|Halopka Doubles In Big Rice Lake Speedway Show
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 13) - It was a big night of racing Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway with a 23 race program that included 10 feature races, five of which were left over from the July 30 rain shortened program that track officials were finally able to complete after rain washed out the entire show last Saturday.
On a night when three drivers earned their first feature wins of the year at Rice Lake and another driver became the first double digit feature winner at Rice Lake since the 2005 race season, the only double winner was Shane Halopka, who swept both ends of the Midwest Modified action with eight other drivers also visiting victory lane.
Rain still remained a factor in the racing program Saturday; two separate rain systems hit the speedway during the day Saturday, the last one ending at 3:30 p.m. However, hard work by the track prep crew and some cooperation by the competing drivers allowed the race program to start with only a 20 minute delay. After that it was virtually nonstop racing for the rest of the evening.
Halopka won the makeup Midwest Modified feature after a late race caution benefited him greatly. Zach Manley had led the race from the start, with pressure by both Travis Anderson and Matt Leer in the early going. Halopka worked his way into contention along with Cory Crapser. Crapser did the best charge; he moved up from the third row to edge past Manley and take over the lead, with Halopka eventually moving into the third slot. Halopka was battled Anderson for second when they got together, with Anderson tagged for the caution and Halopka gaining the second spot.
On the green, Crapser babied his car into the first turn and to his surprise, the car then pushed up the track and Halopka was able to duck under him and take over the lead. Crapser scrambled to catch up, but it was too late and Halopka drove on for the win over Crapser, Leer, Ryan Viltz and Manley.
The second main event saw Anderson and Manley again battling in the early going for the lead until Leer moved up to the cushion and drove into the lead. Leer looked to be in good shape as the race continued under the green, but Halopka got hooked up on the bottom and made a great charge, tracking down Leer and driving into the lead. Once in front, he pulled away to complete his double win with Manley, Anderson and Crapser chasing him home.
Mark Hanson won his second Modified feature race of the year in the make up event; he started on the outside pole and led all 20 laps. Hanson quickly moved to the cushion where he fought to hold of Eric Pember in the early going. After Pember spun just past the halfway point, Mike Anderson took up the charge to catch Hanson. Kevin Adams was working his way toward the front as he slipped into third in the late going. However, Hanson had the field covered, and while Anderson made it close at the end, it was Hanson in victory lane. Paul Brust also came charging up at the end and when Adams jumped the cushion, Paul took over the third place and finished there ahead of Adams and Scott Miller.
Adams became the first double digit feature winner since the 2005 racing season when he won the regular Modified feature after a classic charge up from the ninth starting spot in the field. Mark Hessler led the first half of the race, looking for his first win at Rice Lake in 2011. Jason Gross and Jesse Glenz pressured Hessler in the early going, as Adams used both the low and high side to drive up through the field in the nonstop main event. Eventually Adams moved past Glenz for second and then began working on the leader. After several attempts, Adams was able to nose under Hessler down the back chute and slide up in front of him exiting turn four. Once in front, Adams pulled away in the late going. Jason Miller, wheeling the car normally driven by Jeremy Gross, made a big charge also as he drove into the second spot and actually closed somewhat on Adams in the late going. Hessler held on for a fine third place finish ahead of Brust and Glenz.
Bart Steffen led the opening laps of the make up Super Stock feature with Cory Davis moving into second and putting the pressure on Steffen. Cory made several attempts to pass but Bart held his line and Cory remained in second.
The race was plagued with several cautions and on one of the restarts, Shane Kisling was able to get past Davis for second and he then closed on Steffen. Kisling was able to get under Steffen down the back chute and take over the lead, with Davis also racing into second.
On a late restart with only two laps to go, Davis dropped out under the yellow, and on the two lap sprint to the finish, Kisling pulled away for his fourth Rice Lake win of 2011. Eric Olson patiently worked his way into second at the end, finishing ahead of Steffen, Andy Grymala and Aaron Wilson.
Cory Karshbaum had a great run in the regular Super Stock main, leading for a number of laps in a race that went much smoother, with only two minor yellows to slow the action. Davis put intense pressure on Karshbaum, and finally it yielded results and Cory was able to move past for the lead. Ben Hillman then put on a charge, as he raced hard with Jason Forehand before taking second and then closing on Davis. The last thirteen laps of the race ran nonstop, and while Hillman put on the pressure, Davis rode the cushion to take his first win at Rice Lake. Forehand finished a solid third with Olson and Karshbaum completing the top five. Davis became the eighth different winner in the division so far this season.
A pair of drivers won their second Street Stock features of the year as Cody Kummer took the make up race while Jay Kesan came back from a wreck in the first main to drive his battered looking car to a win in the regularly scheduled event.
Mike Knudtson was in the midst of a great run in the makeup feature as he led the first twelve laps of the fifteen lapper. He had survived early pressure from Kesan to hold on to the lead and as the yellows mounted, Kummer gradually worked his way up from the sixth row to become a player. He was able to get under Kesan for second and then closed on the leader. They had a great race for the lead, with Kummer looking under Knudtson several times but not quite being able to complete the pass. Finally, Kummer got inside Knudtson in turn two and then the leaders crashed together with Knudtson spinning across the track and clipping Kesan, who couldn’t avoid the contact.
Knudtson was done for the night with front end damage while Kesan limped to the pits. Kummer inherited the lead and held off Doug Wojcik for the win in a three laps sprint. Darrel Hazelton had his best finish so far this year as he finished third, ahead of Sam Fankhauser and Nick Wojcik.
The regular Street feature went much smoother than the opener, with only one yellow flag and one car that didn’t finish the event. Josh Amans held the lead briefly, but Kesan quickly moved up from the second row to take the point. Once in front, he spent the rest of the event fighting off the challenges of the Wojcik brothers, eventually beating Doug to the line with Nick trailing. Kummer settled for fourth ahead of Fankhauser.
Two new winners emerged in Pure Stock action, making the eighth and ninth different winners of 2011, tops of any division.
C.J. Wagner started on the pole for the makeup feature, and he led all the way in a smooth contest that saw only one yellow flag. Wagner held off Bob Wahlstrom and Jamey Fisher in the early going, along with Jay Folz. Butch Madsen started in the fifth row and gradually worked his way into contention, seemingly the fastest car on the track at the end of the race. However, Wagner had built up a nice lead, and Madsen’s late charge came up short as C.J. took home the win. Wahlstrom finished a strong third with Folz and Cooper Berlin next in line.
Krysta Swearingen and Fisher battled in the early going of the regular feature, with Fisher eventually gaining the edge. Wagner then moved in to challenge for the lead while Swearingen also remained in the hunt. Jason Havel drove the car that Madsen had driven in the makeup event, and he followed the same pattern as had Madsen, charging to the front after starting in the fourth row.
However, Fisher, who had broke while contending in the first feature, kept his smoking car running and he drove home for the win with Wagner settling for second ahead of Havel, Swearingen and Dustin Doughty.
This coming week will be a big one for the track. On Thursday, August 18, the highly anticipated first ever appearance of the United States Modified Touring Series will occur. National driving stars from literally all over the country will be on hand for this show, featuring the open Modified driver taking on the area competitors in what should be a very interesting event. Approximately forty Modifieds are expected to be in competition that night. Along with the open Modifieds, WISSOTA sanctioned Super Stocks and the Rice Lake Pure Stocks will also be racing. Those classes will be running for their regular payoff, with no track points but national points for the Super Stocks using the draw/redraw format. Race time is 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, August 20, it will be the final track point night of the 2011 season with several of the point battles still being very close as drivers work to position themselves for the Season Championship races, which will be held on August 27. It will also be Hall of Fame night, with the first group of inductees to the new, Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame introduced during the evening. Race time is 6:30 p.m.
20 lap Feature - Kevin Adams(Cameron), Jason Miller(Osceola), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), Jason Gross(Cushing), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Eric Pember)Pittsville), Tim McMann, Rick Kobs, Buddy Mayala, Pat Hoffman, Shaun Kreyer, Aric Lindberg, Destin Lorimor, Kevin Marlett
20 lap Makeup Feature from July 30 - Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Anderson, Brust, Adams, Miller, Hoffman(Rice Lake), Pember, Lindberg(Dallas), Kreyer(Hayward), Chad Manor(Monroe), McMann, Baxter, Glenz, Mayala
10 lap Heat 1 - Brust, Baxter, Glenz, Kreyer, Lindberg, Marlett, Manor
Heat 2 - S. Miller, Gross, Hessler, Hanson, Pember, Kobs, Mayala
Heat 3 - Adams, J. Miller, McMann(Duluth MN), Anderson, Hoffman, Lorimor
WISSOTA Super Stocks
20 lap Feature - Cory Davis(Turtle Lake), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Cory Karshbaum(Chetek), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Tad Schoonover(Eagle River), Chad Johnson(Colfax), Andy Grymala(Superior), Jim Harris, Tim Shackleton, Mike Hince, Jake Hiatt, Marcus Simonson, Russ Chester, Donnie Talmage, David Pospyhalla, Ben Hanke, Willie Johnsen
20 lap Makeup Feature from July 30 - Shane Kisling, Eric Olson, Bart Steffen, Andy Grymala, Aaron Wilson(Menomonie), Jim Harris(Menomonie), Tad Schoonover, Donnie Talmage(Amery), Tim Shackleton(Barron), Cory Karshbaum), Cory Davis, Ben Hillman, Marcus Simonson, Marcel Hoaglan, David Pospyhalla, Mike Hince, Jason Forehand
10 lap Heat 1 - Grymala, Karshbaum, Steffen, Schoonover, Pospyhalla(Stratford), Chester, Hince, Mike Siewert
Heat 2 - Forehand, Hillman, Johnson, Hiatt(River Falls), Shackleton, Talmage, Hanke
Heat 3 - Olson, Kisling, Davis, Harris, Johnsen(Superior), Simonson, Wilson
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature - Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Matt Leer(Bruce), Zach Manley(Cameron), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Terry Sirek(Rice Lake), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Doug Toepper(Wyoming MN), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Will Fisher, Dusty Brown, Darren LaBlonde, Joe Eckland, Josh Olson
15 lap Makeup Feature from July 30 - S. Halopka, Crapser, Leer, R. Viltz, Manley, LaBlonde(Baldwin), Anderson, Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Brown(Rice Lake)
10 lap Heat 1 - Manley, S. Halopka, Anderson, LaBlonde, Sirek, Eckland, Fisher, T. Viltz, Brown
Heat 2 - Leer, Crapser, R. Viltz, K. Halopka, Chaplin Jr, Toepper, Jake Stai, Olson
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature - Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Nick Wojcik(Ladysmith), Doug Wojcik(Ladysmith), Cody Kummer(Medford), Sam Fankhauser(Cameron), Josh Amans(Rice Lake), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Darrel Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Joel Hinrichs(Chetek), David Mastell(Lino Lakes MN), Andy Cimfl, Ralph Stark, Bill Engler, Butch Madsen
15 lap Makeup Feature from July 30 - Kummer, D. Wojcik, Hazelton, Fankhauser, N. Wojcik, Hinrichs, Amans, Mastell, Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Stark, Kesan, Mike Knudtson, Wahlstrom
10 lap Heat 1 - Fankhauser, N. Wojcik, Kummer, Amans, Wahlstrom, Cimfl, Mastell
Heat 2 - D. Wojcik, Madsen(Rice Lake), Hinrichs, Kesan, Hazelton, Stark, Engler
12 lap Feature - Jamey Fisher(Rice Lake), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Krysta Swearingen(Little Cananda MN), Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Bob Wahlstrom(Chetek), Josh Bach(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Barron), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound), Kolby Kiehl, Brandon Davis, Bob Thompson, Jon Wigchers, Kendall Grover, Chad Eastman, Chaz Ducommun, Brad Hoffman, Kory Hathaway, Rob Lowe, Cooper Berlin, John Erickson
12 lap Makeup Feature from July 30 - Wagner, Butch Madsen(Rice Lake), Wahlstrom, Folz, Berlin(Rice Lake), Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), Doughty, Erickson(Cameron), Lowe(Luck), Kiehl(Cameron), Bach, Eastman, Watkins, Davis, Wigchers, Thompson, Traynor, Fisher
8 lap Heat 1 - Doughty, Wahlstrom, Fisher, Thompson(Cameron), Kiehl, Lowe, Wigchers
Heat 2 - Havel, Wagner, Berlin, Erickson, Bach, Eastman, Grover, Hoffman
Heat 3 - Swearingen, Watkins, Hathaway(Elmwood), Ducommun(Chetek), Traynor, Folz, Davis
August 13 Photos By Doug Zimmer & Chris Burback: