|Adams, Kisling, Gerth, Fankhauser and Wojcik claim winner's checks
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (June 19) - Rice Lake Speedway held its AMSOIL Race of Champions qualifying event Saturday night and four drivers locked themselves into the big races during the WISSOTA 100 later this year.
Representing the Rice Lake Speedway at Dakota State Fair Speedway in September will be WISSOTA AMSOIL Dirt Track Series drivers Kevin Adams, Shane Kisling, Mark Gerth and Sam Fankhauser.
Nick Wojcik won the Pure Stock feature to complete the racing action.
Adams started Saturday’s WISSOTA Modified main event and quickly moved to the front in what turned out to be a non-stop 20-lap finale to the evening’s racing.
Steve Hallquist and Scott Hudack battled for the point in the early going, with each driver taking a turn at leading the field. Adams then moved in to challenge both drivers and with a strong move into turn one, he shot between the leaders and then powered into the lead down the backchute. Brent Prochnow followed Adams and within a few laps he had worked the bottom line and took over the second spot.
Prochnow chased Adams throughout the remainder of the race, with Adams up on the cushion most of the time and Prochnow working the low groove. They were pretty evenly matched for the rest of the race, but with the early cushion Adams had secured, he drove on to his first win of the year at Rice Lake in fine fashion.
There have been six different Modified feature winners in six nights of action at RLS. The battle for third was a good one throughout the race before Scott Duval used a late charge to get past both Hallquist and Hudack, who finished fifth.
Kisling, along with Fankhauser and Wojcik, all earned their third feature wins of the year at the track, tops among all runners. Kisling recorded his win by using the cushion, a strategy he has made work for him over the last two seasons at Rice Lake.
Jim Harris and Cory Davis battled for the lead early in the WISSOTA Super Stock feature until Harris secured the top spot. Davis later retired during the first yellow with a suspension malfunction.
Harris continued to show the way under green with a solid run in the low groove. Kisling and Jason Forehand battled for second while at the same time looking for a route past Harris. Behind them, Ben Hillman, Aaron Wilson, Scott Zitelman and Eric Olson fought for racing real estate.
After the second yellow flew for a spin, Kisling cleared Forehand and went to the top side of the track. Once up there, he quickly drove past Harris and took over the lead. Kisling then pulled away from the field while Forehand secured second and tried to run him down.
Kisling’s big lead vanished with only two laps left when a spin sparked the final caution. Kisling got off to a good start on the green and held off the last-ditch challenges from Forehand for the win. The late yellow hurt Harris, who got crossed up during the restart and Wilson and Hillman both hustled past him for third and fourth at the line.
Fankhauser flexed his muscle when he topped a strong field of WISSOTA Street Stocks for his third win at RLS in 2010.
Rookie Joel Hinrichs led his first feature laps of the year as he and Simon Wahlstrom battled in the early going with Fankhauser and Zach Manley right behind and looking to move up. The top eight cars broke away from the pack as they participated in a tight duel for position.
While Wahlstrom and Hinrichs hung tough, Fankhauser eventually found a hole and moved into the lead with Manley second. Manley was tight on Fankhauser’s rear bumper waiting for any mistake to jump into the top spot.
After a spin bunched the field with three laps to go, Manley was nailed to Fankhauser’s rear bumper again. Fankhauser held his line and drove on to a car length win over Manley. There was some intense fighting for the positions behind the leaders; Chanda Fjorden Nord secured third ahead of a charging Jay Kesan, who started 15th, and Doug Wojcik.
Gerth led all the way en route to his first WISSOTA Midwest Modified feature win of the season at RLS. The Midwest Mods had a tough time keeping their cars pointed the right direction and off each other and the yellow flag got a workout.
Gerth started on the outside of the front row and jumped into the early lead and Ryan Viltz moved into second. Several of the front-runners found a way to send themselves to the back of the pack as positions were shuffled at a frantic pace.
Viltz chased Gerth after the many slowdowns, but each time Gerth eventually pulled away. The last half of the race ran non-stop and Gerth maintained a slight but steady advantage over Viltz as he drove to the win. The battle for third was very hard fought. Mark Thomas held off multiple attacks from Tito Viltz for the position and Travis Anderson completed the top five.
Wojcik knifed through the field with a surgeon’s precision and won the Pure Stock feature after starting in the fifth row. Late in the race, after Brandon Davis made heavy contact with the turn four wall, the leaders got together and Wojcik spun. He was restored at the point and held on for the win. Rookie Nick Traynor finished second ahead of Kyle Hunter. Jay Folz got turned around in the final turn and the final order of finish was readjusted; Folz was awarded fourth with C.J. Wagner completing the top five.
Big activities will be going on at the track the next two Saturday nights. Saturday, June 25 will be Kid’s Night with many giveaways for the kids, including at least six bicycles. The drivers will bring their cars out onto the track before the program begins and many of them will have candy, pictures, etc. to give away.
On Saturday, July 3, the annual Firecracker special will be highlighted by one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the area, with both aerial and ground displays. It will also be the Relay at the Races night, with many activities to raise money and increase awareness in the fight against cancer. Race time both nights will be 6:30 p.m.
Feature - Kevin Adams, Brent Prochnow, Scott Duval, Steve Hallquist, Scott Hudack, Dave Mayala, Mark Hanson, Jason Swan, Shawn Kreyer, Mark Hessler, Pat Hoffman, Paul Niznik, Scott Miller, Aric Lindberg, Larry Prochnow, Mike Anderson
Heat 1 - Hanson, Hudack, Hallquist, Hoffman, Swan, Niznik, Miller, Anderson
Heat 2 - Adams, L. Prochnow, Duval, B. Prochnow, Mayala, Kreyer, Hessler
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
Feature - Shane Kisling, Jason Forehand, Aaron Wilson, Ben Hillman, Jim Harris, Scott Zitelman, Eric Olson, Scott Clark, Mike Anderson, Marcel Hoaglan, Jeff Heintz, Allan Amborn, Barry Smith, Donnie Talmage, Chad Tarvis, Steve Tesch, Mike Siewert, Cory Davis
Heat 1 - Olson, Zitelman, Davis, Talmage, Heintz, Siewert
Heat 2 - Harris, Forehand, Anderson, Clark, Tarvis, Smith
Heat 3 - Kisling, Hillman, Wilson, Hoaglan, Amborn, Tesch
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
Feature - Mark Gerth, Ryan Viltz, Mark Thomas, Tito Viltz, Travis Anderson, Matt Leer, Brad Hudson, Shane Halopka, Mark Turner, Bryce Johnson, Josh Smith, Jeff Marshall, Jason Swan, Joe Olson, Jarret Carter, Jordan Hessler, Terry Sirek, Grant Southworth
Heat 1 - R. Viltz, Anderson, Leer, Smith, Hessler, Sirek
Heat 2 - Hudson, Marshall, Swan, Turner, Carter, Olson Heat 3 - Gerth, Halopka, Thomas, Southworth, T. Viltz, Johnson
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
Feature - Sam Fankhauser, Zach Manley, Chanda Fjorden Nord, Jay Kesan, Doug Wojcik, Ron Hanestad, Danny Richards, Joel Hinrichs, Ashley Husby, Josh Amans, Adam Soltis, Ryan Asp, Simon Wahlstrom, James Vought, Cory Crapser
Heat 1 - Fjorden Nord, Fankhauser, Wahlstrom, Wojcik, Hanestad, Husby, Vought, Asp
Heat 2 - Manley, Hinrichs, Soltis, Richards, Crapser, Amans, Kesan
Feature - Nick Wojcik, Nick Traynor, Kyle Hunter, Jay Folz, C.J. Wagner, Gunner Watkins, Steve Zurek, Bob Thompson, Josh Bach, Bob Wahlstrom, Don Blanchette, Kendall Grover, Jesse Bryan, George Richards, Brandon Davis, John Erickson, Darwin Brown
Heat 1 - Wojcik, Richards, Traynor, Zurek, Davis, Josh Buckridge, Erickson
Heat 2 - Folz, Wagner, Wahlstrom, Hunter, Grover, Brown
Heat 3 - Watkins, Bryan, Blanchette, Thompson, Bach
June 19 Photos by Chris Burback & Doug Zimmer: