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  .: August 11, 2018 :.

Ellis Edges Adams in Rice Lake Thriller; Cain is Able to ROC

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, August 11 – Austin Ellis was able to edge out Kevin Adams in a thrilling Midwest Modified main event to highlight the racing program on Hall of Fame night Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. Earlier in the season the Race of Champions qualifiers for the WISSOTA 100 were rained out so Saturday night's feature winners also qualified for that event. And it was also the final night to earn track points for the 2018 racing season so Ellis hit a three run homer as his win guaranteed him his first ever point championship at Rice Lake.

Jay Kesan also scored a last lap win as he used a late yellow flag to edge past Jimmy Randall and take the Street Stock feature while other winners included Dave Cain, Curt Myers and Josh Amans.

Although the Midwest Modified field was at a season low on Saturday night, the drivers made up for it by producing a thrilling feature race. Ellis started on the pole but Shane Halopka was right beside him and they raced side by side through the opening lap. Halopka was working well higher on the track and he stayed right with Ellis for several laps as Adams moved in to make it a three car battle.

They were running in tight formation for the first half of the race until Ellis and Adams, tight to his rear bumper, edged away by several car lengths from Halopka. And then it was time for Adams to attack. On each corner he would stick his car's nose under Ellis and try to sneak by on the inside, even using the high side of turns three and four to try and get a big run at Ellis. A couple of times he pulled up even with Austin but each time Ellis would hold his line and the two cars, breathtakingly close together, would race through the corners but each time Ellis would emerge as the leader.

Lap after lap they continued their battle, and with the last ten laps of the race running under the green, the decision would be settled on the track. Adams took one last shot on the final lap, digging under Ellis in turn four as both cars were on the edge of control and slipped up the track. However, Ellis remained cool as a cucumber on an October morning as he refused to give ground and he raced across the line with a half car length margin over Adams as the crowd went wild. For Ellis it was his third win of the year at Rice Lake and will ensure that he will start on the pole for a qualifying heat for the Season Championship to be held next week.

Halopka finished a solid third with Travis Anderson and Calvin Iverson completing the top five in a race that had only two minor yellow flags.

The other main event that came right down to the wire was in the Street Stock class but in this event, unlike the Midwest Modified main, the yellow flag got a work out and ultimately had much to do with the finish. Jimmy Randall started on the outside pole and jumped into the early lead over Mike Knudtson and Zach Manley. Drama early found Parker Anderson hammering the back stretch wall and Jay Kesan, the point leader, going to the back of the pack for that incident.

Randall continued to lead and started to stretch his advantage as Manley moved into second but there was quite an argument for that position with a swarm of about five cars battling for the spot. The one big collision of the event saw Bob Wahlstrom get turned in turn one and Steve Golat, with no where to go, slammed into Wahlstrom with both cars eliminated.

The yellow flew five times during the first twelve laps of the feature and Kesan took advantage of all the breaks to gradually work his way back up through the field as Randall continued to comfortably move away from the field every time the race would go green.

It looked like the race would finally conclude but one more very late yellow stacked the field up one more time for a two lap sprint to the finish and on this final getaway, Randall got just a bit high in turn one and that opened the door for Kesan to get his nose under Randall and pull up beside him. The two veterans raced wheel to wheel, battling for the lead but Kesan was able to edge ahead as the white flag waved. Randall tried to come back on the final lap but he just couldn't get his momentum back and Kesan edged him by a car length at the line for the win. Manley had his best finish of the year so far with a third place run as he finished ahead of Anderson and Kolby Kiehl. Kesan's win helped him cement the point title in the Street Stocks.

Curt Myers gave an awesome performance as he overpowered the field to win the Super Stock main event. Terran Spacek was the early leader of the race as he fought off Wayne Dean, Cody Cimfl and Eric Olson in the early going.

The first part of the race started slowly with three quick spins and stalls slowing the action. Spacek continued to show the way and in fact started to stretch his lead over the field. Myers, who started seventh on the grid, was bogged down in traffic early but following a lap two yellow for a spinning car, he made a power move up high against the wall and drove all the way up to second just that quick.

He continued to use the high groove and he quickly caught Spacek and then blew past him as he took over the lead.

Myers then pulled comfortably away as the next sixteen laps of the race ran off nonstop. Eventually Olson picked up the pace and gradually began to reel in the second place car of Spacek. Also making a charge was Aaron Wilson who had started ninth on the grid. Olson caught Spacek and a great battle for second then took place with Olson trying each lap to pass under Spacek but Terran each time holding him off. Wilson used their battle to gain ground and near the end of the race it was a three car battle for position.

But, as was seen in some of the other feature races, a late yellow changed things when a spin set up a two lap race to the finish. Myers got away cleanly but the race for second was still intense. Myers came home the winner for the third time this year here and thus claimed the point title in the Super Stocks. Olson refused to give up and coming off the final corner he got a good run on the bottom and edged out Spacek by inches to take the second place with Wilson right behind them both. Dean completed the top five finishers.

Dave Cain came to Rice Lake on Saturday looking for a big point night and he got exactly that, coming from the seventh starting position to drive past Mike Anderson and win his second feature race of the year here. Anderson started on the pole and fought off an early challenge from Jason Gross to lead the early laps.

While Anderson continued to hold off Gross and Mark Hanson, both Cain and Kevin Adams were charging forward after starting in the fourth row beside each other. However, they tried to go three wide down the front chute as they battled their way forward, there wasn't enough room for all and Adams hit the wall hard enough to trigger the yellow and end his night.

Cain made a great move on the start, shooting up from fourth past both Hanson and Gross and took over second. He then closed quickly on Anderson, who fought as hard as he could to to maintain the lead but Cain used the top side in turn four to blast past Anderson, and once in front, he began to pull away.

Hanson then began to close on Anderson for second until, once again on this night, a late yellow set up a quick sprint to the finish. While Cain pulled away, Hanson got inside Anderson and they battled for the second spot, a fight that lasted right to the finish where Hanson edged past to take the second spot. Anderson and Gross followed and Pat Hoffman made a late charge and outfought Steve Hallquist and Mark Hessler for the fifth spot. Despite his non finish in the main, Adams took home the point title in the Modifieds.

Josh Amans got behind the wheel of a race car for the first time this year on Saturday night and he promptly took the Pure Stock main event. Driving the #33 car, he started in the second row and after two yellow flags before a lap could be scored, he was able to drive past both Will Fisher and Zach Beaulieu to take over the lead of the race and then drive it the rest of the way for the win.

Amans was able to put a few car lengths on the field but there was a large swarm of cars battling for position behind him with changes in the running order occurring on nearly each lap. Late in the race, Adam Pratt made a strong charge and he was able to edge past Beaulieu for the second place finish. George Richards also made a strong charge as a bad heat buried him in the field and he had to drive hard just to finish in the fourth spot while Bob Thompson came from eleventh to round out the top five.

The night was an adventure for Thompson who, in the first heat race, was part of a grinding collision barely fifty feet past the starting line on the opening lap of the race. His car suffered much front end damage and he was out of the race but his crew worked hard and got him out for the feature.

He was able to complete the race and his reward was his first point title in his long racing career as he clinched the Pure Stock title with his consistent finishes.

Amans' strong run made him the ninth different winner in the Pure Stock class this season at the track and also marked his first feature win since a Pure Stock win way back in 2006 and his last win, in a Street Stock, in 2011.

Saturday night was also Hall of Fame night and Dave Greschner, Rod Hensel, Todd Madsen and Tom Nesbitt were all added to the Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame in a ceremony held during intermission.

The racing season is winding down at the Rice Lake Speedway with the potential for four final events before the snow flies. Next Saturday night, August 18th, will be Season Championship night. The cars will line up for their heat races based on points that they have earned all season and the feature lineups will be the results of those heats. It will also be the night for Bike races so kids and adults should both bring their bikes and get in on the racing action.

The following Saturday, August 25th, will be a five class program and also be used as the rain date, if needed, for the Season Championships.

The season will then conclude on Saturday night, September 1st and Sunday night, September 2nd with a racing doubleheader. A full program, with extra money on the line, will be contested by all five classes that routinely race at the track on both nights. There is also the strong potential that a Pure Stock special will be a part of that weekend and more information should be available on that by next week.

Race time next Saturday night is slated at 7 pm.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

August 11, 2018

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Dave Cain(Corcoran MN), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Jason Gross(Osceola), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake), Wayne Poteet(Spooner), Justin Schill, Gary Baxter, Kevin Adams, Chase Friendt, Dave Mayala

8 lap Heat 1 – Cain, Hanson, Gross, Hallquist, Hessler, Baxter, Schill, Mayala
Heat 2 – Adams(Cameron), Anderson, Hoffman, Fankhauser, Helling, Friendt, Poteet

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Curt Myers(Cameron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Terran Spacek(Phillips), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Wayne Dean(Eau Claire), Cory Davis(Turtle Lake), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Cody Cimfl(Chetek), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Andy Cimfl, Matt Koski, Mike Siewert, Steve Martin, Hunter VanGilder, Tucker Quinn, Jim Cimfl

8 lap Heat 1 – Myers, Spacek, Davis, Soltis, Luke Schultz(Cameron), A. Cimfl
Heat 2 – Dean, Wilson, Wahlstrom, Quinn(Ladysmith), Koski(New Richmond), Siewert
Heat 3 – Olson, Steffen, C. Cimfl, VanGilder(Rice Lake), J. Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Martin

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Calvin Iverson(Eleva), Cody Borgeson(New Richmond), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Brady Larson(Amery), Jon Marsh(Rice Lake)

8 lap Heat – Halopka, Borgeson, Adams, Anderson, Ellis, Larson, Elliott, Marsh, Iverson

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Zach Manley(Chetek), Parker Anderson(Phillips), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Jamey Fisher(Chetek), Travis Loew(Barron), Hunter Anderson(Phillips), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Hunter VanGilder, Bob Wahlstrom, Steve Golat

8 lap Heat 1 – Kiehl, Manley, Kesan, P. Anderson, Loew, Fisher, H. Anderson
Heat 2 – Olson, Knudtson, Randall, Wahlstrom(Chetek), VanGilder(Rice Lake), Golat

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Josh Amans(Rice Lake), Adam Pratt(Bloomer), Zach Beaulieu(Chetek), George Richards(Mondovi), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Mike Grover(Chetek), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Ryan Lindenfelser, Ryan Clausen, Mike Holmstrom

8 lap Heat 1 – Fisher, Wagner, Grover, Clausen(Barron), Scotty VanGilder(Birchwood), Mike Huebner, Thompson, Berlin
Heat 2 – Amans, H. VanGilder, Beaulieu, Pratt, Richards, Lindenfelser, Holmstrom