AMSOIL Speedway track championships settledIt was only fitting that the AMSOIL Speedway should have one of the biggest car counts of the season with 100 cars in the pits on the most important night of the season, “Championship Friday.”
By: By Jerry O’Brien, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
It was only fitting that the AMSOIL Speedway should have one of the biggest car counts of the season with 100 cars in the pits on the most important night of the season, “Championship Friday.”
Though some of the championships were well in hand before the night began, a couple of them were in doubt, including Duluth’s Tim McMann who parlayed a single feature win and a string of consistent finishes into his first Late Model championship in 12 years. He needed only to take the green flag in the 20-lap feature to assure the title.
Zach Wohlers got a great start with McMann second, but a spin by Terry Lillo in turn three stopped the action. The restart saw Wohlers again to the point, but just as quickly, the caution flag flew this time for a spin by Aaron Lillo in the first turn. The next try didn’t go so well either as a multi-car pileup in the first turn at the green sent McMann to the tail of the field.
Wohlers again held the lead at the restart followed by Kyle Peterlin, Jake Redetzke, Todd Gehl and Darrell Nelson.
Redetzke and Wohlers moved away from the pack and Redetzke made a last ditch effort on the final circuit but Wohler was able to hold him off by inches at the checkered flag for his first late model win at the speedway. Peterlin came home in third followed by Nelson and John Kaanta.
Going into the championship main event for the Modifieds, many-time track champion Al Uotinen led Jody Bellefeuille by a single point.
Scott Hudack grabbed the lead at the initial green flag with Jeff Tardy and Rick Rivord close behind. The caution flag flew for debris in turn two and when racing resumed, the order remained the same except for the addition of Kelly Estey up to fifth.
Bellefeuille, meanwhile, was losing ground but another caution flag for a Johnny Broking spin in turn four reassembled the field with five laps complete. At the green Nelson got a good start and took over the lead but another tangle in turn three slowed the action before a lap could be completed. Nelson continued to lead as racing resumed, dogged by Tardy and Hudack.
After another incident with two laps remaining Nelson had little trouble taking the win, his fourth in the division at the speedway. Tardy, Hudack, Rivord and Bill Byholm finished in the top five.
Bellefeuille’s sixth-place finish assured his first track championship. Uotinen finished 11th, but completed another 20-feature laps to put him second on the all-time list of consecutive feature laps completed with 670 second only to Don Copp’s 721.
Uotinen has completed all feature laps for the past three seasons. Ross Lightner of Washburn is the only other Modified driver who has completed all feature laps in 2012.
Deven VanHouse began the 15-lap Midwest Modified feature with a 10-point lead on Cody Wolkowski for the championship.
Jason Goldfine jumped to the early lead over Neil Balduc, Dan Kingsley, Tanner Byholm and Wolkowski. Mack Estey brought out the first caution flag and on the restart Adam Shinn found the first turn wall bringing out the caution flag again before a lap was complete. This time the start was successful and Balduc took the lead ahead of Kingsley and Wolkowski. Goldfine was fourth and Kevin Montieth moved into fifth.
Wolkowski got around Kingsley into second and shortly thereafter another caution flag flew for Chris Bretting in turn three. Balduc maintained the lead at the restart over Wolkowski, Kingsley, Montieth, Dan Ebert and VanHouse, who had started ninth and was now sixth.
Balduc went on to take his second feature win of the season. Wolkowski’s second-place finish to VanHouse’s sixth place still left him 10 points shy as VanHouse becomes the 2012 AMSOIL Speedway Midwest Modified track champion.
It was 15 laps for the Pure Stocks and Andy Udeen took the early lead from the outside pole over Gary Campbell, Justin Madsen, point leader Josh Johnson, Chad Nikstad and Steve Udeen who was second in points entering the final race. As the race progressed, Steve Udeen moved forward until he was right behind Johnson.
Up front Madsen got by into the lead and began pulling away. Madsen was cruising along in the lead when he suddenly began losing ground. Madsen was unable to get into the pits, stalling at the entrance which brought out the caution flag. This left Dustin Follet with the lead and Steve Udeen second.
Follett went on to win his second feature of the season at the speedway. Udeen’s second-place finish apparently gave him the track championship, but the car failed post-race inspection which disqualified Udeen giving the 2012 Pure Stock championship to Josh Johnson.
Though Scott Lawrence pretty much had the Super Stock track title wrapped up with a 15-point lead over Dave Flynn, that didn’t stop him from going for the feature win.
Shawn Rivord bolted out front at the initial green flag and raced to a big lead over Trevor Arens, Pat Heikkinen and Dan Tocheri, it didn’t take Flynn long to find his way from the fourth row to second.
As the halfway point was reached it was Rivord and Flynn for the lead with Oreskovich and Lawrence battling for third. A slowing Joe Olson brought out the caution flag again with eight laps to go. At the green Lawrence made a run for it, got by to race Flynn for the lead. Flynn and Lawrence drove away from the field but couldn’t shake Oreskovich.
Flynn and Lawrence traded the lead back and forth as the laps wound down Flynn was leading on the final circuit but Lawrence made a final run at the checkered flag and lost by a matter of inches. Flynn was the feature winner but Lawrence is the Super Stock track champion. Oreskovich, Joe Oliver and Rivord finished in the top five.
The Northern Nationals are Sept. 7-8 at the AMSOIL Speedway.
AMSOIL Speedway (Superior)
Friday, Aug. 24
2012 AMSOIL Speedway Point Champions
WISSOTA Late Models: Tim McMann, Duluth
WISSOTA Modifieds: Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth
WISSOTA Super Stocks: Scott Lawrence, Superior
WISSOTA Midwest Mods: Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay
AMSOIL Speedway Pure Stocks: Josh Johnson, Superior
WISSOTA Late Models (16 Cars)
Feature: Zach Wohlers, Pengilly; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire; Kyle Peterlin; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Harry Hanson, Eveleth; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Chis Olson, Hibbing; Tim McMann, Duluth; Terry Lillo, Duluth; Dave Esse, Cloquet; Riley Matthews, Thunder Bay. DNF: Aaron Lillo, Duluth; Gregg Hill, Eveleth; Robbie Cooper, South Range; Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis.
Heat 1: Redetzke, Gehl, Wohlers, Peterlin, Matthews, Budisalovich, T. Lillo DNF: A. Lillo
Heat 2: Kaanta, Nelson, Hill, McMann, Hanson, Olson, Esse.
WISSOTA Modifieds (21 Cars)
Feature: Darrell Nelson, Hermantown; Jeff Tardy, Hibbing; Scott Hudack, Ashland; Rick Rivord, Superior; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore; Skeeter Estey, Kelly Lake; Ryan Aho, Chisholm; Matt Leer, Bruce; Al Uotinen, Superior; Nick Musel, Duluth; Rick Niemi, Eveleth; Destin Lorimor, Superior; Ross Lightner, Washburn; Scott Heikkinen, Eveleth. DNF: Jeff Broking, Grand Rapids; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids; Curt Myers, Cameron; Kelly Estey, Kelly Lake. DNS: Bob Broking, Grand Rapids
Heat 1: Bellefeuille, J. Broking, Rivord, S. Estey, Niemi. DNF: J. Broking, Leer.
Heat 2: Nelson, Tardy, Byholm, Ebert, Musel. DNF: B. Broking.
Heat 3: K. Estey, Hudack, Aho, Uotinen, Heikkinen, Myers, Lightner.
WISSOTA Super Stocks (21 Cars)
Feature: Dave Flynn, Superior; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Joe Oliver, Superior; Shawn Rivord, South Range; Trevor Wilson, Superior; Keith Kern, Superior; Jim Campbell, Two Harbors; Bobby Carlson, Hibbing; Trevor Arens, Hibbing; Willie Johnsen Jr., Superior; Patrick Heikkinen, Eveleth; Donnie Lofdahl, Proctor; Ashley Smith, Superior; Andy Grymala, Superior. DNF: Dan Tocheri, Thunder Bay; Mike Bellefeuille, Duluth; Joe Olson, Superior; Ronnie Malecki, Superior; Jim Campbell, Two Harbors. DNS: Andy Davey, Hibbing.
Heat 1: B. Carlson, Flynn, Kern, Grymala, Smith, Malecki. DNF: Oliver.
Heat 2: Lawrence, Oreskovich, Arens, Wilson, Olson, Campbell. DNF: Davey.
Heat 3: Rivord, Tocheri, Heikkinen, Bellefeuille, Campbell, Johnsen, Lofdahl.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds (22 Cars)
Feature: Neil Balduc, Bessemer; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Kevin Monteith, Rosslyn, ONT; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay; Jason Goldfine, Superior; Dale Suomala, Hermantown; Mack Estey, Kelly Lake; Andrew Inman, Hermantown; David Simpson, Thunder Bay; Dan Larsen, Hermantown; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Jake Gondik, Foxboro; Brian Yourderin, Superior; Tom Smart, Kakabeka Falls; Norm Anderson Jr., Duluth. DNF: Rick Przybylski, Ashland; Adam Shinn, Duluth; Don Craig, Thunder Bay; Tanner Byholm, Glidden; Cody Carlson, Superior.
Heat 1: A. Inman, Smart, Byholm, Suomala, Youderin, Shinn, Gondik, Anderson.
Heat 2: Balduc, VanHouse, Goldfine, Craig, Simpson, Bretting. DNF: Carlson.
Heat 3: Wolkowski, Estey, Kingsley, Monteith, Larsen, Przybylski.
AMSOIL Speedway Pure Stocks (20 Cars)
Feature: Dustin Follett, Cloquet; Gary Campbell, Duluth; Josh Johnson, Superior; Chad Nikstad, Superior; Travis Zembo, Superior; Lucas Carlson, Duluth; Justin Bassa, Hermantown; Rita Anderson, Superior; Gavin Campbell, Duluth; Annika Hammitt, Cloquet; Josh Overn, Mahtowa; Shaina Rapp, Saginaw; Dale Reynolds, Cloquet; Kodi Oliver, Superior; Mark Smith, Solon Springs. DNF: Andy Udeen, Superior; Justin Madsen, Foxboro, Tim Carlson. DNS: Tim Baum, Superior. DQ: Steve Udeen, Superior.
Heat 1: Follett, Nikstad, T. Carlson, Overn, Anderson, Gavin Campbell, Oliver.
Heat 2: S. Udeen, A. Udeen, Gary Campbell, Bassa, A. Hammitt. DNF: Zembo.
Heat 3: J. Madsen, Smith, Johnson, L. Carlson, Reynolds, Rapp.