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  .: May 27, 2023 :.

Mars and Mahder Top Rice Lake Speedway Late Model Twin 40's

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, May 27 – For the first time in the Rice Lake Speedway's seventy one year history, the track presented a pair of forty lap, two thousand dollar to win Late Model events on the same night. This was the result of a rainout partially through the Trackside Collectibles 40 scheduled to be held on May 13th. With the Late Model feature not completed, it was added to the program for this night to go along with the Swant Graber 40, a program already on the schedule for the WISSOTA Late Models. And the two events would present divergent winners in victory lane. Sam Mars, a college student in only his third year of Late Model racing would win the Trackside Collectibles event while Chad Mahder, now a seasoned veteran on the Late Model ranks who did his first Late Model racing back when Rice Lake ran the class regularly and he raced along side his father and brother in the class, would get his first win at the track in fourteen years in the Swant Graber 40.

Twelve drivers would return that participated in the May 13th event and their make up feature race would be the first event of the night. Sam Mars and Darrell Nelson would share the front row for the Trackside Collectibles event with Nelson taking the early lead after a side by side duel on the opening lap. However, Mars got up on the wheel and fought his way back, storming past Nelson to take the lead. And for the next thirty eight laps, that would be the scenario as Nelson chased Mars in what would turn out to be a nonstop forty lap event.

Mars would maintain a hot pace but Nelson would continually remain within a couple of car lengths of the leader, searching around on the track for a faster line. Mars, meanwhile, would not be slowing down and he continued to press his advantage. And while the leaders battled, a good battle for third continued as Justin Sorensen worked to hold off a continually challening John Kaanta for that spot. By the halfway point of the race, Chad Mahder, who started eleventh, had worked his way up to fifth and he was gradually catching the two in front of him. However, with the race remaining under green, the progress was slow.

Just past the halfway point, Nelson got as close as he would during the race, but Mars would not make a mistake or give him an opening and as the final laps clicked off, Mars would maintain his lead and drive home for the win by about five car lengths over Nelson. Sorensen was able to fight off Kaanta for third while Mahder closed but settled for fifth. Three cars didn't finish and only two had been lapped in the quick, nonstop event.

For Mars it was his second ever feature race win at Rice Lake, both coming in special events here over the last two years.
Three cars would be added to the field for the Swant Graber forty that weren't on hand for the May 13th race. However, Kaanta and Jake Miller would be knocked out of the second event after both suffered serious engine issues during the first feature. Thus, thirteen cars would take the green for the Swant Graber forty with Mike Prochnow, making his first start of 2023, earning the most passing points and starting on the pole which he shared with Nelson.

And despite plenty of laps on the track before this race, the track prep crew headed by track co-owner Mitch Hansen had done a great job and the track provided some great side by side action as the second forty was probably even better than the first event had been.

Prochnow would lead the opening nine laps with Nelson dogging him before Darrell made a high side move to take over the lead. However, the lead pack remained with four drivers running tight together as Pat Doar and Jake Redetzke both became what was a great four car battle for the lead. And before too long, Mahder again made a charge as he came from seventh on the grid to join this group.

Doar continued to work the high side and very nearly made a pass on Nelson several times but the driver that was really charging was Mahder who found great traction on the low side of the track as he rocketed off the low side of the corners and started picking off driver after driver.

As the field raced to the halfway signal, Mahder powered under Nelson to take over the lead with Redetzke, Doar and Prochnow completing the top five. The last twenty laps would again see Nelson in the chasing mode as he tried to reel in Mahder but Chad was very strong on this night and he would prove to be impossible to catch. He was so good that he was varying his line on the track, running equally well on both the top and low side of the two groove track and finally settling on a high, low combination as he varied for each corner. In the last few laps he really lengthed his lead and drove home for a resounding win. Incredibly, the second forty lapper would also go non stop so eighty green flag laps of racing was provided for the fans. Nelson would again settle for runner up honors with Redetzke, Doar and rookie Late Model driver Dan Bargender completing the top five. Only one driver that started the event didn't finish and three were a lot down at the checkered.

For Mahder, it was his eleventh career Late Model win at Rice Lake but his first since way back in 2008 when the Late Models were a part of the weekly program here.

The WISSOTA Late Models will make one more appearance here at Rice Lake in 2023 and that will be on Saturday night, August 12th when the Structural Buildings Challenge Series makes a stop here, ironically one night after the Mahder 55 at Red Cedar Speedway, a race in honor of Chad Mahder's father Duane.

16 entries

Structural Buildings A Feature 1 (40 Laps): 1. 28-Sam Mars[1]; 2. 44-Darrell Nelson[2]; 3. 28S-Dustin Sorensen[3]; 4. 85-John Kaanta[5]; 5. 55C-Chad Mahder[15]; 6. 11-Pat Doar[12]; 7. 27-Jake Redetzke[7]; 8. 5-Josh Zimpel[4]; 9. 92-Aaron Wilson[10]; 10. (DNF) 65-Jake Miller[11]; 11. (DNF) 1-Lukas Koski[14]; 12. (DNF) 10-Daniel Bargender[16]; 13. (DNS) 71JR-Buddy Hanestad; 14. (DNS) 7X-Jesse Glenz; 15. (DNS) 30-Kevin Burdick; 16. (DNS) 35X-Parker Foster
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 44-Darrell Nelson[1]; 2. 28S-Dustin Sorensen[4]; 3. 85-John Kaanta[3]; 4. 27-Jake Redetzke[6]; 5. 30-Kevin Burdick[8]; 6. 11-Pat Doar[5]; 7. 1-Lukas Koski[2]; 8. 55C-Chad Mahder[7]
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 28-Sam Mars[5]; 2. 5-Josh Zimpel[1]; 3. 71JR-Buddy Hanestad[3]; 4. 7X-Jesse Glenz[6]; 5. 92-Aaron Wilson[4]; 6. 65-Jake Miller[7]; 7. 35X-Parker Foster[8]; 8. (DNF) 10-Daniel Bargender[2]

15 entries

Structural Buildings A Feature 1 (40 Laps): 1. 55C-Chad Mahder[7]; 2. 44-Darrell Nelson[2]; 3. 27-Jake Redetzke[5]; 4. 11-Pat Doar[3]; 5. 10-Daniel Bargender[4]; 6. 28-Sam Mars[6]; 7. 68-Mike Prochnow[1]; 8. 28S-Dustin Sorensen[10]; 9. 5-Josh Zimpel[12]; 10. 29F-Dave Flynn[8]; 11. 42-Paul Niznik[11]; 12. 1-Lukas Koski[13]; 13. (DNF) 92-Aaron Wilson[9]; 14. (DNS) 85-John Kaanta; 15. (DNS) 65-Jake Miller
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 68-Mike Prochnow[1]; 2. 10-Daniel Bargender[3]; 3. 11-Pat Doar[7]; 4. 55C-Chad Mahder[6]; 5. 28S-Dustin Sorensen[5]; 6. 42-Paul Niznik[2]; 7. 5-Josh Zimpel[8]; 8. 1-Lukas Koski[4]
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 44-Darrell Nelson[1]; 2. 27-Jake Redetzke[2]; 3. 28-Sam Mars[3]; 4. 29F-Dave Flynn[5]; 5. 92-Aaron Wilson[6]; 6. (DNS) 85-John Kaanta; 7. (DNS) 65-Jake Miller