BELLEFEIUILE BLITZES BORDER BATTLE MODIFIED MAIN
By Jerry O’Brien
(7-2-21) Superior, WI
(7-2-21) Superior, WI
The 2021 Border Battle was the fifth edition, this year featuring the WISSOTA
Modifieds as the top class of the five scheduled. Other divisions include
WISSOTA Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Hornets.
Opening night was the first of two sweltering early July nights. A strong crowd
was on hand to watch the five divisions which brought a total of 119 cars led by
35 Midwest Modifieds. Also in competition were 28 WISSOTA Modifieds, 24
Super Stocks, a dozen Pure Stocks and a nice count of 20 Hornets.
A total of twenty-two races including three B Features were necessary to fill
out 24 car fields, where possible. Qualifying heats began with a pair for the Pure
Stocks. The first was won by former track and WISSOTA National champion
Cory Jorgesen. The second went to first time racer at the speedway Margo
Butcher. Also a pair of Hornet heats won by DeJay Jarecki and A. J. House who
stepped back into a Hornet after moving to the Pure Stocks. There were four heat
races to accommodate the larger than usual turnout. They were won by Jack
Rivord, Justin Froemming, Ryan Savoy and Nick Ayotte. The pair of B Features
for the Midwest Modifieds went to Jason VandeKamp and Ashley Mehrwerth.
Scott Lawrence, Kevin Burdick and Shane Sabraski were the Super Stock heat
winners. In the Modified division heats went to Ashley Anderson, Skeeter Estey
and Jody Bellefeuille while the single B Feature was won by Bob Broking.
After a short intermission the program commenced with the feature for the Pure
Stocks. The heat winners Jorgensen and Butcher shared the front row for the 15
lap event. Eleven of the twelve cars started the race. At the green Jorgensen
grabbed the lead, but Butcher came right back and took over the lead which she
held for a number of laps while fending off Jorgensen and Aaron Bernick. Mike
Schnider joined the front four for a while but slowly lost touch of the front three.
As the race progressed, Bernick began a push that took him first past Jorgensen,
then Butcher as he took the lead. He continued to hold onto the lead until he had
something he had been chasing for years, his first ever feature win. Jorgensen was
second, Schnider got past Butcher for third and Tim Carlson who had just returned
to competition after a five year absence, finished fifth.
Next the 25 lap Midwest Modified feature was on tap. This one turned out to be
an entertaining one featuring four lead changes, four caution flags and a surprise
winner. From the beginning, outside pole sitter Nick Ayotte took the lead chased
by Justin Froemming, Corey Storck, Zach Benson, and Brady Uotinen amongst
others. There was a caution flag for a tangle in turn four that put out Ryan Savoy.
Uotin was on the move and was in third place when there was another caution in
turn four this time for a tangle that left Wyatt Boyum riding to the pits on the
Rollback. The restart saw Uotinen surge to the front despite another caution flag
for Ayotte who’c car dropped fluid in turn one and two. Uotinen continued in the
lead with Benson leading the pack in chase. A fourth caution slowed the action but
Uotinen continued at the point on the restart. The caution came with 10 laps
remaining. Benson made his move and took the lead as Uotinen lost ground to
Froemming and Travis Schulte who had started ninth an had quietly moved into
contention. Benson looked to have the race locked up but had not counted on
Schulte who obvously had something left as he ran down Benson and out dragged
him to the checkered flag by a small margin. Froemming, Uotinen and Jason
VandeKamp who had come from 17th to fifth. VandeKamp was the winner of the
Hard Charger award with a plus 12.
The WISSOTA Modifieds, the featured division, rolled onto the speedway for
their 30 lap main event. Heat winners Jody Bellefeuille and Skeeter Estey made up
the front row. At the green it was Bellefeuille who surged to the lead, survived a
pair of caution flags near the half way mark and went on to lead every lap for the
sweep. What made the race for the win was the fact that one of the hottest racers in
the area Ashley Anderson was chasing him and had several looks in an effort to
make the pass. Also in contention were Mike Anderson, Shane Sabraski and
Jeremy Nelson. Bellefeuille pulled away in the waning laps as Anderson’s last
attempt to take the win failed. Sabraski got past Mike Anderson for third and
Nelson finished fifth.
Next up was the 25 lap Super Stock 25 lap feature and it turned out to be a
really rough one featuring seven caution flags and a stirring battle between front
row starters Kevin Burdick and Scott Lawrence. First Burdick led in the early laps,
then Lawrence for the next few before giving way to Shane Sabraski. In close
proximity to the lead battle another one raged between Dave Flynn, Dylan Nelson,
DJ Keeler. They were joined later by Kyle Copp and Andrew Mackey. Sabraski
went on to survive all the caution periods and take the win. Lawrence got past
Burdick at the end for second and Flynn passed Burdick into third. Nelson
finished fifth. It was Sabraski’s 14th feature win of the 2021 season.
With the Super Stock feature in the books, the first night of the Border Battle
finished with 15 laps for the Hornets. Newcomer Matt Dittman grabbed the lead
from the outside of the front row. DeJay Jarecki slipped through from the third
starting spot to second. Jarecki soon disposed of Dittman while A. J. House made
his way to second. House then spent the rest of the event trying to chase down
Jarecki who went on to take the win in an event that went green to checkereds
without a caution flag.
Racing continues on the second day of the fifth annual Border Battle on Saturday
the third of July.