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  .: July 11, 2020 :.

Four New Winners at Rice Lake Speedway; Only Schnider Repeats

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake Speedway, July 11 – The Rice Lake Speedway was back in action on Saturday night with its first race since the holiday weekend and fifth of the entire 2020 racing season. On another steamy night at the track, more balance was shown among the winners with four new drivers visiting victory lane for the first time here in 2020 while Mike Schnider became the top winner so far this season at the speedway. Schnider won his fourth Pure Stock main event to go along with first time winners Sam Fankhauser, Nick Traynor, Travis Anderson and Jimmy Randall.

The Pure Stock feature got off to a wild start with the leaders three wide before a lap could be completed. James Rahn, Ryan Clausen and Nicholas Hazelton were battling for the lead on the opening lap when Travis Hazelton came storming up on the inside down the back chute and found an opening and edged into the early lead.

While the cars were still racing very tightly packed, Hazelton's great early move was negated when he suddenly started to slow, the victim of a flat rear tire that slowed him dramatically. He was able to limp around the track and head for the pits but his sudden slowing further scrambled the field. Schnider, who started eighth on the grid, also charged to the front quickly, getting to third by the completion of the first lap and then taking over the lead in the aftermath of Hazelton's bad luck.

Once Schnider was in the lead, he would have to endure two yellow flag slowdowns, one of which would set up a two lap sprint the the finish of the race. However, Schnider was in control and no one would seriously threaten his dominance of the race. Behind him a mad scramble would continue but Schnider would drive home unchallenged for his fourth win of 2020 at the track and sole ownership of the top winner at the track to date.

A couple cars would get set back positions following jump starts on the final restart that would further scramble the field but at the line, it was Bob Thompson with a strong run to finish second to Schnider with Jay Folz close behind him in third. James Vendela would move up from tenth to finish fourth and Clausen, last year's point champion, would have to settle for fifth after battling for the lead in the race early.

Sam Fankhauser would get his first Modified win of the year and second of his career at Rice Lake after winning his first ever feature at the track last year. Mark Hessler would be the early leader of the race but Fankhauser would slide past him to take over the top spot and then proceed to open up quite a large margin over the field. After an early lap three yellow for a spin, the race would run under the green to nearly its conclusion and Fankhauser, flying on the cushion, would open up nearly a full straightaway on the field.

As Fankhauser left the field behind him, a good battle for second saw Hessler race side by side with last week's winner Mark Hanson for a number of laps for the second spot before Hanson would finally edge past Hessler on the low side of the track and once having cleared him, shoot back up to the cushion to try and catch the leader.

A late yellow set up a two lap run for everyone to the checkered flag but Fankhauser handled it well, pulling away on the green and not letting anyone interfere with his chances of victory. The battle behind him was intense however, with Mike Anderson putting on a late charge as he drove to the bottom and on the final corner Hanson bobbled slightly, which gave Anderson the chance to complete his drive from seventh to finish a strong second. Hanson settled for third and Zack Drews nipped Hessler at the line for fourth.

Much like Fankhauser's domination, first time winner Nick Traynor dominated the Super Stock feature as he was flying on the cushion and opened up a huge lead once he was able to pass Mike Siewert for the lead.

Siewert led the first feature laps of his Super Stock career as he has been rapidly improving this year and maintained the lead for the first few laps before Traynor worked his way up from the third row to take over the lead. And once in front, Nick really pulled away as the battle then shifted to the race for second. It was a challenging night for Simon Wahlstrom who got forced into the wall on the opening lap of his heat race which damaged his car and he was forced to start the feature from the sixth row. Then early in the main he had to avoid a spinning car and got tagged himself but fortunately the damage was not severe and he was able to rejoin the race.

However, he kept plugging away and as the main event continued, he got faster and faster, eventually racing his way into the runner up slot at the finish. Bart Steffen also made a determined drive, coming from eighth to make a late pass on Eric Olson and finish in the third spot. C.J. Wagner crossed the line fifth but was disqualified as his car failed to make weight which elevated Siewert to a top five finish.

For the winner, it was Traynor's second ever Super Stock feature win at Rice Lake, the first coming during the 2017 racing season.

Midwest Modified feature winner Travis Anderson also took his first feature win at Rice Lake since the 2017 season as he raced to the lead early and then held off a late charge by Austin Ellis to get the win.

The race was slowed twice in the first couple of laps for spins but then the rest of the race went nonstop and it was rookie phenom, thirteen year old Kennedy Swan, who led the opening laps. She maintained the lead until Anderson was able to pass her and take over the top spot.

Once in front, Anderson pulled away slightly from the field. Early challengers Tony Bahr and Craig Elliott both had bad luck with Bahr getting rear ended causing a flat tire while Elliott banged off the wall and damaged the front end on his car.

As Anderson continued to lead, Ellis broke through into second with Shane Halopka soon following and the two of them set off after Anderson who was running alone in the lead. In the closing laps, Ellis was able to cut into Anderson's margin but despite a big push off the final corner that saw him draw to Anderson's rear bumper, Ellis had to settle for second as Anderson drove on for his seventh ever Midwest Modified win at Rice Lake. Jamie Bisonette would cross the line fourth while Swan settling for a top five finish.

As the Street Stock Little Dream race draws closer and closer, the battles in the Street Stock class at the track become more and more intense as drivers tune up for that huge race that will be held early next month. On Saturday night it was defending champion of that race, the “Twenty five thousand dollar man”, Jimmy Randall, who scored the win in a thrilling finish as he edged out Cody Kummer by a car length to take his first win of the year at the track. Not surprisingly, the Street Stock class remains the most competitive at the speedway with Randall's win marking the fifth different driver in victory lane in five nights of racing.

Randall would come from the second row to take the win, first battling side by side with Ron Hanestad for the lead after both were able to get past early leader James Clausen and then fighting off a strong late charge by Kummer to hold on for the win.

Randall's success would come in the outer lane of the track as he drove into the lead by passing cars on the outside but once Kummer moved into second, Cody would show his car's nose in each corner to Randall but Jimmy would be able to edge away each time down the straightaways.

This pattern continued to the finish of the race with Kummer trying hard to scoot by on the low side of the track while continuing to give Randall racing room in the upper groove. It was both an entertaining and intense battle by two of the best Street Stock drivers around and at the finish it was Randall by a car length over Kummer. For Randall, the record of his long success is reflected by the fact that his win on Saturday is now the fourteenth different year that he has won at least one feature race in the Street Stock class at Rice Lake.

Hunter VanGilder had a strong run for third while Shawn Amundson had an interesting route to a fourth place finish. He broke in his heat race, had to start fourteenth in the feature, was involved in one spin during the race yet still managed to work his way back up through the field while fifth place finisher Travis Loew came from twelfth to do so.

The Rice Lake Speedway will take next Saturday night, July 18th, off with no racing scheduled. However, the facility itself will still be busy. The Rice Lake Speed Pit Kart track, located on the speedway property, will be running a double header program next Saturday with races during both the afternoon and for the first time this year, a second program to run under the lights on Saturday night.

Then, on Sunday July 19th, the speedway will host the annual demolition derby that has normally been held during the Barron County Fair which was a victim of the pandemic this year with the Fair being canceled. The demolition derby will now be held at the Rice Lake Speedway with the same officials that ran the program at the Fairgrounds putting on this event. Crash time is 3 pm. Check the speedway face book page for more information about this event.

The speedway will return to action on Saturday night, July 25th which has been designated as Kid's Night at the track with many bicycles to be given away to the kids along with other activities for the kids at the track that night.

An important schedule addition for the speedway was also announced on Saturday. Scott “Bulldog” Andersen, the promoter and fundraiser for the annual Mahder 55, a Late Model special held annually at the Red Cedar Speedway to honor Duane Mahder, a Late Model champion at both the Red Cedar Speedway and Rice Lake Speedway who was killed in November of 2016 in an industrial accident, will be held at the Rice Lake Speedway this year.

With the recent announcement that the Red Cedar Speedway will remain closed through the rest of the 2020 racing season, Andersen, with the permission of the Mahder family, reached an agreement with Dave Adams and Mitch Hansen, owners of the Rice Lake Speedway, to move the race to Rice Lake this year. The race will be run on Saturday night, August 1st and will replace the WISSOTA Challenge Series race previously scheduled at the track that night.

The Mahder race for WISSOTA Late Models is a fifty five lap event honoring the memory of Duane Mahder and pays $5,555 to the winner of that race and is typically one of the top Late Model races of the year in the area. An announcement will be made early next week on what other classes will also be racing that night at the speedway along with other details relative to the race.

Andersen will be collecting contributions for this race, as he has done every year since the race's origin and those individuals and businesses that would like to be a part of the Mahder 55 should contact him at 863-604-0245. Questions regarding the Rice Lake Speedway should be directed to Adams at 715-205-2861 or Hansen at 715-205-1122.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

July 11, 2020

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Zach Drews(Superior), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Matt Leer(Bruce), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake), Pat Hoffman( Rice Lake), Wayne Poteet(Spooner), Shaun Kreyer(Hayward), Cooper Berlin, Dave Mayala, Denny Cutsforth, Steve Hallquist

10 lap Heat 1 – Helling, Anderson, Hallquist(Eau Claire), Drews, Kreyer, Cutsforth, Berlin
Heat 2 – Hanson, Hessler, Fankhauser, Poteet, Leer, Mayala, Hoffman

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Nick Traynor(Barron), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Mike Siewert(Rice Lake), Mickey Anderson(Dallas), Jeff Frey(Ogilvie MN), Josh Cappo(Almena), Dylan Leu(Medford), Scott Pittman(Turtle Lake), Matt Roux

10 lap Heat 1 – Olson, Traynor, C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Pittman, Leu, Wahlstrom
Heat 2 – Steffen, Siewert, Anderson, Cappo, Frey, Roux

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Travis Anderson(Colfax), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Kennedy Swan(Chippewa Falls), Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Fran Hanson(Almena), Zach Slayton(Springbrook), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Tony Bahr(Haugen), Lou Puzio, Taylor Olson

8 lap Heat 1 – Bahr, Swan, Elliott, Hanson, Lindberg, Bisonette, Slayton
Heat 2 – Halopka, Anderson, Ellis, Nate Erickson(New Richmond), Olson(Colby), Puzio

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Cody Kummer(Medford), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Shawn Amundson(Rice Lake), Travis Loew(Barron), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Joe Ott(Spooner), Mike Chaplin, Alex Minks, James Clausen, Kori Richter

8 lap Heat 1 – VanGilder, Soltis, Kiehl, Fisher, Richter(Rice Lake), Ott. Loew
Heat 2 – Kummer, Hanestad, Randall, Clausen(Barron), Minks(Bruce), Chaplin, Amundson

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Mike Schnider(Cameron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jay Folz(Cameron), James Vendela(South Range), Ryan Clausen(Prairie Farm), Ryan Olson(Ladysmith), Devin Fries(Phillips), James Rahn(Haugen), Mike Grover(Chetek), Mike Holmstrom(Rice Lake), Austin Fencl, Leonard Osterberg Jr, Nicholas Hazelton, Chris Gross, Travis Hazelton

8 lap Heat 1 – Schnider, Clausen, Folz, Olson, Fries, Fencl, Holmstrom, Osterberg Jr
Heat 2 – N. Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), T. Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Thompson, Rahn, Vendela, Grover, Gross