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  .: April 29th, 2017 :.

Balduc and Truscott Thrill Rice Lake Speedway Open Wheel Fans

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, April 29 – Open wheel fans got a show Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway as both Neil Balduc and Michael Truscott made outstanding drives to the front of the field as they won their feature races to highlight the racing action on a cold and blustery Saturday night. Also winning feature races as a part of the five new winners Saturday were Scott Lawrence, Sam Fankhauser and Dustin Doughty.

Balduc started fifth on the grid in the Modified feature but he slipped back farther in the field early before he started to make his big charge. In the early going, it was Jeff Spacek and Kevin Eder battling for the lead before Eder was able to throw a slider in turn two and take over the top spot. Running very strong was Pat Hoffman who came roaring up on the low side and moved in to challenge for the top spot with Paul Wrazidlo closely following.

Kevin Adams was also gradually moving up as he worked into the fourth spot by the halfway point of the race. Meanwhile, Hoffman was giving heavy pressure to Eder and nearly got by him on a couple of occasions when suddenly, Balduc started to become a factor. In the last half of the race he drove past Adams and then closed on the lead group.

He was flying as he made up ground at a rapid pace, first moving past Wrazidlo and then Hoffman and closing on Eder. With a low side move, Balduc took over the lead down the back chute and then once in front, he moved away from the pack by several car lengths. Eder tried to fight back but he couldn't cut the gap and Balduc rode home for the impressive win. For Neil, it was his first ever Modified feature win at Rice Lake and while he isn't a regular competitor at the track, he has made numerous starts at Rice Lake since he moved up from the Midwest Mods. Eder hung on for second and Wrazidlo completed an impressive run of his own by retaking third ahead of Hoffman with Adams completing the top five.

As far as the most spectacular moves of the night though, that honor should go to Truscott who had to move out the concrete walls as he rode them to great success early in the Midwest Modified feature. Fran Hanson and Alex Smith battled with Shane Halopka and Dan Kingsley on the opening lap but it was Truscott who sent the crowd swooning when he climbed the banking in the first corner and passed six cars on the opening lap of the main event. Somehow he found room to squeeze past Denny Cutsforth coming out of turn four on the opening lap and on lap two drove past Hanson to take over the lead.

Once in front, he settled down to a more manageable pace as he continued to lead the field. Truscott wasn't the only one coming to the front in a rush however. Grant Southworth started tenth and before too long he was battling for the second spot while farther back in the pack, Paul Suzik had found the outside line too and he was charging forward after starting eleventh.

This race was plagued by yellow flags for single car spins but it seemed like every time there was a lap completed, Southworth and Suzik had both managed to gain another position. Finally, the time limit was reached and a two lap sprint to the finish was called for.

Truscott got away on the green and there was no stopping him as he drove home for the well deserved win. Southworth managed to get all the way up to second at the line as he edged out Kingsley for that spot. Suzik ran out of time to go any farther forward and he settled for fourth, just ahead of Shane Halopka.

Lawrence started on the pole for the Super Stock feature and that was bad news for the rest of the field. Nick Traynor battled with Lawrence briefly but Scott then pulled away to a considerable lead. After two early spins, the race ran nonstop for the last sixteen laps and Lawrence's comfortable lead started to melt away due to a heavy charge by Eric Olson. After Olson worked his way into second, he began to cut into Lawrence's lead and by shortly after the halfway point, Lawrence felt the heat of the #1E car.

Olson stuck the nose of his car under Lawrence's several times dipping into the corners but Scott was able to fight him off. Olson then changed strategies and tried to drive around the high side of Lawrence. He also got that accomplished but just ran out of room and had to drop back in line. The last couple of laps saw Lawrence adjust his line and Olson wasn't able to make a serious charge late as Scott drove home for his first feature win at Rice Lake since 2013. Kevin Burdick made his first appearance of he year a strong one as he finished a solid third. Traynor had a good run for fourth, holding off Randy Spacek for the spot.

The Street Stocks had some spectacular three wide racing of their own before things settled down a little as the race progressed. Right from the start, Kolby Kiehl and Kirk Bogdanovic raced side by side for the lead with a swarm of about a half dozen cars right behind them. They diced for positions with drivers gaining and losing spots just about as fast.

The only thing slowing down the action were three quick spins that triggered yellows. Fankhauser had his own version of the “move of the night” when he drove to the middle of the track, cut between Bogdanovic and Kiehl and took over the lead. He then started to stretch that advantage as the last dozen laps ran nonstop.

That was until Jay Kesan was able to break loose. Last week's feature winner started seventh and it took him awhile to get through the strong field of cars but once he got to second, he started to cut into Fankhauser's lead. The advantage started to dwindle but with no help from a yellow, the nearest Kesan could get was on the final lap when he cut the lead to a car length as Sammy drove home for his first win of the year. Hunter VanGilder had a strong run to finish third ahead of Kyle Dykhoff and Kiehl who held on for a top five.

Another big field of Pure Stocks required a B feature for the second straight week, unheard of in recent years. When the green dropped for the main event, things broke badly quick, as Mike Grover got turned sideways on the front chute with cars scattering in every direction. Three cars were eliminated and the field took the green once again. Zach Beaulieu took the early lead but it wasn't long before George Richards moved in and made the outside pass to take over the top spot.
Another tangle slowed the action and on the green, Richards found himself challenged by Dustin Doughty for the lead.

