Kisling, Hanestad Win Rice Lake Speedway Thrillers
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 13) Shane Kisling and Ron Hanestad won last lap feature race thrillers to highlight the racing program Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway. Four of the five feature race winners were first time winners at the track in 2013 while in the companion IRA 410 Sprint Car feature, former Barron County resident Billy Balog dominated the feature event, winning his ninth feature win of the year within the organization and fifty fourth of his career.
Kisling and Eric Olson engaged in a thrilling Super Stock feature race that was so close that the drivers had to check with timing and scoring before determining which driver should enter victory lane. The nonstop main event saw Willie Johnsen Jr. give a good account of himself also, leading nearly the first half of the feature race after starting on the outside pole. Wheeling on the high side as he likes to do, Johnsen Jr avoided Scott Zitelman, the pole sitter who suffered suspension problems in the first corner and shot right up the track in front of the field but managed to avoid everyone and get to the infield as the race remained under the green. Johnsen then grabbed the lead with Kisling moving up from the second row to take second. Gradually Shane closed in on the leader and then caught him and they raced side by side for a couple of laps before Kisling was able to beat Johnsen Jr to turn three, slide up the track and then take over the lead.
Kisling then began to stretch his advantage to nearly the length of the straightaway before Olson suddenly picked up the pace and passed Johnsen Jr for second.
Eric then began to reel in Kisling at a very rapid pace and with a few laps left , caught the leader. Eric first tried high and then dove to the low side. Down the back chute they pulled even and as the white flag waved, Olson was the leader by inches. Side by side they raced down the back chute one last time and through turns three and four. Both were straining for speed as they came off the final corner but Kisling got a little better run off the top side and won by a fender at the line. Meanwhile, Johnsen Jr and Bart Steffen raced the last few laps side by side for third with Johnsen Jr holding on for that spot while Aaron Wilson completed the top five. Kisling became the first repeat winner in the division, with six winners now in seven nights of racing.
The Street Stock feature was no less exciting with four cars bunched together as they raced toward the checkered flag. Rookie driver Cooper Berlin got the jump on Ashley Husby to take the early lead with Adam Soltis moving into second. Berlin led the first few laps before Soltis was able to get inside him and take over the lead racing down the back chute. Hanestad then moved into second and started out after the leader, who had opened up some distance over the field.
Gradually Hanestad began to reel in the leader while at the same time Sam Fankhauser and Cody Kummer were also chasing down the leaders. Hanestad caught Soltis with five laps to go and looked for a way by. Ron dove to the low side and just edged past Soltis when the yellow waved for a two car incident in turn four, the first yellow of the event. Soltis was restored to the lead in the single file restart.
The three lap sprint to the finish saw Hanestad jump to the outside on the green and pull up beside Soltis. Meanwhile, Fankhauser tucked in behind Soltis with Kummer nosing ion behind Hanestad. They raced in this two wide, two deep formation to the finish. Coming off the final corner, Hanestad found traction as Soltis slid just slightly and that was enough for Ron to gain the small edge he needed to cross the line by less than a car length for the win. Fankhauser edged Kummer for third with Mitch Kesan completing the top five. For Hanestad, it was his first win of the year at the track and he became the fifth different winner in the division so far this year.
After a first lap spin by polesiter Cody Cimfl, the Midwest Modified feature race ran nonstop and it was another action packed event. Rookie Mike Schnider inherited the lead as he fought off Bryce Johnson for the top spot. Ryan Viltz was on the move quickly, working from the third row toward the front. Viltz was using the higher side of the track and finding great traction in the corners as he kept the power on and drove around cars on the high side. Viltz continued his strong run as he powered past Schnider to take over the lead, after which he began to pull away.
A great five car battle for second continued with much exchanging of position each lap. Travis Anderson made some great moves as he found a couple of openings on the low side and with a bold move in turn one, shot up into the second spot. Shane Halopka was bottled up in traffic for many laps but finally broke free and moved to the high side. He raced into third and began to track down Anderson.
Viltz continued unchecked as he drove on for his first win of the year and became the fifth different winner in six nights of racing. Halopka continued his charge but came up a car length short as Anderson hung on for second with Joe Chaplin Jr and Tito Viltz completing the top five.
Matt Leer ended a period of frustration with his first Modified feature win of the year Saturday. He started on the outside of the front row, built up a big lead in the nonstop main event and then withstood a late challenge by Mike Anderson for the win. As Leer pulled away in front, Steve Hallquist was running a strong second with Scott Miller settling into third. Anderson and Kevin Adams were battling their way toward the front after starting farther back in the field. They both eventually caught Hallquist and a great battle for second took place with Hallquist hanging tough for several laps before Anderson finally got under him and Adams slid past him too. Anderson set off after Leer while Adams soon dropped out suddenly, giving third back to Hallquist.
Anderson was able to close some on Leer, but with no yellow to aid his efforts, Leer continued on to win the race. Mark Hessler came from mid pack to finish fourth ahead of Miller.
Jay Folz willingly accepted a break when leader Jason Havel had mechanical problems that saw him spin while in the lead and Folz then held off two strong challenges to take his first win of the year in the Pure Stock finale. Pole sitter Hunter VanGilder had trouble on the opening lap, slowing and drawing a yellow flag. On the second try, Folz found and opening between Nick Traynor and Jimmy Holden and shot into the lead. Once in front, Folz led for a couple laps but was soon challenged by Havel, who was flying up from the third row. Havel got to inside of Folz and made the pass to take over the lead.
Once in front, Havel put distance on the field as Traynor and a charging John Erickson closed on Folz.
Suddenly, without warning, Havel had problems in turn one and spun, triggering the yellow flag and ending his night. Folz inherited the lead for the three lap sprint to the finish with Erickson and Traynor giving him a strong challenge. Both Traynor and Erickson pushed hard on the final lap, but neither could get Folz out of the groove as Jay drove on for the win, making it seven different winners in seven nights of Pure Stock racing. Traynor edges Erickson for second while C.J. Wagner and Jarod Amundson drove from mid pack to complete the top five.
Race fans are reminded about the recent schedule change for the speedway. A proposed Tuesday night, July 16 race has been cancelled and instead replaced by a race added on Saturday night, July 20. All five classes will be racing on July 20 which will be followed by another Saturday race on July 27. The next big special on the race schedule is Tuesday, July 30 with the annual Street Stock Little Dream race slated. Also racing with the Streets on July 30 will be the WISSOTA Modifieds and the Pure Stocks.
20 lap Feature Matt Leer(Bruce), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Wayne Brooks(Bald Knob AR), Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Dave Mayala, Buddy Mayala, Scott Heikkinen, T.J. Adams, Wayne Poteet, Kevin Adams
10 lap Heat 1 Anderson, Miller, K. Adams(Cameron), McMann, D. Mayala(Barron), B. Mayala, Lindberg, Hoffman
Heat 2 Hessler, Leer, Hallquist, Brust, Brooks, Heikkinen, Poteet, T.J. Adams
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
20 lap Feature Shane Kisling(Sarona), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Luke Plank(Eau Claire), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Patrick Heikkinen(Eveleth MN), Steve Tesch(Prentice), Jim Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Scott Zitelman
10 lap Heat 1 Wilson, Johnsen, Olson, Forehand, Heikkinen, Cimfl
Heat 2 Kisling, Plank, Steffen, Zitelman(Taylors Falls MN), Tesch
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
15 lap Feature Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Cory Karshbaum(Chetek), Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), Bryce Johnson(Barron), Reid Tiegs(Dallas), Mitch Drew(Rice Lake), Cody Cimfl, Joe Eckland
Heat 1 R. Viltz, Halopka, Karshbaum, Chaplin Jr, Anderson, Craig Elliott, Tiegs
Heat 2 T. Viltz, Schnider, Cimfl(Mikana), Johnson, Drew, Eckland
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
15 lap Feature Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Cody Kummer(Medford), Mitch Kesan(Eau Claire), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Bob Wahlstrom(Chetek), Josh Amans(Rice Lake), James Vought(Hudson), Troy Chaplin(Barron), Brandon Davis, Heidi Karshbaum, Jason Bearden, Ashley Wahlstrom
10 lap Heat 1 Fankhauser, Hanestad, Soltis, B. Wahlstrom, Davis(Chetek), Chaplin, Bearden
Heat 2 Kummer, Amans, A. Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Berlin, Kesan, H. Karshbaum, Vought
12 lap Feature Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Hillsdale), John Erickson(Rice Lake), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Jarod Amundson(Barron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jimmy Holden(Rice Lake), Randy Graham(Trego), Mike Grover(Chetek), Rob Grabon(Bruce), Brent Miller, Will Fisher, Trenten Holub, Mike Chaplin, Alex Minks, Jason Havel, Hunter VanGilder
8 lap Heat 1 Erickson, Folz, Traynor, Grabon, Minks(Ladysmith), Miller
Heat 2 Havel(Rice Lake), Amundson, Thompson, Chaplin(Cameron), Holub(Chetek), Fisher
Heat 3 Wagner, Holden, VanGilder(Rice Lake), Grover, Graham