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  .: 2016 Season Results :.

Olson Repeats; Two Last Lap Winners at Rice Lake Speedway Finale

By Ed Reichert

Rice Lake WI, Sept. 5 – The holiday racing doubleheader was completed Sunday night at the Rice Lake Speedway and among the evening highlights were a weekend sweep accomplished by Eric Olson in the Street Stocks, two last corner passes for feature wins and another driver winning his first ever feature at Rice Lake while accomplishing the biggest upset of the night.

The last corner passes were completed by Kevin Adams in the Modifieds and George Richards in the Pure Stocks while Jeff Brauer earned his first ever win at Rice Lake while passing current national point leader Curt Myers in the process. Michael Truscott also tied for the top feature win total in the Midwest Modifieds with his win on Sunday night.

After a first lap spin that necessitated a yellow flag, the Street Stock feature went nonstop with Olson pulling off a difficult pass to take the lead. He went three wide with Kevin Bogdanovic and Kolby Kiehl but was able to get under both of them and move from the second row to take over the lead. Once in front, he slowly but gradually extended his lead. Kiehl slipped into the second spot and tried to chase down the leader while behind the two of them, there was some three wide racing also with Ron Hanestad moving into third.

As Olson motored on, a highlighted battle saw Cody Kummer, Jim Gullikson, Danny Richards and Jay Kesan all battling for position with them swapping positions and lanes on the track in each corner.

However, all were still chasing Olson and no one was able to get close to him as he took the weekend sweep and chalked up his fourth Street Stock win of the year at Rice Lake. Kiehl raced unchallenged in second with Hanestad finishing up third. The battle behind them saw Hunter VanGilder move up to finish fourth with Gullikson rounding out the top five.

Adams accomplished his last lap pass in the Modifieds after tracking down Ashley Anderson in heavy traffic after Anderson had led most of the race. Jeff Davis and Kerry Halopka battled for the lead on the opening lap before Anderson came roaring up from the second row to sweep past them and take over the lead.

The yellow waved on lap five when Steve Hallquist lost power with Jason Gross having no where to go and colliding with Hallquist. This bunched the field but Anderson again shot out into the lead and with open traffic in front of him, he was able to open up a sizable lead. Adams was on the move after starting eighth and he made a nice outside pass on Mike Anderson to take over the second spot. Adams then set off after the leader as Neil Balduc was also on the move, passing Mike Anderson also.

The race continued under the green for the final sixteen laps with Adams gradually cutting the distance on Ashley Anderson for the lead. Still, with only a few laps left it didn't seem possible that Adams could make up the necessary distance.

However, Anderson caught the back of the pack and it wasn't just one car but several that were lined up in front of him and running the same line. Ashley was struggling getting by them and Adams began to reel in the leader at a rapid pace. The white flag waved and Adams was still several car lengths behind but Anderson remained stuck in traffic and unable to run his normal pace. As the leaders entered the final corner, Anderson opted to try and drive around a slower car as Adams was rapidly approaching.

As Anderson went high around the lapped car, Adams dove to the low side, found and opening to get past the slower car and with the momentum on his side, he charged to the finish line and in a stunner, he edged out Anderson by less than a car length for the win.

For Adams, it was his fourth feature win of the year at Rice Lake to go along with the track point title. Ashley Anderson added another strong second place finish to a successful weekend of racing with Balduc finishing a strong third. Mike Anderson took the next spot and the top five was completed by Duluth's Zack Drews.

Mike Grover led all but the final quarter lap as he lost a heart breaker in the Pure Stock feature. Grover and Andrew Hanson had battled early for the lead before Grover claimed the top spot. Jason Havel moved into second before he slowed with a flat tire and triggered a yellow flag, the first of several in the Pure Stock as their difficult weekend of avoiding yellow flags continued.

Grover maintained the lead on the restart but Austin Workman, after winning his first ever on Saturday, was looking for a weekend sweep of his own and put the pressure on Grover, nearly getting inside of him on several occasions. Hanson continued to hang with the leaders while George Richards tried to move up after starting sixth.

Yellow flags for minor spins kept the racers idling around the track as much as racing with Grover continuing to hold off Workman. As Havel tried to charge back up through the field, he spun on the front chute triggering another yellow and due to the time limit, setting up a two lap race to the finish.

Grover was protecting the low groove, holding off Workman who continued to try and get inside him. Richards went for broke as the white flag waved. He moved to the high groove and passed both Hanson and Workman and closed rapidly on the leader. They raced side by side out of turn four but Richards had the momentum and he passed Grover as they raced to the checkered and won a thrilling finish.

Richards has had a productive year at Rice Lake with Sunday's win being his fifth of the year. Workman completed a good weekend with a third place finish with Hanson and rookie Jack Bowers completing the top five.

The big upset took place in the Super Stock feature where Jeff Brauer tracked down and then passed Curt Myers, the current national point leader in the class after Myers started on the pole and led the opening laps of the main event.

With Myers starting on the pole and in front early, the race seemed to be for the second spot. However, Brauer had other ideas as after starting seventh on the grid, he moved to the middle lane on the slick track and found traction, and he quickly started passing cars as he charged to the front. Zipping past Andy Grymala, Adam Soltis and Gunnar Watkins, Brauer moved into second and started cuting into Myers lead.

A yellow on lap seven for a minor spin bunched the field and on the green, Brauer made his move as he blasted off turn four, ducked to the inside of Myers and took over the lead. Myers immediately tried to fight back but Brauer had a strong line and Myers wasn't able to cut into the lead. He had one more chance when another spin set up a two lap sprint to the finish.

However, Brauer was not to be denied as he pulled away on the green to drive home for the win, his first ever at Rice Lake. Myers finished a close second. Behind him, a couple of other drivers had made determined charges to the front as Shane Kisling moved from tenth to third and Eric Olson from fourteenth to fourth with Aaron Wilson completing the top five.

The Midwest Modified feature was the last race of the 2016 racing season and for Truscott, a good way to wrap up the year at Rice Lake. Despite only racing at the track on a part time basis, he won his fourth feature race of the year to tie him with Ryan Viltz for the track lead in the division. Truscott started on the pole and led all the way with no one able to offer a serious challenge to him. Austin Ellis came back from Saturday night's breakdown to finish a strong second as he held that position the entire distance.

Gunnar Watkins finished a strong third and Shane Halopka out battled Viltz for fourth as they went back and forth throughout the race.

Sunday night's races marked the end of the 2016 racing season at the speedway. Race fans should follow the face book page and the track website to watch for information as to the dates of the annual banquet and plans for the 2017 racing season.


Rice Lake Speedway
Rice Lake WI
Sept. 4, 2016

WISSOTA Modifieds

20 lap Feature – Kevin Adams(Cameron), Ashley Anderson(Elk Mound), Neil Balduc(Bessemer MI), Mike Anderson(Colfax), Zack Drews(Duluth MN), Cory Mahder(Eau Claire), Kerry Halopka(Wheeler), Dave Baxter(Eau Claire), Gary Baxter(Eau Claire), Jake Miller(Somerset), Mark Hessler, Steve Lavasseur, Aric Lindberg, Dave Mayala, Mickey Nosser, Jeff Davis, Dustin Hudack, Pat Hoffman, Bryan Hessler, Ron Korpi, