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KME LATE MODEL SERIES AT GONDIK LAW SPEEDWAY

KME LATE MODEL SERIES AT GONDIK LAW SPEEDWAY

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GONDIK LAW SPEEDWAY

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GONDIK LAW SPEEDWAY


Bernick Edges Mindock for $1,100 Gondik Law Speedway Pure Stock Win
407
8/18/2023

8/18/2023

Gondik Law Speedway


Bernick Edges Mindock for $1,100 Gondik Law Speedway Pure Stock Win

Superior, WI, August 18 – Friday’s WISSOTA Dirt Track Series race program at the Gondik Law Speedway was filled with emotion and excitement.
The big oval at the western edge of Lake Superior hosted its fifth annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Night, and multiple groups and families came out to celebrate loved ones and pass along messages of support to those in need.
It was also the next-to-last night of the 2023 regular season for GLS, with close championship points battles in all six divisions, as well as a night full of bonus-paying features.
The biggest bonus came in the WISSOTA Pure Stock A-main, where Duluth, MN’s Aaron Bernick battled side-by-side with visitor Brent Mindock for ten laps before nipping Mindock at the stripe for an $1,100 win.
Bernick and Mindock started next to one another on the front row before Mindock nosed ahead to take the initial lead. A Tom Treviranus spin on lap 2 slowed things for a moment, but the lead pair put on an entertaining show over the next few laps, while another visiting driver, James Rahn, engaged in a fierce battle for fourth with Travis Hazelton behind third-running Tyler Kachinske.
Things really heated up after a Cory Jorgensen spin on lap 5, when Bernick worked his way outside on Mindock and pulled even – and they stayed that way practically every one of the remaining ten laps. Neither could gain a clear advantage, with the timing difference at the start-finish line never more than a couple tenths of a second. Bernick held the edge at the stripe more often than Mindock, but the race was still in doubt as the lead pair came out of turn 4 for the final time, with Bernick ahead by .088 seconds – not much more than a dozen feet – at the checkers for his second feature win here this season.
Hazelton looked to be catching the lead pair over the final half-dozen laps but still trailed by several car-lengths for third at the line, followed by Rahn and a recovered Treviranus. Mindock was awarded bonuses for longest tow and highest-finishing non-GLS regular, while Rob Christman drove from 12th to seventh to claim hard-charger cash.
Bernick will bring a slight lead in the points over Kachinske into next Friday’s final round.
Additional money was on the line in the WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature as well, and Haugen’s Tony Bahr made a rare appearance in GLS’s victory lane in order to happily take it. Bahr, who last won here in early July 2020, started alongside of polestarter McLean Andrews and swept around him to take the lead coming out of the first pair of turns, and although challenged often, Bahr would not give up the point.
Andrews was soon joined by Andrew Inman in the chase of Bahr, and that group slowly pulled away from Deven VanHouse and Dave Flynn, who was driving Ryan Savoy’s car. As Andrews and Inman debated second, Bahr gained a little breathing room over the fast-paced first half of the 20-lap run and began to deal with backmarkers.
Then Mitch Weiss’s car dumped water on the track after emitting a huge puff of white smoke on lap 13, bringing Bahr out of lapped traffic but also putting Andrews and Inman back to his rear bumper for the restart. Inman pulled around Andrews to take second right away, and he pressured Bahr all the way to the checkered flag, taking several peeks to Bahr’s left in an attempt to get by, but Bahr held on the $650 win by a quarter of a second. Flynn got around Andrews late in the run for third, and Cole Chernosky charged from his 14th-place start to gain fifth.
VanHouse came home sixth and holds a comfortable but not entirely insurmountable points lead on Cody Carlson in what will be a battle of former track champs for the title next Friday.
The WISSOTA Hornets raced for a $625 winner’s paycheck on this night, and Justin Schelitzche of Chaska, MN, proudly claimed his second straight feature win in this particular event and fourth of the season.
This was no easy run for Schelitzche, though, as he battled throughout the 12-lap run with WISSOTA national points leader Carter Matthews, who started from the pole. After a first-lap inside move to pass Tyler Schramm for second, it took Schelitzche another two laps before he could repeat the move to get by Matthews for the lead. Matthews raced Schelitzche close and hard to regain the lead, with plenty of looks to the inside and more than a few occasional bumps, but Schelitzche stayed true to his line as he held off the threats for the win.
Schramm, Carson Gotelaere and Derek Dunbar put on a great show of their own in battling for third, crossing the stripe in close formation in that order to complete the top five. Divisional points leader AJ House was a distant sixth but still has a good lead on Dunbar for the track championship with one night remaining.
Pat Doar of New Richmond was dominant over the final 16 laps of Friday’s 25-lap, $1,500-to-win WISSOTA Late Model headliner to extend his lead in the Gondik Law Speedway Late Model Series standings with one event remaining.
Outside-front-row starter Steve Laursen sped around polestarter Derek Vesel and ran off to a stout early lead, but within three quick laps the third-starting Doar and sixth-starting Darrell Nelson helped Vesel track down the popular veteran driver. Doar used an inside line to slip past Vesel for second on lap 4, with Nelson repeating the move on Vesel for third two laps later.
It didn’t take long for Doar to close the gap between himself and Laursen, taking the lead away on lap 9 and building on it quickly as he drew to the tail-end of the running order by lap 11. The tricky part for Doar came over the next three laps, as he maneuvered his way in and amongst five cars racing hard for position, but once clear of those cars he had plenty of open space to run, while Nelson, who had gained second, struggled to get through the same heavy traffic some 1.6 seconds back.
Doar used Nelson’s dilemma to fly to a lead of over 5.75 seconds – over a third of a lap – with five laps remaining, and he cruised home from there for his third win of the year here by a huge margin. Once Nelson dug himself out of the tight traffic, he trimmed a second-and-a-half off of Doar’s cushion to take second, well ahead of Vesel, 11th-starting Kevin Burdick, and Flynn.
In the track’s overall Late Model points chase, Burdick – who is also in the hunt for the national crown – has a strong lead on Travis Budisalovich going into Friday’s finale.
Jody Bellefeuille, of Carlton, MN, led all 20 laps of the non-stop WISSOTA Modified feature for his second win of the year here and an $800 payday. As was the theme throughout most of the features, Bellefeuille started outside on the front row and used it to his advantage, outrunning polestarter Kelly Estey out of turn 2 on the opening lap for the winning move.
Bellefeuille leaned his Mod against the cushion throughout the run, giving him plenty of momentum to help him build a second-and-a-quarter lead within the first six laps, while Billy Kendall worked a similar line to get around Estey for second. Kendall mimicked Bellefeuille’s every move to keep within shouting distance until the leaders caught slower traffic on lap 13, which Kendall used to trim the deficit to less than a half-second.
Bellefeuille, however, made quick work of the backmarkers, mostly by going around them on the high line, and again stretched his lead to over a second with five laps remaining. Once Kendell cleared the slower cars he again worked to cut into the lead, but he could get no less than .6 seconds from Bellefeuille’s back pushbar at the checkers.
Shane Sabraski grabbed third from Estey on lap 6 and stayed there to the end, with Nelson and Johnny Broking eventually finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Brandon Copp’s ninth-place effort keeps him a slim 24 points up on Broking with the one race night remaining.
Sabraski, the national WISSOTA Super Stock points leader from Rice, MN, would later get the win in that division’s 20-lap main event, coming from a seventh-place start to weave his way to the front and onto the victory stage for the sixth time in the Super Stock – worth $850 on this night – and the 12th time overall at GLS in 2023.
Andrew Mackey took the early lead by sweeping around polestarter Scott Lawrence on the initial lap, with DJ Keeler following into second, before Chris Johnson’s car stopped against the turn 4 wall. One lap after the restart Johnson’s ride spun to again bring about a yellow flag, but from there the final 18 laps clicked off without further delay.
Sabraski began his run to the front by restarting fifth, then passing Lawrence and Matt Deragon to move up to third, following Darin Meierotto in the chase of leader Mackey. On lap 3 Sabraski got the better of Meierotto, and after five more circuits of side-by-side action, Sabraski used the low groove to eventually clear Mackey for the lead.
From there, with no more yellows to slow the pace, Sabraski flew away from the chasers, catching and lapping Rita Anderson on lap 12 while holding a 1.6-second lead, and eventually pulling away to a winning margin of nearly 2.4 seconds. Dexton Koch came from his 12th-place starting position to work his way to second, Mackey nipped Keeler at the final stripe for third, and Deragon came home fifth.
Mackey, who came into the night tied with Kyle Copp for the track’s Super Stock points lead, will carry a slim ten-point edge on Copp into the championship round.
Thanks to Rise Above Suicide Stigma, each of the feature winners were greeted on the victory stage by members of families and groups who had been directly affected by suicide, and each told deeply touching stories to the crowd on hand as they made their trophy presentations. Also, over two dozen bikes were given away to kids, who were also welcomed onto the Speedway for box races at intermission.
Contributions by Jonathon Brostowitz Enterprises, Mike’s Place, Creative Image Supplies, Monarch Paving, Badger Excavating, The Log Cabin, Aiden Frostman, Village Lanes, Flying Jay Motorsports, and others helped in creating a generous purse.
Another GLS single-lap record fell by the wayside in Pure Stock heat-race action earlier in the program, when Mindock toured the big four-tenths-mile oval in 20.350 seconds, for an average speed of 70.762 mph.
