Anderson Brothers Shine In Rice Lake Speedway Opener
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (May 18) It took seven attempts, but finally, on Saturday, May 18, Rice Lake Speedway got its 2013 season opening event in the books. Fittingly, after six postponements due to extreme weather conditions, the speedway had to ride out a day long rain before the precipitation stopped at mid-afternoon, the skies began to brighten and the temperatures soared.
Taking advantage of the chance to finally get a race completed, Mike and Travis Anderson, racing brothers from Colfax, each won open-wheel Modified events to top the racing action. Mike won the Modified feature while Travis won the Midwest Modified feature; other feature winners on opening night included Shane Kisling, Eric Olson and rookie Hunter VanGilder.
Mike Anderson started on the pole of the Modified finale and was never seriously challenged throughout the 20-lap race. As Anderson opened up a lead over Kurt Myers, Kevin Adams slipped past Mark Hessler to take over the third spot. Adams gradually caught up to Myers and the battle for second was on while Hessler remained close. Adams put several challenges on for second but Myers continued to hold the spot.
The first yellow occurred with twelve laps complete as Wayne Poteet spun in turn four and Hessler banged off him as the yellow flew. Despite some major body damage, Hessler was able to continue on in the event.
Anderson continued to hold the lead on the green but Adams dove to the bottom lane and slipped past Myers to take second. He then closed on Anderson in the first challenge Mike had seen during the race. However, as Adams pushed his car to the maximum, He got crossed up in turn one and spun, triggering the yellow again and ending his chance to challenge for the win.
Anderson pulled away on the green from Myers while the drivers on the move in the late going were Tim McMann and Matt Leer. McMann used the low line and was able to drive up to third at the end while Leer slipped under Kevin Eder on the final corner to take fourth as Anderson drove on for the win.
Travis Anderson’s route to victory was not near as easy. Cody Carlson and Kevin Marlett exchanged the lead in the early going of the Midwest Modified main as the big, twenty five car field had a tough time making green flag laps with four yellow flags in the first three laps for various spins. Finally, the field settled down enough to get some racing in, with Marlett continuing to hold the lead with Anderson working into second ahead of Kent Baxter.
Coming off turn four, Anderson was able to get under Marlett and take over the top spot with Baxter moving in behind him to challenge in second. From back in the pack, Ryan Viltz and Shane Halopka were gradually working their way forward after starting in the sixth row, and both started to contend when the racing smoothed out.
Viltz worked his way into second but then Halopka stormed past him to take the runner up slot and took off after Anderson. However, the laps ran out and Travis drove home for the win. Baxter hung on for fourth spot at the finish with Josh Smith completing the top five.
Defending track point champion Kisling started out the season with a bang as he fought off a challenge from Ben Hillman to take his first feature win of the year. Kisling started on the outside pole and pulled away from Bart Steffen to take the early lead. Jason Forehand took the second spot early, with Hillman chasing him while back in the pack, Curt Myers was on the move.
As Kisling rolled up front, Forehand suddenly slowed with a major mechanical problem and Hillman drove past him into second. Ben then put the hammer down, and began to close the gap on Kisling as he pulled to Shane’s rear bumper. Myers was now up to third and edging in on the leader also.
Hillman took several shots at Kisling, but Shane continued to hold him off as the race reached its midpoint, when the yellow flew for Eric Olson, who spun to avoid another car.
Kisling took off on the restart, but Myers dove hard to the low side and moved up beside Hillman for second. Curt edged ahead for the position as the battle waged on. While Kisling began to get away, the race for second continued. Hillman battled back and they raced side by side for the spot. Finally, on the white flag lap, Hillman was able to drive under Myers and take over second but Kisling was safely in front as he drove on for the win. A last corner pass saw Olson edge past Joe Oliver for fourth at the line.
Olson’s luck was a little better in the Street Stocks, where he drove to a start to finish, non stop win. He started on the outside pole, got the early jump on Keith Tourville and then began to pull away from the field. However, while Olson seemed in control at the point, a great battle developed for second as Cody Kummer drove past Tourville and was then followed up Sam Fankhauser. Sammy then closed on Kummer and they had a great battle for second, that saw them race for much of the event, side by side. Neither would give an inch as they tore around the third mile oval, and they jockeyed back and forth for the spot.
While they were racing hard, Adams Soltis and Jimmy Randall were also arguing for the next spot. With just a couple of laps left, Fankhauser was finally able to edge past Kummer on the low side and take the spot but Olson had a comfortable lead as the defending point champion opened the season on a strong note. Soltis held off Randall in a battle for fourth.
Hunter Van Gilder, in only his second time behind the wheel of a stock car, pleased and thrilled the big crowd as he held off all challenges by Jason Havel to take the Pure Stock feature. Van Gilder started on the outside pole and took the early lead, as two yellows slowed the early going. When racing settled down, Havel drove to the second spot and was all over Van Gilder, rapping on his rear bumper in an effort to get by. However, Van Gilder was smooth and steady and gave Havel no openings as the race moved on.Lap after lap, Havel would challenge but Van Gilder would fight him off. On the final tour, Havel would try to dive under Van Gilder in the last corner, but Van Gilder powered off the corner and held on by a car length, waving his arm out the window in excitement as he crossed the line for the win. Newcomer Mike Chaplin drove a strong race to take third as he fought off C. J. Wagner and Jay Folz for the spot.
Racing action will continue next Saturday night with a 6:30 p.m. start time. The first special event of the season is scheduled next week with the Upper Midwest Sprint Car Series (UMSS) due to arrive.
Along with the 360 winged Sprint Cars, for the first time ever the UMSS will also showcase their traditional Sprints, which are nonwinged Sprints so two distinct and different groups of Sprints will be in action. And in a change from the original schedule, all other divisions will be in action also. Originally the Super Stocks and Streets were slated to have the week off, but with so many shows already lost to the weather, it was decided by the track owners to run all classes next Saturday.
20 lap Feature Mike Anderson(Colfax), Curt Myers(Cameron), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Matt Leer(Bruce), Kevin Eder(Ashland), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Jesse Glenz(Cadott), Neil Balduc(Bessemer MI), Pat Hoffman(Rice Lake), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Paul Niznik, Steve Lavasseur, Brian Mikkonen, Wayne Poteet, Keith Tourville
10 lap Heat 1 Balduc, Leer, Adams, Anderson, McMann, Glenz, Mikkonen, Lavasseur
Heat 2 Myers, Niznik(Medford), Eder, Hessler, Hoffman, Poteet, Tourville
WISSOTA Super Stocks:
20 lap Feature Shane Kisling(Sarona), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Curt Myers(Cameron), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Joe Oliver(Superior), Andy Grymala(Superior), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Bart Steffen(Eau Claire), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Cory Casari, Jim Harris, Jim Cimfl, Don Muzzy, Nick Oreskovich, Jason Forehand
10 lap Heat 1 Hillman, Oreskovich(Mason), Steffen, Oliver, Wilson, Myers, Watkins, Olson
Heat 2 Kisling, Johnsen Jr, Forehand(Eau Claire), Grymala, Harris(Menomonie), Casari, Cimfl, Muzzy
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
15 lap Feature Travis Anderson(Colfax), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Josh Smith(Eau Claire), Cole Spacek(Phillips), Mike Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Bryce Johnson(Barron), Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), Paul Suzik(Ironwood MI), Paul Niznik, Terry Sirek, Cody Carlson, Chris Bretting, Cody Cimfl, Chris Huther, A.J. Pintaro, Kevin Marlett, Don Drew, Robert Ellsworth, David Simpson, Joe Chaplin Jr, Kerry Halopka, Darren LaBlonde, Tito Viltz
10 lap Heat 1 Marlett(Clear Lake), Sirek(Rice Lake), Huther(Medford), Cimfl(Mikana), Ellsworth(New Auburn), LaBlonde, Niznik
Heat 2 K. Halopka(Wheeler), Carlson(Superior), Smith, Drew(Rice Lake), Simpson(Thunder Bay ONT), Johnson, Craig Elliott
Heat 3 Baxter, Chaplin Jr(Cameron), S. Halopka, Suzik, Schnider, Bretting
Heat 4 Anderson, Spacek, R. Viltz, Truscott, T. Viltz(Rice Lake)
WISSOTA Street Stocks:
15 lap Feature Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Sam Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Cody Kummer(Medford), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Justin Pogones(Zimmerman MN), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Kyle Howland(Zimmerman MN), Ashley Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Brandon Davis, Andy Cimfl, Bob Wahlstrom, Heidi Karshbaum, Kolby Kiehl
10 lap Heat 1 Randall, Fankhauser, Olson, Kummer, Howland, Cimfl, Scott Clark, B. Wahlstrom
Heat 2 Tourville, Pogones, Hanestad, Soltis, A. Wahlstrom, Davis, Karshbaum, Kiehl
12 lap Feature Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Mike Chaplin(Cameron), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Nick Traynor(Hillsdale), John Erickson(Rice Lake), George Richards(Mondovi), Jared Amundson(Barron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Randy Graham, Scott Pittman, Terran Spacek, Chad Carlson, Mike Grover, Trenten Holub, Andrew Conklin, Brent Miller, Matt Deragon, Jake Hanson, Austin Workman, Tim Carlson
8 lap Heat 1 Erickson, Folz, Havel, Amundson, Richards, Workman, Spacek, Pittman
Heat 2 VanGilder, Wagner, Grover(Chetek), Deragon(Ashland), Holub(Rice Lake), Conklin, C. Carlson
Heat 3 Thompson, Chaplin, Traynor, Graham(Trego), Hanson(Downing), T. Carlson, Miller