Kisling smokes ABC Super Stock Challenge field at AshlandLavasseur, Zdroik become first-time winners
By: By Nick Gima, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
ASHLAND — Despite billowing smoke coming from under his hood, Sarona’s Shane Kisling sped away to a $1,000 payday Saturday night, winning the FastLane Motorsports Super Stock Challenge at the ABC Raceway.
The AMSOIL Dirt Track Racing program, presented by Anderson Lubricants of Superior, also saw two first-time feature winners in Steve Lavasseur of River Falls and Jason Zdroik of Eagle River, while Pat Beeksma of Ironwood, Mich., and Paul Milanowski of Ashland each earned their second A-main wins of the season. Ninety-seven racers competed in a quick program that ended before 11 p.m. on a muggy night.
Ken Truscott beat a tightly-packed field to turn one to start the 20-lap super stock headliner, while Brian Mikkonen, Scott Lawrence and Kisling ran three-wide just behind him. Mike Bellefeuille’s stalled ride after just one circuit brought about the first of several caution flags, and CJ Polacek had the same ills befall his car on the next attempt to run.
The next six laps saw many swaps for position among the top eight in the running order, including a pass for the lead when Mikkonen used the high groove to get around Truscott on the wide, smooth, fast red-clay oval. Nathan Dees’s looped racer slowed the pace again on lap eight, and on the restart a wild battle for second resulted in five cars collecting against the turn three wall, punctuated by a hard nose-first hit by Bellefeuille.
It took the field three more tries to complete lap 9, as another Dees spin and a three-car mess that resulted in heavy damage to Trevor Wilson’s ride thwarted the efforts. But from there the final 12 laps clicked off uninterrupted, and Kisling worked inside on Mikkonen at Mid-race to become the new leader, despite heavy smoke streaming out from the front of his car.
By lap 13 Kisling’s lead on Mikkonen was 1.5 seconds, and he extended that advantage to 2.7 seconds by race’s end, while Mickkonen eventually succumbed to an inside pass by points leader Lawrence for second with five laps to go. Truscott also got by Mikkonen in the closing stages for third, while Randy Spacek, who was sent to the back of the field for causing an early caution flag, charged back for fifth-place money.
Generous contributions by FastLane Motorsports and Rivord Trucking bumped the feature purse for all of the top-ten finishers.
Kisling’s explanation for the motor smoke was simple. “We had a valve cover gasket leak,” he told the crowd from Victory Lane, “and apparently I changed the wrong one!”
He went on to express his appreciation for the great fan support from the Ashland locals, stating, “I got in a big wreck in this race last year, and as I was being towed off the track you folks cheered for me. I made a promise I would come back. This track is second to none in all of WISSOTA.”
While Kisling may have found himself a new Saturday night home track, Lavasseur has been running around the red-clay oval as a regular for nearly five seasons, but he had never experienced a more dominant night. After sailing to a WISSOTA modified heat win earlier, he pulled up behind early leader Steve Stuart and chased the big-mod rookie around the track for several tours after two lap 1 spins.
On lap six Lavasseur made what turned out to be the winning move, sweeping around Stuart and powering by. By the race’s Mid-point Lavasseur’s lead was nearly two full seconds, and on lap 15 the margin was a full 2.5 seconds, as Jeff Spacek worked an inside pass on Stuart to take over second.
Spacek took advantage of the open track ahead of him and cut into Lavasseur’s lead in earnest, knocking the difference down to just eight-tenths of a second with two laps to go. Spacek was actually able to show his front tire to Lavasseur in turns one and two after the lead pair took the white flag, but Lavasseur hit his marks perfectly and kept the former track champ and new divisional points leader at bay for the landmark win.
Jerry Hartman and tenth-starting Dean Yrjanainen each made late-race passes of Stuart to earn third and fourth in the final scoring.
Zdroik has been an absolute terror on the tracks of northeastern Wisconsin for a couple of years now, but he had been unable to duplicate that success in his infrequent visits to Ashland until Saturday. In a fast-paced WISSOTA Midwest modified 15-lap feature, Zdroik worked against front-row starters Duane Dunbar and Rob Weber for the first couple of circuits before Weber worked his way around Dunbar for the lead, towing Zdroik into second.
Zdroik hounded Weber throughout the first half of the run as the lead pair drew away by three seconds from the mad scramble for third, where Dunbar was struggling to fend off stiff challenges from Ryan Adamczak, Taylor Leuthner, points leader Mickey Nosser and others. It was at the crossed sticks that Zdroik finally powered past Weber for his first lead of the night.
Just as the leaders took the white flag, two cars looped together to bring out the race’s first yellow flag and force a green-white-checkered finish. Steve Anderson’s car spun around on the restart to bring about another attempt at a two-lap shoot-out, and with that opportunity Leuthner tried to sweep around the outside of both Weber and Zdroik for the win. But Zdroik held on and added the ABC Raceway to his list of conquered venues. Adamczak and Nosser followed Weber for fourth and fifth in the close-quarters lead pack.
In the oft-interrupted six-cylinder feature Beeksma had his work cut out for him, holding off a determined Neil Adamczak and even overcoming a spin. Rookie Tad Bretting was impressive as he led the 15-lapper through its early stages, including holding on when Scott Ovaska tried to take the lead away on lap 2 but spun, collecting Tyler Hudack and Dale Coddington in the process.
Ovaska tried again for the lead a lap after the restart and eventually completed a four-wide pass, bringing Shawn McFadden, Jr., along to second. Shane Basina’s spin on lap 4 brought the action to a temporary halt, and during the stoppage McFadden drove his ride to the pit area, moving Beeksma up to second for the restart.
Ovaska, Beeksma and Adamczak drove away from the balance of the field as the green lights came back on, and on lap eight Beeksma made a move for the lead to the inside. But contact with Ovaska sent Beeksma spinning, and judges ruled Ovaska at fault, sending him to the tail and placing Beeksma on the point for the restart. From there Beeksma had his hands full holding off Adamczak until the white flag waived; that’s when Bretting spun in turn 1 while battling for fifth with Greg Jaeger and Tyler Luger.
In the green-white-checkered sprint Beeksma escaped to the win, while Adamczak was caught up protecting second place from 12th-starting Don Muzzy’s efforts. Muzzy would lose third to Jaeger on the final lap, and Chuck Hawkinson was close behind in fifth.
A single lap seven caution flag was the only thing that kept Milanowski from making the 12-lap pure stock feature a laugher. Milanowski drove away from the field right from the get-go, and by lap five he had half a straightaway on the battle for second between Chad Carlson, Al Rapp, Dustin Follett and Ken Tody, Jr.
The caution flag waived when visiting Andy Udeen spun in turn four, and on the restart Milanowski was pressured by Carlson for several circuits. But as the white flag flew Milanowski had again worked to a three-car-length cushion, and he retained that lead for the final tour around. Carlson held off Follett’s late-race charges, while Rapp just edged Tody at the stripe to remain the division’s points leader for another week.
The Como Oil & Propane Modified Series presented by Subway makes the first of its two stops at the ABC Raceway this Saturday night. The fifth race of the nine-race, five-track regional series will feature upwards of 50 WISSOTA modifieds competing for not only the $1,500 feature winner’s check but also a share of the $54,000 total series purse, which includes $10,000 to the series winner. WISSOTA Midwest mods and the ABC Raceway’s six-cylinders will also be included on the program, which will be presented by the NAPA Auto Parts Stores of Ashland and Washburn.
The Como Series returns to Ashland for its championship round during the 35th Red Clay Classic on Oct. 1-2.
Hot laps start Saturday at 6:15 p.m., with racing to follow at 7 p.m. 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, or log on to the track’s Web site, www.abcraceway.com.
Feature: Steve Lavasseur, River Falls; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Jerry Hartman, Marenisco, Mich.; Dean Yrjanainen, Lake Nebagamon; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Al Uotinen, Superior; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Kelly Checkalski, Poplar; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth; Rick Rivord, Superior; Mark Baxter, Dorchester.
Heat 1: Lavasseur; Hartman; Spacek; Stuart; Bellefeuille; Checkalski; Stricker.
Heat 2: Ross Lightner, Washburn; Rivord; Uotinen; Hudack; Yrjanainen; Byholm; Hoffman; Bunkelman.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Shane Kisling, Sarona; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Ken Truscott, Greenland, Mich.; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Ron Hmielewski, Marengo; Willie Johnsen, Superior; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, Mich.; Roy Pumala, Mason; Cory Casari, Montreal; Trevor Wilson, Superior; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Nathan Dees, Hurley; Mike Bellefeuille, Duluth; Tad Schoonover, Eagle River; CJ Polacek, Phillips.
Heat 1: R Spacek; Bellefeuille; J. Spacek; Casari; Johnsen; Pumala; Dave Elliott, Minocqua.
Heat 2: Kisling; Truscott; Dees; Olson; Wilson; Polacek; Schoonover.
Heat 3: Lawrence; Mikkonen; Eder; Oreskovich; Kuklinski; Hmielewski.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: Jason Zdroik, Eagle River; Taylor Leuthner, Foxboro; Rob Weber, Ashland; Ryan Adamczak, Ashland; Mickey Nosser, Phillips; Jesse Ogston, Duluth; Steve Anderson, Ironwood, MICH..; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, Mich.; Pat Cook, Washburn; George Truscott, Greenland, Mich.; Shawn Rivord, Superior; Travis Nye, Ashland; Chad Adamczak, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Ashland; Rick Przybylski, Ashland; Chris Bretting, Ashland; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Cody Carlson, Superior; Dan Sellung, Mason; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, Mich.; Roland Gordon, Bayfield; Neil Balduc, Bessemer, Mich.
Heat 1: R. Adamczak; Ogston; Anderson; Cook; Carlson; Gordon; C. Adamczak; McFadden.
Heat 2: Dalbeck; Nosser; Dunbar; Nye; Przybylski; Truscott; Sellung.
Heat 3: Weber; Leuthner; Zdroik; Balduc; Rivord; Latvala; Bretting
Feature: Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, Mich.; Neil Adamczak, Ashland; Greg Jaeger, Mellen; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, Mich.; Chuck Hawkinson, Mellen; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Scott Ovaska, Marengo; Tyler Vernon, Ashland; Warren Beede, Iron River; Tad Bretting, Ashland; Ken Tyykila, Iron River; Jim Anderson, Mason; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Ron Lillie, Wakefield, Mich.; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Bill Anderson, Wakefield, Mich.; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Cory Marincel, Ashland; Shawn McFadden, Jr., Ashland; Shane Basina, Bayfield; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Tyler Hudack, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward.
Heat 1: Beeksma; Jaeger; Bretting; J. Anderson; Basina; B. Anderson; Tyykila; Schultz.
Heat 2: Adamczak; Beede; Ovaska; Hawkinson; Vernon; Mihalek; Jim Pelto, Ashland; Traaholt.
Heat 3: Hudack; Coddington; McFadden; Muzzy; Luger; Marincel; Mashlan; Lillie.
Feature: Paul Milanowski, Ashland; Chad Carlson, Superior; Dustin Follett, Cloquet; Al Rapp, Saginaw, Minn; Ken Tody Jr., Ashland; Steve Udeen, Superior; Matt Hammitt, Cloquet; DJ Keeler, Superior; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Wayne Anderson, Superior; Tim Carlson, Superior; Joe Wolfe, Ironwood, Mich.; Andy Udeen, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland.
Heat 1: C. Carlson; Follett; Milanowski; Wolfe; Hammitt; A. Udeen; Deragon.
Heat 2: Tody; S. Udeen; Rapp; T. Carlson; Carbon; Anderson; Keeler.