It was billed to be some of the best racing in the Northland this season and things played out as such and the weather held off as 124 cars showed to entertain the full house of fans at the Superior Speedway on Wednesday night.
It was the second appearance of the year for the WDRL late models and the first appearance for the Como Modified series. Thirty-nine late models showed up for the event plus 43 modifieds, 23 Midwest mods and 19 pure stocks.
Matt Miller (Waterville, OH) posted the fastest time and having a top speed of 83.2mph in qualifying and it proved to be just enough as he would win the $3,500 top prize for first place in the WDRL Late Model feature race.
Darrell Nelson (Hermantown) challenged Miller early in the 35-lap race, but other than that the race and the night belonged to Miller, who not only won the feature but the pole dash earlier in the night. Brady Smith (Solon Springs) finished in second in the feature followed by Chad Mahder, Nelson and Al Purkey.
It was the third race of the Como Modified series, which was a make-up from July 21 which was cancelled due to poor weather, and 43 cars showed up to race for the $10,000 prize for the winner of the eight-game series.
There were two semi-feature’s run with the top two transferring into the 25-car feature race. In the first semi-feature it was Dale Mathison (Clearwater) winning from the third row followed by Jeff Hart (Hibbing). In the second semi-feature it was Bill Byholm (Glidden) taking the checkered flag with Jeff Broking (Grand Rapids) edging out Jeff Wood (Chisholm) for second. Wood would make the feature by using a provisional.
The “Pole Dash for Cash” line-up was picked by the drivers who picked a Frisbee with a position number on it on the front straightaway. The dash featured the drivers who finished first or second in their Heat races.
Kobs picked the pole position with LePage on the outside of the front row. Kobs went on to win the $200 for first place and Bellefeuille finished second and picked up $100. Chesly was third followed by Estey and Bob Broking.
The feature race was 30 laps with Kobs jumping out to the lead but Chesley took the lead late in the race and held off Bunkelman and Kobs to win his first feature in a Modified.
Chesley moved up from the Midwest Modified division at the end of the last racing season. Estey finished third edging out Kobs on the final lap with Nelson finishing fifth followed by Jason Miller (Osceola), who started in row nine, Jayme Lautigar (Superior) finished seventh followed by Byholm, Jensen and Bellefeuille rounding out the top 10.
The Como Mod series moves to the ABC Raceway in Ashland on Saturday and returns to the Superior Speedway as part of the Northern National on Sept. 12.
The Midwest modified’s were capped off with Adam Archer (Duluth) winning his first feature of the 2009 season at the Superior Speedway. With the win he completed the sweep as he won his Heat earlier in the night.
The Pure Stocks completed their Heat races in but did not get their feature race in. It will be made up as part of the show on Friday, Aug. 7.
In the first Heat of the night it was Chad Carlson(Superior) won his 3rd Heat of the season with Pat Van Ert (Foxboro) finishing in second and Jeff Christman (Superior). In the second Heat Austin Blom (Saginaw) won his third Heat race of the year, followed by Rick Cornelison (Cloquet) and Jim Cooper (Superior). In the third and final Heat race of the night, Steve Christman (Superior) won his first Heat race of the season, followed by Dan Larsen (Hermantown) and Richard Dzelak Jr. (Superior).
Next up at the Superior Speedway is the Hall of Fame night on Friday, Aug. 7.
WDRL Late Models (39 Cars)
Group No. 1— Chad Simpson 16.323 (82.705mph), Brady Smith (Solon Springs) 16.434, Johnny Malcom 16.453, Greg Hill (Eveleth) 16.739
Group No. 2 — Rick Hanestad (Boyceville) 16.323 (82.705mph), Eric Pember 16.420, Kevin Carlson (Hermantown) 17.971, Mike Balcean, DNQ.
Group No. 3 — Denny Eckrich 16.181 (83.431mph), Rob Moss (Iowa City) 16.458, Alan Mondus 16.520, Dewaine Hottinger 16.707.
Group No. 4 — Matt Miller 16.224 (83.210mph), John Kaanta (Elk Mound) 16.474, Kerry Hansen 16.711, Tyler Reddick 16.904.
Group No. 5 — Dave Ekrich (Tiffin, IA) 16.280 (82.924mph), Bill Frye 16.482, Travis Budisalovich (Cottage Grove) 16.553, Justin Fegers 16.596.
Group No. 6 — Zach Foster 16.666 (81.003mph), Darren Mierotto (Superior) 16.709, Jake Redetzke (Eau Claire) 16.724, Pete Parker (Kakauna) 16.760.
Group No. 7 — Al Purkey 16.677 (80.950mph), Mike Johnson 16.791, Chris Simpson 16.798, Adam Hensel (Barron) 16.833.
Group No. 8 — Pat Doar (New Richmond) 16.338 (82.629mph), Terry Casey 16.767, Steve Laursen (Cumberland) 16.851, Roger Paolo (Hibbing) 17.358.
Group No. 9 — Darrell Nelson (Hermantown) 16.431 (82.162mph), Bill Koons (Omaha) 16.810, Jon Kirby 16.991, Tim Isenberg (Marshfield) 17.230.
Group No. 10 — Chad Mahder 16.514 (81.749mph), Don Copp (Brule) 16.744, Joel Cryderman (Thunder Bay) 16.849.
Heats (10 laps)
Heat No. 1: D. Nelson, Moss, Budisalovich, Fegers, Simpson, Copp, Laursen, Mierotto, Paolo
Heat No. 2: D. Eckrich, Mondus, Pember, K. Hansen, Malcolm, Pete Parker, K. Carlson, Koons, Forster, Reddick
Heat No. 3: C. Mahder, Miller, Purkey, Doar, Kaanta, Redetzke, Kirby, Hensel, Balcean DNF: Casey
Heat No. 4: Frye, B. Smith, Denny Eckrich, Hanestad, Isenberg, M. Johnson, Cryderman, Hottinger, Hill
POLE DASH: (6 Laps) Miller, Nelson, Frye, Mahder, B. Smith, Purkey, Moss, Dave Eckrich.
Semifeatures (12 laps)
Top three advance to feature
No. 1: Doar, Kaanta, Pete Parker, Redetzke, K. Carlson, Laursen, Casey, Koons, Hittinger, Paolo, Forster
No. 2: Chad Simpson, Copp, Mierotto, Cryderman, M. Johnson, Hensel, Malcolm, Kirby, Balcean, Reddick, Hill
Feature: (35 Laps) Miller, Smith, Mahder, Nelson, Purkey, Pember, Fegers, Moss, Frye, Denny Eckrich, Doar, Chad Simpson, Isenberg, Kaanta, Redetzke, Parker, Dave Eckrich, Mierotto, Hansen, Copp, Hanestad, Koons, Mondus, Budisalovich.
Como Modified Series
(10 laps - top four cars advance to feature)
Heat No. 1: Craig Thatcher (Knapp), Bob Broking (Grand Rapids), Al Uotinen (Superior), Nick Lavato (Proctor), Kelly Checkalski (Poplar), Jeff Wood (Chisholm), Dale Mathison (Clearwater), Duan Dale (Aurora), Dean Yranainen (Lake Nebagamon).
Heat No. 2: Robby Bunkelman (Abbotsford), Kelly Estey (Kelly Lake), Mike Anderson (Colfax), Jason Miller (Osceola), Jamie Davis (Devlin), Steve Roseen (Proctor), Matt Sinna (Zimmerman), Rick Rivord (Superior), Ken Kincaid Jr. (Trego)
Heat No. 3: Carey LePage (Culver), Rick Kobs (Deer Park), Ryan Aho (Chisholm), Ricky Roche (International Falls), Wayne Stricker (Highbridge), Jeff Broking (Grand Rapids), Chris Magistad (Floodwood), Rich Loftus (Bloomer), Cory Sersha (Eveleth)
Heat No. 4: Jody Bellefeuille (Duluth), Trent Follmer (Princeton), Scott Hudack (Ashland), Jayme Lautigar (Superior), Bill Byholm (Glidden), Rick Cannata (Hibbing), Pat Doar (New Richmond). DNF: Steve Lavasseur (River Falls)
Heat No. 5: Joey Jensen (Forest Lake), Greg Chesley (Duluth), Darrell Nelson (Hermantown), Shaun Kreyer (Hayward), Jeff Hart (Hibbing), Paul Schultz (Grand Rapids). DNF: Jeff Spacek (Phillips), Andrew Miskowic (Ogilvie).
Semi-features (12 laps)
(top 2 advance to feature)
Heat No. 1: Mathison, Hart, Cannata, Spacek, Dale, Miskowic, Roseen, Stricker, Magistad, Kincaid. DNF: Checkalski, Lofthus
Heat No. 2: Byholm, J. Broking, Wood, Doar, Davis, Lavasseur, Sersha. DNF: Yrjanainen, Schultz, Sinna, Rivord
Pole Dash: (8 Laps) Kobs, Bellefeuille, Chesley, Estey, B. Broking, Thatcher, Follmer, Bunkelman, Jensen, LePage
Feature: (30 Laps) Chesley, Bunkelman, Estey, Kobs, Nelson, J. Miller, Lautigar, Byholm, Jensen, Bellefeuille, M. Anderson, Mathison, J. Broking, Uotinen, B. Broking, Hart, Wood, Roche, Lavato DNF: LePage, Thatcher, Follmer, Bunkelman, Aho, Kreyer
Midwest Mod (23 Cars)
(8 laps - all cars transfer to feature)
Heat No. 1: Taylor Leuthner (Foxboro), Jim Latvala (Solon Springs), Pat Cook (Washburn), Josh Bazey (Luck), Dan Kingsley (Superior), Brad Anderson (Duluth), Joe Olson (Superior), Deven Van House (Silver Bay)
Heat No. 2: Adam Archer (Duluth), Scott Herrick (Proctor), Jesse Ogston (Duluth), Steve Stuart (Ashland), Kevin Monteith (Thunder Bay), Shawn Rivord (Superior), E.J. Hietala. DNF: Skeeter Estey (Kelly Lake)
Heat No. 3: Jeff Marshall (Thunder Bay), Jeff Pohjonen (Duluth), Jeremy Houle (Forest Lake), Lance Solem (Duluth), Randy Silverness Jr. (Superior), Dan Russell (Foxboro). DNF: Cody Carlson (Superior)
Feature: (16 Laps) Archer, Marshall, Herrick, Pohjonen, Solem, Latvala, Cook, Stuart, Monteith, Ogston, Estey, Van House, Houle, Kingsley, Anderson, Russell. DNF: Rivord, J. Olson, Leuthner, Silverness, Hietala, Bazey DNS: C. Carlson
Pure Stocks (19 Cars)
(6 laps – all cars transfer to feature)
Heat No. 1: Chad Carlson (Superior), Pat Van Ert (Foxboro), Jeff Christman (Superior), Matt Deragon (Ashland), Kyle Inman (Proctor), Paul Gucinski (Britt), Andy Udeen (Superior)
Heat No. 2: Austin Blom (Saginaw), Rick Cornelison (Cloquet), Jim Cooper (Superior), Ashley Smith (South Range), Travis Zembo (Superior), Tim Ayers (Foxboro)
Heat No. 3: Steve Christman (Superior), Dan Larsen (Hermantown), Richard Dzelak Jr. (Superior), Tasha Rapp (Saginaw), Alex Hart (Poplar), Randy Lonetto (Iron River)
Feature: (14 Laps): Will make up feature on Aug. 7.