|Wild Rice Lake Speedway Street Feature to Kummer; Two More First Time Winners
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (July 7) The Street Stocks put on a spectacular racing show Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway and after a collision eliminated three front runners with only two laps to go, a last lap pass by Cody Kummer ensured the feature win. There were also two more first time winners in Wayne Harris Jr. and Dustin Doughty while Shane Halopka and Mike Anderson added to their 2012 feature win totals.
Nick Wojcik, home from college on a short break, used the high side of the speedway to take the early lead in the Street Stock feature. He was immediately challenged by Eric Olson and Sam Fankhauser with Nick’s brother Doug then finding an opening and moving to the high side also to race for second. The yellow flew on lap five when it appeared that Butch Madsen had the motor let go in his car and he rolled to a halt.
Back on green, Nick continued to lead with his brother Doug provided the stiffest challenge. However, there were eight cars in the lead group and as they battled and jockeyed for position, Jimmy Randall was able to move up and join the fight for the lead. Nick was a little loose in the corners and Doug would run right up to him as the leaders continued to run in a big pack. Randall worked up into the top three to challenge for the lead along with Olson and Kummer who was right behind the top four.
As the laps ran down, Olson, Randall and Doug Wojcik raced three wide around the track with Nick Wojcik just a car ahead of their great battle. For almost two laps they maintained the same posture but as they raced down the front chute to receive the white flag, they got together with debris raining down on the track and all three slowing.
Ironically, all three suffered flat tires and all three retired to the pit area. What was left for the two car sprint to the finish was Nick Wojcik leading with Kummer now hot on his tail. Kummer closely followed Nick Wojcik as the race went back under the green, and on the last lap Kummer made his move. He dove low in turn three and got beside Nick Wojcik and with a good run to the checkered flag, edged out Nick by half a car length to score a thrilling victory, his third of the year at Rice Lake. Marcus Simonson started eleventh on the grid but with the finish being scrambled, he found himself in third at the end for his best finish of the year. He was trailed by Jay Kesan and Fankhauser.
Harris Jr. was a first time winner in the Super Stocks as he came from the third row to take the nonstop twenty lapper. Willie Johnsen Jr edged past Kirk Bogdanovic to take the early lead while Harris Jr made a series of nice moves to get ahead of both Eric Olson and Cory Karshbaum and take over second. Harris Jr. then closed in on Johnsen and after they ran side by side for a couple of laps, Harris Jr edged into the lead.
As Harris Jr. opened up some distance on the field, Aaron Wilson was on the move after starting sixth as he swept past Olson and then Johnsen Jr to take over second. As the race stayed under the green, Wilson tried to cut into the lead Harris Jr had build up and he slowly started to reel in the leader. Meanwhile, Karshbaum had picked up the pace and he moved into third, only to relinquish that position later to Olson.
As the race neared its end, Wilson started to cut into Harris Jr’s lead more significantly, and when Wayne got tied up in traffic, Wilson was able to get much closer. Aaron continued to charge, but he ran out of time and at the finish, Harris Jr held a car length lead over Wilson as Harris Jr became the eighth different Super Stock winner so far this year. Olson maintained his pace to take third over Karshbaum with Shane Kisling charging late to complete the top five.
The other new winner was in the Pure Stocks where Dustin Doughty shook off a season filled with bad luck to record not only his first win of the year, but the first win ever at Rice Lake for the second year driver.
Doughty moved up from the third row to battle his way past Randy Graham and Brandon Davis and then had to repel several stiff challenges for the lead. As Doughty held the top spot, he was pressured hard by Kolby Kiehl who rapped on Doughty’s rear bumper on every corner along with John Erickson and Chad Eastman who tried the high side and nearly used that line to edge into the lead.
Doughty continued to hold on but they were three wide right behind him as they shuffled positions on every lap. Doughty had Kiehl continue to ride his bumper when suddenly, Mike Schnider, who had been sent to the tail of the field for a lap two spin incident, worked his way back into a challenging position. The action culminated on the final corner as Schnider slid low and got under Kiehl while Doughty held off the heavy pressure to record the historic win. Kiehl settled for third with Eastman and Erickson also in the top five.
Halopka made perhaps the drive of the night when he was able to catch and pass Cory Crapser, the current national point leader and then pull away for the Midwest Modified feature win. Crapser sat on the pole for the feature event and edged away from Travis Anderson to take the early lead. Halopka fell back to fourth in the early going but then he moved to the cushion and found immediate success as his lap times picked up and he began to reel in the cars in front of him. He blew past Paul Harelstad and then Anderson and began to close on Crapser as the race neared the halfway point. Crapser continued to run the low groove but Halopka was catching him at an astonishing rate, and just before the midpoint of the event, Halopka blew past Crapser on the outside to take over the lead.
Then the yellow flew when Luke Shackleton had the motor on his car catch fire.
Halopka continued to lead on the green and Crapser moved to the high side but he wasn’t able to cut into Halopka’s lead, as Shane had his car working beautifully and he continued to stretch his margin all the way to the finish as he recorded his fourth Rice Lake win. Behind Crapser, Harelstad, Anderson and Ryan Viltz completed the top five.
Mike Anderson had his car running fine as he won his second Modified feature race of the season at Rice Lake. Mark Hessler took the early lead as he edged ahead of Buddy Mayala to lead the early laps. Anderson moved to the bottom groove and advanced from the third row to challenge Mayala for second when the only yellow of the race waved on lap eight.
On the green, Anderson picked up the pace as he jumped ahead of Mayala and then moved in to challenge Hessler for the lead. With a strong move off turn two, Anderson drove under Hessler and took over the top spot. He then gradually pulled away from the field, opening up nearly a straightaway over the pack. Hessler continued to run second but near the end of the race he was challenged by Kevin Adams who had moved up after starting eighth. Adams worked past Paul Brust and then closed on Hessler, making a pass on the inside with two laps to go. However, Adams couldn’t hold the inside line and Hessler got under him as they raced down the back chute on the final lap. Both drivers pushed hard into the corner and as Anderson raced home for the win, Hessler was able to repass Adams to take second at the line. Brust finished fourth while seventy seven year old Mayala had his best run of the year , rounding out the top five.
The next special event at the Rice Lake Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 14th. Along with a full show in all five classes that normally race at Rice Lake, the winged outlaw sprint cars of the Interstates Racing Association will be in action for a complete show by the highest horsepower cars that race on dirt. The one lap track record will be threatened as current point leader Billy Balog, a former resident of Cameron leads a field of twenty five to thirty sprint car drivers from throughout the Midwest who will tackle Rice Lake’s track for the first time in two years. Qualifying is slated to begin around 6:30 p.m.
20 lap Feature Mike Anderson(Colfax), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Buddy Mayala(Barron), Mark Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Jerry Weigel(Jim Falls), Pat Hoffman, Scott Heikkinen, Wayne Poteet, Matt Leer, Steve Hallquist
10 lap Heat 1 Anderson, Brust, Hallquist(Eau Claire), Mayala, Heikkinen(Eveleth MN), Lindberg, Hoffman, Poteet
Heat 2 McMann, Adams, Hessler, Leer(Bruce), Hanson, Weigel, Miller
WISSOTA Super Stocks
20 lap Feature Wayne Harris Jr(Bloomer), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Cory Karshbaum(Chetek), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Kirk Bogdanovic(Phillips), Russ Chester(Chetek), Pat Jungerberg, Patrick Heikkinen, David Pospyhalla
10 lap Heat 1 Kisling, Wilson, Harris Jr, Forehand, Steffen, Pospyhalla, Jungerberg
Heat 2 Olson, Bogdanovic, Karshbaum, Johnsen Jr, Chester, Heikkinen
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Paul Harelstad(Bloomer), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Luke Shackleton(Menomonie)
10 lap Heat R. Viltz, Crapser, Harelstad, Anderson, Halopka, Terry Sirek, T. Viltz, Chaplin Jr, Shackleton
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature Cody Kummer(Medford), Nick Wojcik(Ladysmith), Marcus Simonson(Milltown), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Sam Fankhauser(Chetek), Jamey Fisher(Rice Lake), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Heidi Karshbaum(Chetek), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Doug Wojcik(Ladysmith), Jimmy Randall, Adam Soltis, Butch Madsen
10 lap Heat 1 Fankhauser, Randall(Rice Lake), Kesan, N. Wojcik, Fisher, Simonson, Wahlstrom
Heat 2 D. Wojcik, Olson, Kummer, Soltis(Ladysmith), Madsen(Rice Lake), Karshbaum
12 lap Feature Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Cameron), Chad Eastman(Rice Lake), John Erickson(Cameron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Talon Laabs(Stetsonville), Brandon Davis(Chetek), Kendall Grover, Jimmy Holden, Randy Graham, Mike Grover, Joel Hinrichs
8 lap Heat 1 Hinrichs(Chetek), Schnider, Graham(Trego), Doughty, Folz, Laabs, K. Grover, Thompson
Heat 2 Eastman, Davis, Kiehl, Erickson, Havel, M. Grover, Holden