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  .: April 10, 2021 :.

Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, April 10 – Racers, crews, sponsors, car owners, track workers and fans all gathered on Saturday night, April 10th at the Rice Lake Elks Club to celebrate and put the 2020 racing season in their rear view mirrors. While the season was one of the most challenging in recent memory, all made the best of things to enjoy their Saturday nights at the track and came together to wrap up the season. The 2020 racing season did not get started until May 30th and the eleven race season was perhaps the shortest complete season in the sixty nine year history of the track. However, races were held and champions were produced and the most successful of the racers were honored on Saturday.

The top ten drivers in each of the five classes that race at the speedway weekly were honored along with special awards presented. Track co-owner Dave Adams served as the Master of Ceremonies on Saturday and he provided a preview of what the 2021 racing season would look like and gave details on some of the special events, particularly the new events on the schedule for the coming season.

Then it was time to award the trophies and honor the champions.

Honored as the Pure Stock point champion was Mike Schnider from Cameron. Schnider, with six feature wins in 2020 tied for the most feature wins at the track. His feature wins were also the first for him since the 2012 racing season. Schnider's hold on the track point title will go undefended in 2021 as Mike will move up to the Midwest Modified division for the coming season. Second in points was “Biker” Bob Thompson, also from Cameron. Completing the top ten were rookie Ryan Olson from Ladysmith, Travis Hazelton from Chippewa Falls, Jay Folz from Cameron, Mike Grover from Chetek, Leonard Ostererberg Jr from Cameron, Mike Holmstrom from Rice Lake, Chris Gross from Turtle Lake and Austin Fencl from Bruce.

Winning the Street Stock title was Cody Kummer from Medford, who edged out Travis Loew from Barron by fifty nine points in the final tabulation. Following the top two were Kolby Kiehl from Barron, Joe Ott from Spooner, James Clausen from Barron, Will Fisher from Shell Lake, Hunter VanGilder from Rice Lake, Shawn Amundson also from Rice Lake, Andrew Hanson from Iron River and Alex Minks from Bruce.

Winning his first ever point title at the Rice Lake Speedway was Midwest Modified driver Travis Anderson from Colfax. Along with winning two feature races, Anderson edged out Jamie Bisonette from Dallas by thirty one points to take the top honors. Shane Halopka from Greenwood finished third. Halopka also kept his streak going with his three feature wins giving him forty eight total overall in the Midwest Modified class which is number one overall in track history. He has also won at least one feature race for fifteen consecutive years at the track. Rounding out the top ten were Craig Elliott from Hillsdale, Fran Hanson from Almena, Rookie Zach Slayton from Springbrook, Austin Ellis from Rice Lake, Tony Bahr from Haugen, another rookie in Kennedy Swan from Chippewa Falls and Jake Stai from New Auburn.

Veteran Ladysmith racer Eric Olson won yet another track point title as he won the Super Stock point championship, narrowly holding off Simon Wahlstrom from Rice Lake in the closest finish as Olson won by the narrow margin of eleven points. Nick Traynor from Barron finished a very close third with Curt Myers from Cameron fourth. Myers also tied for the most feature wins at the track as he earned six. Rounding out the Super Stock top finishers were Mickey Anderson from Dallas, C.J. Wagner from Rice Lake, Josh Cappo from Almena, Mike Siewert from Rice Lake, Bart Steffen from Eau Claire and Willie Johnsen Jr from Superior.

Mike Anderson from Jim Falls added to his honors at the Rice Lake Speedway as along with winning the Modified point title, Anderson extended his string of yearly feature wins, now extending to seventeen consecutive years that he has won at least one feature win. He had a large ninety eight point lead over division runner up Kyle Helling from Rice Lake. The others in the Modifieds included Sam Fankhauser from Rice Lake, Pat Hoffman from Rice Lake, Dave Mayala from Barron, Wayne Poteet from Spooner, Steve Hallquist from Eau Claire, Zack Drews from Superior, Mark Hessler from Menomonie and Cooper Berlin from Rice Lake.

Adams announced that the special award determined by himself and co-owner Mitch Hansen for special service to the speedway would go to Bud Young and family who are in charge of clean up at the facility. The evening then concluded with the awarding of door prizes and fellowship.

Adams also announced that as of this time, everything is still on schedule for the practice session to take place on Thursday night, April 22nd with the sixth ninth consecutive season opener slated for Saturday night, April 24th. The first special event is scheduled for Saturday night, May 15th with the running of the Trackside Collectibles 40 for WISSOTA Late Models.

Any questions regarding the speedway should be directed to Adams at 715-205-2861 or Hansen at 715-205-1122.