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  .: August 14, 2021 :.

Kennedy Swan Takes Rice Lake Speedway Special

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Aug. 14 – Kennedy Swan, the young lady who is taking all of WISSOTA racing by storm, added to her youthful racing legacy as she led all fifteen laps to win the Midwest Modified “No Mystery” feature race Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway and earn her biggest paycheck yet as a racer when she won the one thousand dollar to win main event. While doing so, she also broke or set several other racing records at the track. (Fry Pan Productions)

Other racing action would also see some significant achievements set as veteran racer Steve Hallquist would win his first ever Modified main event on this same night with other winners being Ryan Olson, Nick Traynor and Travis Loew as the point race at the speedway concluded.

Being crowned as point champions were Ryan Olson, Loew, Austin Ellis, Eric Olson and Mike Anderson. It would be an especially sweet night for the Olson family as not only was Ryan a feature winner, but two generations of the Olson family would share track point titles on the same night.

Twenty cars would start the special for the Midwest Modifieds, the fourth of the track's five classes to have their crack at the “No Mystery” one thousand dollar to win main event.

And the race would be a two car battle for all fifteen laps as Swan, who redrew the pole, would battle with eventual track point champion Austin Ellis throughout the entire race. Swan would work the low groove on the track while Ellis would be up against the outside wall as they circled the track lap after lap, with Swan trying to hold on to the lead while Ellis would continually try to edge past her.

Behind them, quite a battle raged also for third as Caeden Blaeser, who earlier this year became the youngest winner in track history, battled with Jimmy Randall and Simon Wahlstrom for that position.

As those three fought it out for third, Ellis would continue to try and get past Swan. Lap after lap, Ellis would get a good run off turn two and ease up beside Swan down the back chute but he just couldn't complete the pass off turn four as Swan continued to turn lap after steady lap, not once making any kind of mistake.

The last five laps turned into a pressure cooker situation as while both raced for the checkered, the yellow flew three times for minor spins which stopped the action and set the stage for one last shootout which became a one lap sprint to the line following a third spinning car.

Ellis went for broke on the last lap and pushed very hard into turn one, trying to gain that slight margin he needed. Unfortunately, his car pushed up the banking and bounced into the wall which ended his great run. Swan would continue on and cross the finish line unchallenged as the crowd went wild in celebration with many on their feet. With Ellis dropping out on the final lap, Simon Wahlstrom, who made a late race charge, would come home in second with Randall, Blaeser and Cody Carlson cracking the top five at the wire.

On this historic night, along with winning her first ever feature win at the Rice Lake Speedway, Kennedy also became the only female racer in track history to win a main event in the Midwest Modifieds and also became the first female to win a feature win in any class since Chanda Fjorden-Nord last won in 2010.

Steve Hallquist has been a regular competitor at the Rice Lake Speedway for many years, running in multiple divisons over that length of time. However, some would be surprised to learn until Saturday night that he had never won a feature race in the Modified class at the track. In a season marked by frustration for him by his lack of consistent performances, he took care of that one glaring hole in his resume as a driver by scoring a wire to wire feature event win in the Modifieds. After two yellows before a lap could be completed for spins, the race would go green to checkered and Hallquist, who started on the outside pole, would blast away from the field to take the early lead. While a big scramble took place as drivers battled for second and back, Hallquist put his foot to the floor and opened up a considerable lead over the field.

As Hallquist drove away from the pack, Denny Cutsforth would eventually get the second spot while many were watching the charge of Mike Anderson through the pack. Anderson had broken down in his heat race and was forced to start the main from the back but he would charge up through the field as the race wore on.

The last few laps saw Cutsforth and Anderson in an exciting battle for second with slide jobs being thrown back and forth as Anderson would edge out Cutsforth to get the second spot. However, no one was going to catch Hallquist who was on a rail and had opened up nearly a full straightaway on the field and for the second time on the night, a wild celebration would take place in victory lane, one marked by both joy and some relief for Hallquist that he had finally seen that goal achieved. Hallquist's last feature win at the track was in a Super Stock way back in 2008.

The closest point battle was in the Street Stock division but any thoughts of a change in the leadership of that track's points were quashed when Travis Loew, the point leader, would put together a strong run that would see him win his second feature race of the year at the track and clinch the title.

This race would see three different leaders as rookie driver Dan Boissy would lead the opening lap as she pulled away from the field initially but turn four would bite him just one lap later as he would spin in front of the whole twenty one car field but some how, all drivers were able to avoid him and a minor spin would not turn into a multi car pileup.

Jay Kesan would inherit the top spot and the veteran driver would lead the following lap before Loew, moving up from the second row and make a strong pass to take over the lead. He was not able to relax, however, as Kesan would continue to hound him while a new challenger emerged as Shawn Amundson moved up from the third row to put heat on the leaders.

Amundson would take over second from Kesan and close on Loew, with him making a serious attempt at passing for the lead which was halted when the yellow flew again for a spin.

The last four laps would find Loew picking up the pace and Amundson was not able to mount a serious challenge and would have to settle for second as Loew would drive on for the win. Kesan would get a podium finish while Loew's teammate, Nick Traynor, who went to the back early following a spin, would work his way all the way back up to fourth at the finish.

While Traynor would have to settle for fourth in the Street Stock main, he was able to celebrate in victory lane previously, as he won his fourth Super Stock feature race of the season earlier. This would be a race that looked like it might be Willie Johnsen Jr getting the win. The Superior driver started on the front row and took off immediately, building a lead over Simon Wahlstrom and D.J. Keeler. Keeler would drive into the second spot and start to pressure his fellow Superior racer as Terran Spacek was also moving up rapidly.

Unfortunately for Spacek, he inadvertently got into the back of Keeler, spinning him and triggering the yellow flag that would send him to the back of the pack. On the green, Keeler very nearly passed Johnsen Jr for the lead but a yellow saved Johnsen as Wahlstrom stalled on the track.

While Traynor, who started seventh in the race, wasn't yet even into the top five at the race's midpoint, once he got rolling he began to pick off cars using the high side of the track at a rapid pace as he drove up to second and then began to challenge Johnsen Jr for the lead.

Traynor would continue to work the high side of the track and his momentum up there was strong as he pulled up beside Johnsen Jr and coming down the front chute with just four laps to go, was able to power into the lead. Once in front, he was able to pull away in the last few laps as he would drive on for a class leading high water mark for feature races won. Johnsen Jr would finish a solid second ahead of a steady Eric Olson and Spacek would drive all the way back up to fourth from the rear.

The Pure Stocks would wrap up the evening with another in a series of wild feature races for this class. Seventeen of the twenty cars on hand would start the main event and it would take three tries to get the first lap completed. The second yellow proved to be most damaging as Travis Hazelton, who had taken the early lead, was turned around in turn one with another car running into him and the early leader was done with a broken radiator.

Nicholas Hazelton would then take over family leadership of the top spot and he would hold that position for the first half of the race while behind him there was a wild scramble for position. A couple of cars got hooked together down the back stretch and in a bad collision, Bob Wahlstrom got turned driver side first into the concrete wall at high speed. The red flag was needed and it took a few minutes, but Wahlstrom was able to exit the car under his own power but his night was done.

Nicholas Hazelton would continue to lead with Ryan Olson working his way into second after starting in row four and just as the halfway point of the race was reached, Olson, showing smooth skills far beyond his years, drove under Hazelton to take over the lead.

And once in front, he would make no mistakes and not give anyone the chance to get a nose under his car. He would drive home for the win and cement his point title in this, the high school student's second year behind the wheel of a race car. James Rahn and Hazelton would rub hard as they raced for second with Rahn ending up taking the spot and Randy Graham would use the opportunity to edge past Hazelton for third. Bryar Zimmerman would celebrate his twenty third birthday by rounding out the top five.

With the point season complete, drivers will now focus on trying to win a track title as Season Championship races are scheduled for next Saturady night. All drivers are welcome with the heat races being lined up by track points for the season and the heat race results used to set the running order for the main events. Old Southern BBQ will be the presenting sponsor for the Season Championships.

The rain date for this event is Saturday night, August 28th. If the championships are completed as scheduled next Saturday, then the 28th will be a regular night of racing for all five classes with draw/redraw used to set the lineups on that night. National points but not track points will be awarded on that night.

The season will conclude on Saturday night, September 4th with the running of the annual Labor Day weekend event. This will be a special for all five classes with extra money on the line for all divisions and the Pure Stocks will be racing for a thousand dollars to win as their part in the “No Mystery” feature race series. Check the speedway face book page and website for any updates or changes.

Media Results

Results formatted for use in newspapers, magazines, and online publications.

9 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 27H-Steve Hallquist[2]; 2. 57-Mike Anderson[9]; 3. 20-Denny Cutsforth[5]; 4. 308-Pat Hoffman[3]; 5. 11-Sam Fankhauser[6]; 6. 10-Kyle Helling[1]; 7. 204-David Mayala[8]; 8. (DNF) 1H-Paul Harelstad[4]; 9. (DNF) 18W-Wayne Poteet[7]

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 27H-Steve Hallquist[1]; 2. 1H-Paul Harelstad[4]; 3. 20-Denny Cutsforth[9]; 4. 308-Pat Hoffman[7]; 5. 10-Kyle Helling[2]; 6. 11-Sam Fankhauser[8]; 7. 18W-Wayne Poteet[6]; 8. 204-David Mayala[3]; 9. (DNF) 57-Mike Anderson[5]

17 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 40-Nick Traynor[7]; 2. 18-Willie Johnsen Jr[1]; 3. 1E-Eric Olson[8]; 4. 22T-Terran Spacek[5]; 5. 12K-Duane (DJ) Keeler[4]; 6. 245-James Cimfl[9]; 7. 67-Josh Bach[14]; 8. 14X-Leslie Leu[10]; 9. 10B-Rich Bishop[3]; 10. 21-Mike Siewert[12]; 11. S43-William Retzloff[13]; 12. 28-Josh Cappo[15]; 13. (DNF) 52-Sam Fankhauser[6]; 14. (DNF) 01-Michael Anderson[16]; 15. (DNF) X-Simon Wahlstrom[2]; 16. (DNF) 22-Robert Holmstrom Jr[17]; 17. (DNS) 77-Josh Saunders

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 12K-Duane (DJ) Keeler[8]; 2. X-Simon Wahlstrom[7]; 3. 40-Nick Traynor[3]; 4. 10B-Rich Bishop[2]; 5. 245-James Cimfl[9]; 6. 77-Josh Saunders[1]; 7. S43-William Retzloff[5]; 8. 28-Josh Cappo[6]; 9. 22-Robert Holmstrom Jr[4]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 22T-Terran Spacek[2]; 2. 18-Willie Johnsen Jr[4]; 3. 1E-Eric Olson[5]; 4. 52-Sam Fankhauser[7]; 5. 14X-Leslie Leu[6]; 6. 21-Mike Siewert[3]; 7. 67-Josh Bach[8]; 8. 01-Michael Anderson[1]

20 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 18S-Kennedy Swan[1]; 2. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[5]; 3. 15R-Jim Randall[4]; 4. 43K-Kaden Blaeser[3]; 5. 32III-Cody Carlson[9]; 6. 37-Travis Anderson[8]; 7. 40-Mike Schnider[12]; 8. 4-Kenny Kincaid[11]; 9. 221-Aric Lindberg[15]; 10. 47-Tad Schoonover[13]; 11. 13M-Cole Mueller[7]; 12. 6-Cory Deilke[18]; 13. 28-Francis Hanson[10]; 14. 410-Jesse Young[19]; 15. 19H-Kevin Herrman[17]; 16. (DNF) 20-Austin Ellis[2]; 17. (DNF) 23-Darren Olesiak[14]; 18. (DNF) 21-Jimmy Latvala[6]; 19. (DNF) 93-CJ Wagner[20]; 20. (DNF) 2-Tanner Gehl[16]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 43K-Kaden Blaeser[1]; 2. 15R-Jim Randall[2]; 3. 13M-Cole Mueller[3]; 4. 28-Francis Hanson[4]; 5. 47-Tad Schoonover[5]; 6. 2-Tanner Gehl[6]; 7. (DNF) 93-CJ Wagner[7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 37-Travis Anderson[4]; 2. 18S-Kennedy Swan[5]; 3. 21-Jimmy Latvala[1]; 4. 4-Kenny Kincaid[3]; 5. 23-Darren Olesiak[6]; 6. 19H-Kevin Herrman[7]; 7. 410-Jesse Young[2]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 32III-Cody Carlson[3]; 2. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[6]; 3. 20-Austin Ellis[4]; 4. 40-Mike Schnider[5]; 5. 221-Aric Lindberg[2]; 6. 6-Cory Deilke[1]

21 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 40-Travis Loew[3]; 2. 30-Shawn Amundson[5]; 3. 12K-Jay Kesan[4]; 4. 40T-Nick Traynor[9]; 5. 9-Adam Soltis[6]; 6. 15-Jim Randall[20]; 7. 26T-Ty Agen[7]; 8. 04-Travis Hazelton[19]; 9. 20-Andrew Hanson[8]; 10. 24-James Clausen[10]; 11. 33-Daniel Boissy[1]; 12. 79-Joseph Ott[11]; 13. 7-Caiden Engel[15]; 14. 37-Mike Chaplin[18]; 15. 71X-William Fisher[12]; 16. T20-Michael Tuma[21]; 17. 17-Zach Beaulieu[2]; 18. (DNF) 66-Randy Graham[16]; 19. (DNF) 5H-Jason Havel[13]; 20. (DNF) 19H-Jenna Herrman[17]; 21. (DNF) 4-Matt Bray[14]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 26T-Ty Agen[4]; 2. 40-Travis Loew[3]; 3. 17-Zach Beaulieu[1]; 4. 24-James Clausen[7]; 5. 5H-Jason Havel[2]; 6. 66-Randy Graham[5]; 7. (DNF) 04-Travis Hazelton[6]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 30-Shawn Amundson[6]; 2. 12K-Jay Kesan[2]; 3. 33-Daniel Boissy[5]; 4. 79-Joseph Ott[1]; 5. 4-Matt Bray[3]; 6. 19H-Jenna Herrman[7]; 7. (DNF) 15-Jim Randall[4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 40T-Nick Traynor[1]; 2. 20-Andrew Hanson[3]; 3. 9-Adam Soltis[5]; 4. 71X-William Fisher[2]; 5. 7-Caiden Engel[4]; 6. 37-Mike Chaplin[7]; 7. (DNF) T20-Michael Tuma[6]

20 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[8]; 2. 23R-James Rahn[6]; 3. 57-Randy Graham[12]; 4. 2B-Nicholas Hazelton[4]; 5. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[9]; 6. 95F-Devin Fries[14]; 7. 2S-Tristan Scheuermann[16]; 8. 70-Bob Thompson[15]; 9. 72-Cully Butterfield[11]; 10. 101-Michael Grover[5]; 11. 52F-Austin Fencl[1]; 12. 23-Skylar Findley[13]; 13. 52-Zachary Folz[17]; 14. (DNF) 17G-Chris Gross[18]; 15. (DNF) 88-Robert Wahlstrom[7]; 16. (DNF) OXSR-Michael Huebner Sr[3]; 17. (DNF) 31-Travis Hazelton[2]; 18. (DNS) 31T-Tom Treviranus; 19. (DNS) 91-Michael Holmstrom; 20. (DNS) 4K-Terry Kemp

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 23R-James Rahn[6]; 2. 2B-Nicholas Hazelton[1]; 3. 52F-Austin Fencl[4]; 4. 31T-Tom Treviranus[3]; 5. 23-Skylar Findley[7]; 6. (DNF) 91-Michael Holmstrom[5]; 7. (DNF) 4K-Terry Kemp[2]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 31-Travis Hazelton[7]; 2. OXSR-Michael Huebner Sr[4]; 3. 101-Michael Grover[2]; 4. 72-Cully Butterfield[3]; 5. 95F-Devin Fries[5]; 6. 2S-Tristan Scheuermann[6]; 7. 17G-Chris Gross[1]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[2]; 2. 1-Ryan Olson[4]; 3. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[5]; 4. 57-Randy Graham[6]; 5. 70-Bob Thompson[3]; 6. 52-Zachary Folz[1]