|Crapser and Richards Top Thursday Night Rice Lake Special
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (April 26) As a part of the USMTS special Thursday night at Rice Lake Speedway, the WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and Pure Stocks participated in the race program; winning their first feature events of the year at Rice Lake were Cory Crapser and George Richards. In the USMTS portion of the program, Chris Brown from Spring, TX topped the field of 56 Modifieds and claimed the $4,000 top prize.
Ryan Viltz and Crapser led the 20-car field to Randy Davis’ green flag to commence the Midwest Modified main event, but before a lap could be completed, a tangle occurred in turn four and the yellow flag flew. Crapser got the jump on the restart over Ryan Viltz while Tito Viltz quickly moved into third ahead of Jake Stai.
The race was stopped again after three laps, but this time with the red flag for the most serious crash of the evening. Paul Niznik, debuting a new car, hooked an infield tire in turn two, pulling it completely out of the ground. The tire served as a launch and Niznik was catapulted into the air, barrel rolling two and a half times before crashing down on his roof. Fortunately, Niznik was unhurt but his uniquely painted pink race car was severely damaged.
Crapser continued to lead when racing continued and Tito Viltz passed his brother for second. Grant Southworth and Josh Bazey were both on the move and raced into the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
Crapser continued to build on his lead while Tito Viltz tried to catch up to him. Ryan Viltz was under heavy pressure; both Southworth and Bazey challenged him for third.
The last 10 laps of the race ran nonstop and Crapser continued to build on what turned out to be an insurmountable advantage that he held over Tito Viltz. Ryan Viltz withstood all the pressure applied by Southworth to finish third with Bazey’s first run here in several years worth a fifth place finish.
It took three tries to get the Pure Stock feature underway but once they got sorted out, the main event ran nonstop from green to checkered. George Richards started on the pole and he took advantage of that starting spot to move into the early lead over Joel Hinrichs, who was close behind him and challenging on each lap. Chad Eastman quickly found the third and raced with the top two while there was a tight battle between Nick Traynor, John Erickson, Mike Schnider and Bob Thompson behind them.
Richards continued to lead but his advantage was narrow over Hinrichs, who continued to chase and look for an opening with Eastman shadowing the top two. Eastman pulled inside Hinrichs in a battle for second and they both closed on the leader.
Lapped traffic was just ahead as the laps ran down, but Richards did a good job of skirting the slower cars and gained a slight edge, which he maintained to the finish for the win. Eastman was all over Hinrichs, who held on for second with Traynor and Schnider completing the top five.
The next action at Rice Lake Speedway will be Saturday, April 28 when all five classes that normally run at the track will be in action with a 6:30 p.m. start time in effect.
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Josh Bazey(Luck), Josh Smith(Eau Claire), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), George Dalbeck(Ironwood MI), Jake Stai(New Auburn), Terry Sirek(Rice Lake), Gabe Kennedy, Chris Bretting, Jason VandeKamp, Scott Meeds, Shane Halopka, Mike Truscott, Travis Anderson, Joe Chaplin Jr, Paul Niznik, Jeffrey Lien
10 B Feature Dalbeck, Lien(Mora MN), Bretting(Washburn), Meeds(Spooner), Mike Kyllonen(Rogers MN), Dusty Brown, Travis Friske, C.J. Hedges, Douglas Toepper, Tyler Luger, Neil Balduc, Tanner Byholm, Travis Schilling
10 lap Heat 1 Southworth, Halopka(Greenwood), VandeKamp(Scandia MN), Niznik(Medford), Balduc(Bessemer MI), Toepper, Byholm, Meeds
Heat 2 R. Viltz, Bazey, Sirek, Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Lien, Luger, Hedges
Heat 3 Crapser, Smith, Koehler, Anderson(Colfax), Dalbeck, Kyllonen, Brown
Heat 4 T. Viltz, Stai, Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Kennedy(Chisago City MN), Bretting, Friske, Schilling
12 lap Feature George Richards(Mondovi), Joel Hinrichs(Chetek), Chad Eastman(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Hillsdale), Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), John Erickson(Cameron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Mark Smith(Solon Springs), Brandon Davis, Jeremy Dahl, Dusten Holub, Jon Wigchers, Cooper Berlin, Bob Wahlstrom, Kolby Kiehl, Dan Fisher
8 lap Heat 1 Eastman, Erickson, Folz, Schnider, Wahlstrom(Chetek), Smith, Dahl, Davis, Wigchers, Fisher
Heat 2 Hinrichs, Richards, Thompson, Traynor, Wagner, Kiehl, Berlin, Holub
April 26, 2012 Photos By Doug Zimmer & Chris Burback: