Fjorden-Nord, Wojcik Repeat; Tatnell Tops IRA Sprints at Rice Lake Speedway

By Ed Reichert

RICE LAKE, WI (May 15) - In front of a huge, windswept crowd Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway, Chanda Fjorden Nord showed the boys how it was done when she won her second straight Street Stock feature while Nick Wojcik made the charge of the year to duplicate her feat.

The large crowd gathered to see the special race featuring the IRA Sprint Cars in action and they didn’t disappoint as Australian star Brooke Tatnell took advantage of a flat tire by race long leader Travis Whitney to take over the lead on lap twenty two and then hold off a late charge from Scotty Neitzel for the win. Local favorite Billy Balog thrilled the crowd when he charged from sixteenth to finish in the third spot.

Fjorden Nord is on a roll right now and she held off a tough field to earn her second straight Street Stock win. Josh Amans started on the pole but before one lap could be completed, Fjorden Nord had powered up from the second row to drive under him and take over the top spot. Amans managed to stay close behind in second as Adam Soltis and Danny Richards were working their way toward the front of the pack.

Two minor spins kept the field bunched but each time Fjorden Nord would hold them off when racing resumed. Richards eventually worked his way past Amans into second and began to apply some heavy heat on Fjorden Nord. Danny was able to get the nose of his car underneath Fjorden Nord on several occasions, but each time Chanda would fight him off. Danny made one last attempt on the white flag lap, but Chanda remained solid in the groove to hold him off by a car length for the win. Amans had his best run of the year as he remained in second while Cory Crapser, subbing for Zach Manley, came from fifteenth starting spot to edge Soltis on the last lap for fourth.

Pure Stock driver Wojcik made the charge of the year to date, as after sustaining a flat tire in his heat race, Wojcik was forced to start fourteenth in the main event. But with the action wild, and many cars racing three and four wide in the early going , Wojcik was soon able to race into contention. Rookie Brandon Davis led the opening lap but he was soon overtaken by another rookie, Nick Traynor. Traynor held the top spot for a couple of laps as Bob Wahlstrom and Dusty Brown charged into contention. Unfortunately, they rubbed together with both cars sustaining flat tires. Wahlstrom was done , but Brown changed a tire and returned to the track.

Meanwhile, Wojcik continued his charge and by the halfway point of the event had driven past Traynor to take over the lead. C.J. Wagner, who held also suffered a flat tire in a heat, charged up from fifteenth to take over the second spot but he was unable to close on Wojcik, who drove home for his second win in a row here. Traynor held on for third while Chaz Ducommun made a late charge into fourth ahead of Kyle Hunter.

A wild, two car rollover in the Super Stock feature will have the spectators talking all week. Jason Forehand, who missed last week’s show to get married, started on the pole and quickly moved into a comfortable lead. However, the battle for second was sensational as Scott Clark, Scott Zitelman and Mike Keller battled for the spot. They were soon joined by Ben Hillman,  Aaron Wilson and Shane Kisling in the fight as Kisling was flying on the outside after starting fourteenth on the grid.

Forehand’s big lead was erased by a spin, and back under green, Forehand was suddenly challenged for the lead as Keller and Hillman were tight on his tail. Keller and Hillman swapped lines on the track as both provided severe pressure on the leader. Going down the back chute, Keller and Hillman got together and the cars locked up as they bounced down the back chute. Keller slid sideways and his car dug into the track, launching him on his side , facing traffic. The field came flying in on him at speed, with no where to go. Wilson was tipped up on his side by Kisling with the two flipped car now facing traffic. Kisling got stopped but got nailed from behind which drove him into Wilson’s car , which was now teetering on Kisling’s. Cars were scattered all over the back chute, with the cars of Keller, Kisling, Wilson and Allan Amborn all eliminated.

This took away much of Forehand’s competition, and when the race resumed, he pulled away again for the win, his first of the year here. Clark and Zitelman had a good battle for second before Clark prevailed, with Andy Grymala and Hillman trailing.

Dave Cain’s first appearance of the year was a winning one, as he and Kevin Adams slugged it out for the win, with Cain making the winning pass with just a few laps left. Mark Hanson was the early leader, but Adams was able to drive past him and take over the top spot. Cain was soon on the move, and he drove under Hanson to take over second and then began to close on Adams for the lead.

Buzzy held the middle line on the track, and Cain looked to get under him for several laps, but Adams was able to maintain his line and hold off Cain. Cain then decided he needed to move up the track, and he slowly began to gain on Adams as he ran the middle groove. Inch by inch he closed on Adams, until he was finally able to pull up on the outside of him. Cain was able to drive just a little bit deeper into the corners, and he finally cleared Adams to take over  the lead with just a handful of laps remaining. Buzzy remained glued to Cain’s rear bumper but he couldn’t muster a return charge as Cain drove home for the win. Hanson maintained third ahead of Brent Prochnow and Scott Miller to the finish.

Tito Viltz energized the local crowd as he won an exciting and somewhat strange Midwest Modified feature event. Travis Anderson took the early lead with Clark Swartz challenging until Viltz moved to the high side of the track and with some bold driving , was able to power by the leaders and take over the top spot. As they battled behind Tito, Matt Leer came storming up from the fifth row to take second and began to put heavy pressure on Tito for the lead. However, Leer pushed too hard in turn four and he spun and collected Swartz, with both cars eliminated.

Viltz continued to show the way, but now he was getting heavy pressure from Shane Halopka, who had moved into second. However, as Halopka tried to pressure Viltz, turn four caught him also and he spun with Anderson crashing into him and eliminating himself. Thus four of the top five had now dropped from contention.

Tito continued at his hot pace, with no one now able to apply pressure as he drove home for his first win of the year. Nick Koehler charged up to second and led Terry Sirek, Bob Wood and Josh Smith home in the top five after apparent third place finisher Mike Mueller was disqualified for a safety issue.

With the Sprint Car show out of the way, Adams-Hansen Inc. will now focus on their next special event at the speedway which will be this coming weekend. The annual Memorial Day weekend doubleheader is slated for Saturday and Sunday with racing in all five classes at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Late Models, a big hit in the area, will be the special attraction on Sunday as they make their first appearance at the speedway since 2008 and for the first time under the new ownership. A large field of Late Models is expected on Sunday, with many of the area driving stars expected to be in action on a track that has always provided the Late Models a good place to showcase their talents.

Miller Beer and Toy’s Scrap and Salvage will be the weekend sponsors and they will be providing surprises for both the fans and drivers. Late Models have been a staple at Rice Lake for many years and Adams-Hansen Inc. are anxious to welcome their return to Rice Lake. Camping is available at the track and fans are encouraged to spend the weekend at Rice Lake Speedway. For more information, contact Dave Adams at 715-205-2861.

WISSOTA Modifieds
Feature – Dave Cain, Corcoran MN; Kevin Adams, Cameron; Mark Hanson, Chippewa Falls; Brent Prochnow, Colfax; Scott Miller, Rice Lake; Mike Anderson, Colfax; Pat Hoffman, Rice Lake
Heat – Cain; Adams; Hoffman; Hanson; Miller; Anderson; Dave Mayala; Prochnow
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature – Jason Forehand, Eau Claire; Scott Clark, Cameron; Scott Zitelman, Taylors Falls MN; Andy Grymala, Superior; Ben Hillman, Menomonie; Jeff Heintz, Turtle Lake; Tony Falkner, Menomonie; Donnie Talmage, Amery; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Allan Amborn, Rice Lake; Aaron Wilson, Menomonie; Shane Kisling, Sarona; Mike Keller, Menomonie; Jim Harris, Menomonie; Darrel Hazelton, Chippewa Falls
Heat 1 – Clark; Harris; Falkner; Hillman; Grymala; Richards; Talmage; Amborn
Heat 2 – Forehand; Keller; Wilson; Zitelman; Heintz; Hazelton; Kisling
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature – Tito Viltz, Cameron; Nick Koehler, Bloomer; Terry Sirek, Rice Lake; Bob Wood, Cadott; Josh Smith, Eau Claire; Scotty Bruce, Thunder Bay Ont; Shane Halopka, Greenwood; Jason Swan, Chippewa Falls; Will Fisher, Shell Lake; Miah Christensen, Sioux Falls S.D.; Brian Fuchs, Medford; Travis Anderson, Colfax; Bryce Johnson, Barron; Don Craig, Thunder Bay Ont; Clark Swartz, Bloomer; Matt Leer, Bruce; Jordan Hessler, Elk Mound; Cory Jackson, Chippewa Falls; Grant Southworth, Bloomer; Joe Olson, Chetek; Mark Turner, Rice Lake; Ryan Viltz, Cameron
Heat 1 – Leer; Anderson; Mike Mueller; Koehler; Swan; Wood; Turner; Bruce
Heat 2 – Southworth; R. Viltz; Craig; Smith; Sirek; Olson; Christensen; Fisher
Heat 3 – Halopka; T. Viltz; Swartz; Fuchs; Jackson; Hessler; Johnson
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature – Chanda Fjorden Nord, Luck; Danny Richards, Mondovi; Josh Amans, Rice Lake; Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls; Adam Soltis, Ladysmith; Jimmy Randall, Rice Lake; Doug Wojcik, Ladysmith; Harold Peters, Morden Mb; Jason Lang, Sheldon; Joel Hinrichs, Cameron; Tommy Richards, Mondovi; Cody Kummer, Medford; James Wall, Winkler Mb; James Vought, Hudson; Sam Fankhauser, Rice Lake; Simon Wahlstrom, Cameron
Heat 1 – Fjorden Nord; Kummer; T. Richards; Lang; Wojcik; Randall; Wahlstrom; Crapser
Heat 2 – D. Richards; Amans; Peters; Soltis; Fankhauser; Vought; Wall; Hinrichs
Pure Stocks
Feature – Nick Wojcik, Ladysmith; C.J. Wagner, Hayward; Nick Traynor, Chetek; Chaz Ducommun, Chetek; Kyle Hunter, Luck; Dusty Brown, Rice Lake; Bob Thompson, Cameron; Shawn Warner, Bruce; Don Blanchette, Spooner; Brandon Davis, Chetek; Kendall Grover, Chetek; Josh Bach, Rice Lake; Bob Wahlstrom, Chetek; Keith Duffee, Turtle Lake; John Erickson, Cameron
Heat 1 – Brown; Ducommun; Bach; Davis; Blanchette; Duffee; Erickson; Wagner
Heat 2 – Traynor; Wahlstrom; Hunter; Warner; Grover; Thompson; George Richards; Wojcik

May 22 Photos by Chris Burback: