Campbell, LePage and Carlson win Fair features
By Jerry O'Brien
For The Telegram
The AMSOIL Speedway and the Head of the Lakes Fair originally had scheduled a pair of races as the season’s championship races, one on Tuesday and another Friday. Tuesday’s show, featuring Modifieds, Late Models and Pure Stocks, fell to wet weather. But Friday's show featuring Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Pure Stocks, went on as scheduled despite more rain up until the day of the race.
A total of 54 cars came to compete as the Fair grandstand free show.
Qualifying heats for the main events were run setting the fields for the championships.
The Midwest modifieds were the first up for 20 laps with Justin Bassa and Justin Madsen leading the way. No one had a clear advantage at the green flag as Madsen, Bassa and Jake Gondik went three wide. Fifth-starting Carey LePage was on the move up to fourth.
With five laps in, Jamie Smart's car slowed bringing out the first of five caution flags. At the green the field roared into the first turn and the caution flag appeared again when Cody Carlson's car suffered a breakdown.
At the restart, the shuffling at the front continued as LePage got a great start and took over the point over Madsen and Gondik. But Jeremy Linquist's car failed and Andrew Inman looped in turn four bringing out the caution for the third time. LePage held on to the lead at the green with Madsen, Gondik, Darin Meierotto and David Simpson holding down top five spots.
Those five broke away from the field, but Madsen was the next to suffer problems as he pulled off. Mack Estey, who had been trailing the field hoping for enough of a finish to overtake older brother Skeeter for the track title, came to a halt. Estey continued as the green flag flew with six laps remaining.
This time it was Gondik who got the great start as he surged to the lead and pulled away from LePage, Meierotto, Simpson and Jesse Ogston. Gondik looked to have the win in sight but his single-car spin in the fourth turn sent him to the back of the diminished pack.
LePage took command on the restart and took his first feature win of the season. The veteran Meierotto, in his first Midwest Modified competition, took second over Simpson, Ogston and Adam Shinn.
The distance was also 20 laps for the Super Stocks, an event that also proved to be caution filled on the slick and fast speedway.
Like the Midwest Modifieds, the start also became a three-wide battle on the first lap. Pole sitter Keith Kern showed good speed and grabbed the point followed by Tristan LaBarge, Kevin Burdick and Willie Johnsen. The caution flag appeared quickly when LaBarge scraped the first turn wall resulting in a flat tire with one lap complete. Johnsen went for the lead off turn two at the green flag with Kern second ahead of Andy Davey, Burdick and Jim Campbell.
The second, third and fourth caution flags flew quickly as debris was the culprit in all three instances. At the restart Davey bolted to the front, but Ashley Smith's car stopped on the track in turn three and the caution flew again. The restart saw Davey leading Campbell, Kern, Nick Oreskovich, Dave Flynn and Burdick. Campbell battled with Davey and took over the lead with five laps remaining.
The sixth caution flag flew when Davey's car failed him setting up a green/white/checkered finish.
Campbell held on for his first feature win of the season to go along with a heat win for the sweep. Burdick and Kern tangled in the fourth turn on the final lap and Burdick was awarded second while Kern was relegated to last place which, in this case, was eighth place.
Flynn, Oreskovich and Pat Heikkinen were top five finishers and Oreskovich was named 2014 Super Stock champion.
The final main event of the evening was 15 laps for the Pure Stocks.
Lucas Carlson, in only his second season, was aiming for his first ever track title.
Thirteen cars took the green flag and Chad Carlson roared up from the second row and raced off to a big lead. Ryan Savoy, Annika Hammitt, Glenn Dammer and Chad Nikstad followed in close proximity. Dammer jumped into second while Josh Loucks, Lucas Carlson and Savoy ran in a tight pack.
Lucas Carlson made his move and got into second over Loucks and Dammer while Annika Hammitt and Savoy battled for fifth. Chad Carlson had everything going his way with a comfortable lead when disaster struck as the car's hood flew up and covered the windscreen. After a lap of trying to see under the obstruction he pulled off leaving the top spot to Lucas Carlson.
It was now Carlson's race to lose but he did not, taking the win and cementing his first track championship. Loucks, Dammer, Annika Hammitt and Savoy were top five finishers.
Head of the Lakes Fair Race
Friday Aug. 22
WISSOTA Super Stock (18 cars)
Feature (20 laps): Jim Campbell, Two Harbors; Kevin Burdick, Proctor; Dave Flynn, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason, WI; Pat Heikkinen, Eveleth; Brian Carl, Duluth; Austin McWilliams, Thunder Bay; Keith Kern, Superior. DNF: Andy Davey, Hibbing; Shawn Rivord, South Range; Ashley Smith, Duluth; DJ Keeler, Superior; Willie Johnsen, Superior; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Don Muzzy, Ironwood; Kevin Salin, Iron, MN; Tristan LaBarge, Kelly Lake. DNS: Mark Smith, Solon Springs.
Heat 1: Johnsen; Burdick; LaBarge; Keeler; Rivord; Muzzy.
Heat 2: Davey; Lawrence; Oreskovich; Carl; McWIlliams. DNF: Salin.
Heat 3: Campbell; Kern; Flynn; A. Smith. DNF: Heikkinen. DNS: M. Smith.
WISSOTA Midwest Modified (23 cars)
Feature (20 laps): Carey LaPage, Culver, MN; Darin Meierotto, Superior; David Simpson, Thunder Bay; Jesse Ogston, Duluth; Adam Shinn, Duluth; Don Craig, Thunder Bay; Lance Solem, Duluth; Jake Gondik, Foxboro; Dale Soumala, Hermantown; Jason Goldfine, Superior; Skeeter Estey, Kelly lake; Norm Anderson, Duluth; Mack Estey, Kelly Lake; Jamie Smart, Kakabaka Falls, Ont. DNF: Justin Madsen, Foxboro; Kevin Montieth, Rosslyn, Ont; Justin Bassa, Hermantown; Jeremy Lindquist, Ashland; Andrew Inman, Hermantown; Cody Carlson, Superior; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay; Chris Bretting, Washburn. DNS: Dan Kingsley, Superior.
Heat 1: VanHouse; LePage; M. Estey; Goldfine; Meierotto; Shinn. DNF: Ogston; Montieth.
Heat 2: Carlson; Madsen; Bassa; Smart; Bretting; Inman; Anderson. DNF: Lindquist.
Heat 3: S. Estey; Gondik; Simpson; Craig. DNF: Solem; Soumala; Kingsley.
Pure Stock (13 cars)
Feature (15 laps): Lucas Carlson, Cloquet; Josh Loucks, Carlton; Glenn Dammer, Hermantown; Annika Hammitt, Cloquet; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Matt Hammitt, Cloquet; Chad Nikstad, Superior; Mike Blevins, Hibbing; Devin Reynolds, Cloquet; Matt Cunha, Hibbing. DNF: Shaina Rapp, Saginaw; Chad Carlson, Superior; Zene Anderson, Superior.
Heat 1: Blevins; C. Carlson; A. Hammitt; Dammer; L. Carlson; Cunha. DNF: M. Hammitt.
Heat 2: Loucks; Rapp; Nikstad; Savoy; Anderson; Reynolds.