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WISSOTA leading Late Model rookie candidate wins second career feature

Cold weather and hot racing under a full moon were at the Proctor speedway Sunday night. For several drivers it was to be a very difficult race program, with two heavy collisions and a roll over that kept the ambulance workers busy. Two make-up f...

Cold weather and hot racing under a full moon were at the Proctor speedway Sunday night. For several drivers it was to be a very difficult race program, with two heavy collisions and a roll over that kept the ambulance workers busy. Two make-up features from the June 10 rain out supplemented the full five-class program.

Darrell Nelson notched another WISSOTA modified feature in a tight battle with Don Copp. An incident early in the 20-lap event saw Jody Bellefeuille, Kelly Estey and Justin Jones tangle on the backstretch, with all three sliding into the infield and destroying several sponsor signs. No one was injured in the crash, but the same could not be said for Jad Carlson later on.

Carlson found himself spinning sideways off turn four, and John Reini could not avoid the car, which had its driver's door to traffic, and nailed Carlson hard. Carlson was transferred to a Duluth hospital where he was undergoing surgery Sunday night for a crushed ankle.

In the make-up feature for the pure stocks, Andrew LaBarge from Hibbing was the winner over Glen Dammer. Pete Ciurleo finished third ahead of his son, Tony, with Brady Strochein in fifth.

The first feature of the regularly scheduled program set the tone for the rest of the night. The 20-lap event started off badly, with a couple of incidents that cut the field to 17 cars before a lap could be completed.

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Art Hyde took the lead at the outset, running a momentum line around the top of the track with Steve Estey and pole sitter Wayne Stricker in hot pursuit. It soon developed that the high groove on the slick track was a bit faster, but there was some good traction to be had right on the bottom in turn one and two.

Ryan Aho and Jeff Tardy started next to one another in row four and soon began to make their presence felt. Though there had been trouble starting the race, the first actual caution flag appeared when Butch Butcher got into Aho and spun himself in turn one. It was a single file restart with Hyde getting the jump on Stricker, Estey and Jay Kintner. Tardy and Aho were in the top five as Hyde went to the top again and the rest ran on the bottom back to about seventh place.

At the halfway point Hyde led Estey, Stricker, Kintner, Tardy and Aho. Estey's use of the low line in turn one began to pay off as he was able to pull along side Hyde off of turn two and go wheel-to-wheel down the backstretch. There was no grip in the low groove in three and four, so Estey's advantage would not hold down the front stretch. The final caution flag appeared on lap 16, when Robbie Cooper went off turn three and got hung up on the edge.

Hyde's fate depended on getting into the high line quickly on the restart, but he came out of turn two on the restart in a tight bunch with Hyde, Estey and Kintner going for the win. Estey edged ahead on the white flag lap and Hyde tried desperately to get back in the high groove into turn three. Hyde and Estey clashed with Estey's car catching some significant air before going off turn four and rolling onto the roof. Estey was not injured and was declared the winner while Hyde was banished to a 15th place finish, the last car running. Kintner was scored second, and the rest of the finishing order was being reviewed at the end of the race program.

Next up was the WISSOTA late model feature. It was obvious the car that got the jump at the start had the best chance to win, as passing was going to be difficult for the high-powered cars on the slick surface. At the green flag late model rookie Kyle Peterlin got a great start, shooting through from the second row to take the lead into the first turn.

Most cars at the front of the 16-car field used the high groove and there was little passing. The halfway point was quickly reached in the 20-lap event. At the midpoint Peterlin led John Massingill, Darrell Nelson, Harry Hanson and Jeff Provinzino in the top five.

Kevin Carlson then spun in turn four, bringing out a caution flag that Peterlin did not want to see, as he had built up a substantial lead. At the green, there were 11 laps remaining, and Peterlin beat Massingill into the first turn as the halfway point was reached

The second and final caution flag waved when Jeff Provinzino got into Harry Hanson, spinning him in turn one. It was a single-file restart, and Peterlin had little trouble maintaining his lead over Massingill for the win. Nelson, Hanson and Young rounded out the top five.

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The 20-lap WISSOTA Midwest modified feature fielded 20 cars ,with Cory Jorgenson on the pole. At the green flag, Skeeter Estey shot through from the second row to the lead out of the scramble. Jesse Ogston, Greg Chesley, Nick Lavato and Mark Kangas followed , as it was the high side in three and four and the low route through one and two. Chesley beat Estey into turn one and completed the pass on the backstretch with Lavato up to second. There were no stoppages in the first half of the race and at the halfway mark it was Chesley leading Lavato, Kangas, Estey, and Ogston in the first five while Jim White Deven VanHouse, Jimmy Latvala, Jorgenson and E J Hietala ran in the top ten.

On the magic lap 16 the only caution flag appeared when Andrew Inman got turned around in turn two. Chesley easily pulled away on the restart for the win and Kangas got by Lavato for second, while White and Estey rounded out the top five.

In the WISSOTA modified feature, pole sitter Rick Cannata got the jump on the field and the pack behind him were gingerly running through the turns high, low and in the middle, trying to sort themselves out. Justin Jones and Paul Schultz, as well as Darrell Nelson and Kelly Estey, used the low line to get into the leading pack.

Jones got past Cannata for the lead by swinging into the high groove with Nelson following. Estey soon went to the top, and he and Nelson ran nose to tail, trying to track down Jones. No caution flags meant the 10-lap mark of the 20-lap feature was quickly reached. Jones led Nelson, Estey, Duane Dale, Schultz and Cannata, while Jeff Wood was up to sixth after starting dead last of the 13 cars.

Nelson and Estey caught Jones off turn two, one high, the other low and squeezed past. Estey took the lead off turn four over Nelson and went on to take the win. Nelson, Jones, Wood and Schultz rounded out the top five.

The final feature of the night was the pure stock 15-lap event. Al Rapp got the jump on the 20-car field, but Chad Carlson got spun in turn four and, on the restart, Rapp again got out front. Fifth starting Jon McKinnon was soon in the mix along with make-up feature winner Andrew LaBarge.

Rapp, McKinnon and LaBarge hooked up in a battle with LaBarge taking the low route to the lead. Rapp and McKinnon then hooked up nose-to-tail in the high groove in an effort to run down LaBarge. Meanwhile, Tony Ciurleo moved up to fourth with LaRae Ralidak, up from the sixth row, to the top five. At the halfway mark the order was the same in the top five with Rick Kesty, Glen Dammer, Richard Dezlak and Pat Van Ert in the top ten.

With no more caution periods to slow the action, the two car train of Rapp and McKinnon began to make inroads into LaBarge's lead. To make things more interesting, LaBarge was coming up on traffic in his groove while the pursuing duo had a clear track. But LaBarge was able to make his way through the traffic to take his second feature win of the night. Rapp, McKinnon, Tony Ciurleo and Glen Dammer finished in the top five.

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