By Greg Anderson
Hibbing, MN- After getting hit with torrential downpours the previous evening, Hibbing Raceway righted the ship and was ready for action for Advanced Minnesota and Quad Cities Merchants Night. 98 race teams signed in for the five divisions of racing. With threatening weather in the area, race officials decided to postpone the Pure Stock make-up feature for a future date.
As is customary at Hibbing Raceway, the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds kicked off feature race action. Heat race winner and infrequent visitor Darrin Lawler charged to the early lead and found easy going the first couple circuits before facing pressure from Skeeter Estey. Estey took over on lap 5 restart with Matt Anderson in tow. The top two raced away while Skeeter’s brother Mack moved into third. Estey began to stretch his lead on Anderson after some early challenges and the top three cruised all the way to the checkered flag with little incident. The win was Estey’s second on the year in Hibbing.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks were up next with 30 laps in front of them for their mid-season special paying the winner $800. Andy Davey jumped to the early lead with Derek Vesel and Trevor Arens racing side by side behind. That formation continued for the first three circuits before a massive pileup in the middle of the field slowed action. After the restart, Davey raced away with Arens in tow. Vesel fended off Bobby Carlson momentarily before Carlson used the low side to move past for third. Carlson then disposed of Arens and set his sight on Davey. As Davey began to work traffic, Carlson rapidly closed the gap and was within striking distance coming to the white flag. Davey stayed true to his bottom groove which allowed Carlson no chance to make a move and Davey picked up his third win of the year.
Following the Super Stock Special, Skeeter Estey took the initial lead holding off Bob Broking around the bottom before a lap 5 caution slowed action in the WISSOTA Modified feature. On the restart, Estey again rocketed off to the lead while Ryan Aho charged from the third row to move into second and closed on Estey before another caution slowed action. On the restart, Aho raced around the outside of Estey for the lead while Estey’s dad Kelly used the bottom groove to take second. As Aho led using the top groove, Estey began to cut into that margin and on lap 19, Estey used a run off of turn four to take over the point. Estey led the following circuit before a caution brought the field to a halt. On the restart, Estey continued to work the bottom while Aho moved back up top. Aho made gains every lap on the leader and the duo was side by side coming to the white flag. Aho’s high side momentum was enough to carry him past down the back stretch and hold it out of turn four for the win.
After the thrilling Modified feature, the WISSOTA Late Models rolled onto the surface for their main event. Harry Hanson charged to the point while the rest of the field scrambled 3 wide for position behind. Zach Wohlers, and Tommy Waseleski Jr, raced side by side while Jeff Provinzino moved in to challenge. Waseleksi found the bottom groove to his liking and began to pressure Hanson for the point. Once Waseleski Jr moved inside the leader, Hanson moved up top to find extra traction but was unable to find any and settled back in behind Waseleski Jr. As the leaders negotiated traffic, Hanson closed back in but was unable to mount a challenge to the finish.
Gary Ruzich made short work of the early front runners in the Pure Stock main event en route to the lead. While Ruzich moved to the point, several cars behind him were making their way forward including including Steve Reini, multi-time winner Michael Blevins and 15th starting Eric Anderson. Multiple mid-race restarts slowed action and when racing resumed, Ruzich again raced to the lead with Anderson moving in to challenge for the lead. As the top two raced away into the back of the field, Anderson powered to the outside of Ruzich but was forced to check up for a lap car as Ruzich re-established his lead. A late restart made for a dash to the finish and with Anderson and Blevins nipping at his heels, Ruzich was able to hold on and held off one final charge from Anderson to pick up his second straight win.
In just three days, Hibbing Raceway welcomes back some of the top Sprint Car teams in the nation as the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprint Cars make their return on Tuesday, July 23. Dale Blaney of Hartford, Ohio won the inaugural event in front of a near capacity crowd. For more information, visit www.hibbiingraceway.com or call (218) 262-2324
WISSOTA Late Models: Feature- Tommy Waseleski Jr, Harry Hanson, Kyle Peterlin, Jeff Provinzino, Tom Wasleleski, Greg Ferris, Zach Wohlers, George Ledin, Greg Hill, Travis Budisalovich, Kyle Gavel, Mike Vajdl, Don Frider, Lou Cianni, Jim Morris, Jeff Massingill
Heat 1- Provinzino, Hanson, Peterlin, Hill, Massingill, Vajdl, Morris, Frider
Heat 2- Ledin, Waseleski Jr, Budisalovich, Wohlers, Ferris, Gavel, Cianni, Waseleski
WISSOTA Modifieds: Feature- Ryan Aho, Kelly Estey, Johnny Broking, Skeeter Estey, Cory Sersha, Ricky Roche, Brad Hanson, Rick Cannata, Rick Niemi, Jeff Wood, Sam Skalsky, John Baltich, Ken Mosteller, John Carpenter, Marc Damjanovich, Jeff Broking, Bob Broking, Jeff Hart, Paul Schultz
Heat 1- B.Broking, Hart, Estey, Sersha, Cannata, Hanson, Niemi, Skalsky, Mosteller, Schultz
Heat 2- Aho, Estey, Broking, Wood, Roche, Damjanovich, Jeff Broking, Carpenter, Baltich
WISSOTA Super Stocks: Feature- Andy Davey, Bobby Carlson, Derek Vesel, Tom Cianni, Kevin Burdick, Tyler Kintner, Trevor Arens, Dalton Carlson, Bob Kintner, Jeremy Fink, Eric Pierzina, Andy Labarge, Bob Preble, Steve Stavenger, Tristan Labarge, Kevin Salin, Kenny Swart
Heat 1- Burdick, Davey, Carlson, Arens, Cianni, Salin, Fink, Preble, Swart
Heat 2- T.Kintner, Vesel, B.Kintner, Carlson, Labarge, Pierzina, T.Labarge, Stavenger
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds: Feature- Skeeter Estey, Matt Anderson, Mack Estey, Bill Matzdorf, Don Smith, Darrin Lawler, Devin Vanhouse, Dan Wilson, Dylan Miller, Nick Daronco, Charlie Castle Jr, Willy Thompson, Andy Lubovich, Josh Martin, Jori Hughes, Don Craig, Jeff Forseen, Chad Vanduker, Patrick Bolden, Keith Niemi, Andrew Inman, Zach Dockter, Cody Fox
Heat 1- Lawler, Matzdorf, Kangas, Daronco, Thompson, Forseen, Vanduker, Niemi
Heat 2- S.Estey, M.Estey, Anderson, Smith, Vanhouse, Inman, Lubovich, Martin
Heat 3- Miller, Craig, Hughes, Wilson, Dockter, Castle Jr, Bolden, Fox
Pure Stocks: Feature- Gary Ruzich, Eric Anderson, Michael Blevins, Lee Ruzich, Keith Koski, Mike Ryan, Jarek Lamusga, Dave White, Jeff Ridlon, Stephen Erickson, John Yuretich, Margo Butcher, Tyler Chrysler, Ryan Hoshal, Jeremy Theisen, Steve Reini, Vic Westerlund, Joe Gentile, Josh Clark, Anthony Cappo, Mitch Cannata, Mike Meyer
Heat 1- Blevins, Ruzich, Ryan, Gentile, Lamusga, Ridlon, Cappo, Butcher
Heat 2- Koski, Chrysler, White, Erickson, Yuretich, Hoshal, Clark
Heat 3- Westerlund, Ruzich, Theisen, Meyer, Anderson, Reini, Cannata