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  .: June 23, 2018 :.

Tony Bahr Wins Runkle Memorial at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, June 23 – Tony Bahr led every lap Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway to earn the win in the second annual Kyle Runkle Memorial Race that headlined the racing program. While the Haugen driver was scored the leader for every lap of the twenty three lap main event, things got interesting following a late race yellow and at the checkered flag Bahr took the win by a scant half car length of a charging Kevin Adams.

Adams did not go home empty handed however, as he made a late race pass on Mike Anderson to win the Modified main event. Two drivers earned their first ever wins at the speedway on Saturday night too as Zach Beaulieu won his first feature race ever at the track while Simon Wahlstrom, a previous winner at the track in another division, won his first ever Super Stock feature race. Continuing the theme of firsts, Jay Kesan won his first Street Stock feature at the track this season to round out the list of winners.

Bahr drew the pole for the Runkle Memorial race for the Midwest Modifieds with Shane Halopka to his right. Bahr immediately jumped into the lead with Halopka trailing him closely. Michael Truscott and his uncle George fought for third in the early going with both Austin Ellis and Kevin Adams on the move. Bahr continued to hold the lead by a couple of car lengths but Halopka would not let Bahr pull away as he continued to trail him closely and was running a slightly higher line on the track.

Ellis was moving up briskly and he drove past Michael Truscott to take over the third spot while Adams continued to charge as he used the whole track in his efforts to get to the front.

The race continued to stay under the green with the top two remaining the same. Adams continued to move forward as he caught Ellis for third and after a good side by side battle, Adams claimed the spot. Also moving forward but perhaps overlooked was Joe Chaplin Jr and he worked his way into the top five.

Adams continued to hustle toward the front and he caught Halopka for second and they fought it out for that position. Meanwhile, Bahr continued to lead but the pack was slowly closing in on him as Halopka had moved closer and was within striking distance.

Everything changed when the yellow flag flew for a spin with only six laps left in the race. Bahr again jumped into the lead on the restart, but there was a wild scramble for second as Adams went for the lead, he and Halopka both opened the door and Chaplin Jr made a great charge into second and looked to challenge Bahr for the lead. Adams fought back however, and repassed Chaplin Jr for second while Halopka was pushing hard on the low side to try and dislodge Adams from second. Battling hard, they came together in turn two and Halapka spun which triggered the second and final yellow with only two laps left in the race.

Unable to determine the cause of the yellow, both cars were restored to their positions as second and third behind leader Bahr and the final green flag waved. Adams immediately tore to the cushion to gain momentum and as they flashed under the starter to receive the white flag, they were side by side for the lead. They remained so down the back chute and as Adams drifted just a bit high in turn three, Bahr nosed out ahead. Adams made a strong rush down the final straightaway but Bahr held on by half a car length for the thrilling victory. Ellis made his own late race charge too and he snuck past Halopka to gain third with Michael Truscott rounding out the top five finishers.

Bahr earned $1,223 for his victory in honor of the #23 that Runkle raced in the Midwest Modified class before his passing two years ago. The Runkle family, friends and former sponsors all supported the event by lining up sponsorships and adding greatly to the Midwest Modified purse for this event.

Adams made another charge in the Modified feature and this time it would bear fruit and he got past leader Mike Anderson with two laps to go to win the main event.

The Modifieds did one better than the Midwest Modifieds had as they ran off their main event in a nonstop fashion, green to checkered. Anderson started on the outside pole and built up a considerable early lead on the field as the pack was bunched behind him and racing hard while Anderson had a clear track and took advantage of that to pull away from the field.

Adams was digging from the fourth row and moved around the track as he searched for an open lane. Sam Fankhauser was having a fine run as he took the second spot and held that position for many laps. Adams continued his charge toward the front and when he finally passed Sam for second, he then had the daunting task of trying to catch the leading car of Anderson.

Working the track for all he could, Adams would start to cut into Anderson's lead and gradually he would get closer and closer so that with about five laps left, he was within striking distance. Adams was getting a big run off the banking and he shot for the lead just as the top two cars caught the back of the pack. Splitting a slower car, Adams used the high side to come flying off corner four and he flashed down the front chute and edged past Anderson into the lead.

Mike tried to fight back but one of the slower cars blocked his path just enough that Adams was quickly able to stretch his advantage and he gained ground as he raced to the line to record his second win of the year at the track.

Rookie Grant Southworth had a solid run as he made a late race pass on Fankhauser to claim the third place while Pat Hoffman had a nice night too, combining a top five in the feature with a heat race win.

The other three features had many more problems getting their events completed with two of the three being scored complete early when the time limit for both the Super Stock and Pure Stock races ran out due to multiple yellow flags. Luke Schultz was the early leader of the Super Stock feature but when he pushed up the track, Cody Kummer was right there to jump in and take over the top spot. Wahlstrom was on the move from his second row starting spot and he moved up the track and was able to make a flying pass of Kummer to take over the lead as the pack raced down the front chute.

As Wahlstrom continued to lead, drivers on the move included Eric Olson, Adam Soltis and Aaron Wilson as they raced toward the front and were battling hard among themselves while also trying to catch Wahlstrom. Second place Kummer was forced to drop out under yellow when his car started to overheat.

The pace of the race was very slow with a yellow flying seemingly at soon as some racing would start to break out. Wahlstrom would continue to hold the top spot but was challenged on a couple of occasions by both Wilson and Olson. Soltis got locked up with Curt Myers and the yellow flew once again with the command being that if another yellow waved, the event would be complete.

It didn't more than one corner for a couple of cars to get together and even though Wilson barreled under the checkered flag first, the yellow had been out and the race was scored back to the last complete lap with an excited Wahlstrom taking the win over Wilson, Olson, Jim Cimfl and Myers who had worked his way back into contention after going to the back of the pack.

The Pure Stock feature was just as wild and scrambled up as the Super Stock main had been. Will Fisher took the early lead in the race and led the first three laps with heavy pressure from Beaulieu, dan Boissy and Mike Pratt. In fact, Boissy was trying to overtake Beaulieu for second when he lost control and spun in turn four, triggering the first of what would be six yellows in the race.

On the green Fisher pushed up the track and Beaulieu would take over as the leader. However, he was being challenged hard for the top spot as a series of yellows would slow the action. Various spins and collisions would see some of the contenders either drop out or go to the back of the pack all through this process. One driver that was steadily making his way toward the front was George Richards, who had started thirteenth on the grid. Also hanging in with the lead pack was Blaine Gould, who had never raced at the track before but was providing a fine accounting in his first ever main at the track.

Finally the time limit came into play with one more yellow allowed before the race would be scored complete. Fisher, who had fallen back in the field, had fought his way back into contention but as he battled Gould for second, they came together and spun and the yellow waved and the race was called complete.

Beaulieu was a very excited winner as he recorded his first ever win at Rice Lake and celebrated by dancing on the roof of his car. Gould, for his first time ever at the track, came home a remarkable second, even though he finished up with a flat tire from the last lap pileup. Richards worked his way all the way up to third with Boissy, who had gone to the back of the pack after his early spin, worked his way back up to fourth ahead of Cory Jorgensen.

The Street Stocks also had some issues as the yellow waved five times in their main event but they were able to get the planned distance of the race completed. Scott Clark was the early leader as he fought off challenges from Ron Hanestad to hold the top spot. Kesan started in the fourth row but was very quick to move forward and he quickly established himself as the driver to beat as he moved past car after car and quickly got himself into a challenging position.

It didn't take long for the yellow flag to get another work out as it came out four times in the first four laps for spins and stalled cars.

When racing resumed, Kesan used a strong move to drive past Clark and take over the lead. Mike Knudtson, Parker Anderson and Adam Soltis were all on the move and adding to the pack of cars racing for the top spots.

Kesan continued to lead but Clark was not letting him get away and in fact, seemed to be closing back up on the leader. Anderson had moved to the second lane on the track and found it to work as he was charging forward while Knudtson started to slip back as mechanical issues were hindering him.

The last six laps ran off nonstop and Clark was nailed on the rear bumper of Kesan both Anderson was gaining on both of them as worked a different groove of the track. Clark made one last charge on the final lap but Kesan held his line and got his first Rice Lake win of the year. Clark had a strong run for second and Anderson ran out of laps in his effort to pass them both. Soltis had a solid run while Hanestad held on to complete the top five.

Next Saturday night will be a very special night at the track. Kid's Night, rained out on June 16th, will be held on June 30th and that includes the gigantic bike giveaway that has become a big part of that night. The drivers will bring their cars on to the track so that the fans can interact with them and kids are reminded to bring a bag to collect goodies and photos from the drivers. The Mini Mods will also make their only appearance of the year at the track next Saturday and all five classes will be in racing action, including the Modifieds that were added to the program recently.

The cars should be taking to the front stretch at 6:30 pm so fans are encouraged to come early and be prepared to win some prizes and visit with the drivers. Check the speedway face book page for up to the minute race information and weather updates.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

June 23, 2018

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Donnie Lofdahl(Duluth MN), Andy Jones(Princeton MN), Kyle Helling, Dave Mayala, Justin Schill, Wayne Poteet, Cooper Berlin

8 lap Heat 1 – Adams, Jones, Viltz, Southworth, Helling(Rice Lake), Mayala, Hanson, Steve Hallquist
Heat 2 – Hoffman, Anderson, Fankhauser, Baxter, Lofdahl, Schill, Poteet, Berlin

WISSOTA Super Stocks

12 lap Feature – Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Jim Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Curt Myers(Cameron), Luke Schultz(Cameron), Andy Cimfl(Rice Lake), Austin Workman(Dallas), Morgan Crotteau(Rice Lake), Scott Pittman(Turtle Lake), Wayne Dean, Adam Soltis, Jesse Young, Hunter VanGilder, Mike Siewert, Cody Kummer, Rob Holmstrom Jr.

8 lap Heat 1 – Myers, Kummer(Medford), Wilson, Olson, Dean(Eau Claire), Siewert, Crotteau, Young, Workman
Heat 2 – Soltis(Ladysmith), Wahlstrom, J. Cimfl, Schultz, Pittman, A. Cimfl, Holmstrom Jr, VanGilder

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

23 lap Feature – Tony Bahr(Haugen), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Michael Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Calvin Iverson(Eleva), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Gary Baxter(Eau Claire), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Craig Lofdahl, Pete Paulus, Fran Hanson, Craig Elliott, Justin Claussen, Josh Wahlstrom, George Truscott, Dan Larson Jr

8 lap Heat 1 – Adams, Anderson, Iverson, Lofdahl(Duluth MN), Baxter, Paulus
Heat 2 – Chaplin Jr, Ellis, M. Truscott, Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Hanson(Almena), Claussen
Heat 3 – Bahr, Halopka, G. Truscott(Greenland MI), Lindberg, Larson Jr(Eau Claire), Elliott

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Scott Clark(Cameron), Parker Anderson(Phillips), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Cody Kummer(Medford), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Bob Wahlstrom(Chetek), Ashley Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Nick Linert, Duane Halverson, Jason Havel, Mike Knudtson, Rob Grabon, Travis Hazelton, Dalton Hazelton, Jamey Fisher, Mike Chaplin

8 lap Heat 1 – VanGilder, Anderson, Knudtson(Osseo), Grabon(Bruce), B. Wahlstrom, D. Hazelton, Halverson
Heat 2 – Kesan, Hanestad, Soltis, Kiehl, T. Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Linert
Heat 3 – Clark, Kummer, Fisher(Chetek), A. Wahlstrom, Havel(Rice Lake), Chaplin

Pure Stocks

8 lap Feature – Zach Beaulieu(Chetek), Blaine Gould(Wausau), George Richards(Mondovi), Dan Boissy(Trego), Cory Jorgensen(Hermantown MN), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Tucker Quinn(Ladysmith), Cole Hill(Colfax), Scotty VanGilder(Birchwood), Ryan Lindenfelser(Trego), Wayne Braun Jr, Mike Huebner, Will Fisher, Adam Pratt, William Cahoon, Mike Pratt, Dusten Holub, Mike Grover, Nicholas Hazelton, Aaron Bernick, Tyler Wahlstrom, Mike Holmstrom

8 lap Heat 1 – C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Boissy, Quinn, Jorgensen, Richards, Holub, Cahoon, Holmstrom
Heat 2 – Gould, Fisher(Shell Lake), M. Pratt(Bloomer), Grover(Chetek), Hill, Austin Fencl, Huebner, A. Pratt
Heat 3 – Aaron Bernick(Duluth MN), Wahlstrom(Chetek), Beaulieu, Thompson, Braun Jr(Rice Lake), Hazelton, VanGilder, Lindenfelser