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Archive for July, 2018

West Virginia’s Zach Dohm Sweeps Weekend Summer Nationals Action At Oakshade Raceway

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Zack Dohm definitely made the six-hour trek from Cross Lanes, West Virginia, a worthwhile one, winning a combined $15,000 at Oakshade Raceway over the weekend by sweeping both DIRTcar Summer Nationals events including the $10,000 to win 20th Annual Birthday Race on Saturday night.

Last year’s Birthday Race winner, Kent Robinson, started on the pole and led the first 10 laps of the 60-lap Birthday Race main event. Zack Dohm made a charge to the front to the inside of Robinson on lap 11 and never looked back. Dohm ran numerous laps behind Jon Henry who was running at the tail of the lead lap cars trying not to get lapped. This kept Robinson and Frank Heckenast Jr. in a tight pack behind Dohm. Robinson made a bid for the lead on lap 35 by sticking his nose to the inside of Dohm, but Dohm was able to fend off the challenge. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Henry slipped up from the bottom and allowed Dohm and the rest of the front runners to get by. Shortly thereafter, Henry abruptly slowed in turn two which brought out the caution flag on lap 46. With clear track ahead, Dohm went on to add his name to the elite list of Oakshade Birthday Race winners with Robinson settling for the runner up position. Heckenast Jr. finished third and the 2018 DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion, Brian Shirley from Chatham, Illinois, ended up fourth. Ryan Unzicker wound up finishing fifth.

Mike McKinney out of Plainfield, Illinois, started on the pole of the Summit Racing Modified Nationals feature event and led the entire 25-lap distance. Last year’s winner, Brian Ruhlman positioned himself into second early with Friday night’s winner, Taylor Cook, running third. A caution flag on lap 21 slowed the field a final time, but McKinney had the field covered and went on to take the checkered flag with Ruhlman and Cook finishing second and third. Bobby Stremme ended up fourth with Brad Eitniear finishing fifth. NASCAR Camping World Truck driver Matt Crafton could only muster a seventh place finish just behind Josh Scott.

Cory Gumm started in the second row of the compact feature event and immediately got to the front at the drop of the green flag. Several drivers running in the top five including Eric Carr and Ken Watts had issues that brought out cautions and sent them to the tail of the field for the restarts. Waldron, Michigan’s Brogan Rehklau took advantage of a restart after an early caution to get by Gumm for the race lead and went on to pick up the feature win over Gumm. Joe Elliot finished third after starting 10th and Matt Brazeau climbed up through the field to end up fourth after starting 12th.

The final leg of the Oakshade/Attica Late Model Challenge Series takes place this weekend at Attica Raceway Park on Friday night and then wrapping up Saturday at Oakshade Raceway. Steve Kester has a slim 3 point lead over Ryan Missler and Devin Shiels is only three back from him so it will be a tight battle going into the final two nights of competition. In addition to the UMP Late Models, the AmeriGas UMP Sportsman and Hot Rod Welding & Engineering Bombers will be back in action at Oakshade Raceway on Saturday night along with compacts. Gates open at 4pm, hot laps start at 6pm and racing at 7pm

Four More New Winners in Rice Lake Speedway Action

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Rice Lake WI, – On a steamy July Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway, it was a night for new drivers to find victory lane for the first time and get their pictures taken as winners at the speedway. Only Pure Stock driver George Richards had visited victory lane earlier this year while Justin Oestreich, Tommy Richards, Shane Halopka and Dustin Doughty were all first time winners. While Oestreich and Tommy Richards were visiting victory lane for the first time ever at Rice Lake, Doughty was a previous winner in the Pure Stock class and Halopka is the all time feature win leader in the Midwest Modified class at the track.

George Richards became the second driver in the Pure Stock class to win more than one feature race at the track this year, tying him with Jason Havel in that category. Richards was the third leader in the Pure Stock feature and held off a tough challenge from Bob Thompson to take the win.

Will Fisher grabbed the lead at the start of the race but he was passed by Mike Grover to take over the top spot. Grover soon felt the pressure from Richards who had moved up from the second row to challenge with Thompson, Krysta Doughty and Havel also on the move.

Richards was able to maneuver under Grover and take over the top spot on the third try after having made the pass for the lead, only to twice see that move called back by yellow flags for minor spins that stopped the action.

Finally, on the third try, Richards was able to drive past Grover and take over the lead for good. Thompson soon moved into second and began to apply the pressure. Bob would drive hard into the corners and get up next to the leader but then each time Richards would drive away on the straightaways. Thompson kept trying but just couldn’t quite make the winning move and Richards would remain steady as he drove on for the win with Thompson a very close second.

There was a wild last last scramble for position behind the top two with Doughty coming home third, trailed by Grover and Havel.

Krysta’s husband Dustin probably provided the most excitement of the night as he won his first ever Street Stock feature in the night’s most exciting race. The Street Stocks are tuning up for the “Little Dream” race coming up soon and a big field of cars on Saturday engaged in the closest feature race of the night.

Doughty has been very impressive in the Street Stocks in this, his rookie year, as his first three outings have all resulted in top five finishes, but Saturday he topped all that as he won his first ever Street Stock main event and a most thrilling event.

Another rookie driver, Jason Havel took the early lead and in doing so, led his first laps ever in the Street Stock class. However, coming on strong was Russ Kostreba who was able to duck under Havel and take the top spot. The early going in the race saw contenders Jay Kesan and Hunter VanGilder rub together in a corner with the result that both suffered flat tires. Kesan retired from the race while VanGilder used the yellow flag to change and tire and return.

On the green, Kostreba continued to lead with Havel, Scott Clark, Doughty and Kolby Kiehl all challenging him. Kiehl was able to move to the second lane on the track and he was the driver on the move. He pulled up beside Havel to take second and then challenged Kostreba for the lead. Just as it appeared that Kiehl had the leader cleared, there was some contact in turn one and around went Kiehl, triggering a yellow with six laps completed. Unfortunately for Kiehl, he suffered a flat tire and had to pit for a change also.

Havel inherited the second spot but on the next lap, while challenging for the lead, he too would spin in the same corner and the yellow would come out again, slowing the action. Now it was Doughty’s time. He would also move to the second lane on the track and soon would pull up beside Kostreba in a battle for the lead. The race would now go to the checkered without further interruptions, and lap after lap, Doughty and Kostreba would battle for the lead, side by side. Kostreba had the inside line with Doughty outside him and Kostreba had Clark pinned to his rear bumper also as the top three continued lap after lap, side by side. Kostreba would throw his car hard into the corners, holding the inside line but Doughty would stay right with him and pull up beside him on every lap.

They came right down to the wire in the same fashion. Starter Troy Holder showed them the white flag as both were pushing as hard as they could into turn one. However, Kostreba’s car would break traction for just a second and as his car’s nose pushed up the track, Doughty would clear him and shoot into the lead. Clark then dove inside Kostreba as they raced down the back chute for the final time.

At the line, Doughty was the winner by a car length while Kostreba held on by inches to edge Clark for second. Cody Kummer finished a strong fourth and Sam Fankhauser, subbing for Don Cook, came from twentieth to round out the top five.

Halopka has had a frustrating year at Rice Lake, being involved in several accidents not of his doing and not producing the results that he normally does. However, Saturday he got untracked and won his first Midwest Modified feature of the year here, fighting off all challenges from Kevin Adams to take the win.

Josh Wahlstrom led his first laps of the year in the early going with pressure from Mark Thomas who almost made a pass for the lead on the outside. However, Halopka came on strong and was able to duck to the inside and take over the lead. Once in front, he was able to put some distance on the field while a big battle for second broke out among Wahlstrom, Thomas, Adams, Tommy Richards, Austin Ellis and Calvin Iverson. By the time they got that fight sorted out, Halopka had taken advantage of the situation to move away from the rest of the pack.

Adams was eventually able to work into second and he set off after the leader but the final nine laps of the race stayed under the green and despite trying all lines on the track, Adams was not able to cut into the margin and Halopka drove home with room to spare for the win. The win was his one hundred and ninety ninth career win, many of which he earned at Rice Lake as the all time feature win leader in the Midwest Modifieds. Ellis came shooting up at the end as the point leader finished third ahead of Richards and Wahlstrom.

While it was a good night for the Doughty family, it was also a good night for the Richards family too. Besides George’s Pure Stock win, brother Tommy won the Super Stock feature also. Incredibly, it was the first ever Super Stock win for Richards, who has had much success at area tracks but has never found victory lane at Rice Lake, until Saturday.

The early going in the race found Cody Kummer and Ryan Kostreba battling for the top spot with each taking a shot as being the leader. Two early yellows slowed the pace but then the last sixteen laps of the main went nonstop. Richards steadily worked his way to the front from the fourth row, fighting his way past Aaron Wilson and Randy Spacek to get toward the front, where he could take on the top two racers.

Richards was very fast on the bottom and he was able to drive under both Kostreba and Kummer and take over the lead. Once in front, he methodically began to pull away and by the end of the race, he had nearly a straightaway lead on the field. Kummer and Kostreba spent most of the event fighting for second place before Kummer, the Super Stock rookie, took the spot. Spacek made things interesting by running the very high side of the track and he passed several cars to take fourth, with Kosbreba just nipping him at the line while Wilson completed the top five. Richards became the ninth different winner in the Super Stocks already this year.

Speaking of different winners, Oestreich became the seventh different Modified winner and earned his first ever feature win at Rice Lake, as he took the early lead, gave it to Mike Anderson and then battled back to take the win in the closing laps.

The Modifieds had a tough time of it on Saturday with five yellows in the first ten laps as aggressive driving led to some encounters in the early going. While all this was happening, Oestreich had led from the opening green flag but was challenged by Jason Richardson and Mark Hansen in the early going.

The race saw short bursts of racing, followed by yellow flags to sort out the issues between the drivers, with serious, non stop racing finally breaking out in the last half of the event.

Anderson had worked his way up from the third row gradually and using the high and middle lanes, moved in to challenge Oestreich and blew past him on the front chute for the lead. However, Oestreich, who was committed to the low side, fought back and gradually he reeled in Anderson and with just a few laps left, was able to repass the #57 for the lead.

Anderson would not give up and dove hard into each corner, pulling up beside Oestreich but then Justin would edge away out of the corners. At the finish, it was Oestreich by the narrowest of margins and both the front runners were probably lucky the race ended when it did as Dave Cain made a late rush and was closing fast on both of the leaders. Hansen took another top five with Ashley Anderson surviving a wheel banging issue at midrace to come from fifteenth and complete the top five.

A solid field of ninety four cars signed in to race on the last Saturday night before the speedway takes its annual break for the Barron County Fair next week. But after the break, the speedway returns with two of its biggest nights, back to back to close out the month of July.

On Saturday night, July 28th , the Late Models join the regular five divisions for their second appearance of the year at the track. This time it will be a Wollak Construction WISSOTA Challenge Series race along with the regular five divisions. Late Model fans will get to see the largest field of Late Models at the track all season on that night as they race for a $2,000 top prize.

Then, on Tuesday night, July 31st, the nationally recognized twenty fourth annual Street Stock “Little Dream” race will take center stage. Last year fifty seven drivers from the Upper Midwest and Canada were on hand to race for the big money, with Minnesota’s Keith Tourville going home with $15,400 for his efforts. The hopes are that 2018 will bring even more drivers and hopefully, continue to break records for the total purse. Entries are already starting to roll in for the event from drivers all over the Upper Midwest. The rain date for that event is Wednesday night, August 1st. The speedway will then take off on Saturday, August 4th.

Watch the speedway website for updates and announcements concerning both events or check the speedway face book page.

Wiltrout Becomes Repeat Winner at Jennerstown Speedway

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

(Jennerstown, PA) Former Champion, Garry Wiltrout, became the second driver to win more than once, in the Martella’s Pharmacies RUSH Late Model division of racing at the Jennerstown Speedway Complex on Saturday night, July 14, 2018. Anthony Aiello (Stoystown Auto Wreckers RUSH Modifieds) and Andrew Pluta (Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinders) were also repeat winners, as Mountain Ridge ATV Park and Wheeler Bros. Inc. sponsored the racing action, and the “Salute to the Armed Forces” night. Two divisions, competed in their biggest races of the year, in memory of Hall of Famer Bill Awtey: Josh Coughenour won the J&J Truck Equipment RUSH Street Stocks special event, and Adam Kostelnik won the big race for Farmers Union Co-Op Chargers.

Mike “Hollywood” Hemminger started the 30-lap Martella’s Pharmacies RUSH Late Model feature from the pole position, with recent winner Garry Wiltrout alongside. When the green flag was displayed, a “false start” forced a second attempt at completing the first lap, and Hemminger was penalized two positions, for launching early. Zane Ferrell inherited the top spot, but before the first lap was officially scored, a controversial incident damaged two cars, and forced another restart. At the back of the pack, Joe Maruca and point standings leader Barry Awtey made contact, resulting in a spin by Awtey. When the race officially began, former Champion Wiltrout grabbed the early lead, from rookie Ferrell. Ferrell, a former Modified Champion, successfully defended the runner-up spot from the repeated challenges of Hemminger during the first nine laps. Them, a caution flag was needed for Awtey, who’s car rolled to a stop on the backstretch, during a night of races dedicated to his late father. Awtey, the leading winner of 2018, returned to the track after a quick pit stop. But, just before green flag racing resumed, Awtey drove into the side of Maruca’s car, destroying much of the bodywork on both machines. Although the field was rolling toward the green flag, the incident did occur under caution flag conditions, and track officials disqualified Awtey for his retaliatory actions against Maruca, who Awtey believed was responsible for the incident on lap one. Officials kept the two quarrelling race teams separated in the pit area, and “shouting-at-a-distance” was the only repercussion. Racing resumed with Wiltrout leading Ferrell, and Jeremiah Kuntz. Kuntz, the defending Track Champion, passed Hemminger for third place and began to challenge for the second spot. On lap twelve, Kuntz became the runner-up, passing Ferrell, while Wiltrout enjoyed a sizable lead. Four laps later, Hemminger claimed third position, moving around Ferrell. In the closing laps, Wiltrout displayed impressive strength, pulling even farther away from opening night winner, Kuntz. Wiltrout’s prior 2018 win, was a memorable duel with young Maruca and a close finish. As Wiltout, of Somerset, PA, crossed the finish line for his second win of the year, he was comfortably ahead of all challengers, and cruised to victory lane with an empty rearview mirror. Only Awtey had won more than once this season, before Wiltrout steered the Stone & Company/Franjo Construction/Meegan Ford to his second triumph. Kuntz, Hemminger, Ferrell, and Bryan Shipp placed second through fifth. Wiltrout and Kuntz also won the heat races.

Stoystown Auto Wreckers RUSH Modified division rookie Anthony Aiello continued unprecedented dominance, after starting in the fourth position on the grid, for the 20-lap feature race. Pole starter Tom Golik led the first lap, but two early crashes forced a pair of restarts. With multiple cars unable to continue, due to damage, Golik held the top spot with Matt Smith in pursuit as racing resumed. Golik, a two-time winner in 2017 is seeking his first win of this year, and held the lead until lap eight. Aiello, passed Smith for second place, and then passed veteran Golik for first place on consecutive laps. Aiello, from the Pittsburgh neighborhood of White Oak, PA, distanced himself from the rest of the field, while his good friend Adam Kostelnik advanced, late in the race. Kostelink, the winner one week prior, started in tenth place, and with two laps to go, he took the runner-up position from Golik. When the checkered flag waved, Aiello had a tremendous lead, and notched his sixth victory of the year. Kostelnik, Golik, Dustin Gursky, and Jim Bodziak completed the list of top five finishers. Aiello and Kostelnik were the winners of the preliminary heat races. Although Smith crossed the finish line in fourth place, his car did not meet the minimum weight requirement, during post-race inspection.

The longest distance, and highest paying race of the year for the J&J Truck Equipment RUSH Street Stocks, had fans on their feet and screaming at the conclusion. The “Bill Awtey Tribute Race,” 25-laps in length, began with young Zac Todaro taking the lead, from the pole position. Seemingly on the cusp of his first victory, Todaro led for 14 laps, defending his position from the challenges of recent winner Mel Wilt, early in the race. Point-standings leader Josh Coughenour started in sixth place, and claimed the second spot on lap seven. After an entertaining duel with Todaro, Coughenour became the leader on lap 15, and at the same time, defending Champion Lauren Butler advanced to second place. For the final ten laps, Butler chased and challenged Coughenour, often pulling alongside the leader and whipping the fans into a frenzy. Just like several of their memorable battles from 2017, Butler and Coughenour raced clean, and without contact with one another. At the finish line, Coughenour claimed the special event win, by a narrow margin, in another thrilling conclusion with Butler in striking distance. Although four different drivers have won in the division this year, Coughenour is the only multiple winner, claiming four trophies. Butler, seeking her first win of 2018, placed second ahead of Wilt, Todaro, and previous week’s winner Jeremy Shaffer. Coughenour and Butler each won a heat race.

The lead battle erupted with just five laps to go, in the biggest race of the year for the Farmers Union Co-Op Charger division. The 20-lap affair began with defending Champion and recent winner Jason Pritts taking the lead from rookie Dan Jackson. Jackson led the first lap of his asphalt racing career, as he is in transition from dirt track competition. Adam Kostelnik, competing occasionally in the division as a teammate to point leader Dale Kimberly, started in seventh place and was challenging Pritts for the lead, as early as lap ten. On lap 15, the leaders touched, and Pritts spun from the top spot, but made a skillful “save” to avoid a caution-flag incident or contact with the wall. Kostelnik secured the lead with the aggressive move, and drove to his first Charger division win, with teammate Kimberly finishing second after starting in twelfth place. Rookie Casey Fleegle, veteran Scott Mitchell, and Pritts crossed the finish line in top five positions. Just like the race’s namesake Bill Awtey, Kostelnik is also a driver and race car builder.

Andrew Pluta is now the leading winner in the Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinder division. Pluta started in the seventh spot, but was leading by the second lap, passing defending Champ Brent Bickerstaff. Pluta cruised to his third win of 2018, unchallenged over the 15-lap distance. Bickerstaff, Casey Fleegle, previous week’s winner Evan Nibert, and Joe Laposky crossed the finish line in positions two through five respectively. Nibert and Bickerstaff were the heat race winners.

Saturday, July 21st, Jennerstown Speedway Complex presents “Motor Mountain Mania,” with five division racing, plus an exhibit of antique and vintage race cars from the Eastern Museum of Racing. Gates open at 4pm with racing at 6pm. Adult general admission tickets are just ten $10, and children ages 12 and under are admitted free.

Whitling and Lunger win big at Stateline Speedway!

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Busti, PA: On a hot July night 128 cars line up and raced for the checkers with Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks and the Elite/Pro Mods Hosting Touring events with extra cash and prestige on the line. Bobby Whitling, in his first appearance at Stateline, took over the lead with five laps remaining to win the Homak Penn-Ohio Pro Stock feature and the $1200 winner’s purse. In the Elite series event Dennis Lunger dominated, grabbing the lead at the drop of the green and never having a serious challenge on his way to his fourth win in as many ProMod races held this season at the track.

In other classes Max Blair continued to dominate the RUSH Crate Late Model division, gaining his third victory in as many appearances and winning his first Overhead Door of Jamestown Super Late Model feature of the year at Stateline. Lunger also prevailed for his third consecutive Rusted Nuts Garage E-Mod Feature win at Stateline. In total, Lunger now has seven wins at Stateline in 2018. For Chris Horton, he scored his first-ever feature victory in a time-shortened, caution-plagued feature that only ran two laps before the checkers fell at the maximum time allowed for the event.

Kyle Scott, in the car usually driven by Jeremy Williams, and last week’s winner, Dennis Lunger, were the front row for the 20-lap, 20-car Elite/ProMod feature. Lunger took the immediate lead and opened a half straight lead by five laps complete. Yellow flew at six laps when Jarrod Silvis and Nate Young got together just out of turn two as Lunger was closing on the rear of the field. For the green it was Lunger leading Scott, Adam Ashcroft, Chad Carlson, and Scott Gurdak. At eight laps Ashcroft was second as the yellow flew again for Silvis, spun in turn three. In turn two on the restart Bryon Johnson looped his mount. At the end of nine laps Stu Rickard and Silvis got together in turn four. As it was Silvis’ third caution, his night was over. Lunger again led after green and again began to distance himself from his pursuers. Ashcroft ran second with Scott third, when, at lap thirteen, Bryon Johnson and Josh Beckstrom tangled in turn two. Lunger was still the leader at lap fifteen when Nick Mohawk spun in turn two. For the five lap run to the checkers it was Lunger, Ashcroft, Kyle Scott, Scott Gurdak, and Justin Carlson. Kyle Scott got back to second on the restart but only one more lap was complete when Matt Harvey spun in turn two. Carlson was up to third with two laps left but Lunger was on his way to his third in a row and fourth on the season at Stateline. The top five at the finish were Lunger, Ashcroft, Justin Carlson, Kyle Scott, and Gurdak.

Ryan Newman and Bobby Whitling were the front row for the Homak Penn-Ohio Pro Stock 25-lap feature paying $1200 to win. Newman took the immediate lead but Paul Davis, Nick Kocuba, and John Volpe piled up in turn four on lap two, setting up the first restart of event. Newman again led after green with Whitling in hot pursuit. Chris McGuire came to third at five complete. At six laps Whitling was challenging for the lead but Newman was in front again at seven. On the back straight on lap ten Whitling got alongside the leader again but again fell into line at the end of the lap. Yellow flew at fourteen laps with John Boardman, Shane Applebee, and Paul Nelson involved in turn four. Past track champion Dave Shagla was third at sixteen laps with Whitling again next to the leader at seventeen when Luke Rutsky spun in turn two, again slowing the race and putting Whitling behind the leader. Shagla was next to Whitling at eighteen laps with a three way battle for the lead at nineteen. Whitling was half a length in the lead at five laps left and extending his advantage at twenty one when Bill Applebee spun in turn four. On the caution laps Jeff Broniszerso, Chris Withers, and Anthony Marotto got together while trying to get lined up, but all were able to continue. With four laps left it was Whitling, Newman, Shagla, Chris Schneider, and John Boardman. Shagla was second at three laps remaining but Boardman was back to the spot with two left to go. At the white flag Whitling had a two length lead and went on to the win by .351 second over John Boardman, Dave Shagla Jr, Chris Schneider, and Rob Shook.

Darrell Bossard and Matt Sipes were at the front of the RUSH Crate Late Model feature, running for twenty laps. Bossard grabbed the lead at green with third starting Max Blair second at the end of the lap. Paul Norman drew the first caution with a spin in turn four at the end of the first lap. Blair came by Bossard on lap two for the lead, looking for his third win of the season in as many weeks. Scott Gurdak was challenging Bossard using the high line at seven laps and nosed into second at eight. Blair had a quarter lap lead at halfway over Gurdak, Bossard, Bob Craig, and Jason Genco. On lap eleven Chad Schauers and Darrin Waldron spun in turn four. Will Pinckney was sent to the rear for his part in the caution. Genco was fourth at lap thirteen when yellow flew again, for Nick Snayczak, stopped in turn four. Blair extended his lead over the rest of the event, winning over Gurdak, Bossard, Genco, and Matthew Sipes.

The Overhead Door of Jamestown Super Late Model feature had Greg Oakes and Max Blair at the head of the field for the green, both looking for their first Super Late Model win at Stateline in 2018. Blair showed the way right from the start with Oakes, Chris Hackett, Ryan Scott, and Wyatt Scott filling out the top five. Ryan Scott and Hackett were side by side at four laps for third with Scott holding the spot at five laps. At seven laps Blair had a half straight lead. At ten laps Hackett was again third and at eleven it was a three-way fight for second. Hackett got the position at twelve laps. At halfway it was Blair, Hackett, Oakes, Ryan Scott and Bossard. With one to go Blair was in lapped traffic and still lengthening his lead. At the end of the all-green feature. Blair had nearly a half lap lead, winning by 8.7 seconds over Hackett, Ryan Scott, Oakes, and Bossard.

Tim Peterson and Justin Carlson led the Outlaw E-Mods to green with Peterson leading third starting Greg Johnson at the end of one. At five laps it was still Peterson over Johnson, Dennis Lunger, Carlson, and Butch Southwell. The battle for third was side by side at halfway while the fight for the lead was heating up as Johnson was putting serious pressure on Peterson. At lap thirteen Lunger joined the lead battle and had the front to himself at fourteen. Peterson and Johnson tussled over second with Johnson getting alongside at laps sixteen through nineteen when Peterson again had the spot but Johnson was there on the final lap, edging out Peterson the runner up spot. Justin Carlson was fourth with Butch Southwell fifth.

Chris Horton and Rory Houser were the front row for the Challenger feature. With Horton leading lap one just as caution flew for debris in turn three. At green Holden Heineman went by for the lead but Steve Markham spun in turn one, restoring Horton to the front for the restart and Houser back to second with Heineman third, Joe Karash fourth, and Joey Karash fifth. Horton again led until caution flew at two laps when Jaycob Courtney came to a halt on the back stretch. On this green it was a three way battle with Horton, Heineman, and Mitchell Rex but caution awaited at the end of the lap for Jasmine Markham, Tommy LaBarbara, and Charles Sullivan, tangled in turn two. Karash had moved into third at the time of caution. At this point the time limit for the event passed so it was declared complete. The top five were Horton, Heineman, Karash, Rex, and Dillon Speer.

ABC ‘Pure Excitement’ Win to Hanson. Simpson repeats; Lavasseur, Graham earn checkers

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

Ashland, WI, — Andrew Hanson of Iron River took the lead after a late-race restart, then held on for the final five laps to become the 13th different winner of the “Pure Excitement” WISSOTA Pure Stock feature at the ABC Raceway on Saturday. Sixteen Pure Stocks came to compete for an enhanced purse during the 15th annual running of the special event for the entry-level division, presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club. They were joined by 52 WISSOTA Modifieds and Midwest Modifieds and ABC Six-Cylinders for a full night of racing action in hot, humid conditions on a fast, racy track.

Hanson, the Raceway’s 2017 Pure Stock points champ, came into the night as the division’s points leader and started the 20-lap headline event on the inside of row 3, but the battle early on was between pole starter Randy Graham and 2013 “Pure Excitement” winner Al Rapp. The front-row pair pulled away early and entertained the crowd with almost two full laps of door-to-door racing before Rapp worked his way by for the lead. The race was stopped five laps in for debris on the track, and Hanson, who had worked his way into third, moved by Graham to claim second on the restart. A lap later, Graham looped his ride coming off of turn 2, and all but Aaron Bernick managed to avoid the stopped car. James Vendela took advantage of his outside-second-row restart position and swept around Hanson for second, then repeated the move to grab the lead from Rapp. Vendela built a nice margin as Hanson and Brandon Hakala worked by Rapp as well, but the cushion disappeared with Austin Gibson’s stalled ride on the front straight with eight laps remaining.

Hanson stayed with Vendela for two laps after the restart and completed an inside move for what would be the winning pass, just before Graham’s car spun again to stop the action on lap 15. Over the final laps Hanson pulled to a 1.374-second margin of victory, while Hakala went around Vendela for second, only to see Vendela go by again with two laps remaining. Kyle Copp cruised in the top-five for most of the race and came home a distant fourth. Visiting CJ Wagner, who lost a heat win earlier in the night due to a minor technical infraction and had to start last on the 16-car grid, was tagged for a different penalty during the post-feature inspection and lost his fifth-place finish, which was awarded to Cory Jorgensen.

Steve Lavasseur, who travels from River Falls each week to race at Ashland, dominated the 20-lap WISSOTA Modified feature to claim his first A-main win here since August 2015. Lavasseur started on the outside of row 1 and won the race with polesitter Cody Carlson out of turn 2 to claim a lead which he never surrendered. As Lavasseur flew away from the field, Carlson slipped back behind Paul Niznik to third, while Darrell Nelson sped around Neil Balduc to fourth. The first 11 laps clicked off without delay, during which Lavasseur had opened up a lead of over 3.99 seconds, or roughly the length of a straightaway, on Niznik.

Jacob Hiatt’s spun car slowed the fast pace, and on the ensuing restart contact from Nelson set off a wild series of spins on the front straight for several cars, including Nelson’s. The final nine laps ran off without any further delay, allowing Lavasseur to extend his lead to a final winning margin of 2.2 seconds. Behind him, Carlson used an inside pass of Niznik to take over second for the balance of the run, and on the final lap Pat Cook slipped past Niznik for third. Tenth-starting Todd Gehl completed the top five.

David Simpson of Thunder Bay, ON, took advantage of several restarts during the first half of the 20-lap run to climb through the 26-car WISSOTA Midwest Mod feature field. He then grabbed the lead with ten laps to go and held on for his second-straight win at ABC. Despite a lap 1 spin by Brady Jokinen, youngster Jared Stricker drove like a seasoned veteran for the first ten laps, beating polestarter Clay Passuello out of the first turn and setting the initial pace. Stricker ran a smooth middle-groove line as he held off repeated attacks, first from former track champ George Dalbeck, and then from another impressive Canadian, Colin Chaschuk, who took the runner-up spot from Dalbeck on lap 6.

Just after Chaschuk’s pass, Justin Weinberger’s car slowed on the back chute, collecting visitor Dave DeVente. On the ensuing restart a large portion of the field gathered in a melee in turn 1 to immediately stop the show again. Dalbeck retook second on the next green flag, and Simpson – who had started 11th – climbed into the top five with a pass of Brandon Copp, but another four-car collection a lap later brought about another yellow flag. During this caution stop, Chaschuk pulled his ride into the pit area for some minor repairs, leaving Stricker with Dalbeck and Simpson behind him for the restart. The first try was waived off due to debris on the track, but on the next attempt Simpson drove strong below Dalbeck and Stricker, and as the crossed flags indicating mid-race were shown to the field, Simpson was leading the way.

A Passuello spin on lap 12 stopped the race for the final time, and from there Simpson drew away to a second-and-a-half advantage at the checkers. Tanner Hicks had captured second just before the last yellow flag, but he lost it on the restart to Paul Suzik, who, like Simpson, had started deep in the field but used the restarts to claw his way forward. The 18th-starting Suzik held on for second, and Copp fought back to take third from Hicks with five laps left. Dan Kingsley never fell far from the top five and wound up fifth.

Graham used a late restart to get by Jake Nevala and took honors in the ABC Six-Cylinder main event. Nevala sped around the front-row starting pair of Devin Dalbec and rookie Jordan Pearce to take the initial lead, bringing Adam Traaholt along to second. Nevala was impressive in running a smooth, fast middle-groove line to put some distance on Traaholt, who had his hands full with a large pack of cars trying to get by him. With Traaholt taking to the high side, Steve Stuart slipped down a lane and pulled into second, but that also opened the bottom groove for the seventh-starting Graham, who followed into third. Then Traaholt got bumped and spun on lap 5, collecting DeJay Jarecki and bringing out the caution flag.

On the next lap Graham worked past Stuart, and then Pearce got loose and collected several of his racing mates to bring the race to a stop again. From there the final nine laps ran clean, and after Graham worked his way around Nevala for the lead on the restart he was gone, building a 1.4-second lead within a lap, while Nevala contended with divisional points leader Tiffany Hudack. Graham eventually ran off to a 2.55-second buffer at the checkers, while Nevala did a fine job fending off Hudack for second. Stuart faded back to a distant fourth, and Pearce fought back for fifth-place money.

Three of the four fast-lap bonuses went to feature winners – Lavasseur in the Mods (16.570 seconds / 81.472 mph); Graham in the Sixes (18.412 / 73.322); and Hanson in the Pure Stocks (19.320 / 69.876). Only Kingsley in the Mid-Mods (17.435 / 77.430) did not tack on his fast-lap bonus to a feature winner’s paycheck. The WISSOTA Super Stocks were off on this night. The fourth race of the five-night, five-track FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series will hit the ABC Raceway on Saturday, July 21. The program is expected to draw upwards of 50 Super Stocks from across the region, racing for a shot at a $700 first-place check as well as the $1,300 Series championship payoff and other points fund and contingency awards.

As an added bonus, fans will be admitted to the grandstand free of charge, complements of Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland, provided they make a contribution to at least one of the two fundraisers as part of the night’s activities – either a cash donation to the Ashland and Bayfield County chapters of the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” program, or a donation of non-perishable food items to be presented to The Brick Ministries of Ashland. WISSOTA Midwest Mods and Pure Stocks, plus the ABC Six-Cylinders, will also be on hand; “big Mods” will have the night off.

Hot laps will begin at 6:15 pm, with racing set to start at 7. “Z-93 Race Night” will air live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and stream online at, from 4:30-6 pm with at-the-track news and weather updates; fans can also listen by downloading the free HCG Radio app onto their smart phone, tablet or other mobile device. The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road. For more information log onto the track’s website, or on race days call (715) 682-4990.