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  .: August 29, 2020 :.

Larson Gets First Win; Loew Spectacular Winner at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Aug. 29 – A first win ever, a sensational race winning pass and wins by three division kingpins were all a part of the regular season racing finale Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. (Fry Pan Productions)

Brady Larson led all the way as the teenager won his first ever feature race at Rice Lake as he topped the Midwest Modified main event. Travis Loew made a spectacular three wide pass to win one of the best Street Stock main events seen at the track in quite some time and multi time feature winners Mike Schnider, Curt Myers and Mike Anderson all added to their win totals as the regular season wrapped up on Saturday. The only event left for racers here is next Saturday night, September 5th, when the speedway will hold a five division special to conclude what has been one of the shortest seasons in the track's long history.

Larson started on the pole for the Midwest Modified feature event and moved into an immediate lead after battling with another teenager in Kennedy Swan for the early lead. The action got wild early as only two laps were completed before Shane Halopka got boosted from behind in turn one, sending him spinning and several other cars were also involved before the action could be slowed. Fortunately, all cars were still running and the race continued.

Larson continued to lead as Travis Anderson and Halopka battled for the second spot, trading that position back and forth between them several times. While all this was going on, Larson just continued to drive up front and maintain a steady pace. Besides Anderson and Halopka, right behind them Cody Borgeson and Kent Baxter were going back and forth as they also battled for position.

Halopka went to the outside and drove around Anderson once again to reclaim second and he then made one last strong challenge for the win. One last late yellow set up a run to the finish and while Halopka was able to get to the rear bumper of Larson, Brady held his line and maintained his speed as he held off the last challenge and drove home for his first ever feature win at Rice Lake.

Halopka was later set back two positions for a violation on the last restart so Anderson was officially credited with second ahead of Borgeson, Halopka and Baxter.

The win by Larson set off a wild celebration with donuts being spun on the track and dust raised in the infield as he celebrated the memorable win.

No less spectacular was the Street Stock feature race which just might have been the best main event of the entire season. Run nonstop from green to checkered, the race presented a great side by side duel for the race lead for many laps until a third competitor came out of no where to drive by both the combatants and win the race.

Point champion Cody Kummer started on the pole for the Street Stock main event and he looked to be tough to beat from that position. And indeed, he moved into the early lead of the contest but he was soon challenged by Kolby Kiehl for the top spot with Travis Loew and a fast closing Ron Hanestad all part of the lead pack.

Kummer was running the bottom lane so Kiehl moved up the track and found immediate success as he pulled up beside Kummer and was scored the official leader of lap three. However, Kummer was not going to give up easily and he picked up his pace, fighting his way back up beside Kiehl.

After that, fans were treated to one of the best side by side battles seen here in quite some time as lap after lap, the two leaders ran within inches of each other as they battled for the top spot. Kiehl was on the outside but Kummer gave him room to race and side by side, lap after lap, they circled the oval with them crossing the starting line within inches of each other.

This went on for nearly ten laps with neither one able to secure the top spot and actually their battling was allowing the competition to catch up. Suddenly both Loew and Hanestad were back in the picture as both were closing fast on the tandem battlers for the lead.

With only three laps to go, Loew had a great rush of momentum down the back chute and as Kummer and Kiehl raced side by side through the third turn, Loew made a bold move to the outside of both drivers. Somehow he found room between Kiehl and the outside wall and never backing off for a second, spot past both leaders and was the clear leader at the line. It was a stunning move and had the crowd on their feet.

With a clear track in front of him, Loew added to his advantage the last pair of laps as he pulled away. Kiehl finally was able to make the pass on Kummer but now it was for second and Kolby had nothing for the leader as Loew added to his advantage and scored his second feature win of the season at Rice Lake. Hanestad finished a very close fourth and Will Fisher rounded out the top five in what was a Street Stock showcase event.

More jubilation followed this event as Loew planted his car against the front stretch wall and did a smoky burnout to celebrate the win.

Mike Schnider earned his sixth Pure Stock feature win of the season after a tough battle with Bob Thompson that brought him a hard earned win. Thompson started on the pole and led the first seven laps of the race with first Ryan Olson and then Schnider, up from the third row, battling him. Schnider was racing with a pack that also included Travis Hazelton and Rob Grabon and the top five moved away from the field.

In fact, the battle for the lead got very intense and Thompson and Schnider raced wheel to wheel for the top spot with some occasional rubbing between the two. Lap six saw the two battling very hard for the lead spot on the front chute with both leaning on each other and eventually Thompson going for a spin in turn one, just seconds after another car slowed on the track which triggered the yellow flag.

Thompson and Schnider resumed their battle for the lead but when Thompson pushed up the track in turn four, it was Schnider that drove past him into the lead and he would maintain that position the final four laps to claim yet another victory. Hazelton would finish a close third with Olson and Grabon completing the top five.

Myers matched Schnider's win total at the track as the Cameron racer earned his sixth feature win with another win in the Super Stock main event. Point champion Eric Olson started on the pole and led the first three laps of the feature as Myers moved up from the fourth starting spot to challenge for the lead. He got to the outside of Olson and swept past him to take over the top spot. On the speedy black slick track, both drivers would be pushing to the edge as both of the top two runners would skim off the concrete front stretch wall at various times during the race, setting the sparks flying and bending up some body panels but now slowing their charge.

Bart Steffen had moved into third as watched the battle going on in front of him while Austin Workman and C.J. Wagner were also having a great battle for position behind him, swapping the fourth spot back and forth. That battle would end when Wagner got a flat tire and stalled on the track, setting up a five lap dash to the finish.

Olson would push hard and stay close to Myers but Curt had a two car length advantage and he maintained that distance as he would drive on for the win. Olson, Steffen and Workman would follow and Scott Pittman would come from the back to round out the top five.

A storybook ending to the evening nearly took place as Hall of Famer Paul Harelstad came out of retirement with a new Modified and very nearly stole the win in his first appearance on the track of the season.

Harley started on the outside of row one and beat Curt Myers to take the early lead in the race. Meanwhile, Mike Anderson was moving into position to challenge as the point champion was looking for another win. Harelstad was looking very sharp as he led the first seven laps of the race, continuing to fight off Myers and Anderson while Jason Gross made a charge from the fourth row to close on the leaders also.

A two car spin on lap eight slowed the race for the first time and the break in the race was not beneficial for Harelstad. On the green, Anderson got a great run into turn one and threw a slide job up against Harelstad to take over the top spot for a second. Harelstad used a cross over move to reclaim the lead down the back chute but Anderson made the same move again in turn four and this time he would stick it, as he would race down the front chute as the new leader.

Harelstad would slip up the track again and Myers would take over the second spot and then disaster struck as Harelstad spun in turn three and collected Sam Fankhauser, triggering the yellow and forcing Harelstad to exit with front end damage, ending a spectacular run.

Anderson would then lead the last twelve laps of the feature race and claim the win. Myers and Gross would battle hard for second with Jason claiming the spot briefly before Myers would reclaim it following a yellow. Shaun Kreyer would have his best run of the season, cracking the top five until a major mechanical issue would end his night and trigger the final five lap sprint to the finish.

Anderson would again pull away, winning his fifth main event of the year here while Myers, in his best outing in the Modified, would hold off Gross for second. Steve Hallquist had his own great run as back in his new car this week, he would come from eleventh to finish fourth ahead of Pat Hoffman.

The season will conclude next Saturday night with the Labor Day weekend special. All five classes will be racing with extra money on the line for all divisions. An early start time will be in effect with draw cutoff at 5:45 pm with hot laps to follow with racing at approximately 6:30 pm. There will be no rain date for this event should weather intervene and more information can be found on the speedway face book page as the week progresses.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

Aug 29, 2020

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Curt Myers(Cameron), Jason Gross(Osceola), Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Dave Mayala(Barron), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Zach Gibson(Chippewa Falls), Denny Cutsforth, Shaun Kreyer, Mark Hanson, Sam Fankhauser, Paul Harelstad

10 lap Heat 1 – Gross, Anderson, Harelstad(Bloomer), Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Kreyer(Hayward), Hallquist, Berlin, Helling
Heat 2 – Hoffman, Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Myers, Koehler, Mayala, Gibson, Cutsforth

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Curt Myers(Cameron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Austin Workman(Dallas), Scott Pittman(Turtle Lake), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Mickey Anderson(Dallas), Mike Siewert(Rice Lake), Matt Roux(Rice Lake), Josh Cappo(Almena)

10 lap Heat 1 – Myers, Steffen, Wagner, Cappo, Roux
Heat 2 – Olson, Workman, Siewert, Anderson, Pittman

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Brady Larson(Amery), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Cody Borgeson(New Richmond), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Jake Stai(New Auburn), Zach Slayton(Springbrook), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Fran Hanson(Almena), Cory Dielke, Kennedy Swan, Duane Halvorson

8 lap Heat 1 – Baxter, Stai, Bisonette, Swan(Chippewa Falls), Elliott, Slayton, Halvorson
Heat 2 – Anderson, Halopka, Borgeson, Larson, Hanson, Dielke

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Travis Loew(Barron), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Cody Kummer(Medford), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), James Clausen(Barron), Joe Ott(Spooner), Alex Minks(Bruce), Dalton Hazelton(New Auburn)

8 lap Heat 1 – Loew, Ott, Hanestad, Soltis, Minks
Heat 2 – Kummer, Kiehl, Hazelton, Fisher, Clausen

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Mike Schnider(Cameron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Travis Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Ryan Olson(Ladysmith), Rob Grabon(Bruce), Jay Folz(Cameron), Trenten Holub(Rice Lake), Mike Grover(Chetek), Dusten Holub(Chetek), Leo Moos(Rice Lake), Terry Kemp, Chris Gross, Mike Holmstrom, James Rahn, Austin Fencl

8 lap Heat 1 – Rahn(Haugen), Grabon, Thompson, T. Holub, Moos, Kemp, Grover, Matt Brandemuehl, D. Holub
Heat 2 – Hazelton, Schnider, Olson, Folz, Fencl(Bruce), Holmstrom, Jamey Fisher, Gross