UPDATED: Smith defends Silver 1000 Late Model titleAho is Silver 1000 Modified champion
By: By Jerry O’Brien, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
PROCTOR — Brady Smith of Solon Springs became the fifth driver in the 40-year history of the Silver 1000 to win back-to-back Late Model features, joining Jeff Hinkemeyer (1981, 1982), Rick Aukland (‘88, ‘89), John Kaanta (2002, ‘04) and Jeff Provinzino (‘09, ‘10). Kaanta was the runner up in this year’s edition.
Chisholm’s Ryan Aho also had a big night as he beat out 38 other cars in the WISSOTA Modified feature. He also won the Pole Dash and the second heat.
On hand were 33 WISSOTA Late Models matching the 2011 total along with 38 WISSOTA Modifieds. The stands were filled to bursting with race fans as were the vehicle parking spots that ring half the track, one of the best crowds in the history of the race.
It has become a tradition at the Silver 1000, which gets its name from the fact that the early winners were paid with $1,000 silver dollars, that each participant is introduced to the crowd and given a small trophy that contains a silver dollar.
After the opening ceremonies, qualifying began with heat races for the Modifieds which were won by Skeeter Estey, Aho, Dan Ebert and Brad Hanson. Late Model heats went to Travis Budiaslovich, Brent Larson, Harry Hanson and Jake Redetzke.
Then there were a pair of “B” features for the Modifieds, won by Rick Rivord and Jeff Hart. The Late Model “B” feature went to veteran racer Tim McMann. Following the “B” features there were a pair of “Dashes” to determine the starting spots of the first four rows in the respective features. Those went to Aho in the Modifieds and Zach Wohlers in the late models.
Then it was time for the main events, the first of which was 30 laps for the modifieds.
Jeff Broking, who shared the front row with Aho, broke from the pack to the lead at the green flag followed by Aho, Dan Ebert, Brent Larson and Brad Hanson. The front four attempted a breakaway but the caution flag flew as Skeeter Estey got turned around in turn two.
With two laps complete, Broking maintained the lead at the green followed by the same players. Charging from the eighth starting slot was Jody Bellefeuille, who made his way to fourth. Also on the move was Kelly Estey, up to fifth from 12th.
Larson and Hanson slipped back to be challenged by Tim McMann and Kevin Adams. Up front, Aho got by Broking to the lead and the pair began to put some distance between themselves and Ebert in third. Aho broke away from Broking by 10 car lengths as the half-way point approached.
As the mid-point was reached, it was Aho, Broking, Ebert, Estey and Bellefeuille in the top five with Darrell Nelson, Hanson, Adams, McMann, Dave Cain and Justin Jones in the top 10.
Up front Aho began to lap cars at the back of the pack, coming up on several cars racing for position. Aho finally made his way through but Broking had closed to within five car lengths and Ebert was within sight of him.
Aho drove away from everyone in the waning laps to take the win and a sweep of everything he entered. Broking ran a steady race to second while Ebert finished third, Estey fourth and Bellefeuille fifth. Nelson, Adams, Larson, Hanson and Jones rounded out the top 10. The win is Aho’s first in the event.
It would be 40 laps for the WISSOTA Late Models in the 40th edition of the Silver 1000.
At the green flag rookie late model driver Zach Wohlers got the jump on Smith and Redetzke also got past. Smith gathered it back up and raced past Redetzke back to second. Jeff Provinzino ran in fourth as Budiaslovich and Hanson battled for fifth.
Wohlers had six car lengths on Smith, who had about eight on Redetzke as the front runners strung out as Budiaslovich took fifth and closed on Provinzino. Wohlers closed on the back of the field and Smith and Redetzke caught up as the lapping process began.
As expected, traffic became a factor as the three front runners began to find their way through. Smith drew alongside Wohlers with Redetzke right behind and the trio went three wide in an exciting battle for the lead.
At the half-way point Redetzke had the lead by a fender, but traffic continued to be a problem. Smith gained the point over Redetzke with Wohlers back to third. The fourth-place skirmish between Provinzino and Budislovich was three quarters of a straight away behind the leaders. Running in sixth at this point was John Kaanta, ahead Jeff Massingill, Tommy Waseleski Jr. and Harry Hanson.
Smith finally broke free of traffic as did Redetzke, but the first caution flag of the event flew when debris was spotted on the track.
With 14 laps remaining, the green flag flew only to have the car of Terry Lillo become hung up on the inside marker tires. The next try at a start proved to be the downfall for Redetzke as a collision with another car caused him to run slowly off the back stretch and roll to a halt in turn three.
The next time was a charm and racing resumed without incident. Smith now led Wohlers, Provinzino, Budiaslovich and Kaanta with Waseleski close behind.
Kaanta began a charge up to third behind Wohlers, gassed it into second and closed on Smith as the laps dwindled. The gap between Smith and Kaanta was considerable and he needed a caution flag to help make it up. He got one in the form of a breakdown by Provinzino, who pulled off the second turn into the infield with a silent engine.
Smith now had to deal with a very fast Kaanta with eight laps remaining. Kaanta tried his best for his third win in those final laps, but Smith was too stout and became the fifth back-to-back winner in the 40-year history of the event.
Wohlers, Waseleski Jr. and Hanson rounded out the top five. Marshall Fegers as sixth, 2012 track champion Kyle Peterlin drove from 17th to seventh, Darin Meierotto from 18th to eighth and Darrell Nelson and Budiaslovich finished in the top 10.
40th annual Silver 1000
Thursday, Aug. 30
WISSOTA LATE MODELS (11 Cars)
FEATURE: Brady Smith, Solon Springs; John Kaanta, Elk Mound; Zach Wohlers, Kelly Lake; Tommy Waseleski Jr., Pengilly; Harry Hanson, Eveleth; Marshall Fegers, Mound; Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing; Darin Meierotto, Superior; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown; Travis Budisalvich, Cottage Grove; Lance Matthees, Winona; Brent Larson, Lake Elmo; Terry Lillo, Duluth; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Kevin Carlson, Hermantown; Kerry Hanson, Baldwin; Jeff Massingill, Keewatin; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Greg Ferris, Emo. DNF: Kyle Gavel, Fort Francis; Tim McMann, Duluth; Joey Ogston, Duluth; Todd Frank, Mellen; Jake Redetzke, Eau Claire; Jeff Provinzino, Hibbing.
B-MAIN 1: McMann, Bunkelman, K. Hanson, Frank, Cory Jorgensen, Hermantown; Dave Esse, Cloquet; Matt Sorenson, Duluth; Gregg Hill, Eveleth; Justin Fegers, Minnetonka; Scott Herrick, Proctor.
DNF: Joey Ogston, Duluth. DNS: Aaron Lillo, Duluth; Steve Laursen, Cumberland (Top 4 Transfer).
POLE DASH: Wohlers, Smith, Provinzino, Redetzke, H. Hanson, Budisalvich, B. Larson, Kevin Carlson.
HEAT 1: Budisalovich, Kevin Carlson, Waseleski, Nelson, Peterlin, Bunkelman, Ogston, Herrick, Esse.
HEAT 2: Larson, Wohlers, Mathees, Kaanta, Meierotto, McMann, Frank. DNF: Kerry Hanson.
HEAT 3: H. Hanson, Provinzino, Massingill, Ferris, Gavel. DNF: J. Fegers, Jorgenson, Laursen.
HEAT 4: Redetzke, B. Smith, Gehl, M. Fegers, T. Lillo. DNF: Sorenson. DNS: A. Lillo DQ: Hill.
WISSOTA MODIFIEDS (38 Cars)
FEATURE: Ryan Aho, Chisholm; Jeff Broking, Grand Rapids; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore; Kelly Estey, Kelly Lake; Jody Bellefeuille, Duluth; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown; Kevin Adams, Cameron; Brent Larson, Lake Elmo; Brad Hanson, Mountain Iron; Justin Jones, Bemidji; Dave Cain, Corcoran; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Jeff Hart, Hibbing; Tim McMann, Duluth; Mike Anderson, Colfax; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Bill Byholm, Glidden; Gavin Paull, Fort Francis; Cory Sersha, Eveleth; Jeff Tardy, Hibbing; Rick Cannata, Hibbing; Rick Rivord, Superior; Scott Heikkinen, Eveleth. DNF: Skeeter Estey, Kelly Lake
B-MAIN 1: Rivord, Sersha, Destin Lorimor, Superior; Nick Musel, Duluth; Ken Hron, Nashwauk; Scott Heikkinen, Eveleth; Jeffrey Lein Jr., Mora, Ron Korpi, Fort Francis. DNF: Paul Schultz, Grand Rapids (Top 2 Transfer).
B-MAIN 2: Hart, Cannata, Glen Strachan, Emo; Jeff Wood, Chisholm; E.J. Hietala, Cloquet; Ricky Roche, International Falls; Denny Trimble, Devlin. DNF: Rick Niemi, Eveleth. DNS: Kevin Eder, Ashland (Top 2 Transfer).
POLE DASH: Aho, Broking, Larson, Ebert, S. Estey, Hanson, Bellefeuille, McMann.
HEAT 1: S. Estey, Bellefeuille, Stuart, Nelson, Paull, Sersha, Hron, Trimble. DNF: Eder DNS: Hietala.
HEAT 2: Aho, B. Larson, Adams, Cain, Spacek, Hart, Cannata, Heikkinen, Roche. DNS: Schultz.
HEAT 3: Ebert, J. Broking, Bunkelman, Bunkelman, Byholm, Anderson, Lorimor, Korpi. DNF: Rivord, Niemi.
HEAT 4: Hanson, McMann, K. Estey, Jones, Tardy, Stachan. DNF: Wood, Lein, Musel.