June 13th Results

Anderson Sails to ABC Street Stock ‘Battle by the Bay’ Win

Lawrence returns to Ashland’s Victory Lane

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, June 13 — After a hard-fought early three-car battle, Parker Anderson took the lead from Cody Kummer with ten laps remaining and pulled away to win the first-ever “Battle by the Bay” WISSOTA Street Stock feature at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

                A season-high 104 racers were entered for the program, presented by Anderson’s Body Shop of Phillips. The first appearance for WISSOTA Street Stocks at the historic northern Wisconsin speedplant since late August 2009 evolved from a simple offer to the division to run at ABC (since the home track for most of them – Rice Lake Speedway – had a scheduled Saturday night off) to a big-money special in less than a week.

                Anderson’s Body Shop and other associate sponsors gathered up over $5,300 in purse and bonuses for the Street Stock feature, resulting in a track-record winner’s check for the division of $1,200.

                Anderson, of Phillips, who was coming off a win at Eagle Valley Speedway in Jim Falls the night before, started alongside pole dash winner Cody Kummer on the front row, and throughout the first 15 of the 25 scheduled laps Anderson gave Kummer all he could handle, with Andrew Hanson running right on their rear bumper. The lead trio ran in extremely close formation as they pulled away from the rest of the 18-car field over the first five laps, before Kolby Kiehl’s spin brought out the first yellow flag.

                Jim Randall, who restarted in fourth, tried to join the lead battle but spun to slow the pace after lap 6, and Hunter Anderson’s spin collected a couple of his fellow racers before lap 7 was scored. But after Hunter Van Guilder’s loop on lap 9 brought about another caution stop, the rest of the run went uninterrupted.

                By lap 14 Kummer and Anderson had gained some separation from Hanson, and Anderson’s persistent efforts to nose by on the outside finally paid off when he edged ahead under the flagstand at the end of lap 15. From there Anderson stretched his lead to 3.25 seconds at the checkers for his first-ever feature win at the same track where his grandfather Bob won a Six-Cylinder points title in 1994. Kummer finished just ahead of Zach Manley, who had started last on the 18-car grid to earn hard-charger honors. Hanson, in his first race at ABC since his 2017 Pure Stock points title here, and Nick Traynor completed the top five.

                Scott Lawrence’s last feature win in Ashland seemed like nearly as long ago as the last Street Stock race here. “I nearly forgot how to get here,” Lawrence half-joked in Victory Lane after winning his first WISSOTA Super Stock feature at ABC since early July 2014.

                After a huge crash that collected ten of the 18 starters for the 20-lap A-main, Lawrence – the 14-time track champion from Superior who won 11 Super Stock titles in a row here from 2004-’14 – started on the pole and edged ahead of Andrew Mackey for the initial lead. Shawn McFadden Jr and Terran Spacek provided Lawrence with plenty of pressure before 2019 ABC Modified champ Steve Stuart, driving Greg Kuklinski’s car, collected visiting Tucker Quinn to bring out a quick second yellow flag on lap 2.

                Another big wreck at the drop of the next green flag began with contact between Mackey and Dave Flynn and eliminated or badly damaged several front-runners, but the race stayed under green for the final 18 laps, during most of which Lawrence and Spacek ran side-by-side and swapped the lead on nearly every lap. Stuart had battled back from the early back-of-the-pack penalty and swept past Cory Casari for third with six laps to go, as Lawrence finally wrestled control of the lead from Spacek.

                Over the final two laps Stuart overtook Spacek and tried to reel in Lawrence, but he couldn’t get any closer than four-tenths of a second away at the checkered. Spacek claimed third, comfortably ahead of 11th-starting Matt Deragon and 15th-starting Tristan LaBarge.

                The 55th win of his career at ABC ties Lawrence for fourth on the track’s all-time feature win list with another driver from Superior – Raceway Hall-of-Famer Dick Christman.

                Another veteran multi-time track champ from Superior, Al Uotinen, seemed to have the WISSOTA Modified 20-lap headliner well in hand, but a hard-charging Neil Balduc changed that outcome in dramatic fashion.

                Outside front-row starter Paul Niznik maintained the lead through two early restarts – after Jeff Spacek pounded the turn-1 guardrail hard after the first lap, and after Alex Van Natta’s spin in traffic during lap 2. But Uotinen, who owns six “big Mod” points titles at Ashland, worked his way by Niznik on the low groove after a slight bobble by the leader, and eventually he cruised out to a lead of over two full seconds on the field at mid-race.

                Balduc’s car, which started outside on the fourth row, was hooked up to the fast, wide, sticky red-clay oval, and he weaved his way into second place on lap 11. Balduc then shaved huge chunks of Uotinen’s advantage away until, on lap 17, he made a strong outside sweep around Uotinen for the lead. Uotinen fought back and, on a couple of occasions, edged ahead, but at the stripe Balduc, from Bessemer, MI, held a winning margin of less than four-tenths of a second – not much more than a car-length.

                Cole Spacek followed Balduc through the field to finish third, with Brandon Copp and Jeff Tardy close behind.

                The WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature also saw a strong run through traffic for the win, as defending division champ George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, drove from the 19th starting spot on the 20-car grid in his first night back on the Ashland track.

                Polestarter Kennedy Swan tried to keep Jesse Aho from passing her during the race’s early stages, but the veteran racer overtook the 13-year-old on lap 2 and brought Jimmy Latvala along to second. Swan’s spin and crash on lap 4 collected several cars and damaged hers enough to end her night, but with the green flag displayed Aho had his hands full with challenges from Latvala, Tanner Hicks and Marcus Dunbar.

                After first-nighter Jesse Raffaelli’s car stalled on lap 7, Dunbar charged into second place, and after visiting Guy Carley’s spin on lap 8, Dunbar made an inside pass on Aho stick for the lead, with Latvala following along to second. One lap later, Dalbeck moved into a tightly-packed top-five with a pass of Tyler Vernon.

                Raffaelli’s second stop on the track slowed the pace on lap 12, and after a multi-car spin on that restart, Aho and Latvala began an exciting duel for second, allowing Dunbar to sprint away. But debris on the track brought the field back to the leader with four laps left, and when Dunbar slipped up high in the first corner after the restart, Aho took over at the point, towing Dalbeck and Latvala by as well. With the white flag in the air Dalbeck worked past Aho for the lead and held on by a car-length for his track-best 19th career Mid-Mod win here.

                Dunbar recovered to overtake Aho for second, with Latvala and Jack Rivord not far behind.

                Trego’s Randy Graham stayed undefeated in the ABC Six-Cylinders in 2020, winning both the division’s heat and feature for the third time in as many nights.

                Graham had his work cut out for him in the feature but bided his time while running fifth in the six-car field early in the 12-lapper. After Dalton Truchon’s spin on lap 3 due to fluids spilled on the track, Graham sliced between second-running Dominic Hmielewski and leader Jordan Pearce to grab the lead during lap 4. Graham then withstood Pearce’s lap 8 spin and subsequent restart for his 29th career win, and 18th in the Sixes here, by 1.6 seconds over Truchon, Hmielewski, Forrest Schultz and Pearce.

                Visitor Travis Hazelton led the early going of the 12-lap WISSOTA Pure Stock feature, and he maintained his advantage over Nicholas Hazelton, Graham and James Vendela after a lap 2 stoppage for Tyler Kachinske’s spin. But when the leader broke with eight laps to go, Vendela sped by while others brake-checked to avoid heavy contact, and the second-generation driver from South Range ran away to his second career feature win at ABC.

                Graham recovered to finish a distant second, while Tanner Gehl snuck through to claim third, a ways ahead of Nicholas Hazelton and Devin Fries.

                Derek Dunbar grabbed the early lead from the pole in the 12-lap WISSOTA Hornet A-main, ahead of some tight-formation racing that fanned out to four- and even five-wide. A grinding crash involving Josh Rowe and Isiah Oakgrove brought about a stoppage of the race on lap 2, after which Jace Wiarda and AJ House put the pressure on Dunbar.

                House worked the low groove to get by Dunbar on lap 3, with Wiarda in tow to second, and two laps later Wiarda made a low-lane move of his own stick to get by House for the winning pass. After Dunbar’s car got caught up on the turn 3 infield marker tires and spun on lap 9, Wiarda, of Duluth, MN, ran away unchallenged for his first career feature win, well ahead of House, Casey Fitzpatrick, Kristy Marken and Hunter McDougall.

                The associate sponsors who contributed so generously to the success of the “Battle by the Bay” included Phillips Lanes, GA Dalbeck Logging, ICS Services LLC, Factory 43 Racing, Spacek Lawn Care, Butch Kummer, Copp Racing, Dark Side Racing, Passuello Racing, Bogdanovic Racing, 10-Pin Racing, Satch’s Auto Body, Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, Hanson Trucking, Weber Works Construction, Hanco Utilities, Sevel’s Lawn Care, Trackside Collectibles, Dan Kozak, and Luger Trucking.

                The fastest laps posted in each of the feature races were by Niznik in the Mods (17.100 secs; 78.947 mph), Stuart in the Supers (17.407; 77.555), Dalbeck in the Mid-Mods (17.193; 78.520), Parker Anderson in the Streeters (18.509; 72.937), and Graham in the Sixes (18.643; 72.413).

                The ABC Raceway will host the first of its three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Summer Series for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds on Saturday, June 20. The opening round will be presented by Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall of Ashland, and during each of the three Series races the track will pay $500 to the winners of the Mid-Mod features, while a $300 bonus awaits the driver who can collect the most points over the three events.

                Also, at each of the Summer Series events, the first 500 paid-ticket adults arriving through the grandstand gates will receive a free “can koozie,” complements of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center and the ABC Raceway. The other two Series races are scheduled for July 18 and August 8

                All six regular-weekly divisions will be in action this Saturday. The pits will open at 4:30 pm, with the grandstands opening at 5; hot laps will start at 6:15, and racing is scheduled for 7 pm. Raceway news and weather updates will air during the week on radio stations WBSZ, 93.3 FM; WJJH, 96.7 FM; WNXR, 107.3 FM; and WATW, 101.3 FM and 1400 AM; as well as online via the station websites and on the free Heartland Communications Group radio app.

                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: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Al Uotinen, Superior; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jeff Tardy, Hibbing, MN; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Paul Niznik, Medford; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Pat Cook, Washburn; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI.

                11-15: Tyler Luger, Oxford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Jeff Spacek, Phillips.

                Heat 1: Tardy; Kisling; Balduc; J Spacek; Van Natta; Cook; Anderson; Luger.

                Heat 2: C Spacek; Copp; Niznik; Uotinen; Gehl; Suzik; Hiatt.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

                Feature: 1-10: Scott Lawrence, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Tristan LaBarge, Kelly Lake, MN; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Patrick Beeksma

Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Kyle Copp, Brule.

                11-18: Rita Anderson, South Range; Cory Casari, Montreal; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Austin Workman, Dallas; Josh Bach, Barron; Dave Flynn, Superior.

                Heat 1: Oreskovich; McFadden; Lawrence; Beeksma; Quinn; Deragon; Muzzy; LaBarge; Bach.

                Heat 2: Spacek; Flynn; Stuart; Mackey; Casari; Copp; Anderson; Workman; Mashlan.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

                Feature: 1-10: George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Jack Rivord, Superior; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.

                11-20: Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jake Stai, New Auburn; Guy Carley, Eagle River; Steve Altman, Mercer; John Darwin, Iron River; Jesse Polson, Superior; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Jesse Raffaelli, Toivola, MI; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls.

                Heat 1: Fuhrman; Latvala; Peterson; Carley; Barningham; Dalbeck; Stai; John Kallas, Hurley.

                Heat 2: Dunbar; Aho; Swan; Weinberger; Ripley; Polson; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Raffaelli.

                Heat 3: Rivord; Vernon; Hicks; Altman; Darwin; Uotinen.

WISSOTA STREET STOCKS

                Feature: 1-10: Parker Anderson, Phillips; Cody Kummer, Medford; Zach Manley, Chetek; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Nick Traynor, Barron; Adam Soltis, Ladysmith; Jay Kesan, Weyerhaeuser; Kevin Bogdanovic, Wausau; Jim Randall, Rice Lake; Alex Minks, Bruce.

                11-18: Hunter Anderson, Phillips; Hunter VanGilder, Rice Lake; Joseph Ott, Spooner; Ron Hanestad, Glenwood City; William Fisher, Shell Lake; Kolby Kiehl, Barron; James Clausen, Barron; John Kallas, Hurley.

                Heat 1: Soltis; Hanson; Traynor; Kiehl; Hanestad.

                Heat 2: P Anderson; Randall; VanGilder; Kesan; Fisher; Ott.

                Heat 3: Kummer; H Anderson; Minks; Bogdanovic; Clausen; Manley.

                Pole Dash: Kummer; P Anderson; Hanson; Soltis; H Anderson; Randall.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

                Feature: 1-6: Randy Graham, Trego; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable.

                Heat: Graham; Schultz; Truchon; Pearce; Hmielewski; Rohlfing; Joshua Saunders, Spooner.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

                Feature: 1-8: James Vendela, South Range; Randy Graham, Trego; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Nicholas Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Devin Fries, Phillips; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls.

                Heat: T Hazelton; Vendela; Graham; Gehl; Holly; N Hazelton; Kachinske; Fries.

WISSOTA HORNETS

                Feature: 1-10: Jase Wiarda, Duluth, MN; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Reid Johnson, Duluth, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Ricky Helms, Hibbing, MN; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

                11-15: Cully Butterfield, Trego; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Isiah Oakgrove, Bessemer, MI; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN.

                Heat 1: House; Marken; Fitzpatrick; Butterfield; Johnson; Rose; Oakgrove.

                Heat 2: Wiarda; McDougall; Dunbar; Jarecki; Hummelmeier; Rowe; Helms; Kieber.

Street Stocks Return June 13th

Street Stocks Coming to ABC for Big-Money Special

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, June 9 — For the first time in 11 years, WISSOTA Street Stocks will compete on the ABC Raceway’s red-clay oval, as part of a special event this Saturday night.

Anderson’s Body Shop of Phillips approached Raceway Board president Eric Erickson early this week to propose an appearance by the Streeters, as the division’s usual Saturday night haunt in this region – the Rice Lake Speedway – will be taking the upcoming weekend off. Plans developed quickly, and within only a couple of days what started out as simply adding the class to the traditional offering of ABC’s WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets, and the track’s Six-Cylinders, has become the first-ever $1,000-to-win “Battle by the Bay” for the Street Stocks.

“This all came about so quickly,” Erickson explained on Tuesday. “The Andersons have been so enthusiastic and helpful, and they have done all of the hard work, contacting potential sponsors and encouraging drivers to make the trip to Ashland this Saturday.

“It’s been a long time since the Street Stocks raced here. This will be a pretty special night.”

As of Tuesday night, at least fourteen Street Stock drivers had registered in advance to be a part of that division’s first race program here since August 2009, when the Raceway ended a 42-year relationship with the class dating back to the track’s earliest seasons. That number could grow to at least 20 by raceday.

The support for this event has been tremendous, thanks to title sponsor Anderson’s Body Shop as well as associate sponsors Phillips Lanes, GA Dalbeck Logging, ICS Services LLC, Factory 43 Racing, Spacek Lawn Care, Butch Kummer, Copp Racing, Dark Side Racing, Passuello Racing, Bogdanovic Racing, 10-Pin Racing, Satch’s Auto Body, Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, Hanson Trucking, Weber Works Construction, Hanco Utilities, Sevel’s Lawn Care, and Trackside Collectibles.

The feature winner will receive a track-record check for Street Stocks of $1,000, while the minimum a driver can earn to start the main event is $100. The total purse, while still not yet finalized, is estimated at well over $4,000.

Dan Kozak has contributed an additional $100 bonus for the Street Stock feature’s “hard charger,” and Luger Trucking will pay another $100 to the Streeter driver that tows the farthest to compete in Saturday’s show.

Among those expected to compete is Andrew Hanson, the ABC Raceway’s 2017 Pure Stock champion from Iron River, who is the early-season leader in Street Stock points at Rice Lake. Another pre-registered driver is Jim Randall of Rice Lake – the only driver regularly competing in the division who has ever won a Street Stock (or the related Hobby Stock class) feature at Ashland.

John Kallas of Hurley, who has been competing in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified division since shortly after the Street Stock class was cut from ABC’s regular offerings, has eight career feature wins in Streeters and Hobby Stocks and has registered a Street Stock for this Saturday’s show.

The pit gates will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstand gates will welcome fans in at 5, hot laps will kick off the on-track action at 6:15, and green-flag racing gets going at 7 pm. Adult grandstand admission tickets are just $11 per person, either at the gate or online via www.myracepass.com, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Ten-race punch passes are also available at the Raceway’s ticket window on race nights. Advance pit passes are also available online.

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.

STREET STOCK BATTLE OF THE BAY!

WISSOTA Street Stocks return the track this Saturday June 13th! $900 to win!

STREET STOCK Battle of the Bay! The ABC Raceway is excited to welcome the Wissota Street Stocks!

Street Stock Battle of the Bay purse!

1st -$1,180 2nd-$660 3rd-$585 4th-$260 5th-$210 6th-$240 7th-$175 8th-$155 9th-$165 10th-$155 11th-$120 12th-$210 13th-$105 14th-$105 15th-$105 16th-$105 17th-$105 18th-$105 19th-$100 20th-$100 21st-$100 22nd-$100 23rd-$100 24th-$100

Thank you to Anderson’s Body Shop for coordinating this event with us and getting all of the fine sponsors onboard!

DRIVERS Pre-register Here 

Purchase advance tickets Here

Fast Racing June 13th

ABC Raceway Kid’s Club

Due to COVID-19 and county health department guidelines on gatherings and social distancing the ABC Raceway and Kids Club are saddened to announce that the Little Caesar’s “Kids Meet the Drivers” night has been postponed to a possible later date this season. Thank you for your understanding.

The ABC Raceway will host another six-divisions race program on Saturday, June 13. The pits will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstands will open at 5, and hot laps will start at 6:15, with racing scheduled for 7 pm. Throughout the week, Heartland Communications Group will air Raceway news and weather updates throughout the Chequamegon Bay area on its radio stations, as well as online via the station websites, and on its free Heartland Communications Group radio app.

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.

Chamber / Military Appreciation Night

Dunbar, House Nab First ABC Feature Wins

Spacek, McFadden take checkers; Graham doubles up

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, June 6 — Another great crowd was on hand to enjoy a fast-paced stock car racing program and celebrate two first-time feature winners at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

Presented by the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, the 77-entry show was sped up considerably by the fact that the final 67 of the scheduled 94 feature laps – including the last four full A-mains – clicked off without a single caution flag, a testament to some fine driving by the competitors and another outstanding job by the track prep crew.

The first of those to benefit from the excellent track conditions was Marcus Dunbar of Marenisco, MI. The son of long-time veteran and former ABC champion Duane Dunbar, Marcus gained control early in the 20-lap WISSOTA Midwest Modified headliner and survived a couple of mid-race cautions to cruise to his first career feature win at the historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval.

Jimmy Latvala sped around rookie polestarter Jesse Polson to set the pace early, and although Latvala was under attack by Ross Fuhrman, Dunbar, Justin Weinberger and others often over the first few laps, he was saved by several yellow-flag stoppages for a variety of spins and crashes, and he was still scored as the leader when the green flag came out again to restart lap 3.

That was when Dunbar, working the outer line, worked his way around Latvala and began to run away from the field. Over a relatively long green-flag run Dunbar extended his lead to almost three-and-a-half seconds, until a four-car mess on lap 9 slowed the pace.

On that restart Steve Altman, whose car was involved in the previous incident, ground to a stop against the front-stretch wall before another circuit was scored. But from there Dunbar was not to be denied, pulling away over the final ten laps to a full-second advantage on Jack Rivord, who had worked his way around Latvala for second on the final restart. Eleventh-starting visitor Justin Jones and opening-night winner Tyler Vernon completed the top five.

The other first-time feature winner on this night was AJ House, who has been a tough customer both here and at Superior over the first few weeks of the season. The fourth-year racer made the long haul from Cloquet, MN, finally pay off with a main-event win in the entry-level WISSOTA Hornets.

The non-stop 12-lap run began with the field scrambling to avoid polestarter Mitch Kieber, whose car slowed dramatically after he led most of the first lap. Caleb Decker took advantage of Kieber’s misfortune, with Hunter McDougall right in his wake, but a lap later House had worked his way under McDougall for second, and over laps 4 and 5 House battled with Decker before taking over at the point.

Over the balance of the run House steadily built up a four-car-length advantage before scoring his landmark win, with Decker holding second throughout. McDougall finished just ahead of DeJay Jarecki and Derek Ament in the battle for third.

Cole Spacek of Phillips last landed in ABC’s Victory Lane in 2016 at the wheel of a Midwest Mod; on Saturday he scored his first-ever win in a “big” WISSOTA Modified at the Ashland track.

In the first of the four straight non-stop feature races, Spacek started on the pole, with Al Uotinen to his outside and Cole’s dad Jeff Spacek directly behind him, accounting for a full dozen ABC track championships between the pair. But the younger Spacek was completely up to the challenge, checking out to a huge 1.87-second lead on Uotinen within a mere three laps.

Eighth-starting visitor Mike Anderson got around Uotinen on lap 4 and attempted to reel in the leader, but Spacek maintained his advantage throughout the 20-lap go, while Alex Van Natta also slipped past Uotinen during the first half of the race for third. Spacek had tracked down the tail end of the field by the time he took the white flag, and he was still about a second-and-a-half ahead of Anderson at the checkered. Van Natta was comfortably ahead of Pat Cook for third, with Neil Balduc just behind in fifth.

Shawn McFadden Jr of Ashland also started on the pole and led every lap of his feature, but his victory in the 20-lap WISSOTA Super Stock A-main was a little more dramatic at the final stripe. McFadden won the early battle with fellow front-row starter Scott Lawrence, and when Cory Casari came up to challenge Lawrence, it allowed McFadden to pull away briefly.

Don Muzzy’s lap 4 spin drew the field back to McFadden’s rear bumper, and Lawrence’s shot at the lead was cut short by Kevin Salin’s spin on lap 5.

The lap 7 caution flag for debris would be the last yellow of the night, and McFadden pushed his lead out to 2.2 seconds over the next five laps. But the early yellows also kept eighth-starting Dave Flynn close to the front, and on lap 12 Flynn slipped low past Lawrence for second. Over the final eight laps Flynn trimmed all but a half-second off of McFadden’s huge cushion, flying around the upper lines of the track while McFadden protected the bottom.

“When I saw the 29 in second on the scoreboard, I figured if he was gonna beat me I was gonna make him go around the outside,” McFadden said during his first visit to ABC’s Victory Lane in nearly two full years.

Terran Spacek edged a late-charging Andrew Mackey at the line for third, while Casari clawed his way by Lawrence for fifth.

Trego’s Randy Graham topped two of the night’s caution-free features on this night – in the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and ABC Six-Cylinders, where he is the defending track champion in both divisions. In the ten-lap Pure Stock run Graham worked hard over the first three laps to displace rookie polestarter Tanner Gehl for pacesetter honors, and then he really didn’t draw away from Gehl until the closing laps.

As the lead pair ran off, Tyler Kachinske took third away from first-nighter Brandon Hummelmeier. Graham was not much more than about five car-lengths up on Gehl at the checkered flag, with Kachinske quite a distance back. Hummelmeier took the checkers fourth, but his car didn’t meet the minimum post-race weight requirement, allowing two other first-night runners – rookies RJ Holly and David Pederson – to claim fourth and fifth.

In the Sixes feature Graham had even more work to do, running in a tight pack with Dalton Truchon and Forrest Schultz behind polestarter Joshua Saunders before taking advantage of an opening on lap 2 to edge by Schultz into third. Within a lap he copied that inside pass to take second from Truchon.

It took a couple more tours before Graham worked by Saunders for the lead, but from there he led the final seven of the 12 scheduled laps for the win, with Saunders right on the champ’s trunklid until falling back to a one-second deficit at the finish. Schultz, Truchon and Jordan Pearce filled the top five.

Cole Spacek (Mods, 17.519 secs, 77.059 mph), McFadden (Supers, 17.871, 75.541), Dunbar (Mid-Mods, 17.447, 77.377), and Graham (Sixes, 19.080, 70.755) posted the fastest lap times in their respective features.

The ABC Raceway will host another six-divisions race program on Saturday, June 13. The pits will open at 4:30 pm, the grandstands will open at 5, and hot laps will start at 6:15, with racing scheduled for 7 pm. Throughout the week, Heartland Communications Group will air Raceway news and weather updates throughout the Chequamegon Bay area on its radio stations, as well as online via the station websites, and on its free Heartland Communications Group radio app.

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; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Pat Cook, Washburn; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Paul Niznik, Medford; Jeff Tardy, Hibbing, MN; Al Uotinen, Superior; Jake Hiatt, Mason.

11-15: Brandon Copp, Brule; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Shane Kisling, Butternut.

Heat 1: Anderson; Suzik; Balduc; Van Natta; Luger; Kisling; Byholm; Hiatt.

Heat 2: C Spacek; Cook; J Spacek; Uotinen; Niznik; Copp; Tardy.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

Feature: 1-10: Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Dave Flynn, Superior; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Andy Grymala, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI.

11-13: Kevin Salin, Iron, MN; Rita Anderson, South Range; Matt Deragon, Ashland.

Heat 1: Spacek; Grymala; Flynn; Deragon; Mackey; Beeksma; Dan Severson, Ironton, MN; Kyle Copp, Brule.

Heat 2: Oreskovich; Casari; McFadden; Lawrence; Muzzy; Salin; Anderson; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

Feature: 1-10: Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Justin Jones, Bemidji, MN; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

11-17: Jesse Polson, Superior; John Darwin, Iron River; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Jesse Young, Stone Lake; John Kallas, Hurley; Steve Altman, Mercer; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls.

Heat 1: Dunbar; Weinberger; Fuhrman; Darwin; Altman; Uotinen; Tanner Hicks, Ashland.

Heat 2: Rivord; Vernon; Latvala; Jones; Barningham.

Heat 3: Aho; Swan; Polson; Kallas; Ripley; Diamond Bressette, Spooner.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

Feature: 1-7: Randy Graham, Trego; Joshua Saunders, Spooner; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable.

Heat: Graham; Schultz; Truchon; Pearce; Saunders; Hmielewski; Rohlfing.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

Feature: 1-5: Randy Graham Trego; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; David Pederson, Hermantown, MN.

Heat: Graham; Gehl; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Holly; Pederson.

WISSOTA HORNETS

Feature: 1-10: AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Caleb Decker, Mahtowa, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Derek Ament, Barnum, MN; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Isiah Oakgrove, Bessemer, MI.

11-14: Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

Heat 1: Jarecki; House; Decker; Rose; Butterfield; Fitzpatrick; Rowe.

Heat 2: Ament; McDougall; Kieber; Marken; Dunbar; Oakgrove.

Ashland Chamber Night June 6th

Season Continues for ABC Raceway on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, June 3 — As bits and pieces of the 2020 stock car racing season schedule continue to fall into place for the ABC Raceway, night number two of the season will be held this coming Saturday night.

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce will present a full night of heat and feature races for WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets, and the Raceway’s own ABC Six-Cylinders.

A huge crowd came out for last Saturday’s season opener here, with fans and some of the 79 racing entries come from as far away as northern and central Minnesota, the Twin Cities area and the Chippewa Valley region to join the Raceway’s traditional contingent from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Twin Ports, Wisconsin’s Price and Taylor Counties, and throughout the Chequamegon Bay area.

“Our opening night was an unexpectedly huge success,” noted ABC Raceway Board of Directors president Eric Erickson shortly after Saturday’s program was completed. “We were so appreciative of the racers and fans coming from such long distances to visit our track. We certainly hope they will come back as often as possible.

“And I can’t say enough about our all-volunteer work crew. The hard work and intense planning in the face of the current situation, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating so many obstacles … everyone went above and beyond the call to put together a successful race program.”

The on-track action was entertaining throughout the evening in all six classes, despite smaller numbers of entries in a couple of the divisions. In the WISSOTA Modifieds, Pat Cook of Washburn took advantage of an anxious Brandon Copp of Brule and held on for the feature win, while Superior’s Dave Flynn started out front and ran away from the field – including no less than defending national champion Kevin Burdick of Proctor – in the WISSOTA Super Stocks A-main.

Tyler Vernon of Ashland looked strong as he walked away with the WISSOTA Midwest Modified headliner, and DeJay Jarecki, also of Ashland, earned his first career feature win to start his 13th season of racing as he took the checkers in the WISSOTA Hornet main event.

Despite single-digit car counts in the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and ABC Six-Cylinders, the feature races in each class held some tense moments. In the Sixes, Ashland’s Forrest Schultz gave Randy Graham a sincere threat for the lead after a mid-race restart, but the defending division champ from Trego prevailed for the win. And Jared Akervik held off challenges from both Graham and impressive rookie Tanner Gehl of Solon Springs in order to collect the victory in the Pure Stocks.

While the highly-modified 2020 schedule is still being finalized, weekly racing action will continue on the historic northern Wisconsin track each Saturday night throughout the month of June, with plans currently in the works to add WISSOTA Late Models to the program on Saturday, June 27. With opportunities rather limited for WISSOTA’s marquee division around the region, the intent is to offer those racers a chance to race on the three-eighths-mile red-clay oval.

“We hope to draw Late Model drivers who might regularly race at tracks in Menomonie, Proctor, Hibbing and others,” Erickson said. “We’re looking forward to having them at our track, and we hope fans will appreciate the affordable grandstand price ($13) we have set for them.”

For this Saturday night, the pit and grandstand gates will open at 5 pm; hot laps will kick off the on-track action at 6:15, and green-flag racing gets going at 7 pm. Adult grandstand admission tickets are just $11 per person, either at the gate or online via www.myracepass.com, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Ten-race punch passes are also available at the Raceway’s ticket window on race nights. Advance pit passes are also available online.

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.

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce will present the race program slated for Saturday, June 6, at the ABC Raceway. All six divisions will once again 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. Throughout the week, the Heartland Communications Group of radio stations will air Raceway news and weather updates in the Chequamegon Bay area, online on the station websites, and via the free Heartland Communications Group radio app.

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.

NSB Season Opener Results

Jarecki Takes First Feature Win on ABC Raceway Opening Night

Cook, Flynn, Vernon, Akervik, Graham also score

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, May 30 — Despite the chaos and concerns that the coronavirus pandemic has caused in recent weeks, the ABC Raceway opened its 56th stock car racing season in front of a great turnout on Saturday night.

                During the program, presented by the Northern State Bank of Ashland, the big crowd watched 79 entries take to the historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval in six divisions, and by the end of the night one veteran local driver had scored his first career feature win and two past track champs also kicked off their 2020 seasons here in winning fashion.

                Ashland’s DeJay Jarecki, who had become a local favorite over his 12 seasons in the Raceway’s Six-Cylinder division, made the move into a WISSOTA Hornet for the new season, and his decision has already paid a dividend, as he earned the first-ever feature win of his career on Saturday. Jarecki started outside on the front row and grabbed the initial lead, bringing Hunter McGougall and AJ House in tow to second and third before Josh Johnson Jr’s spin brought about an early caution stop.

                The order up front remained the same for the first half of the race, despite the field staying tight due to stoppages for spins by first-time visitors Harry Ruikka on lap 3 and Brady Albertson on lap 6. But during the second half of the 12-lapper Derek Ament and Kaleb Ruikka became serious contenders for the win, with Ament stealing second on the lap 6 restart, only to lose it back to House a circuit later. Ament tried to take it back with two to go, but House prevailed for runner-up honors while staying tight on Jarecki’s trunklid over the closing laps.

                Jarecki celebrated the landmark win with family and friends in Victory Lane after the race, as House, Kaleb Ruikka, Ament and McDougall completed the top five.

                During earlier Hornet heat race action, Jason Ronning took a wild three-turn barrel-roll in turn 4 while battling for a top-three position. Ronning was unhurt but unable to start the feature due to the damage to his car.

                Tyler Vernon, the 2017 ABC Raceway WISSOTA Midwest Modified champion from Ashland, sent a signal to his fellow competitors that he could be tough to beat this season, taking the early lead in the Mid-Mod main event on Saturday and running away to his eighth career feature win here and fifth in this division.

                Vernon who started outside on row 2, waited patiently through four frustrating attempts to start the 20-lap race, but on that last attempt he used an inside move to get by Ross Fuhrman to find himself in second behind polestarter and first-time visitor Justin Jones. Two laps later Vernon used the inside line again to take the lead from Jones and, after one last yellow flag for debris on lap 3, led the field the rest of the way.

                With no further delays in the run, Vernon was able to stretch his lead to over a second, while Jones stayed firmly entrenched in second. Fuhrman lost third to Marcus Dunbar shortly after the last restart but was solidly ahead of visiting Dan Wheeler, who spent much of the last half of the run fending off Tanner Hicks.

                Vernon crossed under the checkers 1.5 seconds ahead of Jones, whose car failed a post-race technical inspection. Dunbar was moved to second, with Fuhrman third, Wheeler fourth and Hicks fifth in the final rundown.

                Despite a thin field of ABC Six-Cylinders, defending track champ Randy Graham of Trego continued his winning ways by picking up that division’s opening-night feature win – but it was certainly not a cakewalk. Graham started on the pole and led every lap but one, as Forrest Schultz swiped second from Dalton Truchon after two laps had been scored and challenged the champ throughout the 12-lap run.

                Truchon, running alone in third, looped his ride with three laps remaining and was pushed to the pits. Joshua Saunders would have inherited third for the re-do, but he left the track with a flat during the yellow, ending his night. Schultz surprised Graham with a strong run off of turn 4 after the restart and nosed ahead at the line to lead lap 10, but Graham charged back to take the lead for good a half-lap later, just a couple of car-lengths ahead of Schultz at the final stripe. Second-year man Mathew Rohlfing and first-nighter Dominic Hmielewski were the only others running at the finish.

                Pat Cook of Washburn won a thrilling WISSOTA Modified feature from the pole, but it took a heartbreaking error by Brandon Copp to get the win. Copp, in his rookie season in the “big Mods” after several strong seasons in the Mid-Mods, shot out to a huge lead over Cook after a lap 1 restart, building the advantage to nearly two full seconds before a lap 4 stop for debris.

                Copp drove away again, but just as the margin got comfortable sixth-running Greg Chesley spun in traffic to stop the pace on lap 7. After this restart, however, Cook didn’t let Copp run off to hide, staying side-by-side with the leader through mid-race.

                Neil Balduc took third from 14th-starting Michael Truscott at the halfway point, and a couple laps later Copp had barely shaken loose of Cook’s threats when Jake Hiatt and Shane Kisling crashed together on lap 13, knocking Kisling from a top-ten run. Three laps after that restart Copp, who was getting pressure from Cook and the others, bobbled in turn 4, allowing Cook, Truscott and Balduc to slip by.

                From there Cook withstood one last challenge from Truscott for the 11th feature win of his career and fourth in a “big Mod” here. Chesley recovered from his early miscue and took advantage of the yellows to climb back to third, ahead of Balduc and Copp.

                Dave Flynn of Superior dominated the opening-night WISSOTA Super Stock A-main, leading every lap from the pole and running away from defending national champion Kevin Burdick.

                It did not take long for Flynn to flex his car’s muscles, pulling to a 1.1-second advantage on Burdick after just four laps and extending that lead to over two seconds another four laps later. Burdick had plenty of distance on Matt Deragon, so there was no challenge to hold Burdick back; Flynn was just that fast and smooth on this night. Even the lap 10 caution flag – the only stoppage of the race – for Andrew Mackey’s stalled car didn’t seem to concern Flynn, as he sailed away again over the last ten laps and finished 3.2 seconds ahead of Burdick for his 17th career Super Stock feature win at ABC and 19th overall here.

                A strong second-half run by four-time defending track champ Nick Oreskovich, who started tenth, earned him third-place honors in the final rundown after he sped past Deragon for the spot with eight laps to go. Deragon’s impressive effort on this night kept him in front of Terran Spacek at the pay window.

                In the WISSOTA Pure Stock feature, Superior’s Jared Akervik outran Graham for his second win in as many nights. Polestarter Tanner Gehl provided the early challenge to Akervik, driving low to take the lead on lap 2, before Akervik switched lanes and returned the favor on lap 3.

                Akervik drew away slightly when Graham pulled even with Gehl during the race’s middle stages, but once Graham displaced Gehl for second with two laps to go he was too many car-lengths back to catch the winner. The lead trio was well out front of visiting Jennie Krause in fourth.

                Quick lap times during the features were posted by Brandon Copp in the Mods (17.500 secs; 77.143 mph), Flynn in the Supers (17.538; 76.976), and Jones in the Mid-Mods (17.583; 76.779).

                The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce will present the race program slated for Saturday, June 6, at the ABC Raceway. All six divisions will once again 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. Throughout the week, the Heartland Communications Group of radio stations will air Raceway news and weather updates in the Chequamegon Bay area, online on the station websites, and via the free Heartland Communications Group radio app.

                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: Pat Cook, Washburn; Michael Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Greg Chesley, Duluth, MN; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Brandon Copp; Brule; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Al Uotinen, Superior; Jake Hiatt, Mason.

                11-15: Paul Niznik, Medford; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Mike Knopps, Chippewa Falls; Tyler Vernon, Ashland.

                Heat 1: Kisling; C Spacek; Balduc; Niznik; Van Natta; Chesley; Luger.

                Heat 2: Copp; Cook; Knopps; Hiatt; Uotinen; Vernon; Truscott; J Spacek.

WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS

                Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Kyle Copp, Brule; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; DJ Keeler, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Harley Kroening, Bemidji, MN.

                11-17: Kevin Salin, Iron, MN; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Tyler Kroening, Bemidji, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI.

                Heat 1: Flynn; Spacek; Mackey; Beeksma; Salin; Muzzy; H Kroening; Kuklinski; T Kroening.

                Heat 2: McFadden; Lawrence; Deragon; Burdick; Oreskovich; Copp; Keeler; Casari; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS

                Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Dan Wheeler, Savage, MN; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Justin Weinberger, Butternut; Cody Carlson, Superior; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; John Darwin, Iron River; John Kallas, Hurley.

                11-17: Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Joey Krause, International Falls, MN; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Jesse Polson, Superior; Jennie Krause, Aurora, MN; Andy LaBarge, Keewatin, MN; Mark Kangas, Eveleth, MN.

                Heat 1: Weinberger; Dunbar; Carlson; Justin Jones, Bemidji, MN; Darwin; Jennie Krause; Kangas; LaBarge; Joey Krause.

                Heat 2: Vernon; Hicks; Fuhrman; Wheeler; Latvala; Barningham; Polson; Kallas; Lund.

ABC SIX-CYLINDERS

                Feature: 1-6: Randy Graham, Trego; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Joshua Saunders, Spooner.

                Heat: Graham; Schultz; Truchon; Rohlfing; Saunders; Hmielewski.

WISSOTA PURE STOCKS

                Feature: 1-4: Jared Akervik, Superior; Randy Graham, Trego; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Jennie Krause, Aurora, MN.

                Heat: Akervik; Graham; Gehl; Krause.

WISSOTA HORNETS

                Feature: 1-10: DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Kaleb Ruikka, Fort Ripley, MN; Derek Ament, Barnum, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Caleb Decker, Barnum, MN; Rick Andrews Jr; Superior; Harry Ruikka, Fort Ripley, MN; Brady Albertson, Sauk Rapids, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

                11-14: Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Andy Leino, Sturgeon Lake, MN; Cully Butterfield, Trego; Joshua Johnson Jr, Superior.

                Heat 1: Jarecki; McDougall; Ament; Decker; Kieber; Albertson; Jason Ronning, Ashland; H Ruikka.

                Heat 2: House; K Ruikka; Andrews; Johnson; Rowe; Butterfield; Leino.

Season Opener Announcement

ABC Raceway Set for 56th Season Opener

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, May 26 — The Board of Directors of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association and its all-volunteer staff are ready to kick off the 2020 stock car racing season at the ABC Raceway this coming Saturday night.

The Northern State Bank of Ashland will present the 56th season opener at the historic three-eighths-mile northwestern Wisconsin red-clay oval on May 30, with a full night of heat and feature races for WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets, and the Raceway’s own ABC Six-Cylinders.

The start of the season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, wiping out the first two originally-scheduled shows, but the Raceway’s staff has been busy over the past two months putting together a plan to help racers and fans feel safe and welcome at the venerable speedplant. By incorporating many recommendations and ideas from public health organizations, municipalities and other tracks, Raceway Board president Eric Erickson hopes that the precautionary measures taken will help assure those in attendance at the track this Saturday that the spread of the virus will be minimized as much as possible in the open-air public setting.

“We hope that fans will see that the ABC Raceway has their health, safety and well-being as its first priority,” Erickson recently said. “We are preparing our facility to be very fan-friendly by implementing a number of safeguards to protect our fans and our track workers from the possible spread of this highly-contagious virus.”

Fans coming into the ABC Raceway on Saturday will immediately notice many of the changes designed to help minimize possible health hazards. Plexiglass shields have been installed at all service windows where customers would typically make casual contact with track workers, such as at the ticket booths and concession areas.

Hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the Raceway grounds for fan and track worker use, and the food and beverage concession area accesses will be rearranged to better promote safety through minimal food handling and social distancing. More self-service vending machines will be available at the track for various purchases. There will also be frequent scheduling of the cleaning of commonly-contacted surfaces throughout the Raceway grounds, and Raceway staff will be required to wash their hands frequently during the course of the race program.

Fans will be encouraged to practice safe distancing while sitting in the grandstands, and race teams will be asked to maintain a minimum of one full parking space between their trailers in the pit area in an effort to help minimize contact.

For fans wishing to use them, protective masks will be available for purchase at the Raceway.

In order to minimize the possible transfer of the virus by passing currency, fans are strongly encouraged to go online to www.myracepass.com, enter “ABC Raceway” in the Search box at the top of the web page, and follow the links to purchase advance grandstand tickets for this Saturday’s show. Racers are also asked to purchase their pit passes via the My Race Pass web page so as to help keep the potential for spreading the disease to a minimum.

In addition to all of that, the ABC Raceway staff still intends to host the best possible stock car racing program in the region. After all, exciting side-by-side dirt-track racing is what the facility is well known for.

Many interesting storylines should develop as the Summer goes along. Several drivers have moved their programs from one division to another, a couple of popular drivers have hung up their helmets, and a slew of new names will grace the line-up sheets at ABC in 2020.

In the Modified division, Ashland’s Steve Stuart has sold off his race equipment and will not be competing in 2020, leaving that division’s crown open for the taking. On the other hand, Nick Oreskovich of Mason will be back to defend his fourth straight Super Stock track championship at ABC last summer.

Midwest Mods should once again bring out the largest numbers of weekly visitors to the Ashland track – all with their sights set on defending champ George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI. And Trego’s Randy Graham enjoyed a dream season in 2019, becoming the only driver in ABC Raceway history to win points titles in two classes in one season as he ran away with both the Pure Stocks and the Six-Cylinders.

The entry-level Hornets ran as a regular offering at ABC for the first time in 2019, and Paul George of Princeton, MN, who spent his weekends last summer in the Iron River area, made Raceway history by becoming its first-ever Hornet points champ.

The pit and grandstand gates will open at 5 pm on Saturday, while hot laps will lead off the on-track action at 6:15 before the green-flag racing gets going at 7 pm. Adult grandstand admission tickets are just $11 per person, either at the gate or online via www.myracepass.com, and kids ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Ten-race punch passes are also available at the Raceway’s ticket window on race nights.

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.

May 30 Tagged for ABC Raceway’s 56th Season Opener

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, May 20 — Taking into account the effects of the current COVID-19 viral pandemic, the Board of Directors of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association have decided that Saturday, May 30, will be the opening-night date for the 2020 stock car racing season at the ABC Raceway.

To be presented by the Northern State Bank of Ashland, a full night of heat and feature race action for the track’s regular weekly divisions – WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets, and the Raceway’s own ABC Six-Cylinders – will be held on the historic three-eighths-mile red-clay oval in northwestern Wisconsin on that night.

Preparations for the 56th season opener at the venerable speedplant have been far different than those for any race season before, according to Raceway Board president Eric Erickson. Along with the usual pre-season sprucing, prepping and fixing, members of the Board have implemented many carefully-planned precautions to help assure that the facility will be clean and safe for race fans, drivers and their crews, and the track’s race-night staff.

“We will put the safety and well-being of our fans as our first priority,” Erickson said regarding the Board’s decision to open the season. “We are preparing our facility to be very fan-friendly, while emphasizing the protection of the health and safety of our fans. But we also intend to do the best job possible in holding a good race program that fans can enjoy.”

With the recent decisions by State and local governments to relax the various “stay-at-home” restrictions around the region, fans have become eager to enjoy racing and other sporting events. However, racetrack promoters – and people in general – realize that a genuine and unprecedented health hazard still exists, forcing them to take unique steps to minimize the possibility of transmission of the coronavirus at their facilities.

Fans coming to the ABC Raceway will have access to many hand-sanitizing stations throughout the facility and will experience changes in the way food and beverages are served – all in the interests of their safety. Fans will also be encouraged to practice safe distancing in the grandstands, and race teams will be parked in the pits with a minimum of one parking space between haulers, in an effort to help minimize contact.

“We will continue to monitor guidelines set by the State, our local municipalities, and the Federal government as they pertain to the pandemic regarding social gatherings for facilities such as ours,” said Erickson. “If any further recommendations are made or mandates are passed along, we will do what is needed to protect the people that come to our track from possible contact with this dangerous virus.”

Erickson advised that a more extensive explanation of the track’s precautionary measures will be posted on the ABC Raceway FaceBook page. An updated 2020 season schedule will also be announced soon and will be posted on the Raceway’s FaceBook page and other social media sources as well as made available via newspapers and other mass media.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland, WI.  More information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

Season opener update

ABC Raceway Hoping to Set Season-Opening Date Soon

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, May 13 — Despite the announcement earlier today that the Wisconsin State Supreme Court had overturned Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” quarantine order, the ABC Raceway’s Board of Directors will stand by its decision not to open its 2020 stock car racing season on its originally-scheduled start date of May 16.

According to Raceway Board president Eric Erickson, the State Supreme Court’s decision does not change the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association’s intent to take every precaution in making sure that it is safe for fans, racers and track staff to attend a program at the northern Wisconsin facility.

“We are going to be cautious in our decision-making with regard to opening and operating our racetrack,” Erickson said shortly after the announcement of the Court ruling. “We will put the health and safety of our fans, racers and workers first as we set a course of action.”

The Raceway’s Board of Directors is scheduled to meet in a closed-door session on Monday, May 18, during which a game plan will be discussed for opening the facility to host stock car racing events. The plan will include setting a target date on which to get the race season started.

“We will strictly follow any guidelines set by local, state and Federal officials as to when we can open, how many people we can allow in the gates, what we need to do to keep people safe and protected, and so forth,” Erickson stated. “Those guidelines will help us determine when and how we will proceed with the 2020 season.”

Erickson said he hopes to be able to announce a date for the season opener by as early as Tuesday, May 19. The date will be posted on the Raceway’s website and FaceBook pages as soon as it is set.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland, WI.  More information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

Season On Hold

2020 ABC Raceway Season on Hold

Coronavirus pandemic forcing racing promoters to make difficult decisions

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, April 30 — To use an auto racing analogy, the ABC Raceway’s 2020 stock car racing season is under an indefinite red flag.

As is the case with so many recreational facilities, the award-winning northern Wisconsin speedplant has felt the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic by postponing many Spring facility preparations and canceling events on its early-season race schedule. Race fans everywhere are being asked to stay home, practice social distancing, and embrace other proactive measures to minimize the spread of what has become a deadly, unpredictable worldwide disease.

And like so many businesses, the complete shutdown of stock car racing in the Upper Midwest has racetrack promoters wondering not only about the financial health of their facilities, but the very survival of their sport.

The ABC Raceway, which was scheduled to open its 56th season under the direction of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association on May 16, will sit silent a little while longer, according to track officials. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has extended the State’s current “Safer at Home” public quarantining order until May 26, but the Raceway’s Board of Directors, taking a responsible as well as cautious approach, have decided to wait until sometime in June, or even later, for a possible opening night.

“First and foremost, as is always the case in racing, is the safety and well-being of our fans, our racers, and our track personnel,” according to Raceway Board president Eric Erickson. “Before we even consider turning a competitive lap on our track, or open the gates to our fans, we need to be certain that our State and local governments can assure us that it is safe for fans to sit with each other in the bleachers, for drivers and crews to be in close proximity to one another, and for track workers to do their jobs, without fear of contracting this serious disease.”

Gov. Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” plan, which was announced April 20, has outlined a phase-in plan for Wisconsin businesses to be able to re-open, but only when State health officials deem it is safe to do so for employees as well as customers. The phase-in plan could prolong the start of the 2020 stock car racing season until well into the Summer, but race fans as well as track operators hope that the Governor’s plan will soon provide the “green flag” to get racing underway.

Once the State of Wisconsin does allow businesses to re-open, it will then be up to racetrack promoters to make crucial decisions as to how aggressively they want to approach what is left of their 2020 schedules. Balancing the “business” aspect of operating a racing facility with the emotional “fan” side of the sport has weighed heavily into conversations Erickson has had with his ABC Raceway staff.

“We all want to get the season started here,” Erickson said recently. “That’s what we are in this business to do. But we also have to look at the potential impact that this pandemic has had and will continue to have on our sport, and on businesses in general.

“If the State’s phase-in program dictates how many people we can allow in our grandstands, or in our pit area, or if it won’t allow us to serve or sell food, then we have to decide whether it is feasible to even open our gates without putting ourselves in a financial bind.”

The health scare is forcing track operators to make other significant changes to their business models. Implementing additional public-safety practices – such as the supplying and use of appropriate protective devices like masks and sanitizers, new ways to safely serve food and beverages, and the extra effort to keep public facilities such as restrooms even cleaner than before – could create a financial strain on some tracks. Erickson believes that those kinds of decisions could stress those racetracks already running on a tight budget, but they may also become more important to the survival of the sport of short-track stock car racing as a whole.

“The balancing act that race tracks currently face is, we need to open soon so we can bring in some revenue, just like any business, but we also need to keep the health of our race fans as a high priority,” Erickson said. “We need to pay attention to the consequences either way.”

For now, the ABC Raceway will take a very measured approach to how it will proceed with the upcoming racing season. Its 16-program schedule has been put into flux, and with no clear start to the season in sight, but Erickson and his staff are closely monitoring the decisions of the local, State and Federal governments with regard to the re-opening of businesses, while still respecting the dramatic effects of the viral pandemic.

“It will take a lot of patience, a lot of planning, and a lot of cooperation among track promoters, racers, and fans,” said Erickson. “But somehow, in due time, we will all get through this.”

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland, WI.  More information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

ABC Raceway Banquet

Fans, Racers Celebrate Historic 2019 Season at ABC Raceway Banquet

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, January 10 — Over 200 racers, crews, fans, track employees and their family members attended Saturday’s Awards Banquet to officially close the book on the ABC Raceway’s 2019 stock car racing season at the Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center in Odanah.

Following a buffet dinner, the top ten drivers in final points in each of the Raceway’s six weekly divisions were awarded trophies and banners marking their accomplishments. In addition, qualifying drivers were presented checks from a points fund that exceeded $8,100, and jackets have been ordered for the divisional champions.

In his pre-ceremony remarks, Raceway Board president Eric Erickson praised the champions and all drivers in attendance, and he thanked the race teams’ pit crews for their selfless efforts in helping the drivers prepare for each race night. He also expressed appreciation for the generosity of the many sponsors who support the historic facility, and he paid homage to the Raceway’s Board of Directors and staff of nearly 40 volunteers who work tirelessly to put race programs together at the venerable northern Wisconsin red-clay oval.

Erickson also presented commemorative plaques to longtime Raceway Board members Ray Stuart and Katie Stuart. Ray has filled a number of capacities over the past several years, most notably as the track’s flagman, while his daughter-in-law Katie worked as Raceway Board secretary for nearly ten years. Each had recently announced that they would be stepping away from their involvement with the organization for family and personal reasons.

Emcee and Raceway announcer Nick Gima commented on the historic significance of the 2019 season, noting the addition of the WISSOTA Hornets to the weekly program, the first-ever appearance by the nationally-touring World of Outlaws Late Model Series, and several driver-attained milestones. The top-ten in points in each division were then introduced to the large crowd in attendance.

Steve Stuart of Ashland joined an elite group of drivers at ABC by winning his sixth track championship in 2019 and third in the WISSOTA Modifieds. A last-lap pass of Jeff Spacek in the final turn of the final feature of the regular season gave Stuart a one-point edge in the final standings.

Stuart scored two feature wins during the season to move him into a tie for 12th on the Raceway’s all-time win list, and with his sixth title he joins Scott Lawrence, Don Copp, Spacek, Al Uotinen and Dean Yrjanainen in reaching that total.

Spacek, of Phillips, reached a milestone of his own during 2019 when the second of his two feature wins brought his career total at ABC to 60 – good for third-best all-time. Steve Lavasseur of River Falls won that finale-night feature to clinch third in the standings, while Washburn’s Pat Cook scored the tenth A-main win of his career en route to a fourth-place points finish. Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, also tallied a feature win and ended up fifth in the rankings.

Sixth through tenth in the “big Mods” were claimed by Tyler Luger of Oxford; Paul Suzik of Ironwood, MI; Uotinen of Superior; Paul Niznik of Medford; and Mason’s Jacob Hiatt.

Nick Oreskovich of Mason accepted his fourth WISSOTA Super Stock championship trophy in as many seasons, establishing the third-longest consecutive-title streak in Raceway history, behind Lawrence (11) and Copp (six).

Oreskovich used consistently strong nightly efforts to dominate much of the season’s points chase, with one feature win, eight other top-five runs, and no finish worse than ninth.

Cory Casari of Montreal was runner-up in the Supers, scoring two feature wins to bring career total here to 26. Rookie Kyle Copp of Brule was third in the final rundown, ahead of Ashland’s Matt Deragon and Andrew Mackey of Roseville, MN.

Shawn McFadden Jr of Ashland led the second five in Super Stock points, followed by Greg Kuklinski of Ironwood, MI; Aaron Mashlan of Ashland; and Ironwood racers Patrick Beeksma and Don Muzzy.

An enthusiastic George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, claimed the champion’s trophy for his efforts in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified division. The title is the second for Dalbeck, who also won here in 2011.

The veteran racer started the season with five feature wins over the first seven nights of racing, becoming the all-time leader in Mid-Mods wins at ABC with 18.

David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON, became the highest-finishing Canadian driver in points in Raceway history with his second-place effort, while Marcus Dunbar of Wakefield, MI, used a strong second-half of the season to move into third. Brandon Copp of Brule tallied nine top-ten runs to secure fourth, and Justin Weinberger of Park Falls had seven top-tens on his way to a fifth-place showing.

Gunner Peterson of South Range; Ashland’s Ross Fuhrman; Bayfield’s Ryan Barningham; Bill Muhlig of Bessemer, MI; and Clay Passuello of Ironwood, MI, were sixth through tenth in Mid-Mod points in 2019.

Randy Graham of Trego made Raceway history by becoming the first driver to earn points championships in two different divisions in the ABC Raceway’s 55-year history. In the ABC Six-Cylinders, Graham scored five feature wins and five other second-place efforts in the 11 shows run for his first title in that division.

A win in the 2019 season finale helped Ashland’s Forrest Schultz capture a career-best runner-up finish in Sixes points, while DeJay Jarecki of Ashland scored five top-fives on the season and finished third in the standings. Ashland’s Jake Nevala (fourth) and Jonathan Popp of Iron River (fifth) also claimed career-best points rankings.

The second five in the Sixes consisted of Adam Traaholt of Ashland; Bubba Anderson of Trego; Ashland’s Jordan Pearce; Josh Saunders of Spooner; and Devin Dalbec of Ashland.

In the WISSOTA Pure Stocks, Graham was every bit as dominant in defending his 2018 crown. He collected four feature wins and never finished out of the top-three in a main event at Ashland, and his nine combined feature wins on the ‘19 season gives him 26 for his career here.

Weinberger, pulling double-duty last summer, matched Graham for Pure Stock wins with four to grab the runner-up trophy, and Brandle Pupp of Highbridge returned from taking a season off to secure third. Jeff Christman of South Range scored his ninth top-ten points finish in 12 full-time seasons at ABC by claiming fourth, and James Vendela of South Range chalked up three runner-up finishes in seven appearances in Ashland to land fifth in the standings.

Poplar’s Jason Simonson; Don Livingston of Washburn; Jesse Mudgett of Park Falls; Cory Jorgensen of Duluth, MN; and Dylan Shelton of Wrenshall, MN, completed the Pure Stock top ten.

Traveling over three hours each weekend to race in Ashland as well as in the Twin Ports area, Paul George of Princeton, MN, became the ABC Raceway’s first-ever Hornets track champion. George ran in nine of the ten scheduled shows for the class and gained two wins, four second-places and two thirds to post the historic achievement.

Three feature wins and six other top-three finishes helped Hunter McDougall of Duluth, MN, claim second place in Hornets points, with Mitch Kieber of Ironwood, MI, taking third thanks to top-10 runs in all ten shows completed at ABC last summer. Iron River’s Derek Dunbar used seven top-tens to rank a close fourth, and Neil Dees of Hurley used six top-ten efforts in eight appearances to land in fifth.

Jason Ronning of Ashland led the second five in final Hornets points, ahead of Duluth, MN, racers Dayna Marken and Paul Ripley; Shawn Young of Stone Lake; and Tate Niehaus of Alborn, MN.

Suzik (Mods), Kyle Copp (Supers), Mudgett (Pure Stocks) and Kieber (Hornets) were each named Rookies of the Year in their respective divisions for 2019; Copp was also the WISSOTA national Rookie of the Year in the Super Stocks.

Weinberger was awarded the Raceway’s Most Improved Driver award, and Deragon was honored as the track’s Sportsman of the Year.

Erickson also announced that his annual “Valuable Volunteer” award would be presented to Lynn Chingo, a member of the Raceway’s food concessions staff.

The ABC Raceway will begin its 56th season of operation under the direction of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association in mid-May, with a 16-race schedule planned. The facility is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For more information, log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

Banquet Photos Here

2019 Banquet Photos

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44th Red Clay Classic Results

Glenz Pulls Off Late-Lap Pass for Red Clay Classic LM Win

Adams gets first RCC win; Cain, Myers repeat

by Nick Gima & John Kimmes

                Ashland, WI, September 28 — Jesse Glenz of Fall Creek used a last-lap pass to score his second dramatic WISSOTA Late Model big-money feature win in as many weekends to cap off the 44th annual Red Clay Classic at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

Glenz took home $5,100 in winnings and contingencies from the over $100,000 purse paid out over the two-day program, which was presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer in front of full-house crowds for Friday’s heat race action and Saturday’s final qualifying rounds and main events.

Also winning big on Saturday were Dave Cain of Corcoran, MN, in the WISSOTA Modifieds, Curt Myers of Cameron in the WISSOTA Super Stocks, and Kevin Adams of Cameron in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds.

Glenz had pulled off a last-lap pass for the win the weekend before, at the Punky Manor Challenge of Champions in Menomonie, but did significant damage to his car after the event by sliding into and on top of the Red Cedar Speedway’s concrete Turn 1 wall after taking the checkers. He nearly did the same after crossing the finish line on Saturday, spinning and backing into ABC’s Turn 1 guardrail, but this time did minimal damage and, in fact, actually spun a couple of ceremonial “donuts” on the front straight, to the delight of the crowd on hand.

Following the sharp Ford F150 Raptor pace truck provided by Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center to the green flag, Glenz started outside on the front row for the 50-lap headline event, but the early stories of the race were polestarter Deven VanHouse, who came into the weekend third in national WISSOTA points in his rookie season in the division, and the equally-impressive Derek Vesel. The lead pair ran nose-to-tail for much of the first dozen laps while pulling to a 1.1-second advantage over Glenz, Chad Mahder and 2013 RCC champ Nick Anvelink.

Glenz and company closed the gap as the leaders caught up to slower traffic, and when Vesel bobbled while attempting a pass for the lead on lap 12 Glenz slipped by for second. Vesel got the position back a lap later, and then he worked an inside move to capture the lead on lap 18, with Glenz following suit to second one tour later.

VanHouse worked his way past both to take the lead away again as the frontrunners struggled to get by backmarker Denny Cutsforth, who was nearly as fast and running a safe, solid lower line. Glenz and Vesel swapped second place with each lap while the field closed in, and at one point the first- through seventh-place cars were in tight bumper-to-bumper formation. But a caution flag on lap 23 took the leaders out of traffic, and Glenz grabbed second place immediately upon the restart.

Another yellow flag was thrown before the next lap was completed, and then Vesel slipped past VanHouse as the race reached its midpoint and cruised to a lead of over two seconds over the next eight laps. A Steve Laursen spin on lap 33 brought the field back together, with AJ Diemel now sitting third ahead of Mahder and VanHouse. Glenz kept the pressure on Vesel over the final laps, taking looks to the inside on occasion to set up the winning pass.

Coming out of turn 4 to take the white flag Glenz nosed to the inside one last time, and after running door-to-door with Vesel through turns 1 and 2 Glenz cleared him for the lead entering the back straight. Glenz held on for his second career Red Clay Classic feature win (the other coming in 2014 in the Modifieds) by .681 seconds over Diemel, who edged Vesel coming out of the final turn. Mahder claimed fourth ahead of five-time RCC LM champ Jimmy Mars, while Dan Ebert, Anvelink, Pat Doar, Travis Budisalovich and Aaron Lillo completed the top ten.

Like Glenz, Cain started the 35-lap Modified A-main on the outside of the front row, alongside polesitter Cody Wolkowski. But Cain didn’t wait nearly as long to establish himself as the man to beat, grabbing the lead from Wolkowski coming off of the second turn of the race and pacing the field for every lap.

Caution flags came early and often in the run, as Steve Hallquist’s loop on lap 2, defending RCC Mod champ Kelly Estey’s spin into the turn 1 rail on the ensuing restart, a Shane Kisling spin on lap 3, and a multi-car tangle a couple of circuits after that slowed the early pace. But each time Cain fended off challenges from Wolkowski, Tanner Byholm, Clayton Wagamon and Sam Fankhauser.

Wagamon moved into second on lap 7 and began chipping into the leader’s 1.8-second advantage, and a stoppage on lap 10 put Wagamon on Cain’s back bumper for the restart, with Ebert now up to third after starting ninth. Ebert became Cain’s top threat by taking second on the restart, but Cain pulled to a nearly-full-second lead within five short laps. Ebert trimmed the difference back down to just over half a second before Jody Bellefeuille’s spin on lap 23 tightened things up, and on that redo Wolkowski took everyone by surprise by beating Ebert and Wagamon out of turn 2 to take second.

But Cain had too much for the field on this night, pushing his lead to a second-and-a-half within a few laps. Ebert returned the favor on Wolkowski on lap 27, with Wagamon in tow to third, while Cain extended his margin to 2.166 seconds.

A two-car spin with five laps to go allowed Wagamon to swipe second from Ebert a lap after the green flag came back out, and another restart with four to go gave two-time RCC Mod champ Darrell Nelson a chance to take third with a three-wide pass. Over the closing laps Cain didn’t extend his lead as much as before, but he was still .65 seconds ahead of Wagamon at the final stripe, with Ebert retaking third from the 19th-starting Nelson late in the run.

North Dakota visitor Tyler Peterson came home fifth, while the second five consisted of 21st-starting Jeremy Nelson, Wolkowski, Fankhauser, Andy Jones and Glenz, who was in Michael Truscott’s Mod for the weekend.

Myers and Adams repeated what they had done at Menomonie from the weekend before, each winning his respective feature back-to-back. Myers got his win in the 30-lap Super Stock main by flexing his car’s muscle early and then maintaining his advantage despite frequent caution stops.

After a first-turn melee that collected nearly half of the 24-car field, with WISSOTA national championship points leader Kevin Burdick penalized to the back of the field as the cause, outside front-row starter Scott Lawrence set the early pace, ahead of polestarter Tony Faulkner, third-row-starting Myers, Tristan LaBarge and Patrick Beeksma. Myers showed his car’s strength right away by taking to the top groove of the track and sprinting past Faulkner on lap 4, then charging along the outside rail again on lap 6 to sweep around Lawrence for the lead.

Don Muzzy’s spin with eight laps recorded slowed the proceedings, and two laps later the pace was slowed again by a two-car get-together. Faulkner was gathered up in a four-car mess involving a couple of other top-ten runners on that restart, but after that the field settled into a smooth, steady pace over the next dozen laps that gave Myers a chance to establish a three-second lead.

During that run several drivers made valuable gains through the field, including LaBarge, who had displaced Lawrence for second; Dave Flynn, who worked the low lane to make his way to third on lap 12; and Nick Traynor, who had moved into fourth a lap later. On lap 18 Traynor slipped around Flynn and began pressuring LaBarge for a few circuits before Tucker Quinn’s back-straight spin on lap 22 brought out another yellow flag.

Myers once again got away, while Willie Johnsen Jr joined in on the battle for third with Traynor and Flynn. Just after Andrew Mackey’s spin on lap 25, Traynor moved around LaBarge for second, and after another slowdown for debris on lap 26, a four-car tangle brought about a three-lap sprint to the finish that Myers easily paced on his way to a 1.3-second margin of victory and a $3,225 paycheck.

“I hate yellows,” Myers said during his third RCC visit to Victory Lane and 25th of his career at ABC. “I feel like a sitting duck out there. I was having a heart attack with every caution.”

Traynor fell one spot short of the win but, with the various contigencies offered, actually took home more cash than Myers – a track record for Supers of $3,700. Flynn, LaBarge and Johnsen followed in close formation to complete the top five, while 21st-starting rookie Kyle Copp, 23rd-starting Eric Olson, Andy Grymala, Cory Casari and Shawn McFadden Jr came home sixth through tenth.

Adams has over 520 career feature wins to his credit, but until Saturday night he had only one at ABC, and despite his best efforts the Red Clay Classic was the one big event that had always eluded him. But his pole-position start and a long green-flag run in the 25-lap Midwest Mod A-feature gave him a chance to make a little personal history.

Adams bolted to the point immediately on the start and maintained a solid lead ahead of defending RCC Mid-Mod champ Tony Bahr, who for most of the event was Adams’ main threat. Bahr, however, had his hands full throughout much of the run, as Mack Estey provided a strong early challenge before handing that baton off to two-time RCC winner Shane Halopka.

Estey, who shared the front row with Adams at the start, worked the higher lane of the wide, slick red-clay oval while Bahr stuck to the lower groove. Halopka had moved by 2011 Classic winner George Dalbeck into fourth by lap 4 and stuck with Bahr and Estey as Adams pulled away, and Jesse Aho also climbed past Dalbeck into the top five as lap 10 was scored.

Bahr gained some ground over Halopka as the race reached halfway, while Adams’ advantage had grown to a second-and-a-half. But as the leader closed on slower traffic on lap 17, Bahr was able to trim the difference down to less than half a second, before a caution flag came out for a spin and gave Adams an open track once again.

Aho moved around Halopka for fourth on the restart and stayed behind Adams, Bahr and Estey until lap 20, when another spin drew another yellow flag. Halopka got a great run with the green flag and took two positions for third, and over the final laps Bahr tried a number of times to get Adams to stumble, but the former national champ held tough for his landmark win by a mere two-tenths of a second.

“I used up my right-rear (tire) over the first 20 laps,” an excited Adams told the crowd from Victory Lane afterwards. “I heard Tony coming.”

Marcus Dunbar came from a 14th-place start to grab fourth in the late stages just ahead of Estey, while the second five consisted of 13th-starting Tyler Vernon, Aho, Brandon Copp, Mark Kangas and Brandon Jensen.

Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland awarded $125 bonuses for the  fastest-timed laps in each feature to Anvelink (Late Models; 16.952 seconds, 79.637 mph average), Cain (Mods; 17.257, 78.229), Myers (Supers; 17.726, 76.159), and Bahr (Mid-Mods; 18.130, 74.462).

Clint Larson Trucking of Duluth, MN, paid out $125 “hard-charger” bonuses to Jeff Massingill (Late Models, 23rd to 11th), Darrell Nelson (Mods, 19th to 4th), Olson (Supers, 23rd to 7th), and Kangas (Mid-Mods, 20th to 9th) for advancing the furthest from their original scheduled starting position in each feature.

GA Dalbeck Trucking of Wakefield, MI, awarded $150 bonuses to Ebert (Late Models), Peterson (Mods), Copp (Supers) and Derek Haas (Mid-Mods) as the top-finishing rookies in each feature.

Traynor was awarded an additional $500, complements of WeberWorks Construction, for his runner-up effort in the Super Stock feature.

Lakes Gas Company of Stone Lake provided a case of racing motor oil to each feature winner and posted bonuses to drivers who finished in randomly-selected positions in each feature. In the Late Models Van House (12th) and George Ledin (17th) each earned extra cash, while Tanner Byholm (14th) and Tyler Luger (20th) collected the Mod main bonuses.

Tucker Quinn (15th) and Terran Spacek (21st) were paid the Lakes Gas bonuses after the Super Stock feature, and the Midwest Mod cash went to Jimmy Latvala (13th) and Mike Widmann (16th).

Glenz, Cain, Myers and Adams each received $100 “Kleen Sweep” bonuses from Kleen Air Heating & Cooling of Washburn for winning both their qualifying heat races and their respective features.

Dirt Race Central, which provided the event’s pay-per-view webcast, presented a $300 “long-haul” bonus to Modified driver Joey Price of Great Falls, MT, who traveled 1,058 miles to purchase 2019 ABC Raceway Mod points champ Steve Stuart’s race car and compete in his first Red Clay Classic.

Champ Pans of Eau Claire and SSR Race Cars of Spring Valley paired up to once again provide commemorative t-shirts to each of Friday’s heat winners.

The Neighborly Bar of Ashland hosted its annual pre-Classic “bridal shower” on the Thursday night prior to the race weekend to raise money for its “Bridesmaid’s Challenge,” and in the process collected $4,000 from fans, racers and local businesses to be split among the second-place finishers in each of Saturday’s features. Diemel, Wagamon, Traynor and Bahr each gladly donned formal gowns and held bouquets donated by Superior Floral of Ashland during their post-race interviews and photos in Victory Lane for their share of the bounty.

McCoy Construction & Forestry of Ashland delivered a new John Deere grader to the Raceway for the weekend, which worked exceptionally well for track prep. The facility was beautifully decorated in the spirit of the Fall season with pumpkins, mums and other plants provided by Ashland florist Country Blossom.

The 191 entries for this year’s Classic included 29 Late Models, 56 Modifieds, 44 Super Stocks, and 62 Mid-Mods from six states and two Canadian provinces. The field included an impressive 31 rookie drivers who were either first-time-ever competitors to the northern Wisconsin oval or drivers racing in their respective divisions at the Classic for the first time.

Light overnight showers provided a challenge for the Raceway’s track preparation crew on Friday, but a quick grade and re-pack of the red-clay surface after hot laps and a brisk evening produced a sticky, lightning-fast race surface on Friday, while Saturday’s sunshine, cool temperatures and light breeze made for a smooth, wide, multi-groove oval.

The Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association expresses its sincere appreciation to the many individuals, organizations and businesses who donated time, materials and resources that made this year’s Red Clay Classic another huge success. The ABC Raceway’s annual awards banquet will be held in January 2019, with information available soon on the track website, www.abcraceway.com.

Results

WISSOTA Late Models

Feature: 1-10: Jesse Glenz, Fall Creek; AJ Diemel, Elk Mound; Derek Vesel, Hibbing, MN; Chad Mahder, Eau Claire; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Nick Anvelink, Bonduel; Pat Doar, New Richmond; Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis, MN; Aaron Lillo, Proctor, MN.

11-20: Jeff Massingill, Keewatin, MN; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, MN; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire; Tim McMann, Duluth, MN; George Ledin Jr, Britt, MN; Denny Cutsforth, Rice Lake; Steve Laursen, Cumberland; Mike Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN.

21-24: Kevin Eder, Ashland; Aaron Turnbull, Estevan, SK; TJ Adams, Hayward; Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing, MN.

Heat 1: Anvelink; Diemel; Laursen; Budisalovich; Adams; Eder; Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; Robbie Johnson, Wilson.

Heat 2: VanHouse; Kaanta; Nelson; Doar; Peterlin; Ledin; Kevin Carlson, Hermantown, MN.

Heat 3: Glenz; Mahder; Lillo; McMann; Bellefeuille; Cutsforth; Buddy Hanestad, Boyceville.

Heat 4: Ebert; Vesel; Mars; Redetzke; Turnbull; Cole Schill, Horace, ND; Massingill.

Semi-Feature: Eder; Ledin; Massingill; Cutsforth; Hanestad; Frank; Carlson; Johnson.

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Clayton Wagamon, Ramsey, MN; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, MN; Tyler Peterson, Hickson, ND; Jeremy Nelson, Alexandria, MN; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON; Sam Fankhauser, Rice Lake; Andy Jones, Princeton, MN; Jesse Glenz, Fall Creek.

11-20: Jake Smith, Chippewa Falls; Scott Duval, Bloomer; Shane Kisling, Park Falls; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Greg Chesley, Duluth, MN; Pat Cook, Washburn; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; Tyler Luger, Oxford.

21-25: Jake Hartung, Elmwood; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Kelly Estey, Kelly Lake, MN; AJ Diemel, Elk Mound; Steve Hallquist, Eau Claire.

Heat 1: Hartung; M Anderson; Glenz; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Al Uotinen, Superior; Chesley; Josh Beaulieu, Bemidji, MN; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Don Eischens, Richmond, MN.

Heat 2: Wolkowski; Ebert; Smith; Estey; Mike Knopps, Chippewa Falls; Jason Richardson, Spring Valley; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brent Prochnow, Colfax; JT Johnson, Milaca, MN.

Heat 3: T Byholm; Mars; Bellefeuille; Diemel; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Paul Niznik, Medford; Jake Miller, Somerset; Ashley Anderson, Elk Mound; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs.

Heat 4: Cain; Peterson; Kisling; D Nelson; Cody Carlson, Superior; Kevin Adams, Cameron; Joey Price, Great Falls, MT; Donnie Lofdahl, Duluth, MN; Jayme Lautigar, Gilbert, MN.

Heat 5: Fankhauser; Jones; Luger; Cook; B Byholm; Peter Loecken, Paynesville, MN; Kyle Helling, Rice Lake; Steve Stavenger, Gilbert, MN; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls.

Heat 6: Hallquist; Wagamon; Duval; J Nelson; Adam Ayotte, St Paul, MN; AJ Roschen, Somerset; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Cole Varsho, Stratford.

Semi-Feature 1: D Nelson; Chesley; Balduc; Uotinen; Carlson; Bunkelman; Lautigar; Lawrence; Price; Adams; Beaulieu; Lofdahl.

Semi-Feature 2: Cook; B Byholm; Prochnow; Richardson; Knopps; Hiatt; Loecken; Helling; Stavenger; C Spacek; Estey; Lavasseur; Jeff Spacek, Phillips.

Semi-Feature 3: J Nelson; Diemel; Ayotte; A Anderson; Eischens; Roschen; Niznik; Miller; Gehl; Suzik; Varsho; Kingsley.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Curt Myers, Cameron; Nick Traynor, Barron; Dave Flynn, Superior; Tristan LaBarge, Kelly Lake, MN; Willie Johnsen Jr, Superior; Kyle Copp, Brule; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Andy Grymala, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland.

11-20: DJ Keeler, Superior; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN; Brad Johnson, Wilson; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Kevin Salin, Iron, MN.

21-24: Terran Spacek; Phillips; Tony Falkner, Menomonie; Jim Campbell, Two Harbors, MN; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI.

Heat 1: Burdick; Flynn; Mackey; Deragon; Olson; Les Duellman, Winona, MN; Marcus Simonson, Luck; Quinn; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

Heat 2: Falkner; LaBarge; Johnsen; Keeler; Brian Carl, Duluth, MN; Dan Severson, Ironton, MN; Lukas Koski, New Richmond; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Fred Aschenbauer, Deerwood, MN.

Heat 3: Myers; Johnson; Grymala; Campbell; Kyle Copp, Brule; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Keith Kern, Superior; Rich Bishop, New Richmond; Bill Speak, Thunder Bay, ON.

Heat 4: Lawrence; McFadden; Richards; T Spacek; Muzzy; Annika Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Dan Gullikson, Roberts; Rick Peterson, Eau Claire; Jesse Redetzke, Eau Claire.

Heat 5: Beeksma; Traynor; Casari; Salin; Adam Soltis, Ladysmith; Mike Hince, Medford; Nick Oreskovich, Mason.

Semi-Feature 1: Copp; Olson; Kuklinski; Redetzke; Severson; Kern; Simonson; Soltis; A Hammitt; Mashlan; Peterson.

Semi-Feature 2: Muzzy; Quinn; R Spacek; Carl; Hince; Jon Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Bishop; Aschenbauer; Oreskovich; Koski; Speak.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Kevin Adams, Cameron; Tony Bahr, Haugen; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Mack Estey, Hibbing, MN; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Brandon Copp, Brule; Mark Kangas, Eveleth, MN; Brandon Jensen, Ellsworth.

11-20: Derek Haas, Thorp; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; McLean Andrews, Duluth, MN; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Mike Widmann, Marshfield; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Don Craig, Thunder Bay, ON; Corey Storck, Morris, MN.

21-24: Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Josh Smith, Fall Creek; Andrew Inman, Hermantown, MN; Colin Chaschuk, Neebing, ON.

Heat 1: Estey; Copp; Smith; Hudack; Guy Carley, Eagle River; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Steve Altman, Mercer; Kyle Matuska, North Branch, MN; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Andrea Keeney, Ridgeland; Lou Puzio, Eau Claire.

Heat 2: Bahr; Halopka; Widmann; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; James Lambert, Fort Frances, ON; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Inman; Kenny Rogers, Unity; Karl Kolek, Menomonie; Denny Cutsforth, Rice Lake.

Heat 3: Dalbeck; Craig; Storck; Richards; Kevin Eder, Ashland; D Dunbar; John Kallas, Hurley; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Chris Bretting, Ashland; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

Heat 4: Chaschuk; Simpson; M Dunbar; Andrews; Justin Claussen, Eau Claire; Mark Thomas, Menomonie; Calvin Iverson, Eleva; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Scott McKinnon, Thunder Bay, ON; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls.

Heat 5: Aho; D Haas; Jensen; Latvala; Kangas; Justin Bassa, Cotton, MN; George Truscott, Greenland, MI; Wayne Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON; Michael McKay, Sparta.

Heat 6: Adams; T Anderson; Vernon; Kevin Monteith, Rosslyn, ON; Les Duellman, Winona, MN; Nick Koehler, Bloomer; Craig Haas, Thorp; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Paul Hari, Neebing, ON; Bryan Lund, Ashland.

Semi-Feature 1: Andrews; Inman; Hicks; Thomas; Hudack; Claussen; Mains; Lund; Kolek; Carley; Truscott; Hari; Rogers; Altman; Cutsforth.

Semi-Feature 2: Kangas; Latvala; Fuhrman; M Anderson; Savoy; Peterson; C Haas; Weinberger; Keeney; Lambert; Bassa; McKinnon; Iverson; Bressette.

Semi-Feature 3: Richards; D Dunbar; Koehler; Eder; Matuska; Monteith; Kallas; Passuello; Bretting; Barningham; Jacques; Puzio; McKay.

 

Red Clay Classic Info

44th Red Clay Classic to Continue Tradition of Fun, Great Racing, Big $$

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, September 8 — The ABC Raceway will host its 44th annual Red Clay Classic on Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, and plans are well underway to once again make this one of the biggest and most enjoyable stock car racing events in the Upper Midwest.

To be presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, the Red Clay Classic is considered by many to be one of the hallmark programs in all of WISSOTA – long established as a race that any driver would take great pride in winning. But the Classic also has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the most popular and exciting events on the regional racing calendar, with so much to see and do throughout the weekend geared toward race fans. The Red Clay Classic marks the climax of the Northland’s racing season, and drivers and fans from throughout the Midwest and Canada will be on hand to watch the action and enjoy the company of their fellow race fans.

For the drivers, there is big money on the line. The biggest check will be the $5,000 paid to the winner of the 50-lap WISSOTA Late Model spotlight event, while the champions’ shares in the WISSOTA Modified (35 laps), Super Stock (30) and Midwest Modified (25) A-features will be $4,000, $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.

The winnings pay out to the drivers almost immediately upon entry to the Raceway’s pit area, as the draw fees will once again be waived. Then, during Friday night’s qualifying heats, each winner will receive a limited-edition commemorative T-shirt, donated by SSR Race Cars of Spring Valley and Champ Pans of Eau Claire.

Come Saturday, the rewards several contingency awards, including a $300 “long-haul” prize courtesy of Dirt Race Central, the event’s official pay-per-view video provider; a $125 “fast-lap” bonus paid to the driver posting the fastest timed lap in each feature from Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland; a $125 “hard charger” bonus in each feature complements of Clint Larson Trucking of Duluth, MN; a $100 bonus to any heat or semi-feature winner who also claim their division’s feature from Kleen Air Heating & Cooling of Washburn; bonuses to the top-finishing first-time RCC drivers in each feature, courtesy of GA Dalbeck Logging of Wakefield, MI; and bonuses to drivers finishing in specific positions in each feature from Lakes Gas Company of Stone Lake.

Drivers will also be eligible for a drawing to receive one of several custom shop mats, to be provided by Champ Pans.

One of the most unique and popular bonuses ever offered at a major short-track event is the “Bridesmaid’s Challenge,” in which the second-place finisher in each of the four features can earn a huge bonus if they don a formal gown (provided by the track) in Victory Lane for their post-race interviews.

Finally, the top three finishers in each feature will receive one of the unique, laser-cut and powder-coated trophies that have become symbolic of this event in recent years.

Overall, the purse for the Classic is set at over $100,000, with an additional estimated $5,000 in bonuses, contingencies and other prizes to be offered.

That kind of money has attracted huge fields of cars in the recent past. In each of the past four Classics, car counts have exceeded 190, with over 200 entries competing in each of the past two events. Last year, the pits were filled with 216 racers – the fourth-highest total in RCC history.

And the fields include quality as well as quantity. Last year’s entries included eventual WISSOTA national Late Model points champion Ricky Weiss of Headingly, MB, who won in his first-ever visit to ABC; national Modified points runner-up Dave Cain of Corcoran, MN, and third-in-points Dan Ebert of Lake Shore, MN; and eventual Super Stock national champ Dave Mass of East Bethel, MN, and runner-up Kevin Burdick of Proctor, MN.

Early indications are that drivers still in position to battle for national championships – particularly in the Mods, Super Stocks and Mid-Mods – will be in attendance for this year’s Classic.

For fans, there will be plenty to see, do and enjoy during the race weekend, starting on the Thursday night before, when the Neighborly Bar of Ashland will host a fundraiser party to build up the “Bridesmaid’s Challenge” purse.

On Friday afternoon several local and visiting drivers will bring their race cars to show to the students of the Lake Superior Elementary School, as part of the School’s “Rev Up for Reading” program. And on Friday night immediately after the heat races there will be a party at the Raceway with DJ-provided music.

On Saturday, the annual Red Clay Classic scramble golf tournament will be held at the Chequamegon Bay Golf Club beginning at 9:30 am, with prizes to be awarded afterwards at the course’s Niblick restaurant. Also, during the day on Saturday prior to the start of the semi-features, fans will be able to vote online via the Raceway’s website for a “fans’ choice” provisional to be added to each feature field.

Throughout the weekend fans can visit Ashland’s historic downtown, where local merchants will offer a variety of shopping specials. The city’s Historic Mural Walk is also located downtown for fans to enjoy, while other opportunities for entertainment, shopping, sightseeing and exploring can be found in neighboring communities such as Washburn, Bayfield, Odanah and Mellen.

Also, an autograph session is being planned for one of the two days of the Classic; more details on this will be forthcoming.

The popularity of the event is evident in the fact that the over 240 primitive camping sites on the Raceway grounds are in very limited supply, for an advance payment of $30 for the weekend; please call (715) 682-2672 Monday through Friday (evenings only) or send an e-mail to tickets@abcraceway.com for information on availability. Access to the grounds for setting up on the sites will begin at 5 pm on the Thursday prior to the race weekend, and campers are asked to check in immediately upon arrival at the main grandstand ticket office before setting up at their sites.

For those looking to park RVs overnight within walking distance of the track, the owner of the property directly adjacent to and east of the Raceway grounds is offering sites on a first-come, first-served basis (no advance reservations), beginning on Thursday evening. Please do not contact the Raceway for information and access to these sites.

On Friday the pit gates will open to the race teams at 12:30 pm, while the main grandstand ticket windows and gates will open at 3. Hot lap sessions will start at 5:30, followed by heat races for all four divisions beginning at 7 pm.

On Saturday, the pits will open at noon, the grandstand gates will open at 2:30 pm, and racing will begin at 5 with semi-feature action before concluding with the four big features.

Adult grandstand tickets are available for just $22 for Friday’s program, $25 for the Saturday portion of the show, or $42 for a two-day pass. Tickets for kids ages 6-12 are $13 each night, while a two-day kids’ pass is just $23. A limited number of reserved grandstand seats can be purchased for $10 plus a two-day pass.

A very limited number of spots along the upper walkway of the main grandstand are marked for bring-your-own lawn chair seating. These spots are available for the price of an adult two-day pass plus the $10 additional reserved-seating charge.

To buy tickets or to reserve a seat or an on-grounds campsite, please call (715) 682-2672 Monday through Friday (evenings only) or send an e-mail to tickets@abcraceway.com

A limited number of reserved pit spots are still available for just $30 each by calling (715) 746-2390 (evenings) or by e-mailing to tickets@abcraceway.com.

Prior to each night’s race program, “Race Night” will provide up-to-date Red Clay Classic news and weather information live from the track on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com. Program times will be announced soon. Fans are also encouraged to download the free Heartland Communications Group radio app to tune in on their smartphone or other mobile device.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. Additional event information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com. Additional Ashland area hotel and community information is available by visiting www.visitashland.com.

Seats, Sites, Spots Still Available for 44th Red Clay Classic

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 25 — There are still a limited number of reserved seats and overnight RV parking spots available for the 44th annual Red Clay Classic, to be held on September 27-28 at the ABC Raceway in Ashland.

One of the most popular, most exciting and most prestigious events in the Upper Midwest, the Red Clay Classic has become the climax of the Northland’s stock car racing season. Presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, the weekend will feature over 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Modifieds from throughout the Midwest and Canada competing on the award-winning three-eighths-mile red-clay oval for a share of a purse set at over $100,000, plus over $5,000 in bonuses, contingencies and other prizes.

The winner of the 50-lap Late Model spotlight event will receive $5,000, while the first-place shares for the Modified, Super Stock and Midwest Mod A-main winners will be $4,000, $3,000 and $1,500, respectively.

The Raceway has recently announced that demand for reserved seating and overnight camping sites has been strong, meaning two things – that the Classic will once again be one of the most popular, highest-attended race events of the invitational season, and that the limited number of these seats and sites still available is dwindling quickly.

Adult grandstand tickets are available for just $22 for Friday’s program, $25 for Saturday’s portion of the show, or $42 for a two-day pass. Tickets for kids ages 6-12 are $13 each night, while a two-day kids’ pass is just $23. A limited number of reserved grandstand seats can still be purchased for the price of a two-day pass plus $10.

A very limited number of spots along the top walkway of the main grandstand are marked for bring-your-own lawn chair seating. These spots can be reserved for the price of an adult two-day pass plus the $10 additional charge.

Fans who have reserved these seating areas during the regular season still need to contact the Raceway in order to retain them for the Classic, as all reserved seats are available to the general public until sold. The VIP decks are not available to the public for Red Clay Classic reservation.

A small number of the nearly 240 overnight RV parking sites on the Raceway’s property are still available for $30 each for the entire weekend. Fans who have reserved RV sites on the Raceway property will be allowed access to the grounds beginning at 5 pm on the Thursday prior to the race weekend.

For those who are unable to reserve a site on Raceway grounds, the owner of the property directly adjacent to and east of the track is offering RV parking on a first-come, first-served basis beginning on the Thursday evening before the event. These sites are not available by reservation through the Raceway or the property owner.

To buy tickets, or to reserve a seat or an on-grounds campsite, please call (715) 682-2672 Monday through Friday (evenings only) or send an e-mail to tickets@abcraceway.com.

A limited number of reserved pit spots are still available for just $30 each by calling (715) 746-2390 (evenings) or by e-mailing to tickets@abcraceway.com.

The Raceway will once again waive the drivers’ draw fees for this year’s Red Clay Classic. Entrants and their guests will need only pay the $70 two-day pit-pass fee in order to access the pit area during the race weekend.

Along with plenty of racing action, the Red Clay Classic offers fans many opportunities to enjoy themselves both at the track and around the Chequamegon Bay area, including downtown shopping and the popular “Mural Walk,” a party with DJ music at the Raceway’s grandstand pavilion area on Friday, the annual scramble golf tournament on Saturday, and more. Details on all of the activities planned for the race weekend will be released soon.

Prior to each night’s race program, “Race Night” will provide up-to-date Red Clay Classic news and weather information on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com. Program times will be announced soon. Fans are also encouraged to download the free Heartland Communications Group radio app to tune in on their smartphone or other mobile device.

The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. Additional event information is available on the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com. Additional Ashland area hotel and community information is available by visiting www.visitashland.com.

The Board of Directors and all-volunteer staff of the ABC Raceway will take some time over the next few weeks to prepare the award-winning northern Wisconsin oval for one of the Upper Midwest’s most exciting and prestigious events – the 44th annual Red Clay Classic, presented by FastLane Motorsports of Ashland and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, to be held on Friday and Saturday, September 27-28. Over 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods are expected to compete for a share of a total purse again slated to be in excess of $100,000.

Information on ticket prices and event times are available on the track’s website and will be detailed in an upcoming release, and “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and also stream live on www.wbszfm.com and via the free Heartland Communications Group radio app during both nights of the event with up-to-date track news and weather updates.

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