Little Caesars Kids Meet the Drivers

Kids Invited to Meet Favorite Drivers at ABC Raceway on Saturday

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, June 1 – A fan-favorite event on the ABC Raceway’s schedule for many years, the Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night will be held this coming Saturday at the northern Wisconsin speedplant.

            Presented by Little Caesar’s Pizza of Ashland, the popular event offers fans of all ages to walk on the front straightaway – where the drivers will have their race cars parked – and get an up-close look at the cars, visit with the racers, and maybe even pick up a souvenir, an autographed photo, or a treat.

            “It’s kind of like having Halloween in June,” Raceway president Eric Erickson said about this fun night for the young fans. “Plus the kids get to see the cars and meet their heroes, and the drivers get a kick out of meeting their young fans.”

Kids ages 12 and under will be welcomed in for free in the main grandstands when accompanied by a paying adult.

The Raceway kicked off its 2021 campaign in style last Saturday with a special that included a $2,000-to-win WISSOTA Modified special captured by Cole Spacek of Phillips, who took advantage of a late-race caution to steal the win.

Brandon Jensen of Ellsworth made a rare early-season appearance pay off big with a $1,500 winner’s paycheck from the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, and Cole’s cousin Terran Spacek led flag-to-flag to dominate the $1,200-to-win WISSOTA Super Stock A-main.

Also, Jared Akervik of Superior topped the WISSOTA Pure Stock feature field, Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack posted the win in the ABC Six-Cylinders, and Dan Moncher of Saxon collected his first career feature win in Ashland in the WISSOTA Hornets finale.

            All six divisions will be in action again on Saturday, with the grandstands opening at 5 pm and hot laps starting at 6:15, followed by the “meet-and-greet” session on the track. The first green flag of the night is scheduled for 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online on the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.

            The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990te Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For race day information call (715) 682-4990.

Memorial Day Deal Results

Spacek Cashes In Big with ABC Mod Special Win

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, May 29 – An emotional Cole Spacek of Phillips collected the $2,000 winner’s check at the conclusion of the first round of the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Mod Series at the ABC Raceway during the track’s 57th season opener on Saturday night.

The program, presented by the Lake Shore Café of Ashland and Zielies Tree Service of Bruce, drew a big crowd and 101 entries to the historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval despite temps dropping to around 40 by the final checkered flag. Other feature winners included Cole’s cousin Terran Spacek of Phillips in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Brandon Jensen of Ellsworth in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, Jared Akervik of Superior on the WISSOTA Super Stocks, Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack in the ABC Six-Cylinders, and Dan Moncher of Saxon in the WISSOTA Hornets.

Cole Spacek was emotional for a couple of different reasons. On one hand, he benefitted from a late-race caution flag to restart directly behind Tyler Vernon, who was clearly the class of the field for the first 17 laps of the 25-lap WISSOTA Modifieds spotlight event. Later, Spacek choked back a few tears in Victory Lane when he dedicated his win to fellow young second-generation racer Tanner Byholm, who was killed in an aircraft accident earlier this year.

Polestarter Shane Halopka – no stranger to ABC’s Victory Lane himself – took the early advantage until Vernon powered by on the high line of the wide, fast track after just two laps. A circuit later, a wild multi-car crash on the front straight scrambled the field and eliminated mid-pack runners Shane Kisling and Cooper Berlin.

Vernon used the next 14 green-flag laps to draw away from the field, while Cole Spacek followed his dad – six-time ABC Mod champ Jeff Spacek – past Brandon Copp and Daniel Bargender to move into third and fourth. Cole took third away from Jeff with ten laps remaining and eventually displaced Halopka for second on lap 16.

Vernon had been easily dispensing with backmarkers for about a half-dozen laps when he came upon a three-car battle for position, and unintended contact by Jake Hiatt sent the leader into a spin, bringing out the caution flag. Cole Spacek took advantage of the restart, working a lower line to slip past Vernon for the lead and run away for the final seven laps to the huge payday.

Jeff Spacek got by Halopka late for third, Johnny Broking patiently worked to a fourth-place finish, and Halopka, who was caught up in a final-corner incident, was replaced to fifth in the final rundown.

“I had a good co-pilot with me tonight,” Cole stated after the run as he honored Byholm with his fifth career feature win here and second in a “big Mod.”

In the 25-lap Midwest Mod feature Vernon was the one on the charge, but Jensen, who started on the pole, led every lap and won by a pretty stout margin.

Jensen beat Jesse Aho through the first set of turns and never looked back, although a series of well-spaced yellow-flag slowdowns kept the field within reach. After a Paul Suzik spin on lap 3, Jack Rivord began a battle with Aho for second that allowed Jensen to pull away, and a lap after the restart Vernon went to the high side to motor past Cody Carlson for fourth.

Cory Jorgensen looped his ride near the back of the field on lap 5 to bring everyone back to Jensen’s rear bumper, but again the leader drew away under green. Vernon got by Aho to third on lap 7, and then the field settled in for a half-dozen smooth, incident-free laps until Suzik spun again on lap 13.

Vernon grabbed second from Rivord on that restart, just before Marcus Dunbar’s car stopped with a flat tire, but Jensen was too strong on this night, pulling away and catching the tail end of the field within a half-dozen laps. Jensen drove on to his first-ever feature win in Ashland – worth $1,500 – with Vernon, Rivord, Aho and 11th-starting visitor Dan Wheeler completing the top five.

Jensen also dedicated his win to Byholm in Victory Lane.

The Super Stock 20-lapper went green-to-checkered without stoppage, giving Terran Spacek the chance to build a significant lead on the way to a $1,200 paycheck. Spacek started on the pole and ran away from Nick Oreskovich in the early stages, and Kyle Copp took second from Oreskovich just three laps into the run.

Ninth-starting Dave Flynn found the bottom lane to his liking and climbed forward to fifth just prior to the halfway point of the race, then getting by Shawn McFadden for fourth with Kevin Burdick in tow soon after. By lap 12 Flynn had taken third from Oreskovich, and Burdick copied Flynn’s inside pass of Oreskovich on lap 14, and that set the top five for the remainder of the run.

Spacek’s final margin was nearly the length of the front straight on Copp as he chalked up his sixth career win on Ashland soil and his fourth in a Super. Flynn, Burdick and Oreskovich were well-distanced from one another to fill out the top five.

Akervik was unchallenged once he took command of the 12-lap Pure Stock feature. He followed outside front-row starter Cory Jorgensen into second spot on the initial drop of the green, and then he used an inside move to take the lead away from Jorgensen by the time the first lap was complete.

Aaron Bernick’s stalled car on the front-straight wall a lap later brought the action to a halt, but Akervik pulled Jorgensen and Dylan Shelton with him away from the rest of the field as the green lights came back on. When Jorgensen’s car bobbled on lap 2, Shelton took over second, and Tom Treviranus followed soon after and gave Shelton a fierce battle for runner-up honors.

Akervik pulled away from that dogfight for a dominant sixth career ABC Raceway feature win, with Shelton fending off Treviranus for second. Pure Stock rookie AJ House and RJ Holly followed at a distance in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Hudack was on her A-game in scoring the Six-Cylinder feature win in decisive fashion. After taking much of 2020 off to concentrate on her career, the three-time division champ looked like as dominant as ever.

Hudack started from the pole and held off another three-time champ, Dale Coddington, over the first three laps before a get-together involving Mathew Rohlfing and Trenton Bond slowed the pace. After the restart Coddington had his hands full in fighting off a determined Dalton Truchon, allowing Hudack to pull away.

A stoppage for Jake Nevala’s lost wheel on lap 6 tightened up the pack, but Hudack simply drove away again over the final six laps for her 21st career feature win here, with Coddington, Truchon, Dennis Groom and Bond trailing at a distance.

Moncher, who raced for three years in the Sixes here but never really enjoyed much success, jumped into his son Gavyn’s Hornet late in the 2020 campaign – his first time behind the wheel of a race car since 2008 – and loved it so much that he got his own. After his win in the 10-lap A-main on this night, he may never get out of racing again.

The elder Moncher led from the pole but was challenged throughout the first couple of laps, by Derek Dunbar, DeJay Jarecki, and his son Gavyn, until Gavyn bumped Dunbar’s car into an infield marker tire to bring about a caution stop. Jarecki then bolted around both Dunbar and Dan Moncher on the restart to steal the lead away for the next five laps.

A mechanical gremlin caused Jarecki’s car to lose power with five laps left, allowing Dan Moncher to retake the lead and pace the way to the finish for his first career feature win. Dunbar, Gavyn Moncher, and rookie Adam Young finished a fair bit back in second through fourth, and Jarecki was able to bring his car home fifth, one lap down.

Several businesses jumped on board to make Saturday’s event a huge success, including divisional sponsors Lulich Implement, Custer Farms and Windy Acre Farm; White River Ag Products for covering the draw fees for the Mod, Super Stock and Mid-Mod drivers; and Bragging Rights Land Management for posting a $250 “long-haul” award in each of those three divisions.

On Saturday, June 5, the ABC Raceway will host one of its long-standing popular events, when Little Caesar’s Pizza presents Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night. All six divisions will be in action, the grandstands and pits will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is scheduled for 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online on the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Cole Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Brandon Copp, Brule; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Tyler Peterson, Hickson, ND; Al Uotinen, Superior.

11-20: Daniel Bargender, Menomonie; Pat Cook, Washburn; Cole Anderson, Le Center, MN; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Paul Niznik, Medford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Craig Lofdahl, Wilmar, MN; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI.

21-25: Rick Rivord, Superior; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Bob Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Cooper Berlin, Rice Lake; Denny Cutsforth, Rice Lake.

Heat 1: Vernon; C Spacek; Lavasseur; Lofdahl; Niznik; Gehl.

Heat 2: J Broking; J Spacek; Anderson; Kisling; B Broking; Luger; Berlin.

Heat 3: Copp; Bargender; Rivord; Cutsforth; Cook; Kingsley.

Heat 4: Peterson; Hiatt; Uotinen; Truscott; Balduc; Halopka.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Terran Spacek, Phillips; Kyle Copp, Brule; Dave Flynn, Superior; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; DJ Keeler, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal.

11-14: Keith Kern, Superior; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

Heat 1: McFadden; Keeler; Deragon; Copp; Flynn; Kern; Weinberger; Mashlan.

Heat 2: Burdick; Stuart; Oreskovich; Spacek; Casari; Mackey; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Brandon Jensen, Ellsworth; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Dan Wheeler, Savage, MN; Scott Splittstoesser, Cottage Grove, MN; Cody Carlson, Superior; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs.

11-20: Paul Niznik, Medford; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; John Darwin, Iron River; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Darrin Lawler, Grand Rapids, MN; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Tyler Hudack, Ashland.

21-24: Ryan Savoy, Superior; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI.

Heat 1: Carlson; Suzik; Savoy; Dalbeck; Barningham; Mains; Darwin; Jesse Polson, Superior.

Heat 2: Dunbar; Fuhrman; Splittstoesser; Gehl; Lawler; Niznik; Neil Dees, Hurley.

Heat 3: Jensen; Rivord; Wheeler; Hudack; O’Brien; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

Heat 4: Aho; Vernon; Uotinen; Latvala; Hicks; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Jorgensen.

Semi-Feature: Mains; Niznik; Darwin; Jorgensen; Kieber; Bretting; Dees; Polson.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Jared Akervik, Superior; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Jason Simonson, Poplar; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Zene Anderson, Superior; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: Jorgensen; House; Akervik; Rose; Simonson.

Heat 2: Treviranus; Shelton; Bernick; Anderson; Holly.

ABC Six-Cylinders

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

11: Adam Traaholt, Ashland.

Heat 1: Coddington; Truchon; Shane Basina, Bayfield; J Bond; Rohlfing; T Bond; Root.

Heat 2: Hudack; Groom; Nevala; Traaholt; Olby; Bubba Anderson.

Trego.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-7: Dan Moncher, Saxon; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Adam Young, Hayward; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Nathan Rose Jr, Duluth, MN.

Heat: D Moncher; G Moncher; Marken; Dunbar; Young; Jarecki; Rose.

Mod Series

ABC Raceway to Host WISSOTA Mods Special on May 29


ABC Raceway ‘Memorial Day Deal’ Keeps Growing; $2,000 to Win for Mods, Other Purse Bumps Announced

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, May 16 – The “Memorial Day Deal” special planned for the ABC Raceway on May 29 has become even more special over the past week, thanks in large part to several local businesses jumping on board to help build up what was already a substantial purse.

On that night, the historic northern Wisconsin red-clay oval will host the first round of the inaugural three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series as part of a full six-division race program presented by Lake Shore Café of Ashland and Zielies Tree Service of Bruce.

Generous contributions by Lulich Implement, Custer Farms and Windy Acre Farm have enhanced the feature purses for the WISSOTA Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds and Super Stocks for the May 29 show. The Modifieds will now run for $2,000 to win and $200 to start in their feature, the Mid-Mod A-main will pay $1,500 to win and $125 to start, and the Supers’ purse has been bumped to pay $1,200 to win and $100 to make the feature field.

In addition to the purse enhancements, White River Ag Products of Mason has agreed to cover driver pit and draw fees for all Mod, Super Stock and Mid-Mod drivers competing at ABC on that night, and a $250 “long-haul” award will be presented to the driver in each of those three divisions that travels the furthest to participate at ABC on May 29.

Also, Bragging Rights Land Management is offering a $200 “hard charger” bonus to the driver in each of the three headline features that advances the furthest from his or her initial starting position by race’s end.

“We are very excited about the enthusiasm surrounding this event,” explained Raceway president Eric Erickson recently. “These local businesses have jumped on board in a huge way, and we are honored to have them as part of what promises to be a great night of racing.”

The second leg of the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series will be held on June 12, as part of the traveling Advantage RV Mod Series and highlighted by another $2,000-to-win feature, in a program presented by NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland and Washburn.

The final round of the Series will be held on August 7, during the Raceway’s second annual “Battle by the Bay” for the visiting WISSOTA Street Stocks presented by Anderson Auto Body of Phillips. A Series champion will be determined at the conclusion of the August 7 show, and a point fund will be awarded.

Tentatively, all six of the Raceway’s regular weekly divisions – including the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and Hornets and the ABC Six-Cylinders, as well as the Mods, Super Stocks and Mid-Mods – will be in action during each round of the Series.

The ABC Raceway will begin its 2021 stock car racing season on Saturday, May 22, with its 57th Season Opener presented by Northern State Bank. The track’s complete 2021 slate of events is currently available on its website, www.abcraceway.com, and also via its FaceBook page.

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, May 9 – The ABC Raceway is offering a treat for fans of WISSOTA Modifieds during its 2021 regular season racing schedule, starting on Saturday, May 29.

That’s when the first-ever Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series kicks off at the historic northern Wisconsin speedplant. Round 1 of the Series – the “Memorial Day Weekend Deal” – will be highlighted by a $1,500-to-win feature for the “big Mods.” It will be part of a full six-division race program presented by Lake Shore Café of Ashland and Zielies Tree Service of Bruce.

The May 29 event will be the first of three shows that make up the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, all of which will be run at ABC. During each night of the Series the Raceway will pay out increased purses for the Modifieds, and a point fund will be awarded at the tour’s conclusion.

“We have partnered with Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center to provide an exciting three-race Series for the drivers and the fans,” Raceway Board president Eric Erickson stated recently. “It’s a great opportunity for WISSOTA Modified drivers to race for some big-money purses, and race fans will get to see some of the best drivers in the region compete here.

“The management and staff at Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center are eager to be a part of this, and we are extremely thankful that they have jumped on board in such a big way.”

Round 2 of the Series will be held on June 12, which will double as night number three of the traveling Advantage RV Mod Series, during that tour’s four-race, four-night trek through the Northland. That show will pay $2,000 to win the feature for the Mods, and it will be presented by NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland and Washburn.

Round 3 of the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modifieds Series will be held on August 7, during the Raceway’s second annual “Battle by the Bay” for the visiting WISSOTA Street Stocks presented by Anderson Auto Body of Phillips. During that program, the Mods will again race for $1,500 to win in their feature.

Along with the Mods running for big money, the WISSOTA Super Stocks will compete for $750 to win in their features and the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds will race for $1,000 to win during each night of the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series. All six of the Raceway’s regular weekly divisions – including the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and Hornets and the ABC Six-Cylinders, as well as the Mods, Super Stocks and Mid-Mods – will be in action during each round of the Series.

While its regular weekly purses are already some of the best in the region, the ABC Raceway has recently announced increases for the Mods, Super Stocks and Mid-Mods during non-special race nights for 2021, with the hopes that the track can do likewise for its other weekly divisions before season’s end.

The ABC Raceway will begin hosting stock car racing action under the guidance of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association on Saturday, May 22, with its 57th Season Opener presented by Northern State Bank. The track’s complete 2021 season schedule is currently available on its website, www.abcraceway.com, and via its FaceBook page.

ABC Raceway – 2021 Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series schedule

May 29 – Memorial Day Weekend Deal, including Round 1 of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, presented by Lake Shore Café and Zielies Tree Service

June 12 – Advantage RV Mod Series, including Round 2 of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland & Washburn

August 7 – Street Stock “Battle by the Bay,” including Round 3 of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, presented by Anderson Auto Body

Attention Pure Stock & Hornet Drivers

ABC Raceway to Offer Driver Fee Incentive to Pure Stock, Hornets

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, May 16 – The ABC Raceway is looking for ways to encourage area racers in its entry-level classes to compete on the historic northern Wisconsin red-clay oval in 2021.

                One such idea will be implemented with the track’s 57th Season Opener presented by Northern State Bank on May 22. Beginning that night, and for at least the first few weeks of the 2021 season, the ABC Raceway will refund driver admission fees to any Pure Stock and Hornet drivers that compete at another track on the Friday immediately before an ABC Raceway Saturday program.

                The refunds will be included in each qualifying driver’s purse check at the conclusion of the ABC Raceway’s event.

“We are keeping a close eye on car counts in the entry-level divisions at ABC and our neighboring tracks,” stated Raceway president Eric Erickson recently. “We want to offer drivers in the Pure Stock and Hornet classes a chance to compete as often as possible without straining their budgets.

“We hope that drivers in these two divisions take advantage of this opportunity. They can race on Friday at places like Superior, Menomonie and Unity, then come to Ashland on Saturday and compete and save a few dollars as a result.”

The ABC Raceway hopes that this move will have several different effects – helping drivers race more while minimizing strain on their budgets; helping other area facilities attract more racers and fans; and building car counts in these two divisions at Ashland.

“We pay a great purse for both divisions,” explained Erickson further. “Hopefully drivers will see this combination of our purse and the driver fee refund and consider coming to ABC on Saturday nights – and bring their families and fans, too.”

The only conditions of the offer are that drivers must have competed on the previous night and that their participation can be confirmed (using MyRacePass or other reliable resource), and that their cars conform to all current WISSOTA rules while competing at ABC in their respective divisions.

The Raceway will monitor car and fan counts during the early weeks of the 2021 season to determine how long to continue the driver fee refund plan for the Pure Stocks and Hornets.

                The ABC Raceway will begin its 2021 stock car racing season on Saturday, May 22, with its 57th Season Opener presented by Northern State Bank. The track’s complete 2021 slate of events is currently available on its website, www.abcraceway.com, and also via its FaceBook page.

Schedule for 2021 Released

ABC Raceway Schedule Set for ‘21

Sixteen-race slate includes several special events

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, April 26 – After several weeks of tweaking and fine-tuning, the Board of Directors of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association have proudly put the finishing touches on an action-packed slate of events for the 2021 stock car racing season at the ABC Raceway.

The track will once again provide area race fans with a six-division offering during its regular weekly race programs, hosting WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets, and the track’s own ABC Six-Cylinders, nearly every Saturday night from May 22 through August 28 at the award-winning historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval in northern Wisconsin.

“We feel we have put together an exciting schedule of events for the upcoming summer,” Raceway Board president Eric Erickson said of the Raceway’s 2021 offering. “We’ll have an outstanding offering of touring series and single-night specials.

“But as important as those specials are, our regular weekly programs and the divisions that compete in them are the lifeblood of our Association,” Erickson emphasized. “With that in mind, our Board of Directors will increase the regular-night purse for our top three divisions for 2021, with hopes of doing the same for the remainder of the classes later in the season.”

The updated purse can be found on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

“Hopefully we can provide the kind of race program our hard-core fans have come to expect, plus enough variety to attract new fans to our facility, to see what short-track racing on Summer nights in Wisconsin is all about,” Erickson said.

Several events on the menu stand out, but maybe none more so than “The 444 Memorial for Tanner Byholm,” to be held on Thursday, July 29. The event will be held in honor of one of the region’s top up-and-coming young talents and son of veteran ABC Raceway Modified champion Bill Byholm of Glidden, who tragically lost his life in an aircraft accident this past Winter.

That program will also mark the return of the WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series to Ashland and will kick off a huge swing for that tour in the Northland.

Also of note on the ’21 campaign will be a set of four visits by the Northern Renegade Sprints to the red-clay oval. The non-winged sprint-car group, based in Minnesota’s Iron Range, were a big hit with ABC fans during its two stops here last Summer, when veteran racers Jori Hughes of Tower, MN, and Caley Emerson of Grand Rapids, MN, each collected their first career feature victories on Ashland soil.

The Northern Renegade Sprints will help kick off the ABC Raceway’s 57th season under the direction of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association when they appear as part of the May 22 season opener, and they will return on June 28, July 24, and August 14.

Another treat during the upcoming season will be the three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series. “This Series will give Mod drivers the opportunity to race for a bigger purse on three different weekends here this season,” stated Erickson. “We will also pay out a points fund for the three combined events.”

The Series will kick off on May 29 with a Memorial Day “Weekend Deal” $1,500-to-win feature, then will run again on June 12 as part of the Advantage RV Mod Series during its season-opening four-race, four-night trek through the Northland. This $2,000-to-win show will be sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland and Washburn. The Series’ final event will be held on August 7 and will also pay $1,500 to the feature winner.

All of the Raceway’s regular classes will be in attendance during each night of the Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, with the Super Stocks racing for $800 to win and the Midwest Mods running for $1,000 to win.

One of the most popular nights of the season is the Northern Clearing “Racing for a Reason” program on July 24. This event is a fundraiser for the local Brick Ministries food shelf as well as the Ashland Area Relay for Life program. As in the past, all spectators will be granted free admission to the main grandstands, courtesy of the Vernon family and Northern Clearing, Inc.

The hugely popular FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, to be presented by the Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center, is set for July 31. As one of the three charter-member tracks of the tour, ABC will host the FastLane Series for the seventh time in as many seasons, with upwards of 40-50 Super Stock entries expected.

WISSOTA Street Stocks will be invited back for the second annual “Battle by the Bay” on August 7, presented by Anderson Auto Body of Phillips. And just a couple of weeks after that, the entry-level WISSOTA Hornets will be spotlighted, with an enhanced purse offered for 25-lap Safari Bar “Hornet’s Nest” feature presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club on August 21.

After last year’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic and unfavorable weather, the 46th annual Red Clay Classic will cap off the 2021 season on October 1-2 in traditional style, with an expected 200-plus Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods running for a total purse of more than $100,000 during this prestigious event.

The Raceway Board and staff continue to take an initiative in working with area health officials, employing an extensive array of protocols and programs aimed at minimizing the possible transmission of the COVID-19 virus to and among fans, drivers and track workers visiting the ABC Raceway throughout the 2021 season.

“We will continue to cooperate with every recommendation and mandate that the County Health Departments in our area deem necessary,” said Erickson.

More information will be made available regarding the ABC Raceway’s 2021 season schedule in the coming weeks on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, and via its FaceBook page.

 

 

ABC 2021 schedule advance 4.26.21

 

 

ABC Raceway – 2021 season schedule

 

May 22 – season opener with Northern Renegade Sprints, presented by Northern State Bank

May 29 – Memorial Day Weekend Deal, including Round 1 of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, presented by Lake Shore Café and Zielies Tree Service

June 5 – Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night, presented by Little Caesar’s Pizza

June 12 – Advantage RV Mod Series, including Round 2 of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland & Washburn

June 19 – AFCO Race of Champions, presented by Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

June 26 – Northern Renegade Sprints, presented by Heartland Communications Group

July 10 – kids’ bike races, presented by Chicago Iron & Supplies

July 17 – Hall of Fame Night, presented by Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall

July 24 – “Racing for a Reason” Night, with Northern Renegade Sprints, presented by Northern Clearing Inc (free grandstand admission)

July 29 (Thurs) – The “444 Memorial for Tanner Byholm” WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series special, plus Modifieds & Midwest Mods

July 31 – FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, presented by Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center

August 7 – Street Stock “Battle by the Bay,” including Round 3 of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series, presented by Anderson Auto Body

August 14 – Northern Renegade Sprints, presented by WIMI-FM

August 21 – Safari Bar “Hornet’s Nest 25,” presented by Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club

August 28 – Championship Saturday Night, presented by Mountain Dew

October 1-2 – 46th annual Red Clay Classic, presented by Red’s Auto, FastLane Motorsports, and Tim’s Automotive Machine

 

Volunteer Information

Mission Statement

 

The Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association is a membership driven corporation that owns the ABC Raceway. The Raceway is run by an all-volunteer workforce with the desire to provide family entertainment with a safe facility for our fans and drivers. The ABC Raceway works to give our fans a quality racing program and offer our drivers a purse that is extremely competitive and evenly distributed. Maintaining a modern facility for all while upgrading when necessary, to keep the ABC Raceway as an award winning facility and the finest in the Midwest.

Volunteers Needed!

The ABC Raceway is updating its list of volunteers for the 2021 season. We have positions available for people that would like to continue to see the ABC Raceway as a successful raceway while keeping its unique all volunteer staff. Applicants should have desire to have fun, enjoy being with a large racing community and have a willingness to help the raceway succeed.

Fill out the application by clicking here.

After filling out the application download and print and mail to Eric Erickson 1000 6th Ave West, Ashland WI. 54806 or email it to Eric Erickson by clicking here and attaching the application.

All positions are available for every Saturday night from May 22 to end of August, but we would be willing to have individuals work in teams with each team working 4 Saturdays each.

Beer Stand manager

Do you enjoy meeting new people? Are you a people person? The Beer Stand manager is right up your alley. The managers tasks will be inventory control and work as a bartender on Saturday nights.

Responsibilities will also include balancing cash and weekly deposits. This position will require a safe servers license.

Bartenders

Have you been or currently a bartender or server? Our beer stand is the perfect place to let your skills shine while meeting new and fun people. Bartender tasks will be serving our customers in a responsible manor while restocking coolers as needed. This position will require a safe servers license that will be paid for by the ABC Raceway.

Concession Workers

Workers for grandstand concessions, pit concessions and tower concessions.

If your passion is serving people or you have experience as a server or working in a kitchen. Concession stand is a perfect place for you. Workers tasks will be preparing and serving food. Some personal will be required to operate the cash register and helping clean at the end of the night.

50/50 Ticket sellers.

Selling 50/50 tickets is a fund-raising part of the nights program. Half the money goes back to the fans. If you have an outgoing personality and like to chat with our spectators being 50/50 seller is for you.

Ticket sellers’ tasks include roaming the grandstands and pit area selling 50/50 tickets, balancing ticket sales to cash and presenting the winners their share of the cash.

Pit Side and Grandstand Ticket Takers

As a Ticket seller you are the first impression of the ABC Raceway. A cheerful personality and friendly face is the most import part of this position. You are required to sell tickets along with our punch passes and reserved seats. Handling money and placing armbands on customers is also required. You are responsible for balancing ticket sales while preparing a nightly deposit is well.

Lap Counters

The ABC Raceway Lap Counters are the particularly important part of the race program. They are responsible for recording each driver as they complete laps on the red clay oval. This job is in the warm and comfortable tower which gives you the best seat in the house. It is a particularly challenging job while also being extremely rewarding.

Security

The ABC Raceway security is tasked with walking around the grandstand area and help in areas of concern. If issues arise, we ask that security handles the situation in accordance with raceway procedures. This job has ample time to enjoy the races while working.

Annual membership meeting January 13th

The Annual Meeting of the ABC Racing Association membership will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at the AmericInn in the conference room at 6:30 pm. Masks are required. This is the annual meeting of the membership only, the purpose of the meeting is to conduct annual business.

Annual Meeting and Banquet Postponed

The Annual Meeting of the ABC Racing Association scheduled for Dec 9th has been postponed due to gathering restrictions at the reserved meeting space.

A letter has been mailed to all members with details.

The 2020 Banquet scheduled for January has also been postponed until further notice.

The Board will continue to monitor the situation and update accordingly.

Season Update for 2021

All Six Classes to Return for ABC Raceway’s ‘21 Campaign

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, November 18 — With the 2020 stock car racing season sufficiently in its rearview mirror, the Board of Directors of the ABC Raceway is already working on its plans for the Summer of ‘21.

A priority among the various orders of business undertaken at the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association’s recent meeting in Ashland was the decision to continue with its six-division offering during regular-night race programs for the upcoming season. Despite concerns about dwindling car counts, the ABC Raceway will once again host WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets, joined by the track’s own ABC Six-Cylinders – on Saturday nights at the historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval in northern Wisconsin.

“Just like other tracks in our region, we have watched car counts drop in some divisions,” stated Raceway Board president Eric Erickson after that November 4 meeting, “to the point at which, as a promoting group, we needed to evaluate those classes at our track.”

The division of greatest concern to the Board, according to Erickson, was the Pure Stocks, where weekly entry counts midway through the 2020 season were averaging in the mid-single digits.

“Our Pure Stock numbers were down, but there are several drivers out there who occasionally make the trip to Ashland over the course of a season,” said Erickson. “All we ask is that they show up a few times next year, race for what is one of the best purses offered to their division in our area, and put on a good showing for our fans.”

The Raceway has some ideas in the works to help bring the Pure Stock counts back up in 2021.

The Six-Cylinder class also made a nice resurgence during the final six weeks of the season. “We were very pleased and proud to see our Sixes come back in good numbers,” Erickson said. “We believe they will be back in that mid-teens range in 2021, based on the addition of a handful of rookie drivers getting out there late last year and the news we are hearing of a few more drivers building cars for next year.”

With the 57th season of action at ABC still a half-dozen months away, the Board is currently looking at several ideas to spice up the 2021 schedule. Talks are ongoing with several regional touring series in an effort to add some special nights to the slate, with groups like the Northern Renegade traditional sprints, Advantage RV Mod Series, and IRA winged 410 sprint series interested in returning to the historic red-clay oval.

“Lots of racing series want to come to our track,” Erickson explained. “We will work hard with them to fit them into our program, as long as things work favorably for both them and our track.”

The return of the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series is all but set, with July 24 as the tentative date. The popular Northern Renegades wingless sprints are hoping to make as many as four visits to ABC as well.

Like most everything else, the Raceway staff had to deal with the concerns, restrictions, and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the sport. For ABC, that meant voluntarily cancelling a scheduled race night on August 1 during a spike in local viral cases – one of only two tracks known to make such an unselfish gesture in the entire state of Wisconsin in 2020. Later, the Raceway Board made the difficult decision to shut down its highly-anticipated 45th Red Clay Classic in early October, although an unfavorable weather forecast also played into that decision.

But the award-winning organization, led by Erickson, worked very closely with State and local governments to take every precaution possible to minimize the transmission of the coronavirus to its fans, drivers and track workers at the facility throughout the season.

“We anticipate that to be an ongoing battle in 2021,” said Erickson of the virus. “But we are committed to cooperate with every recommendation and mandate that is passed along, to do whatever we can to protect the people that come to our track during this outbreak.”

The ABC Raceway staff is still hopeful that some sort of celebration of the 2020 season and an honoring of its champions can be put together during the upcoming months. Information will be released as it is made available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, and via its FaceBook page.

45th Red Clay Classic Canceled

COVID, Cold Forces ABC Raceway to Cancel 45th Red Clay Classic

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, September 30 — After an emotional and stressful meeting amongst its members on Wednesday evening, the Board of Directors of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association made the difficult decision to cancel its 45th Red Clay Classic, originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 2-3.

The Board’s decision was based on several factors, but two points played most significantly into the choice – a COVID-19-oriented directive issued late Wednesday afternoon by the local County health department, and a mostly unfavorable weather forecast.

The directive, which went into effect Friday, October 2, at 8 am (CST), was issued by the Ashland County Health & Human Services Department as a result of the recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in recent days in northern Wisconsin. The directive outlined a specific set of guidelines applicable to events which involved potentially large gatherings of people, including attendance limits based on capacity, social distancing requirements, and other business-operating procedural standards.

The directive remains in effect through November 30, although County health officials retain the right to modify it as needed.

On Wednesday, weather forecasts for the weekend called for daytime temperatures only reaching the mid-40s and overnight lows dipping into the upper 20s. Although the cold temperatures were certainly a primary concern, a possibility of showers throughout the weekend also factored to the decision.

“We are very disappointed that we have had to make this decision,” Raceway Board president Eric Erickson stated immediately after Wednesday’s meeting adjourned. “Our Board and staff have put a lot of work into preparing for our ‘crown jewel’ event. We take great pride in hosting the Classic, and we look forward to this weekend every bit as much as our fans and drivers do.

“But as a business we needed to look at two things – first and foremost, our concern for the health and safety of all those who would have attended the event, and by extension the residents of our local communities. We have been taking the coronavirus threat very seriously all summer long, with every precaution possible. But the recent increases in positive cases in our area, and the resulting directive from the County, made the safety of our fans, the racers and their crews, and our track workers our number one concern.

“Secondly was the success of the event. Would the weather, or even the pandemic, cut into the possibility of another outstanding crowd at our show? We didn’t want to have to consider decisions like cutting our payouts to the drivers, for example, if our crowd size or car counts were less than favorable. We wanted to maintain the integrity of the Red Clay Classic.”

One of the Upper Midwest’s best-paying, most popular and most prestigious short-track stock car racing events, the Red Clay Classic – to have been presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland, Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, and Red’s Auto of Ironwood, MI – was expected to draw upwards of 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Modifieds to compete for a share of a purse in excess of $100,000.

For fans who had purchased reserved seats and camping sites for this year’s Classic, the Raceway will honor those reservations for the 46th Red Clay Classic, tentatively slated for October 1-2, 2021. Fans and racers from Canada who were not be able to attend this year’s Classic but had purchased their reserved seats, camping sites and pit spots for this year’s show during 2019 will have their reservations honored for next year. For clarification on this, please call (715) 682-2672 Monday through Friday (evenings only) or send an e-mail to tickets@abcraceway.com.

Announcements regarding the annual awards banquet celebrating the 2020 stock car racing season at the ABC Raceway will be forthcoming. Additional information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

It is with very deep regret that the Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the 45th Annual Red Clay Classic this weekend. In light of the recently released Ashland County directive regarding the pandemic, already saturated pits, parking and camping grounds and the unfavorable weather forecast, we feel it is the best interests of all to cancel at this time. We appreciate your support and understanding with regards to this difficult decision.

Prelude to the Clay Results

Massingill, Gilbertson, Sabraski Claim First-Ever ABC ‘Prelude to the Clay’ Features

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, September 3 — If the rest of the invitational schedule provides as many thrilling moments as Thursday night’s “prelude to the Clay” did at the ABC Raceway, the six weeks of this region’s stock car racing season will be remembered for a long time.

Jeff Massingill of Keewatin, MN, stole the 40-lap WISSOTA Late Model headliner win from Jimmy Mars on the final lap and took home $3,000; Matt Gilbertson of Montevideo, MN, barely outran Jeff Hartung and Shane Sabraski for the $2,000 WISSOTA Modified feature win; and Sabraski, from Rice, MN, grabbed the $1,000 win in the WISSOTA Super Stock A-main just ahead of a wild battle for second.

The kick-off event of 2020’s invitational season in the Northland, presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, saw 89 entries take to a fast, sticky-smooth red-clay race surface. Cloudy skies and windy conditions at race time eventually gave way to cool conditions that resulted in plenty of horsepower and lots of two- and three-wide action. Supporting sponsors for the program included Van House Construction of Silver Bay, MN; Rivord Auto Center of Superior; Rapid Performance of Sauk Rapids, MN; Lake Shore Cafe of Ashland; and Chicago Iron & Supplies of Ashland.

The event was held as a one-year replacement for the Silver 1000, historically the region’s first invitational, which was cancelled due to COVID-19 social-gathering restrictions placed upon the Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor, MN. The ABC Raceway offered a portion of its proceeds from the “Prelude” event toward covering operating costs incurred by the Proctor track this past summer.

Mars provided a preview of the action ahead by setting a new track record for WISSOTA-rules Late Models in group-timed qualifying with a lap of 14.922 seconds (90.470 mph) – the only one of the 27 Late Models to crack the 15-second mark in qualifying, and the first WISSOTA-sanctioned driver to ever record a 90-mph lap since electronic timing was introduced here in 2008.

But Mars spent much of the 40-lap feature patiently wading his way to the front, with Massingill in tow, as Steve Laursen edged ahead of polestarter Dan Ebert to claim the lead at the completion of lap 1. Over the first six laps Laursen clung to a three-quarter-second advantage on Ebert just before Denny Cutsforth’s turn-3 spin closed the field up for the restart.

After James Kannegiesser’s spin negated the first re-do, Travis Budisalovich worked the fast outside line to pull alongside Ebert, allowing Laursen to slip away by nearly a full second. Mars, who started seventh, had closed in on the battle for second by lap 10, with Jesse Glenz, Massingill and Pat Doar running a few lengths back.

Budisalovich cleared Ebert and, over the next four laps, drew up to Laursen’s right-rear fender, threatening to take the lead. But Tim McMann’s car came to a stop in turn 2 after contact with the guardrail there, again stalling the proceedings. Two laps after the restart John Kaanta spun to bring the caution lights on once again, and then Laursen pulled away as Budisalovich was challenged by Ebert again. Chad Mahder’s spin on lap 24 allowed the 12th-starting Massingill to pass Mars on the restart for fourth, although Mars had the spot back before Joe Kienzle Jr’s spin on lap 26.

That restart was heartbreaking for Laursen, whose car simply did not go when the green lights came back on. Ebert tried to go low to avoid Laursen’s broken racer and climbed over the left-front tire of the leader’s car, sending Ebert airborne for a split-second. Laursen’s great run ended with a push to the pits, leaving the lead to Budisalovich, but a lap after going back to green he smacked the turn 2 guardrail, and in the scramble to miss Budisalovich’s loose car Mars slipped around Ebert and claimed the lead, with Massingill following in his wake to second.

Over the final seven laps the lead pair pulled away, with Massingill just a car-length or two behind the six-time Red Clay Classic champ. On lap 36 they worked their way past the slower Kannegiesser, allowing Massingill to draw just a bit closer. On the final lap Massingill, hugging the very inside groove of the track, found a little traction coming off the final corner and pulled ahead of Mars at the checkers, just .073 seconds ahead in one of the closest finishes and perhaps most improbable upsets seen at ABC in many years.

Ebert, Glenz and a charging Kevin Eder, who started 19th, completed the top five. The Late Model portion of the show was slated as night number one of the four-race Tri-Star Engines Labor Day Weekend Series, which was to continue at Grand Rapids, MN, on September 4, and at Hibbing, MN, on September 5-6.

Gilbertson, whose only other appearance at the ABC Raceway was in 2017, led every one of the 30 laps of the Modified A-main, although the final half-dozen might have been a little more pressure-filled than he wanted. Gilbertson started on the pole and, despite delays for two grinding crashes that delayed the first lap from being completed, fended off Hartung’s threats over the first four scored circuits, while Ebert snuck past Jody Bellefeuille and Mike Anderson for third.

After Steve Lavasseur’s spin on lap 4, the rest of the laps clicked by without further interruption, with Ebert taking on Hartung and allowing Gilbertson to quickly stretch his lead to 1.4 seconds. Just before mid-race Sabraski, who started outside on row 9, began to work on Ebert for third, which left Hartung free to go after Gilbertson. Hartung trimmed all but a car-length off of Gilbertson’s substantial lead over a stretch of 12 laps.

As the leaders caught backmarker Paul Suzik, it took the better part of two laps for Gilbertson to work his way by, as Suzik stuck as close to the bottom groove of the track as he could to stay out of the way. Gilbertson, who had been working the low line himself, made the adjustment to go around Suzik on the outside, which was what Hartung had used to make up his deficit. At the white flag Hartung was practically tapping on the leader’s rear bumper, with Sabraski closing in as well. Gilbertson crossed under the checkered flag a mere eighth of a second ahead of Hartung for his landmark win, with Sabraski an even closer third.

Ebert, one of several drivers pulling double-duty on this night, was a distant fourth, just ahead of Bellefeuille.

Sabraski provided a little less drama during his winning run in the Super Stock feature, although behind him the fireworks were on full display. Polestarter Shawn McFadden Jr worked hard to stay ahead of Patrick Beeksma and Sabraski at the onset of the 25-lap run, but Beeksma held the advantage for the restart after Don Muzzy’s ride stalled on lap 3.

Andrew Mackey spun on the first attempt to restart the race, after which newly-crowned ABC Supers champ Dave Flynn snuck past Matt Deragon and McFadden for third. On lap 6 Sabraski made the winning pass with an outside move on Beeksma, and he pushed the lead out to a full second within two more tours.

That’s when Kevin Burdick began a drive to the front, getting by both Flynn and Beeksma within lap 10 to take second. Defending Red Clay Classic champ Curt Myers also made a charge forward, with passes of Flynn on lap 11 and Beeksma on lap 14 to move into third.

Sabraski was about 3.3 seconds ahead of Burdick and Myers when Steve Stuart and Terran Spacek got together on the back straight on lap 14 to bring about a lengthy caution stoppage. When the crowded field went back to green, the driveshaft dropped from McFadden’s car, with a section of it hitting him in the leg; he immediately dove to the infield and stopped, but the field was put under a red flag as EMTs tended to McFadden’s injury.

Over the final 11 laps Sabraski held enough of a lead to finish without much concern for his second feature win of the year in Ashland in the Supers. Behind him, however, Burdick and Myers were engaged in quite a tussle, with Burdick diving low on Myers coming into turn 4 and heading for the finish. The heavy contact between the two cars spun them both from the event; Burdick was deemed as the cause for the restart and penalized to the tail end of the field, while Myers was awarded second, ahead of Flynn, Cory Casari and Deragon.

Mars earned a $100 bonus for his fast time in the Late Models, and Sabraski received a Hoosier racing tire from FastLane Motorsports, complements of former Mod racer Don Aas of Hibbing, MN, for his charge from 18th to third in the Mods. Burdick was the recipient of a $500 coupon toward the purchase of an Affordable race chassis from Rapids Performance as the last scored Super Stock racer running at the finish of that feature; and Wayne Dean gained the most spots in the Supers’ feature to earn that division’s $100 hard-charger bonus, complements of Mike’s Place of Superior.

The fastest timed laps in each feature were set by Laursen in the Late Models (16.269 seconds, 82.980 mph), Hartung in the Mods (17.140 secs; 78.763 mph), and Sabraski in the Supers (17.165; 78.648).

The ABC Raceway will now prepare for its 45th annual Red Clay Classic, to be held on Friday and Saturday October 2-3, and to be presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating, Tim’s Automotive Machine, and Red’s Auto. This prestigious event is expected to draw in excess of 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods for a chance at a share of a pure in excess of $100,000.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the Red Clay Classic are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info is available by calling (715) 209-1373. Additional information regarding the event will be released in the coming weeks.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA LATE MODELS

Feature: 1-10: Jeff Massingill, Keewatin, MN; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Jesse Glenz, Cadott; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Derek Vesel, Hibbing, MN; Rick Hanestad, Boyceville; Jeff Provinzino, Hibbing, MN; Aaron Lillo, Proctor, MN; Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing, MN.

11-20: Buddy Hanestad, Boyceville; Keith Niemi, Gilbert, MN; Chad Mahder, Bloomer; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis, MN; Clint Larson, Munger, MN; Joe Kienzle Jr, South Range; James Kannegiesser, Boyceville; Steve Laursen, Cumberland; Cole Provinzino, Hibbing, MN.

21-26: Pat Doar, New Richmond; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Tim McMann, Duluth, MN; Denny Cutsforth, Rice Lake; Tim Lillo, Superior.

Heat 1: J Mars; VanHouse; A Lillo; McMann; Cutsforth; Mahder; T Lillo.

Heat 2: Laursen; Ebert; J Provinzino; Vesel; C Provinzino; Larson; Kienzle.

Heat 3: Glenz; Budisalovich; R Hanestad; Niemi; Eder; Peterlin; B Hanestad.

Heat 4: Kaanta; Doar; Massingill; Bellefeuille; Kannegiesser.

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Matt Gilbertson, Montevideo, MN; Jake Hartung, Elmwood; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Jesse Glenz, Cadott.

11-20: Kelly Estey, Kelly Lake, MN; Andy Jones, Princeton, MN; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jeffrey Wood, Chisholm, MN; Greg Chesley, Duluth, MN; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Rick Rivord, Superior; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Curt Myers, Cameron.

21-24: Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Pat Cook, Washburn; Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Bill Byholm, Glidden.

Heat 1: Gilbertson; Spacek; Cain; Jones; Cook; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake; Paul Niznik, Medford.

Heat 2: Ebert; Kingsley; Estey; Rivord; Chesley; Adam Ayotte, St Paul, MN; Kyle Helling, Rice Lake; Jeremiah Passow, Foreston, MN.

Heat 3: Bellefeuille; A Anderson; Truscott; Sabraski; Lavasseur; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Cooper Berlin, Rice Lake.

Heat 4: M Anderson; Wood; Copp; Suzik; Vernon; Mike Knopps, Chippewa Falls; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua.

Heat 5: Hartung; Glenz; Byholm; Myers; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Jason Richardson, Spring Valley.

Semi-Feature 1: Lavasseur; Cook; Ayotte; Richardson; Hiatt; Helling; Berlin; Niznik.

Semi-Feature 2: Vernon; Chesley; Spacek; Hoffman; Van Natta; Al Uotinen, Superior; Balduc; Lofdahl; Passow.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Curt Myers, Cameron; Dave Flynn, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; DJ Keeler, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Kyle Copp, Brule; Eric Olson, Ladysmith.

11-20: Wayne Dean, Eau Claire; Brian Carl, Duluth, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Darrel Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips.

21-24: Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; David Elliott, Minocqua; Charlie Anderson, Ironwood, MI; Matthew Hammitt, Cloquet, MN.

Heat 1: Myers; Casari; Flynn; Keeler; Oreskovich; Mackey; Lawrence; Mashlan.

Heat 2: Sabraski; McFadden; Copp; Stuart; Muzzy; Hazelton; Dean; Hammitt.

Heat 3: Beeksma; Burdick; Deragon; Carl; Olson; Spacek; Anderson; Elliott.

Championship Saturday Night

ABC Raceway Crowns Five First-Time Champs

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 29 — “Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night” at the ABC Raceway will be long remembered for a lot of notable moments – the return of one driver to Victory Lane for the first time in 11 years; the return of another to the track in just as many; a popular local pair of brother-sister teammates switching rides for the night; and a down-to-the-wire battle between two title-winning veteran racers to cap off the evening.

But most significantly will be the fact that five drivers earned their first-ever ABC Raceway track championships on Saturday, as 88 entries came to race on a cool late-August evening for the final regular-season night of 2020.

Washburn’s Pat Cook held an 11-point advantage over Cole Spacek heading into the WISSOTA Modified feature – the closest of the championship battles to be decided on this night. To start the 20-lap “big Mod” main event Cook lined up just behind Spacek, a couple of rows back of front-row companions Jeff Spacek (Cole’s dad) and Bill Byholm – who between them own seven ABC titles.

The two wily veterans raced side-by-side for nearly every one of the 20 laps of the race, with Byholm flying around the uppermost groove of the smooth, fast red-clay oval while Spacek hugged the innermost lane. The senior Spacek gained an advantage on lap 7 just before Paul Suzik’s spin brought about the race’s first yellow-flag slowdown, and when the green lights came back on the younger Spacek restarted just ahead of Cook in sixth.

But Cook took advantage of the restart by diving low on both Cole Spacek and Brandon Copp to take fifth, then used a similar move to snare fourth from Alex Van Natta on lap 10 and third from Steve Lavasseur on lap 11.

Byholm and Jeff Spacek continued their classic battle just ahead of Cook and Lavasseur, with Byholm edging Spacek by a mere .002 seconds at the stripe on lap 18, just before Suzik’s second spin set up a green-white-checkered finish to the season. Byholm, of Glidden, held on to beat Spacek by .171 seconds for his 28th career feature win at Ashland but first since July 2016. Cook’s third-place performance was more than enough to earn him his first-ever points title at ABC, while Lavasseur took fourth and Cole Spacek fifth.

Dave Flynn of Superior also did just a little more than was needed on Saturday to score his first career track championship. Going into the WISSOTA Super Stock finale Flynn led four-time defending champ Nick Oreskovich by 42 points, meaning a 16th-place or better finish would secure the trophy for Flynn. Seventeen cars started the 20-lap feature, and Flynn didn’t let Oreskovich get too far out of reach.

After Andrew Mackey’s first-lap spin, DJ Keeler led Shawn McFadden, Cory Casari and the rest back to green. Flynn powered low to work past Oreskovich for fifth just after visitor Kevin Burdick took fourth away, but while Burdick picked his way forward to second over the next few laps, Flynn slipped back to as low as eighth.

Flynn rebounded at mid-race, swiping fifth from Scott Lawrence while the fourth-running Oreskovich chased Casari. As the leaders worked their way through backmarkers, Burdick made an inside pass of Keeler for the lead with four laps to go and then broke away.

Burdick had a lot of open space in front of him with two laps left, but a tangle involving Don Muzzy, Tom Karaba and Rita Anderson resulted in Karaba and Muzzy hitting the back-straight guardrail hard and Karaba’s car rolling once completely before settling on its roof. All drivers walked away uninjured, and it set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Burdick ran away to his fifth career win here, with Casari getting around Keeler on the restart for second. Flynn, who lined up alongside Oreskovich on the re-do, grabbed fourth and secured his championship.

Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, had all but cemented his first-ever WISSOTA Midwest Modified title at ABC by taking the green flag in that division’s 20-lap A-main, but just to be on the safe side he grabbed his second-straight feature win and third of the year for good measure.

Ross Fuhrman and Jimmy Latvala (third and second in points, respectively, behind Dunbar) started the race side-by-side on the front row, but Dunbar grabbed second from Latvala right away. Jesse Polson’s lap 2 spin stalled the show for a bit, but it allowed Latvala to work outside on Fuhrman and take the lead away within a lap after the restart.

Dunbar got by Fuhrman on the next lap, prior to Diamond Bressette’s spin on lap 4, and after a stoppage for debris Dunbar went on the attack and took the lead on lap 7. By lap 10 Dunbar was working his way through slower traffic, but a series of yellow flags for more debris, another Polson spin, and a Justin Weinberger spin that collected John Darwin slowed the pace considerably.

The final seven laps clicked off without further delay, with Dunbar cruising to a two-second-plus final advantage. Latvala battled a hard-charging Jack Rivord to the bitter end and edged the youngster for runner-up honors by .005 seconds. Jesse Aho and Tanner Hicks completed the top five.

Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs became the first true rookie to win a points title at Ashland in over 30 years, while Duluth, MN’s Cory Jorgensen capped off a solid month of August here with his third straight WISSOTA Pure Stock feature win.

A logjam at the front of the field kept nearly all eight entries in close quarters early on, as Aaron Bernick had RJ Holly and defending champ Randy Graham tapping on his rear bumper. Jorgensen stuck the nose of his racer into that crowd, and he, Bernick and Graham pulled away in tight formation from Holly, who was in a heated discussion with Gehl and visiting Samuel Blevins for fourth.

As the ten-lap run stayed green, Jorgensen edged around Graham for second, helping Gehl’s cause in the points battle, but when Holly took over fourth and Gehl slipped back to fifth it tightened up the standings again. On lap 7 Jorgensen got around Bernick for the lead and opened up a comfortable cushion, which he maintained to the end. Graham could not get by second-finishing Bernick, but Gehl did slip past Holly to retake fourth late and claim the title by a mere 13 points.

Graham, from Trego, successfully defended his ABC Six-Cylinders championship later in the night’s action, in part due to an unintentional birthday gift from second-in-points Forrest Schultz. During the early stages of his heat race Schultz’s motor blew up, meaning Graham would merely need to start the feature to retain the Sixes title.

Polestarter Jake Nevala led the first two laps, but Dennis Groom, in only his fifth night of racing after an 11-year hiatus, worked his way low to take the lead. Nevala then spun after a bump from Graham on lap 3, and shortly after the restart Josh Saunders looped his ride with a little help from Dominic Hmielewski, but from there on it was Groom’s race to keep.

An impressive Jordan Pearce kept the pressure on Groom over the final eight laps, and Tyler Hudack – driving his sister Tiffany’s championship-winning car while she drove Tyler’s Midwest Mod for the first time – closed a nearly-two-second deficit to the leaders over the last three laps. But Groom, the 2001 ABC Street Stock champ from Ashland, held on for his fourth career feature win here but first since May 2009. Graham recovered for fourth, clinching his fourth track title here in the past three years (two each in the Sixes and Pure Stocks), and Saunders followed in fifth.

One night after securing the WISSOTA Hornets championship in Superior, AJ House of Cloquet, MN, nailed down his first title here by winning his division-best fifth feature of the season at ABC and third in a row.

On the initial start Kristy Marken was bumped into the infield, which sent second-in-points DeJay Jarecki to the tail of the grid for the restart. Mitch Kieber then led from the pole, while first-time visitor Mike Klippenstein used the outside lane for a five-wide pass down the front straight to take second. House, who started in row 4, was battling with Casey Fitzpatrick for third by lap 4, while Jarecki had already weaved his way through most of the 15-car field to take fifth by lap 6.

With two to go Klippenstein pulled alongside Kieber for the lead, but on the next go-around House made a low-side move by Kieber for second and stayed there to outrun Klippenstein to the final corner and edge ahead for the win and the title. Fitzpatrick and Jarecki completed the top five.

Each of the feature winners received impressive five-foot-tall trophies in Victory Lane from Steve Parsons, who was in attendance to promote his annual organ and tissue donation awareness campaign in honor of his late daughter, Kim.

Along with Groom’s return to the winner’s circle, the Hudack siblings’ car swap, and the classic duel between Byholm and Spacek, Saturday night also marked the return to racing of multi-time Superior Speedway champ Randy Silverness Jr, who climbed behind the wheel of Rick Siiter’s Mid-Mod and turned his first competitive laps since 2009.

The fastest timed laps in each feature were set by Van Natta in the Mods (17.118 secs; 78.864 mph), Burdick in the Supers (17.330; 77.900), Dunbar in the Mid-Mods (17.529; 77.015), and Tyler Hudack in the Sixes (18.500; 72.973).

The ABC Raceway will host the first-ever “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, on Thursday night, September 3. WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks will compete for a share of a purse well in excess of $36,000 to kick off the region’s stock car racing invitational season.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the “Prelude” are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info are available by calling (715) 209-1373. Drivers who register via My Race Pass prior to September 2 will not have to pay a draw fee.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Bill Byholm, Glidden; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Pat Cook, Washburn; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Al Uotinen, Superior; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Shane Kisling, Butternut.

11-15: Rick Rivord, Superior; Paul Niznik, Medford; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI.

Heat 1: Copp; Byholm; J Spacek; Van Natta; Hiatt; Kisling; Niznik; Balduc.

Heat 2: C Spacek; Cook; Lavasseur; Uotinen; Rivord; Suzik; Luger.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal; DJ Keeler, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Kyle Copp, Brule.

11-17: Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Rita Anderson, South Range; Thomas Karaba, Superior; Matthew Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: Oreskovich; Burdick; Keeler; McFadden; Muzzy; Mashlan; Karaba; Popp; Stuart.

Heat 2: Flynn; Casari; Lawrence; Mackey; Deragon; Copp; Anderson; Hammitt.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Michael Blevins Sr, Hibbing, MN; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-20: Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Steve Altman, Mercer; Randy Silverness Jr, Superior; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Bryan Lund, Ashland; John Darwin, Iron River; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

21: Jesse Polson               Superior.

Heat 1: Hicks; Savoy; Fuhrman; D Dunbar; Weinberger; Mains; Lund.

Heat 2: Aho; M Dunbar; Rivord; Uotinen; Bretting; Barningham; Darwin.

Heat 3: Latvala; Blevins; Silverness; Altman; Bressette; Hudack; Polson.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-8: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Randy Graham, Trego; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; RJ Holly, Marengo; Mikey Blevins, Hibbing, MN; Samuel Blevins, Hibbing, MN; Jennie Krause, Aurora, MN.

Heat: Jorgensen; M Blevins; Graham; Bernick; Holly; Gehl; S Blevins; Krause.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Dennis Groom, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Joshua Saunders, Spooner; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Trenton Bond, Mason; Jakob Bond, Mason.

11: Dalton Truchon, Ashland.

Heat 1: Hudack; Saunders; Groom; Nevala; Rohlfing; Schultz.

Heat 2: Graham; Truchon; Pearce; Hmielewski; J Bond; T Bond.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-10: AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Colton Strong, Superior.

11-14: Noah Rose, Duluth, MN; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple.

Heat 1: Jarecki; House; Klippenstein; Rowe; Young; Rose; Wammer.

Heat 2: Kieber; Fitzpatrick; Strong; Marken; Gotelaere; Butterfield; Hummelmeier.

 

 

ABC 8/29/20 results

Championship Saturday August 29th

ABC Raceway to Crown 2020 Champs on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 26 — The points-paying portion of the 2020 stock car racing season at the ABC Raceway concludes this Saturday, with champions to be determined at the conclusion of each of the night’s six features.

The “Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night” program, to be presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI, and North Star Beverage of Hurley, with include qualifying heat races and features in the WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Mods, Pure Stocks and Hornets, as well as the ABC Six-Cylinders.

WISSOTA’s points system, which is used for all six divisions at Ashland, places a lot of emphasis on large gains for strong feature race efforts – as well as significant losses in the standings for poorer finishes. With 100 points awarded for a feature win and 45 points just to start the A-main, every division but one has at least two drivers within range of a title, and first-time champions will be named in two of the classes.

In the WISSOTA Modifieds, Pat Cook of Washburn turned a two-point deficit to Phillips’ Cole Spacek into an 11-point lead, with a third-place performance in last Saturday’s Mod feature besting Spacek’ seventh. Should Spacek win this Saturday night, Cook would need to finish third again, or better, to hold on for his first-ever championship here. Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, the track’s Mod champ back in 2016, sits in third, just 27 points behind Cook and is still very much in contention.

Dave Flynn of Superior chalked up his third WISSOTA Super Stock feature win of the season here last weekend, strengthening his grip on that division’s standings as he seeks his first career title here. Flynn sits 42 points up on four-time defending champ Nick Oreskovich of Mason and would need a feature finish of 16th or better to take the honors should Oreskovich grab Saturday’s win.

Theoretically, all Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, needs to do is start his heat race in order to qualify for the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature, which in turn would give him his first-ever ABC Raceway title. His closest rivals in the standings, Jimmy Latvala of Solon Springs and Ashland’s Ross Fuhrman, both struggled through difficult nights here last weekend to all but eliminate themselves from contention.

Rookie Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs will have his hands full to maintain as much of his 17-point advantage as he can over defending WISSOTA Pure Stock champ Randy Graham of Trego with one night left. A feature win by Graham on Saturday means Gehl would have to finish in the top-five for his first-ever title – becoming the first divisional rookie to win a championship at Ashland since Jeff Klopstein Jr took the Super Stock crown in 2015.

Graham stands a pretty fair chance to successfully his Six-Cylinders title, though, bringing a 34-point advantage on Ashland’s Forrest Schultz into the final night of the season after winning his second-straight Sixes feature and sixth of the year in the class last Saturday. Graham would need to finish 12th or better if Schultz should win the division’s finale.

After capturing his fourth feature of the season here last weekend, AJ House of Cloquet, MN, picked up his fourth WISSOTA Hornets feature win of 2020 at ABC and pushed his points lead over DeJay Jarecki of Ashland to 33. House has to finish 12th or better in Saturday’s finale to lay claim to his first championship here.

After Saturday, the Raceway staff will prepare for its two “post-season” special events – its first-ever “Prelude to the Clay,” presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, on Thursday, September 3, and the 45th annual Red Clay Classic on Friday and Saturday, October 2-3.

Grandstand admission tickets for adults for this Saturday’s season finale are just $11, and kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or in advance online via www.myracepass.com.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstands will open at 5, hot laps will start at 6:15 and the first heat race of the night gets the green flag at 7 pm. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

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The ABC Raceway will complete the points-paying portion of its 2020 racing season on Saturday, August 29, with Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI. The track champions in all six regular weekly divisions will be crowned after a full evening of action. Then the Raceway will prepare for its “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, featuring WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks, on Thursday night, September 3, to kick off the region’s stock car racing invitational season.

Grandstand admission tickets for Saturday’s finale are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the “Prelude” are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info are available by calling (715) 209-1373. Drivers who register via My Race Pass prior to September 2 will not have to pay a draw fee.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

August 22nd Results

Uotinen Returns to ABC Victory Lane

Flynn, Dunbar, Graham, House solidify title chances

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 22 — Superior’s Al Uotinen held on despite two mid-race caution flags and captured his first WISSOTA Modified feature win at the ABC Raceway since August 2014 on Saturday night.

Also during the Raceway’s “Summer Blast” program, presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland, four drivers tightened their grips on their championship points leads by winning their respective features during a fast-paced show on a cool, muggy night in northern Wisconsin.

Uotinen, the six-time ABC “big Mod” points champ, started the 20-lap headliner on the inside of row 2 and used the low lane of a three-wide pass to get by polestarter Shane Kisling and Neil Balduc for second place behind initial leader Bill Byholm. Two laps later Uotinen slipped past the 2017 ABC Mod champ and began building a lead that grew to over two-and-a-half seconds by mid-race.

Pat Cook, who started outside on row 3, weaved his way forward until he had eventually gotten around Byholm on lap 9, with Brandon Copp and 11th-starting Jeff Spacek following into the top five. Although Uotinen looked unbeatable, a caution flag was thrown on lap 12 to bring the field back to the leaders. The close-quarters racing on that restart resulted in contact between Byholm and Copp on lap 13 that sent Byholm into a wild spin into the back-straight guardrail.

Over the final laps Uotinen had all he could do to keep Cook and Balduc at bay, but he survived for his 26th career feature win at Ashland. Balduc had gotten by Cook on the final restart and was close behind the winner at the checkers, and Spacek and Jake Hiatt completed the top five.

Cook’s podium finish, combined with a sluggish seventh-place run for Cole Spacek, resulted in the only change at the top of the points standings in any of the Raceway’s six divisions on this night. Cook will lead Cole Spacek by 11 and Balduc by 27 heading into Saturday’s season finale.

Superior’s Dave Flynn made it clear that he intends to claim his first WISSOTA Super Stock title at Ashland and snap Nick Oreskovich’s four-year grip on that crown by running away to a decisive feature win here on Saturday.

Flynn started roughly mid-pack – inside on row 4 – but had already moved up to fourth during the first two laps, behind polestarter Andrew Mackey, Cory Casari and Steve Stuart. After Jonathan Popp’s stalled ride on lap 3 brought about the only yellow flag of the 20-lap run, Flynn worked inside on lap 5 to take third from Casari, then used a similar move to grab the lead on lap 7.

From there Flynn ran away to a huge 4.46-second margin of victory. Behind him, though, as many as six cars clustered into a tight pack jostling for second, with Mackey eventually succumbing to the challenges of Casari on lap 10 and Matt Deragon following into third. Deragon overtook Casari on lap 13 but had nothing left to reel in Flynn, whose third win of the season was also the 21st of his career at ABC and helped him extend his points lead to 42 on Oreskovich, who finished fifth behind Stuart.

Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, not only won his second WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature of the season, but he also took advantage of some heartbreakingly bad luck cast upon his two closest challengers in the standings to greatly improve his chances for a first-ever title here.

Dunbar slipped by front-row mates Justin Weinberger and Tanner Hicks with a three-wide move right off the initial green flag and led all 20 laps of the race. Weinberger’s car slowed during the second circuit, and several cars bumped and bounced off of his, resulting in damage that knocked Weinberger’s as well as a couple of other cars from the run.

Dunbar was up by over half a second on Hicks and third-in-points Ross Fuhrman during lap 4 before John Darwin’s spin slowed the proceedings again, and two laps after that restart Fuhrman’s car shot sparks from its rear axle and he slid into the damp infield grass to stop the action again. Second-in-points Jimmy Latvala restarted in third, beat Hicks through the first set of turns back under green, and immediately began a determined assault on Dunbar’s lead.

Dunbar hugged the bottom groove while Latvala circled around the high lane, with Brady Uotinen following Latvala to get around Hicks for third. After Diamond Bressette’s lap 11 spin, Latvala used the upper route to close the gap on the leader, drawing nearly even with Dunbar on lap 13. But the leader switched to the high side once he was sure he had held Latvala off, and two laps later Latvala looped his racer to take himself out of contention.

From there Dunbar fled from first-night visitor Ryan Savoy to a 1.9-second win, with Uotinen solidly in third ahead of Hicks and Jesse Aho. Latvala and Furhman fell to 69 and 79 points back of the title spot, respectively, with their unfortunate nights.

Duluth, MN’s Cory Jorgensen was a repeat feature winner in the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and has moved into a tie for fourth place in the standings despite only running three nights here all season.

As opposed to the previous Saturday, when Jorgensen had to patiently thread his way through some difficult heavy traffic in order to get to the front, this night’s move to the lead was just a bit easier. Once he got around the front-row pair of polestarter RJ Holly and points leader Tanner Gehl, the defending national Pure Stock champ drew away to a significant 3.5-second cushion after just five laps, while Holly did an admirable job holding on to second ahead of Aaron Bernick, second-in-points Randy Graham, and Gehl.

Jorgensen had added another full second to his lead by lap 7 when the fifth-place Gehl spun, bringing the field back to the leader’s rear bumper for a three-lap sprint to the finish. But Jorgensen maintained for his second straight win here and third of his career at ABC. Holly held on to second, while Graham finished third to trim his points deficit to the fifth-finishing Gehl to just 17 with one night left. Bernick claimed fourth-place at the pay window.

Graham did add to his ABC Six-Cylinders points lead, though, by winning his fifth feature of the season in that division and 33rd of his career here.

It would take a late-race pass for the sixth-starting Graham to get the win, as Dennis Groom worked outside on polestarter Dominic Hmielewski before setting the early pace. Josh Saunders was strong in getting by Hmielewski for second on lap 2, with Graham following Saunders to third a couple of laps later.

Saunders continued his impressive run by taking the long way around Groom over laps 5 and 6 before staking his claim to the lead, while Graham used the shorter low line to displace Groom on lap 7. Graham stayed low to reel in Saunders, and with just three laps remaining the points leader from Trego took over the pace.

Graham’s final margin at the checkers was 1.066 seconds on Saunders, while Forrest Schultz edged Groom at the line for third. Dalton Truchon was a distant fifth. Graham’s points lead over Schultz has now grown to 34 going into next Saturday’s final night.

AJ House of Cloquet, MN, also built a little bit of breathing room between himself and DeJay Jarecki by winning his fourth WISSOTA Hornets feature of the season. House and Jarecki have combined to win eight of the nine features held for the division this summer.

In the non-stop ten-lap A-main, Jarecki drove by polestarter Mitch Kieber at the drop of the green and grabbed the initial lead, but House followed into second and the pair began another familiar battle for the win. This time House worked his way by Jarecki on lap 4 and fended off his foe’s advances throughout each of the remaining laps, winning by little more than a car-length.

First-time visitor Carson Gotelaere edged past third-in-points Josh Rose for third, and Kieber finished a solid fifth. House will lead Jarecki by 33 heading into Saturday’s finale.

The Raceway hosted bike races for kids in four different age groups during intermission, and well over a dozen new bikes were given away as well, thanks to donations from Home Expressions, Chicago Iron & Supply, Marcus Dunbar Racing, Bill Muhlig Racing, Saunders Racing, Mashlan Business Services, and the ABC Raceway and its front-gate crew. The Iron River Ambulance Service donated youth safety helmets that were given away as well.

The fastest posted feature laps on the night were set by Jeff Spacek in the Mods (16.605 secs; 81.301 mph), Flynn in the Supers (17.125; 78.832), Marcus Dunbar in the Mid-Mods (17.560; 76.879), and Graham in the Sixes (18.748; 72.008).

The ABC Raceway will complete the points-paying portion of its 2020 racing season on Saturday, August 29, with Mountain Dew Championship Saturday Night presented by WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI. The track champions in all six regular weekly divisions will be crowned after a full evening of action. Then the Raceway will prepare for its “Prelude to the Clay,” to be presented by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, featuring WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds and Super Stocks, on Thursday night, September 3, to kick off the region’s stock car racing invitational season.

Grandstand admission tickets for Saturday’s finale are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or online via www.myracepass.com. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

Reserved seating, advance tickets, and camping information for the “Prelude” are available by calling (715) 292-2672. Reserved pit parking and driver registration info are available by calling (715) 209-1373. Drivers who register via My Race Pass prior to September 2 will not have to pay a draw fee.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.

RESULTS

WISSOTA MODIFIEDS

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

11: Bill Byholm, Glidden.

Heat 1: Byholm; Suzik; Kisling; C Spacek; Hiatt; J Spacek.

Heat 2: Cook; Uotinen; Copp; Balduc; Luger.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Kyle Copp, Brule; Rita Anderson, South Range; Charlie Anderson, Ironwood, MI; David Elliott, Minocqua.

11: Jonathan Popp, Iron River.

Heat 1: Flynn; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Deragon; Elliott; R Anderson; Popp.

Heat 2: Oreskovich; Mackey; Casari; Stuart; Copp; C Anderson.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; John Kallas, Hurley; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

11-19: Steve Altman, Mercer; Chris Bretting, Washburn; John Darwin, Iron River; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jack Rivord, Superior; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

Heat 1: M Dunbar; D Dunbar; Aho; Uotinen; Mains; Kallas; Bressette.

Heat 2: Fuhrman; Hicks; Weinberger; Peterson; Barningham; Passuello.

Heat 3: Latvala; Rivord; Savoy; Altman; Darwin; Bretting.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-6: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Randy Graham, Trego; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Jamie Chlebecek, Lehigh Acres, FL.

Heat: Jorgensen; Graham; Bernick; Gehl; Holly; Chlebecek.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-10: Randy Graham, Trego; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Trenton Bond, Mason.

Heat 1: Pearce; Graham; Schultz; Saunders; Bond.

Heat 2: Truchon; Nevala; Groom; Hmielewski; Rohlfing.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-9: AJ House, Cloquet, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Dan Moncher, Saxon; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Austin Bowens, Superior.

Heat: Jarecki; House; Kieber; Rowe; Gotelaere; D Moncher; Bowens

Superior; Hummelmeier.

 

Summer Blast August 22

Championship Battles, Bike Races Part of ‘Summer Blast’ at ABC Raceway on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 20 — And down the stretch they come!

Only two nights of regular-season racing remain for the 2020 stock car racing campaign at the ABC Raceway, and this Saturday’s program should be full of drama and excitement at the historic northern Wisconsin speedplant.

The Raceway’s annual “Summer Blast,” presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland, has become a favorite event on the track’s schedule over the past few seasons. It is a chance for the Raceway to say “thank you” to its loyal fans for supporting the track and enjoying the action here all summer long. And, with so few chances remaining, drivers will need to step up their games just that much more to gain valuable ground in the final championship points standings in their respective divisions, making for more thrills on the track.

To add to the excitement on the track, kids’ bike races have been added to Saturday’s docket. Kids will get to compete in four different classes – ages 2-4, 5-7, 8-10, and 11-12, and there will be bikes given away and other fun prizes aimed at the younger fans.

No one has nailed down a championship here yet, but no division is as close points-wise as the WISSOTA Modifieds, where Phillips’ Cole Spacek (son of the night’s co-sponsor, six-time track champ Jeff Spacek of Northern Wisconsin Fence) leads Pat Cook of Washburn by a mere two points. Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, moved into third, just 32 points behind Spacek, on the strength of his second feature win of the season here last Saturday, and Brandon Copp of Brule sits fourth, 45 points out.

By comparison, Dave Flynn of Superior has a seemingly comfortable grip on the WISSOTA Super Stocks standings, sitting 26 points up on four-time defending champ Nick Oreskovich of Mason. But under the current WISSOTA points system, which provides for big swings in the standings in the event of very good – or very bad – feature finishes, a win by Oreskovich combined with a Flynn finish outside of the top seven on Saturday could create a completely different complexion going into the season finale on August 29.

The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds has become a three-car race for the title, led by Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI, who holds a 33-point lead on Jimmy Latvala of Solon Springs. The other of the race program’s co-sponsors – Ashland’s Ross Fuhrman of Outlaw Wraps & Apparel – has used top-five runs in four of the last five Mid-Mod features to close to within 39 points of Dunbar.

After winning the first feature of his career here on July 25, rookie Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs has endured a couple of tough nights on the track, but he still maintains a 24-point advantage on defending division champ Randy Graham of Trego in the WISSOTA Pure Stock standings. Meanwhile, Graham strengthened his defense of his ABC Six-Cylinders title by extending his lead to 25 points over Ashland’s Forrest Schultz, after picking up his Raceway-leading fifth feature win of the season last Saturday in that class.

Cloquet, MN’s AJ House picked up his third WISSOTA Hornets feature win last Saturday and, in so doing, extended his points lead over DeJay Jarecki of Ashland to 28. These two have won all but one of the eight Hornet features here this year and have put on some classic duels for the fans in the Raceway’s entry-level division.

Grandstand admission tickets are just $11 for adults, and kids ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are available either at the gate on race night or in advance online via www.myracepass.com.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstands will open at 5, hot laps will start at 6:15 and the first heat race of the night gets the green flag at 7 pm. “Race Reports” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, as well as online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30 until 6 pm with the latest news and weather information from the track.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For raceday information call (715) 682-4990, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s FaceBook page.