Burdick Edges Flynn, Stuart for ABC FastLane Super Stock Feature Win
by Nick Gima
Ashland, WI, July 31 – Another huge crowd came out on Saturday night to watch Round 6 of the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series special at the ABC Raceway, where Kevin Burdick of Proctor, MN, held on for a thrilling feature win.
The headline event of the evening, which was presented by the Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center of Odanah, was the 30-lap WISSOTA Super Stock A-main, which turned out to be one of the most nail-biting races of the season to date. Thirty-four entries representing four states were whittled down through five heat races and two semi-features to a 26-car feature field that provided some incredible action.
Burdick, who held the Series’ points lead after the first five nights of the seven-race tour, started alongside polesitter Nick Oreskovich and shot by the four-time ABC Raceway champ for the initial lead, while Scott Lawrence came from the second row to dive under Oreskovich for second. But the start was waived off for Shawn Ferkes’ spin deep in the pack. That would be the only caution flag for the first 23 laps of the race.
Burdick used the same outside move to take the lead away on the restart, as Oreskovich protected the bottom to maintain second, while Tommy Richards grabbed third. Within a lap Steve Stuart, hoping to extend a four-feature win streak at Ashland, slipped around Lawrence for fourth. Burdick and Oreskovich pulled away from Richards, with the leader holding a half-second edge, before they caught the tail-end of the field just seven laps in.
That’s when the fun started, as the traffic was heavy enough to allow the rest of the front-runners to close on the lead pair. Stuart used backmarkers to get by Richards for third on lap 9, and within four more laps Stuart was in position to use an inside move to edge past Oreskovich for second.
One lap before the race’s mid-point Burdick held what appeared to be a healthy three-quarter-second lead, but by the end of the next circuit Stuart and Oreskovich were alongside Burdick, with Stuart inching ahead momentarily. With the slower cars maintaining their lines while racing for position, Oreskovich, Stuart and Burdick weaved their respective ways through the field, each holding the lead at one point or another for the next seven laps, before Jeff Eisner’s spin on lap 23 brought out the yellow flag to give the fans and drivers a chance to catch their collective breath.
The stoppage was an enormous break for Dave Flynn, who took over fourth from Richards shortly after the midway point but could not gain on the leaders while dealing with the slower traffic. One lap after the restart, however, he took third away from Oreskovich, who led the field back to green but slipped up the track in turn 2 and opened the door for Burdick and Stuart to get by. With the white flag in the air, Flynn drove low to eke past Stuart for second and closed the gap on Burdick, but the former national WISSOTA champion held on by just over a third of a second for the $600 win.
Stuart and Oreskovich were close behind in third and fourth, respectively, while Tim Johnson, who started tenth in a borrowed car after his was destroyed in a horrible crash in Superior the night before, charged through to earn fifth-place money.
Oreskovich set the fastest lap of the event early in the run, at 16.996 seconds (80.858 mph), while Flynn was awarded the hard-charger bonus, based on his higher finishing position, by gaining eight spots from his original start. Burdick carried a narrow points margin to the Series’ championship round in Proctor, MN, on Sunday, August 1.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds ran off a thrilling 25-lap non-stop feature just two nights earlier here during the “444 Memorial.” Tonight’s 20-lap A-feature struggled through eight yellow-flag slowdowns, but one might argue it was every bit as thrilling. Nevertheless, at the end of both races, Ashland’s Tyler Vernon parked his car in Victory Lane.
Vernon himself later admitted to being in the right place at the right time on this night, as he started ninth in the 18-car feature field, survived an early bobble, and picked his way by some tough competition to put himself in position for the win. Polestarter Ryan Barningham grabbed the early advantage and fended off Duane Dunbar and Ross Fuhrman for the first three laps until Furhman swept around on the high side to take over the lead, bringing Tyler Hudack and Jack Rivord along to second and third.
Just as the lead trio began to separate from the rest of the field, Diamond Bressette’s spun ride on lap 6 brought everyone back together. This began a series of short green-flag spurts interrupted by a variety of spins and crashes, including a couple which significantly changed the complexion of the event.
Following a multi-car tangle on that first restart, Rivord worked low to get by Hudack for second and then pulled alongside Fuhrman but could not gain the lead. Sean O’Brien’s spin on lap 7 was followed by Bressette’s second loop on the ensuing try, and a lap after that O’Brien tangled with James Vendela for another delay. The green stayed out for the next three laps, during which Vernon drove high to get around Tanner Hicks for fifth.
Then, on lap 11, Rivord dove low in Turn 2 to make a run on Fuhrman, but he did not clear the leader, made hard contact and spun himself out to bring about another caution, sending the fourth-generation racer to the tail of the field. With the green flag back out, Jesse Aho, who restarted third, worked his way past Hudack and closed to within feet of Fuhrman’s rear bumper.
On lap 14 Tanner Hicks’ car broke down while running fourth, forcing the seventh restart. After Mitch Kieber’s spin, the laps after the final restart provided some of the wildest action of the night. As the leaders worked through Turns 3 and 4 coming to the white flag, Aho tried to pull alongside Fuhrman but slipped up the banking, making contact with the leader and sending Fuhrman scrambling to regain control. In the chaos, Vernon took advantage of the empty low groove, shot through, and sped away to a one-second victory – his fourth of the year and second in two nights here.
Fuhrman somehow recovered to salvage second place just ahead of a charging Paul Suzik, who started 11th, while Aho and Hudack completed a close-formation top five. Rivord set a fast lap early in the race with a time of 17.043 seconds (79.211 mph).
Cory Jorgensen of Duluth, MN, slipped past RJ Holly two laps into the WISSOTA Pure Stock feature and held serve for the balance of the race for his fourth win of the season here. The race was halted on the initial start when front-row starters Holly and Zene Anderson tangled in the first turn, but from there the eight-lapper was completed without further delay.
Holly padded his points lead a bit with his second-place effort, ahead of Aaron Burnick and Anderson.
After a one-week absence, Tiffany Hudack of Ashland returned to her early-season form by winning her fifth ABC Six-Cylinder feature of the season. Hudack, who had won the first four features in the division to start the season, started the 12-lapper from the outside of the fourth row and bided her time through the first half of the event before pouncing when the opportunity presented itself.
Polestarter Trenton Bond held firmly to the lead early, including after a restart for a lap 1 Jake Nevala spin. But on that restart Hudack dove low to pass Shane Basina, Nevala and Jakob Bond in one move to steal second, just before a four-car tangle stopped the proceedings.
Nevala powered around the leader on the restart, Hudack went low into second, and the lead pair pulled away slightly from the pack. Nevala then left the bottom open just after the mid-point of the race and Hudack snuck by, and although she led the final five laps she did not build much of a lead, as Dale Coddington closed to challenge in the waning laps.
Hudack’s 25th career feature win at ABC was by .825 seconds, and she set the race’s quickest lap 18.757 seconds (71.973 mph). Coddington edged past Nevala for second at the stripe, and Dennis Groom, who restarted at the back of the 11-car field after the early incident with Nevala, made his way to fourth ahead of Trenton Bond.
The WISSOTA Hornet feature proved itself to be a thriller in its own right, but the drama that unfolded after the checkers flew resulted in another win for Ashland’s DeJay Jarecki, despite a bounty offered to anyone who could stop his seven-feature win streak.
Jarecki, who started the eight-lap affair outside on row 2, charged around front-row starters Derek Dunbar and Carson Gotelaere and immediately pulled away. Long-haul visitor Jacob Aarhus worked his way from the third row into a battle with Gotelaere for second, which he eventually won on lap 4 – just one circuit before debris on the track brought out the yellow.
Aarhus stayed right with Jarecki and threatened to pass him on the inside in the closing laps. Then, on the final lap, Aarhus moved to the outside and clawed his way alongside the leader, using high-side momentum off the final corner to nip Jarecki at the stripe. The victory only lasted until the post-race technical inspection, when Aarhus’ car was deemed to be illegal by WISSOTA rule, giving Jarecki his eighth win in a row.
Basina, once again driving Jarecki’s spare car, was awarded second place, ahead of a charging Brandon Hummelmeier, Gotelaere, and former ABC Hornets champion Paul George.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks will return to the ABC Raceway on Saturday, August 7, when Anderson Auto Body of Phillips presents the “Battle by the Bay.” In addition, the championship round of the three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Mod Series will be held. With several neighboring tracks having nights off over that weekend, there is the potential for a huge field of cars for the seven-division show.
There will be no change in the admission prices for this event from the regular rates. 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.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Dave Flynn, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Tim Johnson, Brainerd, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Kyle Copp, Brule; Cory Casari, Montreal; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI.
11-20: Dustin Nelson, Ogilvie, MN; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Dylan Nelson, Merrifield, MN; Matt Deragon, Ashland; DJ Keeler, Superior; Shawn Fernkes, Pennock, MN; Austin Niemeyer, Brainerd, MN; Brian Carl, Duluth, MN; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith.
21-26: Ryan Kostreba, Elk River, MN; Jeff Frey, Ogilvie, MN; Jeff Eisner Jr, Merrill; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Keith Kern, Superior; Ronnie Malecki, Superior.
Heat 1: Richards; McFadden; Beeksma; Deragon; Jeremy North, Huron, SD; Niemeyer; Dan Peterson, Foxboro.
Heat 2: Burdick; Casari; Copp; Kern; Weinberger; Mashlan; Josh Saunders, Spooner.
Heat 3: Oreskovich; Dustin Nelson; Dylan Nelson; Carl; Allan Cleveland, Breckenridge, MN; Matt Fester, Grove City, MN.
Heat 4: Stuart; Flynn; Keeler; Frey; Quinn; Fernkes; Mike Sirois, Duluth, MN.
Heat 5: Lawrence; Johnson; Eisner; Kostreba; Malecki; Matt Hammitt, Cloquet, MN.
Semi-Feature 1: Fernkes; Malecki; North; Mashlan; Peterson; Sirois.
Semi-Feature 2: Weinberger; Niemeyer; Quinn; Andrew Johnson, Brainerd, MN; Cleveland; Hammitt; Fester; Saunders.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Mason; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; John Darwin, Iron River; James Vendela, South Range.
11-18: Chris Bretting, Washburn; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Jack Rivord, Superior; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Neil Dees, Hurley.
Heat 1: Aho; Hicks; Barningham; Bretting; O’Brien; Kieber.
Heat 2: Vernon; Fuhrman; Mains; Suzik; Jacobson; Dees.
Heat 3: Rivord; Dunbar; Hudack; Darwin; Vendela; Bressette.
WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: 1-4: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Zene Anderson, Superior.
Heat: Holly; Anderson; Jorgensen; Bernick.
Feature: 1-10: Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Trenton Bond, Mason; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Julian Root, Ashland; Austin Olby, Marengo.
11: Jakob Bond, Mason.
Heat 1: Coddington; Basina; Rohlfing; Nevala; Root; Truchon.
Heat 2: Hudack; J Bond; Groom; T Bond; Olby.
Feature: 1-7: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Brandon Hummelmeier, Ashland; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Paul George, Princeton, MN; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Deacon Pratt, Aurora, MN.
Heat: Jacob Aarhus, Canby, MN; Jarecki; Gotelaere; Dunbar; Basina; George; Pratt; Hummelmeier.