On Friday, August 25, the Gondik Law Speedway will close out its regular season, with the 2023 points championships to be decided. Hot laps are at 6:30 pm, with racing scheduled to start at 7.
The Speedway will then take a short break in preparation for the 35th annual XR Northern Nationals, presented by Bay Lock & Security, on September 6-9, with nine classes of cars racing over four nights for a share of a purse in excess of $124,000.
For information on advance tickets and camping info for these and other upcoming events, log on to the track's website, www.gondiklawspeedway.com, or its FaceBook page.
Results
WISSOTA Late Models
Feature: 1-10: Pat Doar, New Richmond; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, MN; Derek Vesel, Hibbing, MN; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Dave Flynn, Superior; Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing, MN; Jeff Massingill, Keewatin, MN; Mike Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; Steve Laursen, Cumberland; Jayme Lautigar, Gilbert, MN.
11-20: Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Terry Lillo, Duluth, MN; Rick Niemi, Eveleth, MN; Travis Budisalovich, Minneapolis, MN; Danny Vang, Deerwood, MN; Aaron Lillo, Proctor, MN; Trevor Wilson, Superior; Robbie Cooper, South Range; Carey LePage, Culver, MN; Eric Lillo, Proctor, MN.
21-23: Kevin Carlson, Hermantown, MN; Ronnie Malecki, Duluth, MN; Skeeter Estey, Kelly Lake, MN.
Heat 1: Wilson; Vesel; T Lillo; Flynn; Budisalovich; LePage; Malecki; Estey.
Heat 2: Laursen; Nelson; Massingill; Lautigar; VanHouse; Vang; Niemi; E Lillo.
Heat 3: Bellefeuille; Doar; Burdick; Peterlin; A Lillo; Cooper; Carlson.
WISSOTA Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Jody Bellefeuille, Carlton, MN; Billy Kendall III, Walker, MN; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, MN; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Kelly Estey, Hibbing, MN; Dan Kingsley, Superior; Al Uotinen, Superior; Brandon Copp, Brule; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON.
11-18: Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Rick Rivord, Superior; Lance Schilling, Laporte, MN; Jack Rivord, Superior; Mike Klippenstein, Duluth, MN; Leo Schweiss, Hibbing, MN; Bob Broking, Grand Rapids, MN.
Heat 1: Bellefeuille; Estey; Sabraski; Kendall; Wolkowski; R Rivord; Schilling; Klippenstein; Schweiss.
Heat 2: Nelson; Kingsley; J Broking; Gehl; A Uotinen; Copp; B Uotinen; J Rivord; B Broking.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Dexton Koch, Becker, MN; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN; DJ Keeler, Superior; Matt Deragon, Ashland; Kyle Copp, Brule; Cole Chernosky, Thunder Bay, ON; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Dylan Nelson, Merrifield, MN; Darin Meierotto, Superior.
11-19: Rick Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Jeffrey Frey, Ogilvie, MN; Mike Sirois, Duluth, MN; Matthew Larson, Lake Elmo, MN; Dan Peterson, Foxboro; Rita Anderson, South Range; John Garrity, Thunder Bay, ON; Chris Johnson, Superior.
Heat 1: Meierotto; Mackey; Lawrence; Peterson; Frey; Larson; Anderson.
Heat 2: Copp; Keeler; Nelson; Simpson; Chernosky; Garrity.
Heat 3: Deragon; Sabraski; Johnson; Koch; Sirois; Austin Blom, Saginaw, MN.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Tony Bahr, Haugen; Andrew Inman, Canyon, MN; Dave Flynn, Superior; McLean Andrews, Duluth, MN; Cole Chernosky, Thunder Bay, ON; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Jason VandeKamp, Scandia, MN; Cody Carlson, Superior; Jesse Polson, Superior.
11-20: James Vendela, South Range; Paul Ripley, Duluth, MN; Evan Checkalski, Duluth, MN; Mason Musel, Duluth, MN; Taylor Madrinich, Duluth, MN; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Chris Bretting, Washburn; Mitch Weiss, Scandia, MN; Anthony Gallian, Superior; Zach Benson, Princeton, MN.
21-22: Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Dalton Mains, Foxboro.
Heat 1: VandeKamp; Carlson; Latvala; Polson; Checkalski; Madrinich; Musel; Bretting.
Heat 2: Inman; Andrews; Flynn; Gehl; Chernosky; Ripley; Reagan Ruffi, Lake Nebagamon; Jorgensen.
Heat 3: Bahr; Mains; VanHouse; Benson; Vendela; Weiss; Gallian; Adam Shinn, Duluth, MN.
WISSOTA Pure Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Aaron Bernick, Duluth, MN; Brent Mindock, Prentice; Travis Hazelton, Chippewa Falls; James Rahn, Poskin; Tom Treviranus, Hawthorne; Tyler Kachinske, Duluth, MN; Rob Christman, Superior; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Jonny Nowak, Proctor, MN; Trevor Treviranus, Hawthorne.
11-12: Kristy Rose, Duluth, MN; Jessie Treviranus, Hawthorne.
Heat 1: Tom Treviranus; Rahn; Trevor Treviranus; Rose; J Treviranus; Christman.
Heat 2: Hazelton; Bernick; Mindock; Kachinske; Jorgensen; Nowak.
WISSOTA Hornets
Feature: 1-9: Justin Schelitzche, Chaska, MN; Carter Matthews, Clearbrook, MN; Tyler Schramm, Two Harbors, MN; Carson Gotelaere, Superior; Derek Dunbar, Iron River; AJ House, Cloquet, MN; Brandon Anderson; Duluth, MN; Patrick Passeri; Duluth, MN; Ryan LaBorde; South Range.
Heat: Gotelaere; Schelitzche; Matthews; Anderson; Schramm; LaBorde; Dunbar; Passeri


Article Credit: Nick Gima

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