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  .: August 26, 2023 :.

Season Champions Crowned at Rice Lake Speedway; Finale Up Next

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Aug. 26 – With the point titles decided last Saturday, it was Season Championship night at the Rice Lake Speedway and on a cool and crisp late August night, five drivers would earn Season Championship titles at the track. For three of the winning drivers, it would be a double douse of success as in three of the divisions, the Point Champions would also earn Season Championship victories. Those three drivers would be Danny Richards, Eric Olson and Mike Anderson. Also claiming wins on Saturday would be James Rahn and Travis Anderson.

Saturday night would be the final regular season race for 2023 at the track with only the season ending Labor Day weekend special left to go. That race will be held this coming Saturday night, September 2nd with all five divisions that race at the track a part of that season ending program.

Perhaps the most entertaining of the five Season Championship feature races would be in the Street Stock class where a classic side by side battle for the lead would rage for most of the contest. The Street Stocks always put on a great show here and their final regular season appearance would produce more of the same.

There would be three different drivers leading and five lead changes in the first ten laps of the Street Stock feature alone as the action was frantic and nonstop. Cody Cimfl would take the initial lead after starting on the pole and edging past James Clausen for the top spot. However, just one lap later Travis Loew would move up from the his second row starting spot to take over the point. But the changes were far from over at that point as just one more lap later it would be Danny Richards that would edge past Loew to grab the top spot for the first time.

Loew would fight back though and two more laps later he would again grab the lead. The top two drivers raced around the track side by side, with Loew on the inside and Richards up high as they continued to circle the track wheel to wheel, jockeying back and forth. On lap six, it would again be Richards that would edge back in front and at the halfway point of the race, Richards would continue to lead over Loew, Adam Soltis, Cimfl and Clausen.

Just past the halfway point, Richards was finally able to clear the car of Loew but he continued to work the higher side of the track where his car was working best. Loew was only a car length behind though and pushing the limits in his effort to regain the lead. With only three laps to go, Loew would summon up his hardest challenge, driving up to the door of Richards' car off turn two but Danny was able to fight off the challenge. Both would actually side high in turn one on the next lap but neither could grab any more of an advantage and Richards would then maintain his car length lead and drive on for the win over Loew, Soltis, a charging Kolby Kiehl and Cimfl.

For Richards, it was his fourth feature win of the year at the track as he was crowned both the Point and Season Champion in what is arguably the most competitive division at the speedway.

For Eric Olson, the seasoned veteran from Ladysmith, he would complete another satisfying racing season having claimed both titles once again. Racing against the largest field of cars in any class, Olson would lead from start to finish to claim the twenty lap Super Stock feature race and the Season Championship.

This race would have a rocky start with the yellow waving three times in the early going for a series of spins. Once the drivers got settled in, Olson would immediately pull away to a substantial lead after starting on the pole while Kiehl and Willie Johnsen Jr battled for the second spot. They would have a serious tussle for that position before Johnsen Jr. was finally able to secure second and he would then try to cut into the big lead of Olson.

The worst tangle of the entire night would occur one lap short of the halfway point in this race when a grinding three car collision in turn four would eliminate Austin Tilton, Jackson Larson and Mike Siewert. When racing resumed, Olson would again pull away from both Johnsen Jr and Kiehl.

Making a substantial charge from the back of the pack was Terran Spacek. He started dead last in the field after having mechanical issues in his heat race but he wasted little time in his charge to the front of the main event, having cracked the top five by the halfway point and continuing to move forward. He would get by Kyle Copp and then take on Kiehl for third.
Up front, Olson continued to motor away from the field, running as smoothly as he has perhaps all season. There would be no catching him as he would drive on for his third feature win of 2023 at the track. Johnsen Jr, driving a replacement car for this weekend, would have a fine run of his own with a solid second place finish and Spacek would complete his charge as he edged past Kiehl with just a couple laps to go to finish third after starting twentieth.

As dominant as Olson was, just as strong was Modified winner Mike Anderson who would also lead from start to finish in the Modified feature race. He would fight off a first lap challenge from Cole Spacek and then lead for all twenty laps in a race that was stopped just once for the yellow flag.

As Anderson motored away from the field, Joe Chaplin Jr. and Mark Hanson would battle their way up into the second and third places in the running order and they would remain there for most of the race. The best battle was for fourth with Spacek going wheel to wheel with Kevin Adams for much of the first half of the race.

Anderson's big lead was put in jeopardy though, as a spin with just four laps to go would bunch up the field and take away his big lead. However, Anderson was solid on the restart, pulling away again as no one could catch him on this night. Chaplin Jr. and Hanson would both have solid runs and complete the top three.

For Anderson, this win marked number six of the season at the track, tops for all competitors in all divisions. And in fact, for Anderson, who recorded his first win at Rice Lake in the Modifieds way back in 2002 and has one at least one feature race at the track for twenty consecutive years now, the six wins recorded this year is the most he has ever won here in a single season.

It would be a fine night for the Anderson brothers as along with a win and championship for Mike, his brother Travis would become the Season Champion in the Midwest Modified division. Travis has moved up to the Modified class in 2023 but still retains his Midwest Modified and does race it on occasion. He brought both cars to the track on Saturday and was happy he did as the Midwest Modified proved to be a fast and winning car for him.

He started on the outside of row one and early on had a battle with Jake Stai, one of the hottest drivers at the track in recent weeks. However, on this night, it was Anderson who would take the prized top spot away from Stai, and would lead the rest of the contest.

Stai would stay close and in fact, run second the rest of the race and always within challenging distance. Mitchell Larson would run third for the first half of the race but the drivers on the move were Shadow Kitchner and Blake Adams as both worked their way toward the front.

A late spin set up a three lap sprint to the finish and while Anderson pulled away, there was plenty of jockeying behind him. Stai stayed the course to finish second and Kitchner made a late pass to grab third. Adams would come from eleventh to finish fourth with Larson completing the top five.

For Travis Anderson, it was his first win here since the 2020 racing season for the weekly competitor from Colfax.

When James Rahn has been fast this season, he has been very fast and his Pure Stock was a rocket on Saturday night as he won his fifth feature race of the season and grabbed the Season Championship in doing so.

He would lead the entire distance and really not be seriously challenged in doing so while there was quite the battle for position going on behind him. This race would be stopped only once by the yellow flag and that was when the batting cars for second tangled in turn three. Austin Fencl and Ryan Olson had been battling for that spot for a number of laps with Fencl trying to hold off the charge of Olson who was on the move after starting in the third row.

With two thirds of the race completed, they got together in turn three with Fencl spinning and generating the only yellow of the race. Fencl was returned to his position and the race was then completed.

Rahn would race on unchallenged to grab the win with the big pack behind him battling for position being settled with Fencl coming home second and trailed by Bob Wahlstrom, Travis Hazelton and Devin Fries.

Next Saturday night will be the season finale with racing in all five divisons and extra money on the line for all five classes. The format will be draw/redraw and regular starting times will be used. For more information, check the speedway website and face book page as the week progresses for updates.

The Rice Lake Speedway in a third mile banked dirt track located one mile North of Rice Lake Wisconsin midway between state highway 48 and Barron County highway SS.

17 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 57-Mike Anderson[1]; 2. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[4]; 3. 18H-Mark Hanson[3]; 4. 22S-Cole Spacek[2]; 5. 40-Kevin Adams[8]; 6. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[10]; 7. 20-Austin Ellis[7]; 8. T40-Danny Thomas[6]; 9. 308-Pat Hoffman[11]; 10. 34JR-Dan Larson Jr[9]; 11. 204-David Mayala[13]; 12. 4N-Nick Wojcik[17]; 13. 28-Don Gleason[15]; 14. (DNF) 92-Aaron Wilson[5]; 15. (DNF) 20C-Denny Cutsforth[14]; 16. (DNF) 27H-Steve Hallquist[16]; 17. (DNF) 37-Travis Anderson[12]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 18H-Mark Hanson[6]; 2. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[5]; 3. 20-Austin Ellis[2]; 4. 92-Aaron Wilson[8]; 5. 34JR-Dan Larson Jr[1]; 6. 308-Pat Hoffman[7]; 7. 204-David Mayala[4]; 8. 28-Don Gleason[9]; 9. (DNF) 4N-Nick Wojcik[3]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 40-Kevin Adams[3]; 2. 57-Mike Anderson[1]; 3. 22S-Cole Spacek[6]; 4. T40-Danny Thomas[2]; 5. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[4]; 6. 37-Travis Anderson[5]; 7. 20C-Denny Cutsforth[7]; 8. 27H-Steve Hallquist[8]

20 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 1E-Eric Olson[1]; 2. 36-Willie Johnsen Jr[5]; 3. 22T-Terran Spacek[20]; 4. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[2]; 5. 11-Tucker Quinn[6]; 6. 1776-Wayne Dean[9]; 7. 26-Kyle Copp[3]; 8. 14-Warren Bartelt[8]; 9. 1M-Alex Myers[14]; 10. 14X-Leslie Leu[4]; 11. 57-Randy Graham[15]; 12. 71X-William Fisher[17]; 13. 5-Jason Havel[11]; 14. 28-Josh Cappo[19]; 15. 01-Michael Anderson[13]; 16. (DNF) 63-Ken Larson[18]; 17. (DNF) 21-Mike Siewert[10]; 18. (DNF) 247-Jackson Larson[12]; 19. (DNF) 22AT-Austin Tilton[16]; 20. (DNF) 10B-Rich Bishop[7]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 1E-Eric Olson[1]; 2. 11-Tucker Quinn[3]; 3. 10B-Rich Bishop[2]; 4. 21-Mike Siewert[6]; 5. 01-Michael Anderson[5]; 6. 22AT-Austin Tilton[7]; 7. (DNF) 22T-Terran Spacek[4]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1776-Wayne Dean[1]; 2. 14X-Leslie Leu[2]; 3. 36-Willie Johnsen Jr[6]; 4. 5-Jason Havel[3]; 5. 1M-Alex Myers[4]; 6. 71X-William Fisher[7]; 7. 28-Josh Cappo[5]
Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 26-Kyle Copp[1]; 2. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[5]; 3. 14-Warren Bartelt[4]; 4. 247-Jackson Larson[6]; 5. 57-Randy Graham[3]; 6. 63-Ken Larson[2]

15 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 119-Travis Anderson[2]; 2. 1-Jake Stai[1]; 3. 68-Shadow Kitchner[6]; 4. 40D-Blake Adams[11]; 5. 63L-Mitchell Larson[4]; 6. 00-Ross Fuhrman[5]; 7. 19A-Aiden Hoffman[7]; 8. 19-Josh Wahlstrom[9]; 9. T25-Mark Thomas[3]; 10. 47-Tad Schoonover[13]; 11. 18-Tacoma Randall[12]; 12. 46-Zach Slayton[10]; 13. 19H-Kevin Herrman[15]; 14. 410-Jesse Young[14]; 15. (DNF) 1M-Mike Schnider[8]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 68-Shadow Kitchner[2]; 2. T25-Mark Thomas[1]; 3. 19A-Aiden Hoffman[5]; 4. 1M-Mike Schnider[6]; 5. 19-Josh Wahlstrom[4]; 6. 40D-Blake Adams[8]; 7. 47-Tad Schoonover[7]; 8. (DNF) 19H-Kevin Herrman[3]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Jake Stai[1]; 2. 63L-Mitchell Larson[3]; 3. 119-Travis Anderson[6]; 4. 00-Ross Fuhrman[7]; 5. 46-Zach Slayton[4]; 6. 18-Tacoma Randall[5]; 7. 410-Jesse Young[2]

17 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 3R-Danny Richards[3]; 2. 40-Travis Loew[4]; 3. 9-Adam Soltis[6]; 4. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[7]; 5. 19C-Cody Cimfl[1]; 6. 24-James Clausen[2]; 7. 3RJR-Cole Richards[8]; 8. 79-Joseph Ott[9]; 9. 20-Connor Franson[11]; 10. 19-Brady Larson[16]; 11. 66-Eric Haupt[14]; 12. 92R-Courtney Rose[12]; 13. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[15]; 14. 10B-Dylan Baskin[13]; 15. 19H-Kevin Herrman[10]; 16. 52-Aden Saunders[17]; 17. (DNS) 37-Mike Chaplin
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 40-Travis Loew[2]; 2. 19C-Cody Cimfl[3]; 3. 24-James Clausen[1]; 4. 3R-Danny Richards[4]; 5. 79-Joseph Ott[5]; 6. 20-Connor Franson[6]; 7. 10B-Dylan Baskin[7]; 8. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[9]; 9. 52-Aden Saunders[8]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 37-Mike Chaplin[2]; 2. 3RJR-Cole Richards[6]; 3. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[8]; 4. 9-Adam Soltis[7]; 5. 19H-Kevin Herrman[1]; 6. 92R-Courtney Rose[4]; 7. 66-Eric Haupt[3]; 8. 19-Brady Larson[5]

14 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 23R-James Rahn[1]; 2. 52W-Austin Fencl[3]; 3. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[2]; 4. 31-Travis Hazelton[10]; 5. 95F-Devin Fries[5]; 6. 131-Tom Treviranus[8]; 7. 16-Rob Grabon[7]; 8. 1-Ryan Olson[6]; 9. 81-Charlie Pitcavage[12]; 10. 26-Kevin Bartelt[4]; 11. 101-Michael Grover[11]; 12. 7D-Trevor Phillips[9]; 13. 28-Eric Crosby[13]; 14. (DNF) 17G-Chris Gross[14]
Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 131-Tom Treviranus[1]; 2. 52W-Austin Fencl[2]; 3. 95F-Devin Fries[4]; 4. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[5]; 5. 7D-Trevor Phillips[3]; 6. 101-Michael Grover[7]; 7. 28-Eric Crosby[6]
Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[3]; 2. 23R-James Rahn[1]; 3. 16-Rob Grabon[4]; 4. 26-Kevin Bartelt[2]; 5. 31-Travis Hazelton[5]; 6. 81-Charlie Pitcavage[7]; 7. 17G-Chris Gross[6]