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  .: June 3rd, 2017 :.

Chaplin Jr K-Runk Winner at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, June 3 – As a part of the program Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway, the inaugural K-RUNK Memorial Race, to honor the memory of former Midwest Modified driver Kyle Runkle, was held. The purse was augmented by donations collected by the Runkle family and friends and the race was run at the distance of Runkle's car number, #23. The third and final leader of the race, and winner was Joe Chaplin Jr. who earned $1,023 for his victory.

Other winners on Saturday night included Dustin Doughty, Jay Kesan, Jim Cimfl and Kevin Adams. Doughty, Kesan and Adams all earned their third victories of the season here so far as they start to distance themselves from the pack.

Twenty two cars took the green flag for the Midwest Modified main event that coincidentally, along with Runkle's car which was used as a pace vehicle, made up the twenty three car field, the same number as Runkle's car. Things got off to a wild start as outside pole sitter Alex Smith looped it in turn one in front of the entire field, collecting several cars. The race restarted minus Smith and Cody Carlson.

The second attempt saw Cole Chernosky take the early lead and he maintained the top spot for three laps before he slid high in turn four and Travis Anderson ducked under him to take over the lead. Once in front, Anderson continued to hold the lead for a number of laps as the race was slowed down twice more for minor spins and stalls. On the restart, the running order started to shake up as Chaplin Jr and Shane Halopka, who had both started in the fourth row, gradually had worked their way up into challenging positions.

Chaplin Jr worked the bottom while Halopka raced the top side as they closed up and challenged Anderson for the lead. Chaplin Jr was particularly quick in turns three and four and when Anderson gave Joe just a small hole, Chaplin Jr filled it and was able to take over the lead.

Once in front, Chaplin Jr was able to put a few car lengths on the field as Halopka continued to press for second and was finally able to make the pass and take over that spot. Behind them, a tough battle saw Tad Schoonover, David Simpson and Jake Smith all fighting for position as Michael Truscott Jr and Grant Southworth also tried to come from farther back in the pack.

Yellow flags were prominent as frequent spins slowed the action and kept the field bunched. The final yellow when Anderson and Denny Cutsforth tangled in turn one set up a four lap sprint to the finish. Chaplin Jr got off strong and while Halopka could tail him, there was no opportunity for a challenging pass and Joe drove on to his second win of the year at the track and most lucrative. Halopka finished a close second and Simpson made his first appearance of the year a good one as he kept his car clean and finished third. Southworth marched from thirteenth to fourth at the line with Schoonover completing the top five.

The other big winner of the night was Cimfl, who's Super Stock win was the first ever for him at Rice Lake after years of trying. Mike Siewert started on the pole and led the first couple of laps as three yellows for spins in the first two laps set the agenda for this race. Finally, after yellow number three, Cimfl and John Erickson came tearing around the leaders to take the top spots, only to have Erickson slide high and open the door for Willie Johnsen Jr who moved into second.

Johnsen was putting heavy pressure on the leader as he stepped to the high side of the track and made the pass for the top spot, only to have the yellow fly again and negate the move. Johnsen continued to put heavy pressure on, but the yellow flag made a continued appearance for spins and getting any consecutive racing completed was a tough task.

Finally, with the time limit exceeded, a two lap sprint to the finish was called for by track officials. Johnsen Jr went for broke on the green, driving hard into turn one. Unfortunately for him, his car pushed badly up the track and he lost a couple of positions with Eric Olson, up from eighth, moving into second. Olson gave it a strong shot on the final lap but Cimfl was able to hold him off as he drove to the historic win for himself. Olson finished a very close second with Erickson, Johnsen Jr and Kyle Helling completing the top five.

It was a happy clan of Cimfl family members and friends that celebrated in victory lane after Jim's first ever triumph at the track where his father is a member of the speedway's Hall of Fame.

Adams handled the small field of Modifieds assembled on Saturday night, moving up from the second row to battle briefly with Steve Hallquist before taking over the lead and then stretching it. Other than a single yellow for a spinning car, the race ran nonstop with Adams stretching his advantage throughout. Mike Anderson moved up to battle with Hallquist for second and eventually took over the spot but without a yellow to bunch the field, he had too much distance to make up.

Zack Drews moved in to challenge Hallquist for third but Steve fought him off and actually picked up the pace at the end, closing on Anderson and providing a stiff challenge in the last few laps for second with Anderson holding on for the position. Drews finished a strong fourth with Dave Mayala grabbing his first top five finish of the year.

The theme of the night was the yellow flag flying and the final two mains for the Street Stocks and Pure Stocks more than had their share of slowdowns with nearly half the field in both classes not around to take the checkered flag.

Nearly every car on the track was involved in some kind of skirmish during the Street Stock feature including the winner Kesan who was turned around at one point during the event as the battle for the lead got rugged.

Nick Traynor, guest driving in the Street Stocks Saturday, took the early lead in the main with a swarm of cars fighting for position behind him. The first of many yellows waved with three laps completed for a spin and the yellow flag marathon was on. Traynor led through the first couple of yellows until he faltered on a restart and Shawn Amundson was able to find an opening and take over the top spot.

He looked good up front for several laps until challenged by Kesan, who had done a masterful job of working his way up from the fifth row without getting on one of the many entanglements that took place.

When Amundson pushed up the track, Kesan was right there to jump into the lead. However, things were far from easy for the leader, as he was being heavily challenged and eventually, turned around in turn three. Returned to his spot at the front of the pack, he continued to show the way although he was being closing pursued.

The yellows and craziness continued and at one point near the end of the race, Hunter VanGilder was running second with a motor that sounded like it was shooting off fireworks and smoking heavily while third place runner Sam Fankhauser was trying to limp around the track with a flat left front tire.

Fankhauser eventually had to pull off but VanGilder was able to complete his run with a badly missing engine for second as he closely trailed winner Kesan. Kevin Bogdanovic was one of many that had to go to the back of the pack and he worked his way back up to third with his brother Kirk trailing and Kolby Kiehl also one that came from the back to complete the top five.

The Pure Stock feature was also a wild and scrambled event, with many yellow flags testing the patience of drivers and fans alike as spins and wrecks dominated the action. Things got off to a wild start with pole sitter James Thur spinning in turn four on lap one right in front of the entire field with several cars than slamming into each other. The pattern for the race had been set and it didn't get any better later.

After much shuffling of the field due to yellows, Dustin Doughty found his way to the front from the ninth starting position by the midpoint of the race, and while the craziness continued, he was able to maintain the lead and take the win. Justin Madsen crossed the line in second but likely due to the large number of yellow flags and extra pace laps required, both he and apparent fifth place finisher David Holub, making his first start of the year, were disqualified at the scale for weighing in light. The corrected order of finish found Doughty the winner over Jason Havel, Rob Grabon, Austin Workman and Wayne Braun Jr completed the top five.

There is a quick turn around this week as next Tuesday, June 6th, as a part of the city wide Aquafest celebration, the annual Aquafest trophy races will be held at the Rice Lake Speedway. As usual, warm ups will begin at 6:30 pm with racing at 7 pm. Following that, there will be no racing at the track on Saturday, June 10th. All five divisions that normally race at the track will be in action on Tuesday.


Rice Lake Speedway
Rice Lake WI
June 3, 2017

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), Zack Drews(Superior), Dave Mayala(Barron), Wayne Poteet(Spooner), Mark Hessler(Menomonie)

8 lap Heat – Adams, Anderson, Hallquist, Hessler, Drews, Mayala, Poteet, Pat Hoffman

WISSOTA Super Stocks

10 lap Feature – Jim Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), John Erickson(Rice Lake), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake), Steve Davidson(Richland Center), Mike Siewert(Cameron), Luke Schultz(Cameron), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Barron)

8 lap Heat 1 – Traynor, Don Cimfl Jr(Rice Lake), Davidson, Siewert, Schultz, Adam Soltis
Heat 2 – Johnsen Jr, Olson, J. Cimfl, Erickson, Berlin, Helling

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

23 lap Feature – Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), David Simpson(Thunder Bay Ont.), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Tad Schoonover(Eagle River), Karl Kolek(Menomonie), Cole Chernosky(Thunder Bay Ont), Jake Smith(Chippewa Falls), Kenny Kinkaid(Shell Lake), Scott Meeds(Shell Lake), Denny Cutsforth, Brad Doyen, Justin Claassen, Travis Anderson, Reid Tiegs, Aric Lindberg, Michael Truscott, Brady Larson, Austin Ellis, Cody Carlson, Alex Smith, Fran Hanson

8 lap Heat 1 – Halopka,A. Smith(Solon Springs), Chaplin Jr, Ellis(Rice Lake), Southworth, Cutsforth, Hanson, Doyen
Heat 2 – Chernosky, J. Smith, Schoonover, Larson(Amery), Tiegs(Dallas), Meeds, Claassen
Heat 3 – Simpson, Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Anderson(Colfax), Carlson(Superior), Kolek, Kinkaid, Lindberg

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Kevin Bogdanovic(Wausau), Kirk Bogdanovic(Phillips), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Karl Genett(Auburndale), Parker Anderson(Phillips), Andy Cimfl(Rice Lake), Hunter Anderson(Phillips), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Mike Knudtson, Nick Traynor, Don Cook, Simon Wahlstrom, Shawn Amundson, Josh Bach, Chad Eastman, Colton Klueckman

8 lap Heat 1 – Fankhauser, Kiehl, Cook(Barron), Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Eastman(Rice Lake), P. Anderson
Heat 2 – Traynor(Barron), Genett, Kevin Bogdanovic, Kirk Bogdanovic, Bach(Barron), Klueckman
Heat 3 – Kesan, VanGilder, Amundson(Rice Lake), Knudtson(Osseo), Cimfl, H. Anderson

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Dustin Doughty(Oakdale MN), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Rob Grabon(Bruce), Austin Workman(Barron), Wayne Braun Jr(Rice Lake), Andy Ladd(Cumberland), Josh Miller(Spooner), Zach Beaulieu(Chetek), Trenten Holub(Sarona), James Thur(Neillsville), Jimmy Holden, Tucker Quinn, Rob Holmstrom Jr, C.J. Wagner, Bob Thompson, Mike Pratt, Stefan Hogue, Jamey Fisher, Scotty VanGilder

8 lap Heat 1 – Thompson(Cameron), Thur, David Holub(Rice Lake), Ladd, Holmstrom Jr(Weyerhaeuser), Miller
Heat 2 – Quinn(Ladysmith), Justin Madsen(Foxboro), Pratt(Bloomer), Wagner(Rice Lake), S. VanGilder(Birchwood), Hogue, T. Holub
Heat 3 – Doughty, Havel, Beaulieu, Fisher(Rice Lake), Grabon, Holden, Braun Jr