Olson Nearly Double Winner at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

9) - Eric Olson became the first repeat winner in the Street Stock class Saturday at the Rice Lake Speedway and was only one lap from scoring a double win before Aaron Wilson stole the lead from him on the last lap of the Super Stock finale. Other winners on a wild and windy Saturday night included Dave Cain, Shane Halopka and Mike Schnider on the last Saturday night before the Memorial Day holiday special.

Cody Kummer took the early lead in the highly competitive Street Stock main event after battling with Jamey Fisher on the opening lap. Josh Amans, Adam Soltis and Jimmy Randall were all on the move too, while Olson gradually worked his way up from a fourth row starting position. Randall was using the high side of the track as he worked his way to the front while Olson was digging on the bottom lane.

While Kummer continued to lead, Olson worked his way into second with Randall third when suddenly, Kummer went way high in turn two as he jumped the cushion and gave up two positions. This gave Olson the lead with Randall on the charge. Jimmy continued to work the high side using an unusual line that gave him good momentum off the corners and he pulled up to the side of Olson and just as it appeared he was ready to make the pass, the yellow flew for a spin in turn four.

Olson continued to lead on the green but Randall had a problem now, as he couldn’t run his favorable groove because Kummer was right to his low side. As Olson edged away, the battle for second was side by side and Kummer was able to edge out Randall for the position. The top five saw Soltis in fourth with Jay Kesan next in line. Olson became the first repeat winner in the Streets in 2012.

Olson jumped out of his Streeter and into his Super Stock and holding the pole position, he took the early lead in the Super Stock main event. Visions of a double win danced in Olson’s eyes as he held off repeated challenges by Wilson for most of the event. Aaron continued to pressure Olson, running a slightly higher line but no more than a car length behind Eric as he tried to slip by.

From time to time, Olson would open up a slightly greater lead, but then Wilson would put on another charge and nearly edge past the Ladysmith veteran. As they came down for the white flag, Olson suddenly lost his line for an instant and came sliding up the track and Wilson was right there to dive to his inside and they raced wheel to wheel down the front chute. Wilson edged ahead going into turn one and while Olson gave it his best shot down the back chute, Wilson maintained his lead and raced to the win by a car length. Ben Hillman ran third most of the event and held off a late challenge by Shane Kisling for the position while Wayne Harris Jr completed the top five. The win was Wilson’s first of the year at Rice Lake.

Cain made his first appearance at Rice Lake in 2012 a winning one as he topped a thrilling Modified feature race. Aric Lindberg, who had won a heat race and was impressive in doing so, was scheduled to start the feature on the pole but he failed to appear on the track and that gave Mark Hessler the pole. Scott Miller used the outside to jump into the early lead with Cain and Matt Lear quickly moving up to challenge him. Cain was working the high side of the track and he closed beside Miller, who fought back and the leaders raced side by side. Suddenly Leer found an opening on the inside and the top three raced three wide all the way around the track before Cain edged into the lead. Leer was not done however, and as Miller slid back slightly, Leer charged up beside Cain again as they jockeyed around the oval.

Kevin Adams was on the move by this time and he worked past Brent Prochnow to take over the fourth spot and began to close on Miller for third. Cain continued to work the track and he found the best line to be high in turn one and low in turn three and he gradually began to edge away from Leer. Adams got past Miller for third and tried to catch the top two while the distance between the two leaders flattened out.

Cain continued to drive on and there would be no catching him Saturday as the Modifieds produced the fourth different winner in four nights of racing. Adams closed on Leer and got beside him in the final corner but Matt held on for second. Adam Hensel charged up from eleventh to edge Miller for fourth on the last lap.

Halopka remains the hottest driver at the track as the Midwest Modified racer scored his third win in four nights so far this season. Joe Chaplin Jr was the early leader of the race but Halopka moved to the cushion and blew past Chaplin Jr to take over the lead and once in front, he checked out on the field in the nonstop main event. Chaplin Jr was receiving heavy pressure from Nick Koehler but Joe fought off every attempt to be passed. Meanwhile, Tito Viltz was working his way up from the fourth row and when he found the cushion, he really picked up the pace. In the closing laps he closed quickly on the pack and in one grand move, blew past both Koehler and Chaplin Jr to claim second spot at the pay window. Those two trailed with Ryan Viltz completing the top five.

Schnider got his first ever feature win last Saturday and backed it up with his second straight win as he became the first repeat winner in the division so far this year.

The race got off to a wild start when pole sitter Jason Havel spun in turn one in front of the entire field with Joel Hinrichs and Bob Thompson both making contact but all three were able to continue racing.

Dustin Doughty then moved into the lead with Schnider then moving into second and pressuring the leader. Just like last Saturday, Schnider was able to move up the track and take over the top spot as he was able to keep his momentum in the higher groove. Joel Hinrichs was gradually working his way up through the pack after starting eighth, and he passed Doughty for second and began to pressure the leader.

A stalled car set up a two lap sprint to the finish and on the green, Hinrichs pushed hard in turn two going for the lead which caused him to drift up the track, bang into the wall and knock off his rear bumper, which then triggered another yellow. This set up another two lap sprint to the wire and Schnider hung on for the win. Hinrichs crossed the line second and was followed by Doughty, Chad Eastman and Thompson.

Next Saturday night will be the next special event of the racing season. Along with the regular five class program in a full night of racing action, the UMSS winged Sprint Cars will be making their first of two appearances at Rice Lake. Featuring drivers primarily from the Twin Cities and Minnesota area, they have put on good racing programs at Rice Lake in recent years and feature a no time trial format that places a premium on passing cars in preliminary events. Race time will be 6:30 p.m.


WISSOTA Modifieds
20 lap Feature – Dave Cain(Corcoran MN), Matt Leer(Bruce), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Adam Hensel(Baldwin), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Brent Prochnow(Colfax), Tim McMann(Duluth MN), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Pat Hoffman, Buddy Mayala, Jerry Weigel, Mark Hessler, Shaun Kreyer, T.J. Adams
10 lap Heat 1 – Cain, Leer, Adams, Brust, Anderson, McMann, Hensel, Mayala, Baxter
Heat 2 – Aric Lindberg(Dallas), Miller, Prochnow, Hessler(Menomonie), Kreyer(Hayward), Weigel, T.J. Adams, Hoffman
WISSOTA Super Stocks
20 lap Feature – Aaron Wilson(Menomonie), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Wayne Harris Jr(Bloomer), Andy Grymala(Superior), Cory Karshbaum(Chetek), Kirk Bogdanovic(Phillips), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound)
10 lap Heat – Kisling, Olson, Harris Jr, Wilson, Hillman, Grymala, Karshbaum, Watkins, Bogdanovic

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
15 lap Feature – Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Tito Viltz(Rice Lake), Joe Chaplin Jr(Cameron), Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Tyler Luger(Iron River), Terry Sirek(Rice Lake), Dusty Brown(Rice Lake), Cody Cimfl, David Simpson
10 lap Heat 1 – T. Viltz, S. Halopka, Chaplin Jr, Koehler, Sirek, Simpson
Heat 2 – R. Viltz, Anderson, Luger, K. Halopka, Brown, Cimfl
WISSOTA Street Stocks
15 lap Feature – Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Cody Kummer(Medford), Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Nick Wojcik(Ladysmith), Mitch Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Josh Wahlstrom(Menomonie), Andy Cimfl(Clayton), Jamey Fisher, Josh Amans, Ralph Stark, Heidi Karshbaum, Sam Fankhauser, Doug Wojcik
10 lap Heat 1 – Kummer, Soltis, Fisher, J. Wahlstrom, S. Wahlstrom, Stark, Karshbaum, Cimfl
Heat 2 – J. Kesan, Amans, Olson, Randall, M. Kesan, N. Wojcik, D. Wojcik, Fankhauser

Pure Stocks
12 lap Feature – Mike Schnider(Rice Lake), Joel Hinrichs(Chetek), Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Chad Eastman(Rice Lake), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Jason Havel(Rice Lake), Jay Folz(Rice Lake), Jimmy Holden(Rice Lake), Talon Laabs(Stetsonville), Josh Bach(Rice Lake), Joe Thompson, Kolby Kiehl, Steve Davis, John Erickson, Dan Fisher
8 lap Heat 1 – Hinrichs, Doughty, Erickson(Cameron), Eastman, Kiehl(Cameron), Fisher, Laabs, J. Thompson
Heat 2 – Schnider, Havel, Folz, B. Thompson, Davis(Chetek), Bach, Holden

May 19, 2012 Photos By Doug Zimmer & Chris Burback: