|Adams Tops Rice Lake Speedway Opener
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (April 23) - The first wheels turned on the WISSOTA Promoter’sracing season Saturday night in the state of Wisconsin at Rice Lake Speedway, and the 59th season opener was a hit for Kevin Adams, who topped the Modified main event to highlight the cool and blustery racing opener.
Other winners during the opening night were Scott Clark, Ryan Viltz, Doug Wojcik and Clay Potaczek.
Chad Olsen and Paul Brust battled early for the lead in the Modified headliner before Mike Anderson flexed his muscle, moved to the low groove on the track and drove into the top spot. Anderson continued to lead through a lap two caution and on the green again moved away from the pack. Adams started from the sixth spot but quickly began to move toward the front and with a strong move off turn two, split Olsen and Brust to move into the runner-up slot. He then began to track down the race leader.
Anderson continued to lead but Adams had closed the gap to a couple of car lengths and then began to pressure the leader at the halfway point. Adams was able to get to the inside of Anderson down the back chute and slid into the lead in turn four. Seconds later, Anderson’s car pulled up lame and the yellow appeared once more.
Adams pulled away from the field on the green and the focus was then on the battle for second. Brent Prochnow moved his new ride into third and began to pressure Brust for the second spot. As Adams drove away from the pack, the runner-up spot was swapped on a couple of occasions but during the important last lap, Brust corralled the position. Prochnow finished a strong third with Tim McMann and Scott Miller completing the top five.
There were myriad position changes during the Super Stock feature, a few too many yellow flags and the first major crash of the race season before Clark took the checkers. Scott Lawrence started on the pole before Shane Kisling powered by him on the high side to take the early lead. Aaron Wilson was also on the move and he rode into second past Lawrence. Lawrence then triggered the first yellow when he spun all by himself in turn two; it was just the start of Lawrence’s interesting run.
Kisling continued to lead on the green with Wilson applying plenty of pressure for the lead. The battle near the front was intense with Cory Casari, Ben Hillman, Ken Truscott, Jason Forehand and Eric Olson all battling hard for position.
Forehand got turned around exiting turn four with Hillman being the innocent bystander who got caught up in the incident and was eliminated. As the race continued, Kisling continued to show the top spot with Wilson applying plenty of pressure. Forehand and Olson got together while battling for third and the yellow flew again. Forehand called it a night and Olson was done several laps later when his car lost steering.
Wilson was now challenging for the lead and he moved under Kisling as they raced into turn three. Wilson edged by on the bottom for the lead and as they exited turn four, Kisling broke traction and spun, coming right down across the track in front of the pack. A grinding collision occurred that brought out the red flag and while all drivers were uninjured, the cars of Kisling, Truscott, Jim Harris and Nick Oreskovich were all heavily damaged.
The last six laps of the feature went nonstop, and Clark, who started ninth and took his time moving to the front, was now in position to challenge Wilson for the win. Clark got to the bottom of Wilson and edged into the lead. Wilson fought back while Lawrence was up to third and closing on the top two.
The last couple of laps were wild as the leaders raced side by side with Lawrence almost making it three wide as they raced to the white flag. The leaders were still side by side as they drove into turn two on the final lap, where Wilson lost traction and slid up the track. That opened the door for Clark to take the lead and Lawrence to slip into second. Clark held on by a car length for the win with Lawrence on his bumper. A disappointed Wilson settled for third ahead of Casari and Cory Davis.
Dave Dishaw and Neil Balduc shared the front row for the Midwest Modified feature. Scott Duval made a great move from the second row and drove around both of them and into the early lead. The race also had its share of yellow flags and also a red as Travis Anderson drove into the turn one wall very hard on lap three, triggering the stoppage. He was shook up but not seriously injured, the same could not be said for his new car.
Duval continued to lead under the green, but he was soon joined in a tight battle by Chad Olsen, Matt Leer, Cory Crapser and Ryan and Tito Viltz. Olsen drove under Duval for the lead and, during the next caution, Duval called it a night with a badly smoking engine.
Olsen continued to lead with heavy pressure from Leer, Crapser and Ryan Viltz. Ryan Viltz found an opening and when Olsen temporarily bogged down leaving turn two, Viltz blasted past him to take over the top spot. Leer moved into second and was tight on Viltz’s tail. Too tight it turned out, and they touched entering turn three. Leer’s car shot up into the wall and ended his night.
Viltz pulled away during the final four laps for the win, with Olsen hanging on for second trailed by Crapser, Mike Truscott and Tito Viltz.
Wojcik won the Street Stock feature but for Jimmy Randall it was near disaster, then near triumph and then final disaster in his eventful race.
Mike Knudtson and Wojcik battled for the lead in the early going. When a swarm of cars tried to occupy the same space on lap one, Randall got turned around and nearly launched into the turn four wall. However, his car was fine and he was able to regain his position and only a couple of laps later powered into the lead.
In a race not slowed by multiple yellows, Randall put a comfortable distance on the rest of the field and appeared to be a sure winner. However, turn four reached out to bite him once again as he got too high leaving the turn and slammed the frontstretch wall hard. The damage to the right side of his car was such that he slowed at a dramatic pace and was soon overtaken by Wojcik. Randall ended up limping his #15 off the track while Wojcik held off the late charge of Sam Fankhauser for the win. Simon Wahlstrom capped a strong run in third ahead of Danny Richards and Knudtson.
The Pure Stock feature was also eventful with several plot changes before Potaczek earned his first career win at Rice Lake. John Erickson, off a strong heat race performance, started on the pole and appeared to be hard to beat. However, after a lap one yellow for debris on the track, Erickson had to call it a night when he suffered from an engine fire on the front chute that was quickly extinguished but ended his race. Potaczek then inherited the pole and led the early going over George Richards and Dustin Doughty. Richards was moving in to challenge but the multi feature winner in 2010 suddenly lost power and he was also out of the contest.
Potaczek then found himself alone up front and he powered away from the field. Driving the car that Nick Wojcik had earned the 2010 championship with here, he pulled away from the field and was never seriously challenged the rest of the contest. Jamey Fisher drove into the second spot and tried to track down Potaczek, but the second year driver was unstoppable. C.J. Wagner raced his way into third at the finish and was followed by Nick Traynor and Scotty Schoettle.
Racing action continues Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. when the Best Appearing Car awards will be handed out prior to the first green flag falling. Check the website at www.ricelakespeedway.net for more information about the season schedule.
Feature - Kevin Adams, Paul Brust, Brent Prochnow, Tim McMann, Scott Miller, Shawn Kreyer, Pat Hoffman, Paul Niznik, Dave Mayala, Chad Olsen, Mike Anderson, Steve Stuart, Jason Swan
Heat 1 - Anderson, Adams, Prochnow, Olsen, Mayala, Niznik, Miller, Craig Thatcher
Heat 2 - Stuart, Brust, Swan, McMann, Kreyer, Jason Gross, Hoffman
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature - Scott Clark, Scott Lawrence, Aaron Wilson, Cory Casari, Cory Davis, Andy Grymala, Russ Chester, Shawn Rivord, Willie Johnsen, Jr., Tad Schoonover, Cody Carlson, Ken Truscott, Nick Oreskovich, Jim Harris, Shane Kisling, Luke Plank, Eric Olson, Jason Forehand, Allen Amborn, Ben Hillman, Donnie Talmage
Heat 1 - Hillman, Clark, Truscott, Oreskovich, Davis, Amborn, Talmage
Heat 2 - Kisling, Lawrence, Forehand, Harris, Chester, Schoonover, Grymala
Heat 3 - Wilson, Olson, Casari, Plank, Johnsen, Rivord, Carlson
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature - Ryan Viltz, Chad Olsen, Cory Crapser, Truscott, Tito Viltz, A.J. Roschen, Shane Halopka, Jon Moravec, Dave Dishaw, Will Fisher, Darren LaBlonde, Scott Meeds, Kerry Halopka, Matt Leer, Jake Stai, Scott Duval, Zach Manley, Joe Eckland, Neil Balduc, Travis Anderson, Brad Hudson
Heat 1 - Leer, R. Viltz, Olsen, Crapser, S. Halopka, Manley, Hudson
Heat 2 - T. Viltz, Stai, Balduc, Anderson, Eckland, LaBlonde, Meeds
Heat 3 - Duval, Dishaw, Truscott, Moravec, Fisher, Roschen, K. Halopka
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature - Doug Wojcik, Sam Fankhauser, Simon Wahlstrom, Richards, Mike Knudtson, Cody Kummer, Nick Wojcik, Adam Soltis, Jay Kesan, Ashley Husby, Tyler Wahlstrom, Joel Hinrichs, Josh Wahlstrom, Jimmy Randall, Donny Ganz, Rick Weir, Jared Lindner
Heat 1 - Randall, Knudtson, Ganz, Husby, J. Wahlstrom, Hinrichs
Heat 2 - Linder, Kesan, S. Wahlstrom, T. Wahlstrom, Weir, Soltis
Heat 3 - Fankhauser, Richards, D. Wojcik, Kummer, N. Wojcik
Feature - Clay Potaczek, Jamey Fisher, C.J. Wagner, Nick Traynor, Scotty Schoettle, Steve Udeen, Bob Thompson, Jay Folz, Brian Ciolkosz, Jake Sandmann, Dustin Doughty, Todd Roshell, Josh Bach, Chad Eastman, Andy Udeen, Jon Wigchers, Jeff Christman, Bob Wahlstrom, Kolby Kiehl, George Richards, John Erickson, Gunnar Watkins
Heat 1 - Richards, Folz, Wagner, Schoettle, S. Udeen, Bach, A. Udeen, Mike Schnider
Heat 2 - Potaczek, Fisher, Doughty, Thompson, Ciolkosz, Christman, Kiehl, Wigcher
Heat 3 - Erickson, Traynor, Roshell, Wahlstrom, Sandmann, Watkins, Eastman
April 23 Photos by Doug Zimmer: