|Bunkelman and Davis Top Rice Lake Speedway Open Wheelers
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (May 8) There was snow on the ground Saturday morning in Rice Lake, Wisconsin and the temperatures never rose out of the low 40s all day, but Adams-Hansen, Inc. was determined to put on a race program. A full field of drivers and the die hard fans showed up for some bone chilling action, both on and off the track. Robby Bunkelman and Brandon Davis topped the Modified and Midwest Modified divisions, respectively, while other winners on week two of the 2010 race season included Shane Kisling, Jimmy Randall and Dusty Brown.
Bunkelman has been a resurgent WISSOTA Modified racer in 2010 and tonight he won his first feature race at Rice Lake since 2003; he came from the second row to overhaul Scott Duval for the win.
Dave Mayala edged into the early lead of the race, but Mark Hanson charged up on the inside to take the point, which he maintained until a restart when Duval swept by him for the lead. Meanwhile, Bunkelman and Jason Miller challenged for the lead. With four yellow flags during the first six laps, stringing consistency was difficult for the drivers, but when they finally settled down, Bunkelman ducked under Duval and took over the top spot. Miller challenged Duval on several occasions for second but couldn't complete the pass and had to settle for third. Hanson fought his way back up into contention and finished fourth while Brent Prochnow, last week’s winner, showed patience and fought his way up to fifth at the line after starting 17th on the grid.
Davis made his first ever appearance at Rice Lake Speedway a memorable one; he topped a big field of WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds after starting from the third row of the main event. Shane Halopka used a front row starting position to take the early lead over Rob Weber and Grant Southworth. Davis moved to the low groove and quickly became a challenger; he swept past Southworth, then closed on Halopka. Even Halopka couldn’t offer much of a challenge as Davis blew past him for the lead.
With the race remaining under the green, Davis stretched his advantage and the battle turned to the third spot where Southworth was under the gun from Ryan Viltz and Nick Koehler. The lone yellow of the event occurred with nine laps complete for a spin which bunched up the field.
Davis took off when racing resumed and built up his margin again while Koehler made a great move on the restart and gained a row; he slipped under Southworth to take over third and that’s the way the top three finished. Viltz settled behind Southworth to complete the top five.
The WISSOTA Super Stock feature was a classic two-car battle between Eric Olson and Shane Kisling. Olson started on the pole and edged past Scott Clark to take the lead. Kisling quickly moved past Jim Harris and Clark to grab second, then closed on Olson for the lead. The Super Stocks had their issues early with spins on several occasions slowing down the first half of the race.
Kisling continued to challenge Olson before he got a nose under him off turn four; they raced side by side down the front chute and Kisling edged into the lead out of turn two. The race remained under green to the conclusion and Kisling edged away from Olson while the battle for third heated up. In fact, two of the competitors got together on the final lap, which resulted in a spin and the race was scored back to the white flag lap. Harris was scored third over Scott Zitelman and Ben Hillman.
Randall made the biggest charge of the night in the WISSOTA Street Stock feature; the veteran started from the fourth row of the main event but quickly moved to the front of the pack. The race got off to a wild start when polesitter Zach Manley spun in turn two; that set the trend for the race; there was plenty of banging and spinning throughout and the somewhat unusual pattern of the contest created several position changes and shuffling throughout the field.
Randall quickly worked into second, drove past Chanda Fjorden Nord for the lead, then survived a restart when the pack was returned to his rear bumper.
Danny Richards made a strong rush late in the race; he got past Fjorden Nord and closed to Randall’s rear bumper. He actually got a nose under Randall on the final circuit but Randall held him off by a car length for the win. Sam Fankhauser came from deep in the pack to finish fourth, one position ahead of Tommy Richards.
Dusty Brown had bad luck rob him of a possible feature win last week, but tonight he kept all the wheels on the race car and drove to an easy win in the Pure Stock feature. Bob Wahlstrom took the early lead but Brown wasted no time at all; within a couple of laps he moved to Wahlstrom’s rear bumper, then drove past him for the lead. Behind Wahlstrom there was lots of scrambling for position with Nick Traynor and Nick Wojcik moving toward the front. George Richards was also working his way to the front after starting deep in the pack.
There was a wild incident with only a couple of laps left when Kyle Hunter lost a wheel on the front chute. The wheel, with a portion of the axle still attached, bounced high in the air and slammed down on the windshield area of Jesse Bryan, but fortunately, a good set of bars protected the driver and there were no injuries.
Brown powered away on the green and drove home for a relatively easy win with Wahlstrom second ahead of Wojcik, Traynor and C.J. Wagner.
Racing action will continue Saturday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. with all five classes in action. On Saturday, May 22, the IRA winged outlaw Sprint Cas will make their first appearance of 2010 at Rice Lake Speedway. Thirty or more of the powerhouse open wheel cars will be in action as promoter Steve Sinclair brings his Illinois based group to Rice Lake Speedway for the first of two scheduled appearances this year. All five classes that normally race will also be in action running for track and national points using their normal point average line up method. The Sprint Cars are expected to qualify around 6:00 p.m. with racing to follow.
Feature - Robby Bunkelman, Scott Duval, Jason Miller, Mark Hanson, Brent Prochnow, Rich Lofthus, Mike Anderson, Dave Mayala, Kelly Checkalski, Kenny Kincaid, Al Uotinen, Jeremy Gross, Wayne Stricker, Ross Lightner, Michael Truscott, Steve Stuart, Greg Chesley, Jerry Hartman, Rick Rivord, Scott Miller, Kevin Adams
Heat 1 - Bunkelman, Miller, Stricker, Chesley, Steve Hallquist, Kincaid, Prochnow, Lofthus
Heat 2 - Hanson, Duval, Adams, Hartman, Anderson, Checkalski, Miller, Lightner
Heat 3 - Truscott, Uotinen, Mayala, Stuart, Gross, Rivord, Pat Hoffman
WISSOTA Super Stocks
Feature - Shane Kisling, Eric Olson, Jim Harris, Scott Zitelman, Ben Hillman, Kevin Eder, Scott Lawrence, Wayne Harris, Jr., Lucas Plank, Scott Clark, Aaron Wilson, Willie Johnsen, Cory Casari, Jeff Heintz, Nick Oreskovich, Ken Truscott, Allen Amborn, Wayne Bignell, Tad Schoonover, Randy Spacek, Jason Forehand
Heat 1 - Kisling, Eder, Lawrence, Plank, Heintz, Harris, Jr., Johnson, Bignell
Heat 2 - Olson, Hillman, Clark, Cory Karshbaum, Truscott, Zitelman, Forehand
Heat 3 - Wilson, J. Harris, Casari, Schoonover, Oreskovich, Amborn, Spacek
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Feature - Brandon Davis, Shane Halopka, Nick Koehler, Grant Southworth, Ryan Viltz, Brad Hudson, Matt Leer, Clark Swartz, Bryce Johnson, Tito Viltz, George Dalbeck, Terry Sirek, Bob Wood, Josh Smith, Eric Gadach, George Truscott, Travis Anderson, Rob Weber, Cody Carlson, Joe Eckland, Mark Gerth
Feature 1 - Leer, Truscott, Gadach, Tom Sires, Pat Cook, Fran Hanson, Shawn Rivord, Joe Olson, Jason Swan
Feature 2 - Smith, Carlson, Eckland, Ricky Davis, Mark Turner, Jacob Gondik, Neil Balduc, Alan Broker
Heat 1 - Southworth, Davis, Dalbeck, Leer, Broker, Olson, Swan
Heat 2 - Weber, Anderson, Sirek, Carlson, Hanson, Balduc
Heat 3 - Halopka, Wood, T. Viltz, Truscott, Eckland, Gadach, Gondik
Heat 4 - Hudson, Gerth, Swartz, Smith, Sires, Cook, Cory Jackson
Heat 5 - R. Viltz, Koehler, Johnson, Rivord, Davis, Turner
WISSOTA Street Stocks
Feature - Jimmy Randall, Danny Richards, Chanda Fjorden Nord, Sam Fankhauser, Tommy Richards, Scott Walker, Ashley Husby, Marcus Simonson, Doug Wojcik,Simon Wahlstrom, Zach Manley, Joel Hinrichs, Josh Amans
Heat 1 - Randall, Wojcik, Wahlstrom, Walker, T. Richards, Husby, Hinrichs, Fankhauser
Heat 2 - Manley, Fjorden Nord, Simonson, Amans, Rick Weir, Adam Delfosse, D. Richards
Feature - Dusty Brown, Bob Wahlstrom, Nick Wojcik, Nick Traynor, C.J. Wagner, George Richards, John Erickson, Josh Bach, Jay Folz, Jesse Bryan, Bob Thompson, Josh Buckridge, Keith Duffee, Jake Sandmann, Gunnar Watkins, Brandon Davis, Kyle Hunter
Heat 1 - Brown, Richards, Erickson, Wagner, Bryan, Sandmann
Heat 2 - Watkins, Wojcik, Wahlstrom, Bach, Duffee, Davis
Heat 3 - Traynor, Folz, Thompson, Hunter, Buckridge
May 8 Photos by Doug Zimmer: