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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.

Just at the halfway point, bad luck struck Hessler as his car started to smoke badly with some kind of apparent rear end failure. He made one more lap before rolling to a halt in turn three. Baxter inherited the lead and led one lap but coming off turn four, Adams went to the high side and Mahder was able to sneak under Dave, and the leaders raced three wide down the front chute. Adams used the cushion to take the lead with Mahder edging into second as the yellow flew again for a spin.

With only a few laps left, Adams again jumped into the lead but Mahder closed in on the leader. Mahder was gaining time in turn three and four as Adams couldn’t come off the cushion as well there as he could in turns one and two. Mahder blasted through the low side and roared into the lead down the front chute. Adams wasn’t able to stay with the new leader and Cory completed the run, building up a three car length lead on the final lap. Mahder’s win was his first at Rice Lake since a 2011 Late Model win, before he switched over to running Modifieds. Baxter completed a strong run for third with Brust and Jamie Davis completing the top five.

Jason Forehand blasted off the outside pole in the Super Stock feature and built up a big lead running the outside line, and without a yellow flag, he likely wouldn’t have been caught. However, after racing past Scott Zitelman into second, Olson caught the break he needed when the yellow flew for a spin.

On the restart, Olson immediately put the pressure on Forehand and Eric was able to drive under the leader and take over the top spot. Forehand tried to fight back but Olson was able to stretch his lead to a few car lengths while Aaron Wilson raced his way into third and tried to close on the top two. The top three runners then maintained about the same distance between each other in the late going, with no one able to advance themselves as the top three finished in that running order. Zitelman hung on for fourth at the finish with Bart Steffen completing the top five. It was Olson’s second Rice Lake Triumph of the 2013 racing season.

Rookie Mike Schnider led his first feature laps of the season and looked very good doing so as he fought off Grant Southworth and Joe Chaplin Jr in the early going to lead the opening laps of the Midwest Modified feature. However, Smith, making one of his rare Rice Lake starts in 2013 was flying on the cushion. He came tearing up from the third row and blasted past the leader to take over the top spot. As Smith started to extend his lead, the action was on behind him as Ryan and Tito Viltz, along with Shane Halopka, were all battling their way to the front of the pack. Ryan found an opening on the low side of the track and drove past Schnider to take over second with Halopka following him.

A late yellow set up a four lap sprint to the finish but there would be no stopping Smith on this night. He roared away from the field and while Viltz was able to maintain second, he could provide no serious challenge to Smith, who became the first repeat feature winner in the division during the 2013 racing season. Halopka settled for third, Schnider finished off a good run in fourth and Chaplin Jr settled for fifth.

Another driver who exhibited tremendous speed and power Saturday was Street Stock driver Doug Wojcik. After a grinding first lap crash eliminated Ashley Wahlstrom and Jason Bearden, Kolby Kiehl and Scott Clark battled for the early lead. However, Wojcik went to the cushion and blew past both the leaders, taking over the lead and immediately stretching his advantage. Sam Fankhauser, Adam Soltis and Josh Amans were all working their way up through the field but up front, Wojcik was blowing away the field as he threw his car into the turns more like an open wheel driver would as opposed to a full bodied car.

Clark was having a good run, but he was unable to cut into Wojcik’s lead and while Fankhauser eventually took third, he couldn’t gain on either of the front runners. Wojcik continued to motor on and he earned his second feature win of the year at the track. Clark had his best run off the year to date for second with Fankhauser trailing. Bad luck hit Soltis when he spun on the final lap with Amans credited with fourth while rookie Cooper Berlin came from fourteenth to five at the finish.

Wagner came back from a bad crash last Saturday and with the point title on the line, he responded to take his second feature win of the year and ensure his first track title. Rookie Hunter VanGilder was the early leader with Wagner moving up from fourth starting spot to race into second. Wagner made a low dive in turn one and took over the lead. VanGilder continued to run second with Bob Thompson and Jared Amundson among those battling behind him.

A lone yellow flew with ten laps complete when Jimmy Holden rolled to a halt and on the green, John Erickson made a great charge racing the cushion as he drove around VanGilder and very nearly got past Wagner. However, C.J. was able to fight him off and while Erickson finished a strong second, Wagner hung on for the win. VanGilder had another strong finish and after another rookie Rob Grabon was disqualified for a technical violation, Amundson was elevated to fourth in the finishing order with Thompson next in line.

The next racing action at the speedway will be this coming Thursday, August 15, when the cars and national driving stars of the United States Modified Touring Series invade the Rice Lake Speedway. The Hunt for the Casey’s Cup event will pay the winner $3,000 to win the Modified main and the best local and area competitors are preparing for the challenge. WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and the Rice Lake Speedway Pure Stocks are also on the card with racing to begin at 7 p.m. The will be no racing on Saturday, August 17 and drivers will then return to the track on Saturday, August 24 to battle it out for the Season Championships. The season will then conclude with racing on Saturday August 31 and Sunday, September 1 for the annual Labor Day weekend special.

SUMMARY

WISSOTA Modifieds:
20 lap Feature – Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Jamie Davis(Ft. Frances ONT), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Jerry Weigel(Jim Falls), Dave Mayala, Buddy Mayala, Aric Lindberg, Kent Baxter, Mark Hessler
10 lap Heat 1 – Adams, Anderson, D. Baxter, Davis, Weigel, B. Mayala, K. Baxter, D. Mayala
Heat 2 – Hessler(Menomonie), Miller, Mahder, Brust, Matt Leer(Bruce), Hoffman, McMann, Lindberg

WISSOTA Super Stocks:
20 lap Feature – Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Aaron Wilson(Menomonie), Scott Zitelman(Taylors Falls MN), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Jesse Redetzke(Altoona), Terry Kroening(Colby), Jim Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound), Kyle Helling(Rice Lake)
10 lap Heat 1 – Wilson, Kroening, Forehand, Steffen, Helling
Heat 2 – Olson, Zitelman, Cimfl, Redetzke, Watkins

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
15 lap Feature – Josh Smith(Eau Claire), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Terry Sirek(Rice Lake), Reid Tiegs(Dallas), Cody Cimfl(Mikana), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Grant Southworth, Craig Elliott
10 lap Heat 1 – Smith, Southworth(Bloomer), Chaplin Jr, Sirek, Anderson, Elliott
Heat 2 – Halopka, R. Viltz, T. Viltz, Schnider, Tiegs, Cimfl

WISSOTA Street Stocks:
15 lap Feature – Doug Wojcik(Ladysmith), Scott Clark(Cameron), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Josh Amans(Rice Lake), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Cameron), Heidi Karshbaum(Chetek), Andy Cimfl(Clayton), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Bob Wahlstrom(Chetek), Troy Chaplin, Kevin Vought, Jason Bearden, Ashley Wahlstrom
10 lap Heat 1 – Clark, B. Wahlstrom, Soltis, Vought(Hudson), Chaplin(Barron), Bearden, Cimfl, Brandon Davis
Heat 2 – Fankhauser, Wojcik, A. Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Kiehl, Amans, Karshbaum, Berlin

Pure Stocks:
12 lap Feature – C.J. Wagner(Hayward), John Erickson(Rice Lake), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Jared Amundson(Barron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Dan Hensel(Rice Lake), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Mike Grover(Chetek), Brent Miller(Cameron), Nick Traynor(Hillsdale), Kendall Grover, Jimmy Holden
8 lap Heat 1 – Thompson, Wagner, Amundson, VanGilder, Traynor, B. Miller, K. Grover
Heat 2 – Folz, Erickson, Holden(Rice Lake), Hensel, M. Grover, Rob Grabon, Troy Miller