|Rice Lake Speedway Crowns Season Champions
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (August 25) Despite the threat of rain, and with a few sprinkles falling from time to time, the Rice Lake Speedway was able to complete their regular season of racing Saturday and also crown Season Champions.
Crowned as Season Champions in the five divisions that regularly race at Rice Lake were Darwin Brown, Adam Soltis, Ryan Viltz, Aaron Wilson and Kevin Adams. The UMSS Sprint Cars were the special attraction Saturday, and their feature race was won by Robby Thiel of Sheboygan.
Brown won what was a rather disjointed Pure Stock main event that had considerable action as a part of the feature race. Jason Havel had the pole position but he was challenged on the first lap by Jay Folz. Brown dove to the inside and they raced three wide down the back chute on the opening lap. Havel clipped Folz who spun and was collected by Bob Thompson. Folz was restored to the top spot, Havel went to the rear and Thompson made a quick pit stop to repair damage.
Brown came storming up on the restart and got past Folz to take over the lead. Folz then slowed with problems and the yellow flew again. Brown continued to lead on the restart over Kolby Kiehl and C.J. Wagner. Meanwhile, back in the pack, both Havel and Thompson were charging back up through the field along with Chad Eastman who also had to make a visit to the work area.
Havel continued his run back to the front as he moved into third and began to challenge Kiehl for second. However, there was contact between the two in turn two, and Kiehl stalled, bringing out the third and final yellow of the event. Havel was judged at fault, and with it being his second yellow of the event, he was sent to the pits.
The last three laps finished up with Brown continuing to build on his lead as he drove over the finish line with a considerable lead over Kiehl and Wagner. Thompson and Eastman, who both pitted, completed the top five. However, in post race technical inspection, the car of Wagner failed to meet specifications and was disqualified. This moved much of the field up one position and elevated Mike Chaplin into the top five. The win was Brown’s second of the year at Rice Lake.
The Street Stock feature was probably the best race of the night and had three different leaders during the fifteen lap event. Adam Soltis sat on the pole and got the jump on the field but before one lap was completed, Jimmy Randall had used the high side to move into the lead. Two early yellows for minor spins kept the field bunched, but Randall used the middle of the track to maintain the lead with Soltis fighting to stay with Randall. Right behind them, Cody Kummer and Jay Kesan were side by side, battling with Eric Olson also looking to be part of the action.
Kummer started to make his move as he got past Soltis and then moved up beside Randall for the lead. They continued to race wheel to wheel with Kummer edging ahead by a nose when the final yellow flew on lap seven for debris.
Kummer maintained the lead on the restart but Randall refused to give up and he clawed his way back up beside Kummer and they went tooth and nail for the lead with Olson nosing into the action behind Randall. Once again, Randall was able to edge into the lead as Soltis made a charge on the bottom and when Kummer elected to move up behind Randall on the top side, it opened the door for Soltis and he pulled up beside Randall as the laps ran down.
Soltis nosed ahead as they saw the white flag, but Randall pulled up beside Adam down the back chute and they raced into the final corner side by side. Soltis got a great run off the final corner, and he flashed under Randy Davis’ checkered flag with a half car length win. Olson edged Kummer by inches for third with Kesan completing the top five. The win was Soltis’ second at the track this year and he picked a good night to pick up the win.
Ryan Viltz dominated the Midwest Modified main event. Ryan sat on the pole for the feature with brother Tito beside him. Ryan got the jump on the field, opened up a lead and led the entire distance in the nonstop main. Tito stayed with Ryan for a few laps but Ryan eventually extended the lead as Tito had his hands full with Shane Halopka in a battle for second. Halopka was all over Tito for second but couldn’t find an opening as they chased the leader.
Ryan flashed across the line with a comfortable lead as he earned his sixth Rice Lake win of the year and Tito maintained second ahead of Halopka. It was a Bloomer battle for fourth with Nick Koehler holding off Grant Southworth.
Wilson drove a great race as he earned his third feature win of the year at Rice Lake and fought off some tough challenges. Shane Kisling sat on the pole and was the early leader of the event with Ben Hillman close behind. Eric Olson was also in the mix but when Wilson moved to the middle of the track he was able to build up some momentum and eventually work his way into contention.
Slowly but surely, he edged past Hillman and then closed on Kisling. Shane was running the low side, and Wilson edged up beside him in a battle for the lead. Keeping his momentum up, Aaron edged past Shane to take over the lead near the midpoint of the race.
Wilson was then able to put a few car lengths on the pack with Olson picking up the pace and starting to challenge Kisling for second. Eric made several attempts and then had a big run down the back chute where he went side by side with Kisling. However, contact was made between the two and Kisling spun around.
