|Halopka and Adams Top Rice Lake Speedway Finale
By Ed Reichert
RICE LAKE, WI (September 4) Despite two rain delays during the course of the afternoon and evening, Rice Lake Speedway was able to complete the final show of their first ever triple header in the 59 year history of the speedway Sunday night. Shane Halopka and Kevin Adams also became the first multiple winners of the weekend as both drivers won their second feature race of the three day series conducted over the holiday weekend. Other winners as the track completed the final show on their schedule for 2011 were Andy Grymala, Adam Soltis and Jay Folz.
Halopka made the drive of the night in the Midwest Modified feature as he came from the fifth position in the final half of the event to win a race that was stopped only once by a yellow flag. Travis Anderson was the early leader of the event with challenges first from A.J. Roschen and then Nick Koehler. Clark Swartz then started to move into a challenging position on Anderson along with Dan Wheeler who was moving up after a fifth row starting spot and Zach Manley. Halopka started in the seventh position and was positioned in the fifth spot in the running order at the midpoint of the race.
Suddenly, Halopka found a line right at the top of the race track that made his car pick up the pace at such an alarming rate that it appeared like he had shifted into a different gear. He went buzzing by Manley and Wheeler and quickly closed on the top two runners, who were now closely together as Swartz had caught Anderson and was challenging for the lead. Halopka kept up his torrid pace as he continued to race on the high side of the track, and neither of the two top runners could provide much of a challenge as Halopka motored by them on the outside and the proceeded to put distance on the field. By the time the checkered flag flew, Halopka had put six car lengths on the field and was continuing to extend his margin at the checkered after a stunning performance. Swartz moved to the outside on the final corner and edged Anderson by inches for the second spot with Wheeler and Manley completing the top five.
Adams started on the outside of row one in the Modified main event and led all 25 laps for a relatively easy win in the finale. He got the early jump on Scott Hudack and then gradually pulled away from the field. Brent Prochnow moved his new ride into the second place quickly and then spent the race trying to chase down the high flying Adams. Also moving up quickly were Jason Miller and Paul Brust as they slipped into third and fourth place. First Miller put the pressure on Prochnow for second, nearly getting by on several occasions until Miller was then himself heavily pressured by Brust for third.
The first 21 laps of the race ran nonstop and it looked like the race might go green to checkered until Hudack slipped in turn two with only four laps to go and cost him a solid finish. Adams carefully took off on the green and made no mistakes over the final few laps as he took yet another feature win at Rice Lake. Prochnow successfully warded off the challenges of Miller to finish second with Brust and Curt Myers completing the top five.
Adams’ win marked his thirteenth feature win of the year at Rice Lake, tying him for the one year all time record for feature wins in the Modified class at Rice Lake, which he now shares with Dave Palmquist who completed his monumental year in 1982.
The Super Stocks saw the yellow wave four times in the first four laps of their main event and then they settled down and ran the last twenty one laps nonstop. Grymala eased into the early lead with pressure from Mike Loomis and Cory Tammen in the early going. Just as they have all year, Eric Olson and Ben Hillman began to work their way to the front along with Jason Forehand as the three car duel moved in on the leader. Grymala has a smooth line right in the middle of the track and he continued to set the pace, with Forehand eventually moving into second.
Jason was on a hard charge, and he closed on Andy, several times sticking his nose under Grymala and on a couple of occasions drawing even with the front runner, but each time Grymala would pick up the pace and then edge away. In the late going Andy found his line again and edged away from Forehand by several car lengths. Grymala earned the second victory of his breakout year at Rice Lake, with Forehand, Olson, Hillman and Tammen chasing him home.
Adam Soltis shook off a year of frustrations at Rice Lake as the Street Stock driver won his first main event of the season in the finale. And to do so, he had to pass the hottest driver at the track at the conclusion of the season in Cody Kummer. Kummer started on the outside of the front row and edged past Doug Wojcik to take the early lead. Soltis also moved to the high side where he found an opening and drove into second with Wojcik nailed to his rear bumper. While Kummer continued to show the way, Soltis had Wojcik heavily pressuring him and when Adam faltered momentarily in turn four, he fell to fourth in the running order.
However, Soltis got back up on the wheel and found a new line on the track that allowed him to drive his way back up to second and then close on Kummer, who continued to motor on in a race that would go nonstop. Soltis’ line of running high into the corner and then cutting across the grain worked well, as he quickly caught Kummer and then drove under him in turn one to take over the top spot. Once in front, he opened up several car lengths on the field as he solidly drove home for the win. Kummer settled for the runner up honors ahead of Wojcik. Cory Hanson had his finest run of the weekend as he found a good groove at the end and raced into fourth ahead of Sam Fankhauser.
Several yellows in the early going kept the Pure Stock field bunched, but when racing finally proceeded, Folz made a great move on the high side of the pack to drive from the third row into the lead. Once in front, he opened up a small lead before George Richards started to close in on him. As the shuffling of positions continued, Jamey Fisher and John Erickson were both on the move.
A late race yellow set up a two lap sprint to the finish and Folz had Richards nailed to his rear bumper. George gave it his best effort but Folz kept his line and worked smoothly through the corners and didn’t give Richards as opening. A wild scramble back in the pack saw Darwin Brown turned into the outside wall as the field raced to the line and he was awarded his finishing position as the official running order found Richards, Fisher, Erickson and Brown chasing home winner Folz.
Sunday night’s action concluded the racing season at Rice Lake Speedway. Race fans are asked to check the speedway website at www.ricelakespeedway.net to learn information about when the banquet will be scheduled and also announcements as the speedway makes plans to celebrate its 60th year of operation in 2012.
25 lap Feature Kevin Adams(Cameron), Brent Prochnow(Colfax), Jason Miller(Osceola), Paul Brust(Rice Lake), Curt Myers(Cameron), Tony Bahr(Rice Lake), Mark Gerth(Menomonie), Mark Hessler(Menomonie), Mike Gibson(Star Prairie), Jerry Hartman(Marenisco MI), Mark Hanson, Scott Duval, Destin Lorimor, Buddy Mayala, Steve Lavasseur, Cory Williams, Kevin Rogers, Jesse Glenz, Bryan Hessler, Mike Anderson, Scott Hudack, Dave Baxter, Shawn Kelley
10 lap B Feature Mayala(Barron), Baxter(Eau Claire), Duval(Bloomer), Lasasseur(River Falls), Scott Miller(Rice Lake), Brian Crapser, Pat Hoffman, Randy Belluk, Ron Korpi, Denny Trimble, Robbie Johnson
10 lap Heat 1 Brust, J. Miller, Gibson, Bahr, Anderson(Colfax), Mayala, Baxter, Duval
Heat 2 Adams, Hudack(Ashland), Gerth, Hanson(Chippewa Falls), B. Hessler(Chetek), Korpi, Crapser, Belluk
Heat 3 M. Hessler, Prochnow, Lorimor(Superior), Rogers(Unity), Kelley(Somerset), Lavasseur, Trimble, Johnson
Heat 4 Myers, Williams(Spring Valley), Glenz(Cadott), Hartman, Steve Hallquist(Eau Claire), S. Miller, Hoffman
WISSOTA Super Stocks
25 lap Feature Andy Grymala(Superior), Jason Forehand(Eau Claire), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Ben Hillman(Menomonie), Cory Tammen(Fargo N.D.), Shane Kisling(Sarona), Steve Thomas(Menomonie), Darrel Hazelton(Chippewa Falls), Tommy Richards(Mondovi), Cory Casari(Montreal), Mike Loomis, Roy Pumala, Brian Mikkonen, Tad Schoonover, Allen Amborn, Tim Shackleton, Cory Karshbaum, Rich Bishop, Pat Jungerberg, Ben Hanke, Mike Siewert, Wayne Dean, Brad Edington, Cody Carlson
10 lap Heat 1 Olson, Thomas, Tammen, Richards, Casari, Schoonover, Carlson, Jungerberg
Heat 2 Edington(Elk Mound), Loomis(Columbus MN), Mikkonen(Iron River), Dean(Fall Creek), Pumala(Mason), Karshbaum, Amborn, Shackleton
Heat 3 Grymala, Forehand, Kisling, Hillman, Hazelton, Bishop, Hanke, Siewert
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
20 lap Feature Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Clark Swartz(Bloomer), Travis Anderson(Colfax), Dan Wheeler(Columbia Heights MN), Zach Manley(Cameron), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), A.J. Roschen(Hudson), Shawn Huse(Bloomer), Dusty Brown(Rice Lake), Matt Leer(Bruce), Nick Koehler, Grant Southworth, Josh Smith, Neil Balduc, Kerry Halopka, Jerry Graase, Scott Duval, Gabe Kennedy, Mike Mueller, Jake Stai, Doug Toepper, Chuck Lambert, Tito Viltz, Joe Eckland
10 lap B Feature T. Viltz(Rice Lake), Kennedy(Chisago City MN), Duval(Bloomer), D. Toepper(Wyoming MN), Elizabeth Toepper(Hugo MN), Mitch Drew, Chris Hutner, Miah Christensen, Nate Spence, Josh Olson, Darren LaBlonde, Mike Truscott
10 lap Heat 1 Koehler(Bloomer), S. Halopka, Southworth(Bloomer), Mueller(Stacy MN), Stai(New Auburn), T. Viltz, Hutner, Spence, Drew
Heat 2 Huse, Anderson, Wheeler, K. Halopka(Wheeler), Graase(Phelps), Duval, Truscott, Jeffrey Lein Jr
Heat 3 Roschen, Brown, Smith(Rice Lake), R. Viltz, Leer, LaBlonde, Kennedy, D. Toepper
Heat 4 Manley, Swartz, Balduc(Bessemer MI), Lambert(Ft. Frances ON), Eckland(Springbrook), E. Toepper, Olson, Christensen
WISSOTA Street Stocks
20 lap Feature Adam Soltis(Ladysmith), Cody Kummer(Medford), Doug Wojcik(Ladysmith), Cory Hanson(Black River Falls), Sam Fankhauser(Cameron), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Mike Knudtson(Osseo), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Kevin Vought(Hudson), Mitch Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Justin Tammen
10 lap Heat 1 Kummer, J. Kesan, Soltis, Wahlstrom, Hanson, Vought
Heat 2 Wojcik, Fankhauser, Tammen(Clara City MN), Knudtson, M. Kesan
15 lap Feature Jay Folz(Rice Lake), George Richards(Mondovi), Jamey Fisher(Rice Lake), John Erickson(Cameron), Darwin Brown(Cumberland), Dustin Doughty(Ladysmith), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Kolby Kiehl(Cameron), C.J. Wagner(Hayward), Bob Thompson(Cameron), Mike Schnider, Gunnar Watkins, Brandon Davis, Chad Eastman, Bob Wahlstrom, Dustin LaBlonde, Nick Traynor, Jason Havel
8 lap Heat 1 Traynor(Barron), Folz, Kiehl, Wahlstrom(Chetek), Fisher, Watkins, Berlin, Thompson, LaBlonde
Heat 2 Wagner, Havel(Rice Lake), Richards, Erickson, Brown, Schnider, Doughty, Eastman, Davis
September 4 Photos By Doug Zimmer & Chris Burback: