August 24th Results

Stuart, Oreskovich, Dalbeck, Graham, George Claim 2019 ABC Titles

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 24 – In a wild and wooly climax to the 2019 regular season, Steve Stuart edged Jeff Spacek by one point to capture the WISSOTA Modified points championship at the ABC Raceway.

The “Championship Saturday Night” season finale, presented by WIMI-FM of Ironwood, MI; Mountain Dew and North Star Beverage of Hurley, also saw Nick Oreskovich, George Dalbeck, Randy Graham and Paul George each claim divisional titles, as Raceway history was made on several fronts.

The Modifieds points battle was the evening’s lead story, with Spacek leading Stuart by just three points heading into the feature, which was appropriately saved as the conclusion of the 18-race program. Stuart started outside on row 2 for the 20-lapper, while Spacek was on the inside on row 3, but the initial start of the race was waived off when Neil Balduc bobbled in turn 4 and several cars piled up behind him as a result.

The remainder of the run went non-stop, with Jeff’s son Cole Spacek edging ahead of Steve Lavasseur initially before Lavasseur fought back to take control on lap 2. Stuart and Jeff Spacek were side-by-side on that restart, and the senior Spacek beat Stuart on the high side to take third.

Lavasseur steadily drew away to a lead of nearly two seconds as Spacek Junior fought to hold off his dad and Stuart. Finally, on lap 9, the younger Spacek gave up second to his father and third to his father’s championship challenger. Within five quick laps, Jeff Spacek trimmed Lavasseur’s lead down to a couple of car-lengths, with Stuart in tow.

On the final lap Stuart looked to back off a bit, but it was only to make a run at Spacek going into the final turns. Stuart dove low in turn 3, then slid up the track in turn 4, seemingly hoping to complete a successful “slide-job” on the six-time track champ to take second place. However, Stuart’s car didn’t quite clear Spacek’s and the pair collided, with Stuart’s car making heavy contact with Spacek’s, and Spacek’s car making equally significant contact with the front-straight concrete wall. As Lavasseur, from River Falls, grabbed his first win of the season here by just a shade over one second, Stuart and Spacek slid across the finish line in a grinding crash, with Stuart’s car ahead by its nose and motor. Both cars then spun to a stop on the front straight, forcing the rest of the field to weave through the carnage, with Stuart scored as second and winning the championship by a single point.

Cole Spacek was a distant fourth-place finisher, just ahead of Pat Cook.

In Victory Lane, the Ashland native was very reserved with his excitement considering he had just won his sixth career championship at ABC. “I have nothing but the greatest respect for Jeff,” he said. “I don’t know – it is what it is, I guess.”

Oreskovich basically had his fourth straight WISSOTA Super Stock title wrapped up as soon as he took his car off the trailer at the track, and while his seventh-place feature run wasn’t a thing of beauty, the consistency shown all season long by “the Flyin’ Farmer” from Mason was well rewarded.

Early on Lawrence cruised away to healthy advantages, but once Cory Casari wrestled control of second place from Patrick Beeksma, Lawrence couldn’t shake loose of the young Montreal pilot.

On the second attempt of a lap 9 restart, Dave Flynn – who started 11th – began an assault on Casari for second that lasted better than two laps before Flynn was victorious. On lap 14 Flynn then moved alongside Lawrence, repeatedly diving low while Lawrence ran the perimeter, until he finally slipped past for the lead. As they came to the white flag Casari also got by Lawrence with an inside pass, and Casari followed Flynn at a brief distance to the checkers.

Before making his way to the infield scales, Flynn was advised of a two-position penalty for a “jump” on one of the restarts, which awarded Casari with his second win of the season and gave second to Lawrence. Kyle Copp came home fourth, and Terran Spacek, who went to the pits for repairs incurred during an early-race wreck, recovered for fifth-place money.

Oreskovich’s final points margin was 71 ahead of Casari, who jumped past Copp in the final tally. Oreskovich becomes only the third driver in Raceway history to post a streak of more than three consecutive points titles, along with Lawrence (11) and Don Copp (six).

Although the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature struggled to get to its conclusion, it was well worth the wait for both points champ Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, and race winner David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON.

Jack Rivord’s spin delayed the initial start of the 20-lap affair, but Simpson took the lead away from polestarter Ryan Barningham after the first couple of green-flag laps and held it for the remaining distance. Simpson, who needed a top-three finish plus some bad luck to befall Dalbeck in order to take the division crown, held tight to the lead despite a series of slowdowns and stoppages that tested his resolve.

Simpson opened up a couple of one-second cushions during some four- and five-lap green-flag spurts during the first two-thirds of the run, only to have the field brought back to him for restarts. One of the restarts was brought about when a Brandon Copp spin took him out of a top-three run; another followed soon thereafter when second-running Ross Fuhrman’s car got loose and slowed, forcing several of his fellow frontrunners to duck and dodge to avoid him and allowing Tyler Vernon to take second and bring Dalbeck with him to third.

Dalbeck got by Vernon on a lap 16 restart, and he stayed there over a three-lap sprint to the finish after a Bryan Lund spin to secure his second ABC Raceway title, with the other coming in 2011. Simpson’s second feature win of the season helped him make Raceway history as the only Canadian-born driver to finish in the top-five in points here – second to Dalbeck by 32 – while Vernon, 18th-starting Justin Weinberger and Duane Dunbar completed the top-five in the race.

It took efforts in back-to-back features for Graham to make a little ABC Raceway history of his own, becoming the first driver to win two divisional titles in the same season here. The Trego racer had the ABC Six-Cylinder title sewn up upon arrival, with a healthy lead over Ashland’s Forrest Schultz, and he finished second to Schultz in the Sixes’ 15-lap A-main.

After a two-car spin on lap 1, polestarter Jonathan Popp ran away to a strong lead over the first 12 laps of the run, while a seven-car logjam for second ensued over most of that distance. Jordan Pearce held the runner-up spot, but various drivers threatened to take it away as Popp pushed his lead to well over three-and-a-half seconds as the laps would down.

The only thing to keep Popp from a runaway first-career feature win was a late caution flag – but, unfortunately, he was the cause of one, as his car broke down and coasted to a stop at the start-finish line with three laps to go. This put Pearce at the point for the restart, but he was overtaken by Schultz down low and Graham up high as the white flag waived. Less than one second separated the tightly-packed front five, with Schultz nipping Graham by .078 seconds for his first win since July 2015. Pearce, Matt Deragon and Dale Coddington completed the bunched-up top-five.

The championship margin for Graham was 79 points over Schultz.

Graham’s other title came in the WISSOTA Pure Stocks, where he successfully defended his 2018 crown. He held a 23-point advantage over Weinberger coming into Saturday night’s action, but a combination of Weinberger having a secure grip on second place and the need to haul step-dad Shane Kisling’s new Modified to ABC for a shake-down run allowed Weinberger to leave the Pure Stock home.

Rookie Mikey Blevins looked very impressive in leading most of the 12-lap Pure Stock main event, scooting away from Brandle Pupp and the rest of the field from his outside-front-row start. After first-time visitor Dawson Kimble spun with a lap in the books, Blevins led the next seven circuits as the race stayed under green, while Cory Jorgensen charged back through the field after being penalized for Kimble’s spin.

Jessie Mudgett’s spin with four laps left brought the field back to Blevins’ rear bumper, with Jorgensen restarting in second alongside Graham. Jorgensen dove low to take the lead away, and after one last stop with three to go for first-nighter Tanner Gehl’s stalled ride, the Duluth, MN, veteran racer fended off the rookie by less than half a second for his first-ever feature win at ABC. Graham was a close third, followed by Aaron Bernick and Pupp.

The final Pure Stock tally will show Graham winning by 125 points over Weinberger, but that will not tell an accurate story of how competitive the 2019 season was between these two racers here.

The WISSOTA Hornet 12-lap feature resulted in Paul George of Princeton, MN making history as the ABC Raceway’s inaugural Hornets champ, and Tyler Kachinske of Duluth, MN, picking up his first-ever win here.

Kachinske was dominant throughout the event, taking the lead within the first couple of laps after a row 2 start and running off to a final advantage of nearly a full straightaway. Hunter McDougall worked his way through from row 4 to take second midway through the scheduled distance but couldn’t cut into Kachinske’s lead, although his runner-up finish was enough to move him to second place in the final standings, where the top four were separated by only 41 points.

Paul Ripley, Kachinske’s mother Kristy Marken, and Mitch Kieber, who picked up a replacement car this week to replace the one that was badly damaged in an incident here last Saturday, completed the top five.

George, who started eighth but slipped back to ninth at the finish, held on for the historic title despite his lead being trimmed from 31 to just 16 points.

A wide, smooth track once again provided some quick feature fast-lap times, the fastest of which were recorded by Lavasseur in the Modifieds (16.724 seconds, 80.722 mph), Lawrence in the Super Stocks (17.383, 77.662), Simpson in the Midwest Mods (17.154, 78.699), Graham in the Sixes (18.461, 73.127), and Jorgensen in the Pure Stocks (19.023, 70.967).

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, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

RESULTS

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Pat Cook, Washburn; Peter Loecken, Paynesville, MN; Paul Niznik, Medford; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Tyler Luger, Oxford.

11-15: Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Shane Kisling, Park Falls.

Heat 1: Balduc; Stuart; Niznik; Lavasseur; Luger; T Byholm; Hiatt; Gehl.

Heat 2: Suzik; Loecken; J Spacek; C Spacek; Cook; B Byholm; Kisling; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Cory Casari, Montreal; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Kyle Copp, Brule; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Andy Grymala, Superior; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI.

11-17: Rick Randall, Wakefield, MI; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; David Elliott, Minocqua; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN.

Heat 1: Oreskovich; Lawrence; Mackey; Spacek; McFadden; Flynn; Muzzy; Kuklinski; Elliott.

Heat 2: Copp; Casari; Beeksma; Deragon; Grymala; Mashlan; Randall; Anderson.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jack Rivord, Superior; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI.

11-20: Ryan Savoy, Superior; Cole Chernosky, Thunder Bay, ON; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Wayne Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON; Steve Altman, Mercer; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Billy Milne, Thunder Bay, ON; Brandon Copp, Brule; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI.

21-22: Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Michael Blevins, Hibbing, MN.

Heat 1: Barningham; Fuhrman; Copp; Passuello; Jacques; Lund; Mains; Muhlig.

Heat 2: Dalbeck; Aho; Vernon; Peterson; Rivord; Altman; Milne.

Heat 3: D Dunbar; Chernosky; Simpson; Blevins; M Dunbar; Weinberger; Savoy.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Adam Traaholt, Ashland.

Heat 1: Popp; Coddington; Saunders; Pearce; Schultz; Jarecki.

Heat 2: Graham; Deragon; Nevala; Devin Dalbec, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Mikey Blevins, Hibbing, MN; Randy Graham, Trego; Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Brandle Pupp

Highbridge; Jessie Mudgett, Park Falls; Jeff Christman, South Range; Jason Simonson, Poplar; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Dawson Kimble, Bemidji, MN.

Heat 1: Jorgensen; Bernick; Kimble; Mudgett; Christman.

Heat 2: Graham; Blevins; Pupp; Simonson; Gehl.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Dayna Marken, Duluth, MN; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN, Paul George, Princeton, MN; Reid Johnson, Duluth, MN.

11-15: Jason Ronning, Ashland; Neil Dees, Hurley; Isiah Oakgrove, Bessemer, MI; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Jase Wiarda, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: Kachinske; D Marken; Wiarda; K Marken; Johnson; Rose; Ronning; Dees.

Heat 2: George; Ripley; McDougall; Kieber; Dunbar; Fitzpatrick; Oakgrove.

Championship Saturday

ABC to Crown 2019 Points Champs on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 22 – After 12 straight weeks of hard, competitive racing, it will take just a few more hours on Saturday night to determine who the 2019 points champions will be at the ABC Raceway.

“Championship Saturday Night,” to be presented by Mountain Dew, North Star Beverage of Hurley, and WIMI-FM of Ironwood, MI, will close out the regular-season portion of the 55th season at the award-winning northern Wisconsin red-clay oval. By the end of what should be an exciting racing program, the points champs in all six regular weekly divisions will be crowned – including the first-ever champion in the WISSOTA Hornets at ABC.

The tightest battle to be decided will be in the WISSOTA Modified division, where six-time track champ Jeff Spacek of Phillips just took over the top spot in the standings from five-time champ Steve Stuart of Ashland after last Saturday’s action. Spacek holds a slim advantage of just three points, which – under WISSOTA’s points system, which was revamped before the 2018 season – could mean a difference of one, two, three or even four positions on the track that Stuart will need to make up in order to overtake Spacek, depending on the size of the feature field and how far forward or back in the pack the pair are running.

Randy Graham of Trego can make a little history of his own, as he takes points leads in both the WISSOTA Pure Stocks and ABC Six-Cylinders into Saturday night. Titles in both divisions would make him the first driver to ever accomplish that feat in the same season at ABC.

Graham, the defending ABC Pure Stock champ, has been in a battle with Justin Weinberger of Park Falls all summer in that division. Both drivers have collected four feature wins, and neither has finished outside of the top-five in a main event here all summer. However, Graham’s five runner-up efforts in the seven features that he did not win give him a 23-point edge going into the final night.

In the Sixes, Graham has a little bigger margin of error – 84 points – over Ashland’s Forrest Schultz. Graham has been as dominant as anyone in any division, scoring five feature wins and five second-place runs in 11 shows for the division this summer.

Paul George, who hails from Princeton, MN, but has spent much of his summer in the Iron River area, has grown quite comfortable with Ashland as his Saturday night home, as his 31-point advantage over Derek Dunbar of Iron River will confirm. George (2) is one of three drivers who have collected at least two feature wins – Hunter McDougall (3) and national points leader Jake Smith (2) are the others – in what has been an entertaining first season in Ashland for the entry-level division.

George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, has enjoyed a successful and dominant season in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, yet he hasn’t quite wrapped up his second ABC track title. Dalbeck, the division’s all-time feature-win leader, tallied five main-event wins over the first seven nights of the season to open up a huge early points lead, but he’s needed all three of his second-place runs over the past five weeks to hold off David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON, who is 37 points back but solidly in position to become the first-ever Canadian driver to finish in the top-five in points at ABC.

Mason’s Nick Oreskovich did not pick up his first feature win here this season until early August – in the completion of the rain-delayed July 9 special – but by then he was solidly on pace for his fourth consecutive WISSOTA Super Stock championship. Oreskovich leads the division’s top rookie, Kyle Copp of Brule, by 83 points and could join Scott Lawrence (11) and Don Copp (6) as the only drivers in Raceway history with more than three consecutive track titles.

The grandstand gates will open at 5 pm on Saturday, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first heat race of the final night should “get the green” at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air from 4:30-6 pm on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date news and weather information every 15-20 minutes.

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

The ABC Raceway will crown its 2019 points champs in all six divisions on Saturday, August 24, when Mountain Dew, North Star Beverage of Hurley, and WIMI-FM of Ironwood, MI will present “Championship Saturday Night.” The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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

August 17th Results

Akervik Stays Hot with ABC ‘Pure Excitement’ Win

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 17 – Superior’s Jared Akervik took the lead early and pulled away for his third win of the season at the ABC Raceway during Saturday’s “Pure Excitement” feature.

The 16th running on the special event for the WISSOTA Pure Stocks was part of the Raceway’s “Summer Blast” fan-appreciation program, presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland. Thanks to a huge effort put forth by Pure Stock racer Brandle Pupp of Highbridge in the dozen or so days leading up to the weekend, businesses, race teams and fans contributed to a purse that, combined with the amount set for the event by the Raceway, nearly reached $4,500 and paid Akervik at least $700 for his win.

Akervik, who has been on a roll over the past two months at Northland area tracks, started the 15-lap feature on the pole and battled with Cory Jorgensen before a two-car tangle stopped the event after just one lap had been scored. Jorgensen led the field back to green, but Akervik dove low to make a pass for the lead, and from there he held off all further challenges.

A spin by visiting Dusty Caspers on lap 2 forced Dylan Shelton and Jeff Christman to take evasive action, with Shelton and Christman each pounding the turn 3 guard rail, but all three were able to continue. Akervik then gradually pulled away as the field chalked up several uninterrupted laps, eventually leading by as much as 2.7 seconds.

Behind Akervik, divisional points leader Randy Graham got around Jorgensen for second to try to put as much distance between himself and second-in-points Justin Weinberger as possible. Weinberger maintained a solid fourth-place posting and made several attempts to get by Jorgensen late in the green-flag run.

With three laps left some debris on the track forced Jorgensen to spin to avoid it. Over the final laps Akervik pulled away to a winning margin of just shy of a full second over Graham, with Jorgensen holding on for third and a recovered Shelton overtaking Weinberger late for fourth.

Graham holds a 23-point lead on Weinberger as he attempts to win a second straight Pure Stock title with one race night remaining.

Pat Cook of Washburn led every lap and survived a stout challenge to win his first WISSOTA Modified feature in over two seasons. Cook started on the outside of the front row and outran polestarter Tanner Byholm for the early advantage, which was cut short by Tyler Luger’s lap 1 spin. Cook then sprinted to a lead of over 1.8 seconds as Paul Niznik gave up third to Steve Lavasseur, then fought to take it back and gained second from Byholm to boot before several spun cars clogged up turns 3 and 4 right in front of the leader on lap 5.

Steve Stuart shot through traffic from his seventh-place restarting position as the race resumed, but in his haste to get to the front he made hard contact with Lavasseur, causing his racer to spin into turn 3 and knocking Lavasseur from contention. Jeff Spacek, who came into the night second to Stuart in the “big Mod” points standings, sped past Niznik and Bill Byholm into second on the re-do just before Stuart spun again on lap 8.

After a lap 10 stoppage for debris, Cook and Spacek began what looked to be an epic side-by-side battle for the win while pulling away from Niznik and everyone else. Cook maintained a smooth upper-groove line while Spacek tried every trick he could to either edge past the leader or shake him into making an error. A Neil Balduc spin in the closing laps gave Spacek one last shot, but Cook held on for a thin victory by nearly two-tenths of a second. Spacek was docked two positions for a jump on an earlier restart, which awarded Niznik second and Balduc third, and Jeff’s son Cole Spacek rounded out the top five.

Despite the penalty and thanks to Stuart’s difficult night, Jeff Spacek overtook Stuart in the championship standings and will carry a three-point edge into the season finale.

Another Spacek was completely dominant on this night, as Jeff’s nephew and Cole’s cousin Terran ran off with the WISSOTA Super Stock feature win. Spacek started on the outside of the front row, beat Scott Lawrence through the first turns, and led every circuit of the non-stop 20-lapper.

An early skirmish just behind the leaders nearly stopped the race before it could get started, as Dave Flynn and Greg Kuklinski made heavy contact while debating fourth. Kuklinski’s car became very loose and bounced off of several others, but over the course of about a half-lap everyone straightened out their racers and resumed the course.

The scramble allowed Spacek, Lawrence and Matt Deragon to draw away, and by lap 6 Spacek’s advantage on Lawrence was over two seconds. Flynn and Kyle Copp had caught up to Deragon, creating a great three-car dogfight for third, and Deragon held his ground and forced his challengers to try a number of different tactics, but eventually Flynn figured out a way by, taking over the spot on lap 14.

Spacek began putting slower traffic in arrears just after mid-race, and his lead continued to grow until he reached the checkered flag a full 4.7 seconds ahead of Lawrence for the win. Flynn was a distant third, ahead of Deragon and Copp.

Nick Oreskovich, working on a fourth consecutive Super Stock title at Ashland, holds a significant 83-point cushion on Copp with one night to go.

Last week, Ashland’s Tyler Vernon jumped into someone else’s Six-Cylinder and won that division’s “Summer Sizzler” special. On this night, he drove his own WISSOTA Midwest Modified to his second feature win here in as many weeks.

Veteran racer and former track champ Duane Dunbar took the early advantage from polestarter Clay Passuello and towed Jimmy Latvala along into second. Vernon picked his way forward methodically, taking third from Passuello on lap 2, then working for several tours before clearing Latvala for second on lap 7, just before a Ryan Barningham-Bryan Lund get-together in front of the leader stopped the run.

Divisional points leader George Dalbeck took advantage of the restart to quickly claim third, just before Bill Muhlig’s motor trouble ended his night. At the time of the yellow flag Vernon held a seven one-thousandths of a second edge over Dunbar and therefore restarted at the front, and the 2017 track champ led every remaining lap, although three more quick caution stoppages didn’t allow him to get far away. In fact, Dalbeck had nipped Vernon at the stripe for the lead had lap 11 counted, but a Weinberger spin before that circuit was scored negated the pass.

Vernon pulled away to a final margin of victory of 1.882 seconds on Dalbeck for his first feature win in a Mid-Mod here in over two years. Jack Rivord weaved his way from his ninth-place starting spot to take third, and David Simpson followed as a close fourth, just ahead of Dunbar’s son, Marcus Dunbar.

Dalbeck, the 2011 ABC champ, added a little more to his points margin over Simpson, bumping it to 37 going into the final night.

Graham seems well on his way to the Raceway’s Six-Cylinder title, as he chalked up his track-best fifth feature win in that division. Despite starting eighth on the grid, he took advantage of an early restart and drove to the front.

Polestarter Josh Saunders held off Jordan Pearce to set the early pace, but DeJay Jarecki’s lap 1 spin after contact with Pearce delayed the proceedings. Graham had gained three positions prior to the restart, and he worked around Bubba Anderson and Forrest Schultz to gain third within a lap back under green. Jarecki went up a lane to attack Saunders for the lead, but that left the bottom open for Graham, who snuck by on lap 4. Graham then went back to the outer line a couple of circuits later to get around Saunders for the lead.

Other than a yellow flag for Devin Dalbec’s stalled ride on lap 11, the balance of the 15-lapper went smoothly for Graham, who held a 1.8-second lead at the final stripe. Schultz grabbed second from Saunders just after the last restart, and Jarecki and Jake Nevala filled out the top five.

Graham’s lead on Schultz in the points is 84 heading into the season finale.

The WISSOTA Hornets clicked off their ten-lap A-main without a slowdown, and Hunter McDougall of Duluth, MN, became the first driver to win three features in the division at ABC.

Derek Dunbar got around polestarter Dayna Marken to take the initial lead, with McDougall right on his rear bumper. Within a couple of laps McDougall found a way by Dunbar in the low groove, but Dunbar fought back the next time around. Right behind them, Marken and Paul Ripley raced door-to-door for third.

With four laps remaining McDougall made one last inside move for the lead, and when it stuck he ran away to a dominant win. Ripley followed in McDougall’s tire tracks to get by Dunbar for second, and the division’s points leader, Paul George, came through the heavy traffic for third, just ahead of Marken and Dunbar.

George will look to become the ABC Raceway’s first-ever Hornets points champ as he carries a 31-point lead on Dunbar into the final night of the season.

Akervik’s pace in his feature was good enough to set a new ABC Raceway single-lap record for the Pure Stocks with a time of 18.792 seconds (71.839 mph). Also setting fast times in their respective features were Cook in the Modifieds (17.186 seconds, 78.552 mph), Spacek in the Super Stocks (17.397, 77.600), Dalbeck in the Midwest Mods; 17.412, 77.533), and Graham in the Sixes (18.679, 72.274).

In addition to the cash raised during Saturday’s race program, funds were donated to the Pure Stock purse prior to the event by Anderson Motorsports, Back Street Cycle, Bubba’s Auto Salvage, Copp’s Tire & Auto, Dave Anderson Jr Trucking, Deragon Racing, Don Muzzy Construction, FastLane Motorsports, Hanson Trucking, Jeff Foster Trucking, Kully’s Truck Accessories, Lake Shore Sales & Service, Landscape Creations & Wreath Co, Lightning Storm Graphics, Madison’s Heavenly Trotters, NAPA Auto Parts of Ashland & Washburn, North Star Community Services, Oreskovich Auto & Fabrication, Peck Farms, Rick’s Auto Body, T&T Transportation, Tepoel Dairy, Weinberger Enterprizes, and Zar’s Bar.

Several race teams and local businesses donated prizes that were given away as part of the fan appreciation celebration. The ABC Raceway extends its thanks to Benoit Cheese, the Burger Barn, Chicago Iron & Supply, Dave Flynn Racing, Kwik-Trip, the Lake Shore Cafe, Moore’s on Main, the Northern State Bank, Traaholt Racing for their generosity.

The ABC Raceway will crown its 2019 points champs in all six divisions on Saturday, August 24, when Mountain Dew, North Star Beverage of Hurley, and WIMI-FM of Ironwood, MI will present “Championship Saturday Night.” The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

RESULTS

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Pat Cook, Washburn; Paul Niznik, Medford; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Al Uotinen, Superior; Bill Byholm, Glidden.

11-15: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Cody Carlson, Superior; Tanner Byholm, Glidden.

Heat 1: T Byholm; Cook; B Byholm; Lavasseur; Carlson; C Spacek; Gehl; Lawrence.

Heat 2: Stuart; J Spacek; Niznik; Uotinen; Balduc; Suzik.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Terran Spacek, Phillips; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Kyle Copp, Brule; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Cory Casari, Montreal; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN.

11-13: Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

Heat 1: Flynn; Deragon; Mackey; Copp; Oreskovich; Casari; Mashlan; Anderson.

Heat 2: Spacek; Beeksma; Kuklinski; Lawrence; McFadden; Rick Randall, Wakefield, MI; Larry Both, Thunder Bay, ON.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Jack Rivord, Superior; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls.

11-16: Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Brandon Copp, Brule; Steve Altman, Mercer; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI.

Heat 1: M Dunbar; Copp; Vernon; Passuello; Rivord; Weinberger; Barningham; Peterson.

Heat 2: Dalbeck; Latvala; D Dunbar; Simpson; Altman; Lund; Muhlig; Mains.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Randy Graham, Trego; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Josh Saunders, Spooner; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Devin Dalbec, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego.

11: Dalton Truchon, Ashland.

Heat 1: Pearce; Anderson; Jarecki; Popp; Traaholt; Matt Rohlfing, Cable.

Heat 2: Graham; Schultz; Truchon; Saunders; Nevala; Dalbec.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Jared Akervik, Superior; Randy Graham, Trego; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Dusty Caspers, Bagley, MN; Brandle Pupp, Highbridge; Jessie Mudgett, Park Falls; Jeff Christman, South Range; Tyler Keup, Superior.

11-12: Joe Pajtash, Lake Nebagamon; James Vendela, South Range.

Heat 1: Jorgensen; Weinberger; Graham; Pupp; Shelton; Keup.

Heat 2: Akervik; Vendela; Pajtash; Caspers; Christman; Mudgett.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-8: Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Paul George, Princeton, MN; Dayna Marken, Duluth, MN; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Jason Ronning, Ashland.

Heat: McDougall; George; Ripley; Marken; Dunbar; Young; Ronning; Kieber.

Summer Blast August 17th

ABC to Celebrate Fans, Offer Big Payday for Pures on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 15 – This Saturday night, the ABC Raceway will take time to thank its loyal fans with its annual “Summer Blast” fan appreciation race program, to be presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland.

A full six-division race program is in store for fans in attendance at the award-winning three-eighths-mile red-clay oval, with the WISSOTA Pure Stocks getting a little extra attention thanks to an increased payout for their feature.

Heading up the effort to put together the bonus purse for the Pure Stocks is veteran driver Brandle Pupp of Highbridge. Pupp, who has spent seven of his ten seasons in racing competing in the Pure Stock class, currently sits third in the division’s points standings at ABC, and should he stay there after the final two regular-season race nights he will match a personal career high for points finishes at Ashland.

Pupp has spent the past few weeks putting together a list of nearly two dozen area businesses who have contributed to a purse that should be close to double what the Raceway typically sets aside for the Pure Stocks.

The two drivers directly ahead of Pupp in his division’s standings – Randy Graham of Trego and Justin Weinberger of Park Falls – are in a dogfight for that class’s title. Each driver has four feature wins here in 2019, with Weinberger picking up his fourth win last Saturday night. Graham holds a thin 12-point advantage, however.

There are several other very tight championship battles at the Raceway as the season winds down. Ashland’s Steve Stuart is clinging to a scant 14-point lead in the WISSOTA Modified division, due in large part to second-in-points Jeff Spacek of Phillips picking up his second feature win of the season – and the 60th of his career at ABC – last Saturday night.

In the WISSOTA Hornets, Paul George of Princeton, MN, grabbed his second A-main win last weekend here and is holding on to just a 24-point edge on Iron River’s Derek Dunbar as he aims to become the first-ever Hornets champ in ABC Raceway history.

And in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, former track champ George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, is hoping to add a second title, but Thunder Bay, ON’s David Simpson is lurking just 29 points back.

The Raceway’s other two points chases may not be as dramatic, but they’re not mathematically over with. Graham also leads the ABC Six-Cylinder points standings, as he attempts to become the first driver to ever win two divisional championships in one season at Ashland. Forrest Schultz of Ashland is Graham’s closest challenger, albeit a full 79 points back.

And Mason’s Nick Oreskovich is on pace for his fourth consecutive WISSOTA Super Stock championship, leading divisional rookie Kyle Copp of Brule by 93 points. A lead of at least 113 points after this Saturday’s program will wrap up the outright title for Oreskovich.

Lots of prize giveaways are planned for the fans in attendance on Saturday. The grandstand gates will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first heat race of the night should “go green” at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air from 4:30-6 pm on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date news and weather information every 15-20 minutes.

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

The next-to-last night of the 2019 regular race season at the ABC Raceway will be on Saturday, August 17, when the track will pay tribute to its fans with its annual “Summer Blast” appreciation night, to be presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland. All six divisions will be in action, with the enhanced-purse feature recently announced for the WISSOTA Pure Stocks to be held on this night.

The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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,

August 10th Results

Vernon Edges Graham for ABC Sixes’ ‘Sizzler’ Win

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 10 – Tyler Vernon borrowed Scott Ovaska’s championship-winning car and claimed the 13th annual Six-Cylinder “Summer Sizzler” at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

With the addition of the annual appearance by the Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers, ninety-six entries filled the pits and provided a full night of racing presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club.

According to Vernon’s Victory Lane interview post-feature, Ovaska had planned to run the car for the “Sizzler,” but his plans changed and Vernon was offered the opportunity. Vernon, who had finished third in points in the Sixes back in 2017 (he won the track’s Midwest Mod title that year as well), started the 15-lap headliner outside on row 2 behind defending division champ Tiffany Hudack and followed her past polestarter Jake Nevala into second place at the drop of the green.

Well back of the lead pair, seventh-starting Randy Graham hustled his way through heavy traffic to move into third by lap 5. The field was bunched together after Josh Sanders’ slowed ride brought about the race’s only caution flag on lap 7, and when the race went back to green Vernon accomplished what very few racers have been able to do over the past few seasons – used an outside move to get around Hudack and take the lead.

Over the next few laps Graham and Coddington eventually followed suit into second and third, and with two laps remaining Graham was challenging Vernon with another possible outside-line pass, but Devin Dalbec’s stalled ride forced a green-white-checkered sprint to the finish. Graham stayed close but could not pose another threat, as Vernon won his first Six-Cylinder feature at ABC since June 2013 by a mere .342 seconds. Coddington held off last-lap charges by Hudack and a strong Dalton Truchon for third.

With two points-paying programs remaining in the 2019 season, Graham strengthened his advantage on Forrest Schultz in the championship standings to 79 points.

The WISSOTA Midwest Modified A-main featured two of the region’s up-and-coming stars in an outstanding duel to the finish. Justin Weinberger started on the pole and led Duane Dunbar and Jack Rivord early, while Gunner Peterson’s loose ride had drivers diving and dodging through the first two turns. Brandon Copp had just moved by Wayne Jacques for fourth before Peterson’s get-together with divisional points leader George Dalbeck brought out the first caution stoppage of the run on lap 2.

Dalton Mains spun and collected a couple of his fellow competitors less than one lap into the restart, but after the subsequent re-do Rivord moved inside on the veteran Dunbar to take over second on lap 5. The third-generation racer Weinberger and sophomore second-gen driver Rivord then proceeded to put on a show for all in attendance, with Weinberger holding to a solid higher line while Rivord stuck firmly to a lower lane over nearly the entire balance of the 20-lap run.             The shootout was interrupted only once, by Billy Milne’s spin on lap 9, but it resumed right away after the restart, with the tenth-starting Vernon slipping past Dunbar and Brandon Copp into third as the green light came back on. Rivord was the leader for that restart, but a minor bobble on lap 11 allowed Weinberger to get a nose out front for the next few laps.

Rivord was finally able to edge ahead again with two to go, and at the final stripe the youngster from Superior clipped Weinberger by less than two-tenths of a second for his second career feature win. Vernon trailed at a distance, ahead of Dalbeck and Copp. Dalbeck’s points lead grew slightly, to 29, over David Simpson after the run.

The start of the WISSOTA Super Stock feature was chaotic, but after two tries the 20-lapper ran off without another hitch and ended with Dave Flynn of Superior taking the checkers better than six seconds ahead of everyone else.

The initial start was negated when Greg Kuklinski was judged to have jumped from his second-row starting spot past the front-row pair of Aaron Mashlan and Scott Lawrence before the leaders took the green. On the second attempt Mashlan’s car was spun around going into the first turn, collecting Lawrence, Kuklinski and others and forcing a major reshuffling of the starting line-up.

Shawn McFadden Jr found himself alongside new polestarter Kyle Copp for the third try, and McFadden took advantage to set the early pace. Flynn slipped into second when Copp climbed too high into turn 4 on lap 5, and a couple of laps later Flynn drove low to get by McFadden for what resulted in the winning pass.

Flynn was uncatchable from that point on, building his lead from 1.4 seconds at the race’s halfway point to over four seconds – or approximately the length of a straightaway – over the next five laps, despite having to deal with slower traffic. On lap 13 Copp worked his way around McFadden for second, but Flynn was too far gone on his way to his second win here this season.

Lawrence recovered for a strong enough charge to challenge McFadden but settled for fourth, just ahead of division points leader Nick Oreskovich. Copp moved into second in the points standings with his second-consecutive runner-up finish, leap-frogging over Casari and Matt Deragon.

Kevin Eder looked to be well in control of the WISSOTA Modified A-feature over the first nine laps, but a caution flag and a restart changed all of that, and Jeff Spacek took over in a big way for a landmark win.

Eder drove around the top side of turns 1 and 2 on the initial start and pulled away from polestarter Paul Suzik for the early lead, with Al Uotinen following suit to second. Tyler Luger’s spin brought about the caution flag after lap 1 was logged, but Eder pulled away again and put some distance on the field.

Canadian visitor Cody Wolkowski, who restarted fifth, and Spacek, who was seventh, quickly gained third and fourth, respectively, on the restart by using the faster higher lane, and the two dueled for position well behind Eder and Uotinen. Spacek got by Wolkowski by diving low on lap 8, and then Luger’s second spin a lap later gave Spacek a golden opportunity.

On that restart Spacek dove low to slip past Uotinen going into turn 1, then slid across the nose of Eder’s car in classic “slide-job” fashion to take over the lead. From there the six-time ABC Raceway champ from Phillips showed how dominant a car he had, riding the rim of the three-eighths-mile red-clay oval to a 3.1-second final margin of victory and his 60th career win at ABC – the third-best total in track history. Eder, Wolkowski and Uotinen followed at a distance, while Steve Stuart edged Neil Balduc for fifth.

Spacek trimmed away better than half of his deficit to Stuart in the standings with the win as well, trailing now by just 14 with two shows left.

Tight-pack racing and frequent position-swapping has been the norm in the WISSOTA Hornets all season long, and the racing on this night was no exception, but a judgment call on a late-race restart cost one driver his first career feature win here and handed the victory to another.

Front-row starters Tyler Kachinske and Nate Rose were joined by Jason Ronning for some three-wide action early before Rose edged to the initial lead. But that was short-lived as Kachinske battled back and was deemed the leader when the caution came out for Paul Ripley’s stalled ride with one lap in the books.

Kachinske pulled away over the next few laps as Rose headed up a close-knit group debating second. Hornets points leader Paul George slipped past Rose for the spot on lap 3, and on the next circuit Rose found himself spun around to bring about another yellow flag. George used the restart to his advantage by getting past Kachinske within another lap, while a recovered Ripley clawed his way past Rose for third on lap 7.

After Ronning’s stopped ride on lap 8 brought about the last yellow-flag stoppage of the night, Kachinske got too eager and jumped the restart to take the lead back from George, and he pulled away over the final four laps for what he thought was his first-ever win. Kachinske was penalized two spots in the final finishing order, giving George his second career win here, with Hunter McDougall scored in second. Rose and Ripley completed the top five.

George extended his lead over Derek Dunbar to 24 points in the Hornets standings.

The WISSOTA Pure Stocks ran off their ten-lap A-feature without a caution, and a stumble at the start by polestarter Brandle Pupp allowed Weinberger and Graham to get by into first and second. From there Weinberger made sure there would be no one to challenge for this feature win, pulling away to a full-second lead within just four laps.

Jared Akervik, on a hot streak at area tracks in recent weeks, clawed his way into third on lap 3 and tracked down Graham, and that battle for second allowed Weinberger to build on his advantage. By the time he took the checkers the youngster from Park Falls was nearly three full seconds up on Graham, who held off several stout threats by Akervik. Pupp came back to claim fourth just ahead of James Vendela.

Weinberger has closed to within 12 points of Graham in the Pure Stock championships standings.

The traveling Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers group ran heats and feature races for each of their two different divisions. In the “full-bodied” stock car feature, first-year driver Tom Ahrnet of Hawley, MN, drove his AMC Hornet around the top line of the red-clay oval in much the same manner as Spacek did in the Modified feature for his first-ever win with the club, by a large margin over Paul Dolphy.

In the open-wheeled “super-modified” main, New Richmond’s Kevin Lipsky held off a late charge from Butch Bethke in a battle of NVSR veterans for his first win at ABC.

Another wide, smooth racing surface allowed Eder (Modifieds; 17.029 seconds, 79.277 mph), Kyle Copp (Super Stocks; 17.656, 76.461), Weinberger (Midwest Mods; 17.859, 75.592), Graham (Sixes; 18.502, 72.965) and Akervik (Pure Stocks; 19.289, 69.988) to post the fastest single-lap times and speeds in their respective features.  ((kids club photos at end of story))

The next-to-last night of the 2019 regular race season at the ABC Raceway will be on Saturday, August 17, when the track will pay tribute to its fans with its annual “Summer Blast” appreciation night, to be presented by Northern Wisconsin Fence of Phillips and Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland. All six divisions will be in action, with the enhanced-purse feature recently announced for the WISSOTA Pure Stocks to be held on this night.

The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

RESULTS

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON; Al Uotinen, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Pat Cook, Washburn; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs.

11-13: Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Tyler Luger, Oxford.

Heat 1: Uotinen; Eder; Suzik; Wolkowski; Luger; Cook; Hiatt.

Heat 2: Lavasseur; Spacek; Balduc; Stuart; Gehl; Byholm.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Kyle Copp, Brule; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Cory Casari, Montreal; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range.

11-12: Rick Randall, Wakefield, MI; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI.

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

Heat 2: McFadden; Lawrence; Kuklinski; Mashlan; Anderson; Randall.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Brandon Copp, Brule; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Gunner Peterson, South Range.

11-20: James Kannegiesser, Boyceville; Steve Altman, Mercer; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Wayne Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON; Dave DeVente, Neebing, ON; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Milly Milne, Thunder Bay, ON.

21-22: Bryan Lund, Ashland; Dalton Mains, Foxboro.

Heat 1: Halopka; Copp; D Dunbar; Vernon; Simpson; Fuhrman; Barningham; DeVente.

Heat 2: Dalbeck; Peterson; Jacques; Hudack; Mains; Muhlig; Milne.

Heat 3: Rivord; M Dunbar; Weinberger; Altman; Lund; Bressette; Kannegiesser.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland.

11-13: Devin Dalbec, Ashland; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Jonathan Popp, Iron River.

Heat 1: Coddington; Graham; Nevala; Hudack; Schultz; Jarecki; Pearce.

Heat 2: Vernon; Saunders; Truchon; Traaholt; Popp; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Dalbec.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-7: Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Randy Graham, Trego; Jared Akervik, Superior; Brandle Pupp, Highbridge; James Vendela, South Range; Jeff Christman, South Range; Jason Simonson, Poplar.

Heat: Weinberger; Akervik; Graham; Vendela; Pupp; Christman; Simonson.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-10: Paul George, Princeton, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Jason Ronning, Ashland; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN.

11-13: Neil Dees, Hurley; Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Dayna Marken, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: D Marken; Ronning; Ripley; Rose; Rowe; Kieber; K Marken.

Heat 2: George; Kachinske; Dunbar; McDougall; Young; Dees.

NVSR Full-Bodied Cars

Feature: 1-8: Tom Ahrnet, Hawley, MN; Paul Dolphy, Mounds View, MN; Gary Whipple, Crosby, MN; Tom Godfrey, Backus, MN; Todd Doyle, Hermantown, MN; Al Keske, Zimmerman, MN; Travis Doyle, Duluth, MN; Jon Wigchers, Rice Lake.

Heat: Whipple; Todd Doyle; Godfrey; Dolphy; Ahrnet; Keske; Travis Doyle; Wigchers.

NVSR Super Modifieds

Feature: 1-7: Kevin Lipsky, New Richmond; Butch Bethke, Oakdale, MN; Dennis Olson, Braham, MN; Oliver Vang, Deerwood, MN; Dave Whirley, Grand Rapids, MN; Mike Bjorklund, Sandstone, MN; Dave Stone, Red Wing, MN.

Heat: Bethke; Olson; Lipsky; Vang; Bjorklund; Whirley; Stone.

Summer Sizzler

ABC to Welcome Vintage Racers; Sixes in the Spotlight

 

by Nick Gima

 

Ashland, WI, August 8 – The Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers group will make its annual visit to the ABC Raceway on Saturday night, August 10, and the track’s own Six-Cylinder class will compete for a little extra money during the Raceway’s 13th annual “Summer Sizzler” special.

 

The night’s action, presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsman’s Club, will include all six regular weekly divisions in action, in addition to the NVSR’s two classes of cars, as the 2019 season heads for an exciting conclusion.

 

The Sportsmen’s Club will be selling raffle tickets for their annual fundraiser throughout the first portion of the race program, with cash prizes to be awarded. The drawing of the winning raffle tickets will be held at the track during intermission of Saturday night’s show. Proceeds from the raffle will help support the Sportsmen’s Club’s many outdoor education and conservation programs in the Chequamegon Bay area.

 

With just three weeks of racing remaining in the season, the chase for this summer’s track championships expects to get very interesting.  In the WISSOTA Modifieds, Ashland’s Steve Stuart leads Jeff Spacek of Phillips by just 30 points – not a large difference under the current points system used by WISSOTA Promoters Association tracks. And Geroge Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, holds an even smaller 18-point advantage on David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON, in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified chase.

 

Randy Graham of Trego, in defense of his WISSOTA Pure Stock track title from a year ago, is ahead of Justin Weinberger of Park Falls by a scant 17 points, and Paul George of Princeton, MN, has made his weekly visits to Ashland pay off to this point by taking over the WISSOTA Hornets divisional lead after last weekend’s action, albeit by a mere five points on Derek Dunbar of Iron River.

 

The two divisional points leaders that seem to have the most comfortable advantages with three weekends left are Mason’s Nick Oreskovich and Graham. Oreskovich holds a 92-point cushion over Ashland’s Matt Deragon as he seeks a fourth straight WISSOTA Super Stock crown, while Graham hopes to become the Raceway’s first-ever two-division champ as he carries a 62-point margin over Forrest Schultz of Ashland in the ABC Sixes.

 

Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack, who is the Raceway’s defending Six-Cylinder points champ as well as last Saturday night’s feature winner in that division, won the “Summer Sizzler” a year ago this weekend.

 

The Northern Vintage Stockcar racers group is based out of west-central Wisconsin and east-central Minnesota, but it consists of approximately 40-50 enthusiastic race fans dedicated to preserve the history of short-track stock car racing in the Midwest. The club’s members build and race full-bodied stockers, coupes and “winged modifieds,” offering fans a chance to reminisce about the way racing looked, sounded and felt during a by-gone ear while promoting fun, safety and entertainment.

 

The grandstand gates will open at 5 pm on Saturday, the “hot lap” practice session will start at 6:15, and the first heat race of the night should get the green flag at 7 pm. As the NVSR will have competed at Superior on the Friday night before, several of the member race teams will be parked in the ABC Raceway’s grandstand parking area much of Saturday afternoon, and fans are welcome to stop out, visit with the racers and their crews, and take a look at the vintage machines.

 

“Race Night” will air from 4:30-6 pm on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date news and weather information every 15-20 minutes. The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland, just one mile west of State Highway 13 on Butterworth Road. For race day information, please call (715) 682-4990

 

Six Cylinder Summer Sizzler August 10th

The 2019 season’s stretch run continues at the ABC Raceway on Saturday, August 10, when extra money will be on the line for the track’s Six-Cylinders during the 13th annual “Summer Sizzler,” to be presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club. The Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers group will bring its throwback cars to the red-clay oval to compete, and the Sportsmen’s Club will hold its annual raffle drawing at the track during the race program’s intermission.

                As an added bonus, the Raceway announced during Saturday’s program that it will offer an enhanced purse for the WISSOTA Pure Stocks during the August 10 race program.

                The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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

August 3rd Results

All photos by Tom Krob Shooter Guy Action Photography

Halopka Captures ABC ‘Mid-Mod Madness’ Win

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 3 – Shane Halopka of Greenwood continued with his high level of success the ABC Raceway this season by leading every lap of the 13th annual “Mid-Mod Madness” feature, presented by Ashland’s Lake Shore Cafe and Safari Tavern, and taking home a $600 winner’s check on Saturday night.

With several area tracks not running shows on this night, many visiting drivers helped fill out some formidable fields on a comfortably balmy northern Wisconsin night.

                Halopka started on the outside of the front row of the 20-lap, 21-car WISSOTA Midwest Modified headliner and beat polestarter and track points leader George Dalbeck through the first pair of turns. Visitor Tony Bahr was judged to be the cause of a lap 2 caution stop and was sent to the back, but that would turn out to be a minor set-back for the defending Red Clay Classic champ.

As Halopka and Dalbeck pulled away on the restart, Marcus Dunbar used a strong outside move to zip past Canadian Colin Chaschuk and first-time visitor Corey Storck into third. Halopka pushed his advantage out to over two seconds over the next eight laps, while Dunbar gave Dalbeck fits in a great battle for second, taking the spot away on lap 9.

Debris on lap 11 brought the field back to the leader’s rear bumper, and Dalbeck retook second on that restart. Two laps later Storck lost fourth to Chaschuk, and Storck’s car ended up on the infield grass soon afterwards with mechanical trouble.

Over the first lap after that restart Dalbeck stayed right with Halopka, but Dalbeck dove low in turn 4 in an attempt to take the lead and made a rare error, looping his ride and taking himself out of contention. Bahr, who had fought his way back to sixth from the earlier incident, worked a low-line route past Brandon Copp, Mark Kangas and Chaschuk to steal third a lap after the re-do, and after Tyler Vernon’s ride died against the turn 2 guard rail with three laps remaining, Bahr dipped low again to take second away from Dunbar.

But Halopka was too tough to catch over the final laps, pulling away to a 1.1-second margin at the checkers. Dunbar and Copp charged back on the final lap, but Bahr nipped both at the line for second, and Chaschuk wasn’t far back in fifth.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks ran a little more than a feature and a half on this night, with the completion of their rain-shortened race from July 9 kicking off the show and their regularly-slated 20-lapper held later. In the make-up A-main, national points leader Kevin Burdick led the field to green for what was a lap 9 restart, but within a few quick laps Burdick was overtaken by track points leader Nick Oreskovich, with Curt Myers following in Oreskovich’s tire tracks into third a couple of circuits later.

               The race ran off without caution, allowing Oreskovich, of Mason, to hold serve for his first feature win of the season here. Myers was a few lengths back in second, and Burdick held on for third ahead of Patrick Beeksma and Cory Casari.

                In the scheduled A-main, division rookie Kyle Copp ran a superb race, but one too many caution flags and restarts did him in. Copp started from the pole and held to a smooth line around the three-eighths-mile oval, about two-third of the way up the track, while Myers tracked him and chased him every step of the way. After Matt Deragon’s lap 2 spin, Copp set a quick pace ahead of Myers and Casari, while Terran Spacek moved forward and Shawn McFadden Jr tussled with Burdick.

A stoppage on lap 7 for Canadian visitor Larry Both’s spin tightened up the field, but Copp and Myers pulled away over the next eight laps, while McFadden slipped past Spacek for fourth and Oreskovich copied the move for fifth. Spacek tangled with Oreskovich while trying to regain fifth on lap 15, which bunched up the field again, but Copp was up to the task once more, despite Myers pulling alongside of him and Casari and Oreskovich threatening as well on the restart.

It looked as though Copp had things in hand, but Greg Kuklinski’s spin brought about a green-white-checkered finish, and this time Myers took advantage. On the final lap Myers used a low-side move to pull even with Copp, then his momentum slipped him just ahead of the rookie, giving the former national champion from Cameron his 24th career win at ABC – and first in over three years – by two-thirds of a second over Copp. Oreskovich was a close third, and McFadden grabbed fourth from Casari on the final lap.

              Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, earned his second feature win in as many nights in the WISSOTA Modifieds. Balduc, fresh off his victory at Proctor, MN, on Friday, led all 20 laps, but not without several fierce challenges.

Balduc and visiting Danny Vang slipped around polestarter Paul Niznik to run 1-2 over the first lap. Jeff Spacek’s stalled ride brought about a quick yellow flag, and Steve Lavasseur took advantage to swipe third from Niznik and Mike Anderson on the restart. Balduc extended his lead to just shy of a full second over the next few laps, but as the run stayed caution-free Vang was able to nip away at that margin, trimming it by better than half – or about a car-length – as the leaders reached the slower tail end of the field.

Vang made a strong move to dive low to challenge for the lead on lap 14, but he pushed too hard and spun himself in turn 4, spoiling his chance for a win in much the same manner as Dalbeck a race later. Visitor Dave Cain worked low to get by Lavasseur on the restart, with Anderson following suit to third, but Balduc maintained a slim half-second edge on Cain over the final six laps for his first win here in nearly two full years. Lavasseur took third back from Anderson in the closing stages, and divisional points leader Steve Stuart came from his tenth starting spot to finish fifth.

               Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack once again made the most of her limited racing schedule, claiming her second Six-Cylinder heat and feature wins on this night in only her second appearance of the season. Hudack was mired in a thick pack of cars running behind early leader Adam Traaholt and polestarter Josh Saunders in the 15-lap feature when contact on the back straight caused significant chaos on lap 2, resulting in several damaged cars.

Hudack was able to avoid the incident and restarted seventh, but within three laps she worked her way by DeJay Jarecki and points leader Randy Graham into third, as Dalton Truchon took second while Saunders fell back. Another skirmish just behind Hudack, this time collecting Graham and second-in-points Forrest Schultz, tightened up the field for another restart with seven laps left, and the defending track champion took advantage, running the bottom groove to slip past Truchon. Within another lap Hudack got by Traaholt, and over the remainder of the run she ran off to a winning margin of over two seconds.

Graham recovered to charge through the field to take second from Traaholt on the final lap, with Truchon close behind in fourth and Jarecki a few lengths back in fifth.

                The WISSOTA Pure Stock feature was a three-car battle throughout most of its ten laps, with Superior’s Jared Akervik holding on for a hard-fought win. Justin Weinberger and Akervik worked their way around rookie polestarter Jessie Mudgett to lead the way early, and midway through the second lap Akervik made what would be the race-winning pass.

Mudgett’s spin on lap 4 slowed the pace momentarily, but Akervik held firm as Graham took second from Weinberger and helped pressure the leader. Akervik was about three-quarters of a second ahead of Graham as he took his second feature checkered flag of the year at Ashland, with Weinberger a close third. Brandle Pupp and Jeff Christman completed the top five.

              For the second time this season – and second time in Raceway history – two female drivers claimed feature wins on the same night here. This time defending WISSOTA Hornets national champion Brittany Smith of St Joseph, MN, joining Hudack in visiting ABC’s victory lane.

The ten-lap Hornets A-main was the only feature to run non-stop, but at the start polestarter AJ House nearly jinxed that as he lost control of his racer in front of the field in the first corner. Fortunately he righted his ship and the field slipped by, with Austin Gibson and Derek Dunbar setting the early pace.

Smith, in her first-ever visit here, took advantage of a lap 3 bobble by Gibson to claim second, and over the next four circuits she worked her way up to and eventually around Dunbar to take the lead for good. Smith ran off to a sizeable margin of victory, while Paul George used a three-side pass of Dunbar and a recovered House to take second. Josh Rowe came home a distant fifth.

Track conditions were challenging during the qualifying heats, but an excellent effort by the track prep team during intermission resulted in a wide, smooth, lightning-fast red-clay surface that generated lap times that threatened to break Raceway records. Myers (Supers; 16.780 seconds, 80.453 mph) and Akervik (Pure Stocks; 19.109, 70.647) were each within a third of a second of breaking their divisions’ respective records, Balduc (Mods; 16.368, 82.478) and Halopka (Mid-Mods; 17.200, 78.488) were about a half-second shy of setting new marks, and Graham (Sixes; 18.770, 71.923) was less than a second off that division’s record pace.

The ABC Raceway’s Kids’ Club held its annual backpack giveaway during the evening, with several race teams, fans and local businesses donating over 40 backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies provided for local youngsters. Those donating included All-Performance Dyno, Dave Anderson Trucking, Rita Anderson Racing, Ryan Barningham Racing (in memory of Jordan Barningham), Casari Racing, Coddington-Graham Racing, Copp Racing, Cor-Be-LL LLC, GA Dalbeck Logging, race fans Dave & Michelle, Matt Deragon Racing, Derek Dunbar Racing, Eagle Waste & Recycling, Eric & Betty Erickson, FastLane Motorsports, the FastLane Super Stock Series, Dave Flynn Racing, Jacob Hiatt Racing, Lightning Storm Graphics, Tyler Luger Racing, Lulich Implement, Shawn McFadden Racing, Don Muzzy Racing, Jake Nevala Racing, Paul Niznik Racing, Clay Passuello Racing, Jason Ronning Racing, Josh Saunders Racing, Scott’s Engines, James Vendela Racing, Tyler Vernon Racing, and the ABC Raceway.

The 2019 season’s stretch run continues at the ABC Raceway on Saturday, August 10, when extra money will be on the line for the track’s Six-Cylinders during the 13th annual “Summer Sizzler,” to be presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club. The Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers group will bring its throwback cars to the red-clay oval to compete, and the Sportsmen’s Club will hold its annual raffle drawing at the track during the race program’s intermission.

As an added bonus, the Raceway announced during Saturday’s program that it will offer an enhanced purse for the WISSOTA Pure Stocks during the August 10 race program.

The grandstands will open at 5 pm, hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

RESULTS

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Ken Hron, Grand Rapids, MN; Paul Niznik, Medford; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Danny Vang, Deerwood, MN; Jake Hiatt, Mason.

11-18: Jayme Lautigar, Gilbert, MN; Pat Cook, Washburn; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Bill Yonke, Thief River Falls, MN; Tyler Luger, Oxford; Duane Dale, Hibbing, MN; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Jeff Spacek, Phillips.

Heat 1: Lavasseur; Hron; Niznik; J Spacek; Hiatt; Gehl; Lautigar; Luger; Cook.

Heat 2: Vang; Balduc; Anderson; Cain; Stuart; Suzik; Yonke; Dale; C Spacek.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Curt Myers, Cameron; Kyle Copp, Brule; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Cory Casari, Montreal; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Andy Grymala, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI.

11-16: Rita Anderson, South Range; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Larry Both, Thunder Bay, ON; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Terran Spacek, Phillips.

Heat 1: Spacek; Myers; Casari; Copp; Grymala; Muzzy; Both; Anderson.

Heat 2: Oreskovich; Beeksma; Kuklinski; Burdick; McFadden; Deragon; Mackey; Mashlan.

Make-up feature from 7/9: 1-10: Oreskovich; Myers; Burdick; Beeksma; Casari; Copp; Mackey; Mashlan; Muzzy; Grymala

Superior.

11-19: Kuklinski; Anderson; Deragon; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; DJ Keeler, Superior; Willie Johnsen Jr, Superior; David Elliott, Minocqua.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Tony Bahr, Haugen; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Brandon Copp, Brule; Colin Chaschuk, Neebing, ON; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Mark Kangas, Eveleth, MN; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-20: Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jack Rivord, Superior; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Corey Storck, Morris, MN; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Gunner Peterson, South Range.

21: Bryan Lund, Ashland.

Heat 1: Storck; Fuhrman; Rivord; Latvala; Vernon; Peterson; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Lund.

Heat 2: Simpson; Kangas; Halopka; Copp; Hudack; D Dunbar; Muhlig; Diamond Bressette, Spooner.

Heat 3: Dalbeck; M Dunbar; Chaschuk; Bahr; Aho; Weinberger; Barningham.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Tiffany Hudack, Ashland; Randy Graham, Trego; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Josh Saunders, Spooner; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego.

11-12: Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Devin Dalbec, Ashland.

Heat 1: Hudack; Jarecki; Schultz; Truchon; Dalbec; Popp.

Heat 2: Graham; Anderson; Traaholt; Saunders; Nevala; Pearce.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-6: Jared Akervik, Superior; Randy Graham, Trego; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Brandle Pupp, Highbridge; Jeff Christman, South Range; Jessie Mudgett, Park Falls.

Heat: Weinberger; Graham; Akervik; Mudgett; Devin Fries, Phillips; Pupp; Christman.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-10: Brittany Smith, St Joseph, MN; Paul George, Princeton, MN; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Austin Gibson, Springbrook; Neil Dees, Hurley; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI; Jason Ronning, Ashland.

Heat 1: Dunbar; Rowe; McDougall; Ronning; Dees.

Heat 2: George; Smith; House; Gibson; Kieber.

Mid Mod Madness August 3rd

Mid-Mods in Spotlight as ABC Raceway Starts ‘19 ‘Stretch Run’

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, August 1 – Intense points battles? Got ‘em. Increased purse for the Midwest Mods? Check. Finish last month’s Super Stock feature? Ready. Dunk tank …

Dunk tank?

The ABC Raceway will flip its 2019 calendar to August on Saturday by offering up its 13th annual “Mid-Mod Madness” special to be presented by the Safari Tavern and the Lake Shore Cafe, both of Ashland, as well as some fun for its fans and a little bonus racing, too.

The special event for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifeds will pay $600 to that division’s feature winner, and with none of the other area Saturday night tracks running, a strong field of visiting drivers from throughout the region is expected to challenge the ABC regulars for that lucrative prize.

In the 12 previous editions of this event, only one driver – current track points leader George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI – has won that show’s feature twice. Dalbeck took top honors in 2010 and again in 2012. Brule’s Brandon Copp, who comes into the weekend third in points at the track, is the defending “Mid-Mod Madness” race winner.

The Raceway will also complete the WISSOTA Super Stock feature from July 9 that was interrupted by rain on lap 9. That night’s race was part of a Tuesday night special that was headlined by the first-ever visit of the nationally-touring World of Outlaws Late Model Series to the northern Wisconsin track.

Kevin Burdick of Proctor, MN, was leading the Super Stock 20-lap feature by a huge margin on that night when rain showers that had threatened so many times that night finally put an end to his dominant run and the race night as a whole. Again, with tracks at places like Rice Lake, Hibbing and Oglivie all taking this Saturday off, there could be many more at Ashland than just the 20 Super Stocks that were in the feature line-up on that Tuesday night.

The Raceway is also offering racers and fans a chance to have a little fun and help raise contributions for great local causes on Saturday. The track will have a dunk tank set up, and folks will have a chance to dunk various track officials and others by donating cash and non-perishable food items during the race program.

With only four race nights remaining in the 2019 schedule, the battles for the various divisional championships will only get more interesting. By winning the WISSOTA Modified feature last weekend here, Jeff Spacek of Phillips closed the gap on points leader Steve Stuart of Ashland to just two points. In the Supers, Nick Oreskovich of Mason has his sights set on a fourth straight ABC title, but Ashland’s Matt Deragon is in pursuit.

Dalbeck’s lead on David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON, in the Mid-Mods is significant but certainly not insurmountable, and the same can be said for the points advantage held by Randy Graham of Trego in the ABC Six-Cylinders over Ashland’s Forrest Schultz.

Graham also has his hands full battling with Justin Weinberger of Park Falls as he attempts to successfully defend his WISSOTA Pure Stock title at ABC, and Mitch Kieber of Ironwood, MI, is just ahead of Paul George of Princeton, MN, as they race to make history as the Raceway’s first-ever WISSOTA Hornet points champion.

The ABC Raceway Kids’ Club will have its annual backpack giveaway on Saturday. Currently over 35 backpacks have been donated, and any race team, fan or business that wishes to donate can do so by contacting Megan Luger at (715) 292-9354 prior to Saturday’s race program.

The grandstand gates open at 5 pm, hot laps start at 6:15 pm, and the first green flag of the night is scheduled to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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

The Midwest Mods will be in the spotlight on Saturday, August 3, when the ABC Raceway presents its 13th annual “Mid-Mod Madness” special, to be presented by the Safari Tavern and the Lake Shore Cafe, both of Ashland. The WISSOTA Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets, plus the ABC Six-Cylinders, will also be on the program, with the Super Stocks completing their rain-delayed feature race from July 9 as well as running their full show.

Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night should fly right at 7 pm. WBSZ, 93.3 FM, will air “Race Night” from 4:30 until 6 pm with pre-race coverage.

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

July 27th Results

Balog Tops IRA Field at ABC Again

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 27 — In six previous scheduled visits by the touring Interstate Racing Association’s winged 410 sprint cars to the ABC Raceway, Bill Balog has captured four A-main wins. The other two shows were rained out.

After this past Saturday’s program, the score now reads Balog 5, Mother Nature 2.

The North Pole, AK, native, who now calls Hartland, WI, home, scored a thrilling win in the headline event of a six-division program presented by the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn in front of a large crowd on a muggy, breezy night at the three-eighths-mile northern Wisconsin red-clay oval.

Other winners on this night included Jeff Spacek (WISSOTA Modifieds) and Dave Flynn (WISSOTA Super Stocks), each for the first time in two seasons; Jack Rivord (WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds) for the first time in his career; and Randy Graham (WISSOTA Pure Stocks) and Hunter McDougall (WISSOTA Hornets) as repeat winners.

Scott Thiel, who holds the Raceway’s record for the fastest single-lap time and speed ever recorded here (12.382 seconds, 109.109 mph), set the fastest lap on this night’s qualifying with a 12.611-second tour (107.049 mph). Of the 18 IRA entries, ten posted qualifying lap times which equated to average speeds of 100 mph or more on the sticky, tricky red-clay oval.

By virtue of a blind draw, and with the assistance of a young fan in the stands, Thiel started the 30-lap A-main on the outside of the front row and immediately established a lightning-fast pace, pulling out to a straightaway-length advantage on polestarter Steve Meyer. Jeremy Schultz and Joey Moughan stayed as tight as they could to Meyer’s push bar, with Jordan Goldesberry pestering Moughan for fourth.

Balog, who started on the outside of row 4, quickly made inroads to the front, getting by Goldesberry for fifth on lap 2 and then around Moughan for fourth on lap 7. By that time Thiel had already begun picking his way through slower traffic while maintaining a sizable advantage on Meyer.

On lap 9 Nick Matusewski’s car rolled in turn 2 to bring about the first of a series of yellow-flag slowdowns, limiting the green-flag runs to three or four laps at a time at best. Thiel got away again on the restart, but within a couple of laps Bill Wirth’s car crept to a stop at the top of turn 3 to slow the pace again.

Balog used a classic sprint car “slide-job” to cut across the nose of Schultz’s car on lap 12 to take third place, just one lap before Ben Schmidt’s wild tumble down the front straightaway brought about another break in the action. Balog tried the same tactic on Meyer on the ensuing restart, but Meyer answered back to hold the spot, allowing Thiel to rebuild his advantage over a couple more laps before Russel Borland’s spin on lap 17 brought stalled the show again.

On that restart Balog’s slide worked to displace Meyer for second in turns 1 and 2, but on the other end of the track the pair made contact as Meyer fought back, causing Meyer’s racer to back into the turn 3 wall hard and ending his night.

Thiel pulled away again on the next restart, and over the next seven laps he held a comfortable lead. But once he reached the back of the field, Balog closed quickly. The series’ points leader made one desperate attempt with five laps to go to steal the lead away, but he nearly put himself into the turn 2 wall. However, Balog recovered and closed the gap again, and on lap 27 he threw his sprinter under Thiel’s and into thick slower traffic and took the lead. Thiel tried to drive back under Balog in turn 2, but he spun himself out of contention, leaving Balog a wide-open green-white-checkered run to the finish.

“I was pushing pretty hard,” Balog said of his charge through the field, especially regarding his pass of Meyer for second. “But I had a good car. These things (sprint cars) are so finicky; they gotta be right.”

Schultz stayed in the top five throughout the run to score a second-place paycheck, while Goldesberry also stuck close to the front to take third. Scotty Nietzel and Scott Biertzer battled back-and-forth during the entire run, and by virtue of the attrition they landed fourth and fifth, respectively.

While the sprints saw six yellow flags in 30 laps, the other five divisions ran a combined total of 80 feature laps with a single caution flag thrown. That lone stoppage came one lap into the Modified 20-lap headliner, when thick traffic combined with a fast racetrack produced a scramble for positions on the front straightaway, a lot of contact and a three-car pile-up in turn 1. Polestarter Todd Gehl then led the field back to green but did not stay there long, as Steve Lavasseur worked his way around Bill Byholm and Gehl into the top spot.

Spacek, who started outside on row 4, want low to displace Gehl for second on lap 3, then repeated the move on Lavasseur one circuit later to take the lead for good. By lap 7 the six-time track champion from Phillips had a 1.4-second lead on another six-time champ, Al Uotinen, who got by Lavasseur on the previous go-around.

Even as he worked his way through backmarkers Spacek extended his advantage, eventually crossing the under the checkers a full 3.5 seconds ahead of Uotinen. Lavasseur and Steve Stuart put on a great side-by-side race for third, which was eventually won by Stuart, and Bill Byholm held a solid fifth throughout most of the run.

The Super Stock feature was a true thriller, with Flynn and Greg Kuklinski racing right to the wire for the win. Kuklinski engaged with polestarter Andrew Mackey and Cory Casari in a three-wide battle right at the drop of the green, with Kuklinski eventually claiming the lead. It took Casari another three laps before he could work his way past Mackey for second, but he struggled to trim into Kuklinski’s two-car-length advantage.

Flynn, who like Spacek started outside on row 4, used the low line of the track to slip through the field on his way to third place, and on lap 8 he was threatening Casari for second. Casari, meanwhile, made a number of moves to challenge Kuklinski, but the Raceway’s all-time feature wins leader held a strong middle-groove line and refused to give the lead away. With seven laps to go Flynn dove low to get by Casari, and from there the visitor from Superior chipped away at the Ironwood, MI, veteran’s stronghold.

With Casari and 12th-starting Nick Oreskovich closing in on the final lap, Flynn made one last dive to the bottom through turn 4, and he edged Kuklinski at the finish line by .107 seconds – about six feet. Oreskovich just nipped Casari for third, and Mackey completed a very impressive night with a fifth-place performance.

Jack Rivord’s run in the Midwest Mod 20-lapper was a no-doubter – after an early tussle with Gunner Peterson and Marcus Dunbar, the sophomore driver from Superior led every lap for his first-ever feature win. Rivord overcame the early battle and built a stout early advantage, while Peterson held off threats from Dunbar, Clay Passuello and George Dalbeck. Before the mid-point of the race Rivord’s lead was over 1.8 seconds, and by lap 12 he was slicing his way through the slower part of the field.

Peterson diced with Dalbeck all he could before finally giving up second to the divisional points leader. Dalbeck then went on a mission, cutting nearly a full second off of Rivord’s advantage while slicing his way through lapped traffic. But Rivord ran a smooth line and still had a lead of .978 seconds at the final stripe. Peterson, Dunbar and Passuello completed a close-knit top five.

Graham, who has split six of the seven Pure Stock features run at ABC so far this summer with Justin Weinberger, battled with Weinberger again on Saturday before claiming his fourth win of the season in the class.

A bump at the start of the 10-lap feature between front-row starters Jessie Mudgett and Brandle Pupp opened the top lane of the track for Weinberger to get by and claim the initial lead, and Graham followed suit into second. From there the lead pair ran away from the rest of the pack, running mostly side-by-side, with Weinberger up high and Graham down low, for several laps.

It wasn’t until lap 8 that Graham found the traction he needed to get completely by Weinberger, clearing for the lead as the pair took the white flag. Graham held on for his 25th career feature win at Ashland and his eighth of the year (including four in the ABC Six-Cylinders), less than a car-length ahead of Weinberger. Pupp finished a distant third, ahead of Mudgett and Jeff Christman.

The Hornets raced for fun and money – not points – on this night, as they were not originally on the docket for this show. McDougall, the Duluth, MN, youngster who last won on opening night, made a three-wide pass for the lead stick on lap 2 and pulled away for the win.

By the mid-point of the 10-lap main event McDougall had built up a ten-length lead, while Derek Dunbar, Paul George and Dayna Marken tussled in close proximity throughout the run, eventually finishing second through fourth, respectively, behind McDougall. Polestarter Shawn Young, whose car dropped from the run with a couple of laps to go, was credited with fifth.

Spacek posted the fastest lap in the Modified feature with a time of 16.665 seconds (81.008 mph). Rookie Mackey claimed his first fast-lap bonus with a time of 17.523 seconds (77.042 mph) in the Super Stock feature, and Dalbeck was quickest in the Mid-Mods (17.351; 77.805).

The Midwest Mods will be in the spotlight on Saturday, August 3, when the ABC Raceway presents its 13th annual “Mid-Mod Madness” special, to be presented by the Safari Tavern and the Lake Shore Cafe, both of Ashland. The WISSOTA Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets, plus the ABC Six-Cylinders, will also be on the program, with the Super Stocks completing their rain-delayed feature race from July 9 as well as running their full show.

Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night should fly right at 7 pm. WBSZ, 93.3 FM, will air “Race Night” from 4:30 until 6 pm with pre-race coverage.

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

IRA Winged Sprints

Feature: 1-10: Bill Balog, Hartland; Jeremy Schultz, Beaver Dam; Jordan Goldesberry, Springfield, IL; Scotty Nietzel, Beaver Dam; Scott Biertzer, West Bend; Dave Uttech, Kenosha; Joey Moughan, Springfield, IL; Russel Borland, Kewaskum; Jereme Schroeder, Lake Villa, IL; Scott Thiel, Sheboygan.

11-16: Steve Meyer, Sheboygan Falls; Matt Wiese, Lomira; Ben Schmidt, Howards Grove; Bill Wirth, Cudahy; Wayne Modjeski, Oak Creek; Nick Matusewski, Antigo.

Heat 1: Meyer; Thiel; Schultz; Schroeder; Moughan; Patrick Heikkinen, Eveleth, MN.

Heat 2: Nietzel; Wirth; Balog; Schmidt; Matusewski; Modjeski.

Heat 3: Borland; Goldesberry; Biertzer; Uttech; Wiese.

Qualifying: Thiel, 12.611 secs, 107.049 mph.

WISSOTA Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Al Uotinen, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Cole Varsho, Stratford; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Cody Carlson, Superior.

11-16: Tyler Luger, Oxford; Pat Cook, Washburn; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI.

Heat 1: Stuart; Balduc; Eder; Gehl; Hiatt; Bunkelman; Luger; Cook.

Heat 2: J Spacek; Byholm; Uotinen; Lavasseur; Suzik; Varsho; C Spacek; Carlson.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Dave Flynn, Superior; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Cory Casari, Montreal; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Kyle Copp, Brule; Matt Deragon, Ashland.

11-13: Patrick Heikkinen, Eveleth, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range.

Heat 1: Mackey; Flynn; Casari; Copp; Mashlan; Oreskovich.

Heat 2: Kuklinski; Deragon; Beeksma; Muzzy; McFadden; Anderson.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Jack Rivord, Superior; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI.

11-18: George Truscott, Greenland, MI; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Bryan Lund, Ashland; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Dave DeVente, Neebing, ON.

Heat 1: M Dunbar; Dalbeck; Vernon; Rivord; Aho; Fuhrman; Weinberger; DeVente; Mains.

Heat 2: Simpson; Copp; Passuello; Peterson; D Dunbar; Truscott; Barningham; Lund; Muhlig.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-5: Randy Graham, Trego; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Brandle Pupp, Highbridge; Jessie Mudgett, Park Falls; Jeff Christman, South Range.

Heat: Weinberger; Graham; Pupp; Christman; Mudgett.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-6: Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Paul George, Princeton, MN; Dayna Marken, Duluth, MN; Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

Heat: Dunbar; Marken; McDougall; Young; Kieber; George.

IRA SPRINTS July 27th

High-Speed Winged Sprints Set to Invade ABC Raceway on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 25 — After a one-year hiatus, the Interstate Racing Association’s 410 “outlaw” sprint cars are set to return to the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.

In a program to be presented by the NAPA Auto Parts stores of Ashland and Washburn, the 1,200-pound, 800-plus-horsepower “winged warriors” will once again fly around the award-winning three-eighths-mile red-clay oval located just south of Ashland at what are expected to be triple-digit speeds.

The popular, entertaining Midwestern-based traveling sprint car series will be at the midpoint of its 33-race season when its crews pull in to Ashland for Saturday’s show, although the early portion of their schedule has been plagued by rain-outs. The teams will also be in the middle of a very busy four-night, four-track race weekend, which will have started in Plymouth on Thursday (where Australian driver James McFadden took the win) and continued in Antigo on Friday before arriving here.

The weekend will conclude with a program at the historic Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie on Sunday.

“Because of the number of shows they are running during this particular weekend, we could see as many as 20 to 25 of the IRA’s touring regulars at our track on Saturday,” noted ABC Raceway president Eric Erickson earlier this week. “It should be a special program, considering the importance of the weekend for their series as well as the fact that we haven’t seen the IRA here in a while.”

The series first performed at Ashland in 2011, with Mike Reinke of Howards Grove posting a then-track-record single-lap time in IRA qualifying of 12.540 seconds – or 107.656 mph. Billy Balog of Hartland was the first driver to break 109 mph with a qualifying lap time of 12.382 seconds (109.029 mph) in 2012. In 2017 Scott Thiel of Sheboygan set the current track record during IRA qualifying at 12.373 seconds, or 109.109 mph.

By comparison, during the World of Outlaws Late Model Series’ visit here earlier this month, Menomonie’s Jimmy Mars set the Raceway’s all-time single-lap record time for a stock-bodied car at 14.388 seconds, or 93.828 mph. Ashland’s Steve Stuart owns the current track record for WISSOTA Modifieds – which regularly run at ABC – with a lap time of 15.979 seconds (84.486 mph) back in 2015.

Balog has won every IRA feature run at ABC – in 2011, ‘12, ‘14, and ‘17, while Mother Nature was victorious due to cancellations of the scheduled visits in 2013 and ‘15. The Raceway was unable to make scheduling arrangements work with the IRA in 2016 and ‘18, but according to Erickson it’s has been a priority of the IRA to try to set up a stop in Ashland every year since that inaugural 2011 visit.

“Their drivers love our track,” Erickson explained. “It’s a track that favors dependence on the driver’s ability rather than high horsepower to make it around this place. And the red-clay surface is sticky and fast, so the action is always very intense.”

Balog won an unprecedented seven straight IRA titles from 2008-’14 and is the series’ current points leader, thanks to three A-main wins over the series’ first ten races. Thiel sits second in the standings heading into the weekend, followed by Beaver Dam campaigners Jeremy Schultz and Scott Nietzel. Defending IRA champ Jake Blackhurst of Hanna City, IL, is ninth in points.

The WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Mods and Pure Stocks will also partake in the program, while WISSOTA Hornets are also welcome to run a non-points-paying program due to their late addition to the menu. The track’s Six-Cylinders will have the night off. Hot laps will start at 6:15, while the heat races are slated to start at 7 pm.

Grandstand admission prices are set at $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 5-12.

“Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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,

The ABC Raceway will close out the July portion of its 2019 schedule on a fast-paced note, as the high-powered Interstate Racing Association’s 410 winged outlaw sprints will take to the red-clay oval on July 27. The program, to be presented by the NAPA Auto Parts Stores of Ashland and Washburn, will spotlight these 800-horsepower machines as they reach triple-digit speeds on the three-eighths-mile oval.

The show will also include the WISSOTA Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods, Pure stocks and Hornets. ABC Six-Cylinders are off.

Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. WBSZ, 93.3 FM, will air “Race Night” from 4:30 until 6 pm with pre-race coverage.

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.

July 20th results

Mass Continues Dominance of FastLane Supers Series with ABC Raceway Win

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 20 — In 2017, Dave Mass came to the ABC Raceway to compete in the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, and he led every lap to win his first-ever feature at the northern Wisconsin red-clay oval. He went on to claim the Series title a weekend later.

On Saturday, Mass led every lap of the FastLane Series feature at Ashland to claim his second-career feature win, putting him in a nearly perfect position for history to repeat itself.

The win at ABC was the third straight over the first four races of the Series for the veteran East Bethel, MN, speedster, after a second-place finish behind Tim Johnson in the tour’s opener at Oglivie, MN, the previous Saturday. It also gives him a solid points lead heading into the Series’ finale at the Proctor (MN) Speedway on Sunday, July 21.

With Halvor Lines of Duluth, MN, coming on board to help support the Series in its fifth season, a $700 winner’s check awaited the winner of Saturday’s 33-lap main event, with the race distance honoring the late ABC Raceway Hall of Fame WISSOTA Super Stock driver and car owner Don Koivisto. Mass started on the front row and swept around polesitter Shawn McFadden Jr for the only pass for the lead during the entire race, while defending Series champion Kevin Burdick came from the outside of row 4 to mix things up with Dave Flynn and Nick Oreskovich in an early top-five battle.

With Burdick working to get by Flynn for third on lap 2, Mass had already built up a lead of over a second on McFadden, and as the early laps stayed under green Mass continued to build on his advantage. Burdick used an outside line to move past McFadden on lap 8, but by then Mass’s lead was nearly two full seconds as he was beginning to contend with the tail end of the field.

A lap 11 tangle between Scott Lawrence and Tim Johnson put Burdick and McFadden on the leader’s back bumper for the restart, and Burdick immediately shot high and pulled alongside Mass in a challenge for the lead. But Mass overcame the threat and rebuilt his advantage, pushing to another lead of over a second-and-a-half before Don Muzzy’s spin slowed the pace again on lap 18.

Mass again pulled away as the green lights came back on, while 2015 Series champ Curt Myers appeared in the top five and battled with Flynn for a couple of laps for fourth. But Flynn held firm to the position and, on lap 24, took away third from McFadden. A couple of laps later, as Mass was slicing through backmarkers with relative ease, Burdick struggled before clearing the lapped Tucker Quinn, which seemed to rattle Quinn enough to cause him to loop his ride, forcing one last restart with three laps remaining.

Mass bolted away again for a final winning margin of about a second-and-a-half, while Burdick edged Flynn at the checkers for second. Myers came home fourth ahead of McFadden.

Six-time ABC Raceway track champion Al Uotinen grabbed the early advantage of the 20-lap WISSOTA Modified feature, but Ashland’s Steve Stuart put on a clinic on how to run the extreme high line, sweeping around Uotinen and running away to his 35th career feature win at his hometown track. Stuart started on the outside of the third row, but after just three quick laps he had pulled to the leader’s back bumper, and when Uotinen left the high lane open coming out of turn 2 on lap 6, Stuart flashed by.

Visiting Mike Anderson, who started directly behind Stuart, worked his way past Bill Byholm for third at about the same time as Stuart took over the lead, and after Kevin Eder’s ride crept to a halt on the track on lap 8, Anderson was in a prime position to contend for the win, as he overtook Uotinen on the restart.

A Tyler Luger spin on lap 12 tightened the field up again, and a four-car pile-up that collected Uotinen, Jeff Spacek and Bill Byholm – all top-five runners at the time – negated the restart attempt. Once under green, however, Anderson had a couple of opportunities to steal the lead away, but Stuart maintained his momentum and ran off to a winning margin of 1.744 seconds. Spacek grabbed third from Uotinen just prior to the restart, and Pat Cook got by Uotinen just after the green came back out to take fourth.

Visiting Shane Halopka of Greenwood took advantage of a late-race restart to grab his second WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature win in just his third visit here in 2019. Halopka started outside on the fourth row but was already in fourth when polestarter Gunner Peterson and Ross Fuhrman made hard contact while battling for second after the first lap of the race, sending Peterson to the pits to make repairs.

On the restart Fuhrman slowed and sank through the field, allowing points leader George Dalbeck to slip past Halopka into third, behind leader Justin Weinberger and David Simpson. On lap 5 Simpson worked his way past Weinberger, and he built himself a one-second lead over the next four laps until Weinberger could no longer hold back Dalbeck’s charge.

On lap 14 Dalbeck caught and passed Simpson, aided by the fact that leader got caught behind the slower Ryan Barningham. Halopka had just gotten by Weinberger for third on the same lap, just before Weinberger and fifth-running Brandon Copp tangled in turn 2. Dalbeck worked his way around Simpson three laps after the restart, and Peterson’s car spun again on lap 17, forcing a three-lap shootout.

Contact between Simpson and Dalbeck on the restart slowed both cars, allowing Halopka to dive low to take the lead. Dalbeck charged back and pulled alongside Halopka coming out of turn 4 in a drag race to the finish, but Halopka won by 64 one-thousandths of a second. Fourteenth-starting Jesse Aho also took advantage of the Simpson-Dalbeck bump to take third, just ahead of Simpson and Marcus Dunbar.

Superior’s Jared Akervik sped away from the pole to win his first-ever WISSOTA Pure Stock feature at the ABC Raceway on Saturday, just an hour or so after winning his first-ever heat race here. Akervik stayed just ahead of a tight three-car battle for second between Cory Jorgensen, Weinberger and Randy Graham for the first half of the 15-lapper, but after Brandle Pupp and visiting Brent Miller got together to bring about a lap 7 yellow flag, Akervik fended off a strong outside challenge by Graham and scooted away to a relatively comfortable win.

After Graham could not make his pass for the lead stick, he and Jorgensen wrestled over second spot until Graham eventually gained the position, but Jorgensen was right on his tail for third. Weinberger caught up to the pair to finish a close fourth, and Pupp was a distance back in fifth.

Graham turned a tight-formation battle in the ABC Six-Cylinder headliner into a bit of a laugher, winning by a margin of well over eight seconds. The divisional points leader from Trego started eighth out of the 11 cars on the grid and was in the middle of a six-car logjam for third when contact forced Jordan Pearce’s car to snap suddenly to the right. He barely avoided heavy contact with the front-straight concrete wall and was able to continue, and as the race stayed under green Graham had maneuvered his way into fourth, behind leader Adam Traaholt, Jake Nevala and DeJay Jarecki.

Unfortunately for Pearce, his car was damaged enough that he lost control and hit an infield marker tire on lap 2. On the restart Jarecki moved by Nevala to second, and two circuits later Jarecki overtook Traaholt for the lead. Graham followed Jarecki into second a lap later, and the lead duo battled side-by-side for a bit before Graham took control.

Graham built up a comfortable cushion over the next few laps, which grew significantly when Jarecki’s car slowed with five laps to go. The lead was more than a straightaway as Graham crossed under the checkers for his fourth win of the season in the Sixes, while Bubba Anderson took second away from Traaholt with four laps to go. Dalton Truchon, Forrest Schultz and Jonathan Popp all got by Traaholt over the closing laps as well and finished third through fifth in a close-knit pack.

Fast-lap bonuses in the features went to Stuart in the Mods (17.557 seconds; 76.892 mph), Mass in the Supers (17.870; 75.546), Simpson in the Mid-Mods (18.203; 74.164), Graham in the Sixes (19.078; 70.762), and Akervik in the Pure Stocks (19.845; 68.027).

The ABC Raceway will close out the July portion of its 2019 schedule on a fast-paced note, as the high-powered Interstate Racing Association’s 410 winged outlaw sprints will take to the red-clay oval on July 27. The program, to be presented by the NAPA Auto Parts Stores of Ashland and Washburn, will spotlight these 800-horsepower machines as they reach triple-digit speeds on the three-eighths-mile oval.

The show will also include the WISSOTA Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods, plus the ABC Six-Cylinders. The WISSOTA Pure Stocks and Hornets are currently scheduled for a night off, but that may change during the course of the week.

Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. WBSZ, 93.3 FM, will air “Race Night” from 4:30 until 6 pm with pre-race coverage.

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: Steve Stuart, Ashland; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Pat Cook, Washburn; Al Uotinen, Superior; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Paul Niznik, Medford; Jake Hiatt, Mason.

11-14: Tyler Luger, Oxford; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Cole Varsho, Stratford; Kevin Eder, Ashland.

Heat 1: Stuart; Uotinen; Lavasseur; Byholm; Bunkelman; Niznik; Hiatt; Luger.

Heat 2: Spacek; Anderson; Suzik; Cook; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Eder; Varsho.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: 1-10: Dave Mass, East Bethel, MN; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Dave Flynn, Superior; Curt Myers, Cameron; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Dexton Koch, Becker, MN; Kyle Copp, Brule; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andy Grymala, Superior.

11-20: DJ Keeler, Superior; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Chris Wark, Zimmerman, MN; Jordan Henkemeyer, Sauk Rapids, MN; John Adams, Princeton, MN; Chad Fouquette, Sartell, MN; Rich Bishop, New Richmond; Larry Both, Thunder Bay, ON; Shawn Fernkes, Pennock, MN; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith.

21-25: Kurt Becken, Big Lake, MN; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Tim Johnson, Brainerd, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN.

Heat 1: Mass; Oreskovich; Grymala; Lawrence; Keeler; Dan Severson, Ironton, MN; Matt Fester, Atwater, MN; Brian Carl, Duluth, MN; Rita Anderson, South Range.

Heat 2: McFadden; Copp; Wark; Mackey; C Fouquette; Rick Randall, Wakefield, MI; Muzzy; Annika Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Cory Casari, Montreal.

Heat 3: Flynn; Burdick; Fernkes; Johnson; Quinn; Jon Hammitt, Cloquet, MN; Devin Fouquette, Sartell, MN; Allan Cleveland, Breckenridge, MN.

Heat 4: Becken; Olson; Deragon; Henkemeyer; Ronnie Malecki, Superior; Bishop; Josh Bach, Barron; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland.

Heat 5: Koch; Myers; Adams; Both; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Jared Zimpel, Braham, MN; Jamie Reberg, Gilbert, MN.

Semi-Feature 1: Keeler; Quinn; Severson; Bishop; Bach; Mashlan; Reberg; A Hammitt.

Semi-Feature 2: C Fouquette; Muzzy; Casari; Fester; Carl; J Hammitt; Anderson; Malecki.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: Shane Halopka, Greenwood; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-17: Bryan Lund, Ashland; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Steve Altman, Merce; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Dalton Mains, Foxboro; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls.

Heat 1: Dalbeck; Latvala; Weinberger; Halopka; Vernon; M Dunbar; Mains; Aho; Muhlig.

Heat 2: Simpson; Copp; Peterson; Fuhrman; D Dunbar; Barningham; Lund; Altman.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Randy Graham, Trego; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jonathan Popp, Iron River; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Matt rohlfing, Cable; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland.

11: Devin Dalbec, Ashland.

Heat 1: Graham; Anderson; Schultz; Jarecki; Truchon; Rohlfing.

Heat 2: Nevala; Pearce; Traaholt; Dalbec; Popp.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-8: Jared Akervik, Superior; Randy Graham, Trego; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Brandle Pupp, Highbridge; Jeff Christman, South Range; Jessie Mudgett, Park Falls; Brent Miller, Cameron.

Heat: Akervik; Weinberger; Graham; Jorgensen; Miller; Pupp; Christman; Mudgett; Brock Beilke, Hayward.

All photos by Shooterguy Action Photography

July 20th Super Stock Series

ABC Raceway to Host Super Stock Special on Saturday

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 18 — The fifth edition of the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series will make its way to the ABC Raceway this Saturday night.

The Series, which gives the WISSOTA Super Stocks a chance to compete for big money at five regional race tracks, will be part of a five-division race program at the award-winning northern Wisconsin speedplant. FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland, along with Halvor Lines Trucking of Duluth, MN, are the presenting sponsors of the Series.

The FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series has become wildly popular among both racers and fans because of the tireless efforts of Dennis McCauley of the Gondik Law Speedway in Superior and Chris Bretting of FastLane Motorsports, who joined forces to develop a tour for drivers from a division that represents one of the largest segments of racers in WISSOTA. The tour has grown to what is easily the best-attended, best-paying and strongest-supported tour of its type in the Upper Midwest.

The ABC Raceway was one of the three original tracks involved in hosting the inaugural Series in 2015, along with Gondik Law Speedway and the Proctor (MN) Speedway. Other tracks have been involved at different times over the course of the tour’s existence, but the original trio of tracks have been part of all five of the Series’ seasons.

This year’s tour began last Saturday at Oglivie (MN) Raceway, where Tim Johnson of Brainerd, MN, came from mid-pack to overtake Dave Mass of East Bethel, MN, for the feature win. Mass gained a measure of revenge the following night on his home track of Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, MN, powering from the fourth row to take the checkered flag ahead of defending Series champion Kevin Burdick of Proctor.

Other drivers who have won the Series title in years past include Mass in 2017, Superior’s Scott Lawrence in 2016, and Curt Myers of Cameron in 2015. Burdick, Mass and Myers each won their FastLane Series features at ABC on their way to their titles, while Mason’s Nick Oreskovich won the tour stop here in ‘16.

After Friday’s Series stop at Superior, over 40 competitors from as many as six states and two Canadian provinces are expected to invade Ashland’s three-eighths-mile red-clay oval to take a shot at the $700 feature winner’s check. Upon completion of Sunday’s Series finale in Proctor, over $40,000 in purse, points fund and contingency monies will have been awarded.

The WISSOTA Hornets will get the night off, but the WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Midwest Mods and Pure Stocks, and the track’s own Six-Cylinders, will join the Super Stocks in action. Hot laps will start at 6:15, while the heat races are slated to start at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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

WISSOTA Super Stocks return with a bang on July 20 for the fourth race of the five-night, five-track Fast Lane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, presented by Halvor Lines. Over 50 Super Stocks are expected to compete for the $700 feature winner’s check, which is part of the more than $40,000 in purse, points fund and contingencies to be paid out to participating drivers over course of the Series.

The WISSOTA Hornets will get the night off, but the WISSOTA Modifieds, Midwest Mods and Pure Stocks and the ABC Six-Cylinders will be in attendance for this show. Hot laps will start at 6, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. WBSZ, 93.3 FM, will air “Race Night” from 4:30 until 6 pm with pre-race coverage.

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.

Results July 13th

Smith Claims ABC Hornet ‘Stinger’; Wolkowski Gets 1st Mod Win Here

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 13 — Jake Smith of St Joseph, MN, ran away with the ABC Raceway’s Hornet “Stinger” special and the $400 first-place check that went with it on Saturday night, while becoming the track’s first-ever repeat winner in that division.

Also, Canadian Cody Wolkowski dominated early but barely held on for his first career WISSOTA Modified win at ABC on a night highlighted by the popular annual kids’ bike races, presented by Chicago Iron & Supply of Ashland.

Smith, the national leader in WISSOTA Hornet points coming into the weekend, inherited the lead right away as polestarter Tyler Kachinske – fresh off his first career feature win the night before in Superior – could not get his car to go when the green flag dropped to start the 15-lap spotlight event. Smith then pulled away from Hunter McDougall, who sits second in the current national championship standings, and was never really challenged despite a couple of restarts.

The first yellow flag flew on lap 4, when AJ House’s car stopped after tagging the turn 2 guardrail and suffered a flat tire. The other slowdown came on lap 11 when Nate Rose did the same thing as House did at almost the same spot on the track, although he nursed his car around for another half-lap before stopping.

Smith took the checkered flag nearly half a straightaway ahead of a great battle for second, with McDougall holding off Paul George and Paul Ripley over the final four laps. Dayna Marken was a distance back in fifth after starting 15th out of the season-high 16 entries.

In seven Hornet features held at ABC (six this season, plus an exhibition race held in May of last year), Smith is the only driver to win twice.

First-night visitor Josh Rowe threw a little scare into the crowd during the second of the two Hornet heat races, when he flipped his car over while racing for a top-three position. The car rolled once and landed on all four tires, and it had to be pushed into the pits, but after making repairs Rowe was able to start the feature and finished a respectable eighth.

Wolkowski – an infrequent visitor from Thunder Bay, ON – has been steadily stepping up his game over the five or so years that he has been racing in the “big Mods,” so after his runaway win in his heat race he had to like his odds starting from the pole in the A-main. Over the first half of the non-stop 20-lapper he flew away to a huge lead, while Neil Balduc overtook Bill Byholm for second early and then raced side-by-side with Jeff Spacek for several laps.

Wolkowski’s lead had grown to 2.03 seconds by mid-race, but with each lap over the second half of the run that margin thinned. Balduc had grabbed second with an inside move on lap 13 and was within 1.348 seconds of the leader by then, but a bobble in turn 2 the next time around gave runner-up honors back to Spacek.

Over the final five laps Spacek cut noticeably into Wolkowski’s lead, and at the white flag the six-time ABC Raceway champ was only behind by a car-length. Spacek made one last inside dive coming off the final turn, as Wolkowski ran the same outer line that had been working so well for him, and Wolkowski edged Spacek by .008 seconds – one of the smallest of margins ever for a win at Ashland. Balduc maintained third to the end, ahead of Steve Stuart and Kevin Eder.

George Dalbeck of Wakefield, MI, continued his dream 2019 campaign by chalking up his fifth WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature win of the season at ABC, the 21st of his career here, and his 18th in a Mid-Mod to give him the Raceway’s all-time lead for feature wins in the division.

The 20-lap run was hardly uneventful, as each of the five caution-flag slowdowns had significant impacts on the running order. Right after the drop of the first green, front-row starter Marcus Dunbar slapped the back-straight guardrail and suffered a flat tire, dropping him from the event. David Simpson stole the lead from polestarter Gunner Peterson on the restart, but Peterson drove right back by the next time around, with the sixth-starting Dalbeck already in third.

Dalbeck drove low to slip past Peterson for the lead on lap 6, just a circuit before Don Craig smacked the turn 3 wall to bring about the second yellow flag. On the restart Colin Chaschuk was spun while challenging for a top-five spot, and after that restart Simpson took second away from Peterson, whose car broke loose a lap later and slid wildly into the infield with an apparent rear-axle failure, taking him out of contention.

Brandon Copp got by Simpson for second on that restart, but over the next few laps Dalbeck extended his lead to over a second-and-a-quarter. Then, on lap 15, top-ten-running Clay Passuello’s steering broke, forcing his car to dive from the extreme outer edge of turn 4 down across the front straightaway toward the infield. Passuello’s car slammed Ryan Barningham, who was running a lower line a few positions back, causing Barningham’s car to bounce up and over the front of Passuello’s before careening to a stop on the front straight. Fortunately, both drivers were unharmed as they climbed out of their cars to check on each other.

One lap after the final restart of the race Simpson stole second away from Copp, but Dalbeck was uncatchable, speeding to a 1.436-second margin of victory. Visitors Brandon Jensen and Michael Blevins Sr claimed fourth and fifth at the pay window.

Former ABC Six-Cylinder champion Dale Coddington of Hayward completed a successful return to the driver’s seat with his 24th career feature win and first since August 2015. Coddington was providing a “shakedown run” for a car he built for another driver, and it proved to be a successful one.

Two laps into the 15-lap Sixes main event, Bubba Anderson got into points leader Randy Graham while the pair were battling just outside of the top-five, causing a stoppage. Over the next two laps Coddington used an outside line to threaten to take the lead from Jordan Pearce, and after Josh Saunders’ lap 4 spin, Coddington made the move work on the ensuing restart, while Forrest Schultz dove low at the same time to get by Pearce for second.

Coddington was ahead by 1.71 seconds when the caution flag came out for Jake Nevala’s spin on lap 8, and the lead pair were joined by Graham for what turned into a very entertaining three-car dogfight for the win from there on, interrupted only by Dalton Truchon’s spin with three laps remaining. Graham followed Coddington’s outside route past Schultz for second a lap after the restart, but Coddington held on by just .417 seconds at the checkers. Schultz was penalized two spots for a jump on one of the restarts, giving Pearce third and DeJay Jarecki fourth.

Justin Weinberger of Park Falls took advantage of another driver’s misfortune and drove to his third WISSOTA Pure Stock feature win of the season, pulling him into a tie for that division’s points lead with Graham in the process.

Brandle Pupp got the better of polestarter Mikey Blevins and drew to the early lead down the back stretch, but just as he did the driveshaft dropped out from under his car, slowing it dramatically and forcing the rest of the field to take evasive action. From there, however, the rest of the 12-lap event ran without interruption, with Weinberger slipping by Blevins to take the lead and bringing James Vendela along to second.

Weinberger and Vendela ran away from the pack to decide the win, with Vendela throwing his car low into the corners on nearly every lap attempting to wedge his way by, but the 2016 ABC Pure Stock champ was undeterred. Graham got by Blevins for third four laps into the run, but the lead pair were too far away to catch without the aid of a caution stop.

Weinberger answered every one of Vendela’s efforts to muscle past and held on for a half-second margin of victory. Graham followed at a distance, while Blevins held off Dylan Shelton for fourth. However, Blevins did not report to the technical inspection area after the race, disqualifying him from his effort and moving Jeff Christman to fifth in the finishing order.

Fast-lap bonuses in the features went to the winners – Wolkowski in the Mods (17.245 seconds; 78.284 mph), Dalbeck in the Mid-Mods (17.596; 76.722), Coddington in the Sixes (19.229; 70.206), and Weinberger in the Pure Stocks (19.563; 69.008).

Although the WISSOTA Super Stocks were off this past Saturday, they’ll return with a bang on July 20 for the fourth race of the five-night, five-track FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, presented by Halvor Lines. Over 50 Super Stocks are expected to compete for the $700 feature winner’s check, which is part of the more than $40,000 in purse, points fund and contingencies to be paid out to participating drivers over course of the Series.

The WISSOTA Hornets will get the night off, but the WISSOTA Modifieds, Midwest Mods and Pure Stocks and the ABC Six-Cylinders will be in attendance for this show. Hot laps will start at 6, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. WBSZ, 93.3 FM, will air “Race Night” from 4:30 until 6 pm with pre-race coverage.

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: Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Danny Vang, Deerwood, MN; Pat Cook, Washburn; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Bill Byholm, Glidden; John Toppozini, Thunder Bay, ON.

11-15: Tyler Luger, Oxford; Paul Niznik, Medford; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Al Uotinen, Superior; Steve Lavasseur, River Falls.

Heat 1: Stuart; Byholm; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI; Vang; Toppozini; Gehl; Uotinen; Niznik.

Heat 2: Wolkowski; Spacek; Balduc; Eder; Lavasseur; Hiatt; Cook; Luger.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Brandon Copp, Brule; Brandon Jensen, Ellsworth; Michael Blevins Sr, Hibbing, MN; Colin Chaschuk, Neebing, ON; Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Steve Altman, Mercer; Bryan Lund, Ashland.

11-18: Wayne Jacques, Thunder Bay, ON; Billy Milne, Thunder Bay, ON; Don Craig, Thunder Bay, ON; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI.

Heat 1: Copp; Jensen; Peterson; Simpson; Craig; Altman; Weinberger; Jacques; Muhlig.

Heat 2: Chaschuk; Blevins; Dunbar; Dalbeck; Fuhrman; Passuello; Barningham; Lund; Milne.

ABC Six-Cylinders

Feature: 1-10: Dale Coddington, Hayward; Randy Graham, Trego; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Bubba Anderson, Trego; Devin Dalbec, Ashland; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Jake Nevala, Ashland.

11-12: Josh Saunders, Spooner; Jonathan Popp, Iron River;

Heat 1: Anderson; Pearce; Truchon; Traaholt; Dalbec; Saunders.

Heat 2: Schultz; Popp; Graham; Coddington; Nevala; Jarecki.

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

Feature: 1-8: Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; James Vendela, South Range; Randy Graham, Trego; Dylan Shelton, Wrenshall, MN; Jeff Christman, South Range; David Nabozny, Ashland; Brandle Pupp, Highbridge.

Heat: Vendela; Graham; Weinberger; Blevins; Pupp; Nabozny; Christman; Skylar Olson, Grand Rapids, MN; Shelton.

WISSOTA Hornets

Feature: 1-10: Jake Smith, St Joseph, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Paul George, Princeton, MN; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Dayna Marken, Duluth, MN; Neil Dees, Hurley; Jason Ronning, Ashland; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN; Austin Gibson, Springbrook; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.

11-16: Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Shawn Young, Stone Lake; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN.

Heat 1: George; Dunbar; Smith; Kachinske; Ronning; K Marken; Young; D Marken.

Heat 2: Ripley; McDougall; Rose; House; Gibson; Kieber; Dees; Rowe.

July 13th Kid’s Bike Races

Kid’s Bike Races & Hornet Special

Hornets, Kids’ Bike Races in Saturday’s Spotlight at ABC Raceway

by Nick Gima

                Ashland, WI, July 10 — The “big boys” came to play on the ABC Raceway’s three-eighths-mile red-clay oval this past Tuesday night. On Saturday, it’ll be time for the little boys – and girls – to play.

Chicago Iron & Supply of Ashland will present the popular annual Kids’ Bike Races at the award-winning northern Wisconsin speedplant. Youngsters are encouraged to bring their bikes to compete on the track in four different age groups – ages 2-4, ages 5-7, ages 8-10, and ages 11-12 – for a chance to win prizes and more.

In addition, the Raceway will offer its newest division a chance at a little extra money when it hosts its first-ever “Hornet Stinger” special. WISSOTA Hornets – the track’s new entry-level four-cylinder class – will be racing for an enhanced purse that includes a $300 paycheck to the winner of that division’s feature.

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series invaded Ashland for the first time in that national tour’s history on Tuesday night, July 9, and by all accounts the event was a success. A huge crowd saw New Berlin, IL’s Brandon Sheppard, the Series points leader, lead all 50 laps of the inaugural “Badgerland 50 Outlaw Challenge,” presented by Red’s Auto of Ironwood, MI, and edge Shane Clanton of Zebulon, GA, to take home $10,000 – by far the largest check ever awarded to a competitor in the ABC Raceway’s 55-year history.

Twenty-five Late Model drivers from ten different states and Canada were on hand to compete for the big purse offered on Tuesday, and most all of the touring drivers and Series officials conveyed to Raceway representatives after the show how impressed they were with the quality of the facility, the racing surface, the staff’s professionalism, and the beauty and hospitality of the Chequamegon Bay area in general. Talks have already begun to attempt to bring dirt-track stock car racing’s premier national touring series back to ABC in 2020.

It was also announced today that the WISSOTA Super Stock feature, which was stopped Tuesday night by rain before the race’s mid-point, has been rescheduled to be completed on Saturday, August 3. The Super Stocks will not be in action at ABC this Saturday.

In a return to the Raceway’s traditional night of action, four of the five other regular weekly divisions – the WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Midwest Mods and Pure Stocks, and the track’s own Six-Cylinders – will join the Hornets in action. Hot laps will start at 6:15, while the heat races are slated to start at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, with up-to-date track news and weather updates every 15-20 minutes from 4:30-6 pm; coverage will also stream on www.wbszfm.com 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, or log on to the track’s website, www.abcraceway.com.

The ABC Raceway will get back into its traditional Saturday night routine on July 13, with the popular kids’ bike races to be presented by Chicago Iron & Supply of Ashland. In addition, the Raceway will host its first-ever “Stinger” special for the WISSOTA Hornets, offering an enhanced purse with a $300 winner’s check for that night’s feature.

Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, from 4:30 until 6 pm with track news and weather information leading up to the race program.

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

July 9th WoOLMS Results

Article from World of Outlaws Late Model Series Click Here.

Sheppard Makes History as First-Ever WoOLMS Winner at ABC Raceway

by Nick Gima

Ashland, WI, July 9 – Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, IL, started on the pole and led wire-to-wire to win the inaugural “Badgerland 50 Outlaw Challenge” World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series feature, presented by Red’s Auto of Ironwood, MI, at the ABC Raceway on Tuesday night.

The WoOLMS national touring series, which features high-powered versions of the popular Late Model style of short-track dirt race cars, drew the top ten drivers in its championship points standings leading into the event. They were joined by 15 WISSOTA and Dirt King Late Model Series drivers to compete for a track-record $10,000 winner’s check, with each of the 25 entrants taking home a minimum of $1,000 just for starting the 50-lap A-main.

Sheppard, the Series’ points leader heading into Tuesday’s show, beat Ricky Weiss to the front and established a blistering pace, posting the fastest lap of the event early with a 14.881-second (90.720 mph) tour of the sticky three-eighths-mile red-clay oval on lap 7. The battles behind Sheppard, Weiss and Shane Clanton were ferocious, as Jimmy Mars, Cade Dillard, Nick Anvelink and Darrell Lanigan ran in close formation while debating fourth through seventh.

By lap 9 Sheppard was already closing on the backmarkers, which allowed Weiss to quickly eliminate what was a nearly-two-second lead gap. Sheppard made a thrilling thread-the-needle move between Buddy Hanestad and Mark Rose on lap 12 to put those two a lap in arrears and regain a little of that lead margin, while Weiss needed another lap or so to get by the two slower cars.

On lap 18, just as Sheppard was regaining his rhythm and drawing away from Weiss and the rest of the field, a light rain that had been threatening all evening long finally began to fall, halting the festivities. The sprinkles let up within a few short minutes and the field was realigned quickly for a restart, but as the green flag was dropped Lanigan’s car – running seventh at the time – snapped loose and charged through the infield grass inside of turns 1 and 2, with a suspension issue as the culprit. The number-two man in WoOLMS points stopped his car on the inside edge of the back stretch, drawing out the race’s second yellow flag.

A four-car pile-up at the back half of the field just as the green lights came on again stalled the proceedings once more, and then the precipitation began again. However, the rain was light enough that track prep crews quickly brought out trucks to run in the track, and after just 32 minutes the field was set to take the green flag again, in the hope of getting through lap 25 in order to make the race official.

The weather held off and the final 32 laps clicked off without further delay. Sheppard ran away again, while Weiss battled with Clanton for four laps before finally surrendering second on lap 23.

By lap 27 Sheppard was dealing with backmarkers again, which allowed Clanton to draw near. The race leader expertly sliced through, but Clanton patiently clawed his way to Sheppard’s back bumper until he was within two-thirds of a second with just 12 laps left.

With eight laps remaining Clanton got as close as he could – less than a car-length – but Sheppard ran the final laps mostly stress-free for his Series-leading 12th win of the season on the tour, adding to a campaign bound for the WoOLMS record books. Weiss and Mars swapped third place on several occasions over the remaining 15 laps before Weiss settled things for good on lap 47, and Cade Dillard rounded out the top five.

Sheppard thanked his car owners, crew and sponsors from Victory Lane after the landmark win, stating, “This car is a lot of fun to drive … this is a team effort.” He also made a point to thank the fans on hand as well as the track prep crew for hustling out to pack the track in after the rain.

The event was the 660th feature held in the history of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, with the ABC Raceway representing the 194th different racing facility that has hosted a WoOLMS event, dating back to the Series’ inaugural season of 1978.

Earlier in the evening the WoOLMS drivers took to the track for two-car timed qualifying. Mars, a six-time Red Clay Classic champion at ABC, set a new track record for stock-bodied racers with a single-lap time of 14.398 seconds (93.828 mph) – nearly 1.1 seconds quicker and over six-and-a-half miles per hour faster than Nick Anvelink’s previous track record (15.480 secs; 87.209 mph) set during the WISSOTA Late Model feature at the Red Clay Classic in October 2016.

In fact, 18 of the 24 WoOLMS drivers who made qualifying runs posted lap times better than Anvelink’s mark.

Clinton Day posted a $200 bonus for the fastest timed lap in the WoOLMS feature, which was awarded to Sheppard. In addition, Luger Trucking of Oxford posted long-haul bonuses to Blake Spencer (WoOLMS), who towed over 1,500 miles from his home in Florida to compete at ABC, as well as to Travis Budisalovich (WISSOTA) and Anvelink (Dirt King Series).

Jake Redetzke took the top prize in the WISSOTA Late Model top finisher challenge, complements of Troy Powers & Associates, with Ron Hanestad and Jeff Massingill also claiming bonuses from that program. And Anvelink and Rose were awarded similar top-finisher bonuses in the Dirt Kings Series category.

Twenty-two WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and 20 Super Stocks were on hand to add to the program for the huge crowd on hand on this sweltering mid-Summer night, but only the Mid-Mods were able to officially record a completed feature, as once again the rains came and spoiled the fun. Outlaw Wraps & Apparel of Ashland provided a boost to the Mid-Mod purse on this night, with the winner taking home $500.

George Dalbeck started alongside visiting Brandon Jensen on the front row of the Midwest Mod feature, which was scheduled for 20 laps, and the 2011 track and Red Clay Classic champion from Wakefield, MI, shot away to an over-two-second advantage on the field within a mere four laps. Calvin Iverson followed in Dalbeck’s tire tracks to get around Jensen for second, with Jimmy Latvala close behind during the race’s early stages.

Karl Kolek’s spin brought the field back to Dalbeck’s rear bumper on lap 4, but he ran away again to a big lead after the restart, while Latvala looked stout in taking second away from Iverson. Jensen made up for his earlier loss of ground by overtaking Iverson a couple of laps later, and he improved on that standing when he took advantage of the next restart.

That came as a result of David Simpson’s stalled ride in turn 2 on lap 7. On that re-do, Jensen slipped by Latvala to take second, with Shane Halopka in tow for third. At this point, 12th-starting Brandon Copp began a strong trek toward the front, getting by Latvala for fourth on lap 9 and Halopka for third on lap 10.

Dalbeck did not pull away to a big advantage on Jensen as he had done earlier in the run, and after a lap 14 restart for Ross Fuhrman’s looped ride his lead was no more than a car-length, but when the rains returned track officials called the race complete, giving Dalbeck his fourth win of the season at ABC and 20th of his career. Jensen, Copp, Latvala and Halopka filled out the top five in close formation.

Dalbeck also set the fastest lap of the race at 17.217 seconds (78.411 mph). Copp’s late drive through the field earned him a “hard charger” bonus, courtesy of Anderson Pure Maple Syrup.

A stellar field of Super Stocks attempted to start its 20-lap main event, but Mother Nature’s final outburst was the strongest of the night, forcing the cancellation of the remainder of the show and a postponement of that division’s feature until a future date, which will be announced soon.

The ABC Raceway will get back into its traditional Saturday night routine on July 13, with the popular kids’ bike races to be presented by Chicago Iron & Supply of Ashland. In addition, the Raceway will host its first-ever “Stinger” special for the WISSOTA Hornets, offering an enhanced purse with a $300 winner’s check for that night’s feature.

Hot laps will start at 6:15, and the first green flag of the night is set to fly at 7 pm. “Race Night” will air on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, from 4:30 until 6 pm with track news and weather information leading up to the race program.

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

World of Outlaws Late Models

Feature: 1-10: Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, IL; Shane Clanton, Zebulon, GA; Ricky Weiss, Headingly, MB; Jimmy Mars, Menomonie; Cade Dillard, Robeline, LA; Chase Junghans, Manhattan, KS; Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, MN; Nick Anvelink, Bonduel; Dennis Erb, Carpentersville, IL; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire.

11-20: Blake Spencer, St Augustine, FL; Rick Hanestad, Boyceville; Darrell Lanigan, Union, KY; Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, PA; Donny Schatz, Fargo, ND; Pat Doar, New Richmond; Mark Rose, Dorchester; Jeff Massingill, Keewatin, MN; Kevin Carlson, Hermantown, MN; Steve Laursen, Cumberland.

21-25: John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis, MN; Buddy Hanestad, Boyceville; Tim McMann, Duluth, MN.

Hard Charger: Junghans.

Qualifying: Mars, 14.388 secs, 93.828 mph (NTR).

Heat 1: Clanton; Mars; Larson; Schatz; R Hanestad; Junghans; Kaanta; Eder; McMann.

Heat 2: Weiss; Anvelink; Lanigan; Spencer; Redetzke; Laursen; B Hanestad; Budisalovich.

Heat 3: Sheppard; Dillard; Doar; Erb; Briggs; Massingill; Rose; Carlson.

WISSOTA Super Stocks

Feature: rained out; ppd TBA.

Heat 1: Curt Myers, Cameron; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Patrick Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Andy Grymala, Superior; Willie Johnsen Jr, Superior; DJ Keeler, Superior; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; David Elliott, Minocqua.

Heat 2: Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Dave Flynn, Superior; Cory Casari, Montreal; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Kyle Copp, Brule; Andrew Mackey, Roseville, MN; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Rita Anderson, South Range; Shawn McFadden Jr, Ashland; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI.

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

Feature: 1-10: George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Brandon Jensen, Ellsworth; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Calvin Iverson, Eleva; Michael Blevins; Hibbing, MN; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Ross Fuhrman, Ashland.

11-20: Justin Weinberger, Park Falls; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Steve Altman, Mercer; Mark Thomas, Menomonie; Kyle Schell, Lisbon, ND; Clay Passuello, Ironwood, MI; Bill Muhlig, Bessemer, MI; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge; Jonny Marsh, Rice Lake; Karl Kolek, Menomonie.

21; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield.

Heat 1: Dalbeck; Altman; Kolek; Peterson; Schell; Blevins; Thomas; Jared Stricker, Highbridge.

Heat 2: Jensen; Halopka; Dunbar; W Stricker; Weinberger; Barningham; Muhlig.

Heat 3: Iverson; Simpson; Latvala; Copp; Passuello; Fuhrman; Marsh.