|Randall Rolls at Rice Lake Speedway
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 28) - Jimmy Randall, looking to tune up his car for Tuesday night’s Street Stock Little Dream race, continued on his recent hot streak as he won his second straight Street Stock main even and fourth of the season Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. Other winners during the fast paced Saturday night program included Ryan Viltz, Aaron Wilson, Mike Anderson and Darwin Brown.
The program started with a solemn ceremony as the speedway lost two members of its racing family this week. Long time racer in several different classes at the track as well as a sponsor of many other racers, forty six year old Keane Laakson lost his battle with ALS on Thursday. Also, long time fan of the speedway and father of Modified driver Pat Hoffman, Dick Hoffman also passed away this week after being stricken by a stroke.
Hoffman and Laakson family friend Paul Brust both had their Modifieds on the front straightaway and were joined by family and friends as track announcer Scott Tiefs spoke about both gentlemen. Brust’s car also displayed a special wrap that featured a picture of a smiling Laakson on it. Both men will be sadly missed by their racing family.
With the Street Stocks biggest race of the season coming up Tuesday, everyone was fine tuning their cars for that race and the result was another memorable main event Saturday.
James Vought and Josh Amans battled on the opening lap before Vought claimed the top spot. James continued to lead for one more lap before Simon Wahlstrom made a strong move to the low side and took over the top spot. The front group of nine cars were running incredibly close as they jockeyed and maneuvered their way to the front.
Randall started sixth on the grid and patiently worked his way forward as he jumped on the openings when they became available as the leaders raced three wide on several occasions.
While the front group remained close together, Eric Olson was on a mission as he charged forward after starting thirteenth on the grid. Soon he had worked his way into a challenging position.
Wahlstrom continued to do a good job leading but Randall and Adam Soltis tracked him down with them splitting Simon and taking over the top two spots. Randall edged into the lead but Soltis was right beside him as they raced lap after lap. Olson continued his frenetic charge to the front and moved into third, where he then set his sights on the top two. Soltis continued to challenge Randall for the lead, but Jimmy was able to maintain a slight edge. Olson then began to pressure Soltis heavily for the runner up slot.
In the last few laps Randall continued to hold off Soltis by a car length while Soltis was able to keep the flying Olson behind him for second. Ron Hanestad and Jay Kesan completed the top five in the nonstop main event.
Along with Randall, also earning his fourth Rice Lake feature win of the year was Viltz. The Midwest Modifieds also ran a nonstop main event with Tanner Spacek taking the early lead. Spacek , running the cushion looked good for the first few laps until Viltz, who was flying up from the third row, was able to get to the inside of Spacek and take over the top spot.
Viltz then began to open up a lot of space on the field, as Tito Viltz, Shane Halopka, Joe Chaplin Jr and Travis Anderson all caught Spacek and began a crowd pleasing battle as they swapped positions on the track on nearly every lap.
While Ryan Viltz opened up nearly a straightaway lead on the field, Halopka made a last corner pass to take second over Tito Viltz who was followed by Chaplin Jr and Anderson.
Wilson earned his second Super Stock win of the season in a hard fought battle that wasn’t secured until the very end of the race. Bart Steffen jumped into the lead from the outside pole and in his best run by far this season, he led the first eight laps of the race with Cory Davis pressuring him hard on the cushion while Wilson worked the low side. As Wilson tail gated Steffen, Davis continued to push the cushion in an attempt to slip past Steffen.
Wilson was able to then work past Davis and Aaron then moved to the middle of the track where he very gradually edged up beside the leader. With a strong move off the corner, Wilson was able to edge past Steffen to take over the lead.
Eric Olson was making a charge in his Super Stock, just as he did in the Street feature, and he came from the fourth row to move into third and then slip past Steffen to take over second.
A late yellow set up a six lap race to the checkered and on the green, Olson did his best to get under Wilson for the lead. Ben Hillman, who had started eleventh on the grid, jumped to the cushion and drove past Steffen to take over second. Olson continued to pressure Wilson for the lead, but Aaron had developed good rhythm in the corners and he held off Olson’s challenge for the win. Steffen regained his line and in the last two laps got past Hillman again to secure third at the line with Davis completing the top five.
Anderson won his third Modified feature race of the year at Rice Lake as he held off a hard challenge from Tim McMann and Jeff Spacek for the win. McMann came off the outside pole to take the early lead and despite three early race yellows, McMann continued to show the way. Anderson moved into second and began to challenge for the lead while Spacek went to the cushion to make it a three car battle.
Anderson was able to slide under McMann to take over the lead but Tim refused to roll over and he stayed close to Anderson, challenging him on every corner. After falling back slightly , Spacek picked up the pace and closed on the leaders, nearly getting by McMann on several occasions. McMann also continued to challenge Anderson for the lead, and while both McMann and Spacek made last lap bids, the top three finished nose to tail at the line. Kevin Adams made a mid race pass on Mark Hessler for position, and those two rounded out the top five.
Brown led all the way to win to win his first Pure Stock feature of the season but it wasn’t nearly as easy as it might have sounded. He took the early lead, and after Bob Thompson’s challenge for the top spot was ended by a spin, Joel Hinrichs moved in to challenge. In between several yellow flags for minor spins that slowed the action and kept the field bunched, Hinrichs challenged heavily for the lead on several occasions. Hinrichs would slip inside Brown in the corners but Darwin, running one lane up the track, would maintain his momentum and hold on to the lead, despite the fierce challenges that would see the leaders touch on several occasions.
Following the last yellow with five laps to go, Jason Havel got past Hinrichs to take over second and he began to challenge Brown for the lead. Jason also got his nose inside Brown on several occasions, but Darwin has his line locked in, and he drove home for the win by a car length over Havel with Hinrichs right behind them. Kolby Kiehl came from seventeenth on the grid to finish fourth ahead of John Erickson. Brown’s win was his first since June 13th of 2009 as he became the ninth different Pure Stock driver to visit victory lane this year.
Racing action continues Tuesday with the annual Street Stock Little Dream race. Last year’s event paid over $3,300 dollars to winner Tim Johnson and track management is aiming to break the five thousand dollar to win mark this year. Also on the card will be the only appearance of the WISSOTA sanctioned Late Models at the track this year. A number of drivers have been contacted and it is hoped that a full field of Late Models will be in attendance. The Pure Stocks will also be on the program for a complete show of heats and a feature event.
The pits will open at 4 p.m. with spectator gates opening at 5 p.m. The first race will see the green flag at 7 p.m. After that, a regular five class program of racing will be held on Saturday, August 4th.
20 lap Feature Mike Anderson(Colfax), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Jeff Spacek(Phillips), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Ross Prochnow(Boyceville), Kevin Eder(Ashland), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Steve Lavasseur(River Falls), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Wayne Poteet, Dave Mayala, Destin Lorimor, Paul Brust, Scott Hudack, Aric Lindberg, Matt Leer
10 lap Heat 1 Adams, Spacek, Anderson, Lorimor(Superior), Eder, Hudack, Lavasseur, Poteet, Miller
Heat 2 McMann, Hessler, Leer(Bruce), Brust(Rice Lake), Prochnow, Lindberg, Baxter, Mayala
WISSOTA Super Stocks
20 lap Feature Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Cory Davis(Turtle Lake), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound), Marcus Simonson(Milltown), Kirk Bogdanovic(Phillips), Steve Tesch(Prentice), Pat Jungerberg, Russ Chester, Cody Campeau, David Pospyhalla, Wayne Harris Jr
10 lap Heat 1 Wilson, Davis, Olson, Harris Jr(Bloomer), Watkins, Hillman, Jungerberg, Chester
Heat 2 Kisling, Simonson, Steffen, Bogdanovic, Campeau(Somerset), Tesch, Pospyhalla
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Tanner Spacek(Phillips), Neil Balduc(Bessemer MI), Terry Sirek(Rice Lake), Cody Cimfl(Mikana), Brian Fuchs(Medford)
10 lap Heat 1 Balduc, Halopka, R. Viltz, Cimfl, Fuchs
Heat 2 T. Viltz, Anderson, Chaplin Jr, Spacek, Sirek
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), James Vought(Hudson), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Sam Fankhauser(Chetek), Josh Amans(Rice Lake), Chanda Fjorden-Nord(Luck), Cody Kummer, Butch Madsen, Andy Cimfl, Heidi Karshbaum
10 lap Heat 1 Vought, Kesan, Fankhauser, Wahlstrom, Fjorden-Nord, Madsen, Olson, Karshbaum
Heat 2 Randall, Soltis, Hanestad, Amans, Jamey Fisher(Rice Lake), Cimfl, Kummer
12 lap Feature Darwin Brown(Cumberland), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Joel Hinrichs(Chetek), Kolby Kiehl(Cameron), John Erickson(Cameron), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Chad Eastman(Rice Lake), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Randy Graham(Trego), Brent Miller(Cameron), Mike Schnider, Brian Erickson, Andrew Conklin, Talon Laabs, Jimmy Holden, Brandon Davis, Bob Thompson
8 lap Heat 1 Brown, Havel, Schnider(Rice Lake), J. Erickson, Folz, Davis, Holden, Miller, Conklin
Heat 2 Hinrichs, Wagner, Eastman, Thompson(Cameron), Graham, B. Erickson, Laabs, Kiehl
July 28 Photos By Chris Burback: