Kallas finally cashes In at ABC
ASHLAND -- John Kallas of Hurley, who has been on a tear during the early portion on the 2009 race season, finally tallied a win at the ABC Raceway during Saturday's AMSOIL Dirt Track Series program presented by the Northern State Bank and Baxter...
ASHLAND -- John Kallas of Hurley, who has been on a tear during the early portion on the 2009 race season, finally tallied a win at the ABC Raceway during Saturday's AMSOIL Dirt Track Series program presented by the Northern State Bank and Baxter's Speed Shop.
The five-division show saw all first-time winners for 2009 at ABC, while the track also played host to the Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers group of Minnesota and held its first-ever "Preacher Feature," in which 13 ministers from various churches throughout the region competed for the rights to claim a large donation of food items from the fans and $170 in cash from FastLane Motorsports, Mountain Funeral Home and Glenn Dammer Racing.
Kallas, who had won nine of the 10 feature races he had entered at Eagle River and Tomahawk so far this season, was 0-for-3 at ABC coming into the night. But in Saturday's non-stop 15-lap WISSOTA Street Stock feature Kallas was in the hunt from the drop of the green, hounding Cory Casari through the first two laps before sweeping around him for the lead.
Kallas built a strong advantage until just past halfway, when Casari began to reel him in using a dive move going into the first and third turns. But Kallas used his momentum down the straightaways to hold on for his seventh career feature win in Ashland and fifth in the streeters. Casari held on for a strong runner-up effort, ahead of Dennis Groom, Greg Kuklinski and Larry Haderly.
An emotional Art Hyde held off an early challenge from Scott Lawrence, then cruised to an impressive runaway win in the WISSOTA Super Stock 20-lap A-main. Hyde, of Washburn, beat polestarter Don Koivisto to the first turn of the race and never looked back, despite Lawrence and a stout-running Eric Olson lining up directly behind him after a lap-two caution.
The final 18 circuits clicked off quickly, with Hyde touring the red-clay oval with smooth consistency, flying to his 18th career ABC win and third in the supers. Behind him, however, Lawrence and Olson's battle was a side-by-side nail-biter, with Olson finally getting the best of the deal with four laps left. Kevin Eder made his presence felt in that contest as well, taking several looks to the inside on both Olson and Lawrence before settling for a fourth-place finish. Brian Mikkonen was a not-too-distant fifth.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modified 15-lap headliner turned into a thriller, with Mike Truscott of Chippewa Falls holding off several threats for his first win of the season and third overall here.
Roger Walker set the early pace from the pole but lost the lead to Pat Cook just before a four-car mess reset the field. Cook, Walker and Duane Dunbar then pulled away from a wild three-car battle for fourth that was eventually claimed by Truscott.
By the race's mid-point Cook and Dunbar had pulled away to decide the win, but the caution flag flew for debris, bunching up the field and giving Truscott his opportunity. Using the outside line, Truscott swept by Dunbar and Cook on successive laps, just before another caution light came on with four laps left.
Over those final four laps the race got crazy, as Dunbar moved by Cook for second just before Cook spun in front of the rest of the field. In the process several other frontrunners checked up, including a charging Steve Stuart in fourth and sixth-place Jesse Ogston, but Cook refired his ride, keeping the race under green. Jimmy Latvala moved from fifth to second on Cook's spin and trailed Truscott at the checkers by three lengths, but he was just as far ahead of Dunbar, Rob Weber and George Dalbeck.
Mellen's Greg Jaeger found his way back to Victory Lane after the Six-Cylinder main event. Jaeger took the lead away from Colin Polacek five laps into the 15-lapper and sped to an easy win.
Polacek stole the early lead from Forrest Schultz, then held on as birthday boy Shawn McFadden, Jr, charged from the outside. This left the bottom groove open for Jaeger, who took over the lead with a three-wide pass just before the race was slowed for Warren Beede's spin.
The caution negated Jaeger's pass, so a lap after the restart he tried it again - and this time it held up. McFadden then switched lanes to overhaul Polacek for second, and a couple laps later Polacek was overtaken by Dale Coddington and Chuck Hawkinson.
The last 10 laps went by quickly, but McFadden had nothing for Jaeger, who captured his 12th career ABC win, all in the sixes. Coddington and Hawkinson were a ways back in third and fourth, while Don Muzzy slipped into the top five late in the go.
Tim Carbon and Austin Blom put on a show with some great door-to-door racing before Carbon, of Highbridge, edged to the Pure Stock feature win. Paul Milanowski started from the pole but lost the handle of his ride while battling for the lead with Nathan Dees, causing a multi-car tangle and putting Dees out of the event.
This gave the lead to Ken Tody, Jr, for the restart, but Carbon and Blom surrounded Tody and claimed the top two spots, while Tody dropped out with a flat tire. Carbon rode the low groove while Blom stayed up high, and they ran side by side for most of the balance of the race, which ran off without interruption.
At the white flag Carbon held a slight advantage, and with a strong run off turn two he pulled ahead of Blom to stay for his eighth ABC Raceway feature win. Joe Wolfe ran an impressive third at the final stripe, while Jeff Christman and Tim Carlson rounded out the top five.
In the Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers main event, Butch Bethke of Oakdale, MN, moved around Kevin Lipsky and eventually drove his vintage super-modified to victory after 15 laps. Mike Bjorkland nipped Dennis Olson at the line for second.
In the "Preacher Feature," Kent Seldal of Memorial Medical Center gave rookie Dustin Gay's pure stock its best run of the year, winning an early three-car battle with Ward Simpson and Ernie Bliss and pulling away to the first-ever win in this event at the Ashland track. Joe Mouseau came on strong late in the run to take second, ahead of Simpson, Bliss and Shawn Anderson. Seldal's winnings - the food donations and cash - will be awarded to The Brick Ministries on his behalf by the track.
In all, 80 racers competed in the five regular divisions on hand - the WISSOTA Modifieds had the night off - along with 11 vintage racers.
Next Saturday the Raceway will hold its second annual "Jam the Stands Night," presented by Heartland Communications. There will be music before and after the races, and the adult admission price will be cut in half, to just $5. Kids ages 12 and under are still free with an adult paid admission. The modifieds will be back in action, making for a full six-division show.
Hot laps are set for 6:15 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m. "Racenight" will air live on WBSZ, 93.3 FM, from 4:30-6 pm with at-the-track news and weather updates. 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 .
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: Art Hyde, Washburn; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Kevin Eder, Ashland; Brian Mikkonen, Iron River; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Nick Oreskovich, Mason; Joe Oliver, Superior; Dave Flynn, Superior; Ken Truscott, Greenland, MI; Tad Schoonover, Eagle River; Willie Johnsen, Superior; Ron Hmielewski, Marengo; Don Koivisto, Saxon; Greg Kuklinski, Ironwood, MI; Dave Elliott, Minocqua; Roy Pumala, Mason.
Heat 1: Eder; Spacek; Truscott; Olson; Mikkonen; Kuklinski; Hmielewski; Pumala; Johnsen.
Heat 2: Lawrence; Hyde; Oreskovich; Koivisto; Elliott; Schoonover; Oliver; Flynn.
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature: Steve Anderson, Ironwood, MI; Dennis Groom, Ashland; Jeff Klopstein, Baraga, MI; Larry Haderly, Marengo; Bruce Kalmon, Ashland; Kyle Weber, Drummond; Shaina Aho, Toivola, MI; Cory Casari, Hurley; Butch Kummer, Medford;
John Kallas, Hurley.
Heat 1: Haderly; Kuklinski; Kallas; Groom; Casari; Kalmon; Weber.
WISSOTA Midwest modifieds
Feature: Mike Truscott, Chippewa Falls; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Duane Dunbar, Marenisco, MI; Rob Weber, Ashland; George Dalbeck, Wakefield, MI; Rick Przybylski, Ashland; Steve Stuart, Ashland; Taylor Leuthner, Foxboro; Travis Nye, Ashland; Mickey Nosser, Phillips; Roger Walker, Phillips; Mike Brennan, Ashland; Cody Carlson, Superior; Joe Ecklund, Springbrook; Jesse Ogston, Duluth, MN; Pat Cook, Washburn; Shawn Rivord, Superior; Travis Swanson, Ashland; Zene Anderson, Superior; Dan Sellung, Mason; Chris Bretting, Ashland; Roland Gordon, Bayfield.
Heat 1: Dunbar; Ogston; Latvala; Stuart; Carlson; Weber; Leuthner; Bretting.
Heat 2: Truscott; Dalbeck; Walker; Swanson; Eckland; Brennan; Rivord.
Heat 3: Przybylski; Nosser; Cook; Nye; Gordon; Sellung; Anderson.
Feature: Greg Jaeger, Mellen; Shawn McFadden, Jr, Ashland; Dale Coddington, Hayward; Chuck Hawkinson, Mellen; Don Muzzy, Ironwood, MI; Colin Polacek, Phillips; Neil Adamczak, Ashland; Pat Beeksma, Ironwood, MI; DeJay Mihalek, Ashland; Bryan Anderson, Mason; Forrest Schultz, Ashland; Ron Lillie, Wakefield, MI; Tyler Luger, Iron River; Zach Pagels, Marengo; Jonathon Popp, Iron River; Adam Traaholt, Ashland; Ken Tyykila, Iron River; Justin Bretall, Grand View; Warren Beede, Iron River; Tim Beeksma, Ashland; Aaron Mashlan, Ashland; Scott Ovaska, Marengo; Bobby Durand, Mason.
Heat 1: Coddington; Polacek; Schultz; Mashlan; P Beeksma; Anderson; Durand; Bretall.
Heat 2: Jaeger; Hawkinson; Ovaska; Beede; Muzzy; Popp; Adamczak; Luger.
Heat 3: Mihalek; McFadden; Tyykila; Pagels; Traaholt; Lillie; T Beeksma.
Feature: Tim Carbon, Highbridge; Austin Blom, Saginaw, MN; Joe Wolfe, Montreal; Jeff Christman, Superior; Tim Carlson, Superior; Don Livingston, Bayfield; Paul Milanowski, Ashland; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Ken Tody, Jr, Ashland; Dustin Gay, Ashland; Nathan Dees, Ironwood, MI.
Heat 1: Christman; Carbon; Milanowski; Tody; Gay; Deragon.
Heat 2: Blom; Dees; Wolfe; Livingston; Carlson.
Preacher Feature: Kent Seldal; Joe Mouseau; Ward Simpson; Earnie Bliss; Shawn Anderson; J D Weber; Christina Jensen; Paul Simmons; Dale Chesley; Merle Kerr; Tom Rouse; Keith Vick; Ron Manske.
Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers Feature: Butch Bethke, Oakdale, MN; Mike Bjorkland, Sandstone, MN; Dennis Olson, Breham, MN; Kevin Lipsky, New Richmond; Jerry Bergdorf, West Bend; Mark Peine, White Bear Lake, MN; George Shields, Cameron; Ken Sabby, River Falls; Walt Stoltzman, Hugo, MN; Tim Carbon, Highbridge; John Van Wilgen, Hollondale, MN.
NVSR Heat: Olson; Bjorkland; Bethke; Bergdorf; Peine; Shields; Sabby; Lipsky; Van Wilgen; Stoltzman; Carbon.