Koehler, Wilson win hard fought features

By Ed Reichert

RICE LAKE, WI (September 2) - The second half of the Labor Day holiday doubleheader was completed Sunday night at the Rice Lake Speedway and the only repeat winner of the weekend was Jimmy Randall. For the second straight night Randall won a hard fought Street Stock battle while the other winners on Sunday included Mike Anderson, Aaron Wilson, Nick Koehler and Jay Folz.

Mike Knudtson and Ron Hanestad battled early in the Street Stock feature with Hanestad eventually claiming the top spot. Randall started fifth but quickly moved to the high side of the track and raced past Keith Tourville and Adam Soltis to move into third and then motored past Knudtson for second.

He closed on the leader and after a lap six yellow for a stalled car, Randall pulled up beside Hanestad and the two veterans battled it out. Side by side they raced for five laps with Hanestad low and Randall on the top side. Jimmy was able to keep his momentum up and slowly but gradually edged past Hanestad a few feet a lap. Finally, Randall cleared Hanestad to claim the top spot but Hanestad was not done as he stayed within a car length of Randall and continued to apply the pressure.

Near the end of the race, Randall opted to drop to a lower groove and Hanestad was right on his bumper but Jimmy never faltered and he brought home the win with Hanestad nailed to his rear bumper. Knudtson put in a solid run to finish third with Eric Olson edging out Adam Soltis for fourth.

Anderson killed the Modified field as he won by a straightaway over Kevin Adams in a nonstop twenty five lap finale. Matt Leer took the early lead with Anderson quickly moving in to challenge him. Anderson, who car has been terrific on slick race tracks, swept past Leer to take over the top spot and once in front, he began to extend his lead. Adams moved in next to battle Leer and they had an extended fight for the position with Paul Brust nipping at their heels. Adams tried for several laps before he was finally able to execute the pass of Leer and move into second.

Anderson was long gone up front with his only issue the high number of back markers he had to work through. However, they didn’t slow him down and Adams was unable to cut into his healthy lead. At the finish, he still had the better part of the straightaway over the field. Brust moved past Leer and closed on Adams, but Kevin held on for second. Ross Prochnow battled with Leer and Brust for much of the race for third and while he never was able to make the pass, he ran a solid race to complete the top five.

Wilson edged out Eric Olson in a terrific Super Stock battle that was altered by a couple of late yellow flags. Mark Stender had the pole for the Super Stock main and things got exciting right off the bat as Stender, Rick Simpson and Steve Thomas went three wide on the opening lap for the lead with Olson nearly making it four wide until he wisely backed off. Thomas was able to make his bold move work and he took over the lead as Stender and Simpson continued to battle.

Thomas continued to maintain the lead as Olson picked up the pace and moved into second and began to close on the leader. Meanwhile, Wilson, who started seventh on the field was also on the move as he used the same line as Anderson did to sweep around cars on the slick track and drive toward the front. As Olson moved to the rear bumper of Thomas, Wilson continued his charge on the outside and he drove past Olson for second and one lap later, Thomas for the lead.

With the race staying under the green, Wilson opened up his advantage and had nearly half a straightaway on the field when the yellow flew for debris with only four laps to go. On the restart, Wilson stayed low on the track and Olson jumped up in the groove that Aaron had been using and suddenly the leaders were side by side. Olson looked ready to make the pass when the yellow flew again. The restart saw Wilson again stay low and once again Olson jumped up beside him but the yellow saved him one more time.

A third attempt saw Mike Keller lose his brakes as the fourth place car of Keller and Thomas crashed, with both eliminated from the contest.

Finally, with a two lap sprint to the finish, Wilson again got up on the outer side and Olson dived to his inside. However, the momentum of the top side worked again for Wilson and while Olson poked a nose under him in each corner on the last two circuits , Wilson hung on for the hard earned win. The rest of the top five finishers all made hard charges, as Cory Davis moved from ninth to third, Wayne Harris Jr. from twelfth to fourth and Shane Kisling from thirteenth to fifth.

Late yellow flags played a big part in a somewhat controversial finish of the Midwest Modified main event. Nick Koehler started on the pole and took the early lead with Kerry Halopka chasing him. Ryan Viltz moved up from the second row to take over second from Halopka and then move in to challenge for the lead. Three yellow flags kept the field bunched and the action tight as Viltz continued to pressure Koehler. Mike Truscott was picking up the pace on the high side of the track as he drove past Shane and Kerry Halopka and then battled with Grant Southworth for position.

With the laps running down and Viltz unable to find an opening inside of Koehler, he jumped up the race track and it immediately paid dividends. He was able to slowly crawl up beside Koehler and as the white flag was just about to be displayed, Viltz edged past Koehler down the back chute, only to see the yellow wave for a spin at the back of the pack. On the restart, Viltz again moved up the track and once again pulled up beside Koehler. Viltz edged past into the lead as the white flag waved but once again, the yellow came out for a spinning duo of cars.

Track officials consulted to determine if the race was complete but then made the rare decision to make it a one lap sprint to the finish. This time, Koehler got a good break on the green and while Viltz again tried to get up to the top side, he came up a half car length short as Koehler took the checkered flag over the aggravated Viltz who had to settle for second. Truscott made a good drive to finish third in front of Southworth and Shane Halopka got up on the high side late to drive back into the fifth spot.

Folz inherited the lead midway through the Pure Stock feature and then held off a determined charge by John Erickson to take the win. Todd Roshell had the pole for the Pure Stock feature but multi time winner Jason Havel started on the high side and quickly moved into the lead. Erickson charged up to second with Folz following him through traffic to move into third. Havel maintained his lead as Darwin Brown and Bob Thompson were both on the move from midpack.

Kolby Kiehl got turned around with four laps complete and the yellow flew with Havel continuing to lead as the race resumed. Folz picked up the pace and he was able to edge past Erickson for second but both were several car lengths behind Havel.

A yellow on lap nine for another spin bunched the field when shockingly, as the field idled down the back chute, Havel suddenly slowed and made a hard right turn off the track and returned immediately to his trailer, his evening done.

Folz inherited the lead at this point and while Erickson drove hard into each corner, nearly edging up beside the leader, Folz maintained his solid line and drove home for the close win. Thompson continued his long charge as he raced from twelfth to finish a strong third while George Richards came from thirteenth to fourth with Brown coming from the back of the pack to complete the top five.

This weekend’s action completed the 2012 racing season at Rice Lake Speedway. While racing is expected to resume in mid April of 2013, race fans should monitor the speedway website at www.ricelakespeedway.net for information about the upcoming banquet, the schedule for 2013 and some other big announcements. There is also a truck pull scheduled at the track this coming Saturday at 5 p.m. Call Mitch Hansen at 715-205-1122 for information on the truck pull.

SUMMARY

WISSOTA Modifieds:
25 lap Feature – Mike Anderson(Colfax), Kevin Adams(Cameron), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Matt Leer(Bruce), Ross Prochnow(Boyceville), Cory Mahder(Elk Mound), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Jared Loos(Loyal), Jerry Weigel(Jim Falls), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Mark Hanson, Destin Lorimor, Aric Lindberg, Scott Miller, Jason Gross, Cory Williams, Scott Hudack, Pat Hoffman, Kent Baxter, Jesse Glenz, Steve Lavasseur, Tony Proell, Jake Miller, Ashley Anderson
10 lap B Feature – K. Baxter(Colfax), Miller(Rice Lake), Hessler, Lavasseur(River Falls), Brian Crapser(Brookfield), Denny Trimble, Shawn Hnatuik, Dave Mayala, Kevin Rogers, Ron Korppi, Robbie Johnson
10 lap Heat 1 – M. Anderson, Brust, Hoffman(Rice Lake), Lorimor(Superior), Williams(Spring Valley), Rogers, Wayne Poteet, Mayala, Crapser
Heat 2 – Weigel, Hudack(Ashland), Hanson(Chippewa Falls), Loos, Miller(Somerset), K. Baxter, Hnatuik, Korppi
Heat 3 – Leer, Prochnow, A. Anderson(Elk Mound), Proell(Sartell MN), Lindberg(Dallas), Miller, Lavasseur, Hessler
Heat 4 – Mahder, Adams, D. Baxter, Gross(Cushing), Glenz(Cadott), Trimble, Rick Rivord, Johnson

WISSOTA Super Stocks:
25 lap Feature – Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Cory Davis(Turtle Lake), Wayne Harris Jr.(Bloomer), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Wayne Dean(Fall Creek), Andy Grymala(Superior), Mark Stender(Holcombe), Tim Borgeson(New Richmond), Gunnar Watkins, Rick Simpson, Jesse Redetzke, D.J. Keeler, Larry Fitzsimmons, Mike Keller, Steve Thomas, Cory Casari, Dave Flynn, Kevin Eder, Brad Edington, Jason Forehand, Willie Johnsen Jr., Tommy Richards
10 lap B Feature – Edington(Elk Mound), Redetzke(Eau Claire), Johnsen Jr.(Superior), Keeler(Superior), Kenny Davis(Eau Claire), Roy Pumala, Nick Oreskovich, Rich Bishop, Darrel Hazelton, Pat Jungerberg, Eric Davis
10 lap Heat 1 – Forehand(Eau Claire), Flynn(Superior), Davis, Kisling, Eder(Ashland), Redetzke, Johnsen Jr., Bishop
Heat 2 – Olson, Wilson, Borgeson, Grymala, Richards(Mondovi), Edington, Hazelton, K. Davis
Heat 3 – Keller(Menomonie), Stender, Dean, Fitzsimmons(E. Bethel MN), Watkins(Elk Mound), Keeler, Jungerberg, E. Davis
Heat 4 – Thomas(Menomonie), Simpson(Thunder Bay Ont), Harris Jr., Hillman, Casari(Montreal), Pumala, Oreskovich

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds:
20 lap Feature – Nick Koehler(Bloomer), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Mike Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Grant Southworth(Bloomer), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Paul Suzik(Ironwood MI), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Taylor Leuthner(Superior), Nathan Thums(Wausau), Duane Dunbar, Doug Toepper, Terry Sirek, Neil Balduc, Shawn Carlson, John Hettinga, Cody Carlson, Chuck Lambert, Tito Viltz, Kent Baxter, Miranda Carlson, Jake Stai, Casey Green, David Simpson
10 lap Heat 1 – Southworth, Koehler, Dunbar(Marenisco MI), Stai(New Auburn), Toepper(Forest Lake MN), Simpson, S. Carlson, Green, Robbie Johnson
Heat 2 – K. Halopka, R. Viltz, T. Viltz(Rice Lake), Thums, Suzik, Leuthner, Sirek, M. Carlson
Heat 3 – Truscott, S. Halopka, Anderson, Carlson(Superior), Balduc(Bessemer MI), Baxter, Lambert, Hettinga

WISSOTA Street Stocks:
20 lap Feature – Jimmy Randall(Rice Lake), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Keith Tourville(Dairyland), Josh Amans(Rice Lake), Danny Richards(Mondovi), Jamey Fisher(Rice Lake), Ron VanDusen, Heidi Karshbaum, Bob Wahlstrom, Mitch Kesan, Chris Johnson, Sam Fankhauser, Tyler Wahlstrom
10 lap Heat 1 – Randall, Richards, Hanestad, T. Wahlstrom(Mondovi), Johnson(Eau Claire), M. Kesan
Heat 2 – Fankhauser(Chetek), Soltis, Fisher, B. Wahlstrom(Chetek), Karshbaum(Chetek), J. Kesan
Heat 3 – Tourville, Olson, Knudtson, Amans, VanDusen

Pure Stocks:
15 lap Feature – Jay Folz(Rice Lake), John Erickson(Cameron), Bob Thompson(Cameron), George Richards(Mondovi), Darwin Brown(Cumberland), Kolby Kielh(Cameron), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Mike Chaplin(Cameron), Brandon Davis(Chetek), Todd Roshell, Jimmy Holden, Randy Graham, Mike Grover, Talon Laabs, Mike Miller, Mike Schnider, Jason Havel, Dustin Gehr, Austin Workman
8 lap Heat 1 – Folz, Wagner, Roshell(Stanley), Brown, Richards, Gehr
Heat 2 – Havel(Rice Lake), Chaplin, Holden(Rice Lake), Davis, Schnider(Rice Lake), Workman, Graham
Heat 3 – Kiehl, Erickson, Doughty, Thompson, Laabs(Stetsonville), Grover

September 2 Photos By Doug Zimmer & Chris Burback: