By Greg Anderson
Hibbing, MN- Hibbing, MN- For the first time in years, Mother Nature left Hibbing Raceway alone on Radko Iron and Supply/ McDonald’s Meet the Driver Night and festivities went off without a hitch. Race fans were able to mingle and collect photos with their favorite drivers prior to the evening’s action and once complete, it was back to business as usual for the 102 race teams filling the pit area.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds kicked off what would prove to be caution filled evening feature racing action. After posting a top five finish the prior week, Mack Estey raced out to the early lead in search of his first win of the year. Estey used the bottom groove on the blackened racing surface to build to his lead over the previous two weeks’ winners Charlie Castle and Matt Anderson. The only thing keeping Estey from his first feature win of the year was a series of cautions from mid-pack skirmishes. Estey was un-phased on restarts however and he held strong to the checkered flag to make for three different winners in three nights in Hibbing.
Much like the Midwest Modified main, the bottom groove appeared to be the preferred line for the WISSOTA Super Stocks and Tyler Kintner was quick to find it. Kintner charged from the outside of the third row to overtake Kevin Burdick and Tristan Labarge for the lead. Once out front, Kintner held solidly to the bottom forcing any possible challengers to make a pass on the outside. A myriad of mid-race cautions kept Kintner from gaining any large advantage and despite occasional runs at the leader by Labarge, Kintner ran solidly all the way to the finish and never looked back to pick up the win.
After the lengthy Super Stock race, the WISSOTA Modifieds also had their difficulties completing laps without stoppages. Jeff Tardy and Sam Skalsky set the pace at the outset but both would ultimately fall victim to mechanical woes. Over the early part of the race, Jeff Broking worked his way forward from the fourth row and glued his car to the bottom of the track all the way to the lead. With Broking up front, Kelly Estey moved into second and began to work to the outside of the leader hoping to remain perfect on the year at Hibbing. Countless restarts throughout the race kept things tight but each time, Broking was able to start strong and was not to be denied. As the race entered the later stages, Jeff Hart came to life and slipped past Estey for second and tried his hand at Broking. Like the previous challenger, Hart was unable to mount a bid serious enough to make a pass and Broking stayed out front until the finish.
After Broking’s victory lane celebration the WISSOTA Late Models rolled out to try their hand on the slick racing surface and like the classes before them, they had their share of troubles. Terry Lillo charged to the point early on with several cars in tow including Kyle Gavel, Greg Ferris, and Mark Heinle. Behind them, Tom Waseleski Jr. was making his way forward from the fourth row and it was soon a battle for the lead. Waseleski Jr. used the bottom of the track to pass the higher running Lillo and appeared to be the car to beat. After a handful of cautions over the first half of the race the race began to pick up some momentum and Geroge Ledin seemingly emerged from nowhere to move into second. Ledin used a higher line to chase down the lead and soon the race was on for the lead. Waseleski valiantly tried to fend off the onslaught but Ledin’s pressure was too much and he sailed past to the point. Ledin began to pull away until one final caution gave Waseleski another shot. The two made contact in turn one following the restart but both continued on with Ledin still leading. Infrequent Canadian visitor Riley Matthews moved into second but was unable to make any moves on the leader as Ledin cruised to his first win in several years.
The Pure Stocks closed out the evening and even they had trouble completing long green flag runs. Early on, it was a three car tango for the top spot between Gary Ruzich, Al Rapp, and Victor Westerlund with Ruzich leading the bulk of the laps. Between laps five through ten, multiple cautions marred the race but over that time, Ruzich continued to lead until ninth starting Michael Blevins weeded his way through to move past Ruzich in search of his third straight win. Seventeenth starting Eric Anderson soon followed Blevins past Ruzich and the top two separated from the rest of the field. Blevins was able to keep Anderson at bay over the remainder of the race as he rolled to his third win in as many race in 2013.
On Saturday, June 29, the NLRA Late Models invade Hibbing for the Mike Baumgardner Memorial Invitational. Baumgardner was a strong supporter of Hibbing Raceway for many years and very visible part of the Waseleski racing crew. In addition to winning in the honor of Baumgardner’s memory, teams will be racing for an enhanced nightly purse. 2012 NLRA Champion Brad Seng of Grand Forks will lead the invasion of teams from various areas to the west and more. For more information, visit www.hibbingraceway.com or call (218) 262-2324.
WISSOTA Late Models:
Feature- George Ledin, Riley Matthews, Travis Budisalovich, Terry Lillo, Harry Hanson, Jeff Massingill, Mark Heinle, Lou Cianni, Aaron Lillo, Don Frider, Greg Ferris, Zach Wohlers, Tommy Waseleski Jr, Jim Morris, Kyle Gavel
Heat 1- Waseleski Jr, Hanson, Lillo, Massingill, Vajdl, Budisalovich, Wohlers
Heat 2- Ledin, Ferris, Heinle, Matthews, Cianni, Morris, Frider, Lillo
Feature- Jeff Broking, Jeff Hart, Kelly Estey, Brad Hanson, Jeff Wood, Ricky Roche, Ryan Aho, Marcus Damjanovich, Cory Sersha, Devin Vanhouse, Johnny Broking, Rick Niemi, Cory Jorgenson, Paul Schultz, Adam Johnson, John Baltich, Ken Mosteller, Bob Broking, Jeff Tardy, Sam Skalsky
Heat 1- Tardy, Wood, Skalsky, Estey, Broking, Schultz, Roche, Jorgenson, Mosteller, Broking
Heat 2- Je.Broking, Sersha, Aho, Hanson, Hart, Damjanovich, Vanhouse, Niemi, Baltich, Johnson
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature- Tyler Kintner, Tristan Labarge, Kevin Burdick, Andy Davey, Derek Vesel, Tom Cianni, Bobby Carlson, Dalton Carlson, Eric Pierzina, Bob Kintner, Andy Labarge, Jeremy Fink, Kevin Salin, Kyle Oman, Mike Zasadini, Steve Stavenger
Heat 1- Burdick, B.Kintner, A.Labarge, B.Carlson, Vesel, Pierzina, Fink, Cianni
Heat 2- Davey, T.Kintner, Labarge, Oman, Carlson, Zasadini, Salin, Stavenger
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature- Mack Estey, Charlie Castle, Matt Anderson, Bill Matzdorf, Mark Kangas, Charlie Castle, Willy Thomspon, Devin Vanhouse, Nick Daronco, Dylan Miller, Jeff Forseen, Jori Hughes, Dan Wilson, Justin Bassa, Josh Heavirland, Josh Martin, Patrick Bolden, Dale Schall, Keith Niemi, Skeeter Estey, Andy Lubovich, Chad VandukerHeat 1- Daronco, Matzdorf, Kangas, Castle, Vanhouse, Vanduker, Bassa, Neimi
Heat 2- Castle Jr, Wilson, Heavirland, Hughes, Martin, Schall, Lubovich
Heat 3- M.Estey, Thompson, Anderson, Miller, Estey, Forseen, Bolden
Feature- Mike Blevins, Eric Anderson, Gary Ruzich, Jerry Ramey, Al Rapp, Steve Reini, Gene Schultze, Keith Koski, Tyler Chrysler, Vic Westerlund, Jeremy Theisen, Jarek Lamusga, Margo Butcher, Jeff Ridlon, Anthony Cappo, Dave White, Nick Cimermancic, Mike Sirois, Michael Haben, Stephen Erickson, Kevin Davey, Spencer Sorenson, Joe Gentile, Michael Ryan, Ryan Anderson, Ryan Hoshal
Heat 1- Rapp, Davey, Schultze, Gentile, Sorenson, Cimermancic, Butcher, Haben, Hoshal
Heat 2- Ruzich, Reini, Westerlund, Chrysler, Sirois, Anderson, Cappo, White, Lamusga
Heat 3- Blevins, Ramey, Ryan, Koski, Theisen, Erickson, Ridlon, Anderson