit Admission $35.00

More details on the “444 Memorial” will be released soon, through various media and social media outlets and on the Raceway’s website, www.abcraceway.com, as they are finalized.

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Night

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce will present the track’s race program on Saturday, June 19, which will include the Afco Shocks Race of Champions qualifying features for the five WISSOTA-sanctioned divisions. Those feature winners will earn entries to the Race of Champions features for their respective divisions during the WISSOTA 100 weekend in Fergus Falls, MN, in mid-September.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks will return to join in on the action, 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 via 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

Neighbor helping Neighbor

ABC Raceway Helps Halvor Lines Speedway Get ’21 Season Underway

by Nick Gima

                Ashland WI, June 12 – In the competitive world of short-track stock car racing, a gesture of neighbor helping neighbor is rare among track promoters. But in this particular case, the gesture was both genuine and generous.

On May 30, representatives of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association, which owns and operates the ABC Raceway in Ashland, WI, presented a check for $1,200 to the Board of Directors of the Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor, MN, in a ceremony prior to the Proctor track’s 2021 season opener. The proceeds came from the “Prelude to the Clay” race special held at the ABC Raceway on September 3, 2020.

The Halvor Lines Speedway had its 48th annual Silver 1000 invitational race event scheduled for that date, but restrictions from local health departments and the State of Minnesota due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced HLS to cancel the entirety of its 2020 race schedule, including the track’s crown-jewel event.

The idea behind both hosting the “Prelude” event in Ashland and donating a portion of the race’s revenue came from the ABC Raceway’s Board of Directors, led by its president, Eric Erickson. The two tracks, which are situated about 75 miles apart, share many of the same drivers and fans during the stock car racing season, and when the Proctor track announced that it would not be able to host its premier end-of-season event, Erickson and his Board took quick action to plan and schedule a replacement race for that date.

“We could not allow a race season to go without one of our sport’s most important races being held in some fashion,” ABC Raceway announcer and Board member Nick Gima said at the check presentation, in reference to the Silver 1000. “This was just our way of helping our neighbors and friends at Proctor get through a difficult time.”

Erickson emphasized at the time of the “Prelude” race that the date of the race – traditionally the Thursday before Labor Day weekend – belonged to the Proctor track, and that the ABC Raceway Board respected that and had no intention of stealing the date away. But it wasn’t until a couple of weeks prior to the race date that Halvor Lines Speedway confirmed that it could not hold the event, leaving the date open to ABC to run its event.

The Silver 1000 is the long-standing traditional kick-off to the six-week special-event portion of the stock car racing schedule in the Upper Midwest. It is known to be one of the longest-running invitationals in the country, begun in 1973 with the presentation of one thousand silver dollars to the winner of its Late Model feature.

At ABC last September, the “Prelude to the Clay” – a reference to that track’s long-running Red Clay Classic invitational event – drew a good crowd and 89 participants in three racing divisions to the northern Wisconsin track for what was generally considered a successful event. Ironically, the Red Clay Classic would itself be cancelled due to similar restrictions set upon the Ashland track by its local health officials, as well as the threat of cold, wet conditions, for its scheduled weekend of October 2-3, 2020.

Advantage RV Mod Series Results

Spacek Tops Stout Advantage RV Mod Series Field at ABC

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, June 12 – For the second time in three weeks, Cole Spacek took home a $2,000 paycheck from the ABC Raceway.

That’s because the second-generation hotshoe from Phillips impressed a star-studded field of WISSOTA Modified drivers during Saturday’s visit by the Advantage RV Mod Tour to the northern Wisconsin track. Spacek has now also won each of the first two legs of the Raceway’s Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series and is an advantageous position to claim that series’ inaugural crown during its finale in early August.

In a program presented by the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn, seventy-seven entries – including 31 Modifieds from five states – performed in front of another large crowd at ABC on a warm, breezy evening. The fans also witnessed a strong run by Marcus Dunbar, saw Tiffany Hudack and DeJay Jarecki continue their early-season dominance, and celebrated the first-ever win for RJ Holly.

Spacek started on the outside of the front row of the 25-car field for the 40-lap headline event and immediately challenged 2019 Mod Tour champ Shane Sabraski for early control, but that threat was delayed by a Jeremy Nelson-Ryan Gierke incident on the opening lap. After the first lap was officially completed, the yellow flag flew again for another get-together involving Don Eischens and Jeff Spacek.

The next 19 laps clicked off without delay but certainly contained a lot of action, including a great battle for the lead involving Sabraski, Cole Spacek and an impressive Rick Rivord, who edged out Sabraski for a slim lead one lap after the restart. Sabraski slipped back by on lap 4 and maintained his edge as Dave Cain, Brandon Copp, Mike Anderson and others began to surge forward on the leaderboard.

In fact, Cain worked a second outside lane to his advantage and climbed from his eighth-place starting spot to move past Rivord into second by lap 8, as Sabraski’s lead had grown to 1.9 seconds. Over the next eight circuits Cain had trimmed that difference down to less than a third of a second before an incident involving three frontrunners – Rivord, Copp and Anderson – brought the pace to a crawl. Rivord’s great run ended with significant damage, and Spacek restarted alongside Cain and directly on Sabraski’s rear bumper.

Anderson made it three-wide when he pulled up alongside Cain and Spacek at the drop of the green, but he could not maintain his line and fell back. A lap later Cain, still dueling with Spacek, spun in turn 4 to basically end his shot at the win, and on that ensuing restart Spacek pulled alongside Sabraski, raced him door-to-door for a lap, and finally cleared him for what would turn out to be the winning pass at the race’s midpoint.

As Spacek began to build a lead, the 13th-starting Eischens surged forward, gaining third by displacing Anderson and Copp. Eischens then caught Sabraski and Spacek with the help of a Jake Hiatt spin on lap 26, and after the second restart attempt from that stoppage Eischens worked his way around Sabraski. But by that time Spacek had checked out to a winning margin of just shy of two seconds.

Sabraski, who had won the Tour’s opener in Grand Rapids, MN, the previous Thursday night, maintained third, and Copp claimed a distant fourth, ahead of visitor Joseph Thomas.

Dunbar, the Raceway’s defending WISSOTA Midwest Modified points champion from Marenisco, MI, started his division’s main event from the pole and led all 20 laps, overcoming a couple of early challenges before running off to a dominant win.

After a two-car spin in the race’s initial turn, Dunbar held fellow front-row starter Ross Fuhrman and Jimmy Latvala at bay for the first three laps, until Diamond Bressette’s spin slowed the pace. The race was not delayed again, and Latvala got off to a strong restart to pull alongside Dunbar for a lap or so, but the champ held strong to his lead and, in fact, began to draw away.

By lap 8 Dunbar was putting rookie Neil Dees a lap in arrears, and within three more laps the leader had a full-second buffer over Fuhrman, who had fought back to retake the spot from Latvala.

Dunbar was cruising along in the closing laps and was coming up on Dees to put him down another lap with an inside pass with four circuits remaining. But Dees, apparently seeing the move-over flag and realizing he needed to pick a lane, did just that – he dropped down to the bottom lane of the racing groove just as Dunbar pulled alongside. The two made fairly heavy contact, but the leader avoided disaster and continued on to a 2.2-second final margin of victory.

Fuhrman maintained a solid second-place run well ahead of Latvala, while Ryan Barningham completed the best race night of his career with a fast-closing fourth (he had won his first-ever heat race earlier), just ahead of the equally-impressive Dalton Mains.

The WISSOTA Pure Stock A-main went ten non-stop laps, and, just like Dunbar, Holly led every one on his way to his first-ever win of any kind at ABC. The second-year driver from Marengo took advantage of a bobble by polestarter Aaron Bernick going through the first turns and drove into the lead, while Cory Jorgensen stayed in his tire tracks over the first half of the run.

Former ABC Pure Stock champ Randy Graham won a three-car battle for third in the early stages and quickly reeled in the lead pair, but his threats to take second from Jorgensen allowed Holly to add a few lengths to his advantage. In the waning laps Graham backed off, and he and Jorgensen again pulled up to Holly’s trunklid, but Holly maintained a smooth line over the final circuit for the landmark win.

Dylan Shelton and Bernick completed the top five.

Despite a rash of caution stoppages, Ashland’s Hudack continued to show championship form in the ABC Six-Cylinder feature, winning for the third time in as many weeks to start the 2021 season here.

Contact involving Dennis Groom and Mathew Rohlfing brought about the first of seven yellow-flag slowdowns in the 12-lap A-main, followed by another stop on the ensuing restart. A lap after Dalton Truchon slipped past front-row starters Jakob Bond and Austin Olby to take the lead, Dale Coddington’s spin brought about another delay.

Over the next two laps Truchon looked poised to dominate the run, while Hudack worked her way past Olby and Jake Nevala into third behind Bond. Contact from Bond spun Hudack’s ride on lap 4, and a lap after that restart she drove low to edge ahead of Truchon. Those two made contact and spun before the next lap was complete, putting Truchon to the back and Hudack at the point for the restart.

Hudack would build a one-second lead by lap 8 before Truchon was spun by Trenton Bond, and she nearly rebuilt that cushion before Shane Basina’s spin with three laps remaining. Hudack again pulled away over the final run to her 22nd career win at Ashland, well ahead of Groom, Nevala, a resurgent Truchon, and rookie Olby.

Jarecki, also of Ashland, stayed well enough ahead of an entertaining battle for second in the WISSOTA Hornet finale for his second straight win. Jarecki grabbed the initial lead from polestarter Derek Dunbar and stayed there throughout the non-stop eight-lap run.

What made the race enjoyable was the tense tussle for second, with Dunbar and Carson Gotelaere running side-by-side while Dan Moncher lurked just behind them. The threesome flew in tight formation until just after the field took the white flag, when Moncher made a bonsai move low into turn 1, muscled his way under the other two, and stole the runner-up spot away.

Jarecki was several car-lengths ahead of Moncher at the checkers, while Dunbar held off Gotalaere for third.

The fastest laps of the three electronically-scored features were posted by Cole Spacek in the Modifieds (18.148 seconds, 74.388 mph); Tyler Vernon in the Midwest Mods (18.940; 71.278); and Hudack in the Sixes (19.295; 69.966).

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce will present the track’s race program on Saturday, June 19, which will include the Afco Shocks Race of Champions qualifying features for the five WISSOTA-sanctioned divisions. Those feature winners will earn entries to the Race of Champions features for their respective divisions during the WISSOTA 100 weekend in Fergus Falls, MN, in mid-September.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks will return to join in on the action, 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 via 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.

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Cole Spacek, Phillips; Don Eischens, Richmond, MN; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Brandon Copp, Brule; Joseph Thomas, Glyndon, MN; Tyler Peterson, Hickson, ND; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Paul Niznik, Medford; Zach Johnson, Lowry, MN.

11-20: Jeremy Nelson, Alexandria, MN; Mike Anderson, Jim Fall; Jayson Good, Watertown, SD; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Pat Cook, Washburn; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Andy Jones, Princeton, MN; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs.

21-25: Ryan Gierke, Villard, MN; Bob Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Rick Rivord, Superior; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Al Uotinen, Superior.

Heat 1: Anderson; C Spacek; J Spacek; Eischens; Halopka; Vernon; Truscott; Shane Kisling, Butternut.

Heat 2: Nelson; Rivord; B Broking; Good; Cook; Uotinen; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Johnson.

Heat 3: Sabraski; Thomas; Gehl; Niznik; Hiatt; Mike Boston, Wyoming, MN; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Craig Lofdahl, Wilmar, MN.

Heat 4: Cain; Copp; Gierke; Jones; Peterson; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; J Broking.

Semi-Feature 1: Eischens; Niznik; Halopka; Truscott; Vernon; Hiatt; C Lofdahl; Boston; Kisling; Luger.

Semi-Feature 2: Good; Jones; Peterson; Cook; J Broking; Uotinen; Johnson; Balduc; D Lofdahl.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jack Rivord, Superior; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI.

11-20: Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Paul Niznik, Medford; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls; John Darwin, Iron River; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Cole Boston, Wyoming, MN; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner.

21-23: Neil Dees, Hurley; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Chris Bretting, Washburn.

Heat 1: Vernon; Dunbar; Niznik; Hudack; Darwin; Swan; Gehl; Bretting.

Heat 2: Latvala; Aho; Fuhrman; O’Brien; Lund; Jacobson; Bressette; Dees.

Heat 3: Barningham; Hicks; Mains; Rivord; Boston; Suzik; Kieber.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-6: RJ Holly, Marengo; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Randy Graham, Trego; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Zene Anderson, Superior.

Heat: Jorgensen; Holly; Graham; Shelton; Bernick; Anderson; Jared Akervik, Superior.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Austin Olby, Marengo; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Jakob Bond, Mason; Trenton Bond, Mason; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Julian Root, Ashland.

11: Dale Coddington, Hayward.

Heat 1: Coddington; Truchon; Groom; Rohlfing; Basina; Root.

Heat 2: J Bond; Hudack; Nevala; Olby; T Bond.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-4: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Dan Moncher, Saxon; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Carson Gotelaere, Superior.

Heat: Gotelaere; Jarecki; D Moncher; Dunbar; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon.

Advantage RV Mod Series Tour

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

Meet the Drivers Night Results

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.

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

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.

ABC Six-Cylinders

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.

WISSOTA Hornets

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.

Class of ’21 Announced for ABC Raceway Hall of Fame

Class of ’21 Announced for ABC Raceway Hall of Fame

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, June 1 – The ABC Raceway has recently announced its inductees for its Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

After a one-year hiatus, the Raceway will add eight new members to its Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Saturday, July 17, during its racing program that night presented by Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall of Ashland.

Those to be inducted will include:

Contributors: early ABC Raceway announcer Gary LaPean; and Bill and Lydia Carroll (posthumously) and Sue Mashlan, owners of the Airport Inn.

Drivers: Steve “Budman” Anderson; Tim Carbon; Jon Lumberg; Bob “Polecat” Peltonen; and the Weber family of drivers.

Volunteers: the Zeke Johnson family.

In addition, former WISSOTA Modified star driver Dean Yrjanainen will be inducted. Yrjanainen was added as a member of the Class of 2019 but was unable to attend that year’s ceremony.

The Class of ’21 will bring the total number of inductees to ABC’s honor roll to 67.

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