444 Memorial Race for Tanner Byholm

ABC Raceway Planning ‘444 Memorial’ to be Very Special

by Nick Gima

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce Night

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

The WISSOTA Super Stocks will return to join in on the action, with the gates and pits opening at 5 pm, followed by hot laps at 6:15 and the first green flag of the night scheduled for 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online via the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.

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

Neighbor helping Neighbor

ABC Raceway Helps Halvor Lines Speedway Get ’21 Season Underway

by Nick Gima

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advantage RV Mod Series Results

Spacek Tops Stout Advantage RV Mod Series Field at ABC

by Nick Gima

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dylan Shelton and Bernick completed the top five.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The WISSOTA Super Stocks will return to join in on the action, with the gates and pits opening at 5 pm, followed by hot laps at 6:15 and the first green flag of the night scheduled for 7 pm. WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online via the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.

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

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

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

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

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

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

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

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

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

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

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

ABC Six-Cylinders

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

11: Dale Coddington, Hayward.

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

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

WISSOTA Hornets

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

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

Advantage RV Mod Series Tour

Saturday, June 12, will mark the second round of the three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series at the ABC Raceway, as well as the third stop of the opening leg of the Advantage RV Mod Series regional tour, creating what could potentially be one of the biggest race nights for WISSOTA Modifieds in the early half of the season. A large contingent of racers is expected to be on hand for a chance at the $2,000 feature winner’s check.

The NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn will present the program, in which all divisions except the Super Stocks will be in action. Adult grandstand tickets will be available for just $18, with the gates and pits opening at 5 pm, followed by hot laps at 6:15 and the first green flag of the night scheduled for 7 pm.

WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online on the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.

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

Meet the Drivers Night Results

Copp, Flynn, Rivord, Jorgensen, Hudack, Jarecki Grab ABC Feature Wins

by Nick Gima

            Ashland, WI, June 5 – Brandon Copp of Brule, Superior’s Dave Flynn, and DeJay Jarecki of Ashland each piggy-backed off successful runs the night before to claim feature wins during the ABC Raceway’s “Kids’ Meet the Drivers Night” program, presented by Little Caesar’s Pizza of Ashland, on Saturday night.

In addition, Tiffany Hudack of Ashland won her second feature in as many weeks at ABC, and Superior’s Jack Rivord and Cory Jorgensen of Duluth, MN, picked up their first wins of the year here.

After a large crowd of fans poured onto the front straightaway of the northern Wisconsin red-clay oval for a “meet and greet” autograph session with the 69 racers in attendance, heat race action was completed in a shade over an hour under near-ideal weather conditions. Temperatures by feature time dipped into the upper 60s, offering the fans on hand a respite from the brutal upper-90s temps experienced here over the previous 36 hours.

For Copp, Flynn and Jarecki, their wins in Ashland came less than 24 hours after collecting feature wins in their respective classes at Gondik Law Speedway in Superior.

The 20-lap WISSOTA Modified feature ran off without stoppage, with polestarter Rick Rivord beating Jake Hiatt for the initial advantage. As Rivord built a sizable lead over the first half of the race, Hiatt was well ahead of a thrilling battle for third between Paul Niznik and Copp, which went on for about three laps before Copp got the best of Niznik with an outside pass.

Rivord had over a full-second lead when Copp slipped low to get by Hiatt at mid-race, but it didn’t take long for the second-generation driver to bite off large chunks of that lead. By lap 13 Copp was less than a third of a second behind Rivord, and three laps later Copp worked the outside line to fly around Rivord coming off turn 4.

From there Copp drove to a 1.667-second margin of victory – his first of the season here and fourth of his career at ABC – while Rivord held off late-race charges from Hiatt, Niznik and Pat Cook. Earlier in the run Rivord had set the fastest lap-time of the event at 17.872 seconds, or a 75.537 mph average speed around the three-eighths-mile oval.

Copp gave kudos to the track prep crew for a fast, competitive track, and also to his fellow drivers at ABC, who he said he considers make up some of the best competition in all of WISSOTA.

Flynn may have started a fun new tradition for himself. After crossing the scales following his wins both here and in Superior, he brought his preschool-aged son in the race car with him to Victory Lane. Then the child climbed out of the car first and onto its roof, waiving a checkered flag that’s larger than he is, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.

Flynn took control of the 20-lap WISSOTA Super Stock A-main a lot earlier than Copp did – just three laps in, after divisional rookie Justin Weinberger battled with Matt Deragon door-to-door over the first couple of circuits. Once Deragon cleared Weinberger for the lead, Flynn followed into second, and on the next tour around he drove inside on Deragon to take over as pacesetter.

From there Flynn drove off to a two-and-a-half-second lead, while Deragon worked hard to keep Weinberger and Nick Oreskovich at bay. And even though a lap 9 spin by Kyle Copp brought the field to Flynn’s trunklid for a restart, no one could catch the Raceway’s 2020 division champ the rest of the way, as he motored to the 22nd win of his career here by 1.7 seconds.

Oreskovich edged by Deragon momentarily after the lap 9 restart, but Deragon reclaimed the spot and held it to the checkers. Oreskovich earned third ahead of Steve Stuart and Cory Casari. Flynn’s 17.968-second (75.134-mph) lap during the first half of the run was the quickest in the field.

Jarecki exorcized whatever demons haunted his WISSOTA Hornet from the week before – or maybe he just changed to another car. In any event, he started from the pole and led all ten laps of the division’s finale, after not even finishing last Saturday’s race.

With one lap in the books, Derek Dunbar tapped second-place-running Gavyn Moncher and spun him to bring about the event’s lone caution. From there Jarecki quickly dispensed with the field and ran away to his fifth career win at ABC by a vast distance.

Moncher restarted in second, but he could not hold off the threat of Carson Gotalaere, who took runner-up honors away on lap 3 and held them to the end. Moncher held off his father Dan Moncher for fourth, and Dunbar recovered for fifth.

The ABC Six-Cylinders struggled to get their 12-lap A-feature going initially, but once the laps started clicking off it was only a matter of time before Hudack found her way to the front.

Debris and a spin by Trenton Bond brought about caution flags on each of the first two laps, but from there the race ran without further delay. In between those stoppages, Dennis Groom came from the third row to sneak by both Trenton Bond and his cousin Jakob Bond to take second, and then Groom passed polestarter Jake Nevala for the lead just before Trenton’s spin.

Hudack, who had started outside on row 4, was already up to third prior to the lap 2 restart, and within a lap she had overtaken Nevala and set out to catch Groom. Dale Coddington, who had started the race alongside Hudack, followed her into third, and the lead trio pulled away to decide the outcome.

Hudack used a strong inside move to slip by Groom with four laps remaining, and from there she drew away to a 1.4-second advantage at the checkers for her 22nd career win here. It took Coddington until the white flag lap to finally get by Groom for second, and Nevala and Mathew Rohlfing completed the top five at a distance.

Hudack posted the fastest single lap of the race, at 18.956 seconds (71.218 mph).

The WISSOTA Midwest Modified main event was a test of patience for all involved, as no less than seven restarts littered front half of the 20-lap run. And although George Dalbeck had the car to beat, his patience would not be rewarded.

Three separate incidents, for spins and minor crashes, kept the first lap of the race from being scored, but then Dalbeck paced the field for seven competitive non-stop circuits well ahead of a tight group of about six cars. Brady Uotinen’s spin then stopped the progress, followed by another slowdown for debris, after which Tyler Vernon employed the high line around the track to make his way up to fourth before another delay – this time for Marcus Dunbar’s bump of Rivord and subsequent spin while battling for second on lap 10.

Dalbeck’s lead was a stout 1.45 seconds at the time of that stop, and Rivord took advantage when he moved low to displace Dalbeck two laps after the restart. A loose car cost Dalbeck a couple more positions – giving Vernon second and Tanner Hicks third – as the second half of the race went non-stop.