Doughty pulled up beside Richards and they raced side by side for the top spot, circling the track once before Doughty was able to edge past and take the lead. The final eight laps ran nonstop and Richards was glued to Doughty's rear bumper, trying to provoke a mistake and gain an opening. However, Doughty was rock solid in the groove and despite George's all out attempt on the final lap, Doughty maintained his lead and won by a car length over Richards. Jason Havel moved up from seventh on the start to take third but he couldn't quite catch the leaders on this night. Second year driver Kyle Copp had a strong run for fourth with Beaulieu rounding out the top five.

Before the show started, the Best Appearing Car awards were announced. The winners were Tucker Quinn-Pure Stocks; Chad Eastman-Street Stocks; Joe Chaplin Jr-Midwest Modifieds; John Erickson-Super Stocks and Ryan Viltz-Modifieds.
Another five class program is slated for next Saturday night. Warm ups start at 6:30 pm with the first race on the track by 7 pm. The first special event of the year is upcoming on Saturday, May 20th with the first ever appearance of the Mini Mods along with a full racing program in all other classes.


Rice Lake Speedway
Rice Lake WI
April 29, 2017

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Neil Balduc(Bessemer MI), Kevin Eder(Ashland), Paul Wrazidlo(Duluth MN), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Zack Drews(Superior), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Nathan Thums(Wausau), Jeff Spacek(Phillips), Matt Leer, Steve Hallquist
8 Lap Heat 1 – Spacek, Balduc, Eder, Wrazidlo, Viltz, Thums
Heat 2 – Leer(Bruce), Adams, Hoffman, Anderson, Hallquist(Eau Claire), Drews

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 Lap Feature – Scott Lawrence(Superior), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Kevin Burdick(Proctor MN), Nick Traynor(Barron), Randy Spacek(Phillips), Curt Myers(Cameron), Jeff Klopstein Jr(Tomahawk), Nick Oreskovich(Mason), John Erickson(Rice Lake), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Jeff Brauer, Adam Soltis, Jim Cimfl, Cooper Berlin, Terran Spacek, Steve Davidson, Don Cimfl Jr, Luke Schultz, Kyle Helling

8 lap Heat 1 – Burdick, R. Spacek, Olson, Soltis(Ladysmith), T. Spacek, Schultz, Myers

Heat 2 – Lawrence, Brauer(Eyota MN), Erickson, J. Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Helling(Rice Lake), Hoffman, Josh Cappo

Heat 3 – Oreskovich, Traynor, Klopstein Jr, Berlin(Rice Lake), Cimfl Jr(Rice Lake), Wahlstrom

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

10 lap Feature – Michael Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Dan Kingsley(Superior), Paul Suzik(Ironwood MI), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Alex Smith(Solon Springs), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Tad Schoonover(Eagle River), Derek Haas(Thorp), Fran Hanson, Calvin Iverson, Tim Ekdahl, Gunner Peterson, James Kannegiesser, Brent Miller, Steve Altman, Aric Lindberg, Denny Cutsforth, Joe Prusak, Reid Tiegs, Scott Anderson

8 lap Heat 1 – Truscott, Smith, Hanson(Almena), Southworth, Peterson(Cable), Prusak, Altman, Miller

Heat 2 – Kingsley, T. Anderson, Chaplin Jr, Suzik, Lindberg(Dallas), Ekdahl, S. Anderson

Heat 3 – Halopka, Schoonover, Cutsforth(Rice Lake), Haas, Iverson(Eleva), Tiegs, Kannegiesser

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Kyle Dykhoff(Perham MN), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Kevin Bogdanovic(Wausau), Cody Kummer(Medford), Danny Richards(Mondovi), Shawn Amundson(Rice Lake), Josh Bach(Barron), Braden Brauer, Armond Love, Andy Cimfl, Parker Anderson, Jimmy Randall, Travis Loew, Bob Wahlstrom, Kirk Bogdanovic, Dustin White, Don Cook

8 lap Heat 1 – Dykhoff, Kummer, VanGilder, Amundson, Love(Eau Claire), Loew, Chad Eastman

Heat 2 – Randall(Rice Lake), Kirk Bogdanovic, Kiehl, Cimfl(Rice Lake), Cook(Barron), Wahlstrom, Anderson

Heat 3 – Fankhauser, Kevin Bogdanovic, Kesan, Richards, Bach, White, Brauer

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Dustin Doughty(Oakdale MN), George Richards(Mondovi), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Kyle Copp(Brule), Zach Beaulieu(Chetek), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Chad Nikstad(Superior), James Thur(Neillsville), Stefan Hogue(Altoona), James Clausen(Barron), Trenten Holub, Wayne Braun Jr, Jimmy Holden, Austin Workman, Jamie Fisher, Mike Pratt, Andy Ladd, Mike Grover

10 lap B Feature – Braun Jr(Rice Lake), Workman(Barron), Josh Miller(Spooner), Jake Sandman(Rice Lake), Rob Grabon(Bruce), C.J. Wagner, Tucker Quinn

8 lap Heat 1 – Havel, Thompson, Holden(Rice Lake), Hogue, Holub(Sarona), Nikstad, Randy Graham, Braun Jr, Grabon

Heat 2 – Doughty, Richards, Grover(Chetek), Copp, Ladd(Cumberland), Mike Blevins, Sandman, Quinn, Wagner

Heat 3 – Beaulieu, Pratt(Bloomer), Clausen, Thur, Fisher(Rice Lake), Rob Holmstrom, Miller