LATE MODELS & MODIFIEDS GO FLAG TO FLAG, SUPER STOCK FEATURE ONE FOR THE AGES
By Jerry O’Brien
6/17/22 Superior WI
First the weather report…cloudless skies, temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s.
what does this get us on race night at Gondik Law Speedway? Perhaps the best
crowd numbers of the 2022 season, and for sure, the best car count of the year for
a weekly show, a nice strong count of 109 cars spread out over the six divisions.
It didn’t hurt that our friends from Kivi Trucking, one of our best sponsors,
presented the annual “Meet the Drivers” just before the start of the evening’s
festivities. Fans get to go out on the race track to meet the drivers up close and
personal. For the parents it is a great chance to meet the “show” before the action
starts and it’s also a great chance for the kids to go on an “Early Halloween” as
most of the racers bring candy and other handouts for them.
Because of this important meeting with the fans and their kids, qualifying heat
races started around 30 minutes late. The large turnout of cars set qualifying back
about a half hour. There were fourteen heat races and a B Feature in the Midwest
Modifieds to qualify everyone on the grounds.
Because of the late start it took until eight minutes past none o’clock p.m. to set
the all six feature events.
First up was a 20 lap main event for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. These
cars are the most popular of the eight decisions available for WISSOTA Sanction,
witness the stuffed Pit area overflowing with 32 cars. Also the “Tipsy Beaver”
Tavern in Superior added in an extra $1500 to enable the speedway to raise the
winning purse to $1000 for the victor in the Midwest Modified feature. It was a
rare sight this season to see a full field of 24 Midwest Modifieds rumble onto the
speedway for their feature run.
The full field of cars mentioned surely played a part in some very difficult
racing at the start. A total of five caution flags in the first ten laps including at
least one red flag signifying a blocked track occurred in the event before heads
were set on straight and the carnage slowed. It was difficult to tell where drivers
were as the jockeying for position seemed to shuffle the lineup without rhyme no
reason. With about 15 laps remaining everything seemed to understand what was
happening and the racing became smoother and the caution flags scarce. At the
beginning of the event the front of the pack was unstable with Ryan Savoy taking
the early lead with Cody Carlson, Evan Checkalski, Cole Chernosky and others
scrambling for position on the very fast four tenths mile high banks. The result of
this was caution flags that slowed the action and changed the pack almost every
circuit. Savoy was very fast but was unable to avoid the carnage which put the
#16s in the pits along with several other strong runners.
Then, on a restart, the demeanor of the racers seemed to change for the better
and there were no caution flags the rest of the way. Chernosky secured the lead
after Savoy’s bad luck and pulled away with Carlson chasing him several lengths
back. Still further back Andrew Inman broke from the pack and set off after the
leaders. Chernosky was bound to keep the lead but Carlson began to cut into it. At
this point there was not enough laps for Carlson to get any closer than two car
lengths before the checkered flag waved. Andrew Inman finshed a strong fourth
and Brady Uotinen looked strong in fifth in his returm. After losing some time
over the past few weeks due to a serious crash that sidelined her car, Teenager
Kennedy Swan of Chippewa Falls, WI returned to action and showed her usual
grit as she blew through the field from the 12th starting spot to finish a very strong
fourth. The second five included Shane Howell in his first outing of the season,
David Simpson, James Vendela, Jamie Davis and Dalton Mains in the top ten.
Chernosky, Simpson, and Davis are all Canadians whom we are glad to see back
after Covid 19 closed the border.
The second group to drive onto the track which seemed to become faster as the
night wore on, was the WISSOTA Super Stocks showing 17 entries. The 20 lap
feature turned into one for the ages. After the field settled down from a number of
caution flags, some serious enough for the wounded cars going off on the Hook,
the last several laps were, indeed ones for the ages. Some of the best Super Stock
drivers in WISSOTA put on a super exhibition of driving. When the last five laps
were completed, Kyle Copp headed for the winners circle with Andy Grymala in
second after both of then passed leader Terran Spacek. Scott Lawrence’s rebirth in
‘22 after some off years has seemed to have taken hold as he recorded a solid
fourth place finish. Andrew Mackey also continued his strong performance from
the previous season with a fifth place finish.
The win for Copp was his first ever here at Gondik Law Speedway.
Just when we thought we were in for another long, late night, out came the
WISSOTA Late Models and Modifieds for their main events. First the Late
Models 19 strong moved onto the racing surface led by Danny Vang and Deven
VanHouse. To put it in the simplest terms, the green flag flew and 25 non stopped
laps later Vang was standing on the victory lane with a checkered flag in his hands
as the winner. Vang led every lap from the pose while Mike Bellefeuille moved
past VanHouse into second where he remained to the end. With very little position
changes, -Travis Budiaslovich, Mike Prochnow, Skeeter Estey, Jody Bellefeuille,
Aaron Lillo, Harry Hanson and Tim McMann finished in the top ten.
This is the first full season for Estey in a Late Model and he looks strong as do
Next up were the WISSOTA Modifieds 19 cars strong. On the outside pole
was 23 year old Billy Kendall III with Mike Klippenstein on the pole. Kendall
bolted to the lead at the green and ran away from the other starters while
Klippenstein faded back to finish 13th, Brandon Copp slipped into second and gave
chase to Kendall. He couldn’t catch him, however. The top five was unsettled for a
couple of laps but soon fell into formation. The order was Kendall III, Copp, Jody
Bellefeuille, Mike Rivord and Johnny Broking. This order stayed to the checkered
flag where Billy Kendall III collected his first Late Model winner’s check of his
Just when we thought everything should go right for the Pure Stocks and
Hornets, we were proved wrong. In the Pure Stocks we had one of those scary
crashes when Steven Christman was forced into the wall in the second turn and
took a multi side over side roll down the back stretch. The car was heavily
damaged but Christman was alright with minor injuries in the preliminary report.
It took a while to clean it up and when racing resumed, after another lap or so,
Tom Treviranus brought out the red flag after a slow ride into the fourth turn wall,
up & over. He was not injured but the car also took damage. A very happy Dylan
Shelton accepted the checkered flag as one of the few this season who has been
able to outrun Ccory Jorgensen.
A nice field of Hornets, 15 in number, took to the speedway for a 12 lap feature.
There was a single caution flag, and right after that AJ House took his 14A to the
front and to the checkered flag as he continued his string of feature wins. House
also won his heat for the sweep. DeJay Jarecki finished second ahead of Justin
Barsness, Casey Fitzpatrick and Carson Gotelaere in the top five.