Rivord’s fifth career ABC win was by two full seconds on Vernon, while Hicks was equally as far back in third. Dalbeck, who posted the race’s fastest lap time at 17.853 seconds (75.618 mph) recovered to secure fourth ahead of Dalton Mains.

Arguably the most entertaining race of the night was the ten-lap WISSOTA Pure Stock feature, as Jorgensen won it from the pole but had to earn every bit of it.

After RJ Holly’s first-turn spin brought about the race’s only caution flag, Jorgensen fought every lap to fend off multiple challenges, as the front five runners were never more than a car-length or so apart, and often raced two- and three-wide. Dylan Shelton had a run on Jorgensen on the high side early in the go, but he slipped too wide and fell back from second to fifth. Then Aaron Bernick came on strong to threaten, with Jared Akervik alongside him to take third, but each lost a spot or so in the lap-by-lap shuffle.

Finally, Akervik moved into second just as the lead pack was closing in on backmarker Jessie Limberios with two laps left. Jorgensen held his line, and Akervik had to make a quick course correction to avoid contact with the slower car, giving Jorgensen just enough of an opening to hang on for his fifth career feature win at Ashland. Tom Treviranus, Bernick and Shelton completed a closely-grouped top five.

Saturday, June 12, will mark the second round of the three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Modified Series at the ABC Raceway, as well as the third stop of the opening leg of the Advantage RV Mod Series regional tour, creating what could potentially be one of the biggest race nights for WISSOTA Modifieds in the early half of the season. A large contingent of racers is expected to be on hand for a chance at the $2,000 feature winner’s check.

The NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn will present the program, in which all divisions except the Super Stocks will be in action. Adult grandstand tickets will be available for just $18, with the gates and pits opening at 5 pm, followed by hot laps at 6:15 and the first green flag of the night scheduled for 7 pm.

WSBZ, 93.3 FM, will air updates from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday, with simulcasts online on the station’s website, www.wbszfm.com.

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

Results

WISSOTA Modifieds

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

11-12: Shane Kisling, Butternut; Tyler Luger, Oxford.

Heat 1: Uotinen; C Spacek; Vernon; Rivord; Kisling; J Spacek.

Heat 2: Cook; Niznik; Hiatt; Copp; Balduc; Luger.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Kyle Copp, Brule; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

Heat 1: Beeksma; Copp; Flynn; Oreskovich; Deragon; Casari.

Heat 2: Weinberger; Stuart; Lawrence; Mashlan; Shawn McFadden, Ashland.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; Tyler Vernon, Mason; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; John Darwin, Iron River; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Jesse Polson, Superior.

11-20: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Sean O’Brien, Manitowish Waters; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Matt Jacobson, Bessemer, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Neil Dees, Hurley.

Heat 1: Uotinen; Mains; Dunbar; Suzik; Bretting; Lund; Polson.

Heat 2: Vernon; Fuhrman; Darwin; Barningham; Dees; Kieber.

Heat 3: Dalbeck; Rivord; Hicks; Hudack; O’Brien.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-8: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Jared Akervik, Superior; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Zene Anderson, Superior; Jessie Limberios, Poplar.

Heat: Akervik; Treviranus; Jorgensen; Shelton; Holly; Bernick; Limberios; Anderson.

ABC Six-Cylinders

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

11-12: Shane Basina, Bayfield; Dalton Truchon, Ashland.

Heat 1: Hudack; Groom; T Bond; J Bond; Rohlfing; Root.

Heat 2: Truchon; Coddington; Nevala; Olby; Anderson; Basina.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-6: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Gavyn Moncher, Saxon; Dan Moncher, Saxon; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Adam Young, Hayward.

Heat: Jarecki; D Moncher; Gotelaere; Dunbar; G Moncher; Young.

Class of ’21 Announced for ABC Raceway Hall of Fame

Class of ’21 Announced for ABC Raceway Hall of Fame

by Nick Gima

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

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

Those to be inducted will include:

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

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

Volunteers: the Zeke Johnson family.

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

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

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

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.