NORTHERN NATIONALS FEATURES TO ESTEY RANDALL HAVEL & SMITH ON NIGHT ONE
By Jerry O’Brien
9-6-18 Superior WI
In some circles the so called “Lower Classes” or “Entry Level” classes get little
respect even though many times their feature events may produce more excitement
then their more expensive brethern.
During the annual Rick Gondik Law Office Northern Nationals a third day was
added in 2017 to showcase these racers. For the 2018 edition four WISSOTA
divisions were on the card: Midwest Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks and the
four cylinder Hornets. Of these four, Street Stocks and Hornets are not presented
on a weekly basis. Going forward it was a one time thing for the Street Stocks and
Hornets. Over the three day event the Midwest Modifieds would be able to get in
three days of competition with full shows each day. The Street Stocks had not
raced at the speedway since 2007 and it was the first time the Hornets ever raced
The Midwest Modifieds brought the largest number with 27 cars in competition
along with 18 Pure Stocks, with 10 Street Stocks and 19 Hornets.
Qualifying heats were run in all classes. In the Midwest Modifieds McLean
Andrews, David Simpson and Jack Rivord were heat winners, Jason Havel and
Michael Roth topped the Pure Stock heats, Paul George and Brittany Smith led the
way in Hornet heats and Kyle Howland and Kolby Kiehl won the Street Stock
The Pure Stock main event was scheduled for 15 laps with Jason Havel and
Michael Roth sharing the front row. Havel grabbed the leat at the outset with
Roth, Dustin Follett, Jeremy Cash, 2018 champion James Vendela, Don
Livingston and Cory Jorgenson in the lead pack. On the move from his 13th
starting spot was former track champion Michael Blevins, quickly up to eighth.
The first caution flag appeared when Livingston stalled at the pit entrance after a
pair of laps were completed. Havel maintained the lead on the restart while Follett
and Cash battled for second ahead of Roth and Jorgenson while the always
dangerous Blevins advance to sixth then to fifth. Battling behind the leaders were
Aaron Bernick, Kyle Copp and Vendela. Havel pulled out the stops and raced
away from the field but couldn’t shake Cash as the duo began to pull away from
Blevins who was now in third. The pair continued to move away from the pack
and soon Havel began to edge away from Cash. The front three lost contact with
one another as Roth and Jorgenson battled for fourth shadowed by Copp. The
second caution flag appeared when Tyler Kuep got hung up on a marker tire in
turn four. The incident served to close up the field and set up a five lap shootout.
At the green Havel maintained the lead while Blevins and Cash battled for second.
With two to go, Havel held a slight lead and Blevins seemed to win second place
but Cash pushed past Blevins to take the spot on the last lap. Copp and Jorgenson
rounded out the top five.
The 20 lap feature for the WISSOTA Street Stocks had a difficult time
completing the first lap. The first try saw Hunter VanGuilder spin in turn one. Tje
second try saw a chain reaction crash started by pole sitter Kyle Howland that
eliminated Travis Lowe. The third try was successful as Ryan Satter grabed the
lead dogged by Jimmy Randall in the #15. Dustin Doughty, Van Guilder and Jason
Havel in the top five. Satter settled into the lead with Randall trying everything to
get by with no luck. Randall finally got past Satter with VanGuilder fourth and
Howland fifth. Around this point Doughty had a problem in turn two bringing out
caution number three. Randall maintained the lead on the restart with ten laps to
go and Howland second, VanGuillder third Havel fourth, John Kallas fifth and
William Fisher sixth. Caution number four flew when Howland spun in turn two,
his second cause of a caution, and then there were five. Randall again forged to the
lead as Havel got by VanGuilder and closed on Randall. Havel got past Randall on
the white flag but Randall came back and threw a desperation move at Havel and
took the win off the fourth turn. VanGuilder finished third, Kallas dropped out and
Fisher hung around and finished fourth.
Next up was the 20 lap main event for the Midwest Modifieds and all 27 of
them showed up at the starting line. Skeeter Estey was on the pole and the 2018
track champion was looking for his 25th (Over all) feature win of the season.
Starting next to him was the much improved David Simpson. Local favorite Dan
Kingsley had dropped out of his heat race and started the main event as the the 14th
row in 27th. At the green Estey drove to the front with Simpson, McLean Andrews,
Don Craig and Kevin Montieth trailing. Things went badly in turn four with
several cars involved bringing out the red flag. All drivers were okay. The #16 of
Ryan Savoy went off on the Rollback. At this point Kingsley was running 19th.
Estey held the lead on the restart with Simpson, Craig, Montieth, Jack Rivord and
Brandon Copp closing. The first yellow flag flew when Billy Milne spun in turn
one. The restart came with one lap completed and the order behind Estey was the
same except some new players joined up as Shane Howell and Wyatt Boyum
joined the pack. The second caution flag flew again for Milne spun in turn one, his
second cause of a caution. At this point Kingsley was 11th. The restart came with
16 laps remaining and Estey put his foot in it and began to widen his lead over
Simpson. Simpson tried to close on Estey and in doing so, widened the gap over
the rest of the pack. Estey blasted away to a straight away lead over Simpson,
Boyum, Craig, Howell and Copp. Also in the top ten were Craig Lofdahl, Rivord
and Montieth with Kingsley cracking the top ten in tenth. With nine laps to go, the
field was stopped on the track and there was a call for a Doctor or Medic to come
to the grandstands. When racing resumed Estey was still on point, Simpson was
hanging onto second as Boyum and Craig battled for position. There was a tangle
in turn one bringing out caution number four which was charged to the #51 of
Craig Elliot. On the restart the order was Estey, Simpson, Boyum, Craig and
Lofdahl in the top five with Kingsley sixth. With four laps remaining Estey pulled
away from Simpson and went on to take the win showing why he is the track
champion as he led every lap. Simpson was strong in second with Howell third,
Boyum fourth and Kingsley fifth.
The final event of the evening was 15 laps for the WISSOTA Hornets. The
Smith Family, Brittany, the current WISSOTA National Points leader, on the pole
with brother Jake on the outside led 18 of the 19 cars on hand to the green flag.
Only Gabriel Roeder was unable to start.
At the green Brittany Smith took the lead with Brother Jake, former National
Champion Paul George, Rick Long, Jr and Noah Nelson in her wake. Tyler
Schramm soon took over fifth with Hunter McDougall the Proctor Speedway 2018
champ sixth. The two Smiths, Nelson and George began to pull away from
Schramm. The one and only caution flag flew with nine laps to go. At the green
Brittany Smith maintained the lead but Nelson began an effort to take second from
Jake Smith. The two battled back and forth until Smith was able to best Nelson for
second. Schramm and George rounded out the top five.