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Rice Lake Speedway practice and opener postponed

By Ed Reichert

RICE LAKE, WI (April 14) - Rice Lake Speedway, which scheduled to open its 2014 race season on Saturday, April 19, has been forced to postpone the start of the season by one week.

According to track co-owner Dave Adams on Monday morning, “The grounds still aren’t fully dry and it sounds like we will be having a cool and possibly wet week. Things just aren’t quite ready to go yet, and it will be better if we wait one more week. That way we can ensure that the track will be in top shape for the first racing action.”

The revised schedule has practice night moved to Wednesday, April 23 with the first green flag of the 2014 season scheduled for Saturday, April 26. Hot laps are slated for 6:30 p.m and racing to follow.
Featured in racing action will be WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks along with the Rice Lake pure stocks and the brand new, four cylinder Hornet class that is slated to make its debut at the speedway in 2014.

In other racing news, a tentative date for the George Rhoe Classic for Super Stocks has been established. The race, which is the third annual, high paying event for the Supers, wasn’t originally listed on the track schedule. However, track management decided that they wanted to bring back the event for another year, and with the permission of the Rhoe family, it will again bear his name. The race is set for Tuesday, June 10 . Purse information and other classes to be competing that night are expected to be announced shortly.

Anyone needing further information about the speedway and the 2014 race season should contact Adams at (715) 205-2861.

Rice Lake Speedway Car Show Set

By Ed Reichert

RICE LAKE, WI – While it may not look like it outside, the 2014 dirt track auto racing season is drawing closer, and the Rice Lake Speedway is setting in motion plans for the upcoming season.

The first event on the schedule is the annual car show, and that will take place at Rice Lake’s Cedar Mall on April 4-6. The race cars will enter the mall on Thursday, April 3 and will be released on Sunday the 6.

Cars from all six divisions that compete weekly at the speedway are expected to be on hand, including some cars from the newest division at the speedway, the Hornet class. This division is for four-cylinder cars and is expected to attract new and inexperienced drivers trying out the world of dirt track racing at a more affordable price. Along with the Hornets, returning to the speedway will be the Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks, all sanctioned by WISSOTA auto racing along with the Rice Lake Pure Stocks.

Most drivers from last year are returning for 2014 with some new drivers also expected to take to the track and on display will be their new or reworked cars, looking their best before they take to the track for the first racing action.

Despite the late spring, track owners Dave Adams and Mitch Hansen remain optimistic that the first scheduled activities at the track will proceed as planned. A practice night has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 16 and the first green flag of the 62nd consecutive year of racing at the speedway is slated for Saturday, April 19 with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and racing to follow.

A number of special events are already on the schedule and several more are still in the exploratory stage but the first special of the season will be an appearance by the United Stated Modified Touring Series (USMTS) on Thursday, May 8. The track owners and track officials will be on hand at the mall to talk about the schedule and will have rules available for the new Hornet class for those interested.
Anyone that would like to display their car in the show should contact Adams at (715) 205-2861.

FYE Motorsports To Promote Street Stock Little Dream In 2014

ST. CLOUD, MN (March 26) - The 20th running of the Street Stock Little Dream has been added to the arsenal of FYE Motorsports Promotions for 2014. The gigantic mid-week Street Stock event will once again be held at the famed Rice Lake Speedway in Rice Lake, Wisconsin on Tuesday, August 5 and will feature a full program for the WISSOTA-sanctioned Street Stocks. The WISSOTA Modifieds tentatively will be back on the card for 2014 as well along with the Rice Lake Pure Stocks.

FYE has assisted with the management of the event in years past, including 2012 and 2013, and will assume complete control of operations and promotion of this Western Wisconsin staple fully in 2014.

The event, which enters its 20th anniversary this season paid an incredible $8,020 to last year’s winner Sam Fankhauser in one of the most talked about events of the summer. Light mist and rain showers plagued the event throughout much of the evening and then a heavy fog rolled in ending the event one lap prior to the scheduled checkered creating a very memorable victory lane scene for Fankhauser and his crew just after 1:00 a.m.

FYE Motorsports owner Chris Stepan said, "We have been a part of the Little Dream race over the past few years and we really enjoy the event. Dave and Mitch have done a great job at Rice Lake since they bought the facility and the Little Dream deserves to be billed as one of the biggest races in the region because it is. Scott Tiefs, Buzzy and the rest of the Rice Lake folks do an incredible job drumming up sponsoring dollars for the payout and we are excited to be able to help the event grow and maybe get to that $10,000 to win mark in 2014!”

The Little Dream has seen several repeat winners including inaugural winner Eric Olson, Scott Paulson, Cory Crapser and Scott Clark. Other winners of the famed event are Gary Solum, Scott Lawrence, Butch Madsen, Myron Tschakert, Terry Sirek, Royce Jawaski, Jared Loos (when the event featured Midwest Modifieds instead of Street Stocks in 2009), Jay Kesan, Tim Johnson, Jimmy Randall and of course Fankhauser who broke the bank for over eight grand in 2013.

Wednesday, August 6 will serve as the rain date for the event if necessary. Anyone wishing to donate to the payout can contact Stepan at (715) 497-8916 or email chris@fyemotorsports.com.

Rice Lake Speedway Racers Wrap Up 2014

By Ed Reichert

RICE LAKE, WI (March 8) – A full house filled the Elks Club in Rice Lake Saturday night when Rice Lake Speedway concluded the 2013 race season with its awards banquet. Honored were the top 10 drivers in track points for the five divisions that race regularly on Saturdays at the speedway along with the Rookies of the Year in each class plus a few other special awards.

An excellent meal with desert prepared by the Rowe’s started off the evening.

Track co-owner Dave Adams then started off the awards portion of the event by giving a quick review of what was a severely weather shortened racing season in 2013. He then gave a quick preview of what the 2014 racing schedule at the track would look like.

Loren Miller was the emcee for the evening’s activities and he then introduced the top 10 in track points in each division who came forward for their rewards.

Topping the Pure Stock point standings and winning his first ever title was C.J. Wagner from Hayward. He edged out second place finisher John Erickson from Rice Lake by six points. Following them in the top 10 were Jay Folz from Rice Lake, Bob Thompson from Cameron, Nick Traynor from Hillsdale, Hunter VanGilder from Rice Lake, Jimmy Holden from Rice Lake, Jason Havel from Rice Lake, Mike Chaplin from Cameron and Randy Graham from Trego. Havel topped all feature winners with five and five of the top 10 in 2012 track points retained their top 10 status.

Concluding a great year that included his first Little Dream victory, Sam Fankhauser from Rice Lake comfortably won the Street Stock title. He was followed by Adam Soltis from Ladysmith, Cooper Berlin from Rice Lake, Jason Bearden from New Auburn, Heidi Karshbaum from Chetek, Cody Kummer from Medford, Bob Wahlstrom from Chetek, Troy Chaplin from Barron, Ashley Wahlstrom from Rice Lake and Brandon Davis from Chetek. Only four drivers from 2012 maintained their top 10 status, Fankhauser and Jimmy Randall tied with three wins apiece and the track set a record with two female drivers finishing in the top 10 in the final point standings.

Ryan Viltz from Chetek won his second straight Midwest Modified point title. He edged out Shane Halopka from Greenwood by a mere four points for the award. Next in line were Tito Viltz from Rice Lake, Travis Anderson from Colfax, Joe Chaplin, Jr. from Cameron, Mike Schnider from Rice Lake, Cody Cimfl from Mikana, Bryce Johnson from Barron, Kerry Halopka from Wheeler and Craig Elliott from Hillsdale. Seven of the top 10 from 2012 maintained their top 10 places and R. Viltz led the way with three feature wins.

Tied for the closest point battle was the Super Stock division where Aaron Wilson gained one spot from 2012 as the Eau Claire driver edged Eric Olson from Ladysmith by four points to win the class title. They were trailed by Shane Kisling from Sarona, Jason Forehand from Eau Claire, Bart Steffen from Eau Claire, Jim Cimfl from Turtle Lake, Willie Johnsen, Jr. from Superior, Scott Zitelman from Taylors Falls MN, Steve Tesch from Prentice and Kyle Helling from Rice Lake. Five of 2012’s top 10 repeated with Forehand’s three feature wins topping the class.

Kevin Adams continued his amazing streak; the Cameron driver won his sixth consecutive Modified point title at the track. He finished with a comfortable lead over Mike Anderson from Colfax in the final standings. Behind them were Mark Hessler from Menomonie, Tim McMann from Duluth MN, Matt Leer from Bruce, Scott Miller, Paul Brust and Pat Hoffman, all from Rice Lake, Aric Lindberg from Dallas and Buddy Mayala from Barron. Nine of the top 10 retained their point rankings from 2012 with only Hessler being a new member while Adams and Anderson tied with three feature wins each.

Named as the five rookies of the year were VanGilder in the Pure Stocks, Berlin in the Street Stocks, Schnider in the Midwest Modifieds, Helling in the Super Stocks and Neil Balduc from Bessemer MI in the Modified class.

Track owners Adams and Mitch Hansen then presented the prestigious “Thanks a Lot” awards that went to individuals whose extraordinary contributions to the track behind the scenes allow the track to continue to operate and grow. The winners for 2013 were Dave Havel, Loren Miller and Tammy Sirek.

With 2013 officially in the rear view mirror, the track now looks forward to the start of the 2014 race season. The track owners announced that a sixth division has been added to the track program, the Hornet class. Based off of front wheel drive, four-cylinder cars, this class is designed to be an affordable, entry-level class for beginners and will be a part of the weekly race program in 2014. The other five classes will be retained, included the WISSOTA-sanctioned Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Street Stocks along with the highly competitive Rice Lake Pure Stocks.

The first event of the 2014 raceseason will be the annual car show. To be held at Rice Lake’s Cedar Mall, the show will run from April 4 through April 6. An open practice session is slated for April 16 and the 62nd consecutive season opener is slated for Saturday, April 19. Among the highlights of the schedule already firmed up include an appearance by the United States Modified Touring series on May 8, the UMSS Sprint and traditional Sprint cars on May 24, and the IRA 410 winged Sprints on July 12. The Firecracker special will again be held on July 3, the Street Stock Little Dream race will go on August 5 and the season will conclude with a two-day show on Labor Day weekend.

Other specials that will include the Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Late Models are still being finalized.

As the racing season grows nearer, updates will be available on the speedway website and race fans should keep checking at www.ricelakespeedway.net for more information.

Rice Lake Speedway Announces 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees

By Ed Reichert

RICE LAKE, WI - Rice Lake Speedway will induct eight more people in the Speedway Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 10.

The new inductees in the drivers category are Axel Dahlberg, Phil Prusak, Dick Briesemeister and Jerry Amundson. The inductees in the friends of the speedway category include Bud Ellis, Doug Zimmer, Dr. R.A. Doctor and Mary Lawrence.

Rice Lake Speedway will hold a reception for the new members as well as the other members already a part of the hall at 5 p.m. in the speedway restaurant. The formal induction ceremony will take place at intermission during the racing program that night at the track.

Included with the induction ceremony is a regular night of racing in all five classes that race at the track on a weekly basis.

Anyone desiring more information on the speedway Hall of Fame should contact Dave Adams at 715-205-2861 or visit the speedway website at www.ricelakespeedway.net to see a complete list of the Hall of Fame members.