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  .: July 3, 2023 :.

Four New Winners at Rice Lake Speedway Firecracker

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, July 3 – The weather would provide a difficult challenge but the Rice Lake Speedway would prevail as they would complete their Firecracker special as scheduled on Monday night, July 3rd. Despite two rain delays and ninety minutes or more of time lost to track packing and repacking following showers that hit the track, all racing plus the fireworks display would be accomplished before the final checkered flag flew over the track sometime past Midnight.

Four first time winners for the 2023 racing season would emerge as Shane Sabraski, Tommy Richards, Brady Larson and Ty Agen would all pose in victory lane for the first time this season with James Rahn being the only repeat winner.

A fine field of one hundred and two racers from the area would sign in to race on Monday night including about two dozen racers making their first visits to the track in 2023. This would result in a full program of racing with all divisions being well represented.

Shane Sabraski, the Rice Minnesota racer, is having another outstanding season so far in 2023 and was coming off a ten thousand dollar victory at another track over the Memorial Day weekend when he stopped by at the Rice Lake Speedway on Monday night. The move was a good one for him as he would win the Modified feature as well as finishing third in the Super Stock main.

His Modified win was a tough one though as he was closely trailed by national Modified driving star Rodney Sanders from Happy Texas who was driving the local car of his brother-in-law on Monday night.

They would start side by side in the front row and would race side by side on the opening lap. Going into turn three, Sabraski was able to slide under and squeeze past Sanders to take the lead with a contested move. After that the chase was one as Sanders rode the rear bumper of Sabraski for twenty laps, trying moves and hoping for a mistake by Sabraski that would give him an opening.

The race was stopped three times for minor spins and stalled cars but each time Sabraski was flawless at regaining the lead, despite heavy pressure from Sanders. Shane Halopka had quickly moved into third and he would ride close to the leaders as he looked for an opening also. Kennedy Swan was working the low side of the track and she made time as she moved past Cole Spacek into the fourth position and was for a time gaining ground on all those in front of her.

The last fourteen laps of the event would go nonstop and Sanders would continue to dog Sabraski for the lead, trying several times to dip below him in the corners but not being able to complete a pass. He would try one last time coming off the final corner but would come up a car length short as Sabraski was like a machine with consistent laps and yet another win on his resume as he approaches eight hundred and fifty for his career.

While the win was his first of the year here in his Modified, he has won four times previously with his last being during the 2016 season plus he won the Super Stock special ran here last month. Halopka would finish a solid third with Swan next and in and his first race of 2023 would net Ross Prochnow a top five finish.

Andrew Davis would lead the opening laps of the Super Stock main event as the Rice Lake school teacher got a good start and would be chased by Rich Bishop and Jase Lien in the early going. Tommy Richards would start sixth and quickly move up though as he would get past Lien and then Bishop to challenge for the top spot. Tucker Quinn's attempt at a repeat win from Saturday night would be lost when he would spin while in a top five position, triggering the yellow flag.

Richards would then put the pressure on Davis and on lap seven would make the pass that would give him the lead. The last fifteen laps of this race would go nonstop and Richards would pull away from the pack with a strong run that would see him build up a comfortable lead. Davis would also be able to pull away as the top two drivers would put distance on the field.

While the top two were clearly determined, there was quite the battle for the third position and others right behind. Sabraski had a poor qualifying effort and would start thirteenth in this race but he put on a determined run that picked up speed as the event proceeded. With a late burst, he picked up three positions in the final few laps, passing Kolby Kiehl, Simon Wahlstrom and finally Bishop to finish third. Bishop's first race of 2023 would net a fourth place finish with Wahlstrom completing the top five.

For Richards, the win was his third Super Stock win of his career here with the last coming back during the 2018 racing season.

The Midwest Modified main event for the second night in a row here was a crazy and scrambled affair with too many yellows and too much irresponsible driving which caused it to be checkered early. Brady Larson and Dereck Reed would start on the front row and would quickly go at each other, throwing slide jobs and trying to best the other one. Tony Bahr quickly joined the action and after they came off turn four three wide, Bahr nearly snuck past both of them, only to get sideways and lose control, spinning and triggering the first of many yellows. Bahr would later get into another tangle and leave the track with a flat tire.

Reed, scored the leader early, would continue his tussle with Larson as they continued to battle in a wild manner, exchanging lanes on the track until they tangled in turn four, with their collision triggering another yellow. Reed was judged to be at fault but his car was damaged anyway so Larson would hold the top spot for the restart.

Aaron Blacklance, all the way down from northwestern Minnesota, would move into second and challenge for the lead. Blacklance would squeeze by on the high side to gain the lead but another multi car accident would slow the action and allow Larson to retain the top spot. With the event time limit approaching with all the slowdowns, the next yellow would end the event and it came out almost immediately for another spin and the race was called complete with only five laps having been raced.

It was an unsatisfying finish except for Larson, who would gladly accept the win, his first here in 2023 and third of his brief racing career here. He also became the seventh different winner in the class so far this year. Blacklance would have to settle for second with Landyn Randt, a previous winner this season, holding the third position at the finish.

Ryan Olson, making his first start in a Street Stock, would lead the opening lap of the Street Stock feature race. However, one lap later, Danny Richards would drive by him to take over the lead. Richards, one of the hottest drivers at the track so far this season, would then look to be in command of the race.

However, Ty Agen saw things differently than that and just two laps later he would drive past Richards with a surprising move and take over the lead. Adam Soltis was having a strong run, moving to the third spot by the halfway point of the race with Sam Fankhauser and Kolby Kiehl next in line. Soltis would lose his solid run when a mechanical issue would cause him to slow and be out of the race.

Agen would continue to show the way with Richards trying his hardest to catch the Chippewa Falls racer but not having success. Agen would continue to turn fast and consistent laps and would prove to be unbeatable as he would drive home for his first win this year and third of his young racing career. Richards would finish second while a wild late race scramble would see Kiehl move into third ahead of Nick Traynor and Cole Richards. For Traynor, it was an adventure as his car broke while packing in the track before the racing started and he missed his heat race. Starting twenty second on the field, he was able to drive up into the top five with a late race charge.

Of the five feature winners, only Pure Stock winner James Rahn had been to victory lane earlier this year. Monday night he was locked in an early side by side battle with Rob Grabon for the lead. Grabon led the first lap and Rahn was able to edge past him on lap three. However, they were still running side by side when Grabon got too high exiting turn four and clipped the front stretch wall, damaging his car and causing him to pull into the pit area. This turned second over to Austin Carlson and the driver from Cohasset Minnesota was all over Rahn the rest of the way.

Two minor yellows for spins bunched the pack and each time it would be Rahn that would step away with Carlson running right behind him and trying to get a nose under him for the lead.

However, Rahn had just enough speed to hold off all challenges and he would drive on for the win with Carlson a very close second. Devin Fries would drive a consisten race, finishing third ahead of Ryan Olson and Bob Wahlstrom.

The speedway will take this coming Saturday night off with the next racing action slated for Saturday night, July 15th. All five classes will again be in action on that night and it is also Hall of Fame night with Paul Brust along with the late Bruce Soldner, LaVerne Crapser and Ken Coleman being added to the Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame. Race time will be 7 pm.


23 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 7A-Shane Sabraski[1]; 2. 40-Rodney Sanders[2]; 3. 3JR-Shane Halopka[3]; 4. 18S-Kennedy Swan[8]; 5. 78R-Ross Prochnow[11]; 6. 22S-Cole Spacek[4]; 7. 43K-Kaden Blaeser[15]; 8. T40-Danny Thomas[20]; 9. 27P-Parker Anderson[9]; 10. 57-Mike Anderson[17]; 11. 42-Paul Niznik[10]; 12. 1L-Donnie Lofdahl[7]; 13. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[19]; 14. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[16]; 15. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[12]; 16. 74-Shaun Kreyer[5]; 17. 20-Austin Ellis[21]; 18. 204-David Mayala[18]; 19. 37-Travis Anderson[13]; 20. (DNF) 27H-Steve Hallquist[6]; 21. (DNF) 10-Kyle Helling[22]; 22. (DNF) 308-Pat Hoffman[14]; 23. (DNF) 28-Don Gleason[23]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 27H-Steve Hallquist[2]; 2. 3JR-Shane Halopka[1]; 3. 74-Shaun Kreyer[4]; 4. 42-Paul Niznik[6]; 5. 37-Travis Anderson[5]; 6. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[7]; 7. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[8]; 8. (DNF) 10-Kyle Helling[3]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 7A-Shane Sabraski[4]; 2. 27P-Parker Anderson[2]; 3. 22S-Cole Spacek[3]; 4. 78R-Ross Prochnow[1]; 5. 308-Pat Hoffman[6]; 6. 57-Mike Anderson[7]; 7. T40-Danny Thomas[5]; 8. (DNF) 28-Don Gleason[8]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 40-Rodney Sanders[4]; 2. 1L-Donnie Lofdahl[2]; 3. 18S-Kennedy Swan[6]; 4. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[1]; 5. 43K-Kaden Blaeser[7]; 6. 204-David Mayala[3]; 7. 20-Austin Ellis[5]

21 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 7R-Tommy Richards[6]; 2. 20*-Andrew Davis[1]; 3. 7A-Shane Sabraski[13]; 4. 10B-Rich Bishop[2]; 5. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[8]; 6. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[5]; 7. 14X-Leslie Leu[12]; 8. 24L-Jase Lien[4]; 9. 11A-Jordan Henkemeyer[9]; 10. 28B-Stefan Hogue[14]; 11. 57X-Randy Graham[17]; 12. 94-Hunter VanGilder[20]; 13. 2F-Jeffrey Frey[16]; 14. 11-Tucker Quinn[3]; 15. 57-Dalton Carlson[11]; 16. 21-Mike Siewert[7]; 17. 28-Josh Cappo[15]; 18. 22AT-Austin Tilton[21]; 19. (DNF) 01-Michael Anderson[19]; 20. (DNF) XJR-Austin Harris[18]; 21. (DNF) 1E-Eric Olson[10]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 7R-Tommy Richards[2]; 2. 21-Mike Siewert[1]; 3. 20*-Andrew Davis[5]; 4. 1E-Eric Olson[4]; 5. 7A-Shane Sabraski[7]; 6. 2F-Jeffrey Frey[3]; 7. 01-Michael Anderson[6]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 38-Simon Wahlstrom[4]; 2. 10B-Rich Bishop[2]; 3. 11-Tucker Quinn[3]; 4. 57-Dalton Carlson[1]; 5. 28B-Stefan Hogue[6]; 6. 57X-Randy Graham[5]; 7. 94-Hunter VanGilder[7]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 24L-Jase Lien[1]; 2. 11A-Jordan Henkemeyer[4]; 3. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[5]; 4. 14X-Leslie Leu[6]; 5. 28-Josh Cappo[2]; 6. XJR-Austin Harris[3]; 7. 22AT-Austin Tilton[7]

24 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 63JR-Brady Larson[1]; 2. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[3]; 3. 11R-Landyn Randt[5]; 4. 7-Mike Schnider[11]; 5. 19-Josh Wahlstrom[6]; 6. 11X-Jason Schill[8]; 7. 24-Cole Elton[7]; 8. 63L-Mitchell Larson[12]; 9. 19X-Darrin Lawler[9]; 10. 87-William Moelter[16]; 11. 17-Blake Adams[23]; 12. 68-Shadow Kitchner[17]; 13. 15TRX-Chris Edmonds[13]; 14. 119-Travis Anderson[20]; 15. 28H-Francis Hanson[21]; 16. 03F-Jason Fall[24]; 17. 19H-Kevin Herrman[10]; 18. 18-Tacoma Randall[19]; 19. 88K-Donavan Knutson[22]; 20. (DNF) 19A-Aiden Hoffman[18]; 21. (DNF) QQ-Tony Bahr[4]; 22. (DNF) 13-Derrick Reed[2]; 23. (DNF) 1-Jake Stai[14]; 24. (DNF) 7R-Tommy Richards[15]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 19-Josh Wahlstrom[2]; 2. 24-Cole Elton[1]; 3. QQ-Tony Bahr[8]; 4. 19H-Kevin Herrman[3]; 5. 15TRX-Chris Edmonds[6]; 6. 87-William Moelter[7]; 7. 18-Tacoma Randall[5]; 8. (DNF) 17-Blake Adams[4]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 11X-Jason Schill[1]; 2. 11R-Landyn Randt[2]; 3. 5BA-Aaron Blacklance[4]; 4. 7-Mike Schnider[6]; 5. 1-Jake Stai[5]; 6. 68-Shadow Kitchner[7]; 7. 119-Travis Anderson[8]; 8. (DNF) 03F-Jason Fall[3]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 63JR-Brady Larson[1]; 2. 13-Derrick Reed[2]; 3. 19X-Darrin Lawler[4]; 4. 63L-Mitchell Larson[3]; 5. 7R-Tommy Richards[5]; 6. 19A-Aiden Hoffman[7]; 7. 28H-Francis Hanson[6]; 8. 88K-Donavan Knutson[8]

22 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 26-Ty Agen[5]; 2. 3R-Danny Richards[3]; 3. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[11]; 4. 40T-Nick Traynor[22]; 5. 1R-Cole Richards[9]; 6. 11-Sam Fankhauser[4]; 7. 19J-Brady Larson[13]; 8. 11X-Levi Randt[19]; 9. 7-Caiden Engel[2]; 10. 79-Joseph Ott[16]; 11. 10-Derek Baskin[17]; 12. 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[21]; 13. 92R-Courtney Rose[10]; 14. 40-Travis Loew[8]; 15. (DNF) 19C-Cody Cimfl[14]; 16. (DNF) T20-Michael Tuma[15]; 17. (DNF) 9-Adam Soltis[6]; 18. (DNF) 19H-Ryan Olson[1]; 19. (DNF) 66-Eric Haupt[7]; 20. (DNF) 52-Aden Saunders[12]; 21. (DNF) 10B-Dylan Baskin[18]; 22. (DNF) 37-Mike Chaplin[20]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 40-Travis Loew[4]; 2. 7-Caiden Engel[2]; 3. 66-Eric Haupt[1]; 4. 92R-Courtney Rose[8]; 5. 19J-Brady Larson[3]; 6. T20-Michael Tuma[5]; 7. (DNF) 37-Mike Chaplin[7]; 8. (DNS) 40T-Nick Traynor

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1R-Cole Richards[2]; 2. 3R-Danny Richards[7]; 3. 9-Adam Soltis[4]; 4. 9K-Kolby Kiehl[5]; 5. 19C-Cody Cimfl[6]; 6. 79-Joseph Ott[1]; 7. 10-Derek Baskin[3]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 26-Ty Agen[1]; 2. 19H-Ryan Olson[6]; 3. 11-Sam Fankhauser[5]; 4. 52-Aden Saunders[3]; 5. (DNF) 10B-Dylan Baskin[7]; 6. (DNF) 11X-Levi Randt[2]; 7. (DNF) 00Z-Bryar Zimmerman[4]

12 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 23R-James Rahn[2]; 2. 57-Austin Carlson[3]; 3. 95F-Devin Fries[5]; 4. 1-Ryan Olson[8]; 5. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[11]; 6. 18M-Leo Moos[6]; 7. 101-Michael Grover[7]; 8. 12-Aaron Holmberg[9]; 9. 17G-Chris Gross[10]; 10. 60-Andrew Milz[12]; 11. (DNF) 26-Kevin Bartelt[4]; 12. (DNF) 16-Rob Grabon[1]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 57-Austin Carlson[2]; 2. 23R-James Rahn[4]; 3. 16-Rob Grabon[5]; 4. 101-Michael Grover[3]; 5. 12-Aaron Holmberg[6]; 6. 88-Robert Wahlstrom[1]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[2]; 2. 95F-Devin Fries[1]; 3. 26-Kevin Bartelt[4]; 4. 18M-Leo Moos[3]; 5. 17G-Chris Gross[5]; 6. 60-Andrew Milz[6]