Wissota Late Model Challenge Series
Nelson Nabs 12th Career Silver 100 Title; Ebert Earns 1st Mod Silver
The 2023 season for the Structural Buildings WISSOTA Late Model Challenge Series rolled into the Halvor Lines Speedway in Proctor, Minnesota for the 51st annual Silver 1000 on Thursday night, August 31st and saw Darrell Nelson win his 12th Silver 1000 by going to Challenge Series victory lane for the 8th time in his career.
Nelson started the night by setting fast time with a lap of 14.948 seconds around the banked red clay oval, while Derek Vesel, John Kaanta, Ashley Anderson and Jayme Lautigar topped the four qualifying heat races early in the night’s program. Todd and Gunner Frank each won one of the night’s b-mains to set the 26-car feature starting lineup.
Nelson and Harry Hanson earned the front row for the night’s 40-lap feature event with Hanson getting the upper hand on the initial start and leading the field into turn number one before Ryan Mikkelson suffered a drive train issue, slowing and bringing out the first caution of the race on the opening lap.
As the field went back to green, Hanson took back off into the top spot and lead the first five laps with Nelson in tow until the second, and final, caution flag flew over the field for a Todd Frank stall in the fourth turn.
Hanson took back off on the double file restart and lead the next seven circuits with Nelson working high and low to try to slip by into the lead until Darrell was finally able to work by Hanson in turn four to assume the lead and then disappear into the night.
With Nelson out front, Derek Vesel worked after Hanson for second as Anderson and Kaanta were in a great battle for fourth, with Jeff Massingill and series point leader Pat Doar in an equally tight scramble for sixth as the event raced to the half way point.
Nelson lead at the half way mark over Hanson, Vesel, Anderson and Kaanta and the second half of the race saw the top five remain unchanged as Nelson raced to his 12th career Silver 1000 championship by 3.6 seconds over Hanson. Vesel crossed the finish line in third with Anderson and Kaanta rounding out the top five. Doar ran sixth with Massingill, Travis Budisalovich, Jake Redetzke and Jeff Provinzino completing the top ten finishers.
In the WISSOTA Modified feature, Dan Ebert took off from the outside of the front row of the 30-lapper and paced every lap for his first Silver 1000 title. Ebert’s #60 was the class of the field tonight, but great battles waged on behind him as Mike Anderson and Brandon Copp were in a tight race for second just behind Ebert during the early part of the event.
Three caution flags slowed the action, one on lap 2 for a Cole Spacek spin, and two on lap 11, one for a Adam Johnson spin and one on the restart for a Donnie Lofdahl stall in turn one. Other than that, the event went green for the entire event with Ebert out front, ahead of Anderson and Copp until 14th starting Johnny Broking raced into the top five on lap 13 and began to pressure Al Uotinen for fourth.
Once Broking cleared Uotinen, he slid under Copp for third and tried to chase down Anderson, but Dan and Mike were too far out front and the race went non-stop to the checkered from that point on.
Ebert raced to the impressive 1.782 second victory over Anderson and Broking, who completed the podium. Uotinen and Nelson rounded out the top five finishers with Kaden Blaeser, Copp, Jeffrey Wood, Jody Bellefeuille and Jeff Wood completing the top ten finishers.
Full results can be found on MyRacePass.com
The next 2023 Challenge Series event is scheduled for Friday, September 1st at the Grand Rapids Speedway in Grand Rapids, MN with a 6:30pm start time.
Submitted By: Camryn Sullivan