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  .: August 1, 2020 :.

Adams Tops Mahder 55 At Rice Lake Speedway; Modified Ace Surprises Late Model Drivers

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Aug 1st – Kevin Adams has well over five hundred feature race wins to his credit in a variety of divisions since his first in a Street Stock way back in 1997 at this track. However, he is a raw rookie in the Late Model division, with just a handful of starts in the class in this his rookie year driving the fendered class of cars. However, that didn't seem to bother him at all Tuesday night here at the Rice Lake Speedway as Adams led all fifty five laps to win the fourth annual Mahder 55 Late Model event, a race honoring the memory of Duane Mahder, a former Late Model track champion at this track who was killed in a work place accident in 2016. (Fry Pan Productions)

Adams fought off a strong field of contenders, overcame brake issues and along with the rest of the field of drivers, waited out an approximately two and a half hour rain delay after showers hit the track with one qualifying event left to run.

The Modifieds were on the track for their last heat race when the rains started and it rained steady for quite some time. But track owners Dave Adams and Mitch Hansen decided if at all possible they were going to see the night through and once the showers ended, the track prep crew, led by Hansen, reworked the race track, and with the help of many of the drivers that came out to help with the packing process, they produced a track that was lightning quick while still being smooth and it produced some spectacular action in the main events.

The Late Models took to the track for their main event at approximately Midnight with twenty three drivers taking the green flag for the fifty five lap journey. Adams started on the outside pole and got the jump on Lance Matthees to lead the initial laps. Adams immediately pulled out to a healthy advantage over the field as Matthees fought to hold off Jimmy Mars for second. Adams quickly caught the back of the pack and he was lapping the first car only six laps into the race.

The green stayed out for the first fifteen laps until Rick Hanestad got tired up with a slower car and stalled on the back chute, triggering the first yellow of the contest. On the green, Mars was able to pass Matthees for second and he took off after the leader, setting up a classic battle for the top spot.

Mars sought to close the gap on the leader and he pushed hard, but Adams was able to maintain his lead through a series of three quick yellow flags for one car spins. Following the first of these slow downs, Adams would report later that he began to have brake issues but with the quick yellows which continued to bunch the field, the brakes problems were not overwhelming plus he had a nice outside cushion to roll off of which he reported also helped.

Following each of these yellows, Mars would put the pressure on Adams as Jimmy would continue to get away from Matthees on the green but not be able to put significant pressure on the leader. Pat Doar was running in the top five when he slowed on the back chute with twenty eight laps complete and pulled off the track, triggering the final yellow of the race as the last twenty seven laps of the contest would be raced under the green with no slow downs.

As Adams sped away from the field once again, Matthees would make a giant slide job in turn two and regain second from Mars and as Jimmy jumped the cushion and fell back, he was also passed by A.J. Diemel and Darrell Nelson, who had worked his way forward after starting thirteenth on the grid.

With Matthees in second, Adams was able to gain more ground as the leader while Matthees had his hands full with the three cars right behind him, all wanting to get past.

The battle for second was a tight one but this all played into Adams' hands as he was able to extend his lead over that group. Finally, with forty eight laps in the books, runner up Matthees got tired up with a lapped car in turn four and ended up sliding over the cushion and forfeited second with all three drivers right behind him able to get by.

Adams continued as his torrid pace, working his way through the lapped cars while Diemel and Mars had a very aggressive battle for second with Mars all over Diemel's rear bumper as they battled for the second spot. Mars would eventually jump the cushion while trying to get past Diemel and smack the first turn wall which allowed Nelson to get past him for third.

The last few laps saw Adams alone up front and he drove on unchallenged for the gigantic win. Diemel would finish a strong second and Nelson would hold off Mars for third with Matthees rounding out the top five.

The second five at the finish included Hanestad, Jesse Glenz, James Giassi, Chad Mahder, who had a strong run going until a lap twenty six spin, and John Kaanta.

Adams would earn five thousand, five hundred and fifty five dollars for the win, in tribute to Mahder's number 55 in what very well may have been the longest race, in terms of laps, in the history of the track. Adams, who has only raced once at Rice Lake this year in the previous Late Model show, would earn a win which would keep his monumental win streak intact. He has now won at least one feature race in each of the last twenty four years at the track, dating back to his first rookie Street Stock win in 1997.

All focus at the speedway will now shift to this coming Tuesday night, August 4th when the twenty sixth annual Street Stock “Little Dream” race will be held at the track. A Street Stock only event, last year over sixty cars competed and race winner Jimmy Randall went home with just over $25,000 for his win. A huge event is expected again this year and more information on this race can be found on the speedway face book page in preparation for the Tuesday night event.

Rice Lake Speedway
Rice Lake WI
August 1, 2020

WISSOTA Late Models

Mahder 55 Feature – Kevin Adams(Cameron), A.J. Diemel(Elk Mound), Darrell Nelson(Hermantown MN), Jimmy Mars(Menomonie), Lance Matthees(Winona MN), Rick Hanestad(Boyceville), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), James Giassi(Roberts), Chad Mahder(Bloomer), John Kaanta(Elk Mound), Jeff Massingill, Mike Prochnow, Sam Mars, Jim Carlson, Gunner Frank, Denny Cutsforth, Buddy Hanestad, Pat Doar, Sam Motzer, Steve Laursen, T. J. Adams, Joe Kienzle Jr, Kevin Eder

12 lap Heat 1 – Diemel, R. Hanestad, Doar(New Richmond), S. Mars, Nelson, Kaanta, G. Frank
Heat 2 – J. Mars, Adams, Giassi, Glenz, Motzer(Chetek), Laursen, T.J. Adams, Cutsforth
Heat 3 – Matthees, Mahder, Massingill(Keewatin MN), B Hanestad(Boyceville), Carlson(Minneapolis MN), Eder, Prochnow, Kienzle Jr