Gondik Law Speedway

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Sabraski, Koch, Jensen, Nelson Score ‘Border Battle’ Night 1 Wins at Gondik Law Speedway


FYE Motorsports Promotions

Sabraski, Koch, Jensen, Nelson Score ‘Border Battle’ Night 1 Wins at Gondik Law Speedway

Superior, WI, June 29 – Shane Sabraski dominated, Dexton Koch and Joey Jensen held on, and Cade Nelson made a little history during night 1 of the eighth annual Great Lake Border Battle, presented by FYE Motorsports, on Saturday night at Gondik Law Speedway.

WISSOTA Modifieds are the headline act of this event, and 38 of them ran off two rounds of heat-race qualifying Saturday, using passing points to determine feature and semi-feature line-ups. Sunday’s day 2 show will culminate with a 50-lap, $10,000-to-win A-main for the Mods.

The WISSOTA Late Model feature was also the opening round of the season-long KME Late Model Series at the Superior track. Rice, MN’s Sabraski started in row 2 and followed early leader Pat Doar while battling Travis Budisalovich for second close behind. Doar pulled away slightly over the first few rounds of the 35-lapper until Budisalovich separated from Sabraski and caught up to the leader by lap 7, and over the next three laps Budisalovich threw a handful of inside-line challenges at Doar until they caught the tail of the field.

The first of the run’s three yellow flags came out when Jayme Lautigar’s ride stopped just inside the turn 4 racing groove on lap 12. Sabraski took advantage of the restart to sneak under Budisalovich for second, with Skeeter Estey following to third, and after stoppages for Kyle Peterlin’s stalled racer on lap 14 and a five-car melee in turn 4 prior to taking the next green flag, Sabraski dove low to take the lead from Doar on lap 16.

From there the race stayed under green, allowing Sabraski to drive away to a lead of over a second with 15 laps remaining. As the leaders caught and worked through slower traffic Doar was able to chip away at his deficit, but Sabraski, running around the top of the smooth, wide track, maintained enough of a cushion for the $2,500 win by 1.35 seconds. It was the 897th feature win of Sabraski’s career.

Budisalovich recaptured third after that last restart and stayed there fairly uncontested throughout the rest of the run, while Johnny Broking nipped Daniel Bargender for fourth.

The WISSOTA Super Stocks ran off their 25-lap, $1,000-to-win feature non-stop, with Koch, of Becker, MN, starting on the outside of the front row and leading every lap. Once clear of polestarter Doug Koski, Koch pulled away from a skirmish for second between Tristin LaBarge, Koski, Sabraski and Kyle Copp.

It took six laps for Sabraski to win the skirmish, but it took him another eleven laps to eliminate the 2.2-second advantage Koch had built up. At a distance behind them, LaBarge and Copp dueled fiercely for third, well ahead of a large group debating fifth. Sabraski worked a mid-track route to get to the high-line-running Koch’s rear bumper by lap 17, just as the leaders had caught the back of the pack.

Sabraski looked to have Koch dead to rights, but a bobble when his car pushed too high in turn 2 with six circuits remaining cost Sabraski some valuable momentum, allowing Koch the chance to strengthen his lead on his way to a 1.73-second margin of victory. LaBarge held off Copp for third well back of the leaders, and tenth-starting DJ Keeler dodged and weaved his way to fifth.

Jensen, of Forest Lake, MN, has been very strong in recent weeks in the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, and Saturday’s showing at Superior was a prime example of his performance of late. Jensen started the 25-lap, $1,000-to-win feature from the outside of the second row and settled into an early top-five battle with Jake Smith and Cody Carlson as polestarter Corey Mehrwerth beat fellow front-row starter David Simpson off of turn 2 for the early lead.

Smith harassed Simpson for a couple of laps before taking second, with Simpson returning the favor on the next go-‘round, while Jensen worked outside to get the better of Carlson on lap 4. Smith then worked his way by Simpson and then around Mehrwerth on lap 5, and within three more laps he had built a commanding two-second cushion on the close-formation battle between Simpson, Mehrwerth and Jensen.

Jensen took over second on lap 9 and, although he did not have the benefit of caution slowdowns, he shortened the gap to Smith steadily over the next eight laps until he caught the leader just as Smith was reaching the tail-enders. While working their way through slower traffic, Jensen used an outside pass as Smith moved low, and Jensen took over at the point on lap 19. Smith stayed as close as he could in the waning laps, but Jensen still held on for the win by roughly a third of a second.

Simpson held third over the back half of the run, and 11th-starting Ryan Gierke and Jason VandeKamp charged into the top five late in the go.
Nelson, of Hermantown, MN, the teenaged son of local legend Darrell Nelson, made his first-ever visit to the victory stage that his dad has so many times parked in by dominating the 20-lap USRA Limited Late Model feature.
Nelson, who started outside on the front row, beat polestarter Larry Fitzsimmons out of the first set of turns and never looked back, although he had to exercise a lot of patience, as caution flags slowed the pace often. Matthew Larson’s spin and flat tire on lap 2 brought about a stoppage on lap 2, and then Chad Prissel made a gutsy inside move to challenge Patrick Kelley for third a lap after the restart, only to bounce wildly through the third corner in tight traffic and then spin a half-lap later.

Nelson continued to build a smooth, steady lead with each restart, pushing his advantage to nearly two seconds until Prissel spun again on lap 7. After Josh Bach’s ride looped on that restart, Nelson again drew away as much of the balance of the pack argued over positions, with Steven O’Brien Jr and Kelley swapping second and third often until Kelley spun again on lap 12. Larson snagged second on that restart, but two laps later Bach and Jason McFadden collected for the race’s final yellow-flag stop.

While the action behind him remained furious, Nelson steadily pulled away again, building a final winning margin of over four-and-a-half seconds for his first-ever win at his family’s home track. O’Brien eventually got the better of Larson in the closing stages of the race for second, while Fitzsimmons edged Kelley for fourth.

One hundred thirty entries made for a crowded and overflowing pit area, and despite frequent and often heavy rainfall over the week leading up to the event, the track was smooth and slick.

For more information on the Gondik Law Speedway, log on to the track's website, www.gondiklawspeedway.com.

WISSOTA Late Models
Feature: 1-10: Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Pat Doar, New Richmond; Travis Budisalovich, St Paul, MN; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Daniel Bargender, Chippewa Falls; Dave Flynn, Superior; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Skeeter Estey, Kelly Lake, MN; Kevin Burdick, Proctor, MN; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, MN.
11-20: Kevin Eder, Cameron; Billy Kendall III, Walker, MN; Derek Vesel, Hibbing, MN; James Giossi, Hudson; Kyle Peterlin, Hibbing, MN; Rick Hanestad, Boyceville; Danny Vang, Deerwood, MN; Buddy Hanestad, Boyceville; Ben Heinle, Bovey, MN; Lukas Koski, New Richmond.
21-24: Mike Bellefeuille, Duluth, MN; Jeff Massingill, Keewatin, MN; Jayme Lautigar, Gilbert, MN; Adam Ayotte, Elk River, MN.
Heat 1: Anderson; Doar; Vang; Kendall; Ayotte; Mark Heinle, Bovey, MN; Nelson; Tim McMann, Duluth, MN; Todd Gehl, Solon Springs; Steve Vizer, Eau Claire.
Heat 2: Burdick; Koski; Sabraski; B Hanestad; Flynn; B Heinle; Anthony Woodhull, Superior; Dylan Kromschroeder, Cambridge, MN; Trent Follmer, Brainerd, MN.
Heat 3: Estey; Vesel; Peterlin; Lautigar; Massingill; Harry Hanson, Eveleth, MN; Giossi; Jase Lien, Mora, MN; Brett Shafer, Menomonie.
Heat 4: Bellefeuille; Budisalovich; Bargender; Broking; Eder; Mike Klippenstein, Proctor, MN; Brad Loveday, Fort Frances, ON; R Hanestad; Mike Prochnow, Menomonie.
Semi-Feature 1: Lautigar; Ayotte; B Heinle; R Hanestad; McMann; M Heinle; Follmer; Prochnow; Klippenstein; Lien; Woodhull.
Semi-Feature 2: Massingill; Nelson; Flynn; Giossi; Kromschroeder; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Gehl; Shafer; Loveday; Vizer; Hanson.
WISSOTA Modifieds
Round 1: Heat 1: JT Johnson, Milaca, MN; Kennedy Swan, Chippewa Falls; Jody Bellefeuille, Carlton, MN; Mike Anderson, Jim Falls; Billy Kendall III, Walker, MN; Johnny Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Bob Broking, Grand Rapids, MN; Travis Schulte, Becker, MN; Zach Benson, Princeton, MN; Al Uotinen, Superior.
Heat 2: Colin Chaschuk, Thunder Bay, ON; Darrell Nelson, Hermantown, MN; Ryan Gierke, Villard, MN; Jake Smith, St Joseph, MN; Brandon Dolman, Evansville, MN; Jack Rivord, Superior; Jeff Spacek, Phillips; Rick Rivord, Superior; Nick Ayotte, New Richmond; John Toppozini, Thunder Bay, ON.
Heat 3: Kaden Blaeser, Chippewa Falls; Duane Dale, Hibbing, MN; Cole Spacek, Phillips; Clayton Wagamon, Ramsey, MN; Andrew Inman, Canyon, MN; Dan Ebert, Lake Shore, MN; Dave Cain, Corcoran, MN; Brady Uotinen, Superior; Devin Fouquette, St Cloud, MN.
Heat 4: Brandon Copp, Brule; Jeremy Nelson, Alexandria, MN; Justin Weinberger, Elk Mound; Tanner Gehl, Solon Springs; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Cody Wolkowski, Thunder Bay, ON; Brennan Gave, Princeton, MN; TJ Heinle, Bovey, MN; Andrew Mackey, Duluth, MN.
Round 2: Heat 1: Gierke; J Nelson; Anderson; Weinberger; Chaschuk; A Uotinen; Wagamon; Dolman; Fouquette.
Heat 2: Benson; Ebert; Kendall; Sabraski; Toppozini; C Spacek; Swan; Ayotte; D Nelson; Heinle.
Heat 3: B Broking; J Broking; Copp; Inman; Gehl; Johnson; R Rivord; J Spacek; Dale.
Heat 4: Cain; Bellefeuille; Wolkowski; Blaeser; Smith; Schulte; Gave; B Uotinen; J Rivord.
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature: 1-10: Dexton Koch, Becker, MN; Shane Sabraski, Rice, MN; Tristan LaBarge, Kelly Lake, MN; Kyle Copp, Brule; DJ Keeler, Superior; Rick Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Shane Kisling, Butternut; Doug Koski, Chisholm, MN; Scott Lawrence, Superior; Don Livingston, Washburn.
11-14: Andy LaBarge, Hibbing, MN; Rita Anderson, South Range; Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; John Toppozini, Thunder Bay, ON.
Heat 1: Koski; T LaBarge; Sabraski; Kisling; Simpson; Toppozini; Livingston.
Heat 2: Koch; Jensen; Copp; Lawrence; Keeler; A LaBarge; Anderson.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature: 1-10: Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, MN; Jake Smith, St Joseph, MN; David Simpson, Thunder Bay, ON; Ryan Gierke, Villard, MN; Jason VandeKamp, Scandia, MN; Corey Mehrwerth, St Stephen, MN; Deven VanHouse, Silver Bay, MN; Ashley Boyum, International Falls, MN; Cody Carlson, Superior; Ashton Schulte, St Cloud, MN.
11-20: Zach Benson, Princeton, MN; Ryan Savoy, Superior; Cole Boston, Lindstrom, MN; Garrett Paull, Fort Frances, ON; Dexton Koch, Becker, MN; Justin Bassa, Cotton, MN; Jimmy Latvala, Solon Springs; Jesse Polson, Superior; Cory Jorgensen, Duluth, MN; Kalan Wagner, International Falls, MN.
21-24: Eric Gadach, New Richmond; James Vendela, South Range; William Moelter, Elk Mound; Wyatt Boyum, International Falls, MN.
Heat 1: Mehrwerth; Smith; Moelter; Gierke; Gadach; Matthew Cunha, Chisholm, MN; Jorgensen; Keegan Kough, Proctor MN.
Heat 2: Simpson; Savoy; VandeKamp; Benson; Vendela; Joshua Kough, Proctor, MN; Darrin Lawler, Grand Rapids, MN; Boyum.
Heat 3: Carlson; VanHouse; Koch; Wagner; Polson; Paull; Adam Shinn, Duluth, MN.
Heat 4: Jensen; A Boyum; Schulte; Bassa; Boston; Latvala; Don Craig, Thunder Bay, ON.
Semi-Feature: Boston; Vendela; Paull; Polson; Gadach; Latvala; W Boyum; Jorgensen; J Kough; Shinn; Lawler; Craig; K Kough; Cunha.
USRA Limited Late Models
Feature: 1-10: Cade Nelson, Hermantown, MN; Steven O'Brien Jr, Red Wing, MN; Matthew Larson, Lake Elmo, MN; Larry Fitzsimmons, East Bethel, MN; Patrick Kelley, Wyoming, MN; Josh Nevoraski, Minocqua; Zack Friske, Tomahawk; Jason McFadden, Jim Falls; Josh Bach, Barron; Chad Prissel, Rock Falls.
Heat: Nelson; Fitzsimmons; Larson; Prissel; Kelley; Bach; McFadden; O'Brien; Friske; Nevoraski.

Article Credit: Article by Nick Gima

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