After a hard-fought early three-car battle, Parker Anderson took the lead from Cody Kummer with ten laps remaining and pulled away to win the first-ever “Battle by the Bay” WISSOTA Street Stock feature at the ABC Raceway on Saturday night.
A season-high 104 racers were entered for the program, presented by Anderson’s Body Shop of Phillips. The first appearance for WISSOTA Street Stocks at the historic northern Wisconsin speedplant since late August 2009 evolved from a simple offer to the division to run at ABC (since the home track for most of them - Rice Lake Speedway - had a scheduled Saturday night off) to a big-money special in less than a week.
Anderson’s Body Shop and other associate sponsors gathered up over $5,300 in purse and bonuses for the Street Stock feature, resulting in a track-record winner’s check for the division of $1,200.
Anderson, of Phillips, who was coming off a win at Eagle Valley Speedway in Jim Falls the night before, started alongside pole dash winner Cody Kummer on the front row, and throughout the first 15 of the 25 scheduled laps Anderson gave Kummer all he could handle, with Andrew Hanson running right on their rear bumper. The lead trio ran in extremely close formation as they pulled away from the rest of the 18-car field over the first five laps, before Kolby Kiehl’s spin brought out the first yellow flag.
Jim Randall, who restarted in fourth, tried to join the lead battle but spun to slow the pace after lap 6, and Hunter Anderson’s spin collected a couple of his fellow racers before lap 7 was scored. But after Hunter Van Guilder’s loop on lap 9 brought about another caution stop, the rest of the run went uninterrupted.
By lap 14 Kummer and Anderson had gained some separation from Hanson, and Anderson’s persistent efforts to nose by on the outside finally paid off when he edged ahead under the flagstand at the end of lap 15. From there Anderson stretched his lead to 3.25 seconds at the checkers for his first-ever feature win at the same track where his grandfather Bob won a Six-Cylinder points title in 1994. Kummer finished just ahead of Zach Manley, who had started last on the 18-car grid to earn hard-charger honors. Hanson, in his first race at ABC since his 2017 Pure Stock points title here, and Nick Traynor completed the top five.
Scott Lawrence’s last feature win in Ashland seemed like nearly as long ago as the last Street Stock race here.
“I nearly forgot how to get here,” Lawrence half-joked in Victory Lane after winning his first WISSOTA Super Stock feature at ABC since early July 2014.
After a huge crash that collected ten of the 18 starters for the 20-lap A-main, Lawrence - the 14-time track champion from Superior who won 11 Super Stock titles in a row here from 2004-14 - started on the pole and edged ahead of Andrew Mackey for the initial lead. Shawn McFadden Jr. and Terran Spacek provided Lawrence with plenty of pressure before 2019 ABC Modified champ Steve Stuart, driving Greg Kuklinski’s car, collected visiting Tucker Quinn to bring out a quick second yellow flag on lap 2.
Another big wreck at the drop of the next green flag began with contact between Mackey and Dave Flynn and eliminated or badly damaged several front-runners, but the race stayed under green for the final 18 laps, during most of which Lawrence and Spacek ran side-by-side and swapped the lead on nearly every lap. Stuart had battled back from the early back-of-the-pack penalty and swept past Cory Casari for third with six laps to go, as Lawrence finally wrestled control of the lead from Spacek.
Over the final two laps Stuart overtook Spacek and tried to reel in Lawrence, but he couldn’t get any closer than four-tenths of a second away at the checkered. Spacek claimed third, comfortably ahead of 11th-starting Matt Deragon and 15th-starting Tristan LaBarge.
The 55th win of his career at ABC ties Lawrence for fourth on the track’s all-time feature win list with another driver from Superior - Raceway Hall-of-Famer Dick Christman.
Another veteran multi-time track champ from Superior, Al Uotinen, seemed to have the WISSOTA Modified 20-lap headliner well in hand, but a hard-charging Neil Balduc changed that outcome in dramatic fashion.
Outside front-row starter Paul Niznik maintained the lead through two early restarts - after Jeff Spacek pounded the turn-1 guardrail hard after the first lap, and after Alex Van Natta’s spin in traffic during lap 2. But Uotinen, who owns six “big Mod” points titles at Ashland, worked his way by Niznik on the low groove after a slight bobble by the leader, and eventually he cruised out to a lead of over two full seconds on the field at mid-race.
Balduc’s car, which started outside on the fourth row, was hooked up to the fast, wide, sticky red-clay oval, and he weaved his way into second place on lap 11. Balduc then shaved huge chunks of Uotinen’s advantage away until, on lap 17, he made a strong outside sweep around Uotinen for the lead. Uotinen fought back and, on a couple of occasions, edged ahead, but at the stripe Balduc, from Bessemer, MI, held a winning margin of less than four-tenths of a second - not much more than a car-length.
Cole Spacek followed Balduc through the field to finish third, with Brandon Copp and Jeff Tardy close behind.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature also saw a strong run through traffic for the win, as defending division champ George Dalbeck of Wakefield, Mich., drove from the 19th starting spot on the 20-car grid in his first night back on the Ashland track.
Polestarter Kennedy Swan tried to keep Jesse Aho from passing her during the race’s early stages, but the veteran racer overtook the 13-year-old on lap 2 and brought Jimmy Latvala along to second. Swan’s spin and crash on lap 4 collected several cars and damaged hers enough to end her night, but with the green flag displayed Aho had his hands full with challenges from Latvala, Tanner Hicks and Marcus Dunbar.
After first-nighter Jesse Raffaelli’s car stalled on lap 7, Dunbar charged into second place, and after visiting Guy Carley’s spin on lap 8, Dunbar made an inside pass on Aho stick for the lead, with Latvala following along to second. One lap later, Dalbeck moved into a tightly packed top-five with a pass of Tyler Vernon.
Raffaelli’s second stop on the track slowed the pace on lap 12, and after a multi-car spin on that restart, Aho and Latvala began an exciting duel for second, allowing Dunbar to sprint away. But debris on the track brought the field back to the leader with four laps left, and when Dunbar slipped up high in the first corner after the restart, Aho took over at the point, towing Dalbeck and Latvala by as well. With the white flag in the air Dalbeck worked past Aho for the lead and held on by a car-length for his track-best 19th career Mid-Mod win here.
Dunbar recovered to overtake Aho for second, with Latvala and Jack Rivord not far behind.
Trego’s Randy Graham stayed undefeated in the ABC Six-Cylinders in 2020, winning both the division’s heat and feature for the third time in as many nights.
Graham had his work cut out for him in the feature but bided his time while running fifth in the six-car field early in the 12-lapper. After Dalton Truchon’s spin on lap 3 due to fluids spilled on the track, Graham sliced between second-running Dominic Hmielewski and leader Jordan Pearce to grab the lead during lap 4. Graham then withstood Pearce’s lap 8 spin and subsequent restart for his 29th career win, and 18th in the Sixes here, by 1.6 seconds over Truchon, Hmielewski, Forrest Schultz and Pearce.
Visitor Travis Hazelton led the early going of the 12-lap WISSOTA Pure Stock feature, and he maintained his advantage over Nicholas Hazelton, Graham and James Vendela after a lap 2 stoppage for Tyler Kachinske’s spin. But when the leader broke with eight laps to go, Vendela sped by while others brake-checked to avoid heavy contact, and the second-generation driver from South Range ran away to his second career feature win at ABC.
Graham recovered to finish a distant second, while Tanner Gehl snuck through to claim third, a ways ahead of Nicholas Hazelton and Devin Fries.
Derek Dunbar grabbed the early lead from the pole in the 12-lap WISSOTA Hornet A-main, ahead of some tight-formation racing that fanned out to four- and even five-wide. A grinding crash involving Josh Rowe and Isiah Oakgrove brought about a stoppage of the race on lap 2, after which Jace Wiarda and AJ House put the pressure on Dunbar.
House worked the low groove to get by Dunbar on lap 3, with Wiarda in tow to second, and two laps later Wiarda made a low-lane move of his own stick to get by House for the winning pass. After Dunbar’s car got caught up on the turn 3 infield marker tires and spun on lap 9, Wiarda, of Duluth, Minn., ran away unchallenged for his first career feature win, well ahead of House, Casey Fitzpatrick, Kristy Marken and Hunter McDougall.
The associate sponsors who contributed so generously to the success of the “Battle by the Bay” included Phillips Lanes, GA Dalbeck Logging, ICS Services LLC, Factory 43 Racing, Spacek Lawn Care, Butch Kummer, Copp Racing, Dark Side Racing, Passuello Racing, Bogdanovic Racing, 10-Pin Racing, Satch's Auto Body, Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center, Hanson Trucking, Weber Works Construction, Hanco Utilities, Sevel’s Lawn Care, Trackside Collectibles, Dan Kozak, and Luger Trucking.
The fastest laps posted in each of the feature races were by Niznik in the Mods (17.100 secs; 78.947 mph), Stuart in the Supers (17.407; 77.555), Dalbeck in the Mid-Mods (17.193; 78.520), Parker Anderson in the Streeters (18.509; 72.937), and Graham in the Sixes (18.643; 72.413).
The ABC Raceway will host the first of its three-race Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center Summer Series for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds on Saturday, June 20. The opening round will be presented by Zar’s Bar & Banquet Hall of Ashland, and during each of the three Series races the track will pay $500 to the winners of the Mid-Mod features, while a $300 bonus awaits the driver who can collect the most points over the three events.
Also, at each of the Summer Series events, the first 500 paid-ticket adults arriving through the grandstand gates will receive a free “can koozie,” complements of Ashland Ford-Chrysler Center and the ABC Raceway. The other two Series races are scheduled for July 18 and August 8
All six regular-weekly divisions will be in action this Saturday. The pits will open at 4:30 p.m., with the grandstands opening at 5; hot laps will start at 6:15, and racing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Raceway news and weather updates will air during the week on radio stations WBSZ, 93.3 FM; WJJH, 96.7 FM; WNXR, 107.3 FM; and WATW, 101.3 FM and 1400 AM; as well as online via the station websites and on the free Heartland Communications Group radio app.
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, log on to the track's website, www.abcraceway.com, or check out the track’s Facebook page.
JUNE 13 RESULTS
Feature: 1-10: Neil Balduc, Bessemer, MI; Al Uotinen, Superior; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Brandon Copp, Brule; Jeff Tardy, Hibbing, MN; Alex Van Natta, Minocqua; Paul Niznik, Medford; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Pat Cook, Washburn; Paul Suzik, Ironwood, MI.
11-15: Tyler Luger, Oxford; Jake Hiatt, Mason; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Jeff Spacek, Phillips.
Heat 1: Tardy; Kisling; Balduc; J Spacek; Van Natta; Cook; Anderson; Luger.
Heat 2: C Spacek; Copp; Niznik; Uotinen; Gehl; Suzik; Hiatt.
WISSOTA SUPER STOCKS
Feature: 1-10: Scott Lawrence, Superior; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Terran Spacek, Phillips; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Tristan LaBarge, Kelly Lake, MN; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; Patrick Beeksma
Ironwood, MI; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Kyle Copp, Brule.
11-18: Rita Anderson, South Range; Cory Casari, Montreal; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Tucker Quinn, Ladysmith; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Austin Workman, Dallas; Josh Bach, Barron; Dave Flynn, Superior.
Heat 1: Oreskovich; McFadden; Lawrence; Beeksma; Quinn; Deragon; Muzzy; LaBarge; Bach.
Heat 2: Spacek; Flynn; Stuart; Mackey; Casari; Copp; Anderson; Workman; Mashlan.
WISSOTA MIDWEST MODIFIEDS
Feature: 1-10: George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Marcus Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Jesse Aho, Toivola, MI; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Jack Rivord, Superior; Tanner Hicks, Ashland; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Gunner Peterson, South Range; Justin Weinberger, Butternut.
11-20: Ross Fuhrman, Ashland; Jake Stai, New Auburn; Guy Carley, Eagle River; Steve Altman, Mercer; John Darwin, Iron River; Jesse Polson, Superior; Ryan Barningham, Bayfield; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Jesse Raffaelli, Toivola, MI; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls.
Heat 1: Fuhrman; Latvala; Peterson; Carley; Barningham; Dalbeck; Stai; John Kallas, Hurley.
Heat 2: Dunbar; Aho; Swan; Weinberger; Ripley; Polson; Diamond Bressette, Spooner; Raffaelli.
Heat 3: Rivord; Vernon; Hicks; Altman; Darwin; Uotinen.
WISSOTA STREET STOCKS
Feature: 1-10: Parker Anderson, Phillips; Cody Kummer, Medford; Zach Manley, Chetek; Andrew Hanson, Iron River; Nick Traynor, Barron; Adam Soltis, Ladysmith; Jay Kesan, Weyerhaeuser; Kevin Bogdanovic, Wausau; Jim Randall, Rice Lake; Alex Minks, Bruce.
11-18: Hunter Anderson, Phillips; Hunter VanGilder, Rice Lake; Joseph Ott, Spooner; Ron Hanestad, Glenwood City; William Fisher, Shell Lake; Kolby Kiehl, Barron; James Clausen, Barron; John Kallas, Hurley.
Heat 1: Soltis; Hanson; Traynor; Kiehl; Hanestad.
Heat 2: P Anderson; Randall; VanGilder; Kesan; Fisher; Ott.
Heat 3: Kummer; H Anderson; Minks; Bogdanovic; Clausen; Manley.
Pole Dash: Kummer; P Anderson; Hanson; Soltis; H Anderson; Randall.
Feature: 1-6: Randy Graham, Trego; Dalton Truchon, Ashland; Dominic Hmielewski, Marengo; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Jordan Pearce, Ashland; Mathew Rohlfing, Cable.
Heat: Graham; Schultz; Truchon; Pearce; Hmielewski; Rohlfing; Joshua Saunders, Spooner.
WISSOTA PURE STOCKS
Feature: 1-8: James Vendela, South Range; Randy Graham, Trego; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Nicholas Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; Devin Fries, Phillips; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; RJ Holly, Marengo; Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls.
Heat: T Hazelton; Vendela; Graham; Gehl; Holly; N Hazelton; Kachinske; Fries.
Feature: 1-10: Jase Wiarda, Duluth, MN; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Casey Fitzpatrick, Two Harbors, MN; Kristy Marken, Duluth, MN; Hunter McDougall, Duluth, MN; Reid Johnson, Duluth, MN; DeJay Jarecki, Ashland; Ricky Helms, Hibbing, MN; Nate Rose, Duluth, MN; Mitch Kieber, Ironwood, MI.
11-15: Cully Butterfield, Trego; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; Isiah Oakgrove, Bessemer, MI; Brandon Hummelmeier, Maple; Josh Rowe, Duluth, MN.
Heat 1: House; Marken; Fitzpatrick; Butterfield; Johnson; Rose; Oakgrove.
Heat 2: Wiarda; McDougall; Dunbar; Jarecki; Hummelmeier; Rowe; Helms; Kieber.