Three New Winners at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (June 26) - Ryan Viltz, Mike Keller and Cory Crapser were all first time winners at the Rice Lake Speedway Saturday in a racing program that beat the rain to a conclusion by literally seconds Saturday night. Other winners at the track in the last program before the holiday Firecracker special were Mike Anderson and Nick Wojcik.

Viltz scored his win in what was probably the closest feature race of the night involving the Midwest Modifieds. Bryce Johnson and Mark Turner shared the front row but it was Josh Smith who quickly found the lead position after moving up from the second row. Tito Viltz stormed up on the high side to challenge Smith, with Matt Leer, Ryan Viltz and Shane Halopka also moving into contention.  While Smith continued to lead, Leer moved into the second spot after a tough battle with Ryan Viltz and then moved in to challenge Smith for the lead.

The lone yellow waved at the midway point of the race, and on the green, Smith continued to hold the point with Leer challenging on every lap on the outside and Ryan Viltz on the inside. Leer continued to pressure Smith unsuccessfully when, suddenly, an opening occurred on the low side and Viltz dove for the lead down the front chute. He was able to make the pass in turn one to take over the lead, with Leer then moving into second on the high side. In the last few laps, Leer continued to pressure, but Viltz was in the groove as he drove home for the win. Smith held on for third ahead of Travis Anderson and Halopka.

Crapser led all the way to win the Street Stock finale with rookie Zach Manley applying the heat throughout the contest. They shared the front row and stayed in those positions the entire race. There was plenty of jockeying behind them though, as several front runners were involved in  incidents that sent them to the back of the pack and resulted in a continuing shuffle of the running order through several yellow flags.

Despite the slowdowns, Crapser continued to show the way with Manley close behind but never able to apply extreme pressure. Jimmy Randall eventually settled for third ahead of Adam Soltis and Joel Hinrichs.

Keller got to the front early and led the majority of the Super Stock feature as a large pack chased him. Randy Spacek and Chad Johnson traded the lead back and forth on the first two attempts to get the Super Stock feature under way. The second yellow was the result of a seven car pileup on the back chute that eliminated two cars.

After things sorted out, the last seventeen laps of the race went nonstop with Spacek leading briefly before Keller moved past first Johnson and the Spacek to take over the lead. Storming to the front was Jason Forehand and Shane Kisling with Forehand particularly successful as he moved up from the fifth row and drove by Johnson for the runner up slot using the high side.

Once in second though, he seemed to slow a bit and was eventually overtaken by Spacek again for the second spot. Kisling, meanwhile, was locked in a side by side battle with Eric Olson that saw Kisling take the spot for several laps, only to see Olson again move past on the low side. Near the end of the event, Spacek started to cut into Keller’s lead as Randy drove hard into the final corner to cut the advantage to a car length, but Keller held on for the win. Forehand, Olson and Kisling completed the top five.

Anderson became the first repeat winner in the Modifieds for 2010 as he got to the front quickly and held off a constant challenge from Kevin Adams for the win. Anderson started in row one, and after a brief struggle with Steve Hallquist, he took over the lead. He started to build up an advantage but yellow flags for minor spins continued to bring the field back to him.

Adams, meanwhile, was working his way up from the forth row using the high side of the track. He was finally able to drive past Hallquist for second but found that he had a deficient to make up on Anderson. Adams was able to cut the gap slightly, but Anderson still had a decent lead when a two car tangle with only three laps left set up a shootout.

On the green both drivers bobbled, with Adams going high in turn one and Anderson pushing up the track leaving turn two. The mistakes negated each other, and the leaders remained about a car length apart as they took the white flag. Adams pushed hard to get under Anderson, but Mike remained in the lead as he took the checkered flag. Hallquist continued his strong runs with a third over Scott Duval, as they battled for much of the race with Robby Bunkelman completing the top five.

Rookie John Erickson led the first half of the Pure Stock feature as Nick Wojcik, Dusty Brown and Chaz Ducommun raced into contending positions. Just as a spin occurred to trigger the yellow, Erickson rolled a tire off the rim and he was done while still holding the lead. Ducommun went up in smoke at the same time and the running order was shuffled for the restart.

Brown and Wojcik battled under the green until they came up on a lapped car. The leaders split the slower running vehicle and it was Wojcik on the low side that gained the lead. In the last few laps he was able to extend his advantage slightly as he motored on for his track leading fourth win of the year. Behind Brown, veteran Don Folz jumped behind the wheel again and finished in the third spot with Kyle Hunter and Gunnar Watkins trailing.

Next Saturday night, one of the signature events at the Rice Lake Speedway will be presented. It will be the Firecracker special, highlighted by one of the finest fireworks displays in the entire area. With both ground and aerial displays, this program is one that race fans and the public in general love to see. Along with the fireworks, a full racing program in all five divisions will be presented. July 3rd will also be the Relay at the Races night for the American Cancer Society and many special events are planned to correspond with that activity. Race time is 6:30 p.m.

WISSOTA Modifieds
20 lap Feature – Mike Anderson, Colfax; Kevin Adams, Cameron; Steve Hallquist, Eau Claire; Scott Duval, Bloomer; Robby Bunkelman, Abbotsford; Paul Brust, Rice Lake; Dave Mayala, Barron; Dave Baxter, Eau Claire; Wayne Stricker, Highbridge; Paul Niznik, Medford; Mike Anderson, Dallas; Kelly Checkalski, Poplar; Mark Hanson, Chippewa Falls; Jerry Weigel, Jim Falls; Larry Prochnow, Menomonie; Shawn Kreyer, Hayward; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake; Scott Miller, Rice Lake.
10 lap Heat 1 – Adams; Kreyer; Anderson(Dallas); Weigel; Hanson; Brust; Hoffman
Heat 2 – Bunkelman; Mayala; Anderson(Colfax); Stricker; Niznik; Checkalski
Heat 3 – Hallquist; Prochnow; Duval; Miller; Baxter; Jason Swan

WISSOTA Super Stocks
20 lap Feature – Mike Keller, Menomonie; Randy Spacek, Phillips; Jason Forehand, Eau Claire; Eric Olson, Ladysmith; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Chad Johnson, Colfax; Steve Thomas, Menomonie; Andy Grymala, Superior; Aaron Wilson, Menomonie; Scott Clark, Cameron; Barry Smith, Solon Springs; Scott Zitelman, Taylors Falls MN; Ben Hillman, Menomonie; Jim Harris, Menomonie; Marcel Hoaglan, Hudson; Willlie Johnsen, Superior; Chad Tarvis, Chetek; Ron Hoffman, Ridgeland; Cy Hoaglan, Ashland; Russ Chester, Chetek; Mike Siewert, Mikana; Donnie Talmage, Amery; Allen Amborn, Rice Lake.
10 lap Heat 1 – Forehand; Harris; Keller; Siewert; Wayne Bignell; Wilson; Zitelman
Heat 2 – Kisling; Thomas;C. Johnson; Grymala; Clark; Smith; M. Hoaglan; Amborn
Heat 3 – Hillman; Olson; Spacek; Talmage; W. Johnson; Tarvis; Hoffman; Chester

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Ryan Viltz, Cameron; Matt Leer, Bruce; Josh Smith, Eau Claire; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Tito Viltz, Cameron; Mark Turner, Rice Lake; Rick Przybylski, Ashland; Jordan Hessler, Elk Mound; Joe Olson, Chetek; Steve Anderson, Ironwood MI; Bryce Johnson, Barron; Cody Carlson, Superior; Fran Hanson, Dallas; Joe Eckland, Springbrook
10 lap Heat 1 – Leer; Halopka; R. Viltz; Turner; Przybylski; Carlson; Olson; S. Anderson
Heat 2 – T. Anderson; T. Viltz; Smith; Johnson; Hessler; Hanson; Eckland

WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature – Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls; Zach Manley, Cameron; Jimmy Randall, Rice Lake; Adam Soltis, Ladysmith; Joel Hinrichs, Cameron; Josh Amans, Rice Lake; Ron Hanestad, Glenwood City; Danny Richards, Mondovi; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Marcus Simonson, Milltown; Chanda Fjorden-Nord, Luck; Doug Wojcik, Ladysmith; Sam Fankhauser, Rice Lake; Jay Kesan, Weyerhaeuser
10 lap Heat 1 – Manley; D. Richards; Fankhauser; Crapser; Soltis; Hanestad; T. Richards
Heat 2 – Fjorden-Nord; Randall; Wojcik; Kesan; Simonson; Amans; Hinrichs

Pure Stocks
12 lap Feature – Nick Wojcik, Ladysmith; Dusty Brown, Rice Lake; Don Folz, Rice Lake; Kyle Hunter, Luck; Gunnar Watkins, Elk Mound; Josh Bach, Rice Lake; Nick Traynor, Chetek; Dustin Follett, Cloquet MN; Randy Burton, Menomonie; Bob Thompson, Cameron; Don Blanchette, Spooner; Keith Duffee, Turtle Lake; Chaz Ducommun, Chetek; John Erickson, Cameron
8 lap Heat 1 –Du. Brown; Folz; Thompson; Bach; Duffee; Watkins; Blanchette; Darwin Brown
Heat 2 – Wojcik; Ducommun; Erickson; Follett; Burton; Hunter; Traynor

June 26 Photos by Chris Burback & Doug Zimmer: