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Thatcher best at Ashland Como Modified Series show

Craig Thatcher of Knapp, Wis. dominated the third leg of the Como Oil & Propane Modified Series on Tuesday. The top four rows of the 30-lap feature were determined by the pole dash, which was won by Jody Bellefeuille. The win put him on the p...

Craig Thatcher of Knapp, Wis. dominated the third leg of the Como Oil & Propane Modified Series on Tuesday. The top four rows of the 30-lap feature were determined by the pole dash, which was won by Jody Bellefeuille. The win put him on the pole next to Robbie Bunkelman. Defending series champion Darrell Nelson was buried deep in the pack, starting from 13th, while Kelly Estey, the winner of the first two Como events, had a horrible qualifying night and started 22nd in the 25-car field. Dave Cain took the Como Provisional and started dead last.

At the green flag, Bellefeuille got the jump on Bunkelman, with Jeff Wood, Dean Yrjanainen and Jerry Hartman following. Bellefeuille and Bunkelman broke away in the early going as Wood, Yrjanainen and Hartman ran down the backstretch three wide for third. Starting deep in the field on the outside of the sixth row, Craig Thatcher worked his way forward, and by lap five, was sixth. He shortly got by Yrjanainen to break into the top five.

A caution flag appeared when Bill Byholm parked his car in turn four with damage to the right front suspension. The Como Series used the Delaware start, which puts the leader in front by himself with the rest lined up double file. Bellefeuille resumed the lead at the green flag and Hartman got the jump on Bunkelman for second with Wood fourth and Thatcher fifth. Wood and Hartman clashed, and Wood spun and dropped from the event. At the restart, Bunkelman and Bellefeuille ran wheel to wheel and Bunkelman won out, taking the lead with 22 laps remaining. Ninth starting Jeff Spacek took second from Bellefeuille, who began to lose ground.

Thatcher, meanwhile, found something in the top groove and took second with ten laps completed. Estey was charging forward and was battling for the 10th spot when the caution flag flew for the third time. At the green flag, Bunkelman led Spacek, Thatcher, Hartman and Rick Rivord. With 16 laps remaining, Thatcher continued in the high groove and swept around Bunkelman and Spacek into the lead. Yrjanainen and Spacek dueled for third and Yrjanainen took the spot.

With ten circuits left Thatcher was cruising in the high line with Bunkelman, Yrjanainen, Spacek, and Hartman in the top five. Nelson was up to sixth, Rivord was seventh and then came Estey in eighth. With five laps to go, it was clear no one was going to catch Thatcher, who won his 10th special event feature at the ABC Raceway. Bunkelman, Yrjanainen, Spacek and Hartman finished in the top five. Nelson, Rivord, Don Copp (from the 12th row), Scott Hudack (from row 11) and Estey rounded out the top ten finishers. Estey was judged to have jumped the start on the last caution and was docked two spots for a tenth place run.

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Scott Lawrence took the lead early in the super stock feature after a false start realigned the field in the 25-lap race. Lawrence led Brian Mikkonen, Jeff Tardy, Dave Flynn and Eric Olson, but the caution flag flew when Curt Myer stopped on the backstretch with mechanical problems after one complete lap. The restart did not work, as Trevor Wilson, Duane Dunbar and Todd Bonny crashed in turn three. At the green flag, Lawrence pulled away from Mikkonen and Ryan Aho, who had jumped up to third as Paul Erickson, Tardy and Olson battled. Also on the move was Joe Oliver, who had started 20th after winning the B Feature and was already 13th after six laps. Aho got by Mikkonen for second while Erickson, Olson and Tardy skirmished for fourth. Charging up from row eight was Darin Meierotto, who was just outside the top five battling with Olson for fifth.

With 17 laps to go, the second caution flag flew for a tangle in turn four between Brian Lund and Bonny. Lawrence was still in command at the green flag, but Aho and Mikkonen were right on his tail. More on-track problems arose when Don Koivisto turned around in turn four with one more lap scored. At the restart, Aho moved to the outside of Lawrence to challenge for the lead but was unable to make the pass. Aho was able to edge past on the backstretch but Lawrence was better into turn three and kept the point off turn four. Lawrence staved off Aho, who soon found himself battling with Olson for second. Lawrence eventually put three car lengths on Aho to won his 33rd career feature at the raceway. Aho, Olson, Tardy and Meierotto finished in the top five. Meierotto was docked two positions for a jumped restart knocking him back to fifth. Randy Spacek, Mikkonen, Erickson, Oliver and Rick Przybylski rounded out he top ten.

Ken Tyykila held off rookie sensation Travis Swanson for his first six cylinder division feature win since July 2004 in the 15-lap feature. Swanson rebounded from an early spin to take second ahead of Shawn McFadden Jr., Chuck Hawkinson and Dale Coddington. McFadden, Swanson and Coddington all have feature wins at the raceway this season. Greg Jaeger, Scott Ovaska, Pat Cook, Jim Anderson and Jim Pelto rounded out the top ten.

Tuesday's ABC Raceway Results

Como Modified Series Race Three

WISSOTA Modified (39 cars)

Heat 1: Robbie Bunkelman; Jerry Hartman; Jeff Spacek; Darrell Nelson; Pat Doar; Andy Miskowik; Ross Lightner; Dave Cain; Mike Sauvola, Marc Johnson.

Heat 2: Dean Yrjanainen; Jody Bellefeuille; Tim Alexander; Al Uotinen; Steve Lavaseur; Bill Byholm; Bruce Belland; Marc Damjanovich; Hohn Hettiga; Nick Nelso.

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Heat 3: Jeff Hart; Jeff Wood; Justin Jones; Jayme Lautigar; Paul Niznik; Don Copp; Paul Schultz; Rick Cannata; Jason Miller; Kelly Estey.

Heat 4: Ricky Roche; Rick Rivord; Craig Thatcher; Joey Jensen; Shawn Kreyer; Scott Hudak; Dan Sellung; Tyler Keyser; DNS: Mark Baxter.

B Feature 1: (top two go to feature) Estey; Copp; Cain; Miskowik; Lightner; Cannata; Johnson; Schultz; Sauvola; Miller.

B Feature 2: Hudack; Byholm; N. Nelson; Sellung; Hettiga; Belland; Keyser; Baxter Damjanovich.

Pole Dash: (sets first four rows of feature) Bellefeuille; Bunkelman; Wood; Hartman; Yrjanainen; Hart; Rivord; Roche.

Feature (30 laps): (Dave Cain awarded provisional start) Thatcher (1-10); Bunkelman; Yrjanainen; Spacek; Hartman; D. Nelson; Rivord; Copp; Hudack; Estey (11-25); Cain; Bellefeuille; Hart; Kreyer; Lautigar; Doar; Jensen; Uotinen; Jones; Roche; Alexander; Niznik; Wood; Byholm.

WISSOTA Super Stock (32 cars)

Heat 1: Randy Spacek; Brian Mikkonen; Eric Olson; Kevin Eder; Larry Hadderly; Joe Oliver; Dave Elliott; DQ: Art Hyde.

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Heat 2: Curt Myers; Scott Lawrence; Ken Truscott; Trevor Wilson; Ron Hemelewski; Tom Karis; Charlie Anderson; Todd Bonny.

Heat 3: Ryan Aho; Dave Flynn; Paul Erickson; Darin Meierotto; Bryan Lund; Cy Hoaglan; Destin Lorimor; DQ Jake Hiatt.

Heat 4: Jeff Tardy; Don Koivisto; Rick Przybylski; Tom Treviranus; Duane Dunbar; Nick Oreskovich; Andy Grymala; Wayne Stricker.

B Feature: Oliver; Karis; Oreskovich; Bonny; Stricker; Elliott; Hoaglan; Grymala; Lorimor; Hyde; Hiatt; Anderson.

Feature (25 laps): Lawrence (1-10); Aho; Olson; Tardy; Meierotto; Spacek; Mikkonen; Erickson; Oliver; Przbyblski (11-24); Hemelewski; Karis; Koivsto; Truscott; Eder; Dunbar; Treviranus; Wilson; Flynn; Lund; Bonny; Oreskovich; Myers; Hadderly.

Six Cylinder (22 cars)

Heat 1: Chuck Hawkinson; Steve Stuart; Greg Jaeger; Dan Moncher; Jonathan Popp; Don Livingston; Myron Basina; Bob Thorson.

Heat 2: Shawn McFadden; Dale Coddington; Travis Swanson; Jim Anderson; Forrest Schultz; Dom Muzzy; Jim Pelto.

Heat 3: Scott Ovaska; Ken Tyykila Sr.; Zach Pagels; Pat Cook; Adam Traaholt; Ken Tyykila Jr.; DNS Paul Conley.

Feature (15 laps): Tyykila (1-10); Swanson; McFadden; Hawkinson; Coddington; Jaeger; Ovaska; Cook; Anderson; Pelto (11-22); Stuart; Pagels; Muzzy; Livingston; Popp; Traaholt; Schultz; Basina; Moncher; Tyykila; Thorteson; DNS: Conley.

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