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  .: August 10, 2019 :.

Five New Winners in Rice Lake Speedway Racing Action

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, August 10 – It is unusual for first time winners to emerge this late in the racing season, so when all five feature winners Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway sat in victory lane for the first time, it was quite a remarkable sight. Neither Sam Fankhauser, Don Muzzy, Jamie Bisonette, Cody Kummer nor Ryan Clausen had been feature winners during the 2019 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway, so when all five hit victory lane on the same night, there was plenty of happiness and in some cases, relief, to be spread around.

It was also Hall of Fame night at the track and Don Folz, Jim Viltz and the late Ione Harrington and Ron Ward were added to the speedway's Hall of Fame as the 2019 inductees.

Eighteen drivers took the green flag for the Modified feature and it was Sam Fankhauser who took the early lead with Steve Hallquist putting the pressure on him immediately. Justin Oestreich and Jason Gross were also challenging while the driver on the move was Ashley Anderson. He had started in the third row but used the middle of the track to quickly pass his way up to third where he and Hallquist battled for second while also looking for a way around Fankhauser.

There was plenty of tough competition on hand Saturday and this created a big group of drivers battling for position with any advancement in the field a major chore. Anderson was able to continue his charge and he pulled along side Fankhauser at one point, only to have Sam accelerate down the back chute and fight him off. There were two yellow flags just past the halfway point which bunched the field and gave both Hallquist and Anderson shots at the leader but Fankhauser simply refused to be overtaken. Anderson tried high and Hallquist low but both failed in their attempts to get by.

The last few laps saw Anderson continue his pressure but Sam didn't give an opening and at the finish, Fankhauser was the winner with Ashley Anderson right on his rear bumper. Hallquist finished a very close third, Mike Anderson climbed from ninth to fourth and Oestreich completed the top five.

Not only was it the first feature win for Fankhauser at Rice Lake this year, it was his first ever Modified feature win at the track for the veteran driver now in his second year racing Modifieds.

Don Muzzy was a surprise entrant in the Super Stock field on Saturday night but the veteran Ironwood Michigan driver caught everyone's attention as he drove on for his first ever feature win here at Rice Lake. He took the early lead with Josh Bach and Nick Traynor challenging him before point leader Willie Johnsen Jr started to charge through the pack. He started sixth but quickly made his move and drove up into the second spot where he then attempted to cut into Muzzy's lead. Also on the move was Curt Myers who had started seventh and used the whole track to move up to third with both of them now on the hunt after Muzzy.

Muzzy continued to work the low line on the track with Johnsen Jr and Myers chasing him as the race reached its halfway point. Johnsen Jr tried a couple of exploratory moves to drive around Muzzy, but Don was having none of it as he continued to lead the way. After charging up to third, Myers was finding it hard to advance any farther as he tried both high and low but failed to cut into the lead of the top two drivers.

Just when it looked like Muzzy would be home free, there were two late yellows for spins, both that set up two lap sprints to the finish. Each time Muzzy would take off strong and while Johnsen Jr tried to get a nose under Muzzy, Don was just a bit quicker off the corners and would fight him off. Those two battled right down to the wire before Muzzy took the win by a car length. Myers went for broke on the last restart but the top side wasn't the place to be and he actually forfeited third to Traynor at the finish with Patrick Beeksma completing the top five.

Kevin Adams had lost only two feature races in the Midwest Modified division all season up until Saturday night but this would be a night for Jamie Bisonette to shine. Early in the race it was Cody Borgeson and Aric Lindberg battling for the top spot. Bisonette quickly moved in to make it a three car race and soon it was the two Dallas residents, Lindberg and Bisonette, fighting for the lead. With a strong move in turn one, Bisonette took over the top spot and then started to put some distance on the field. Adams had his hands full trying to work his way to the front as he received stiff competition from Joe Chaplin Jr and Tony Bahr among others but he would use the high side of the track to make some daring moves up against the wall and eventually get up to the second spot. Then it was challenge to catch the fast moving Bisonette who was setting a terrific pace and would be hard to catch.

Just as everyone was preparing for a wild finish, the lone yellow of the race flew when Austin Ellis was turned around off turn two. This set up a four lap sprint to the finish where everyone was expecting a two car battle.

However, Bisonette would have none of that as he picked up the pace and pulled away from Adams on the restart and Adams would not get close enough to put on a serious challenge during the last few laps. Borgeson and Lindberg were battling hard for position behind the top two but they ran each other up the track near the end and that opened the door for Chaplin Jr who shot up to third with Bahr following him through the opening. Borgeson recovered to round out the top five.

Bisonette started out his racing career many years ago as a very young Modified driver. However, after his family sold the Rice Lake Speedway to Adams-Hansen Inc he got away from the sport for quite a few years. After started back up racing in the last year or so, he has gotten much more serious about it again and his win Saturday night was his first at the track since a Modified feature win way back in 2004.

It has been a frustrating season to this point for Cody Kummer. Their racing team has been struggling to get their car to perform as they would like but Saturday night things finally came together and Cody drove his Street Stock home for his first win of 2019. It was an exceedingly hard fought contest and included a scare when he was turned around at the midpoint of the track but he prevailed in his #12 car to get the win. Early on, Zach Manley was the leader but when he pushed up the track, Kummer was right there to take over the top spot. Two early yellows kept the field bunched with one involving Jay Kesan and Hunter VanGilder that set back two of the top challengers.

Kummer continued to lead with Manley fighting his way back up into second to pressure the leader as Adam Soltis and Andrew Hanson also worked their way into challenging positions. The battle for the lead was very tight with Manley trying to get under Kummer in turn two when they touched and Kummer went for a spin. However, he was restored to the lead and the race continued.

Hanson was now the driver on the move as he took to the second lane on the track and was able to find success. At least twice he was able to pull up beside Kummer but never could just quite clear Kummer's car.

They continued to battle with Soltis also right in the mix but at the finish it was Kummer who edged out the other two to take the win. Parker Anderson made a strong drive from the sixth row to finish fourth with Manley able to work his way back up into fifth at the end.

Besides being his first win of the year, he was his first Rice Lake triumph since the 2016 racing season in the Street Stocks.

Completing the evening, it was Ryan Clausen who won not only his first Pure Stock feature win of 2019 but his first ever at the Rice Lake Speedway. The current point leader, who took over the top spot in track points just last week, solidified his spot at the top of the ladder with a stirring triumph as he came from the third row to pass early lead Ken Oftedahl and then held off current national points leader George Richards to get the win. Oftedahl, a rookie in the Pure Stocks, not only led his first lap of featur racing action, he led the first half of the race and along with Mike Huebner Sr, threatened to run away from the competition. However, a spin just pas the halfway point of the race proved to be the downfall for the rookie driver, as Clausen was able to drive around him and take over the top spot.

There was much heavy battling for second before Richards was able to take that position and following a second slow down for a spin, the race to the finish saw Clausen hold off the charge of Richards to get the important win. Bob Thompson also made a late charge to get the third spot ahead of Oftedahl with smooth driving Jay Folz completing the top five.

Next Saturday night, August 17th, will be the final night for drivers to earn track points for the 2019 season at the Rice Lake Speedway. Also on tap for Saturday night will be bike races at intermission for both the kids and adults. Warm ups begin at 6:30 pm with racing to follow. Season Championship races at slated for August 24th.

SUMMARY

Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

August 10, 2019

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Ashley Anderson(Elk Mound), Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Justin Oestreich(Elk River MN), Jason Gross(Osceola), Matt Leer(Bruce), Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Jake Smith(Chippewa Falls), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Pat Hoffman, Shaun Kreyer, Kyle Helling, Cole Varsho, Dan Kingsley, Dave Mayala, Wayne Poteet, Kevin Adams

8 lap Heat 1 – Southworth, Mahder, Gross, Adams(Cameron), Hoffman(Rice Lake), Kreyer
Heat 2 – M. Anderson, Fankhauser, Leer, Kingsley(Superior), Varsho(Stratford), Helling
Heat 3 – A. Anderson, Hallquist, Oestreich, Smith, Mayala(Barron), Poteet

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Don Muzzy(Ironwood MI), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Nick Traynor(Barron), Cury Myers(Cameron), Patrick Beeksma(Ironwood MI), Josh Bach(Barron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Jim Harris(Menomonie), Matt Koski(New Richmond), Mickey Anderson, Mike Siewert, Austin Workman, Josh Cappo

8 lap Heat 1 – Johnsen Jr, Olson, Beeksma, Bach, Harris, Soltis, Cappo
Heat 2 – Myers, Muzzy, Traynor, Workman(Barron), Siewert(Cameron), Anderson, Koski

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Tony Bahr(Haugen), Cody Borgeson(New Richmond), Kenny Kincaid(Shell Lake), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Kyle Johnson(Black River Falls), Fran Hanson, Craig Elliott, Denny Cutsforth, Gavin Olson, Duane Halverson

8 lap Heat 1 – Chaplin Jr, Borgeson, Lindberg, Bahr, Hanson(Almena), Anderson, Johnson, Olson
Heat 2 – Adams, Bisonette, Ellis, Cutsforth(Rice Lake), Kincaid, Elliott, Halverson

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Cody Kummer(Medford), Andrew Hanson(Iron River), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Parker Anderson(Phillips), Zach Manley(Chetek), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Hunter Anderson(Phillips), Michael Tuma(Weyerhaeuser), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Jay Kesan, Zach Beaulieu, Alex Minks, Hunter VanGilder

8 lap Heat 1 – Manley, Hanson, VanGilder(Rice Lake), Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Wagner, Tuma, Beaulieu
Heat 2 – Soltis, Kiehl, Kummer, H. Anderson, Fisher, P. Anderson, Minks

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Ryan Clausen(Barron), George Richards(Mondovi), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Ken Oftedahl(Cameron), Jay Folz(Cameron), Mike Huebner Sr(Cumberland), Scott Meeds(Shell Lake), Michael Miller(Cameron), Devin Fries(Phillips), Austin Fencl(Bruce), Mike Grover, Terry Kemp, Trenten Holub, Mike Holmstrom, Ryan Lindenfelser, Cory Jorgensen, Aaron Bernick, Travis Hazelton

8 lap Heat 1 – Richards, Grover(Chetek), Oftedahl, Fries, Kemp(Rice Lake), Hazelton
Heat 2 – Meeds, Huebner Sr, Clausen, Holmstrom(Rice Lake), Fencl, Miller
Heat 3 – Jorgensen(Duluth MN), Thompson, Folz, Bernick(Duluth MN), Lindenfelser(Trego), Holub