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  .: July 15th, 2017 :.

Grabon and Wilson Earn First Rice Lake Speedway Feature Wins

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, July 15 – In one of the more crazy nights of the 2017 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway, three drivers were disqualified for various forms of malfeasance, three drivers earned their first feature wins of the season including one who earned his first ever, but only because the apparent winner was disqualified because the assigned driver was not behind the wheel when the car reported to victory lane after winning the main!

When all was sorted out, officially taking feature wins were Rob Grabon, Eric Olson, Aric Lindberg, Aaron Wilson and Kevin Adams. For Grabon it was his first feature win ever at Rice Lake while Wilson and Olson took their first wins of the year(Olson's previous wins came in the Super Stock class), and Lindberg earned his second win of the year after going many years with not a single win to show for his efforts.

After the heat races went off smoothly on Kid's Night, the feature races mostly followed a pattern where there were several yellow flags in the early going and then everyone settled down and raced the rest of the way. The Pure Stocks followed that pattern with four early slow downs for spins and debris on the track. Once they settled down, their feature turned into a tightly fought contest with first Stefan Hogue and then Dusten Holub taking over the lead. Holub continued to lead with Zach Beaulieu moving into second and putting heavy pressure on the leader.

Bob Thompson, Rob Grabon and Tucker Quinn were all moving toward the front too with Quinn able to make the most progress after starting in the fourth row. While most of the drivers were running the low side, Quinn went higher on the track and made it work as he drove past car after car and moved into second.

He then set his goal to get past Holub and they had a great battle for the lead with them racing side by side through the corners on lap after lap. Quinn nosed ahead briefly but Holub used some daring moves to go high and low on the track and keep Quinn behind him. They were side by side on the final lap and Quinn was setting up his last ditch attempt when suddenly, his car just quit coming off turn four. Dusten Holub drove on to the apparent win, his first ever at the speedway with Grabon nosing out Quinn for second and just after he crossed the line, Grabon lost a left rear wheel to top things off.

However, the finish was not official yet. It seems that Dusten Holub's brother Trenten had been signed in to race the car on this night but he failed to show up at the track and at the last minute brother Dusten jumped in behind the wheel. However, they failed to notify track officials of the driver change and driver changes without notification are not allowed because of the effect they have on the lineups and the point invert situation which is based on each drivers own personal record.

Therefore, regretfully, Holub was disqualified from his first win ever and Holub, who passed Quinn right at the line for what appeared to be second ,recorded his first win ever at Rice Lake, even though he reported to the tech area on three wheels, having lost his just after crossing the line.

Quinn, minus transmission, finished second with Beaulieu, Thompson and Jon Wigchers completing the top five in the bizarre race.

Olson has won a boatload full of Super Stock feature races already this season but Saturday he earned his first Street Stock win of the year. Bringing out the Mark Ewert owned #70 for the first time, Olson put the “Fear of God” in his competitors leading up to the “Little Dream” race for Street Stocks early next month as the defending champion of that race came home the winner Saturday. However, it took a door grinding battle with Sam Fankhauser in the late laps to make it happen as Fankhauser didn't just roll over but fought hard for the win.

Andy Cimfl and then Don Cook led in the early laps with Fankhauser, Kevin Bogdanovic, Olson and Jay Kesan all in the lead pack. The top six or so were running very close together as they battled for position. Unfortunately, things got a little too tight with Cook and Kesan coming together and both ended up in a grinding collision with the front stretch wall that saw both done for the rest of the night.

Fankhauser took over the lead and seemed to be in good shape until Olson picked up the pace, moving around on the track and making passes to move into second. Eric stuck his nose under Fankhauser a couple times but was not quite able to pull off the pass as the top two ran in tight formation.

With the laps winding down, Olson made one last concerted effort to pass for the lead. Coming for the white flag, Olson again got a nose inside of Fankhauser coming off turn four. The two veterans raced hard down the front stretch with their doors grinding into each other and Fankhauser ended up sliding up the track. Olson took over the top spot and while Fankhauser raced back up to his bumper in the final corner, his last dirt passing attempt didn't work and he had to settle for second as Olson took the win. Kolby Kiehl finished a close third while Hunter VanGilder and Nick Traynor came from the back row to complete the top five.

It took Lindberg a number of years to earn his first ever feature win at Rice Lake and now, within the course of less than three weeks, he has won not just once but twice as he fought off several challenges to take the Midwest Modified main Saturday. Craig Elliott led the opening laps and put on his best run of the year as he fought off Calvin Iverson and Kent Baxter in the early going. Lindberg was on the move and he swept to the outside and took over the lead with Joe Chaplin Jr and Travis Anderson also on the move.

As Lindberg continued to maintain the lead at the halfway mark following a spin, Chaplin Jr moved into second and began to pressure the leader. Joe was all over Lindberg as he fought to make the pass for the lead. Meanwhile, Shane Halopka, hung up in traffic for many laps, suddenly found some openings and he came charging up toward the front.

Chaplin Jr had closed right in behind Lindberg and was setting up for a possible pass for the lead when he suddenly lost power coming off turn four and pulled into the infield. This gave Lindberg the edge he was looking for and he drove home the final two laps to gain his second win. Halopka continued his charge as he edged past Anderson on the final lap for second. Jamie Bisonette, in only his second outing, had a strong run as he came from ninth to finish fourth with Austin Ellis completing the top five.

Following a feature long pattern, it took four attempts to get the first lap completed in the Super Stock feature including a grinding front stretch crash between Steve Davidson and Adam Soltis that eliminated both cars from further action.

Davidson had taken the early lead until being passed by Wilson for the lead. As Wilson started to put distance on the field when racing resumed, Olson and Nick Traynor both came charging up from the fourth row toward the front. Olson moved into second and set off after the leader, but Wilson had built up a substantial lead by this point.

With the last nineteen laps of the race going nonstop, Olson slowly but gradually started to cut into Wilson's lead with Traynor trying to catch Olson for second. However, Wilson was putting down some solid laps, he would prove hard to catch. Olson managed to get the margin down to about two car lengths at the finish, but Wilson was still in solid control as the former point champion, in only his second outing of 2017, drove home for the win. Olson and Traynor followed him home with Jim Cimfl next in line. Cody Cimfl, making his first start ever in the Super Stocks, came from fourteenth to complete the top five.

The Modifieds normally run a clean program but even this class had their early troubles on Saturday with four yellows in the first five laps for spins. Several of the early front runners got shuffled back into the pack as Kevin Adams and Mike Anderson were able to come from the fourth row to take over the top two spots with some nifty driving in traffic.

Once in front, it was a two car battle for the lead with Adams able to maintain his lead as Anderson did his best to cut into the leader's edge. It would vary from lap to lap but Adams was never seriously pressured as he drove to his fifth victory of the season at the track. Mark Hessler had another nice run as he came from ninth to finish a solid third and Ryan Viltz also looked good as the rookie Modified driver finished fourth while Dave Baxter came from the back following a first lap spin to complete the top five.

The UMSS Traditional Sprints made their second appearance of the season at the speedway Saturday. Following a crowd pleasing non stop twenty five lap main event that saw the lead swapped back and forth several times, Mike Mueller came on and passed Jimmy Kouba as the UMSS point leader took the win. Kouba hung on for second with Bryan Roach coming from seventh to finish a fast closing third. He was trailed by Scott Brandt and Jake Kouba who completed the top five as the UMSS non winged Sprints completed their portion of the program without a single yellow flag slowdown.

The speedway will be silent next Saturday, July 22nd as the competitors take a well deserved break for the Barron County Fair.

However, when they return, it will be for two of the biggest races of the season to be run in short order. On Saturday, July 29th, along with a full five class program of racing, the Shaw Trucking WISSOTA Challenge Series for Late Models will be in town to run one of their series events. John Kaanta of Elk Mound, a frequent competitor at the track in years past, is the current point leader of the series and will look to his familiarity with the Rice Lake track to add to his point title.

Defending winner of this event, A.J. Diemel, also from Elk Mound, will do everything possible to try and defend his title. Many of the top Late Models who travel with the series will be in attendance with perhaps thirty or more of the Late Models on hand to compete in a forty lap, two thousand dollar to win program. Fans will remember that last year's event was the biggest single night race during the Adams-Hansen era at the Rice Lake Speedway and favorable weather should again find a huge crowd on hand, so fans should plan on arriving early on that night.

And then, just three days later, on Tuesday night, August 1st, the nationally famous Street Stock “Little Dream” race will be on tap at the speedway. Everyone is wondering if last year's record of $15,500 dollars to the winner can be topped in 2017, including the sixty or so Street Stock drivers coming from five states and Canada to compete.

Keep an eye on the speedway's website or facebook page as more details about these two events are released in the coming days and call Dave Adams at 715-205-2861for more information.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

July 15, 2017

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Jake Hanson(Downing), Gary Baxter(Eau Claire), Jason Schill(Centuria), Dave Mayala, Steve Hallquist

8 lap Heat 1 – K. Baxter, Viltz, Anderson, Adams, Hessler, G. Baxter, Hoffman

Heat 2 – D. Baxter, Hanson, Mayala(Barron), Schill, Hallquist(Eau Claire)

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Nick Traynor(Barron), Jim Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Cody Cimfl(Rice Lake), Don Cimfl Jr(Rice Lake), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Mike Siewert(Cameron), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake), Simon Wahlstrom, Adam Soltis, Russ Chester, Steve Davidson, Josh Cappo

8 lap Heat 1 – Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Olson, J. Cimfl, Traynor, Soltis(Ladysmith), D. Cimfl Jr, Siewert, Cappo

Heat 2 – Wilson, Fankhauser, Davidson(Richland Center), Chester(Chetek), Berlin, Helling, C. Cimfl

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Denny Cutsforth(Rice Lake), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Tim Ekdahl(Cameron), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Reid Tiegs(Dallas), Cy Hoaglan, Scott Anderson, Brady Larson, Calvin Iverson, Mitchell Larson, Joe Chaplin Jr, Brad Doyen

8 lap Heat 1 – Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Halopka, Baxter, Lindberg, Bisonette, Tiegs, Anderson, Hoaglan, Doyen

Heat 2 – Ellis, Iverson(Eleva), Anderson, Elliott, Ekdahl, B. Larson, Cutsforth, M. Larson

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Barron), Kevin Bogdanovic(Wausau), Andy Cimfl(Rice Lake), Parker Anderson(Phillips), Josh Bach(Barron), Kirk Bogdanovic(Phillips), Don Cook, Jay Kesan

8 lap Heat 1 – Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Fankhauser, Kirk Bogdanovic, Kevin Bogdanovic, Traynor, Bach

Heat 2 – Olson, Kiehl, Cimfl, Cook(Barron), Anderson, VanGilder

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Rob Grabon(Bruce), Tucker Quinn(Ladysmith), Zach Beaulieu(Chetek), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jon Wigchers(Rice Lake), Mike Pratt(Bloomer), Ryan Lindenfelser(Trego), John Eastman(Cameron), Stefan Hogue(Altoona), Mike Siewert(Cameron), Michael Holmstrom, Tyler Wahlstrom, Dave Holub, Scotty VanGilder, Jim Holden

8 lap Heat 1 – Beaulieu, Holden(Rice Lake), Hogue, Thompson, Wahlstrom(Chetek), Holub, Eastman, Holmstrom

Heat 2 – Quinn, Pratt, Grabon, Wigchers, VanGilder(Birchwood), Lindenfelser