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  .: September 3, 2022 :.

Hensel and Larson Top List of New Winners at Rice Lake Speedway Finale

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Sept. 3 – The Rice Lake Speedway wrapped up the seventieth consecutive season of racing at the speedway on Saturday night with a concluding special event, paying extra money across the board for all classes with all five regular divisions in action. Adam Hensel and Brady Larson would join the season list of winners for the first time on Saturday while Rob Grabon, Nick Traynor and Dexton Koch would repeat earlier wins from this season. (Fry Pan Productions)

Hensel would top the Modified feature as he led from start to finish in the twenty lapper. He would get the jump on Shane Halopka right at the start to hold the top position through the opening lap and then a series of yellow flags would slow the action considerably. Four consecutive attempts were made to get the race restarted and each time a spin or collection of cars parked in the corners would trigger the yellow bunting once again.

Finally the cars were sent off single file for another restart and they would respond with nineteen consecutive green flag laps as the race would go nonstop the rest of the way. Through all the starts and stops, Hensel would continue to hold the lead with Halopka and Mark Hanson running close behind but not quite close enough to trigger a major challenge.

After point champion Denny Cutsforth joined the top three, they would remain remarkably even the rest of the way. Despite pushing as hard as possible, none of the challenges could seem to make any ground on leader Hensel and his only real issue during the rest of the race was when he had to fight his way past a slower car that didn't yield very well. Hensel had to make an emergency dive to avoid that car as he fought his way past, and he lost time but was helped as both Halopka and Hanson had just as much trouble passing the slower car and no advantage was gained.

Hensel would continue to run solid laps, make no mistakes and not give Halopka any chance to close in on him. He would flash across the finish line with about a five car length lead over Halopka with Hanson about that many lengths back in third. Cutsforth would finish four and Cory Mahder made a late charge from the fifth row to round out the top five finishers.

For Hensel, who started his racing career here as a young teenager and won his first feature race at this track way back in 2001 and who races here very seldom these days, it was his first feature win here since the 2008 racing season when he was racing a Late Model. He also became the seventh different winner in the class during the 2022 season.

The Midwest Modified feature would follow much of the same pattern that their higher powered cousins in the Modified division did. The race would see a two car battle by drivers that started in the front row, the race would have multiple stoppages early on and then the last laps would run off green to checkered.

Cody Borgeson would get the jump at the start of the feature race with Larson close behind him. Larson would try both high and low in the opening laps but Borgeson would continue to hold him at bay while both were being challenged by Tony Bahr for position.

Lap three would result in the first yellow when Josh Wahlstrom slowed suddenly in turn two and the cars stacked up behind him trying to avoid the problem. And that yellow was key as when the race returned to green, Larson would make a move and get past Borgeson to take over the lead, an advantage he would not yield despite more yellow flags and plenty of pressure from behind.

Bahr would be the driver looking most to advance and he was trying various lines around the track as he sought to get past the two leaders. He very nearly pulled off the move on two occasions, only to see the yellow wave and stop each advance as spins would slow the action four more times in the next two laps.

Finally, this race also received the single file treatment and when that happened, the rest of the race would go nonstop, just like the Modifieds did. However, Larson would pick up the pace and pull away from his challengers at this point, with Bahr again moving around on the track as he tried to get past Borgeson.

Larson was in the groove and would not be challenged as he would drive on for his first win of the season at the track. Borgeson would hold off Bahr for second with Dalton Mains driving a smooth race to get fourth. Kyle Kerberger would make the biggest advance of the event, coming from the fifth row to round out the top five.

For Larson, it was his second ever feature win at Rice Lake, the first coming back during the 2020 racing season and he also became the ninth different winner in the class here this year.

The Super Stock feature would see some of the biggest charges of the night through the pack, led by eventual winner Koch. The first two laps of the event were led by Leslie Leu as he looked to score his first special event triumph at the track. A spin slowed the action after two laps were completed and on the restart leader Leu, in heavy traffic in turn two, suddenly lost power and slowed dramatically. The result was many in the field stacked up into each other behind him, triggering a lengthy yellow as all the cars were untangled and the new running order established.

Jason Havel now found himself as the new leader of the race with Jeff Eisner Jr and Nick Traynor behind him. Koch, who started twelfth on the grid, was now all the way up to fourth and would continue to charge to the front.

Havel would lead as after getting everything sorted out, the Super Stocks would run the last eighteen laps of their main nonstop. And Koch was clearly the car to beat. Once green flag racing resumed, he quickly dispatched Eisner Jr, then Traynor and on lap six, he would complete his impressive charge to the front by driving past Havel to take over the lead. Traynor would then also get by Havel for second and would try to stay with the leader.

With green flag racing ongoing, there would soon be plenty of slower cars to navigate through, but Koch did a masterful job of weaving his way through traffic and while Traynor stayed relatively close, he was never able to close to a challenging position. Koch would continue to control the race and with no challenges, drive on for the win. Koch made two apperances at Rice Lake in 2022 and both proved to be feature winning ones. Traynor would finish a solid second and Havel, in his first Rice Lake appearance of the new in his new Super Stock, would finish third. D.J. Keeler would be next in line and point champion Eric Olson would complete his own impressive charge, coming from eighteenth to complete the top five.

Traynor would improve by one position from his Super Stock finish when he would come back to top the Street Stock main event. In this event, he would make a late race charge to capture the top spot with only two laps remaining in the race. And it would be pole sitter Simon Wahlstrom that would lead up until the late race exchange of positions as he drove the Dan Boissy car from the pole to lead Kyle King and Adam Soltis in the early going.

Traynor caught a big break on the opening lap when he was involved in a spin in turn four but was judged not to be at fault and was returned to his fourth row starting spot. From there, he worked his way forward until by lap six, when the third and final yellow of the race occured for a spin, he was up to second.

From there, it would be a great battle between Wahlstrom and Traynor for the lead with both sliding hard through the corners and occasionally leaning just a bit on each other but not to the point of disrupting the race. Finally, with just over two laps to go, Traynor would move to the outside of Wahlstrom and execute a tough top side pass as he edged past Simon down the front chute. The white flag would wave and the two leaders had to weave past a lapped car down the back chute. Traynor would clear the slower car but Wahlstrom made contact, sending the other car up into the wall where it then rebounded back down to the middle of the track and sent other competitors spinning into the infield. The yellow was waved but since the field had taken the white flag, the race was called complete and the running order scored back to the last completed lap.

Traynor would win his third feature race of the season including the Little Dream and with Wahlstrom sent to the back, James Clausen would slip into second at the finish. King, Mike Chaplin and Shawn Amundson would complete the top five.

After seeing plenty of yellow flag cautions in the previous events, the Pure Stocks wrapped up the eveing and the 2022 racing season with a nice, nonstop main event. Ryan Clausen would get the jump on the other front row starter Mike Grover and lead the opening five laps. Grabon and Dusten Holub were both on the move and on lap six, Grabon was able to drive past Clausen and take over the lead. Also charging to the front were Ryan Olson and Bob Wahlstrom with both cracking the top five.

However, with the leaders setting a fast pace and no yellows to bunch the field, it would be tough to catch the drivers up front.

Grabon was flying on this night as he pulled away from the field and would maintain a comfortable edge as he would drive on for his second win of the season. Clausen had his best finish as he maintained second with Olson closing to third at the end. Holub also had a solid run for fourth with Wahlstrom completing the top five.

This was the concluding event of the 2022 season at the track. Fans should monitor the speedway face book page or the track website at for off season announcements such as the date for the track banquet and when the schedule is announced for the 2023 racing season, the seventy first consecutive season of racing at the track. Adams-Hansen Inc. which to thank all the competitors and fans for their support of the track in 2022.


22 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 44-Adam Hensel[2]; 2. 3JR-Shane Halopka[1]; 3. 18H-Mark Hanson[4]; 4. 20-Denny Cutsforth[10]; 5. 55-Cory Mahder[9]; 6. 95-Rick Rivord[3]; 7. 20E-Austin Ellis[16]; 8. 78R-Ross Prochnow[18]; 9. 308-Pat Hoffman[12]; 10. 10-Kyle Helling[7]; 11. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[13]; 12. 19J-Jack Rivord[15]; 13. 71-AJ Roschen[20]; 14. 1H-Paul Harelstad[8]; 15. 11-Sam Fankhauser[22]; 16. 99WY-Brandon Wytaske[21]; 17. (DNF) T40-Danny Thomas[5]; 18. (DNF) 12-Jason Gross[11]; 19. (DNF) 16C-Cole Varsho[6]; 20. (DNF) 38-Zach Gibson[17]; 21. (DNF) 204-David Mayala[14]; 22. (DNF) M20-Thomas Mittlestadt[19]

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 55-Cory Mahder[1]; 2. 10-Kyle Helling[4]; 3. 44-Adam Hensel[3]; 4. 20-Denny Cutsforth[7]; 5. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[6]; 6. 20E-Austin Ellis[5]; 7. M20-Thomas Mittlestadt[2]; 8. 99WY-Brandon Wytaske[8]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 18H-Mark Hanson[1]; 2. 16C-Cole Varsho[3]; 3. 95-Rick Rivord[7]; 4. 12-Jason Gross[5]; 5. 204-David Mayala[4]; 6. 38-Zach Gibson[6]; 7. (DNF) 11-Sam Fankhauser[2]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 1H-Paul Harelstad[7]; 2. 3JR-Shane Halopka[3]; 3. T40-Danny Thomas[1]; 4. 308-Pat Hoffman[4]; 5. 19J-Jack Rivord[2]; 6. 78R-Ross Prochnow[6]; 7. 71-AJ Roschen[5]

27 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 78K-Dexton Koch[12]; 2. 40-Nick Traynor[7]; 3. 5-Jason Havel[2]; 4. 12K-Duane (DJ) Keeler[6]; 5. 1E-Eric Olson[24]; 6. 10-Jeff Eisner Jr[3]; 7. 1-Joey Jensen[21]; 8. 77-Josh Saunders[9]; 9. 81/F3-Rick Friendt[10]; 10. 14-Kori Richter[17]; 11. 19X-William Fisher[11]; 12. 77L-Andy Ladd[15]; 13. 10B-Rich Bishop[14]; 14. 01A-Reid Tiegs[18]; 15. 21-Mike Siewert[16]; 16. 22AT-Austin Tilton[23]; 17. 01-Michael Anderson[19]; 18. 26M-Matt Melhouse[20]; 19. 28-Josh Cappo[22]; 20. 22-Clay Albrecht[26]; 21. (DNF) 14JR-Lonnie Leu Jr[27]; 22. (DNF) 20*-Andrew Davis[4]; 23. (DNF) 57-Randy Graham[8]; 24. (DNF) 26-Kyle Copp[25]; 25. (DNF) 25-Chad Johnson[5]; 26. (DNF) 14X-Leslie Leu[1]; 27. (DNS) 207-Jesse Redetzke

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 10-Jeff Eisner Jr[2]; 2. 40-Nick Traynor[1]; 3. 77-Josh Saunders[3]; 4. 207-Jesse Redetzke[4]; 5. 14-Kori Richter[5]; 6. 1-Joey Jensen[6]; 7. 1E-Eric Olson[7]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 12K-Duane (DJ) Keeler[2]; 2. 20*-Andrew Davis[1]; 3. 81/F3-Rick Friendt[5]; 4. 10B-Rich Bishop[6]; 5. 01A-Reid Tiegs[4]; 6. 28-Josh Cappo[3]; 7. (DNF) 22-Clay Albrecht[7]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 14X-Leslie Leu[5]; 2. 5-Jason Havel[1]; 3. 19X-William Fisher[3]; 4. 77L-Andy Ladd[4]; 5. 01-Michael Anderson[6]; 6. 22AT-Austin Tilton[2]; 7. (DNF) 14JR-Lonnie Leu Jr[7]

Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. 25-Chad Johnson[2]; 2. 57-Randy Graham[4]; 3. 78K-Dexton Koch[5]; 4. 21-Mike Siewert[6]; 5. 26M-Matt Melhouse[3]; 6. (DNF) 26-Kyle Copp[1]

25 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 63JR-Brady Larson[1]; 2. B37-Cody Borgeson[2]; 3. QQ-Tony Bahr[5]; 4. 7M-Dalton Mains[6]; 5. 2-Kyle Kirberger[10]; 6. T25-Mark Thomas[13]; 7. 1M-Simon Wahlstrom[12]; 8. 221-Aric Lindberg[15]; 9. 13-Derrick Reed[4]; 10. 93-CJ Wagner[18]; 11. 91-Paul Suzik[19]; 12. 21-Jimmy Latvala[16]; 13. 28-Paul Ripley[11]; 14. 63L-Mitchell Larson[21]; 15. 28H-Francis Hanson[17]; 16. 48-Cole Kelley[25]; 17. 12-Matt Everts[14]; 18. 10Z-Zach Widdes[22]; 19. 19H-Kevin Herrman[23]; 20. 8-Dakota Smith[3]; 21. (DNF) 13B-Chris Bretting[20]; 22. (DNF) 410-Jesse Young[24]; 23. (DNF) 40S-Mike Schnider[7]; 24. (DNF) 37-Travis Anderson[8]; 25. (DNF) 19-Josh Wahlstrom[9]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. B37-Cody Borgeson[1]; 2. 19-Josh Wahlstrom[3]; 3. 13-Derrick Reed[5]; 4. 2-Kyle Kirberger[7]; 5. T25-Mark Thomas[8]; 6. 21-Jimmy Latvala[6]; 7. 91-Paul Suzik[4]; 8. 10Z-Zach Widdes[9]; 9. 410-Jesse Young[2]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. QQ-Tony Bahr[3]; 2. 7M-Dalton Mains[8]; 3. 8-Dakota Smith[5]; 4. 28-Paul Ripley[6]; 5. 12-Matt Everts[1]; 6. 28H-Francis Hanson[2]; 7. 13B-Chris Bretting[7]; 8. (DNF) 48-Cole Kelley[4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 40S-Mike Schnider[3]; 2. 63JR-Brady Larson[1]; 3. 37-Travis Anderson[7]; 4. 1M-Simon Wahlstrom[8]; 5. 221-Aric Lindberg[5]; 6. 93-CJ Wagner[4]; 7. 63L-Mitchell Larson[2]; 8. 19H-Kevin Herrman[6]

18 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 40T-Nick Traynor[8]; 2. 24-James Clausen[4]; 3. 5K-Kyle King[2]; 4. 37-Mike Chaplin[9]; 5. 30-Shawn Amundson[6]; 6. 40-Travis Loew[7]; 7. 9-Adam Soltis[3]; 8. 79-Joseph Ott[11]; 9. 71H-Ron Hanestad[5]; 10. 66-Eric Haupt[10]; 11. 10B-Dylan Baskin[16]; 12. 21D-Shaughn Darling[18]; 13. 92R-Courtney Rose[14]; 14. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[1]; 15. 19H-Jenna Herrman[13]; 16. (DNF) 1M-Alex Myers[12]; 17. (DNS) 84-Hunter VanGilder; 18. (DNS) 12-Cody Kummer

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 40-Travis Loew[4]; 2. 40T-Nick Traynor[1]; 3. 5K-Kyle King[6]; 4. 66-Eric Haupt[2]; 5. 19H-Jenna Herrman[3]; 6. (DNF) 10B-Dylan Baskin[5]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[3]; 2. 9-Adam Soltis[2]; 3. 30-Shawn Amundson[4]; 4. 79-Joseph Ott[1]; 5. (DNF) 84-Hunter VanGilder[6]; 6. (DNF) 12-Cody Kummer[5]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 37-Mike Chaplin[2]; 2. 24-James Clausen[1]; 3. 71H-Ron Hanestad[3]; 4. 1M-Alex Myers[5]; 5. 92R-Courtney Rose[4]; 6. (DNF) 21D-Shaughn Darling[6]

15 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 29M-Rob Grabon[4]; 2. 21-Ryan Clausen[2]; 3. 1-Ryan Olson[5]; 4. 15H-Dusten Holub[3]; 5. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[8]; 6. 23R-James Rahn[7]; 7. 101-Michael Grover[1]; 8. 26-Kevin Bartelt[6]; 9. 12-Aaron Holmberg[14]; 10. X6-Tim Baxter[10]; 11. 7D-Trevor Phillips[9]; 12. 81-Charlie Pitcavage[12]; 13. 09-Skylar Findley[13]; 14. 17-Chris Gross[11]; 15. (DNS) 2024-Joe Pajtash

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 29M-Rob Grabon[2]; 2. 1-Ryan Olson[7]; 3. 23R-James Rahn[6]; 4. 15H-Dusten Holub[4]; 5. 7D-Trevor Phillips[1]; 6. 17-Chris Gross[5]; 7. 09-Skylar Findley[8]; 8. 2024-Joe Pajtash[3]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[6]; 2. 21-Ryan Clausen[3]; 3. 26-Kevin Bartelt[2]; 4. 101-Michael Grover[5]; 5. X6-Tim Baxter[1]; 6. 81-Charlie Pitcavage[7]; 7. 12-Aaron Holmberg[4]