Ashland, WI — On Saturday night, the ABC Raceway will honor some very special people, while also giving the WISSOTA Modifieds a chance to make a little extra cash. The first-ever group of drivers, volunteers and contributors will be formally inducted into the new ABC Raceway Hall of Fame during intermission of Saturday’s five-division race program, presented by the NAPA Auto Parts Stores of Ashland and Washburn.
The inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees include four outstanding former drivers, three couples and two individuals who have made significant contributions to the Raceway’s success over the past 50 years, and three honorary inductees who were instrumental in giving the venerable red-clay oval its start and help it become one of the great success stories in short-track racing in the Upper Midwest. “There is so much history, so many great memories, and so many incredible people that have made the ABC Raceway what it is today,” explained Hall of Fame spokesman Eric Erickson. “As an organization, we needed to create this in order to give the people who have done so much the recognition they deserve.
“We know there are many deserving folks who have been left out from this year’s class, but we have every intention over the next few years to pay tribute to all those who have been instrumental in making the ABC Raceway the success that it has become.”
The first-year class of inductees will include former drivers Bob Brevak, Ron Hmielewski, Bob Root, and the late Dwaine “Oulu” Erickson, while those to be inducted under the category of volunteers and contributors include Dennis Asbach, Ron and Jeanne Hmielewski, Weaver Wherritt, Earl & Chris Zar, and Bob Root and his late wife Sandy.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee also felt that it was important to include three honorary inductees who were significantly involved in the initial formation of the Ashland-Bayfield County Racing Association and creation of the ABC Raceway – the Northern State Bank; the family of the late George Vernon and their business, Northern Clearing Inc; and the late Frank and Verna Brevak, who sacrificed so much to build the facility and make it go. An invitation-only luncheon will be held Saturday afternoon for the inductees and their guests, and the formal introduction of the Class of 2014 will take place during intermission of the evening’s race program.
Also on the docket will be the season’s second special event highlighting one of the Raceway’s regular weekly divisions – the third annual “Modified Mayhem.” An enhanced purse will be offered to the track’s top division, which could attract a number of drivers who don’t frequent the track mid-season to stop in and challenge the Raceway’s regulars.
Those looking to take home the extra money on this special night include Jeff Spacek of Phillips, who sits tied for third on the track’s all-time win list after picking up feature win number 55 last Saturday night; and Ashland’s Steve Stuart, who has driven a lightning-fast car to the top of the Raceway’s “big mod” points standings and is the defending “Mayhem” winner.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks and Midwest Modifieds, and the ABC Raceway’s own Six-Cylinder and Pure Stock divisions will also be on hand to round out a complete race program.
Hot laps start at 6:15 pm, and the first green flag of the night will drop at around 7. The grandstand and pit gates open at 5 pm. Adult admission tickets (ages 13 & older) are just $10, while fans ages 12 and under are welcome in for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
“Race Night” will provide up-to-date track news and weather information live from the track on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, and online at www.wbszfm.com, from 4:30-6 pm on Saturday. 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.