Gregg Hill wins second career Late Model featureSmith carries on family tradition, wins first career Pure Stock feature win
By: By Jerry O’Brien, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
Hibbing’s Gregg Hill turned his front row starting spot into his second career Late Model feature win and first at AMSOIL Speedway. He drove away from the snarling pack at the initial green flag and raced out to nearly a three-quarter straight away lead.
Darrell Nelson was up on the wheel and used all his talent to get to the front after starting outside of the fourth row battling past the likes of Don Copp, Chris Olson, Travis Budiaslovich and several others.
Last week’s winner Tim McMann tried to track down Hill but soon found himself trying to hold off the streaking Nelson. The pair of veterans put on a show as McMann stymied Nelson’s passing efforts lap after lap. Nelson finally got by and set out to close the distance to Hill. Nelson was able to reel in Hill and was less than a car length back but ran out of laps to finish second. Kyle Peterlin battled back and forth with Don Copp, McMann and Travis Budisalovich to take the third spot. McMann and Budisalovich rounded out the top five.
Darrel Nelson took a quick lead at the green flag and survived four caution flags to win his first Modified feature of the season at the speedway.
Defending track champion Joey Jensen rebounded nicely after being sent to the back after an early spin in turn two on the second lap to finish second to Nelson. Jody Bellefeuille finished fourth and Rick Rivord survived involvement in a turn two incident with seven laps remaining to finish fifth.
With four laps remaining, a caution flag flew when Kevin Eder’s No. 22e rolled to a halt at the end of the front stretch trailing fluid. The final lap began with a tangle in turn four that set up a green/white/checkered finish. Al Uotinen had raced up from the fourth row to battle in the top five. On the final restart Jensen took second from Bellefeuille, but Uotinen saw an opportunity and blew by Bellefeuille for third and almost stole second from Jensen at the end of the back straight away.
Mike Bellefeuille used his pole position to win the 20-lap Super Stock feature as he pulled out to a huge lead and looked to be in charge. Several caution flags kept the racing close as the leader could not get away.
Andy Davey set out after Bellefeuille and was joined by Scott Lawrence from the fourth row. The two battled for second to see who would try to track down the leader. After several laps Lawrence got by and set out after Bellefeuille with nine laps remaining.
A caution flag flew when Matt Madsen’s car was unable to make exit to the pits.
Once again Davey and Lawrence battled for second. Lawrence again took the spot but couldn’t catch Bellefeuille and had to settle for second. Dave Flynn finished fourth and Willie Hohnsen Jr. made a stellar run from the sixth row to finish fifth.
The 15-lap Midwest Modified feature proved to be the second sweep for Duluthian Lance Solem as he took the No. 45 to the checkered flag. Dan Kingsley was the early leader from the outside of the front row with Deven VanHouse, Cody Wolkowski, Jeff Pohjonen and Solem battled for second. VanHouse and Pohjonen would both eventually retire from the event leaving Solem and Wolkowski to challenge Kingsley.
Solem made the pass for the lead in the third and fourth turns and widened the gap between himself and Neil Balduc who had taken over second. Solem was cruising along with nearly a straight away lead and Balduc was unable to cut into that lead by much as Solem pulled off the win.
Balduc, Wolkowsji, Kingsley and Rob Weber finished in the top five.
Mark Smith of Solon Springs carried on the Smith family racing tradition with his first career Pure Stock feature win. Smith was driving a former championship winning car that once belonged to Pat VanErt, sporting a transmission that had been installed barely four hours before the first green flag of the night. Despite four caution flags the rookie driver stayed calm and was able to pull away from the field each restart.
Smith did encounter some pressure in the late going from Travis Zembo and Gary Campbell. Smith held off last week’s feature winner Josh Johnson, Justin Bassa, Andy Udeen and Campbell Sr. for the win.
Racing resumes Wednesday with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and heat races at 7 p.m.
AMSOIL Speedway Results
Friday, June 8, 2012
WISSOTA Late Models (12 Cars)
Feature (20 Laps): 1. Greg Hill (Eveleth); 2. Darrell Nelson (Hermantown); 3. Kyle Peterlin (Hibbing); 4. Tim McMann (Duluth); 5. Travis Budisalovich (Cottage Grove); 6. Don Copp (Brule); 7. Todd Frank (Mellen); 8. Todd Gehl (Solon Springs); 9. Chris Olson (Hibbing); 10. Scott Herrick (Proctor); 11. Robbie Cooper (South Range). DNS: Aaron Lillo (Duluth).
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. Copp; 2. Peterlin; 3. McMann; 4. Frank; 5. Herrick. DNS: Lillo.
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Nelson; 2. Hill; 3. Olson; 4. Budasalovich; 5. Gehl; 6. Cooper.
WISSOTA Modifieds (14 Cars)
Feature (20 Laps): 1. Darrell Nelson, (Hermantown); 2. Joey Jensen (Forest Lake); 3. Al Uotinen (Superior); 4. Jody Bellefeuille (Duluth); 5. Rick Rivord (Superior); 6. Rick Niemi (Eveleth); 7. Ross Lightner (Washburn); 8. Scott Heikkinen (Eveleth). DNF: Pat Cook (Washburn: E.J. Hietala (Cloquet); Kevin Eder (Ashland); Jeff Tardy (Hibbing); Nikki Wrazidlo (Duluth); Destin Lorimor (Superior).
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. Nelson; 2. Niemi; 3. Lightner; 4. Tardy; 5. Lorimor; 6. Cook; 7. Eder.
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Bellefeuille; 2. Rivord; 3. Jensen; 4. Uotinen; 5. Heikkinen; 6. Hietala; 7. Wrazidlo.
WISSOTA Super Stocks (16 Cars)
Feature (20 Laps): 1. Mike Bellefeuille (Duluth); 2. Scott Lawrence (Superior); 3. Andy Davey (Hibbing); 4. Dave Flynn (Superior); 5. Willie Johnson Jr. (Superior); 6. Donnie Lofdahl (Proctor); 7. Keith Kern (Superior); 8. Jim Campbell (Two Harbors); 9. Joe Olson (Superior); 10. Trevor Wilson (Superior); 11. Ronnie Malecki (Superior); 12. Al Rapp (Saginaw); 13. Patrick Heikken (Eveleth); 14. Ashley Smith (South Range). DNF: Matt Madsen (Superior). DNS: Dan Tocheri (Thunder Bay).
Heat 1(10 Laps): 1. Lawrence; 2. Flynn; 3. Campbell; 4. Wilson; 5. Kern. DNF: Oliver; Rapp; Tocheri.
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Bellefeuille; 2. Lofdahl; 3. Davey; 4. Heikkinen; 5. Malecki; 6. Johnson Jr.; Madsen; 8. Smith.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds(14 Cars)
Feature (15 Laps): 1. Lance Solem (Duluth); 2. Neil Balduc (Bessemer); 3. Cody Wolkowski (Thunder Bay); 4. Dan Kingsley (Superior); 5. Rob Weber (Ashland); 6. Don Craig (Thunder Bay); 7. Chris Bretting (Washburn); 8. Dan Larsen (Hermantown); 9. David Simpson (Thunder Bay); 10. Norm Anderson Jr. (Duluth); 11. Adam Shinn (Duluth). DNF: Deven VanHouse ( Silver Bay); Jeff Pohjonen (Duluth). DNS: Jason Goldfine (Superior).
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Weber; 2. Inman; 3. Balduc; 4. Pohjonen; 5. Larsen; 6. Bretting; 7. Shinn. DNF: Goldfine.
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Solem; 2. Kingsley; 3. Wolkowski; 4. VanHouse; 5. Craig; 6. Anderson Jr. DNF: Simpson.
AMSOIL Speedway Pure Stocks (21Cars)
Feature (15 Laps): 1. Mark Smith (Solon Springs); 2. Josh Johnson (Superior); 3. Justin Bassa (Hermantown); 4. Andy Udeen (Superior); 5. Gary Campbell (Duluth); 6. Jeff Engelmeier (Saginaw); 7. Travis Zembo (Superior); 8. Chad Nikstad (Superior); 9. Jack Sigafus (South Range); 10. Steve Udeen (Superior); 11. Scott Shober (Wrenshall); 12. Zene Anderson (Superior). DNF: Joel Klints (Duluth); Gary Campbell (Duluth); Justin Madsen (Foxboro); Shaina Rapp (Saginaw); Chad Carlson (Superior); Josh Overn (Mahtowa); Kodi Oliver (Superior). DNS: Tim Carlson (Superior).
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. Engelmeier; 2. Udeen; 3. Udeen; 4. Sigafus; 5. Campbell Jr.; 6. Oliver. DNF: Bassa.
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. Smith; 2. Madsen; 3. Nikstad; 4. Carlson; 5. Johnson; 6. Rapp. DNF: Joel Klints.
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. Campbell Sr.; 2. Zembo; 3. Overn; 4. Shober; 5. Campbell; 6. Anderson. DNF: Carlson.