Longtime pit steward Danley Schuster passed away Friday. He had more recently worked the gate between the pits and concession stand. Visitation is Monday October 28th from 4-8 at Lundeen-Steel funeral home in Cameron. Thank you for your dedication at the track and rest in peace Danley...
Labor Day Weekend Special Wraps Up Rice Lake Speedway Season
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI The 2013 racing season will conclude August 31 and September 1 with a two night special at Rice Lake Speedway. Six classes of cars will have the opportunity to race over the weekend with the headline event being Sunday night’s feature races. However, there will also be special events on Saturday, including the highest paying Pure Stock race in speedway history.
On Saturday, August 31, WISSOTA-sanctioned Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Modifieds will run qualifying heat races. $10,000 in contingency product awards will be on the line for the qualifying events as well as starting positions in Sunday’s main events for the WISSOTA classes. Also on Saturday , a complete program of Pure Stocks, featuring a $700 to win main event will be contested and for the first time in speedway history, the four cylinder Hornets will compete at the track in a complete program also with the feature winner to take home $500.
On Sunday, September 1, last chance qualifying events will be run for the WISSOTA classes, followed by main events. Also, the Pure Stocks will compete in another complete racing program of heat races and a feature event.
For the Pure Stocks, any 305 cubic inch motor is legal running home track rules. Drivers should bring their rule books if coming from beyond the local three track area.
Modifieds will be racing for a top prize of $1,000, the Super Stocks $800, the Midwest Modifieds $600 and the Street Stocks $500. The draw/redraw format will be used to line up main events.
The pit gate will open at 4 p.m. both days with the draw cut off at 6:30 p.m. Hot laps and racing will follow and there will be free camping on the grounds all weekend.
Rice Lake Speedway is a third mile banked track located one mile north of Rice Lake, midway between state highway 48 and Barron Co. highway SS. The track phone number is (715) 236-2002. For more information, check the speedway website at www.ricelakespeedway.net or call Dave Adams at (715) 205-2861 or Mitch Hansen at (715) 205-1122.
Season Champions Decided at Rice Lake Speedway; Finale Upcoming
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 24) It was Season Championship night Saturday at Rice Lake Speedway with the drivers lined up based on points earned during the racing season, and when all was said and done, the five drivers sharing victory lane were Mike Anderson, Jason Forehand, Ryan Viltz, Jimmy Randall and Jason Havel.
While it was Season Championship night, the drivers will all have one more chance to visit victory lane when the season wraps up next Saturday and Sunday with the Labor Day weekend special.
There were no huge upsets Saturday as drivers who had run well at the speedway all season did so again on Saturday. In the Modified division, Anderson got the jump on Kevin Adams to take the early lead and he controlled the entire twenty lap main event. As Adams struggled to stay with Anderson, Mike pulled out to a six car length lead while Adams was being challenged heavily by Dave Baxter for second. Their battle continued as Anderson pulled away from the field.
A lone yellow at the midpoint of the race bunched the field, and this time Adams was able to stay with Anderson better, challenging on the inside for the lead right after the race restarted. However, Anderson fought off Adams and then opened up a two car length lead again as Baxter now found himself battling for third with Paul Brust.
Stormy Scott super in Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup clash at Rice Lake Speedway
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 15 Stormy Scott led all 40 laps Thursday night at Rice Lake Speedway and scored his second main event during the Hunt for the USMTS Casey's Cup.
The 2012 USMTS Rookie of the Year drew the pole position for the start of the race, and that was the closest the rest of the field ever got.
"After the heat, we thought we would be pretty good with the setup we had," Scott explained after the win. "I knew we were going to run the low line and anybody who wanted to pass us would have to do it on the outside."
But nobody got close enough to try. Rodney Sanders started next to Scott on the front row and chased him throughout the race, but was never able to challenge-even when heavy lapped traffic surrounded the leader.
Halopka Dominates Rice Lake Speedway Midwest Mods
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 15 WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and the Rice Lake Pure Stocks ran as support classes for the United States Modified Touring Series event Thursday night at Rice Lake Speedway and Shane Halopka along with Jason Havel were dominating winners of their respective divisions. The USMTS race was won by Stormy Scott from Las Cruses New Mexico.
After battling his way into a qualifying spot in his heat race after drawing poorly, Halopka made up for it by redrawing the outside pole for the main event. That was bad news for the competition as Shane grabbed the lead from Reid Tiegs and led all twenty laps of the main event.
After two first lap yellows, the second of which saw Alan Bohlman Jr parked on top of Cole Spacek’s car, the race ran nonstop for the last nineteen laps with Halopka leading all the way. Travis Anderson moved into second and tried to stay with Halopka but he was eventually passed by Ryan Viltz for that spot. Viltz also tried to track down the leader but there was no slowing Halopka Thursday as he stretched his margin to nearly the length of the straightaway.
Mahder Tops Rice Lake Speedway Modifieds
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 10) Cory Mahder drove around Kevin Adams with just a few laps remaining in the event to win the Modified feature and highlight the last track point earning program Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway. Other feature winners on Saturday included Eric Olson, Josh Smith, Doug Wojcik and C.J. Wagner as along with Wagner, Sam Fankhauser, Ryan Viltz, Aaron Wilson and Adams earned track point titles.
It was also Hall of Fame night at the track and drivers Axel Dahlberg, Jerry Amundson, Phil Prusak and Dick Briesemeister along with Friends of the Speedway Mary Lawrence, Doug Zimmer, Bud Ellis and Dr. R.A. Doctor were inducted into the Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame.
Dave Baxter and Mark Hessler waged a furious battle during the first half of the Modified feature Saturday, with Hessler working the cushion and Baxter racing off the low side of the track. Lap after lap they came off turn four side by side and then set off to complete another lap riding side by side. Paul Brust and Scott Miller were racing hard for third while Adams and Mahder worked their way forward after starting farther back in the pack. While Hessler and Baxter continued to battle for the lead, Adams worked the high side and took over third with Mahder continuing to follow him.
No Races at Rice Lake Speedway August 17
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI Rice Lake Speedway officals have decided not to hold races on Saturday night, August 17. Originally scheduled as a to be determined (TBD) night, the speedway first had decided to hold races that night but now has decided not to race on that date. Many of the track employees had made other plans when it was thought that there would be no racing on that date, and in their best interests, the speedway has decided to take that night off.
However, two days earlier, August 15, one of the biggest races of the year will come to the speedway when the United States Modified Touring Series(USMTS) brings their Hunt for the Casey’s Cup to the track. Presented by Bill’s Distributing, the 40-lap, $3,000 to win main event will feature all the national driving stars of the USMTS racing against the best regional and local competitors in what is expected to be some of the fastest Modified racing the speedway has ever seen.
Also racing on that night will be the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and the Pure Stocks. The Midwest Modifieds will be racing for an enlarged purse and a strong field of drivers is expected in that class along with the always entertaining Pure Stocks. Draw/redraw will be in effort for those two classes that night. Race time is 7:00 p.m.
After taking August 17 off, the speedway returns to action on Saturday, August 24 with the Season Championships scheduled for all five classes.
The 2013 race season will then conclude on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 with the annual Labor Day weekend doubleheader.
Leer’s Last Lap Pass Nabs Rice Lake Speedway Win
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 3) Matt Leer’s last lap pass for the Modified feature win was one of three last lap feature winning moves on an exciting evening of racing Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway. Leer also became one of four first time winners at the speedway on Saturday, with only Adam Soltis becoming a repeat winner. Soltis was one of the other last lap winners along with Shane Halopka who himself became a first time winner at the track this season along with Eric Olson in the Super Stocks and Darwin Brown.
It looked like Jason Gross was going to be the Modified winner on Saturday, as he led nineteen laps before being overtaken on the final tour of the oval. Gross started on the pole and got the jump on Buddy Mayala and then began to build up a substantial lead in what turned out to be a nonstop main event. Leer had to fight his way past a strong running Scott Miller to move into second and by the time he got to the position, Gross had at least half a straightway advantage on him.
As the race remained under the green, Leer slowly but surely began to close the margin but it wasn’t until the last five laps that he began to cut the lead considerably as Jason began to lose traction in the corners with Leer gaining much ground on him. With two laps to go, Leer closed to the rear bumper of Gross and got a strong run off turn four. Matt dove to the inside as they came down the front chute and with Gross trying to protect his position, the two leaders got together. Both got sideways but both straightened out and raced on. Gross continued to hold a small lead as they raced down the back chute with Leer again trying to get inside Gross. Flying through the final corners, Gross slid out just a little and Leer dove inside him. They raced to the line with Leer winning by a car length. While the two leaders battled, this gave Kevin Adams the chance to catch them, and he flashed across the line just another car length behind Gross. Mike Anderson and Paul Brust completed the top five.
USMTS Hunt Comes to Rice Lake Speedway
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI The United States Modified Touring Series(USMTS) is coming to Rice Lake Speedway on Thursday, August 15. As a part of their year end series, The Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup event will pay $3,000 to the winner of the main event.
The Casey’s Cup is the 20-race, wrap-up series for the USMTS season in which drivers have worked all year to qualify for the Cup. The Cup encompasses races at tracks in eight states throughout the month of August and into September with the Cup champion being crowned at Minnesota’s Deer Creek Speedway in September. While a select group of drivers have qualified for the Cup, which provides a separate point fund at the conclusion of the series, many other drivers will be on hand simply racing for the $3,000 top prize offered that night.
At press time, the twin brother combination of Johnny and Stormy Scott, from New Mexico are running first and second in the Cup point standings. Some of the other nationally known Modified drivers currently in competitive positions in the Cup points include Jason Hughes from Oklahoma, Kelly Shryock and Zack VanderBeek from Iowa, Rodney Sanders from Texas, Jeremy Payne and rookie standout Trevor Hunt from Missouri along with Ryan Gustin from Iowa and Missouri veteran Terry Phillips.
Some of the regional stars expected to be on hand to challenge these drivers include Lucas Schott, Joey Jensen, Ron Jones, Jason Krohn, Dave Cain, Kelly Estey, Craig Thatcher and Eric Pember.
Some of the top local drivers are also expected to give it a shot on that night including Kevin Adams, Mike Anderson, Matt Leer and Tim McMann. All told, 40 or more Modified drivers will likely be on hand that night.
Along with the USMTS stars, two local divisions will be in action. The WISSOTA-sanctioned Midwest Modifieds will be running along with the Rice Lake Pure Stocks. This is a change in the schedule that should be noted as Midwest Modifieds have replaced the Super Stocks that were originally slated to appear that night.
Pit gates will open at 4 p.m. on August 15 with the grandstand opening at 5 p.m. Draw cut off for the drivers will be at 6:30 p.m. with racing scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Rice Lake Speedway is located one mile north of Rice Lake between state highway 48 and Barron County highway SS. The track phone number on race day is 715-236-2002 and for more information, either log on to the speedway website at www.ricelakespeedway.net or call co-owner Dave Adams at 715-205-2861.
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.
Fankhauser Tops Little Dream Race; Record Payoff Set
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 30) Despite early evening rains that threatened to cancel the show and fog later in the evening that eventually ended the race prematurely, Rice Lake Speedway prevailed and completed the 2013 version of the WISSOTA Street Stock Little Dream race and local driver Sam Fankhauser was the one most pleased by this. He led every lap of the Street Stock feature race and thanks to generous contributions by fans and area businesses alike, a new record first place payoff was set for the event and Sam went home with $8,020 for his efforts. In other racing action, Talon Laabs won the Pure Stock feature while the Modified feature fell victim to the fog.
After overnight rains Monday into Tuesday morning deposited three quarters of an inch of rain on the track, the track prep crew was put into crisis mode to get the track whipped into shape for the night’s activities. They managed to do so and everything seemed on schedule until about 6:30 p.m., when despite forecasts to the contrary, it started to lightly rain again. The rain continued for quite some time and very nearly caused the event to be postponed, but eventually it would stop and once again the track prep crew was put to the test to try and reclaim the racing surface once again. They would come through again, however the program was now nearly two hours behind schedule.
After all the preliminary events were completed, twenty six of the fifty three Street Stocks entered in the program took starter Troy Holder’s green flag to start the thirty lap main event. Fankhauser , who had redrawn the pole position, jumped into the early lead with heavy pressure from Danny Hanson. Ron Hanestad, Mike Jans and Jordan Tollakson were right behind them and battling hard for position. Jans appeared the fastest of them at that point as he drove into third and started to close on the leaders.
McMann and Karshbaum Record Milestone Rice Lake Speedway Wins
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 20) Tim McMann and Cory Karshbaum both has stories to tell after the racing action concluded Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway. Winners in the two open wheel divisions at the speedway, both recorded their first ever Rice Lake wins in these open wheel classes. Adam Soltis took his first win of the year at Rice Lake also while other winners included Aaron Wilson and Jason Havel
The Modified main event saw Steve Hallquist jump into the early lead using the cushion to his advantage to race away from the field. The rest of the field was racing in tight action when, one lap into the race, one of the biggest crashes in recent years took place.
Battling for third, Buddy Mayala and Dave Baxter got together racing into turn one. They locked together and spun up the track, blocking most of the speedway as the balance of the field pounded into turn one. Before everyone could get slowed down, eleven cars stacked up in the corner with the damage varying from car to car. Three cars were eliminated with Jerry Weigel, Matt Leer and Mark Hessler all unable to continue. Many others sported sheet metal damage and a few made pit stops to make repairs.
Balog dominates IRA Sprint Car Special at Rice Lake Speedway
RICE LAKE, WI (July 13) Bill Balog completed a weekend sweep of Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car action by topping the competition on Saturday Night at Rice Lake Speedway. After taking top honors at the Dodge County Fairgrounds the night before, Balog set his sights on his second victory of the weekend. When the checkered flag fell it was mission accomplished for the five-time and defending series champion as he made the trip to victory lane.
A totaled career series victory number 54 is now in the books, one step closer to Joe Roe’s all-time win mark of 61.
Balog would face some stiff competition this evening with two-time series champ Travis Whitney on hand for the show. Though he makes limited appearances these days with the series Whitney continues to be a formidable competitor when he appears. In qualifying Whitney narrowly missed the track qualifying record when he toured the banked third-mile oval with a lap of 12.253 seconds a mere .03 seconds off the mark set by Sam Hafertepe in August of 2006 when he had turned in a lap of 12.225 seconds.
Whitney would then find himself in second place late in the A-main giving chase to Balog. However with a cushion of lapped cars between himself and Balog he never got an opportunity to attempt to run down Balog having to settle for runner-up honors.
The weekend also proved successful for Scott Neitzel who debuted a new car at the Dodge County Fairgrounds last evening and promptly scored a third place finish. The machine performed flawlessly again tonight as he continues to coax more speed out of his new ride to earn his second straight third place finish. In doing so Neitzel has elevated himself up to third in the season long point chase.
Kisling, Hanestad Win Rice Lake Speedway Thrillers
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 13) Shane Kisling and Ron Hanestad won last lap feature race thrillers to highlight the racing program Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway. Four of the five feature race winners were first time winners at the track in 2013 while in the companion IRA 410 Sprint Car feature, former Barron County resident Billy Balog dominated the feature event, winning his ninth feature win of the year within the organization and fifty fourth of his career.
Kisling and Eric Olson engaged in a thrilling Super Stock feature race that was so close that the drivers had to check with timing and scoring before determining which driver should enter victory lane. The nonstop main event saw Willie Johnsen Jr. give a good account of himself also, leading nearly the first half of the feature race after starting on the outside pole. Wheeling on the high side as he likes to do, Johnsen Jr avoided Scott Zitelman, the pole sitter who suffered suspension problems in the first corner and shot right up the track in front of the field but managed to avoid everyone and get to the infield as the race remained under the green. Johnsen then grabbed the lead with Kisling moving up from the second row to take second. Gradually Shane closed in on the leader and then caught him and they raced side by side for a couple of laps before Kisling was able to beat Johnsen Jr to turn three, slide up the track and then take over the lead.
Kisling then began to stretch his advantage to nearly the length of the straightaway before Olson suddenly picked up the pace and passed Johnsen Jr for second.
Halopka Brothers Sizzle in Rice Lake Speedway Firecracker
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 3) In front of the largest crowd of the season and with the biggest car count of the year in the pits, the Firecracker special Wednesday night at Rice Lake Speedway was a huge success for the track. But even more successful were the racing Halopka brothers; with stirring drives through the pack, Kerry and Shane finished first and second in the Midwest Modified feature event to highlight the holiday program. Making it even more special for them was that both drove around defending national champion Cory Crapser to make their successful moves.
Other winners during the holiday race night were Jared Amundson, Eric Olson, Scott Lawrence and Kevin Adams.
Twenty cars took the green flag for the Midwest Modified main event and it was Crapser, sitting on the pole, that took the early lead. He was challenged in the early going by Joe Chaplin Jr and Travis Anderson while the Halopka brothers, who started in rows three and four were also moving into a challenging position.
Two yellow flags for minor spins in the first four laps kept the field bunched, but each time Crapser would again pull into the lead. The majority of the field was running the low side of the track but when Kerry and Shane moved to the second groove they immediately found success. Driving past Travis Anderson, they moved into second and third and continued to close on Crapser. Kerry was very strong racing into the corners and on lap eight in drove deep into the turn and edged past Crapser into the lead. One lap later a two car tangle would trigger a final yellow flag.
Four New Winners at Rice Lake Speedway
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (June 29) Racing action returned Saturday night to Rice Lake Speedway after an 18-day break due to the weather - four drivers found victory lane for the first time in 2013 and one driver won his second straight main event at the track. Aaron Wilson, Tito Viltz, Doug Wojcik and Dustin Doughty all visited victory lane for the initial time this year while Kevin Adams was the repeat winner. The drivers picked a good night to top their divisions because it was Kim Parsons Memorial Trophy Tour night and Steve Parsons was in victory lane to present each winner with a beautiful trophy for their accomplishments.
Adams started eighth in what turned out to be a nonstop Modified main event. While Scott Miller got the jump on Mark Hanson and led the opening laps, Tim McMann quickly moved into the second spot and put the heat on Miller. Adams quickly moved up from the fourth row, finding a couple of holes to drive forward quickly in the field where he then began to challenge the leaders.
With both Miller and McMann running the low line, Adams jumped up to the second groove and drove up beside McMann. Easing his way past his Father-In-Law, he then moved in on Miller. Scott was running a strong race and it took Adams a couple of laps until he drove past on the high side into the lead. Once in front he eased away from the pack, building a comfortable lead as the race remained under the green.
Sabraski Dominates George Rhoe Classic
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (June 11) Shane Sabraski’s dominance of the second annual George Rhoe Classic for WISSOTA Super Stocks at Rice Lake Speedway was complete. Not only did he win the first heat race, he redrew the front row for the main event and then led all forty four laps of the main event to take home over $2,000 back to Rice Minnesota. But although he did lead all the way, his route to victory was not an easy one as he had Curt Myers stalking him for the entire distance of the main event while Sabraski fought some overheating issues of his own.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks and Pure Stocks also participated in the race program with Sam Fankhauser and Jason Havel coming home the winners in those events.
Twenty five Super Stocks took starter Troy Holder’s green flag for the forty four lap grind with Sabraski using the high side to take the initial lead from Myers. Dan Gullikson and Ben Hillman fought for the third spot, a race that would take a number of laps before Hillman would finally secure the spot. Scott Lawrence would slide into the fifth position but was challenged by Joe Oliver, Willie Johnsen and Eric Olson.
Sabraski would continue to hold the lead with Myers riding very close behind and occasionally looking to the low side in an attempt to slide under the leader. Hillman and Gullikson continued to battle with Lawrence holding off a swarm of cars behind him.
Thompson Back in Rice Lake Speedway Winners Circle
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (June 8) Bob Thompson, who waited a very long time to get to victory lane before finally winning a main event last year, didn’t have to wait nearly as long for the second victory to occur. Thompson, who raced in various classes for the last thirty years before finally winning a feature race last year, was one of five new winners in the 2013 racing season Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. Other winners on Saturday included Sam Fankhauser, Nick Koehler, Jason Forehand and Kevin Adams.
On a night when rain was predicted to fall, it instead turned out to be a very nice night for racing and a good sized crowd and nice turnout of racers was on hand as the speedway completed its third night of racing during the 2013 season.
Thompson started on the outside pole in a field of twenty Pure Stocks to take Troy Holder’s green flag and Bob immediately started battling with Jimmy Holden for the lead. Thompson was able to grab the front spot but still faced heavy pressure from Mike Chaplin and John Erickson. The yellow flag flew frequently in the early going, with three stoppages after one lap was scored complete. The most significant yellow was for opening night winner Hunter VanGilder who lost a wheel in turn three after moving into a challenging position.
Anderson Repeats In Rice Lake Speedway Holiday Event
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (May 25) Mike Anderson made a late race pass in the Modified feature event, preventing Curt Myers from scoring double evening victories and at the same time becoming the first repeat winner of the 2013 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway. Besides Anderson and Myer, other winners on the second night of the 2013 season included Josh Smith, Jimmy Randall and C.J. Wagner.
The Sprint Cars of the UMSS were also on hand and their winners included Brooke Tatnell in the winged Sprints and Rob Caho Jr. who won the traditional non winged main event.
With the biggest car count for a regular season event in over a year on hand, four heats whittled down the field for the Modified feature race with Pat Hoffman on the pole position. However, outside front row starter Mark Hessler took the early lead with Hoffman and Anderson chasing him. Myers quickly moved in to challenge and the battle for second was a good one while Hessler maintained a slight edge.
Anderson drove into second and began to pressure Hessler for the lead, with Myers also closing in. The yellow flag flew when Jeff Spacek, in the top five and on the move toward the front, rolled to a halt with liquid trailing from the rear of the car.
Tatnell In Photo Finish Over Hahn At Rice Lake
By Greg Parent
UMSS Media Director (5-25-13)
RICE LAKE, WI (May 25) Sometimes in certain sports it becomes a game of inches. Such was the case on Saturday night May 25 at the Rice Lake Speedway during the Upper Midwest Sprintcar Series (UMSS) winged sprint car feature race. It became a race of inches in the closest finish in UMSS history. Brooke Tatnell of Forest Lake, Minnesota narrowly edged past 2010 UMSS Champion Cody Hahn in a photo finish at the line. With the official finish in doubt immediately after the checkers flew, UMSS series officials had to check the video replay. Mark Meeks of Meeks Video, the official videographer of the UMSS was on hand, and his replay became the center of attention in order to determine the winning car at the finish line which was the flagstand.
Caho Dominates Traditional Sprints At Rice Lake
By Greg Parent
UMSS Media Director
RICE LAKE, WI (May 25) The first-ever appearance by the UMSS Traditional Sprint Car Series (TSCS) at the Rice Lake Speedway on May 25 proved to be a good one for Wyoming, Minnesota driver Rob Caho Jr. Caho, the defending TSCS Champion, completely dominated the field in the 15 lap feature race. Rookie Mike Mueller led the opening lap, but once Caho captured the top spot, it was lights out for the rest of the race. Caho earned his first win of the season over Johnny Parsons III and edged past the Owatonna driver to take over the top spot in the point standings early in the 2013 season.
Anderson Brothers Shine In Rice Lake Speedway Opener
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (May 18) It took seven attempts, but finally, on Saturday, May 18, Rice Lake Speedway got its 2013 season opening event in the books. Fittingly, after six postponements due to extreme weather conditions, the speedway had to ride out a day long rain before the precipitation stopped at mid-afternoon, the skies began to brighten and the temperatures soared.
Taking advantage of the chance to finally get a race completed, Mike and Travis Anderson, racing brothers from Colfax, each won open-wheel Modified events to top the racing action. Mike won the Modified feature while Travis won the Midwest Modified feature; other feature winners on opening night included Shane Kisling, Eric Olson and rookie Hunter VanGilder.
Mike Anderson started on the pole of the Modified finale and was never seriously challenged throughout the 20-lap race. As Anderson opened up a lead over Kurt Myers, Kevin Adams slipped past Mark Hessler to take over the third spot. Adams gradually caught up to Myers and the battle for second was on while Hessler remained close. Adams put several challenges on for second but Myers continued to hold the spot.
The first yellow occurred with twelve laps complete as Wayne Poteet spun in turn four and Hessler banged off him as the yellow flew. Despite some major body damage, Hessler was able to continue on in the event.
Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate
RICE LAKE, WI (March 9) Approximately 250 people gathered Saturday night at the Elks Club in Rice Lake for the 2012 Rice Lake Speedway awards banquet hosted by track owners Dave Adams and Mitch Hansen.
The top 10 drivers in track points in each of the five divisions that race at the speedway were honored along with the rookies of the year in each class as well as some other special presentations that were made.
Track co-owner Dave Adams started off the evening by giving his annual “State of the Track” address; he covered the highlights of the 2012 season, gave a preview of what the track schedule will look like for 2013 as well as some of the improvement projects on tap for the track.
Track announcer Scott Erickson then took the stage to introduce the top 10 in each division and interview some of the drivers about their racing plans for the upcoming season.
Topping the Modified point standings for an incredible fifth consecutive year was Kevin Adams from Cameron. Second in the standings was his father-in-law, Tim McMann from Duluth, MN. They were followed by Matt Leer from Bruce, Paul Brust from Rice Lake, Pat Hoffman from Rice Lake, Scott Miller from Rice Lake, Aric Lindberg from Dallas, Mike Anderson from Colfax, Jerry Weigel from Jim Falls and Buddy Mayala from Barron.
The Super Stock point champion was Shane Kisling from Sarona. He was trailed by Aaron Wilson from Eau Claire, Eric Olson from Ladysmith, Kirk Bogdanovic from Phillips, Jason Forehand from Eau Claire, Ben Hillman from Menomonie, Wayne Harris from Bloomer, Bart Steffen from Eau Claire, Cory Karshbaum from Chetek and Andy Grymala from Superior.
The brothers Viltz topped the field in the Midwest Modified division. Ryan, from Chetek, edged his brother Tyler(Tito) from Rice Lake by a scant seven points for the honors. They were followed by Shane Halopka from Greenwood, Travis Anderson from Colfax, Joe Chaplin Jr. from Cameron, Terry Sirek from Rice Lake, Kerry Halopka from Wheeler, Grant Southworth and Nick Koehler, both from Bloomer and Cody Cimfl from Mikana.
The Street Stock division had the closest finish of any with only a single point to the good allowing Eric Olson from Ladysmith to edge out Cody Kummer from Medford for the track honors. Finishing a close third was Adam Soltis from Ladysmith with the rest of the top 10 consisting of Jimmy Randall from Rice Lake, Jay Kesan from Weyerhaeuser, Sam Fankhauser from Rice Lake, Jamey Fisher from Rice Lake, Heidi Karshbaum from Chetek, Doug Wojcik from Ladysmith and Josh Amans from Rice Lake.
The Pure Stock point champion was Joel Hinrichs from Chetek. He was chased by Chad Eastman from Rice Lake, Bob Thompson from Cameron, Jay Folz from Rice Lake, Kolby Kiehl from Cameron, Mike Schnider from Rice Lake, John Erickson from Cameron, Jason Havel from Rice Lake, Talon Laabs from Stetsonville and Randy Graham from Trego.
Named as the rookies of the year for 2012 were Talon Laabs in the Pure Stocks, Jamey Fisher in the Street Stocks, Cimfl in the Midwest Modifieds, Kirk Bogdanovic in the Super Stocks and Matt Leer in the Modifieds.
The prestigious “Thanks a Lot” award went to Kathy and Gary Roe, who have helped the speedway out in a myriad of ways over the years and have donated many hours of their time volunteering and assisting the track owners as needed.
Megan Adams, who heads up the Kid’s Club, also thanked all the volunteers who helped her out with that organization.
Retiring track photographer Doug Zimmer continued his yearly practice of handing out copies of some of his favorite photos to those pictured.
The top 10 in points in each division that were on hand were eligible for a cash drawing and the winners were: Chad Eastman in the Pure Stocks, Adam Soltis in the Street Stocks, Ryan Viltz in the Midwest Modifieds, Eric Olson in the Super Stocks and Matt Leer in the Modifieds.
With the completion of the 2012 season, all thoughts now focus on the upcoming race season which is just a few short weeks away. The season will start off with the annual car show to be held again at Rice Lake’s Cedar Mall. The dates will be April 4-7. Practice sessions are slated for April 10 and 11 and the 2013 season opener, the 61st consecutive in track history, will be on Saturday, April 13.
Among the highlights of the season are two appearances by the United States Modified Touring Series, the Street Stock Little Dream race, a Super Stock special, the fireworks on the 3rd of July, appearances by both winged and non winged Sprint Cars, a WISSOTA Modified special, and a two-day wrap-up program that will also highlight a Pure Stock invitational. Non-racing action at the track will include a bull riding event and a monster truck show. A complete press release on the official schedule is expected to be released within a week.
While you're watching it snow and waiting out this offseason, surf over to https://www.facebook.com/oldschoolricelake to view some vintage Rice Lake Speedway photos!
Rice Lake Speedway Announces New Hall of Fame Members
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI - In 2011, Rice Lake Speedway started a Hall of Fame and inducted their first group of members.
The Hall of Fame committee recently met again and the second group of inductees were elected. Joining the illustrious group in 2012 will be former drivers Dave Adams, Don Drew, Dave Palmquist, Ben Ryba and Jack Shimon. Added also in the Friend of the Speedway category will be Louie Foss.
The induction ceremony will take place at the speedway on August 11 as a part of the regular weekly racing program on the night that the speedway is also celebrating its 60th year of continuous operation. The inductees and their guests will dine with the existing members of the Hall before the race program and then the formal induction ceremony will take place during the intermission of the racing program.
Dean Harrington and Rice Lake Speedway Share 60 Years Together
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI - When the first green flag of the 2012 racing season dropped at Rice Lake Speedway on Saturday, April 14, it marked a milestone for the speedway. The track started its 60th consecutive year of presenting dirt track racing at the one-third mile oval on the north side of Rice Lake, which makes it the oldest continuously operating dirt track in northwestern Wisconsin and one of the oldest in the entire Midwest.
And for Dean Harrington, it also marked a significant moment; Dean has been there every race night for those 60 years. First as a driver and then as a car owner, along with being an association official and then finally a track employee, Dean has done it all and seen it all as the little dirt track has grown and matured over the years as racing and the way of life in northern Wisconsin has changed and evolved over the past 60 years.
How did Dean get started in the sport? Here is his story. “There was a little dirt track that got started on Rice Lake’s south side around 1950. It didn’t last long as they had some issues, but a friend and I went out there one day to the races, and before the program was over, we decided we had to have one of these cars for ourselves,” Dean said.