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  .: September 2, 2023 :.

Chaplin Jr. Tops Rice Lake Speedway Finale

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Sept. 2 – Joe Chaplin Jr. was the lone first time winner as the Rice Lake Speedway wrapped up their 2023 racing season with their annual Labor Day weekend event on Saturday night. Chaplin Jr, who won the Modified main, was joined in victory lane by Jesse Redetzke, Danny Richards, Brady Larson and Ryan Olson as racers completed the season on a hot Saturday night.

It was quite a memorable night with such things as a four car scramble to the finish line in one race, a driver who crossed the line as an apparent winner but really wasn't, a photo finish which saw Chaplin take the Modified main and several other very close finishes.

A localized storm hit the speedway on Saturday morning with rain for much of the early day. This caused the track prep crew, under the direction of track co-owner Mitch Hansen, to scramble to get the track ready for racing. They accomplished the feat and while the track had just a bit of character, it produced some excellent racing opportunities and little dust despite the high temperatures.

Chaplin Jr would be the lone first time winner in feature racing action on Saturday night as he would edge Austin Ellis with a late race pass and a wild scramble to the finish line on the last lap that would need the transponder scoring system to determine just who crossed the line first.

Danny Thomas would take the early lead in the race and actually hold the top spot for the first twelve laps of the event as he sought his first Modified feature win at the speedway. Pat Hoffman was his primary challenger in the early going as Hoffman ran close behind the leader and challenged him in the corners for several laps. Chaplin Jr and Ellis would move into third and fourth place during the first half of the race, only to be displaced by Mark Hanson.

Hanson was flying and he put a serious challenge on Thomas until he suddenly rolled to a halt on the back chute as mechanical issues ended his night far too early. Chaplin Jr and Ellis would battle for second then, with Ellis claiming the spot by the halfway point of the race. Austin would pressure Thomas hard on the inside but when he couldn't make that move work, he made a bold move back up to the cushion and it worked perfectly as he suddenly picked up speed and drove around Thomas on lap thirteen to take over the lead. Soon after, Chaplin Jr was also able to pass Thomas and move into second but he had sone catching up to do.

Perhaps the key moment of the race occurred with just five laps to go when Ellis' lead was erased when the yellow flew, for of all things, one of the race cars had lost its on board fire extinquisher on the track and the extinquisher was live, giving off a cloud of gas even as the racers tried to go around it.

On the final green, Chaplin Jr was able to get under Ellis and they circled the track side by side. With just three laps to go, Chaplin Jr edged into the lead but Ellis fought back as the white flag waved and they were side by side at the line. Chaplin Jr would gain just a small edge but as they raced off the final corner, Ellis would cross over and try to sneak by on the inside. At the line, Chaplin Jr was the winner by .17 seconds over Ellis. It would be Joe's first win of 2023 and his second behind the wheel of a Modified, having earned his first ever last season. Kyle Helling would have a strong second half of the race and he would pass Hoffman for third with Steve Hallquist nipping Thomas for fifth.

Mike Loomis would lead over half the Super Stock feature race before Jesse Redetzke would suddenly show up after starting in the fourth row and would take his second win of the year, in just his second outing at the track in 2023.

Loomis would slide into the lead at the start with Patrick Beeksma and Tucker Quinn challenging early. This race would be stopped several times early and survival became the name of the game. Beeksma wold continue to pressure Loomis for the lead as with each yellow, it was like the first green being waved once again and a wild scramble would break out nearly every time. Leslie Leu worked his way into contention in third while Redetzke slowly moved up. Following a lap six yellow, Redetzke briefly shot into the lead, only to have the yellow waved off the pass.

However, Beeksma would pick up the pace and retake second, trailing just Loomis as the race reached its halfway point. But Redetzke would not be denied. He would fight back and take second and then continue his charge as on lap twelve he would drive past Loomis to take over the lead, a position he would not relinquish again.

There would be one more late stoppage in the race when Quinn, who had been in contention the whole contest, would have mechanical issues and hit the wall in turn four, done for the night.

Redetzke would pull away once again and then drive on for the win, making him a two time winner this year. Leu would pick up the pace late, getting by Beeksma and then putting a stiff last lap challenge on Loomis, who was able to hold him off by a half car length to record a second place finish. Beeksma would settle for fourth with Matt Deragon completing the top five.

The Midwest Modified feature race would be perhaps the wildest of the night and maybe the season with just a little bit of everything going on during the fifteen lap main event. It would be a difficult loss for Travis Anderson to accept as he would be scored the leader for fourteen of the fifteen laps and except for a made scramble on the final lap, the win would have been his.

Anderson was looking for his second win in a row in the Midwest Modifieds, having won the Season Championship race last Saturday and he would take the early lead with Aiden Hoffman and Josh Wahlstrom applying plenty of pressure. Paul Suzik and Shadow Kitchner would soon join in on the action and the top five cars would race in tight formation, lap after lap. Hoffman would look on several occasions to make an inside pass, looking for his first ever win here, but Anderson would continue to hold him off as Suzik moved into third and made several stiff challenges on the outside lane.
It was set up to be a wild finish when the yellow waved after a couple of cars got together battling into turn one.
Then things got messy as the restart was a botched affair with cars getting stacked up everywhere after the start wasn't clean. At least six cars were involved with challengers Wahlstrom and Kitchner being eliminated from the race.
The final restart was just as rugged as Hoffman appeared to be up beside Anderson on the inside even before the green flag was waved. This set off a made scramble that saw the top four drivers barreling to the finish line in a wild last lap jumble that saw they cross the finish line nearly all together. Anderson, who crossed the line having fallen all the way back to fourth, was inadvertently waved to victory lane, setting off a confusing several minutes until everything was sorted out.

Hoffman, who crossed the line first, was docked to positions for jumping the start. Brady Larson, who came out of no where, having restarted the last lap fourth, was able to squeeze by up against the wall and finished second, but with Hoffman's penalty, he was declared the winner. Suzik would be officially second with Hoffman, Anderson and Dane Durbin the top five finishers.

It would be the second win of the year for Larson, who was sporting a new paint scheme on his race car this weekend to honor his grandfather.

The Street Stock feature would also produce some intense racing action with a wild finish, typical of the night it would seem. Track and point champion Danny Richards would eventually take the win but it would be a hard fought contest as he battled it out with Hunter VanGilder for much of the race.

Danny's son Cole would take the early lead over Danny and VanGilder as the battle for the lead would shape up quickly. They raced three wide off corner four and Danny, using a high line rush, would pull into the top spot on lap three. VanGilder would also move past Cole Richards and the battle for the lead would get even more intense.
The top runners would race side by side for several laps with VanGilder nosing into the top spot briefly before Danny Richards would claim it back. Richards was running a higher line on the track and on every corner, Hunter would bore in underneath him and try to squeeze past as the leaders ran dangerously close together. However, no contact was made as thy continued to duel.

With just two laps to go, VanGilder broke traction and nearly spun and while he saved his car, he lost valuable ground to the leader. It appeared that Danny would be home free, but not on this night. As Richards exited turn four to receive the checkered flag, a slower car spun across the track right in front of him, made contact and caused Richards to spin out short of the finish line. VanGilder would cross the line first and Richards was left sitting on the track short of the finish line.

Once again there was a pause while officials sorted out yet another crazy finish and the ruling was that Richards would be declared the winner, having been taken out by the slower car. VanGilder would be awarded second with Cole Richards, a charging Cody Cimfl and Travis Loew completing the top five.

It has been an awesome year for Richards at Rice Lake as his win on this night was his fifth of the year here to go along with both championships.

Ryan Olson would complete his own special year at the Rice Lake Speedway with his fifth Pure Stock victory of the year to go along with the track Point title. He would start seventh in the main event but would make a strong run to the front to take the win. Devin Fries would take the early lead with challenges from Tom Treviranous, Travis Hazelton and Dusten Holub.

Then Olson made a great charge. Running fifth just short of the halfway point, Ryan would move to the outside lane and would have great success, literally driving his way into the lead by the halfway point of the race as he drove past driver after driver on the outside.

And once he got into the lead, he continued to use that outside line to great success as he was flying on the cushion. Hazelton attempted to keep up with him but simply couldn't match his speed and would have to settle for second, with Fries, Holub and Austin Fencl completing the top five.

Saturday night's action would mark the completion of the 2023 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway. Owners Dave Adams and Mitch Hansen would like to thank all the fans, drivers, pit crews and sponsors for their support along with all the track employees. Information on the 2024 racing sesson will be released over the Winter including an announcement on the racing banquet to honor the top drivers from this season.

17 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[3]; 2. 20-Austin Ellis[4]; 3. 10-Kyle Helling[7]; 4. 308-Pat Hoffman[2]; 5. 27H-Steve Hallquist[8]; 6. T40-Danny Thomas[1]; 7. 9MM-Aiden Hoffman[9]; 8. 48-Marcus Simonson[13]; 9. 20C-Denny Cutsforth[15]; 10. 37-Travis Anderson[10]; 11. 4N-Nick Wojcik[12]; 12. (DNF) 22JR-Ben Hillman[5]; 13. (DNF) 22B-Taylor Olson[11]; 14. (DNF) 18H-Mark Hanson[6]; 15. (DNF) 24-Tyler English[14]; 16. (DNF) 38-Simon Wahlstrom[17]; 17. (DNS) 204-David Mayala

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 27H-Steve Hallquist[2]; 2. 5-Joe Chaplin Jr[6]; 3. 10-Kyle Helling[8]; 4. 22JR-Ben Hillman[1]; 5. 9MM-Aiden Hoffman[9]; 6. 22B-Taylor Olson[7]; 7. 48-Marcus Simonson[5]; 8. 20C-Denny Cutsforth[3]; 9. (DNF) 38-Simon Wahlstrom[4]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 20-Austin Ellis[1]; 2. T40-Danny Thomas[4]; 3. 18H-Mark Hanson[3]; 4. 308-Pat Hoffman[6]; 5. 37-Travis Anderson[2]; 6. 4N-Nick Wojcik[7]; 7. 24-Tyler English[8]; 8. (DNF) 204-David Mayala[5]

19 entries


A Feature 1 (20 Laps): 1. 207-Jesse Redetzke[8]; 2. 17-Mike Loomis[2]; 3. 14X-Leslie Leu[5]; 4. 21C-Patrick Beeksma[4]; 5. 27-Matt Deragon[3]; 6. 10-Jeff Eisner Jr[13]; 7. 28-Josh Cappo[17]; 8. 247-Jackson Larson[18]; 9. 63-Ken Larson[14]; 10. 01-Michael Anderson[16]; 11. (DNF) 11-Tucker Quinn[6]; 12. (DNF) 77L-Andy Ladd[15]; 13. (DNF) 1E-Eric Olson[10]; 14. (DNF) 22AT-Austin Tilton[11]; 15. (DNF) 69-John Adams[7]; 16. (DNF) 21-Mike Siewert[12]; 17. (DNF) 71X-William Fisher[9]; 18. (DNF) 14-Warren Bartelt[1]; 19. (DNS) 2F-Matt Melhouse

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 27-Matt Deragon[1]; 2. 21C-Patrick Beeksma[2]; 3. 11-Tucker Quinn[3]; 4. 1E-Eric Olson[5]; 5. 10-Jeff Eisner Jr[6]; 6. 77L-Andy Ladd[4]; 7. 28-Josh Cappo[7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 17-Mike Loomis[2]; 2. 14X-Leslie Leu[6]; 3. 14-Warren Bartelt[1]; 4. 22AT-Austin Tilton[4]; 5. (DNF) 247-Jackson Larson[5]; 6. (DNF) 2F-Matt Melhouse[3]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 207-Jesse Redetzke[4]; 2. 71X-William Fisher[3]; 3. 69-John Adams[6]; 4. 21-Mike Siewert[2]; 5. 63-Ken Larson[1]; 6. 01-Michael Anderson[5]

22 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 63JR-Brady Larson[11]; 2. 91-Paul Suzik[6]; 3. 19A-Aiden Hoffman[1]; 4. 119-Travis Anderson[2]; 5. 19D-Dane Durbin[15]; 6. 11R-Landyn Randt[5]; 7. 12-Mitchell Kesan[17]; 8. 47-Tad Schoonover[8]; 9. 11-Allen Amborn[12]; 10. 40L-Larry Scott[18]; 11. 28H-Francis Hanson[22]; 12. 88K-Jason Knutson[21]; 13. 13B-Chris Bretting[20]; 14. 03-Matthew Findley[19]; 15. (DNF) 19-Josh Wahlstrom[4]; 16. (DNF) 68-Shadow Kitchner[7]; 17. (DNF) 1-Jake Stai[10]; 18. (DNF) 23DD-George Dalbeck[9]; 19. (DNF) 19H-Simon Wahlstrom[14]; 20. (DNF) 18-Tacoma Randall[13]; 21. (DNF) 21-Jimmy Latvala[3]; 22. (DNF) 4W-Joey Wagamon[16]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 23DD-George Dalbeck[6]; 2. 119-Travis Anderson[3]; 3. 19A-Aiden Hoffman[2]; 4. 1-Jake Stai[7]; 5. 18-Tacoma Randall[5]; 6. 4W-Joey Wagamon[4]; 7. 03-Matthew Findley[1]; 8. (DNF) 28H-Francis Hanson[8]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 21-Jimmy Latvala[1]; 2. 47-Tad Schoonover[2]; 3. 68-Shadow Kitchner[3]; 4. 63JR-Brady Larson[6]; 5. 19H-Simon Wahlstrom[5]; 6. 12-Mitchell Kesan[7]; 7. 13B-Chris Bretting[4]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 11R-Landyn Randt[1]; 2. 19-Josh Wahlstrom[4]; 3. 91-Paul Suzik[6]; 4. 11-Allen Amborn[2]; 5. 19D-Dane Durbin[5]; 6. 40L-Larry Scott[7]; 7. 88K-Jason Knutson[3]

17 entries


A Feature 1 (15 Laps): 1. 3R-Danny Richards[4]; 2. 84-Hunter VanGilder[3]; 3. 3RJR-Cole Richards[2]; 4. 19C-Cody Cimfl[16]; 5. 40-Travis Loew[8]; 6. 79-Joseph Ott[6]; 7. 11X-Levi Randt[11]; 8. 66-Eric Haupt[10]; 9. T20-Michael Tuma[13]; 10. 92R-Courtney Rose[17]; 11. 7D-Derrick Helene[14]; 12. (DNF) 52*-Aden Saunders[15]; 13. (DNF) 37-Mike Chaplin[1]; 14. (DNF) 19H-Jenna Herrman[12]; 15. (DNF) 9-Adam Soltis[7]; 16. (DNF) 2-Gunnar Watkins[9]; 17. (DNF) 10B-Dylan Baskin[5]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 9-Adam Soltis[5]; 2. 40-Travis Loew[1]; 3. 3RJR-Cole Richards[9]; 4. 79-Joseph Ott[2]; 5. 2-Gunnar Watkins[8]; 6. 11X-Levi Randt[6]; 7. T20-Michael Tuma[7]; 8. 52*-Aden Saunders[3]; 9. (DNF) 92R-Courtney Rose[4]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 84-Hunter VanGilder[3]; 2. 3R-Danny Richards[8]; 3. 37-Mike Chaplin[2]; 4. 10B-Dylan Baskin[5]; 5. 66-Eric Haupt[1]; 6. 19H-Jenna Herrman[7]; 7. 7D-Derrick Helene[6]; 8. (DNF) 19C-Cody Cimfl[4]

10 entries


A Feature 1 (12 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[7]; 2. 31-Travis Hazelton[6]; 3. 95F-Devin Fries[1]; 4. 101-Dusten Holub[4]; 5. 52W-Austin Fencl[9]; 6. 18M-Leo Moos[5]; 7. 131-Tom Treviranus[2]; 8. 81-Charlie Pitcavage[3]; 9. (DNF) 04K-Jerame Ristau[8]; 10. (DNF) 17G-Chris Gross[10]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 1-Ryan Olson[1]; 2. 131-Tom Treviranus[3]; 3. 18M-Leo Moos[2]; 4. 81-Charlie Pitcavage[4]; 5. 04K-Jerame Ristau[5]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 31-Travis Hazelton[4]; 2. 101-Dusten Holub[5]; 3. 95F-Devin Fries[1]; 4. (DNF) 52W-Austin Fencl[2]; 5. (DNF) 17G-Chris Gross[3]