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  .: August 21, 2021 :.

Season Champions Crowned at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake Wi, Aug. 21 – It was Season Championship night on Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. Drivers were lined up by points accumulated during the racing season and they then raced their way into feature qualifying positions with five main events to determine the champions. Winning the five mains and being crowned as champions for the season were Ryan Olson in the Pure Stocks, Jason Havel in the Street Stocks, Simon Wahlstrom in the Midwest Modifieds, Dave Flynn in the Super Stocks and Shane Halopka in the Modifieds. For both Havel and Halopka, their first wins of the year also were championship wins. (Fry Pan Productions)

It has been quite the year for Olson as the second year driver won both the points title and with his win on Saturday, also the track championship title. He was the only one of the five winners on Saturday who also took the point title at the track.

He swept the boards, winning both his heat race and also the feature and led every lap in doing so. However, the win was not an easy one as he was challenged for most of the race by Randy Graham, who rode outside of him for much of the race and threatened to make an outside pass several times.

The early portion of the race saw the top five competitors running in close formation with Olson leading but the others always threatening. Graham and James Rahn battled for second before Graham secured that spot and then went after Olson for the lead.

The race was stopped only once but the slowdown became a red flag situation when Mike Grover, running among the leaders, spun in turn four and rookie driver Skylar Findley didn't see the spun cars as he was surrounded by other racers and he slammed full force into the side of Grover's car with enough energy to shove Grover's car over on to its side. It was a violent impact but fortunately both drivers were able to walk away unharmed but with badly damaged race cars.

Olson would continue to lead on the green with Graham still trying to get around him until finally settling into second spot. Ryan would eventually drive home for his fourth win of the year, tops in the division. The driver that really picked up the pace late in the race was rookie Bryar Zimmerman who was running fifth at the midpoint of the contest. He found a lane up the track that suited his car and he drove past Cody Cimfl and Rahn to take third and was closing on the leaders as the checkered flag flew. Sixteen year old Olson may very well be the youngest point champion in track history and certainly the youngest to win both points and a season title in the same racing season.

Jason Havel swept the boards also winning both the heat and the feature race in the Street Stock class. Havel, who has raced only sparingly at the track this year, was on point this night as he drove away from the field in the late going of the race to take the win. Havel had young Cole Richards stalking him in the early going of the race, several times tapping on the back bumper of the Havel car, but each time Jason would hold his line and then pull away slightly from the Mondovi racer.

With the race stopped only once for a midrace spin, the event ran off quickly and when Havel got a bit of a lead, he would stretch it in the final laps. Richards would drive on to get his best finish at the track and Joe Ott made a late race charge that saw him drive all the way up to third at the checkers.

For Havel, it was his first feature race win in the Street Stocks since the 2018 racing season.

Simon Wahlstrom has been the driver to beat in the Midwest Modified class all season and that didn't change on championship night as he outfought Kennedy Swan early and then held off Austin Ellis to win the championship feature race and take his fifth win of the year at the track, tops for his division. He started side by side with Swan and used the outside line to grab the lap one lead in the main. However, Swan was changing and she took over the point one lap later. However, Simon was not giving up and he started to make the top lane work for him and by lap five, he was able to drive around Swan and retake the point.

A grinding crash in turn one with six laps complete eliminated Zach Slayton and Fran Hanson from the contest and bunched the field once again.

Swan continued to press the issue as she tried hard to retake the lead once again. Following another spin on lap nine, Swan went for broke on the restart, trying to get to the inside of Wahlstrom in turn one. However, she couldn't maintain control and spun which triggered one more yellow and sent her to the back of the pack.

From this point, Wahlstrom would maintain the lead for the rest of the event, although point champion Austin Ellis would put the pressure on Wahlstrom but could never mount a serious challenge in the remaining laps. Ellis would settle for second with Brady Larson racing his way into third at the line.

An infrequent visitor would dominate the Super Stock main event as Superior's Dave Flynn, who does have one 2021 win at the track, would double his total as he would dominate the twenty lap feature for the Super Stocks.

After a first lap spin, this race would go nonstop to its conclusion and Flynn would build up a big lead after first fighting off Sam Fankhauser and then Eric Olson. After Olson got by Fankhauser for second, he would then try to catch Flynn and while he closed for a bit, eventually Flynn would again start to pull away and with no yellow flags to slow the contest, Flynn drove off to a very nice sized lead.

At the finish, Flynn had a comfortable margin over Olson and Fankhauser.

Perhaps the drive of the night was turned in by Modified driver Shane Halopka as he caught and then passed probably the two consistently fastest drivers in the division all year, Kevin Adams and Mike Anderson and then would go on for his first win here this season.

Anderson would start on the pole for what would turn out to be a nonstop twenty lap feature for the Modifieds and would pull right out to the early lead. Halopka started fifth but he was immediately very fast and he raced his way quickly into third where he began to put the pressure on Adams. Kevin was running the high side of the track while Halopka found a fast line right through the middle of the corners and when Adams slipped too high on both ends of the track, Halopka drove under him for second.

Anderson was running unopposed in the lead but Halopka slowly and then later, at a quicker pace, began to reel in the leader. By the halfway point of the race, Halopka was within two car lengths of the leader and when Shane made his move for the lead, Anderson was not able to provide any resistance and just as Adams had slipped up the track when challenged, Anderson wasn't able to maintain his pace and Halopka drove under him and then for good measure, drove away in the last few laps to put a cap on an outstanding performance.

Not only was it Halopka's first win of the year at Rice Lake, it was also his first Modified win here since moving up from the Midwest Modifieds this year. And in doing so, Halopka kept alive an amazing win streak that has seen him win at least one feature race at Rice Lake for the last sixteen consecutive years. Fankhauser and Denny Cutsforth would complete the top five on this night.

Two more races remain on the schedule for the 2021 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway. Next Saturday night will be a regular five class program with the draw/redraw method of lining up the cars being used, thus allowing everyone the opportunity of racing their way on to the pole of the main events. Quanex will be the presenting sponsor next Saturday night.

And then, the 2021 racing season will conclude on Saturday night, September 4th with the annual Labor Day weekend special. The final “No Mystery” feature race will be conducted with the Pure Stocks the featured class for that, while the other four classes will be racing for a larger purse also including a thousand dollars to win for the Modifieds, $800 for the Super Stocks, $600 for the Midwest Modifieds and $500 for the Street Stocks. More information these races will be available on the speedway face book page and website.

Media Results

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

11 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 3JR-Shane Halopka[5]; 2. 57-Mike Anderson[1]; 3. 40-Kevin Adams[3]; 4. 11-Sam Fankhauser[2]; 5. 20-Denny Cutsforth[7]; 6. 27H-Steve Hallquist[11]; 7. 308-Pat Hoffman[4]; 8. 204-David Mayala[8]; 9. 18W-Wayne Poteet[6]; 10. 10-Kyle Helling[9]; 11. 33-Cooper Berlin[10]

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 57-Mike Anderson[1]; 2. 40-Kevin Adams[4]; 3. 3JR-Shane Halopka[6]; 4. 20-Denny Cutsforth[2]; 5. 10-Kyle Helling[3]; 6. 27H-Steve Hallquist[5]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 11-Sam Fankhauser[1]; 2. 308-Pat Hoffman[2]; 3. 18W-Wayne Poteet[4]; 4. 204-David Mayala[3]; 5. (DNF) 33-Cooper Berlin[5]

10 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 29F-Dave Flynn[1]; 2. 1E-Eric Olson[3]; 3. 52-Sam Fankhauser[2]; 4. 77-Josh Saunders[9]; 5. 2F-Jeffrey Frey[4]; 6. 245-Andy Cimfl[7]; 7. 21-Mike Siewert[5]; 8. 28-Josh Cappo[8]; 9. (DNS) 01-Michael Anderson; 10. (DNS) 22-Robert Holmstrom Jr

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 29F-Dave Flynn[4]; 2. 1E-Eric Olson[1]; 3. 21-Mike Siewert[3]; 4. 245-Andy Cimfl[5]; 5. 77-Josh Saunders[2]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 52-Sam Fankhauser[5]; 2. 2F-Jeffrey Frey[4]; 3. 01-Michael Anderson[1]; 4. 28-Josh Cappo[2]; 5. 22-Robert Holmstrom Jr[3]

14 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[2]; 2. 20-Austin Ellis[5]; 3. 63JR-Brady Larson[7]; 4. 221-Aric Lindberg[9]; 5. 37-Travis Anderson[3]; 6. 6-Cory Deilke[10]; 7. 40-Mike Schnider[4]; 8. 18S-Kennedy Swan[1]; 9. 33-Cooper Berlin[12]; 10. 40S-Larry Scott[11]; 11. 19H-Kevin Herrman[13]; 12. (DNF) 410-Jesse Young[14]; 13. (DNF) 28-Francis Hanson[6]; 14. (DNF) 46-Zach Slayton[8]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 18S-Kennedy Swan[3]; 2. 37-Travis Anderson[2]; 3. 20-Austin Ellis[1]; 4. 63JR-Brady Larson[6]; 5. 221-Aric Lindberg[5]; 6. 40S-Larry Scott[7]; 7. 19H-Kevin Herrman[4]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[1]; 2. 40-Mike Schnider[2]; 3. 28-Francis Hanson[3]; 4. 46-Zach Slayton[4]; 5. 6-Cory Deilke[5]; 6. 33-Cooper Berlin[7]; 7. 410-Jesse Young[6]

7 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 5H-Jason Havel[1]; 2. 1R-Cole Richards[3]; 3. 79-Joseph Ott[5]; 4. 37-Mike Chaplin[4]; 5. 17-Zach Beaulieu[2]; 6. 66-Randy Graham[6]; 7. 19H-Jenna Herrman[7]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 5H-Jason Havel[3]; 2. 17-Zach Beaulieu[2]; 3. 1R-Cole Richards[5]; 4. 37-Mike Chaplin[4]; 5. 79-Joseph Ott[1]; 6. 66-Randy Graham[7]; 7. 19H-Jenna Herrman[6]

13 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[1]; 2. 57-Randy Graham[2]; 3. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[3]; 4. 23R-James Rahn[4]; 5. 63-Cody Cimfl[5]; 6. 70-Bob Thompson[7]; 7. 52F-Austin Fencl[9]; 8. 72-Cully Butterfield[11]; 9. 52-Zachary Folz[10]; 10. 17G-Chris Gross[13]; 11. (DNF) 91-Michael Holmstrom[8]; 12. (DNF) 101-Michael Grover[6]; 13. (DNF) 23-Skylar Findley[12]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[1]; 2. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[5]; 3. 63-Cody Cimfl[7]; 4. 70-Bob Thompson[2]; 5. 52F-Austin Fencl[4]; 6. 72-Cully Butterfield[3]; 7. 17G-Chris Gross[6]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 57-Randy Graham[1]; 2. 23R-James Rahn[2]; 3. 101-Michael Grover[3]; 4. 91-Michael Holmstrom[4]; 5. 52-Zachary Folz[5]; 6. 23-Skylar Findley[6]