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  .: September 5, 2020 :.

Oestreich Comes Up “Aces” at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Sept. 5 – The evening did not start out well for Justin Oestreich Saturday night. First, he was late getting to the Rice Lake Speedway, arriving after the cut off time which meant he had to start at the back of the field for the first Modified heat race. Then, the opening attempt at that race saw Oestreich spin in the first corner and he went to the back of the pack once again. However, things went decidedly better after that. He finished third in his heat, redrew the number six starting spot for the Modified feature and then, after making a spectacular move that saw him split two contenders down the front chute and move into second, he swept past race leader Mark Hanson on lap nine and led the rest of the way to win the final race of the final event of the season at the Rice Lake Speedway.

Other winners during the final race of the year at the track included Aaron Wilson in the Super Stocks, Cody Carlson in the Midwest Modifieds, Parker Anderson in the Street Stocks and Jay Folz in the Pure Stocks after apparent winner Bob Thompson's car failed post race technical inspection.

Hanson was the initial leader of the Modified main event but track champion Mike Anderson quickly moved up from his second row starting spot with a strong opening lap high side run to pull up to the rear bumper of Hanson. They battled for a couple of laps with Anderson getting up beside Hanson but not quite able to pull off the pass for the lead. Meanwhile, as Hanson continued to fight off Anderson, Zack Drews, Jason Gross and Oestreich quickly moved in and suddenly the lead pack included a handful of cars.

The first yellow of the race flew with five laps complete for a spin and on the restart, it was still Hanson but Drews had moved in to challenge for second while Oestreich and Pat Hoffman both closed on the leaders. Oestreich was strong on the high side of the track and he pulled up on the duo battling for second and with certainly the move of the night, he split Anderson and Drews right down the front chute and shot into second. He then quickly closed on Hanson, getting the best of him on lap nine and driving into the lead.

Once in front, Oestreich was never challenged for the top spot again but he had to endure a series of yellow flag slowdowns that kept the field bunched which allowed much shuffling to go on behind him but not to interfere with his lead stance. Four times the race got stuck on the lap twelve mark for a series of spins, the most severe being when Paul Harelstad hammered the turn three wall which drew a brief red flag. Harelstad came out of that wreck just fine but his car was not raceable.

Finally, the last laps of the event ran off smoothly and Oestreich controlled the action, keeping several car lengths between himself and the field. Gross, who slipped back briefly, made another strong charge near the end of the race and he was able to drive up into second as he got by Drews for that position. Hoffman ran a consistent race to finish fourth and Cole Spacek moved up smartly at the end also, cracking the top five at the finish. Both Hanson and Anderson, the two contenders for the win early, ended up fading back in the pack near the end of the race.

For Oestreich, it was his first win at Rice Lake since the 2018 racing season when he won this very same Labor Day weekend concluding race to the season.

Aaron Wilson made his first appearance of the 2020 racing season a winning one as the veteran from Eau Claire swept past Terran Spacek on the ninth lap and then led the rest of the contest to win the Super Stock feature. Spacek had gotten the jump on Dave Flynn at the start and led the early going of the race which was marked by a couple of minor spins that kept the field bunched. Flynn kept the pressure on Spacek in the early going as he looked to pass and grab the lead for the first time.

Meanwhile, Wilson moved up the track into the second groove, a move that historically has been very successful for him as he has won a number of feature races here over the years rolling around the top side of competitors on a black and slick track.

The move worked for him once again as he swept past Flynn for second and then slowly closed on Spacek for the lead. Gaining just a little on each lap, finally Wilson was able to drive around the outside of Spacek in turn four and take the lead officially with nine laps complete. Spacek tried to fight back but Wilson continued to hold the top spot.

Several yellows slowed the second half of the race and the driver on the move was Tommy Richards. He has lost a few spots early but then he picked up the pace as he too moved up the track and began his own drive to the front. He got past Flynn for third and then tried to get Spacek also. The late yellows did not help his cause as twice he had Spacek set up for a pass when the yellow flew and he had to give up his position.

While Wilson continued to control the top spot, Richards continued to challenge Spacek but he ran out of time and had to settle for third behind the Phillips racer. Flynn finished a steady fourth while Eric Olson made a late charge that saw him crack the top five.

For Wilson, it was his first win of the year here and sixteenth of his career in the Super Stock class here at Rice Lake where he has won feature races in eleven different years, dating all the way back to 2005.

While Wilson is very familiar with the Rice Lake Speedway victory lane, For Midwest Modified winner Cody Carlson it was his first ever Midwest Modified victory at Rice Lake after he led from start to finish to defeat a full field of Midwest Modifieds. He started on the pole for the main event and drove away from Aric Lindberg to take the early lead. Behind him, there was quite a battle for second as Lindberg, Jack Rivord, Kennedy Swan and Dan Larson Jr were all battling hard for the spot. That group was going back and forth, changing positions on nearly every corner as they shuffled the running order considerably.

However, Carlson up front was in control and he built up perhaps the biggest lead of any driver in feature racing action, holding nearly a full straightaway advantage as the race reached its halfway point.

The driver turning heads was Jimmy Latvala and the veteran from Solon Springs, who started eighth on the grid, moved to the high side of the track and was tracking down car after car as he surged toward the front. He caught Rivord, who was running second at that point, and the two drivers, who race each other a couple of times a weekend at area tracks, again battled it out, this time for second. With a continues strong surge on the high side, Latvala was able to complete his charge as he moved into second and tried to track down the high flying leader.

Two yellows in the second half of the race gave Latvala his chance, but Carlson was up to the challenge as each time he pulled away to maintain his strangle hold of the top spot. In fact, Rivord made his onw counter challenge and Latvala had his hands full holding on to second. Carlson was not about to let this race slip away from him, and he continued to set a blistering pace as he drove on for the historic win for him. Latvala was able to edge out Rivord for second as Douglas County residents to the North finished in the top three positions. Both Lindberg and Larson Jr. had by far their best runs of the season as they completed the top five at the line. Remarkably, twenty four of the twenty five starters completed the race and not a single driver was not on the lead lap.

Parker Anderson led from start to finish to win the Street Stock main event but his lead was challenged throughout the contest. Anderson got a good run at the start and slipped past Danny Richards to be the initial leader. Two early yellows in the first two laps slowed the race, the second of which was a grinding collision off turn four triggered by a spinning car which collected the cars of Nick Traynor, James Clausen, Bob Wahlstrom and Alex Minks and eliminating all four from the race.

Anderson continued when racing resumed but he was soon challenged by Adam Soltis for the lead as Soltis was running very strong on this night and looked to challenge for the top spot. He managed to get the nose of his car under Anderson a couple of times but each time Parker would fight him off as the race remained under the green flag, with the yellow to not appear at all the rest of the event.

Richards, who slipped back after a slow start, then made a charge back up through the field, using the second lane to move back into contention. He picked off several cars and was working on Soltis as the laps ran down.

Anderson was comfortably in front at this point and as he drove on to victory, Soltis held off the last charge by Richards to finish a strong second. Andrew Hanson, Eric Olson and Hunter VanGilder had quite a battle going on in the final laps and Hanson used the high side to drive up to fourth. Olson got spun on the final corner but was restored to fifth in the final running order.

Anderson was the only feature winner of the night to have earlier this season at the track with Saturday night's win being his second here in 2020.

The Pure Stock feature finish was not decided until the cars went through post race technical inspection where apparent winner Bob Thompson's car failed to meet the guidelines and was disqualified giving the win to Jay Folz, who crossed the line second.

Folz lead the opening lap of the race but then never was scored the leader until following the race when he was elevated one position. Cory Jorgensen, the defending national champion, started on the pole but he had a deflating rear tire which slowed him right from the start and allowed Folz to take the early lead.

One lap later, Thompson slipped past him on the high side and took over as the new leader and he would lead the rest of the race. This event was a wild scramble as the yellow would wave a shocking five times in the first two laps, scrambling the field and sending many of the top runners to the back to work their way to the front once again.

As all the action flared back in the pack, Thompson continued to hold the lead with Rob Grabon, Folz and Ryan Olson putting the pressure on him. Grabon nearly took away the lead following a yellow and then Olson also challenged but through it all, Thompson continued to hold down the lead.

A four lap sprint to the finish saw Thompson hold on for the win with Folz coming up strong at the end to apparently take second over Olson and Grabon. Mike Schnider, the big winner here this year was one of the early spin victims and he spent the majority of the race trying to fight his way back into contention and he reached fifth as the checkered flag waved.

However, following the contest, the shocks on winner Thompson's car were ruled to be illegal and he was disqualified and Folz moved up to be the winner over, Olson, Grabon, Schnider and Ryan Clausen.

For Folz, a regular competitor at the track for a number of years, it was his first win of 2020 and his first feature win at the track since the 2013 racing season.

Saturday night's racing action, conducted in front of a large crowd, concluded the 2020 season at the track. Racers and fans should check the speedway face book page for announcements about off season events such as the banquet and updates for the 2021 racing season. The racing season for the Kart track, the Rice Lake Speed Pit, will continue with two more events scheduled yet this year and information on those two races is available on the Speed Pit website.


Rice Lake Speedway

Rice Lake WI

Sept. 5, 2020

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Justin Oestreich(Elk River MN), Jason Gross(Osceola), Zack Drews(Superior), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Cole Spacek(Phillips), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Michael Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Dan Bargender(Menomonie), Mike Anderson(Jim Falls), Cole Varsho(Stratford), Neil Balduc, Kerry Halopka, Mason McEvers, Dave Mayala, Scott Duval, Kyle Helling, Brandon Wytaske, Donnie Lofdahl, Paul Harelstad, Cooper Berlin, Jake Smith, Denny Cutsforth

10 lap Heat 1 – Anderson, Truscott, Oestreich, Varsho, Bargender, Smith, McEvers, Berlin
Heat 2 – Hoffman, Spacek, Halopka(Wheeler), Balduc(Bessemer MI), Helling(Rice Lake), Lofdahl, Mayala
Heat 3 – Gross, Hanson, Drews, Cutsforth(Rice Lake), Harelstad(Bloomer), Wytaske, Duval

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Terran Spacek(Phillips), Tommy Richards(Mondovi), Dave Flynn(Superior), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Jesse Redetzke(Eau Claire), Andy Grymala(Superior), Matt Deragon(Ashland), Austin Workman(Dallas), Tim Borgeson(New Richmond), Darrel Hazelton, C.J. Wagner, Simon Wahlstrom, Marcus Simonson, Chad Johnson, Jeff Eisner Jr, Mickey Anderson, Mike Siewert, Jason Schill, Leslie Leu, Brett Myers, John Adams, Nick Oreskovich, Wayne Dean, Andy Mackey, Scott Pittman

10 lap Heat 1 – Deragon, Wilson, Redetzke, Borgeson, Siewert(Rice Lake), Simonson, Pittman
Heat 2 – Spacek, Grymala, Schill(Centuria), Adams(St. Croix Falls), L. Leu(Medford), Workman, Dylan Leu
Heat 3 – Richards, Olson, Myers(Eau Claire), Johnson(Colfax), Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Eisner Jr, Josh Cappo
Heat 4 – Oreskovich(Mason), Flynn, Mackey(Duluth MN), Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Wagner(Rice Lake), Dean, Anderson

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Cody Carlson(Superior), Jimmy Latvala(Solon Springs), Jack Rivord(Superior), Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Dan Larson Jr(Eau Claire), Cody Borgeson(New Richmond), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Les Duellman(Winona MN), Shadow Kitchner(Arkansaw), Mark Thomas(Menomonie), Kennedy Swan, Doug Toepper, Gunner Peterson, Kent Baxter, Dan Roatch, Tad Schoonover, Jake Stai, Chris Bretting, Shaun Kreyer, Diamond Bressette, Davey Madsen, Fran Hanson, Cory Deilke, Cole Mueller, Lou Puzio

8 lap Heat 1 – Latvala, Swan(Chippewa Falls), Peterson(South Range), Schoonover(Eagle River), Deilke(Eau Claire), Puzio
Heat 2 – Lindberg, Toepper(Forest Lake MN), Thomas, Bretting(Washburn), Bressette(Spooner).
Heat 3 – Larson Jr, Carlson, Baxter(Colfax), Mueller(Chippewa Falls), Kreyer(Hayward), Hanson
Heat 4 – Anderson, Rivord, Borgeson, Duellman, Kitchner, Stai

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Parker Anderson(Phillips), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Danny Richards(Mondovi), Andrew Hanson(Iron River), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Nick Traynor(Barron), Cole Richards(Mondovi), Will Fisher(Shell Lake), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Joe Ott(Spooner), Caiden Engel, Jason Havel, Hunter VanGilder, Michael Tuma, Travis Loew, James Clausen, Bob Wahlstrom, Mike Chaplin, Alex Minks

8 lap Heat 1 – Soltis, Anderson, Havel(Rice Lake), Traynor, Wahlstrom(Chetek), Fisher, Hanestad
Heat 2 – Olson, D. Richards, VanGilder(Rice Lake), Loew(Barron), Tuma(Weyerhaeuser), Minks
Heat 3 – C. Richards, Hanson, Clausen(Barron), Ott, Chaplin(Barron), Engel

WISSOTA Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – Jay Folz(Cameron), Ryan Olson(Ladysmith), Rob Grabon(Bruce), Mike Schnider(Cameron), Ryan Clausen(Prairie Farm), James Rahn(Haugen), Mike Grover(Chetek), Cory Jorgensen(Duluth MN), Chris Gross(Turtle Lake), Mike Holmstrom(Rice Lake), Cody Cimfl, Travis Hazelton, Robert Holmstrom Jr, Tanner Gehl, Austin Fencl, Tristan Scheuermann

8 lap Heat 1 – Bob Thompson(Cameron), Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Jorgensen, Grover, Scheuermann(Eau Claire), Holmstrom Jr
Heat 2 – Olson, Folz, Rahn, Gehl(Solon Springs), Fencl(Bruce), Holmstrom
Heat 3 – Schnider, Grabon, Clausen, Gross, Cimfl(Chetek)