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  .: August 15, 2020 :.

Top Feature Winners Pad Totals at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, August 15 – It was Hall of Fame night at the Rice Lake Speedway and four new inductees were added to the Hall on Saturday. They included former racers Al Hajdasz and the late Gene Bolin along with Friends of the Speedway new members Larry Johnson and Jim Randall.

A very fast race track, the result of recent rains which made it heavy and full of traction, led to a number of breathtaking races and close battles but the top feature winners of the season so far continued their winning ways. The track point battles are also coming to an end with only one more point night in this abbreviated season and one class changed leaders on Saturday while a couple of the others tightened up.

Probably the most disappointing moment for the big crowd on hand was when young Kennedy Swan, after leading thirteen and nine tenth laps of the fifteen lap Midwest Modified feature, spun exiting turn four and she lost her opportunity to be the youngest ever feature winner at the track.

She had taken the lead immediately at the start of the Midwest Modified feature and when there was a scramble for positions behind her, she was able to move out to a commanding early lead. As the race continued under the green, she was able to set a good line on the track and turn lap after strong lap as the field chased her.

Shane Halopka was able to move into second after starting sixth and he gradually began to cut into her lead while Travis Anderson moved up to third. Halopka caught the leader but catching her and making a pass were two different things as she fought hard and refused to give up the top spot, even when they got into some lapped traffic. Several times Halopka was able to get to the inside of Kennedy but each time she fought him off.

As the laps ran down it looked like a historic feat just might take place but as they raced to the white flag, a lapped car was on her outside and she had to adjust her line slightly in turn four. That threw her off and when she exited the corner the car got lose and she spun at the exit to turn four, thus ending a great run. The thirteen year old would restart at the back of the pack and would manage to fight her way back up to sixth at the finish. Halopka would pull away on the green and he would earn his third victory of the season at Rice Lake. Anderson had to fight off a last lap charge from Jamie Bisonette to hold on to second.

It would only take Curt Myers five laps to come from the eighth starting spot and then cruise home with the win in the Super Stock feature race. Willie Johnsen Jr would out fight C.J. Wagner to get the early lead in the feature and he would hold off Myers for a couple laps as it took Myers no time at al lto work his way into a challenging position.

Finally, Myers got to the inside of Johnsen Jr in turn one and slid past him to take over the lead. Once in front, it was just a mid race yellow that kept him from running away with the win. Still, there was no one able to challenge him as he remained comfortably in front. However, the race for second was intense as Johnsen Jr tried to hold off Nick Traynor, Simon Wahlstrom and Eric Olson.

The yellow hurt Olson considerably as he sat third but once the race restarted, he was passed by both Wahlstrom and Traynor and they battled hard for that spot before Wahlstrom claimed it and then took off after Johnsen Jr. They had a heated battle for that spot the rest of the event but Johnsen Jr repelled every advance and took the runner up honors over Wahlstrom. It was Myers fourth win of the year at Rice Lake.

The Street Stock feature was a hard fought contest with no one giving an inch which resulted in a few bent fenders and no doubt some hard feelings but the race was a spectacular one to watch. Adam Soltis, looking for his first win of the year, got a strong start as he powered past Ron Hanestad to lead the first few laps. The battle behind him was tight as Travis Loew, Kolby Kiehl, Cody Kummer, Jimmy Randall and Andrew Hanson were all running very close together and jockeying for position each lap.

Kiehl made a strong move to fight for second and then both Kummer and Randall also caught fire and advanced too. Meanwhile, Soltis continued to lead but in the shuffling, Kummer was able to find room to move up to second and closed on the leader.

Soltis fought off all challenges until with five laps to go he got just a big high in turn four and Kummer was right there to take over the lead. He then put just a bit of distance on the field as he drove home for his second win of the year here and became the first repeat winner of the year in the Street Stock class. The win also vaulted him into the point lead in the Street Stocks.

Loew made a strong change too at the end on on the final corners he moved to the top of the track and was able to nip Soltis for second with Kiehl and Hanson next in line.

The leading winner at the track, Mike Schnider, won his fifth Pure Stock feature event of the season but it took a little luck and a last lap survival to take the win. Devin Fries took the initial lead but before a lap was completed Travis Hazelton had taken over the top spot. Hazelton was being challenged by James Rahn and Ryan Olson for the lead while Schnider quickly moved forward after starting seventh on the grid. Bad luck struck Hazelton as he continued to show the lead when a right front tire went flag and he stalled on the track to trigger the yellow flag. Hazelton scrambled to the work area and changed the tire, restarting on the tail of the pack.

This put Rahn in the lead but Schnider was not up to second and when James slid up the track, Schnider was right there to take over the lead. For a few laps he built his advantage but then Rahn started to lay down some strong laps and he soon was back in contention. With only two laps to go, Rahn was knocking on the back bumper of the leader and the last lap was a wild one as Rahn drove incredibly deep into turn one and nearly got past Schnider while somehow not even touching as they were both on the edge of control.

Rahn tried the move once again in the last corner and was careful not to take out the leader as the opportunity was there but both drivers maintained their composure, raced hard to the finish line and Schnider held on by half a car length for the win. Karl Knopps also had a successful run, coming from twelfth to finish a strong third.

Dan Kingsley and Pat Hoffman battled early in the Modified feature before Hoffman claimed the top spot. Behind them there was some wild action as Kyle Helling, Nick Koehler and Sam Fankhauser were battling very hard for position. Meanwhile, Scott Duval, making his first run here this year, was steadily moving forward using the cushion while Mike Anderson skillfully worked his way up from the seventh starting spot.

Anderson was at the top of his game as he weaved his way through the field, moving both high and low on the track as needed and he finally got by Hoffman after receiving a tough challenge by Pat for the lead. Duval also continued to press and was able to drive into second.

The action behind the leaders remained frantic with the yellow waving a half dozen times for spins and contact between some of the hare racing drivers. However, Anderson was able to keep all this behind him and he drove on for an unchallenged third win of the year at Rice Lake, padding his track point lead in the process. Duval was impressive as he drove his Chrysler powered car to a strong second place finish with Hoffman's good run giving him third.

Next Saturday night will be the final points night for the 2020 racing season at the track with titles to be decided in all five divisions. Also, next week is one of the highlights of the season with the rescheduled Kid's night at the track with the drivers bringing their cars onto the track to meet with the fans before the races begin. It will also be the night that the traditional bike giveaway will take place and if anyone would like to donate a bike to the kids, contact Megan at 715-205-1101 or Crystal at 715-410-5550.

The Season Championship races will be conducted on Saturday night, August 29th with information expected to be announced this week on the Labor Day weekend show.

Rice Lake Speedway
Rice Lake WI
August 15, 2020

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Scott Duval(Bloomer), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Donnie Lofdahl(Duluth MN), Dan Kingsley(Superior), Dave Mayala(Barron), Wayne Poteet(Spooner), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake), Shaun Kreyer, Mike Knopps, Sam Fankhauser

10 lap Heat 1 – Duval, Koehler, Kingsley, Lofdahl, Knopps(Chippewa Falls), Hessler, Mayala, Kreyer
Heat 2 – Anderson, Hoffman, Helling, Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Poteet, Steve Hallquist, Zack Drews

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Curt Myers(Cameron), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Barron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Josh Cappo(Almena), Mickey Anderson(Dallas), D.J. Keeler(Superior), Thomas Karaba(Superior), Bart Steffen

10 lap Heat 1 – Traynor, Olson, Wagner, Karaba, Anderson, Cappo
Heat 2 – Myers, Wahlstrom, Johnsen Jr, Steffen(Eau Claire), Keeler, Mike Siewert

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Kennedy Swan(Chippewa Falls), Fran Hanson(Almena), Zach Slayton(Springbrook), Cory Dielke(Eau Claire), Aric Lindberg(Dallas)

8 lap Heat 1 – Halopka, Anderson, Bisonette, Elliott, Slayton
Heat 2 – Swan, Ellis, Lindberg, Cappo

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Cody Kummer(Medford), Travis Loew(Barron), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Andrew Hanson(Iron River), James Clausen(Barron), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Joe Ott(Spooner), Mike Chaplin(Barron), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Rich Robinson, Alex Minks, Caiden Engel, Michael Tuma, Jimmy Randall, Hunter VanGilder, Jeff Novak, Bob Wahlstrom

8 lap Heat 1 – Kummer, Loew, Soltis, Clausen, Ott, Chaplin, Robinson
Heat 2 – Hanson, Shawn Amundson(Rice Lake), Engel(Bruce), Fisher, Tuma(Weyerhaeuser), Minks
Heat 3 – Randall(Rice Lake), Kiehl, Hanestad, Novak(Wausau), Wahlstrom(Chetek), VanGilder

WISSOTA Pure Stock

12 lap Feature – Mike Schnider(Cameron), James Rahn(Haugen), Karl Knopps(Chippewa Falls), Ryan Olson(Ladysmith), Jay Folz(Cameron), Brian Mahler(Minocqua), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Devin Fries(Phillips), Mike Holmstrom(Rice Lake), Leonard Osterberg Jr(Cameron), Tristan Scheuermann, Travis Hazelton, Jake Sandmann, Chris Gross, Austin Fencl, Mike Grover

8 lap Heat 1 – Folz, Fries, Sandmann(Rice Lake), Olson, Holmstrom, Gross, Osterberg Jr
Heat 2 – Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Schnider, Rahn, Mahler, Thompson, Knopps, Grover, Scheuermann.