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  .: July 31, 2021 :.

Jimmy Mars Wins Swant Graber 40 at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, July 31 – Jimmy Mars passed veteran racer Steve Laursen with ten laps to go for the lead and then would go on to win the Swant Graber Motors 40 Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. The Late Model special, part of the Structural Buildings WISSOTA Challenge Series, would see the Menomonie racer attempt many passes before finding the right combination to get past Laursen and then go on for the win.

Seventeen cars would take the green flag for the forty lap main event and the first thirty one laps would go nonstop as the racers tore around the third mile oval. Laursen would start on the outside pole and ge the early lead as he rode the banking past Sam Mars, Jimmy's son, to take the initial lead. One lap later Jimmy would also use the high side to get past his son and then take off after the leader Laursen.

Meanwhile, a good battle behind them saw Jake Redetzke, John Kaanta and Rick Hanestad battling for position as they swapped spots behind the top three.

Laursen was working the high side all the way around the track and making that groove work for him but gradually, Mars would start to close in on him. The two leaders then engaged in a game of “cat and mouse” as Mars would try both high and low to get past the leader but mulitiple attempts would prove to be unsuccessful.

Several times Mars would get up beside Laursen but each time Steve would be able to outgun Mars down the straightaways and hold on to the top spot. Eventually the racers would find that the lower groove in turns three and four was best but they continued to pound the high side in one and two.

When Laursen caught some traffic, things got even tighter as he tried to get past the slower cars while not opening the door for Mars and there were a couple of near misses as the leaders worked through the traffic. As the top two got bogged down some in traffic, Hanestad, who had claimed the third spot, began to close in on the leaders himself as he tried to make it a three car battle.

With only ten laps to go, the move of the race took place when Laursen, having passed a lapped car, didn't get quite as far up the banking in turn one as normal and Mars jumped on the opportunity, getting a big run off the banking and then shooting past Laursen down the back chute to take over the lead.

One lap later the first yellow flew when Aaron Wilson spun in turn three with Mars now the leader.On the restart, Laursen was able to stay with Mars but could not attempt a move to regain the lead as Jimmy would hold him off.

One late yellow for debris set up a two lap dash to the finish but the single file restart allowed Mars to pull away and flash under the checkered flag for the Challenge Series win and earn a check for $2,000. Laursen would finish a close second with Hanestad third. Completing the top five were Redetzke and Sam Mars. Fifteen of the seventeen starters were still on the track at the finish.

For Jimmy, it was his seventh career Late Model win at Rice Lake but his first since the 2018 racing season.

The Structural Buildings WISSOTA Challenge Series will next compete on Friday night, August 13th at the Red Cedar Speedway in Menomonie Wisconsin for the Duane Mahder 55 while the Rice Lake Speedway will be back in action on Tuesday night, August 3rd for their biggest race of the year as the Street Stock “Little Dream” race will take center stage. Sixty or more Street Stocks from at least five states will compete for a top prize that is based on fan contributions and last year winner Nick Traynor went home with $26,000 for his efforts. Race time is 7 pm.

17 entries


Structural Buildings A Feature 1 (40 Laps): 1. 28-Jimmy Mars[4]; 2. 19-Steve Laursen[2]; 3. 71-Rick Hanestad[6]; 4. 27-Jake Redetzke[3]; 5. 28S-Sam Mars[1]; 6. 85-John Kaanta[5]; 7. 44-Darrell Nelson[9]; 8. 68-Mike Prochnow[8]; 9. 54-Rick Niemi[11]; 10. 6M-Jeffrey Massingill[7]; 11. 92-Aaron Wilson[14]; 12. 21XC-Joel Collins[10]; 13. 87-Curt Kranz[16]; 14. 44X-Jarrett Loe[17]; 15. 22-Sam Motzer[12]; 16. (DNF) 51-Randy Gullixson[15]; 17. (DNF) 71JR-Buddy Hanestad[13]

Joe Provo Racewear Heat 1 (12 Laps): 1. 85-John Kaanta[1]; 2. 28-Jimmy Mars[5]; 3. 27-Jake Redetzke[3]; 4. 71-Rick Hanestad[6]; 5. 44-Darrell Nelson[8]; 6. 22-Sam Motzer[4]; 7. 54-Rick Niemi[9]; 8. 51-Randy Gullixson[2]; 9. 44X-Jarrett Loe[7]

Dirt Track Supply Heat 2 (12 Laps): 1. 68-Mike Prochnow[2]; 2. 28S-Sam Mars[3]; 3. 6M-Jeffrey Massingill[4]; 4. 19-Steve Laursen[7]; 5. 21XC-Joel Collins[1]; 6. 71JR-Buddy Hanestad[5]; 7. 92-Aaron Wilson[8]; 8. 87-Curt Kranz[6]