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  .: June 27, 2020 :.

Myers, Schnider and Anderson Continue Rice Lake Speedway Domination

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, June 27 – On a steamy Saturday night, the third race program of the year was held at the Rice Lake Speedway and three drivers continued to show that they will be the teams to beat this season at the track as both Curt Myers and Mike Schnider won their third feature races in three tries while Mike Anderson won his second straight Modified main event with that class having been absent for the last program two weeks ago at the track. Shane Halopka won his first feature race of the year and Shawn Amundson was a winner for the first time ever racing in the Street Stock class.

Josh Bach was the early leader in the Super Stock feature, using the outside pole to lead the first two laps before he was overtaken by Nick Traynor for the lead. Myers started eighth on the grid but quickly moved to the front as the race was stopped twice for spins in the first eight laps of the event.

By the second yellow, Myers had worked his way up to second and when the green flew again, he threw a wicked slide job at Traynor in turn one and was able to squeeze past and take over the lead.

Only two more laps could be completed before a spin once again packed up the field with Myers showing the way this time.

However, when the green flew, Myers found plenty of competition as Eric Olson used the low groove to pull up beside Myers and twice he made strong moves in an attempt to make the pass but each time Myers had just enough momentum to fight him off. And with the last half of the race running green to checkered, Myers was able to gradually pull away from the pack. Simon Wahlstrom then sped up and he was able to drive around Olson and secure the runner up slot which he held to the finish. Olson finished a strong third and Bart Steffen made a late drive up through the field to finish ahead of Traynor and round out the top five. For Myers, it was his third straight win of the season here in the Super Stocks and forty fourth of his career in that class.

Also winning his third straight feature race at Rice Lake was Pure Stock driver Mike Schnider. The Pure Stocks had a tough time putting in consecutive laps early in their main event with four yellow flags in the first five laps for a variety of spins and collisions. Travis Hazelton started on the outside pole and each time the green waved early, he would jump into the lead with Ryan Olson, Dan Boissy and Bob Thompson chasing him. Point leader Schnider started eighth but he quickly moved to the front to join the challenge for the lead.

Following the third spin and yellow, he was up to second and when the green flew again, he was able to get to the outside of Shackleton and after a brief battle, drive past him to take over the lead. One more yellow flew and then the last seven laps ran off green to checkered and despite a badly smoking car, Schnider gradually pulled away from the field to record a relatively easy win.

The battle for second was a good one as Shackleton and Dan Boissy fought hard for the spot with Thompson also close behind. Hazelton was able to hold on and record the second place finish but in post race technical inspection, Boissy's car was turned down by officials for a violation and he lost the third spot. Thompson then moved up to third with Jay Folz and Randy Graham completing the top five.

The Modified feature got off to a rocky start also with two collisions in the first two attempts to get the race going that resulted in three cars being eliminated early. During the yellow, Jason Richardson was sent off the track after losing a muffler, a tough break that ended a top five run for him. After that they went nineteen laps without a stop and it was team mates Pat Hoffman and Kyle Helling battling for the lead in the early going. Hoffman had the top spot but Helling was all over the “Pistol” as he looked for a way by for the lead.

Anderson started fourth and he then challenged to make it a three car battle for the top spot before Anderson was able to get past Helling and then he and Hoffman battled it out for the top spot.

Anderson made a strong move to the low side in turn four and he was able to drive into the lead.

Once in front and with no yellows to bunch the field, Anderson gradually pulled away for a relativelyl easy win.

The driver on the move the second half of the race was Zack Drews. The Superior driver was making his first visit to the track and the second half of the feature belonged to him as he got wired to the low groove and marched to the front in the fading laps. Coming from sixth, he drove under Curt Myers, Jason Gross, and then both Helling and Hoffman in the late part of the race to finish a sterling second to Anderson. Hoffman and Helling came next in line with their best finishes of the year and Gross rounded out the top five. The win was Anderson's forty third triumph in the Modified class at Rice Lake.

On the other end of the spectrum, his win Saturday night marked the very first Street Stock victory ever for Shawn Amundson at Rice Lake. A third generation racer from a traditional laden family at the speedway, Amundson's lone wins earlier in his career were a pair of Pure Stock victories during the 2015 racing season, after which he was largely absent from racing until he returned late last year with a Street Stock.

During this early season, he has been fast with the car but until Saturday, the results have not been there but on this night, he won a sterling two car battle with Cody Kummer to take his first win ever in this division.

Kummer himself made a great move early as he came from the second row on the opening lap to find a hold and get past Kolby Kiehl, Joe Ott and Travis Loew to take the initial lead. Kummer looked like a good bet to win but Amundson was fast too as he came up from the third row to pull into second and it didn't take him long to catch the leader as the top two cars pulled away from the pack in this nonstop race.

Amundson made several inside attempts to get past Kummer but Cody was able to hold him off as Amundson showed lots of speed but just couldn't find the opening he needed. With only two laps to go, Amundson rode up the banking in turn one and then snapped the car low and he was able to find room on the inside of Kummer and they raced side by side down the back chute. It was a tight squeeze as both drove low into turn three but Amundson was able to come out the other end with the lead and on the final lap he pulled away for the win. Kiehl drove a consistent race to finish third while Andrew Hanson and Hunter VanGilder both marched through the field to get top five finishes, VanGilder from dead last after he had heat race mechanical issues.

Halopka led all the way to win the feature race in the Midwest Modifieds. It looked to be an easy night for the Greenwood driver until two late yellow flags bunched the field and gave Tony Bahr a chance to get past for the win.

The first part of the race had gone off nonstop with Halopka pulling out to a comfortable lead over Travis Anderson with Jamie Bisonette, Austin Ellis and Mark Thomas battling for position behind them.

Bahr started eighth on the grid and it took him some time to get moving but once he attacked the high groove, he started to drive through the field. He was able to pass car after car and had gotten up to third when the late yellow with only four laps to go gave him his chance. One more slow down made it a three lap dash to the finish and Bahr gave it his best effort as he pounded the cushion. Meanwhile, Halopka rode the low groove and hoped that he had just enough momentum to hold off the charge of T. Bahr.

Tony made one last attempt in the final corner but Halopka was able to retain the lead by a car length at the finish. Anderson finally shook off some bad early season luck and finished a strong third with Ellis and Bisonette next in line.

It will be a quick turn around for the racers and fans as one of the biggest races of the year will be presented this coming Thursday night, July 2nd with the annual Firecracker special to be held. All five divisions will be racing on Thursday and the gigantic fireworks display to be offered will be the special attraction. With no other fireworks displays to be presented locally this year, a huge crowd is anticipated and fans are advised to arrive early and grab the best seats. The rain date for the fireworks is on Saturday night, July 4th. However, if the program is completed as scheduled on July 2nd, there will be no racing on Saturday night.

The speedway also made several announcements relative to their upcoming schedule. July 18th, which was scheduled to be an off night for the track due to the Barron County Fair, will now be a race night since the Fair will not be held. All five divisions will be racing that night and for the first time in track history, both the Rice Lake Speed Pit kart track and the big speedway will both be racing on Saturday night with the Speed Pit having a special Saturday night event.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, July 19th, the track will be offering a special demolition derby to replace the one that will be lost because of no Barron County Fair. The track will bring in the same group that runs the Demo Derby at the Fair for a Sunday afternoon matinee that is anticipated to be a huge event also. Check the speedway face book page for more information on that event which will be the first of its kind at the Speedway since Adams-Hansen Inc. took over the track.

Finally, despite the fact that the WISSOTA Challenge Series Late Model Series has been put on hiatus for 2020, the Late Model special scheduled for the speedway on Saturday night August 1st will be held as planned. A large field of Late Models is expected as they will be racing in a special the previous night at the Gondik Law Speedway in Superior and many are expected to then travel down to Rice Lake the following night. Watch the speedway face book page for announcements on pending other special events for the track yet this year.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

June 27, 2020

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Zach Drews(Superior), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Kyler Helling(Rice Lake), Jason Gross(Cushing), Curt Myers(Cameron), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Cole Varsho(Stratford), Dan Kingsley(Superior), Wayne Poteet(Spooner), Shaun Kreyer, Miles McEvers, Kerry Halopka, Dave Mayala, Cooper Berlin, Denny Cutsforth, Mark Hessler

10 lap Heat 1 – Drews, Anderson, Hessler(Menomonie), Berlin(Rice Lake), Halopka(Wheeler), Steve Hallquist, Cutsforth
Heat 2 – Hoffman, Gross, Helling, Myers, Mayala(Barron), Fankhauser
Heat 3 – Varsho, Jason Richardson(Spring Valley), Kingsley, Poteet, McEvers(Grantsburg), Kreyer

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Curt Myers(Cameron), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Nick Traynor(Barron), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Chad Johnson(Colfax), Josh Bach(Barron), Mike Siewert(Rice Lake), Mickey Anderson(Dallas), Scott Pittman, Josh Cappo, Austin Workman, Matt Roux

10 lap Heat 1 – Traynor, Myers, Olson, Bach, Siewert, Anderson, Pittman
Heat 2 – Wahlstrom, Wagner, Steffen, Johnson, Workman(Dallas), Roux, Cappo

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Tony Bahr(Haugen), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Jamie Bisonette(Dallas), Mark Thomas(Menomonie), Jake Stai(New Auburn), Fran Hanson(Almena), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Zach Slayton(Springbrook), Aric Lindberg, Duane Halverson

8 lap Heat 1 – Halopka, Lindberg(Dallas), Bisonette, Anderson, Elliott, Slayton
Heat 2 – Bahr, Ellis, Hanson, Thomas, Halverson(Shell Lake), Stai

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Shawn Amundson(Rice Lake), Cody Kummer(Medford), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Andrew Hanson(Iron River), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Joe Ott(Spooner), Travis Loew(Barron), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Bob Wahlstrom(Chetek), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), James Clausen, Jay Kesan

8 lap Heat 1 – Hanson, Kiehl, Amundson, Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Wahlstrom, Clausen, VanGilder
Heat 2 – Kummer, Soltis, Ott, Loew, Fisher, Alex Minks

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Mike Schnider(Cameron), Travis Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jay Folz(Cameron), Randy Graham(Trego), Ryan Olson(Ladysmith), Cody Cimfl(Chetek), Devin Fries(Phillips), Mike Grover(Chetek), Nicholas Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Leonard Osterberg Jr, James Rahn, Mike Holmstrom, Brent Mindock, Chris Gross, Terry Kemp

8 lap Heat 1 – Schnider, Folz, Olson, Grover, Holmstrom(Rice Lake), Austin Fencl
Heat 2 – Dan Boissy(Trego), Graham, Mindock(Prentice), Fries, Gross(Turtle Lake), Cimfl
Heat 3 – T. Hazelton, Rahn(Haugen), Thompson, N. Hazelton, Osterberg Jr(Cameron), Kemp