Ashland, WI, — It’s not the way the officials at the ABC Raceway wanted to end the 2016 regular racing season, but another day of rainy weather forced their hand into cancelling “Championship Saturday Night.”
The WISSOTA PolyDome Dirt Track Series program, set to be presented by Pepsi, North Star Beverage of Hurley, and WIMI, 99.7 FM, of Ironwood, MI, would have included the crowning of the Raceway’s 2016 divisional points champions. The program was to also include the once-already-postponed 13th annual “Pure Excitement 25″ special for WISSOTA Pure Stocks, to be presented by the Ashland-Bayfield County Sportsmen’s Club.
With the cancellation of the final two race nights of the summer, the track champs end up being those drivers who led the points standings after the August 13 show.
Neil Balduc of Bessemer, MI, wins the WISSOTA Modified title by the slimmest of the winning margins at the track this season – a mere six points over Ashland’s Steve Stuart. It is Balduc’s first career points title in only his fourth season in the “big Mods” and seventh season of racing at ABC overall.
The WISSOTA Super Stock crown will belong to Mason’s Nick Oreskovich, whose final points advantage over Scott Lawrence of Superior was 23. Oreskovich won this division’s points championship at AmsOil Speedway in Superior in 2015, but this is his first title at his home track.
Paul Suzik winds up being the only driver to successfully defend his title here. The fifth-year driver from Ironwood, MI, finishes 23 points ahead of Tanner Hicks of Ashland in the final WISSOTA Midwest Modified standings.
Ashland’s Tiffany Hudack made ABC Raceway history in 2014 as the first female driver to win a division title here, and now she has her second, both in the ABC Six-Cylinder class. Hudack’s 51-point advantage over Scott Ovaska of Marengo was the largest among the five divisional leaders after the August 13 show.
Justin Weinberger of Park Falls raced to his first career points championship in Superior on Friday night, but on Saturday the weather helped him nail down his second title. The second-year driver from Park Falls used a healthy 41-point lead over Andrew Hanson of Iron River to score the 2016 WISSOTA Pure Stock crown.
The “Pure Excitement 25″ will not be run in 2016; however, organizers of that event will be contacting those who have contributed to the special event’s purse to see if they would like their donations returned or leave the contributions in the fund for the 2017 version of the race.
Next up for race fans at the award-winning three-eighths-mile northern Wisconsin oval is the 41st annual Red Clay Classic, presented by FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland and Tim’s Automotive Machine of Bloomer, on September 30-October 1. Upwards of 200 WISSOTA Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Mods will be competing for their share of a purse currently set at over $86,000, during the traditional season finale for stock car racing in the Northland.
More information on the Red Clay Classic will be made available in the weeks to come, in this publication and on the Raceway’s website, www.abcraceway.com.
The ABC Raceway is located 3-1/2 miles south of Ashland on State Highway 13 and one mile west on Butterworth Road.