Ashland, WI — East Bethel, MN’s Dave Mass used wins in each of the book-end features to become the third different champion of the FastLane Motorsports Northland Super Stock Series, held over the final two weekends of July at the ABC Raceway in Ashland, the Proctor (MN) Speedway, and the AmsOil Speedway in Superior. Fifty-five different WISSOTA Super Stock drivers from three states and the Ontario province competed for their share of over $13,000 in purse and over $21,000 in points fund and contingencies.
Wet weather forced AmsOil Speedway officials to cancel the originally-slated July 21 Series opener, thus shuffling the order of the tour stops. Nevertheless, Mass started out on the right foot by capturing his heat race at the rescheduled Series opener at ABC Raceway on July 22. Then, after an hour-and-a-half rain delay, Mass dove and dodged his way through heavy backmarker traffic and fought off a determined Scott Lawrence for his first career feature win at the award-winning northern Wisconsin red-clay oval. The Series’ second stop was then hosted by the Proctor Speedway on July 23, where Mass again claimed a heat-race win. However, neither Mass nor the rest of the field had anything for Kevin Burdick, who sped to a dominant victory on his hometown track. Lawrence finished third behind Burdick and Tim Johnson, giving him the Series’ points lead heading into the final round, as Mass faded to a seventh-place effort.
The following Friday, July 28, became the date for the Series’ finale in Superior. Lawrence, the 2016 Series champion from Superior, suffered through an abysmal night and dropped out of both his heat and the feature. This left the door open for Burdick and Mass to battle for the title. Both drivers led the A-main for extended laps, but Mass was at the point for the race’s last restart with ten laps remaining and held on to claim his first-ever feature win at AmsOil, as well as the Series championship.
Mass became the second different driver to win a heat race at all three Series stops – Cameron’s Curt Myers completed the task during his 2015 Series championship run. Mass also became the third driver to win at least two features during the three-race Series, along with Myers and Nick Oreskovich of Mason (2016). Each of this year’s Series features paid $600 to win. Mass’ effort gave him a 164-154 final points advantage over Burdick and Shane Kisling of Park Falls, who wound up tied for runner-up honors. The remainder of the top ten in points included Ashland’s Shawn McFadden Jr; Lawrence; Willie Johnsen Jr of Superior; Oreskovich; Cory Casari of Montreal and Superior’s DJ Keeler (tied); and Jeff Klopstein Jr of Tomahawk.
Of the 55 total competitors, 22 raced at all three series events, and each received bonus pay for their commitment to the tour. In addition, the Series wrote checks to 12 drivers who signed in to compete at the originally-scheduled opener at Superior but were unable to return. Series title sponsor FastLane Motorsports & Custom Powdercoating of Ashland randomly awarded $4,000 in certificates, ranging in value from $50 to $300, to the 22 drivers who recorded perfect attendance during the three-race swing.
Casari was scored as the “Hard Charger” (most positions advanced during the features) at both Proctor and Superior and received $100 bonuses for his efforts at both tracks, as well as an additional $100 as the three-race cumulative “Hard Charger,” complements of Dennis and Kathy Pattee. Burdick was the award winner at Ashland. North Country Towing of Duluth, MN, awarded $100 “long-tow” bonuses to Jon Stepan of Brandon, MN; Dan Nissalke of Winona, MN; and Klopstein, based on their distances traveled to compete at each of the three Series events. 10-Pin Racing and Phillips Lanes awarded $50 non-qualifier bonuses to two drivers at each Series event, and Northern Clearing Inc of Ashland paid out random $250 bonuses to two feature finishers at each track.
Other contingency awards included two free shock rebuilds, compliments of Kisling’s Adjustable Race Cars & Shocks, to the drivers with the sixth-best position draw prior to each event; a $33 bonus to the 33rd driver to arrive to draw at the Series opener, in memory of the late racer and car owner Don Koivisto, and a $37 bonus to the 37th driver to draw, in memory of the late racer PJ Beeksma; a $500 chassis certificate to the highest-points-finishing driver racing an Affordable chassis (won by Mass); and an AmericInn of Ashland hotel stay and Splashland passes. “Once again, the drivers, fans and sponsors stepped up to make the Northland Super Stock Series one of the most exciting and anticipated racing events in the region,” Series organizer Dennis McCauley stated recently. “It has grown beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, and already plans are underway to enhance and expand the Series for 2018.
“I can’t thank Chris Bretting of FastLane Motorsports enough for his incredible support. Without him the Series would not be the success it has become.” Bretting was equally appreciative of McCauley’s efforts, saying recently, “Dennis is the energy behind this Series. He’s done all the work to make this thing happen, and it’s easy to see that it has paid off. This is a great tour for the drivers to get behind.”