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  .: July 30, 2022 :.

Nelson Takes Swant-Graber 40 Late Model Special at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, July 30 – Darrell Nelson came from the fifth starting spot to sweep past leader Pat Doar on lap twenty nine and then drive on to win the Swant-Graber WISSOTA Late Model special Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. It was the second special event for the Late Models at Rice Lake this year and also the second win for Nelson as he also outdueled Doar for the win in the May event. It would be a very successful night for Nelson who would also win the WISSOTA Modified feature which was a part of the night's program.

Nineteen Late Models would take the green flag for the forty lap main event with Doar starting on the outside pole and jumping into the early lead. Dave Flynn and Buddy Hanestad would battle for the second spot as Doar moved away from the pack in the early going.

Only four laps would be completed before the first yellow flew for debris on the back chute with Doar holding the top spot over Flynn, Hanestad, Greg Nippoldt and Rick Hanestad. Under green once again, Doar would again put distance on the field while the battle for second would see Buddy Hanestad and Flynn trading the second spot back and forth while being pressured by Nippoldt from behind.

The yellow would fly one more time when Larry Fitzsimmons would glance off the front stretch wall and then spin to the inside of the track, triggering another slowdown. Fitzsimmons would not continue as he would drive off the track with front end issues.

Nelson would finally appear in the top five for the first time at this juncture as he had slipped back just a bit on the opening few laps. However, the final twenty eight laps of this race would go nonstop and Nelson would be the first to pick up on the changing track conditions.

The racing surface started to clean off and the high side improved and following the restart, Nelson would move up the track and find immediate success. He would drive past Nippoldt, Flynn and after a tough struggle, finally Buddy Hanestad to move into second as his speed had picked up markedly when he moved up the race track.

With the track widening out, Nelson would drive hard around the top side and pick up more speed with even the third and forth turns, which had been mostly on the bottom earlier, allowing drivers to now roll through the middle of the corner and keep more momentum.

At the halfway point of the race, Doar still had a comfortable lead with Nelson now cracking into second over Buddy Hanestad, Nippoldt and Flynn. However, Nelson was now clearly the fastest car on the track and was starting to cut into Doar's lead, which at this time still was the better part of a straightaway over the field. But Nelson was on a charge and over the next few laps, he was able to cut into Doar's advantage significantly, to the point that by lap twenty six, he was riding the tail of Doar and looking for a route to pass him.

The two drivers that had battled it out in the May race here would go at it once again, but the tables would be turned for this event. Instead of Doar trying to track down Nelson as in May, it was Nelson trying to find a route past Doar for the lead.

Darrell would get a great run off turn two and try to ease past Doar down the back chute but Pat was just fast enough to disrupt Darrell's line and he would have to ease off. Finally, going down the back chute on lap twenty nine, Nelson was able to get up beside the leader and with a strong push through turn three, he would pull ahead of Doar down the front chute to take over the lead. And once in front, he quickly began to put distance on Doar as Nelson had found a winning line, driving his car deep into the corners and then allowing it to drift up the track on exit where he would then pick up the throttle and sweep down the straightaways. Doar's more conventional line through the corners was not allowing him to keep his momemtum up as well as Nelson began to pull away.

Another driver who spotted that same line and began to make it work was Sam Mars. Languishing outside the top five. Sam suddenly began to pick up the pace as he too moved up the track and began to sweep through the corners. Soon he was knocking on a top five running spot.

Nelson would continue his charge and gradually began to pull away from Doar over the last few laps anc would be unchallenged as he would cross the line as the winner. Nippoldt would have his best run ever here as he finished a solid third and Mars would continue his charge to the front, sweeping past Buddy Hanestad on the closing laps to finish fourth. Fourteen of the starters were still on the track at the finish and only two were not on the lead lap. Nelson would earn two thousand dollars for his victory and remain unbeaten at the track this year. The win was his seventh all time victory at Rice Lake in the Late Models to go along with another ten triumphs driving his Modified.

The WISSOTA Late Models will return to the Rice Lake Speedway one more time in 2022 as they have another forty lap, two thousand dollar to win scheduled event on Saturday night, August 13th. They will be joined by all five classes that routinely race at the track on that night as Nelson strives to be unbeaten at the track in 2022.


19 entries


Structural Buildings A Feature 1 (40 Laps): 1. 44-Darrell Nelson[5]; 2. 11-Pat Doar[2]; 3. 55N-Greg Nippoldt[6]; 4. 28-Sam Mars[8]; 5. 71JR-Buddy Hanestad[1]; 6. 71H-Rick Hanestad[3]; 7. 68-Mike Prochnow[11]; 8. 29F-Dave Flynn[4]; 9. 85-John Kaanta[9]; 10. 32-Max Nelson[14]; 11. 42-Paul Niznik[7]; 12. 1-Lukas Koski[12]; 13. T18-TJ Adams[17]; 14. 77-Brandon Englund[19]; 15. (DNF) 89-Scott Meeds[16]; 16. (DNF) 73-Larry Fitzsimmons[18]; 17. (DNF) 92-Aaron Wilson[10]; 18. (DNF) 50-Gavin Tarras[15]; 19. (DNF) 17J-Marcus Simonson[13]

Heat 1 (12 Laps): 1. 71H-Rick Hanestad[2]; 2. 85-John Kaanta[4]; 3. 42-Paul Niznik[3]; 4. 92-Aaron Wilson[6]; 5. 17J-Marcus Simonson[5]; 6. 89-Scott Meeds[1]; 7. 77-Brandon Englund[7]

Heat 2 (12 Laps): 1. 11-Pat Doar[1]; 2. 44-Darrell Nelson[2]; 3. 28-Sam Mars[3]; 4. 68-Mike Prochnow[6]; 5. 32-Max Nelson[4]; 6. T18-TJ Adams[5]

Heat 3 (12 Laps): 1. 29F-Dave Flynn[1]; 2. 55N-Greg Nippoldt[5]; 3. 71JR-Buddy Hanestad[3]; 4. 1-Lukas Koski[4]; 5. 50-Gavin Tarras[2]; 6. 73-Larry Fitzsimmons[6]