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  .: March 28, 2022 :.

Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate

Modifieds: Crystal Fankhauser picking up the award for Mike Anderson
Pure Stock: Rayn Olson
Super Stock: Eric Olson
MWM: Austin Ellis
Street Stock: Travi Loew

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, March 26 – Racers and fans of the Rice Lake Speedway officially concluded the 2021 racing season with the annual banquet which was held on Saturday night, March 26th at the Rice Lake Elks Club. Dave Adams and Mitch Hansen, principles of Adams-Hansen Inc, the owers and operators of the speedway, were on hand to pass out awards and thank the drivers and fans for their participation in the come back season for the speedway following the Covid reduced 2020 racing season.

Honored were the top ten drivers in each class that competes at the speedway along with some special award winners.

A record was set at the speedway in 2021 as for the first time in the track's sixty nine year history, a father and son team both won track championships on the same year at the track. Eric Olson was the track Super Stock champion while his son Ryan topped the Pure Stock division as the two Ladysmith drivers became the first ever father and son team to win titles at the track on the same year.

Along with them, also honored were the other three track champions, Mike Anderson, Austin Ellis and Travis Loew.

Eric Olson has another stellar season, topping the Super Stock division by a whopping one hundred and thirty one points over second place finisher Nick Traynor from Barron. Others in the top ten included Josh Bach from Barron, Simon Wahlstrom from Rice Lake, Mickey Anderson from Dallas, Josh Saunders from Spooner, Josh Cappo from Almena, Mike Siewert from Rice Lake, Willie Johnsen Jr from Superior and Terran Spacek from Phillips. Saunders was named the Rookie of the Year in the Super Stocks.

Ryan Olson was an eighty one point winner in the Pure Stocks, topping second place finisher Randy Graham from Trego. The rest of the top ten included Tristan Scheuermann from Eau Claire, Nicholas Hazelton from Chippewa Falls, Travis Hazelton also from Chippewa Falls, Bob Thompson from Cameron, Bob Wahlstrom from Chetek, James Rahn from Haugen, Cully Butterfield from Trego and Mike Grover from Chetek. Zach Folz from Rice Lake was the Rookie of the Year in the Pure Stocks.

Mike Anderson from Jim Falls won his second straight point title in the Modified class, tallying sixty five more points than runner up Sam Fankhauser from Rice Lake. Denny Cutsforth, Pat Hoffman and Kyle Helling, all from Rice Lake, finished off the top five in the final standings. Others in the top ten included Dave Mayala from Barron, Kevin Adams from Cameron, Wayne Poteet from Spooner, Steve Hallquist from Eau Claire and Cooper Berlin, also from Rice Lake. Cutsforth was named Rookie of the Year in that class.

Third generation racer Austin Ellis from Rice Lake won his first Midwest Modified track title, besting Simon Wahlstrom from Mikana by fifty seven points to earn his honors. Ellis also announced that he is moving up to the Modifieds for 2022. Shell Lake's Kenny Kincaid firished a strong third and was trailed by Travis Anderson from Colfax, Mike Schnider from Cameron, C.J. Wagner from Rice Lake, Kennedy Swan from Chippewa Falls, Fran Hanson from Almena, Kevin Herrman from Rice Lake and Cody Carlson from Superior. Herrman also received the honors at Rookie of the Year in the class.

The closest battle was in the Street Stock class where Travis Loew from Barron bested Ladysmith's Adam Soltis by twenty eight points to earn his first ever track championship. Third went to Ty Agen from Chippewa Falls followed by Shawn Amundson from Rice Lake, Joe Ott from Spooner, Zach Beaulieu from Chetek, James Clausen from Barron, Will Fisher from Shell Lake, Hunter VanGilder from Rice Lake and Eric Haupt from Trego. Clausen was the Rookie of the Year in the Street Stock class.

Each year Adams-Hansen Inc. hand out special awards to those people that have went above and beyond in their service to the track. Named as the “Thanks A Lot” winners for 2021 were Dan Adams and Art Golden. Adams does the “Keepin Track” newsletter for the speedway as well as a variety of other duties at the track. Golden, through his Dirt Track Specialties business, has been the tire and parts supplier to the speedway for many years and helps out the drivers in a variety of ways, many of which are known to only them and not the public at large.

Track co-ower Dave Adams previewed the race schedule for the 2022 season, one that has a lot of variety and special events along with the strong weekly shows. One of the biggest weekends of the year will be over the Memorial Day weekend when the track will run a doubleheader program featuring two of the season's biggest events.

The 410 winged Sprint Cars of the Interstates Racing Ass'n(IRA) will be making their first appearance at the track in a number of years on Saturday night of Memorial Day and then on Sunday, the first of three Late Model shows will be held at the track as event sponsor Loren Miller of Trackside Collectibles has went all out this year, upping the ante for the Late Model drivers for this Sunday night special.

The Late Models will make two other appearances at the track this year along with other staples of the schedule which include Kid's Night and Hall of Fame night.

The nationally famous Street Stock Little Dream will return for its twenty eighth year on August 2nd and the Firecracker special will be on July 2nd This year the season will wrap up with a two day show on Labor Day weekend that will see all five classes racing along with a special for Pure Stocks and Midwest Modifieds. The whole schedule is available for viewing on the track website.

The evening began with a moment of silence for five pillars of the local racing community lost since the end of the racing season. They included Don Brown, Jack Shimon, Jerry Folz, Charlie Thorp and Bob Husby.

Next up for the speedway will be the annual car show to be held at Rice Lake's Cedar Mall on March 31 through April 3rd. Along with the car show will be a Go Kart Swap meet as the racers from the Rice Lake Speedway Speed Pit Kart track will also be a part of this year's show.

More announcements concerning the speedway season can be found on the speedway facebook page as attention turns to April 23rd, opening night for the historic track's seventieth consecutive season of racing, a celebration that will be officially celebrated at the track on July 16th.