Eric Olson Wins George Rhoe Super Stock Classic
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (June 10) - Eric Olson took the lead on lap six from Curt Myers and the fended off challenges from Shane Sabraski and Myers to win the third annual George Rhoe Classic for WISSOTA Super Stocks Tuesday night at the Rice Lake Speedway. Other feature winners on the “Saturday on Tuesday” program included Mike Anderson, Tito Viltz, Sam Fankhauser and Jason Havel.
With one hundred and twenty three cars signed in to race and thirty five Super Stocks, the fastest twenty four took to the grid for the forty four lap main event for the Rhoe honors. Olson sat on the pole but was out accelerated by Myers who took the early lead riding the high side with Olson close behind and being challenged by Dexton Koch and Shane Kisling. Defending champion Sabraski started seventh on the grid but quickly moved up through the pack and found himself in third by the time the yellow waved for a spin with four laps completed.
Myers continued to lead on the restart with Sabraski also trying the high side. Olson picked up the pace running low on the track and he drove past Myers to take over the lead. Olson’s margin remained small as Myers and Sabraski battled for second while Kisling and Nick Oreskovich raced side by side behind them. Myers and Sabraski continued to fight for second but Olson maintained the lead as the laps ground by.
At the halfway point Olson continued to hold a two car length lead on Sabraski who had taken over the second spot with Myers trying hard to get back into second. Kisling and Oreskovich continued to race side by side with Tim Johnson starting to close on them.
Olson started to work through lapped traffic but he had no large problems as Sabraski continued to ride close behind him. Kisling was able to secure the fourth spot in traffic and when Oreskovich got tangled with traffic, Johnson shot past him.
After thirty two laps of nonstop racing, the yellow flew for debris on the back chute with only eight laps left. On the green, Olson got a great start as he put more distance on the field while Myers used the high side to slide up to second. However, it only took Sabraski a couple laps to take back the spot and he then closed to within a car length of Olson, who was being very careful in the corners. Sabraski took one last shot at Olson of the final lap, but Eric maintained his line and drove home in front by a couple car lengths for the win. Myers settled for third ahead of Johnson with Oreskovich making a late move to round out the top five. The second five consisted of Kisling, Bart Steffen, Koch, Wayne Stricker and Tommy Richards.
Olson’s win was his second straight at Rice Lake this season but this win will pay the highest amount to the class this year as Eric went home with $2,000.
Anderson fought off challenges from Mark Hessler and Cory Mahder to win his first Modified feature of the season at Rice Lake. In the early going he battled side by side with Hessler as they traded the lead back and forth a few times before Anderson established the lead as his. Hessler continued to work the high side of the track as Mahder moved past Paul Brust and Dave Baxter to race into the third spot and close on the leaders. Anderson continued to run the low side with Hessler up top and Mahder tailgating Anderson.
Eleven laps were completed before the first spin of the race triggered the yellow and then two more yellows occurred before a lap could be completed.
Finally, racing resumed with Anderson continuing to lead with Mahder putting on the pressure and Hessler still hanging around. Cory
rode the rear bumper of Anderson the last few laps but Anderson made no mistakes and drove home for the win with Mahder edging out Hessler for second. Kevin Adams and Brust had battled for much of the contest with Adams pulled away near the end for fourth.
Viltz withstood the pressure of some of the fastest Midwest Modified drivers in the area to earn his first feature win of the year. He started on the pole and first had Cory Crapser challenge until he slid high and Michael Truscott ducked under him to take over the runner up slot and put the pressure on Viltz. Nick Koehler was having a great run as he moved from fourteenth to fourth by the time the yellow waved on lap five for a spin.
Viltz continued to hold off Truscott as Koehler moved past Crapser for third and pressured the top two runners. A series of spins caused the yellow to wave four more times as it was difficult getting more than a lap or two accomplished at a time.
A late tangle set up a two lap sprint to the finish and while Viltz got away strong, Crapser was the one charging as he got past both Koehler and Truscott to climb back up to second. He took a shot at Viltz on the final lap but Tito was too strong and drove home for the win. Koehler settled for third ahead of Truscott and Kent Baxter who completed the top five.
Danny Richards took the initial lead in the Street Stock feature but he slid up the track and triggered a three wide battle with Simon Wahlstrom and Fankhauser which Sam won as he took over the lead. Three times the yellow waved in the first four laps but then everyone settled down and raced hard. Tim Johnson was on the move and he edged past Wahlstrom for second and closed on the leader.
As the green stayed out, Johnson was nailed to the rear bumper of Fankhauser but Sam was giving no openings as he continued to hold the lead. Adam Soltis, Eric Olson, Scott Clark and Richards were in a big group that was battling for position behind the lead group. Clark eventually found the openings he needed to drive up into third but the lead was clearly being dominated by Fankhauser and Johnson.
Near the end of the event, Johnson made one last charge and he was tight on Fankhauser’s bumper as they took the white flag. Johnson tail gated him around the track, but Fankhauser gave no openings and drove home for his third Rice Lake win of the year. Clark finished a strong third with Josh Amans up from twelfth to fourth ahead of Olson.
Havel continued to rule the roost in the Pure Stocks with his fifth win in six nights of racing. He started in the second row and had some trouble getting past Terran Spacek and Mike Knopps but was eventually able to drive past them on the outside and take over the lead. Both drivers hung tough and stayed within striking distance of Havel as the yellow flag waved on a couple occasions and kept the field bunched.
With the time limit up, a green white and checkered finish was called for, but as the field came down for the white flag, a car in turn two stalled minus its driveshaft. Since this yellow ended the race, the race was scored back complete on the last green flag lap. Following Havel in the official finish were Knopps, Spacek, C.J. Wagner and Hunter VanGilder.
There will be no racing at the Rice Lake Speedway on Saturday, June 14 in deference to the city wide Aquafest celebration. Racing action will return on Saturday, June 21 with a full program in all divisions and the WISSOTA classes will complete in their Race of Champions qualifier for the WISSOTA 100 with all four feature winners in the WISSOTA sanctioned classes automatically entered in the Race of Champions event to be held at the Dakota State Fair Speedway in Huron South Dakota in September. Warm ups are at 6:30 p.m. with racing to follow.
Feature Mike Anderson(Colfax), Cory Mahder(Eau Claire), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Andy Jones(Princeton MN), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Jason Miller(Osceola), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Matt Leer, Scott Heikkinen, Dave Mayala, Wayne Poteet, Kevin Eder, Paul Niznik, Jason Gross, Curt Myers, Dave Baxter, Nikki Wrazidlo, Jeff Spacek, Jesse Glenz, Buddy Mayala
Heat 1 Glenz(Cadott), Mahder, Leer(Bruce), J. Miller, Myers(Cameron), McMann, Wrazidlo, D. Mayala
Heat 2 Adams, Anderson, Hessler, Jones, Gross(Cushing), Hoffman, B. Mayala, Poteet
Heat 3 Brust, Baxter(Eau Claire), Niznik(Medford), Eder(Ashland), Spacek(Phillips), S. Miller, Steve Hallquist, Heikkinen
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Shane Sabraski(Rice MN), Curt Myers(Cameron), Tim Johnson(Brainerd MN), Nick Oreskovich(Mason), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Dexton Koch(Rice MN), Wayne Stricker(Highbridge), Tommy Richards(Mondovi), Aaron Wilson, Jeff Brauer, Chris Wark, Ben Hanke, Scott Lawrence, Shawn McFadden, Willie Johnsen Jr, Andy LaBarge, Josh Rodewald, James Trantina III, Dave Flynn, Dan Gullikson, Kyle Helling, Jason Forehand
B Feature Gullikson(Stacy MN), Stricker, Trantina III (Sartell MN), Rodewald(Lake City MN), J.R. Tardy(Isanti MN), Randy Spacek, Patrick Heikkinen, Tristan LaBarge, Wayne Harris Jr, Don Muzzy, D.J. Keeler, Jim Cimfl, Matthew Dibb, Curt Hazelton
Heat 1 Oreskovich, Johnson, Hanke(Hudson), Brauer(Rochester MN), Gullikson, Rodewald, Trantina III
Heat 2 Sabraski, Wilson(Eau Claire), Johnsen Jr(Superior), McFadden(Ashland), Dibb(Cambridge MN), Heikkinen, Hazelton
Heat 3 Myers, Helling(Rice Lake), Wark(Zimmerman MN), Forehand(Eau Claire), Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Tardy, Mike Siewert
Heat 4 Kisling, Olson, Lawrence(Superior), A. LaBarge(Keewatin MN), Stricker, Keeler, T. LaBarge
Heat 5 Steffen, Koch, Richards, Flynn(Superior), Muzzy(Ironwood MI), Spacek, Harris Jr
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Cory Crapser(Chippewa Falls), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Michael Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Mickey Nosser(Phillips), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Paul Niznik(Medford), John Kallas, Josh Bazey, Cole Spacek, Dusty Brown, Jacob Bleess, Paul Suzik, Reid Teigs, Jake Smeltzer, Dan Tautges, Tyler Vernon, Austin Ellis, Mike Schnider, Travis Anderson, Joe Chaplin Jr
B Feature Ellis(Rice Lake), Suzik(Ironwood MI), Bazey(Luck), Smeltzer(Menomonie), Brad Seavers(Rib Lake), Josh Hessler, Robert Ellsworth, Pete Paulus
Heat 1 Crapser, Southworth, Brown(Cameron), Tautges(Colby), Vernon(Ashland), Ellis, Ellsworth
Heat 2 R. Viltz, Anderson(Colfax), Kallas(Hurley), Koehler, Halopka, Suzik, Smeltzer
Heat 3 T. Viltz, Truscott, Niznik, Schnider(Rice Lake), Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Paulus, Seavers
Heat 4 Bleess(Chatfield MN), Baxter, Spacek(Phillips), Teigs(Dallas), Nosser, Bazey, Hessler
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Tim Johnson(Brainerd MN), Scott Clark(Cameron), Josh Amans(Rice Lake), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Danny Richards(Mondovi), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Troy Chaplin(Barron), Jason Jensen, Jake Hanson, Bob Wahlstrom, Andy Cimfl, Cooper Berlin, Ryan Glembin, Heidi Karshbaum, Brandon Davis
Heat 1 Fankhauser, Johnson, Jensen(Eagle River), Chaplin, B. Wahlstrom(Chetek), Karshbaum, Davis
Heat 2 Clark, Hanestad, Richards, Glembin(Eagle River), Hanson(Downing), Brandon Baker
Heat 3 Olson, Soltis, S. Wahlstrom, Amans, Berlin(Rice Lake), Cimfl
Feature Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Mike Knopps(Chippewa Falls), Terran Spacek(Phillips), C.J. Wagner(Rice Lake), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Mike Chaplin(Cameron), Rob Grabon(Bruce), Joel Hinrichs(Chetek), Mike Grover(Chetek), Randy Graham, Brent Miller, Scott Pittman, Tucker Quinn, Dustin Holub, John Erickson, Bob Thompson
Heat 1 Knopps, Hinrichs, Thompson(Cameron), Havel, Folz, Grabon, Graham, Holub, Pittman
Heat 2 Wagner, VanGilder, Erickson(Rice Lake), Spacek, Chaplin, Miller, Grover, Quinn