Nelson Tops Late Models at Northern Nationals Day 3
By Jerry O’Brien
9-8-18 Superior, WI
The final day of competition at Gondik Law Speedway was like day two except
the IRA Outlaw Sprints were replaced with the WISSOTA Late Models to go
along with the Modifieds, Super Stocks and Midwest Modifieds. The car counts
were nearly identical to Friday’s total with 138 cars compared to the previous
day’s count of 142. The interesting part was that they were not all the same cars
from the previous day in the WISSOTA divisions. It was also interesing that the
Midwest Modified count grew by three cars from 45 to 48.
Racing began a bit earlier with hot laps scheduled at 5:30 and racing at 6 p.m.
The Midwest Modifieds ran five qualifying heats and a pair of B Features to fill
out the 24 car feature field. David Simpson, Tyler hudack, Brandon Copp, Dan
Kingsley and David Swearingen were heat winners and Jason Haugerud and Wyatt
Boyum topped the B Features.
The 32 Super Stocks ran four heats and a B Feature to qualify for the feature.
Heat races wentmto Nick Oresskovich, Scott Lawrence, Dave Mass and Curt
Myers while Willie Johnsen Jr was the B Feature winner.
The 35 Modifieds ran four heats and two B Features. Mike Anderson, Johnny
Broking, Jody Bellefeuille and Todd Gehl won heats and Steve Lavasseur and
Andy Jones were B Feature winners.
Twenty-three WISSOTA Late Models were in competition and qualified for
feature positions through three heat races. Mike Prochnow track champion at red
Cedar Speedway won heat one, local hot shoe Darrell Nelson won the second and
Silver 1000 winner James Giossi topped the third heat.
With qualifying completed, it was time to start feature racing with the Midwest
Modifieds taking to the track first for their 20 lap event. Pole sitter Brandon Copp
wasted little time bolting to the lead over Andrew Inman with Skeeter Estey,
David Swearingen and Dan Kingsley in tow. Estey, who hasn’t lost a feature event
this early Fall, also wasted little time moving to second, then passing Copp for the
lead. Estey established a considerable lead as the laps flew by. Kingsley moved to
third while the pack began to string out. Inman, Swearingen, Shane Howell, Mark
Kangas and Tyler Hudack trailed behind as Estey’s lead steadily grew. All that
changed with nine laps complete when Hudack was turned around in turn two
bringing out the first caution flag which was charged to Mack Estey. On the restart
Inman slowed drastically causing a slowdown that caused Jimmy Latvala to be
bunted into the infield in turn three bringing out the second caution flag. Latvala
was towed to the pits and the race was restarted with eleven laps to go. At the
green Estey maintained the lead while Kingsley made the pass on Copp for
second. Copp returned the favor the next lap. Meanwhile Howell made a charge
forward and slipped past Swearingen into fourth. No more cautions slowed the
action and Estey was able to stay out front the rest of the way to make it his third
victory in three days at the speedway. Copp, Kingsley, Howell and Swearingen
stayed in the top five and finished in that order.
Next up it was 25 laps for the Super Stocks. Nick Oreskovich and Dave Flynn
led the pack to the green and Oreskovich jumped to the point with Flynn second,
Scott Lawrence third, Dave Mass fourth and Curt Myers fifth. Mass went for
broke and shot from fourth to second snd wasted little time flying past Oreskovich
to the lead. Things settled down for a few laps as Flynn, Lawrence and Myers
were the top five. Having started 11th, 2018 track champion Kevin Burdick pushed
forward past Shane Kisling to sixth and got by Myers to fifth. The next lap
Lawrence suddenly slowed and rolled to a stop st the top of turn two and was
unable to continue. Mass held onto the lead on the restart with 17 laps to go and
Burdick gobbled up Flynn and Oreskovich and raced into second place. Mass
pulled away from the field by quite a margin and Burdick set sail in pursuit. Flynn,
Oreskovich and Myers were not making much headway but Kisling was marching
forward getting past Myers, then took three laps to get past Oreskovich to fourth.
Mass was not to be caught and little movement came from the rest of the field as
Burdick, Flynn, Kisling, Oreskovich, Myers, Jim Campbell, Shawn McFadden, Jr,
Tristan LaBarge and Shane Sabraski in the top ten ran in that order for the rest of
The Modifieds were up next and Johnny Broking took the lead from the pole
with Jody Bellefeuille sliding in behind him followed by Mike Anderson, Ashley
Anderson Steve Stuart and Darrell Nelson. Five laps into the 30 lap event
Bellefeuille made his move and shot around Broking. Ashley Anderson got around
Mike Anderson to third as Stuart kept Nelson outside the top five enabling Todd
Gehl and Kelly Estey to close up. Also making their presence felt were Dave Cain,
Shane Sabraski and Danny Vang. Bellefeuille ran along unchallenged in the lead
ahead of Broking until Ashley Anderson made the pass on Broking bringing along
Mike Anderson. Mike made his way past Ashley to second as Stuart got past a
fading Broking to fourth and Nelson also moved past him. While Bellefeuille
cruised way out in front, Nelson began a charge that carried him past Stuart, then
Anderson into third. As the laps wound down, the top five remained Bellefeuille,
Mike Anderson, Nelson, Ashley Anderson and Stuart. Estey, Sabraski, Cain, Vang
and Broking finished in the top ten in a 30 lap feature that went flag to flag
without a caution flag.
The finale of the 30th annual Northern Nationals was 40 laps for the Late
Models. Darrell Nelson was on the pole with Mike Prochnow starting next to him.
Nelson jumped on the hammer and shot to the lead at the green and never looked
back. Trying to track him down was Marshall Fegers with James Giossi, Derek
Vesel, Prochnow and Greg Nippoldt also in the mix. Nelson drove off to a huge
lead over Fegers as Giossi and Vesel tried to keep up. Zach Wohlers was briefly in
the mix but did not finish. Rick Hanestad had started seventh in a brand new car
and began to make some inroads getting past Prochnow and Vesel as he headed
toward the front. At the half way point it was Nelson in control, Fegers catching
up as the leader began to navigate traffic, Giossi, Rick Hanestad, Prochnow, Jesse
Glenz, Vesel and Nippolldt. With eight laps remaining, Fegers was seeing some
progress as was gaining on Nelson in traffic. Nelson popped out on the other side
of the traffic and again widened his lead. Hanestad became more aggressive as
Giossi began to fade and moved to third and Jesse Glenz followed him into the top
five. Nelson led every lap in the non stopped event holding off Fegers. Hanestad
finished third, Prochnow fourth and Glenz fifth. Giossi faded to sixth and John
Kaanta was seventh. Vesel, Tim McMann and Nippoldt rounded out the top ten.
The final race of the evening was the Canadian Dash, an event to thank the
Canadian Midwest Modified drivers who come to compete at GLS every Friday
night. The track promoters put together a ten lap dash for those drivers that
competed during the Northern Nationals. This was the third annual, the first paid
the winner $100. During the final evening promoters solicited the crowd for
donations to build an instant purse. For this edition over $2800 was collected and
12 of the 15 drivers were able to compete. Jamie Davis took his #85 to the win