MIKE BELLEFEUILLE WINS FIRST EVER WISSOTA LATE MODEL MAIN
By Jerry O’Brien
(6-16-21) Superior, WI
It was a perfect day for racing at Gongik Law Speedway on Friday June 18th.
Sunny and warm with a stiff breeze out of the west. The evening started out with
no rain forecast, but then it started to show the likelihood of scattered brief
showers throughout the evening.
It was the annual “Meet the Drivers” night at the speedway and 84 racers took
the opportunity to meet and greet their fans on the front stretch before the racing
started an a large number of fans took advantage of the chance to meet them. It
always turns out to be a “summer Halloween” as the racers bombard the kids with
all kinds of candy.
Racing started just a bit late as it’s always difficult to get the fans, adults and
kids alike, to leave the track at this event. Once the track was cleared it was
opened up to whomever wanted to Hotlap befor the heat races began.
A dozen qualifying heat were run. In the WISSOTA Late Models it was a
family affair as Terry Lillo won the first and son Aaron won the second. Likewise
it was a family affair in the WISSOTA Modifieds as Bob Broking and son Johnny
won the two heats. In the Super Stocks Andy Grymala won the first and point
leader Dave Flynn won the second heat. It was the locals wo topped the Midwest
Modified heats with Jack Rivord winning the first and Ryan Savoy topping the
second. Trevor Treviraus and Cory Jorgensen won Pure Stock heats and DeJay
Jarecki and Tyler Schramm were the winners of the Hornet heats.
First up was 20 laps for the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds. The race turned out
to be a yellow flag fest with seven caution periods starting with two attempts to
complete the first lap. It degenerated into a couple of furious laps in between the
caution flags. Wyatt Boyum and Paul Ripley traded the first two laps. After two
caution flags in the first couple of laps, Boyum held the lead for a lap before
Shane Howell took the top spot. Boyum dropped to second, McLean Andrews
slipped into third, Ripley was fourth and Dalton Mains was fifth. A caution flag
appeared for debris in turn three. The restart came with 16 laps to go and Howell
grasped the lead and held on tight over Boyum, Andrews, and, surprisingly, Cody
Carlson who had made it all the way up to the top five from his 13th starting slot.
Just as quickly as it appeared that Howell would keep the lead, another caution
flag flew when Ripley spun at the bottom of turn two. The restart with 13 laps left
saw Howell lead with Andrews second, Boyum third and Carlson move up to
fourth. Just as it looked as though there was going to be several laps of racing,
Grayson Pratt spun his 63x around in turn two bringing out the fifth caution flag.
The restart came with 11 laps remaining. Howell was firmly in control as Carlson
moved to second ahead of Andrews. Boyum and Jimmy Latvala then engaged in a
struggle of the number 21’s trading the spot for five laps until the sixth caution
flag flew when Tanner Gehl who was having a great race and Mains tangled with
Gehl charged with the incident. Both were able to continue with six laps left.
Howell then raced off from Carlson to a near straight away lead but, once again
there was another caution flag, number 7 when Gehl spun himself out in turn four.
According to rule, cause two spins, you are out. The restart came with a single lap
remaining and Howell fended off carlson for the win. Carlson, Andrews, Ryan
Savoy and Boyum finished in the top five.
A strong field of WISSOTA Super Stocks were on hand numbering 19. Jim
Campbell and Scott Lawrence were the front row for a scheduled 20 laps. At the
green Campbell edge ahead of Lawrence but the caution flag again showed when
Rita Anderson spun in turn four. The second try at a start also failed to hold as
there was a pileup at the bottom of three and four when Justin Weinberger and
Patrick Beeksma tangled, an incident that was charged to Kevin Burdick. At the
start Campbell got the jump on Lawrence but that attempt at a start only lasted a
lap before there wasa another stoppage charged to the 22k of Jack Koranda. There
was still 19 laps to go when the next restart happened and point leader Dave Flynn
got the jump on the pack and they managed to reel off seven laps with Flynn
leading Lawrence for three of those circuits until DJ Keeler got past Lawrence into
second. Flynn then led Keeler while Lawrence fell to third ahead of Kyle Copp
and Campbell and Andy Grymala. Then the most serious incident of the night
happened. Coming down the front stretch in a gaggle of cars, cars began to bounce
off one another and someone pushed Lawrence into the wall who then went
spinning down into the first turn bringing out the red flag. Lawrence was okay but
the #77 went to the pits on a flatbed. The restart came with 12 laps to go with
Flynn in control. There was yet another caution flag and the track officials decided
that the time limit had run out and there would be a green/white/checkered run to
chose a winner. Flynn was equal to the task and took the win over Keeler, Nick
Oreskovich, Campbell and Copp in the top five.
With several of the regular Late Model drivers away at another track for a big
money race, the locals could muster only 10 cars. All 10 started the 20 lap main
event. Jody Bellefeuille and veteran Late Model driver Tim McMann led the field
to the green. Jody led the early laps over McMann, Kyle Peterlin, Aaron Lillo and
his brother another Late Model rookie, Mike Bellefeuille. Jody led the early laps
while brother Mike got by McMann and zipped by Jody to the lead. Jody hung in
there as Mike led to the mid point racing out to a full straight away bulge over
Jody. By this time Jody began to fade as Terry Lillo and son Aaron Lillo moved
by. Derek Vesel made a late race run from his eighth starting spot landing in third
behind McMann. Terry and Aaron rounded out the top five.
Next up was the WISSOTA Modified 20 lap go with all 16 cars on the track for
the feature. Jody Bellefeuille hustled to change cars and lead the cars out on the
track for the ain event. Flanked by Rick Rivord. Bellefeuille took the lead with
Rivord in second followed by Bob Broking, Danny Vang, Brandon Copp and Dan
Kingsley. Aftr a few laps it settled down with Jody Bellefeuille leading Rivord
who was having a strong run, Bob Broking, Copp and Johnny Broking. The skies
then opened up, the caution flag was thrown and officials decided since it was late
and we were past half way, it was a complete show and Bellefeuille was declared
the winner with the order of finish the same as on the lap when the caution was
It was announced that the Pure Stock feature as well as the hornet would
constitute double features on the next race day.