The yellow waved, and Kisling was restored to second with Olson sent to the tail. The last five laps saw Wilson again pull away from the field while Hillman moved up the track and drove past Kisling to take over second. Wayne Harris Jr. finished fourth ahead of Andy Grymala.
Adams fought back after getting a slow start to take the Modified finale. Matt Leer was the early leader but Mike Anderson moved to the middle groove and was able to drive deep into the corners and take over the top spot. Paul Brust out fought Adams to take the third spot with the leaders running in a tight pack. The lone yellow flew when Mark Hessler, on the move forward, suddenly slowed with mechanical issues and stalled on the edge of the track.
On the green, Anderson continued to lead with Brust moving into second and looking strong as he chased Anderson with Adams giving up another spot to Scott Miller. Adams appeared to be dead in the water when he suddenly discovered a fast lane using the very high side of the track. He immediately picked up the pace as he blew past Miller and Brust and then Leer. Matt jumped to the top side after he was passed and the two closed on leader Anderson.
As the laps ran down, Adams closed at a rapid pace and with a strong run off turn four, Kevin drove into the lead. Mike tried to fight back, but Adams was on a rail at that point, and he extended his lead by a few car lengths in the closing few laps of the race. Anderson was able to fight off Leer for second as Adams drove on to a track best seventh feature win. Cory Mahder was the man on the move as he raced up from ninth to fourth at the finish, edging past Brust in the late going.
Saturday’s racing completed the regular season at the track. One weekend of racing remains for the drivers with a doubleheader of racing scheduled next weekend. There will be racing on both Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2. All five classes will be in action with full shows both days and many extra cars are expected with more money on the line for the drivers over the holiday weekend. Track co-owner Dave Adams reports he has been fielding many inquiries from drivers all over the region and a considerable number from Canada. Despite some conflicting reports, race time will be at 6 p.m. both nights with gates opening at three. Check www.ricelakespeedway.net for more information.
20 lap Feature Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Matt Leer(Bruce), Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Scott Heikkinen(Eveleth MN), Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), Aric Lindberg, Buddy Mayala, Dave Mayala, Wayne Poteet, Doug Gustafson, Ashley Anderson, Mark Hessler, Pat Hoffman
10 lap Heat 1 Leer, Adams, Hessler(Menomonie), Glenz, Mahder, Hoffman, Lindberg, B. Mayala, D. Mayala
Heat 2 M. Anderson, Brust, McMann, Miller, Gustafson(Frederic), Hallquist, A. Anderson, Heikkinen, Poteet
WISSOTA Super Stocks
20 lap Feature Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Wayne Harris Jr.(Bloomer), Andy Grymala(Superior), Patrick Heikkinen(Chisholm MN), Kenny Davis(Eau Claire), Shaun Rivord(South Range), Ryan Olson(Chippewa Falls), Kirk Bogdanovich(Phillips), Pat Jungerberg, Eric Olson, Eric Davis, David Pospyhalla, Brad Kisling
10 lap Heat 1 S. Kisling, Olson(Ladysmith), Harris Jr, Heikkinen, E. Davis(Fall Creek), Pospyhalla, R. Olson, Jason Forehand
Heat 2 Hillman, Wilson, Grymala, Bogdanovic, Rivord, B. Kisling, K. Davis, Jungerberg
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Paul Harelstad(Bloomer), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Terry Sirek(Rice Lake), Bob Smith(St.Joseph MN), Cody Cimfl(Mikana), Jimmy Randall
10 lap Heat 1 R. Viltz, Halopka, Koehler, Harelstad, Sirek, Smith
Heat 2 T. Viltz, Southworth, Randall(Rice Lake), Anderson, Cimfl
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Cody Kummer(Medford), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Mitch Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Tyler Wahlstrom(Mondovi), Heidi Karshbaum(Chetek), Andy Cimfl(Clayton), Josh Amans, Chris Johnson, Sam Fankhauser, James Vought
10 lap Heat 1 Soltis, J. Kesan, Olson, M. Kesan, S. Wahlstrom, Karshbaum, T. Wahlstrom, Andrea Keeney
Heat 2 Randall, Kummer, Fankhauser(Chetek), Amans(Rice Lake), Johnson(Eau Claire), Cimfl, Vought
12 lap Feature Darwin Brown(Cumberland), Kolby Kiehl(Cameron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Chad Eastman(Rice Lake), Mike Chaplin(Cameron), Brent Miller(Cameron), John Erickson(Cameron), Austin Workman(Bloomer), Dustin Gehr(Chippewa Falls), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Brandon Davis, Jay Folz
8 lap Heat 1 Havel, Brown, Thompson, C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Kiehl, Chaplin, Workman, Joel Hinrichs
Heat 2 Folz(Rice Lake), Eastman, Erickson, Davis(Chetek), Mike Grover(Chetek), Miller, Gehr
August 25 Photos By Doug Zimmer & Chris Burback: