Ashland, WI — Dave Flynn of Superior took home his first feature win since May 2012 on Saturday night at the ABC Raceway, on a night in which the track’s past champions were honored.
Also during the “Turn Back the Clock” Night program, presented by the Bad River Lodge, Casino & Convention Center, Jeff Spacek Phillips and Mike Truscott of Chippewa Falls were dominant in their feature runs, while Hayward’s Dale Coddington and Ashland’s Matt Deragon worked hard for their wins. The AmsOil Dirt Track Series race program included the annual visit by the Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers group, with ten restored race machines traveling from as far away as the Twin Cities area to perform on the red-clay oval.
Track officials kept one eye on the weather all day, as dark skies and brisk temperatures threatened to put a damper on the program, but the conditions actually helped the racing surface stay smooth and tacky-fast all night long.
Flynn, who started outside on the front row for the WISSOTA Super Stock 20-lap A-feature, edged ahead of pole-starter Wayne Stricker for the initial lead, and after Nick Oreskovich worked an outside move on Stricker to take second on lap 2, Andy Grymala’s spin brought out the first of four caution flags. The second slowdown came when Grymala’s car broke loose and ground to a stop just short of nosing into the guard rail at the turn 3 pit exit. Flynn battled Oreskovich, Scott Lawrence and Stricker in close formation over the next 13 uninterrupted laps, with positions swapping constantly during the run. After working past Oreskovich on lap 8 for second, Lawrence used a similar inside line to overtake Flynn for the lead one circuit later. The four-car skirmish became a seven-car dogfight over the next few laps, as Cory Casari, Randy Spacek and Curt Myers drew near. Lawrence was able to sneak away to a one-second lead until the action came to a screeching halt on lap 16, when the cars of Oreskovich and Stricker, while racing for second, became entangled in turn 2. Both drivers limped their cars to the work area to change flat tires, and both rejoined the race. Flynn, who restarted second alongside Myers, used the outside line to claw his way past Lawrence for the lead, with Shawn McFadden Jr following in his tire tracks to second. Myers then spun after the field took the white flag, taking himself out of the hunt, and Flynn held on for the final sprint to the finish for his first win here in over two years. The tenth-stating McFadden, Lawrence, Stricker and Spacek followed as the field finished in a tight-knit pack.
DJ Keeler finished seventh in the event and claimed a $100 bonus presented by the Raceway, based on a random drawing of the eligible finishing position in the event combined with the fact that he displayed the commemorative 50th Anniversary decal on his car.
Only one late caution flag slowed a lightning-fast Jeff Spacek in the WISSOTA Modified 20-lap headliner. Rick Rivord outran polesitter Paul Niznik to lead the first four laps, until Bill Byholm worked his way to the point with an low-line pass. Spacek, who started outside on row 3, used a similar move to take second from Rivord on lap 5, and the next time around he worked the high side to steal the lead away. From there Spacek was long gone, posting near-record laps on his way to a 2.15-second lead just past mid-race. Visitor Kevin Adams slipped into second on lap 7, but it would take a caution flag to give Adams a chance at the win.
He got his wish in the form of a spin by another infrequent guest – Donnie Lofdahl – and restarted just behind Spacek’s left-rear tire on lap 13. But the former six-time ABC champ pulled away on the restart, and a rare bobble by Adams offered Byholm a chance to slip by for second. Byholm and Steve Stuart then swapped the runner-up spot via a series of cross-over slides, allowing Spacek to walk away to his 54th career win at Ashland.
By the time Stuart finally secured second on lap 16, Spacek’s lead was nearing three seconds. Adams grabbed third away from Byholm one last time with three laps left, and Steve Lavasseur wasn’t far back in fifth at the checkers. In a similarly dominant performance, Truscott took over the WISSOTA Midwest Modified 15-lap feature shortly after a restart and walked off to his second win here this season. Polesitter Paul Suzik ran a strong race early, pacing Cole Spacek, Jeff Klopstein, John Kallas and the eighth-starting Truscott until Dennis Baldwin’s spin on lap 3 slowed things down. Truscott took advantage of his situation on the race’s only restart, passing Kallas, Klopstein and Spacek on successive laps before drawing alongside Suzik and making the winning pass on lap 6. Three tours later he put Baldwin a lap down as he set a torrid pace.
By the time Truscott took the checkered flag his lead was nearly two full seconds, giving him two wins in as many race nights at Ashland this season and his ninth career ABC win, including eight in the Mid-Mods, which is now second-most all-time in that division here. Suzik was impressive throughout the run, holding off and eventually pulling away from Spacek for second, while Klopstein took fourth ahead of Paul Niznik, who ran well all night in both his “big” and “little” mods.
Coddington’s 19th career ABC Raceway win in the Six-Cylinder main event wasn’t a cakewalk, as caution flags kept a very determined Tyler Hudack close to his trunklid for most of the 15-lap run. After rookie Marcus Dunbar spun in the first corner to start the race, Coddington restarted directly behind polesitter Colten Vernon, and the defending champ quickly dispatched with the rookie to take the lead. After Tiffany Hudack slipped by Vernon for second, debris on the track brought out a second yellow-flag slowdown. Tyler Hudack – who began the race dead-last on the 11-car grid – completed a daring thread-the-needle move between Jeremy Lindquist and Zach Pagels to take fourth just before the third-running Vernon looped his ride just as Lindquist tagged the turn 2 guard rail on lap 3.
Tyler Hudack’s first pass of Tiffany for second was negated by Aaron Mashlan’s car slapping the turn 2 wall on lap 4, but he repeated the move on the restart and stayed right on Coddington’s rear push bar for the next few laps before Coddington finally drew away, leading by as much as .89 seconds before catching slower traffic. Tiffany Hudack was well back of Tyler in third, and Forrest Schultz and Pagels completed the top five.
Deragon’s Pure Stock feature win was a nailbiter as well, as he led a four-car pack to the final stripe. Deragon started the 12-lapper behind pole-starter and former track champ Glenn Dammer, who had his hands full dealing with early pressure by Brandle Pupp. Deragon used the inside groove to work past Pupp for second on lap 2, bringing Terran Spacek in tow to third, and then he continued on under Dammer into the lead just before Tim Carbon’s spin on lap 5 stalled the pace. Carbon spun again a lap after the restart, and from there things got interesting. Spacek got a run on Deragon for the lead on lap 6, and then Deragon took the point back on the next lap – all the while barely keeping Dammer and Pupp behind them. Deragon had the last say, however, with four laps remaining, and held on for his second win to start the season, with Spacek, Dammer and Pupp close behind. Jeff Christman scored fifth-place money from a short distance.
Mike Pappenfus of Osceola steered his early-’70s Camaro to one of the two Vintage-Car feature wins, and Ken Sabby of River Falls took the other in his beautiful blue winged super-modified.
On a night when the fastest timed laps in each of the four electronically-scored features was within 0.156 seconds of each division’s respective track records, the smooth, wide red-clay oval produced fast laps for Mike Truscott in the Mid-Mods – who did set a new track record at 16.935 seconds – and Tyler Hudack in the Sixes (18.048).
During intermission, the Raceway honored 39 of the over 85 drivers who have won points championships at the track since 1966: Ryan Adamzak, Patrick Beeksma, Bob Brevak, Tim Carbon, Chad Carlson, Cory Casari, Dale Coddington, Glenn Dammer, Matt Deragon, Duane Dunbar, James Eliason, Mel Ferguson, Ray Gregor, Dennis Groom, Larry Haderly, Chuck Hawkinson, Tony Hicks, Mark Hudack, Jim Latvala, Scott Lawrence, Ross Lightner, Bob Mattson, Tim McMann, Brian Mikkonen, the late Rich Morrison (represented by his son), Nick Nye, Travis Nye, Mickey Nosser, Bob Root, the late Don Roseen (represented by his wife Joyce), Dan Shefchik, Jeff Spacek, Randy Spacek, Steve Stuart, Ron Swanson, Al Uotinen, Rob Weber, Ron Weinberger, and Jule Wilcox.
The Raceway staff served a special champions’ luncheon and provided tours of the facility to their honored guests, and each champion was presented a commemorative t-shirt marking the celebration.
On Saturday, June 21, the ABC Raceway will join forces with Northern Clearing Inc and the Ashland-Bayfield County “Relay for Life” chapter to hold a “Race to Finish the Fight Against Cancer” fundraiser at the track. All proceeds from the sale of “split-the-pot” tickets and specially-offered t-shirts and bumper stickers will go toward the worthy cause. In addition, the rescheduled Kids’ “Meet the Drivers” Night activities, presented by Little Caesar’s Pizza, will also take place prior to the program.
Hot laps are set for 6:15 pm, and racing is set to start at 7. “Race Night” will air live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and stream online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30-6 pm with at-the-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,