Gondik Law Speedway
The FastLane Northland Super Stock Series is set to run 2021 campaign
This year marks the seventh year for the Series, set up to recognize the Super Stock Class. Series Spokesman Dennis McCauley and FastLane Motorsports & Powder coating owner Chris Bretting have been working since late December to again bring the fans and drivers of the Super Stock Class a great mid-summer event for this year. As the whole racing community found out the 2020 racing season was challenging to say the least, but that did not dampen the spirits of the Drivers or fans in attendance of the five races that took place last year.
In a year of anything but normalcy the 2020 Series started out booking seven races within ten days starting at Princeton Speedway, Ogilvie Raceway, and Granite City Speedway the first weekend. The second weekend would consist of Grand Rapids Speedway, Gondik Law Speedway, ABC Raceway, and the newly named Halvor Lines Speedway (Proctor). Two new tracks to the Series were Princeton and Grand Rapids and with sponsorships starting to roll in the series looked to be on the way to a banner year, and then the Pandemic began in mid-March. With the uncertainty of any tracks even opening the FastLane Northland Super Stock Series, as did other Series, had to play a waiting game to see what was going to happen. Keeping in touch constantly with the tracks that signed on for the year and the Drivers it was decided to keep things as scheduled until June and reassess at that time. By June tracks had begun opening and the Series decided to go forward with whoever could participate and do the best for the Tracks, Drivers, and Fans possible. As it turns out the year had some setbacks but also some great achievements that it strived for.
The Series opened up its schedule Friday July 17th at the Princeton Speedway and the anticipation was high for everyone at the Series and the host facility. Series statistician John Kimmes got put to work right away helping out doing the draw with their staff having a full evening with five other classes on the docket besides the Super Stocks. After the tally was finally totaled we ended up with 41 Super Stocks on hand to compete for their first event of the Series at Princeton Speedway. It seems as if weather has been following the Series the last couple years and this year started no differently. With scattered thunderstorms expected that evening around the nine O’clock hour the show got moving at a feverish pace. The racing rolled right along and the staff and Series decided to move the Super Stocks up in the program to be sure to complete their event as scheduled that evening. As it turned out Mother Nature played nice and the whole show got in just in time as many of the teams found themselves driving the short trek to Ogilvie in a pouring rain. a With last year’s total of 699 drivers registered after the last event in the 5th year, the first driver to register Shawn McFadden Jr became the 700th driver to enter an event for the Series! Shane Sabraski took home the checkered flag for the first night in what would be a very memorable Series for him and his crew.
The series would try to continue the next night at Ogilvie as rain was expected to surround the area just prior to race time the Track decided to call the evening off early to allow for drivers to either head home or to another venue, as it turned out Mother Nature only threw a slight sprinkle on the facility early, but the damage had already been done and the Series had been rescheduled for August 1st. With Granite City unable to open to this point a three-day weekend was cut down to a single night of racing for the Series.
The following weekend set Grand Rapids, Superior, Ashland and Proctor on the front burner with Grand Rapids being a first year event and scheduled on a Thursday everybody was holding their breath to see what would transpire. To add to the unknowns that night Grand Rapids had just opened up the Thursday before to an extremely rough track having to cancel the night only a few races into the program. The staff put in an exhaustive effort all week with numerous hours and amounts of equipment at the track to get it as best as it could be for the Series. After all drivers had signed in we had a respectable 35 cars to add to the 75 additional cars in the other 5 classes running that evening. Kevin Burdick became our second nights’ winner after all was said and done. Drivers then headed to Gondik Law Speedway for Friday night’s fair races which saw 43 cars in attendance and a perfect evening for racing. Sabraski continued his winning ways at GLS which it seemed he was unbeatable at all year. With Proctor not able to open for Sundays event and ABC scheduled the next day which weather forecasters were calling for showers most of the day many teams rolled the dice and headed home, which unfortunately hurt their chances in the Series payouts. ABC Raceway took the chance and ran the show with only 29 Super Stocks in attendance which the Series had not seen that low in over 3 years, but as they say “The show must go on”. The feature event went 30 nonstop with Sabraski winning by a margin of over 10 seconds and claiming his 3rd Series victory of the year.
With four races in the books and only the rescheduled Ogilvie race ahead we set our sights on what the night would bring. Notoriously rescheduled events rarely draw big numbers of cars and with Sabraski virtually locking up the championship we were unsure what the counts would be. As it turned out there were 43 drivers strong there to compete and try to stop Sabraski from completing the “Back Row Challenge”. With a perfect evening and a beautiful track Sabraski started in the rear and managed to pull out a victory in the race with some caution help to secure the 2020 FastLane Northland Super Stock Series Championship.
The series had 76 different drivers compete over the five nights and found 21 drivers who made all the races taking home at least $500 for their efforts. With the help of the great series sponsors we were able to pay out the top 15 in points with Shane Sabraski taking home the series title for his first time. Kevin Burdick, Dave Flynn, Nick Oreskovich, and Matt Deragon rounded out the top 5 in points. The series had a payout of over $22,000 last year not including over $3,000 in gift certificates handed out by Bretting for FastLane Motorsports and Powder coating. Adding in the contingency awards and the drivers of the series took home over $27,000 in cash and prizes over the five nights plus the over $27,000 in purse paid at the track level in a year that was severely dampened!
So what does 2021 hold for the FastLane Northland Super Stock Series? We have now had a total of 890 entries over the 7 years and expect to cross that 1000 mark hopefully at Granite City. There have been 157 different drivers who competed at one or more of the events, and we hope to add a few new ones this year also. We will again try to get our 7 races in 10 days accomplished. Remember drivers this series is all about YOU and what you would like. You drivers are what make this series great and with your support we will continue to do this for many years. After an interesting 2020 year we immediately had verbal commitments from almost every track that was scheduled to compete. Our one main concern was with Granite City coming under new management of former racer James Trantina and would we be invited back. After having a brief conversation with Trantina those fears were set to bed and Granite City was all in. As of the time of this article writing the Series has locked down four tracks into contract. The Series will again kick off 2020 at Princeton Friday July 23rd then a short drive to Ogilvie on Saturday and Granite City rounding out the first weekend, all of which are locked into the Series. The series will take a quick break and come back hopefully to Grand Rapids Speedway Thursday July 29th (not confirmed as of date written). The series will then head to its three “core tracks” who started it all out Gondik Law Speedway Friday July 30th, which is tentatively scheduled as part of the Twin Ports Twin 25’s Wissota Late Model Challenge Series Race. Next on the docket is scheduled to be at ABC Raceway Saturday July 31st (not confirmed as of date written) and hopefully capping it all off Sunday August 1st at the Halvor Lines Speedway (also not confirmed as of press time). So if plans hold true we will have seven nights of great Super Stock action in ten days. It is a monumental task for these drivers but I feel they are up to the challenge. We will again be contacting drivers from all over WISSOTA country to make sure as many of those talented drivers attend as many races as possible to showcase their talents. We hope to drag a few of those Dakota guys over for a few more laps this year! We set some goals again this year and we hope to achieve a few of them, of course we always want more drivers to compete so we hope to break both the single track record of 52 drivers and the series record of 76 different drivers. And lastly we are in hopes of trying to make sure that the drivers who support this series bring home at least $500 for competing at all of the events not including their individual track purse payouts, whether inside or outside the top 15 in points.
We continue to get interested tracks who would like the Series to visit them, however with the majority of the drivers wanting the Series to be two weekends and get in and out quickly with minimal travel distances we will just need to suffice with the limits set forth. Many drivers don’t want to leave their home tracks for multiple weekends and have the events scattered over the whole summer like other Series do and in order to get as many drivers support as possible we will continue to ask their opinions and follow the majority of what they want to see in their Series. Unfortunately, not everything is always good news. We were again in talks with Humboldt Speedway to bring the Super Stocks to Kansas for their Battle at the Bullring in early March. With the year that we just got through and with Sponsorship at a minimum we were unable to pursue this again for the upcoming year and we will have to keep it on the bucket list.
DRIVER RACE INFORMATION
The Series will use the old WISSOTA point system awarding drivers points for heat races and feature events. The old point structure was decided upon by Series Statistician Kimmes based on the relatively small number of races and with the smaller gaps in points it keeps the point chase close and manageable for drivers. The Series will again extend a provisional based on final 2020 points to a driver at each track that does not make the feature, which a driver is only eligible for once. We will again offer each local track a provisional to tag the back of the feature to one driver who competes at that track regularly that does not make the feature. This year the Series will pay out the top 15 spots again. We will again have a very competitive purse payout throughout the field and not just top heavy. We realize that every driver has the same bills to pay and they all should be awarded as much as they can for their efforts. The Series will have win bonuses based on if a driver can win multiple features in the Series. Again we want to award our drivers who finish outside the top 15 in points but make at least five of the shows and will be awarding a participant bonus. We are actively seeking sponsorship for many contingency prizes such as Hard Charger, Non-Qualifier, Random Drawings, Long Tow, Hard Luck, Gift Certificates and any other prizes to make these Super Stock Drivers and Teams feel appreciated.
The Series will take place July 23rd at Princeton Speedway, July 24th at Ogilvie Raceway, July 25th at Granite City Speedway, July 29th at Grand Rapids Speedway, July 30th at Gondik Law Speedway, July 31st at ABC Raceway and August 1st at Halvor Lines Speedway. If a postponement occurs the race will take place at that tracks next regular night that the Super Stocks compete that does not conflict with a Series date, or that tracks “Special Event”. The Series would like to recognize all seven of the participating tracks for their support to the Super Stock Class and a special Thank You for working with their competing tracks to allow their regular drivers to compete in the Series. If you would like to come on board to help out the Series please contact Spokesman Dennis McCauley at 218-348-9919 and see you at an event near you!
Article Credit: Dennis McCauley