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  .: August 22, 2020 :.

Rahn and Loew Earn First Ever Rice Lake Speedway Wins

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Aug 22 – Saturday night was the final night for drivers to earn track points for the 2020 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway. Five titles were on the line with two of them close enough that the race results for this evening would tell the tale. It was also an opportunity for some different drivers to shine with two racers earning their first ever feature wins at the track. (Fry Pan Productions)

When the final checkered flags would wave, the point titlists for 2020 would include Mike Anderson, Cody Kummer and Mike Schnider. Travis Anderson and Eric Olson would win the two titles still to be determined with mechanical issues ending the efforts of those trying to catch them. The first time winners would include James Rahn and Travis Loew as the point awarding portion of the season would wrap up.

Travis Hazelton would be the early leader in the Pure Stock main event on a track that was blinding fast but somewhat choppy after a week's worth of rain, including a downpour on Saturday through the Noon hour that threatened whether the races would even take place on Saturday night.

Hazelton set a fast pace as he looked to be tough to beat off the front row but Rahn showed great speed as he caught the leader and the battle for the top spot commenced. The race changing pass for the lead was far from a picture perfect move as the two leaders slammed together hard in turn four with Rahn taking over the leader while Hazelton slowed with a flat front tire. This would trigger the only yellow flag of the event with Hazelton scrambling to the work area and replacing the flat tire. He would later work his way back up through the field to finish sixth.

Rahn continued as the leader with Mike Schnider moving in to challenge him but Rahn maintained his pace and Dan Boissy raced his way past Schnider to take over the second spot. However, Rahn was maintaining a very fast pace and neither Boissy or Schnider could keep up with him on this night as the Haugen native drove on for his first ever feature win at Rice Lake. Boissy would settle for second with point champion Schnider finishing third. Rookie of the year Ryan Olson would finish a solid fourth with Bob Thompson next in line.

The other first time winner was Travis Loew in the Street Stock feature. While one of his cars was driven to victory lane recently in the Little Dream race by Nick Traynor, Saturday night's win would be the first ever at Rice Lake for Loew, who also recently won his first ever feature race at another local track.

Joe Ott would have a strong run also, as he led his first laps of the year in the Street feature, holding the top spot for the first four laps as both Loew and Adam Soltis challenged. Loew was able to get under Ott in the turns and would power into the lead. After that he would pull away from the field while a good battle for the second spot continued.

As Loew put distance between himself and the pack, Cody Kummer would come from the third row to take over the second spot and while he had nothing for the race winner, the runner up spot was satisfying too as it guaranteed the Medford driver the point title in the Street Stock class. Kolby Kiehl had another solid run for the third position with Ott getting his best finish yet in his return to racing this year after sitting out the sport for several years . Soltis completed the top five as his quest for his first win in the Street Stocks continues.

Travis Anderson came into the evening with a razor thin two point lead in the Midwest Modified point chase as Shane Halopka has been closing on him in recent weeks. Their battle would be settled but not on the track as both would have preferred. During his heat race, which he was leading at the time, Halopka suffered a very rare mechanical failure with major motor problems that would put him on the trailer and end his evening without the chance to fight for the title.

However, Anderson would do it up right as not only would he claim the title, he would do it while winning his second feature race of the season at the track.

Rookie driver Zach Slayton would have a great race as he would lead the first half of the fifteen lap feature contest, fighting off challenges from both Jamie Bisonette and Anderson as he held off the field during what would include three yellows in the first five laps.

Everyone settled down to racing at that point but Slayton continued to lead as Anderson took up the chase of trying to track him down. Finally, just past the halfway point, Anderson was able to get a run on the leader and make the winning pass down the back chute, after which he opened up a comfortable lead. Slayton would continue his strong drive however, as he would hold off Bisonette for second and record by far his best finish of the year.

Kennedy Swan had an interesting race that included one trip into the infield mud before the final checkered waved by she preserved to finish fourth with Fran Hanson completing the top five.

For Anderson it was his first ever point title in the Midwest Modifieds and first point title since he ran Hornets many years ago.

Three drivers came into the point finale in the Super Stock class within ten points of each other as Nick Traynor, Eric Olson and Simon Wahlstrom all had a very legitimate chance of claiming the title. However, at the end of the evening it was Olson who claimed another of his many titles with the last coming back in the 2017 racing season.

And while Olson won the war, the battle went to Curt Myers who won his track leading fifth feature win of the year, tying him with Street Stock driver Schnider for the most wins at the track so far in 2020.

And very much like in the Midwest Modified division, the difference between a point title and a close finish was mechanical failure, this time to Traynor. After a lap two yellow for debris on the track, Traynor came flying up with a bold move from the third row to take over the lead in the feature race, with Myers, Olson and Tommy Richards chasing him.

However, Traynor, who was running a bold but fast line up against the cushion, had his car suffer a rear end suspension breakage in turn two and he limped to a halt, needing the assistance of a wrecker back to the pits as his night was over and his title hopes squashed.

Myers would inherit the lead and he was very fast, quickly putting the field far behind him as he would eventually lap up to the fifth place finisher as the final seventeen laps of the feature race would go nonstop.

Olson's job now was to keep Wahlstrom behind him and he did so with his own strong run that saw him maintain second spot the rest of the race and keep a very fast Richards behind him with the Mondovi driver settling for third. Wahlstrom pushed his hardest but he had to settle for fourth ahead of C.J. Wagner.

By taking the green flag in the Modified feature race, Mike Anderson assured himself of another point title in that class but that wasn't good enough on this night as he also added a feature win, his fourth of the year at Rice Lake. He settled in for a few laps and let everyone get moving and then he picked off driver after driver as he moved to the front.

Cooper Berlin led his first laps of the year in this race and held off Anderson for several laps before Mike blew past him on the front chute to take over the lead. Once in front, he was on cruise control as he stretched the lead to nearly a full straightaway.

Scott Duval settled for his second straight runner up finish as after a rocky start that saw him airborne on the first lap, he recovered to pass Dave Mayala for second but had nothing for the leader. Mayala would get his best run of the year, finishing third ahead of Berlin and Kyle Helling in a field diminshed by mechanical problems to several drivers.

Two races remain on the schedule for the track for 2020. Next Saturday night will be the regular season finale, with racing in all five classes. This event is open to all drivers and the draw/redraw format will be used to line up the races with track points not setting the fields on this night.

And then, the 2020 racing season will wrap up with the Labor Day weekend special. This year the event will be a one day show, on Saturday night September 5th. All five classes that routinely race at the track will be a part of the show and extra money will be on the line for all five divisions. This will also be a draw/redraw format show with an early starting time of 6 pm. Check the speedway website and face book page for more information on this event upcoming.

Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

August 22, 2020

WISSOTA Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Scott Duval(Bloomer), Dave Mayala(Barron), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake)

8 lap Heat – Anderson, Duval, Helling, Berlin, Mayala, Sam Fankhauser, Pat Hoffman

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Curt Myers(Cameron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Tommy Richardsd(Mondovi), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Jeff Frey(Ogilvie MN), Austin Workman(Dallas), Wayne Harris Jr(Bloomer), Dylan Leu(Medford), Mickey Anderson(Dallas), Mike Siewert, Nick Traynor, Josh Cappo

8 lap Heat 1 – Myers, Olson, Richards, Siewert(Rice Lake), Leu, Workman, Cappo
Heat 2 – Traynor(Barron), Wagner, Wahlstrom, Frey, Anderson, Harris Jr, Matt Roux

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Travis Anderson(Colfax), Zach Slayton(Springbrook), Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Kennedy Swan(Chippewa Falls), Fran Hanson(Almena), Randall Thurber(Hayward), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Dan Roatch(Cameron), Duane Halverson(Shell Lake)

8 lap Heat 1 – Anderson, Bisonette, Slayton, Thurber, Roatch
Heat 2 – Hanson, Elliott, Halverson, Swan, Shane Halopka(Greenwood)

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Travis Loew(Barron), Cody Kummer(Medford), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Joe Ott(Spooner), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), James Clausen(Barron), Mike Chaplin(Barron), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake)

8 lap Heat – Soltis, Loew, Kummer, Ott, Chaplin, Kiehl, Clausen, Fisher, VanGilder

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – James Rahn(Haugen), Dan Boissy(Trego), Mike Schnider(Cameron), Ryan Olson(Ladysmith), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Travis Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Jay Folz(Cameron), Devin Fries(Phillips), Tristan Scheuermann(Eau Claire), Mike Grover(Chetek), Austin Fencl, Markus Catlin, Mike Holmstrom, Chris Gross, Leonard Osterberg Jr

8 lap Heat 1 – Schnider, Hazelton, Rahn, Olson, Folz, Catlin, Holmstrom, Gross
Heat 2 – Thompson, Fries, Boissy, Scheuermann, Grover, Fencl, Osterberg Jr