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By Ed Reichert

Pending any last minute adjustments, Adams-Hansen Inc. have released the racing schedule for the Rice Lake Speedway for the 2016 racing season. A twenty two race night schedule has been planned for the speedway with nineteen Saturday night shows, two Tuesday shows and a lone Sunday night program to conclude the racing season.

Variety will mark the schedule for 2016 as along with the regular five class program which includes WISSOTA sanctioned Modifieds, Super Stocks, Midwest Modifieds and Street Stocks along with the Rice Lake Pure Stocks, the Sprint Cars will make two appearances at the track and the Late Models return for a highly anticipated program also.

The first activity of the 2016 season comes with the annual car show to be once again held at Rice Lake's Cedar Mall. The cars will enter the mall on Thursday, March 31st and will be removed from the mall at the conclusion of business on Sunday, April 3. A large number of drivers are expected to show their new or refurbished race cars and with a considerable number of drivers switching classes for 2016, drivers are more than anxious to show off their new rides.

The first on track activity at the speedway will come by way of practice nights which have been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th . As always, this is a free activity with spectators entering the grounds without charge along with the racers.

The sixty fourth consecutive season opener is scheduled for Saturday night, April 16th with all five classes competing in the lid lifter for auto racing in northern Wisconsin. Regular Saturday night shows are scheduled throughout April and May with pits opening at 4 p.m., the grandstands at 5 p.m with hot laps slated for 6:30 p.m and racing to follow directly.

The first special event of the season happens on Saturday night, May 28th when along with the regular five class program, the Upper Midwest Sprint Series will be on hand at the speedway. Both the winged and Traditional Sprints will be on the card in a program that has developed into one of the most popular and highest drawing of the season.

After another Saturday night show, the next special event comes quickly when the Aquafest Trophy races will be held at the speedway on Tuesday, June 7. Last year, after many years of not having the race, the speedway again became a part of the official Aquafest celebration which is a city wide, ten day 'fest in Rice Lake. A special race program for all five classes will be held on Tuesday and the speedway will then remain dark on Saturday, June 11th. Being the first midweek race in the area, this event drew a fine field of visiting drivers in 2015 and the same is expected for this year.

Saturday night programs continue on June 18thand fill out the rest of June with the next special being the largest crowd draw of the entire year and that is the annual Firecracker special with one of the best displays of fireworks in the area. The program will be held on Saturday, July 2ndthis year with a rain date of July 9th. All five classes will compete along with the fireworks.

The speedway will be closed on July 23rd for the Barron County Fair but that one week break just gives everyone a chance to prepare for one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, and that is the return of the late Models to the Rice Lake Speedway for the first time since 2012. And it's just not any Late Model show. The program will feature the One Main Financial WISSOTA Challenge Series which brings many of the finest drivers in all of WISSOTA who follow this series and the $10,000 check that goes to the series point champion. Tied in as the second night of a three night tour by the Challenge Series in the Northland, this race is expected to draw the largest field of Late Models to the speedway in many years. Tentatively, all five classes will also be in action on that night.

And just three days later, the nationally acclaimed Street Stock Little Dream race comes to the Rice Lake Speedway. Who can forget last year's show when over sixty of the best Street Stocks from a five state and Canada area came to the speedway to fight for the winner's check with local driver Jimmy Randall going home with over $14,000 for his win! Modifieds will be sharing the card with the Street Stocks on August 2nd with the 3rd slated as the rain date.

Regular Saturday night racing will fill out the rest of August with the Championships slated for August 20th. The 27th will be the rain date for this event with Traditional Sprints joining the racing on that night also.

The season will conclude on September 3rd and 4th with a holiday doubleheader. After several years of being unable to run a doubleheader on Labor Day weekend, the speedway will be back to their tradition of wrapping up the season with two full shows for all classes.

Interspersed over the course of the season will be such special activities as Kid's night along with bike giveaways, bike races, the Race of Champion qualifier, Hall of Fame night and more.

The Rice Lake Speedway will soon have a new website with updated information. In the meantime, check the speedway's facebook page or for more information, call Dave Adams at 715-458-2985 or 715-205-2861.