by Greg Anderson
Hibbing, MN- On a special night under the ever present threat of rain, Hibbing Raceway was able to complete their extended program in a timely fashion and also honor the 2014 Hall of Fame class. Six new racing legends were inducted during intermission ceremonies for all of their contributions to the sport and Hibbing Raceway and they included: Billy Nelson, Boris Andrican, Johnny Johnson, John Gargano, Don Mohawk, and Bob Reed. Other legends from previous Hall of Fame classes, family members and friends, and historian David Aho were on hand to help welcome the new members. You can learn more about the Hall of Fame and its deserving members as well as other historical information at www.racehibbing.com
The evening got off to a rough and tumble start in the make-up WISSOTA Late Model feature. Greg Ferris bolted to the initial lead and withstood pressure from Kyle Peterlin and four cautions over the first ten laps but the final one on lap 11 proved to be his undoing. With Peterlin and Harry Hanson applying pressure, Ferris spun in front of the field out of turn two and others were collected; ending Ferris’ race. On the restart, Peterlin raced away from Hanson and the rest of the pack and never looked back to score his first feature win of the year in Hibbing. While Peterlin cruised out front, more cars continued to drop off due to contact with each other and only four of the sixteen starters were running at the end.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds were the first regular feature of the program and unlike the Late Models earlier; they were able to run cleanly for the most part. Former track champion Bill Matzdorf raced around fellow front row starter Dylan Miller in the early going to take the lead and it was one that Matzdorf would not give up. In his first visit of the year, Twin Ports driver Carey Lepage charged into second and at times appeared poised to challenge Matzdorf up front but was never able to make a serious bid as Matzdorf picked up the win.
While the Midwest Modified feature was somewhat in doubt to the finish, there was no question left by Kevin Burdick in the WISSOTA Super Stocks. In the most dominating performance of the year in any class, Burdick moved past early race leader Jr Tardy when Tardy slowed and eventually exited for the pit area for the second week in a row while leading. From there Burdick stretched his lead over last week’s winner Andy Davey and the rest of the field every lap. By the finish, Burdick had caught most of the field and was a half a lap ahead of his next closest competitor.
In one of the most competitive races of the night, Matt Anderson charged to the lead in the WISSOTA Modified feature and would lead the first four circuits before the lower running Sam Skalsky edged past to take over. Skalsky appeared ready to score his first career Modified victory in Hibbing while he maintained the lead over the next fifteen circuits. Behind him, first time visitor and seventh place starter Darrell Nelson was on the move and burst into second in the mid-stages of the race. Nelson then used a higher line through the middle to close in on the low running leader. By lap 18, Nelson began to pressure Skalsky but Skalsky held strong in his line. As they raced side by side for a couple circuits, Nelson made what would turn out to be the winning pass on lap 21. Over the final four laps, Nelson gave himself just the slightest breathing room on Sklaksy to score the win.
After the earlier altercations and damage, the second WISSOTA Late Model feature of the evening was somewhat slimmed down but even with some cars MIA, they were able to put on an exciting race for the fans in attendance. George Ledin got the jump on Late Model rookie Tom Cianni and looked strong out front while the rest of the field sliced and diced for position. Several cars were on the charge including Modified winner Nelson, Terry Lillo, and tenth starting Jeff Massingill. As Lillo and Nelson moved in to challenge Ledin, contact was made between Lillo and Ledin while resulted in a caution. Both cars headed pit-side and on the restart Greg Hill had been showing signs of life and he charged around Nelson to take over up front. Hill built his lead and Nelson tried to fight back but Hill was up to the task as he ran strong to the finish for his first win in Hibbing since his Labor Day Shootout triumph years back.
The Pure Stocks closed out the evening with a feature race that saw three different leaders over the course of the 20 laps. Matt Cunha led the first five circuits before giving way to Victor Westerlund. Westerlund appeared to be headed for his fourth feature win of the year as he built his lead and maintained a fairly comfortable advantage over a hard charging Mike Blevins. On the restart, Blevins slipped over the edge of the track which Gary Ruzich and Margo Butcher capitalized on to move into second and third respectively. Ruzich went on to battled past Westerlund and held on to the point to the finish as the rain began to fall as the race concluded.
Racing on Saturday, August 2 will be presented by Quad City Merchants and will also have the WISSOTA Modified and Midwest Modified make-up features. For more information, visit www.hibbingraceway.com or call (218) 262-2324.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature- Greg Hill, Darrell Nelson, Jeff Massingill, Kyle Peterlin, Zach Wohlers, Jay Kintner, Tom Cianni, Roger Paolo, Mark Heinle, George Ledin, Mike Vajdl, Steve Reini, Terry Lillo, Greg Ferris, Matt Maki, Jeff Provinzino, Jerry Vesel, Don Frider, Bobby Carlson, Chris Olson, Harry Hanson
Make Up Feature- Kyle Peterlin, Harry Hanson, Terry Lillo, Roger Paolo, Jay Kintner, Zach Wohlers, Jeff Massingill, Don Frider, Jeff Provinzino, Steve Reini, Tom Cianni, Greg Ferris, Bobby Carlson, Mike Vajdl, Chris Olson, Jerry Vesel, Travis Budisalovich
Feature- Darrell Nelson, Sam Skalsky, Devin Vanhouse, Jeff Tardy, Jeff Broking, Rick Niemi, Marc Damjanovich, Nick Musel, Matt Anderson, Ken Mosteller, Cory Sersha, Jerry Vesel, Jeff Wood, Jeffery Wood
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature- Kevin Burdick, Andy Davey, Bob Kintner, Derek Vesel, Kevin Salin, Andy Labarge, Tristan Labarge, Kyle Oman, Mike Zasadini, Jr Tardy, Tyler Kintner
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature- Bill Matzdorf, Carey Lepage, Devin Vanhouse, Dylan Miller, Nick DaRonco, Mark Kangas, Brad Hanson, Jesse Ogston, Jeff Forseen, Chad Vanduker, Dan Wilson, Keith Niemi, John Kallas, Jerry Vesel, Darrin Lawler
Feature- Gary Ruzich, Victor Westerlund, Margo Butcher, Tyler Chrysler, Mike Blevins, Matt Cunha, Jeremy Theisen, Dave White, Michael Haben, Keith Koski, Robert Adair, Shauna Erickson, Stephen Erickson