PROCTOR: Nelson wins non-stop 30-lap Como Modified Series opener
By: By Jerry O'Brien, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
PROCTOR -- Hermantown's Darrell Nelson won a hard fought flag to flag 30-lap Modified main event Sunday night at the Proctor Speedway.
It was the opening salvo for the 2010 Como Oil & Propane Modified Series and drew 50 WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series Modifieds. They were greeted with as perfect a dirt track as is possible as there was plenty of traction and multiple racing grooves.
Perhaps the most important preliminary event was the Pole Dash that pitted the top two finishers in each of the five 10-car heat races in an eight-lap race to determine the first five rows for the feature. When the dash was done a pair of familiar faces graced the front row with Kelly Estey on the pole and Darrell Nelson to his outside. Lurking behind this pair were the likes of Craig Thatcher, Ryan Aho, Jeff Spacek and a very fast Gavin Paull. Buried deep in the field was Joey Jensen, starting 17th, and Keith
At the initial green flag Estey got the jump off turn two with Nelson challenging on the outside. Aho and Thatcher skated away from the pack in the early going and joined Estey and Nelson to make it a thrilling four-car battle. A bit further back Spacek and Andy Jones skirmished for the fifth spot. Spacek captured the spot leaving Jones to fight off Paull and Jason Grimes for sixth.
With the long green flag stretch, it was not very long before the lead pack encountered traffic. The halfway point was quickly reached and Thatcher began to lag back several car lengths behind the lead trio.
Try as he might Estey could not shake the dogged Nelson as the pair, just ahead of Aho, flew through traffic putting car after car a lap down. Thatcher continued to fall back by as much as ten car lengths, but he was not finished by any means as he began to slowly gain back the lost territory.
Meanwhile almost unnoticed, Joey Jensen mounted a charge toward the front arriving to battle with Jones and Grimes for the fifth spot. Nelson finally gained the upper hand as Estey began to fade a bit. Aho swooped in to grab second from Estey and Thatcher rebounded to rejoin the fray making it once again a four car race as the laps wound down headlong toward that white flag signal for the final circuit.
The final order at the checkered flag in the lead five was Nelson, Aho and Estey while Jones charged past Jensen for fifth. It was a sweep for Nelson who won the fifth heat race.
In other events, one of the best Late Model features in a while saw Don
Copp win the 25-lap event from the pole.
While Copp was putting distance on the field, a war raged behind him as a rejuvenated veteran Tim McMann fought off Darrell Nelson, Kyle Peterlin and seventh starting Jeff Provinzino as well as Kevin Carlson. Nelson had blasted from the inside of the last row to second in the initial pair of circuits.
The only caution flag flew when Darin Meierotto's No. 36 stalled on the front straight. At the restart Copp extended his lead over McMann, Peterlin and Todd Gehl while Carlson fell back to fifth. While Peterlin challenged McMann Carlson moved forward to fend off several cars for fourth.
At the half way point Copp had a huge lead over McMann, Carlson, Peterlin and Nelson in the top five.
Peterlin charged forward and went fender to fender with McMann just ahead of Nelson and Carlson who were also in a side by side duel. Meanwhile Copp was in a different zip code with an enormous lead. Nelson got by everyone to second as the laps wound down but had no hope of running down Copp.
The last few laps were a scramble for position with the final tally Copp, Nelson, McMann, Povinzino and Harry Hanson in the top five.
It was the end of a long victory drought for Lance Solem as he won his first Midwest Modified feature in some time. After an aborted initial start to the 20-lap feature when Mark Kangas spun in turn one, Solem shot from the inside of the second row and got a great run off turn two to grab the point.
Johnny Broking, a rookie in the Midwest Modified ranks followed and a pair of No. 45s led veteran Jimmy Latvala in third. The dangerous Jason Vandekamp held down the fourth slot and Cody Carlson ran fifth. The front four began to pull away from the rest of the field but several cars got crossed up in turn one bringing out the second and final caution flag. With only five laps complete, twelfth starting E.J. Hietala swept into fifth while Vandekamp broke free of the pack into second and began his pursuit of Solem.
Charging from the eighth row was Skeeter Estey into the top five while Vandekamp's attempt at the win fell short losing second to Latvala.
Broking finished fourth and a rapidly closing Adam Archer up from the seventh row, finished fifth.
Josh Loucks the 2008 Proctor Pure Stock champion held off a charging
Richard Dzelak for the win in the fifteen lap featured event. Austin Blom led some early laps until Loucks who started sixth used the low side to grab the point and began to pull out a lead. 2009 champion Al Rapp was on the move racing from outside the fifth row to battle with Blom for second.
The first caution flag appeared when Craig Horak spun in turn two resulting in a head-on collision with Scott Larsen. Larsen was able to continue but Horak was out. At the green flag Rapp was chasing Loucks with Dzelak in the mix ahead of Blom and Jordan Grimes.
A spin by Dale Soumala on the front stretch brought out the final caution period and a green/white/checkered finish.
Loucks held on for the win over Dzelak. A three-wide battle for third on the last lap shook out with Blom third, Grimm fourth and Rapp fifth at the checkered flag.
Sunday, May 30
Como Modified Series round one
Modifieds (50 cars)
Heat 1: Andy Jones, Gavin Paull, Dale Mathison, Dean Yrjanainen, Jamie Davis, Ken Hron, Mark Damjanovich, Jeremy Grosse, Cory Sersha, Tim Alexander.
Heat 2: Craig Thatcher, Kelly Estey, Paul Knauf, Joey Jensen, Jeff Hart, Jeff Provinzino, Justin Jones, Paul Schultz, Jeff Broking, Rick Rivord.
Heat 3: Ryan Aho, Jeff Spacek, Jason Grimes, Bill Byholm, Jayme Lautigar, Steve Stuart, Al Uotinen, Jeff Wood, Jason Miller, Jad Carlson.
Heat 4: Nick Lavato, Wayne Stricker, Trent Follmer, Robbie Bunkelman, Duane Dale, Mike Truscott, Brent Larson, Ricky Roche, John Carpenter, Scott Heikkinen.
Heat 5: Darrell Nelson, Rick Kobs, Bryan Dyrdahl, Bob Broking, Keith Tourville, Jody Bellefeuille, Greg Chesley, Doug Gustafson, Kelly Checkalski, Tridell Champlin.
B Feature #1: (Top two Advance) Provinzino, Tourville, Chesley, Uotinen, Truscott, Miller, Damjanovich, Davis, Sersha, Roche, Rivord, Schultz, Lautigar, Checkalski, Heikkinen
B Feature #2: (Top Two Advance) Hart, Bellefeuille, Jones, J Broking, Wood, Gustafson, Larson, Alexander, Hron, J Carlson, Carpenter, Champlin, Dale, Grosse, Stuart.
Pole Dash: Estey, Nelson, Thatcher, Aho, Spacek, Paull, Stricker, Jones, Lavato.
Feature: (30 Laps) Nelson, Aho, Estey, Thatcher, Jones, Jensen, Grimes, Knauf, Spacek, Kobs, Bunkelman, Provinzino, Follmer, Stricker, Byholm, Tourville, Bellefeuille, Lavato, Hart, B Broking, Yrjanainen, Dyrdahl, Wood, Paull, Mathison.
WISSOTA Late Model (14 Cars)
Heat 1: Kyle Peterlin, Harry Hanson, Kevin Carlson, Todd Gehl, Terry Lillo, Joey Ogston, Cory Jorgenson.
Heat 2: Jeff Provinzino, Tim McMann, Don Copp, Darin Meierotto, Aaron Lillo, Travis Budisalovich, Darrell Nelson.
Feature: (25 Laps) Copp, Nelson, McMann, Provinzino, Hanson, Gehl, Carlson, Peterlin, A. Lillo, Budisalovich, T. Lillo, Ogston, Meierotto, Jorgenson.
WISSOTA Midwest Modified (26 Cars)
Heat 1: Jason Vandekamp, Jesse Ogston, Joe Olson, Tommy Turcotte, Adam Archer, Lonny Loeschke, Dan Kingsley, Jake Gondik.
Heat 2: Lance Solem, Cody Carlson, Andrew Inman, Mark Kangas, Kevin Montieth, Denis Czech, Joel Olejnicak, Ross Siiter, Dan Doran.
Heat 3: Johnny Broking, Jimmy Latvala, Brad Hudson, E.J. Hietala, Skeeter Estey, Glenn Dammer, Deven VanHouse, Jeff Davis.
B Feature: Czech, Dammer, VanHouse, Gondik, Balduc, Loeschke, Davis, Olejnicak, Siiter, Kingsley, Doran.
Feature: Solem, Latvala, Vandekamp, J. Broking, Archer, Estey, Hietala, Hudson, Turcotte, Czech, Kangas, VanHouse, Ogston, Balduc, Dammer, Carlson, Inman, Olson, Montieth, Gondik.
Proctor Pure Stock (22 Cars)
Heat 1: Tim Carlson, Josh Loucks, Austin Blom, Mark Korte, Jon McKinnon, Scott Larsen, Craig Horak, Chad Carlson.
Heat 2; Dustin Follett, Corey Lonetto, Steve Udeen, Richard Dzelak, Dale Suomala, Dale Reynolds, Doug Willis.
Heat 3: Al Rapp, Jordan Grimm, Pete Ciurleo, Ed Dammer, Billy Brouse, Rita Anderson, Matt Hammitt.
Feature: Loucks, Dzelak, Blom, Grimm, Rapp, T. Carlson, Udeen, Korte, Follett, Lonetto, Larsen, Ciurleo, McKinnon, Reynolds, Suomala, Anderson, Dammer, C. Carlson, Brouse, Horak, Willis.