BUDIASLOVICH NELSON SABRASKI AKERVIK AND JARECKI TOPNIGHT ONE OF HEAD OF THE LAKES FAIR RACES
By Jerry O’Brien
7-20-21 Superior, WI
7-20-21 Superior, WI
Cool weather covered the Northland as the Head of the Lakes Fair opened a six
day run with a “Sneak a peak” night featuring free admission to the Fair.
The featured event for opening night was a five division of stockcar racing in
five of six WISSOTA Weekly classes. Only the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
were on a night off as they would take center stage on Friday the 23rd on the
second day of racing at the fair.
A nice field of 74 cars were in competition with a nice total of 23 WISSOTA
Late Models including several drivers perhaps checking out the speedway for the
coming WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series visit coming up soon.
Qualifying heat races started the event off as drivers vied for starting sparts in
their respective main events.
Late Model heats were won by Jody Bellefeuille, Darrell Nelson and Dave
Mass. A single heat of WISSOTA Modifieds saw Jody Bellefeuille take the win.
Kevin Burdick and Shane sabraski captured Super Stock heats while Dylan
Shelton and Cory Jorgensen topped the Pure Stock heats. Newcomer Jacob Aarhus
and DeJay Jarecki won the Hornet heats.
The first division to take to the track was the Super Stocks with 16 of the 17
cars on hand lined up to take the green flag for their 20 lap main. Superior’s Dave
Flynn was on the outside of the front row as Andy Grymala also of Superior had
the pole. Flynn took the lead at the green flag ahead of Grymala with Darin
Meierotto, Kevin Burdick and Scott Lawrence who had made a quick move from
the tenth starting spot to the front five. With one lap in the #6 of Dan Peterson
spun in turn two bringing out the caution flag. The front three remained the same
at the restart but Lawrence moved to fourth past Burdick. Shane Sabraski, Kyle
Copp and DJ Keeler joined the pack. Next time by, Lawrence was third and Brian
Carl had moved up to the ninth spot. Caution flag number two appeared when the
#07 of Paul Lease from Deer Lodge, MT spun at the bottom of turn three. The
restart came with 17 laps remaining. Flynn held sway at the point and Grymala
stayed right with him as the rest of the pack continued to battle amongst
themselves. Sabraski began to move forward as the race continued without further
interruption for the next several laps finally landing in third. By this time Flynn
had moved away from the second place runner out to a huge lead and looked to be
unbeatable. But, with five laps remaining, what proved to the third and final
caution flag flew. At the green flag Flynn moved away, but this time Sabraski was
able to hang with him, find an opening and take the lead. Behind the lead duo very
close racing ensued for position. Sabraski was able to hold off Flynn for his third
win of the season here. Flynn finished a disappointed second while Burdick, Copp
and Grymala finished in the top five.
Next the 25 lap feature for the WISSOTA Late Models rolled out with Travis
Budiaslovich holding the pole position flanked by Deven VanHouse. At the green
Budiaslovich held the lead for the first circuit but VanHouse slipped past the next
time by to the lead which he held for a number of laps while Budiaslovich and
Mike Bellefeuille were the top three. Pat Doar ran fourth and Canadian racer
Shane Edington held the fifth spot and battled with Steve Laursen and Darrell
Nelson. Budiaslovich Ramped up the pressure on VanHouse and took the lead
while Doar took second. The caution flag, the only one of the event, flew when
Clint Larson driving the #87 had an encounter with the first turn wall and was
through for the night. Budiaslovich held sway on the restart but Doar applied the
pressure the rest of the way. Budiaslovich, a former track champion, was able to
resist and went on to take the win. VanHouse finished a strong third while veteran
racer Steve Laursen finished fourth. Don Shaw was fifth after starting 12th and Jeff
Massingill was sixth from 14th.
The WISSOTA Modifieds were scheduled for a 20 lap main event. A pair of
familiar racers were on the front row as speedway Hall of Fame members Darrell
Nelson and Al Uotinen. At the green Nelson bolted from the pole position to the
lead and proceeded to pull away from the rest to a huge lead. Second place was up
for grabs as Uotinen, Jody Bellefeuille, Brandon Copp, Shane Sabraski, Nick
Koehler and Skeeter Estey skirmished for positions. As the five laps to go mark
passed, rookie Modified racer Mike Klippenstein (#212) went around in turn two.
The restart came with three laps remaining bunching up the field and destroying
Nelson’s huge advantage setting up a free for all for the finish. Nelson was able to
keep ahead of the pack but there were changes as the field took the white flaf for
the final lap. When the dust settled, Nelson was on the winner’s circle with his
second win of the season at the speedway. He had pitched a shutout leading every
lap and turning the fastest of the race at 18.658 seconds for a 77+MPH lap
average. Jody Bellefeuille, Brandon Copp, Shane Sabraski and Skeeter Estey
finished in the top five. Uotinen, Rick Rivord, Klippenstein were next in the order.
Devin Fouquette did not finish and Nick Koehler was disqualified.
In Pure Stock action, Dylan Shelton was looking to extend a winning streak he
had just started but veteran driver Jared Akervik foiled that try. Shelton started on
the pole after winning the first heat and took over the lead right from the
beginning. Three caution flags at various points in the 12 lap event prevented
anyone from opening a wide lead. Akervik was on a mission after starting seventh,
managed to work his way forward with a combination of a fast car and caution
flags that kept everyone close. The final caution came very late in the race when
Trevor Treviranus spun out on the back stretch. The restart came down to a
green/white/checkered situation that enabled Akervik to get around Shelton to
steal the win by 49 thousands of a second at the finish line. The win was the fifth
of the season at Gondik Law Speedway. Cory Jorgensen, Michael Roth and Margo
Butcher finished in the top five.
Ashland Wisconsin’s DeJay Jarecki piled up another Hornet feature win at the
speedway as he bested Mac Johnston, newcomer Jacob Aarhus, Tyler Schramm
and Casey Fitzpatrick in the 12 lap main event. Jarecki got the lead from the get go
and lead every circuit for the win.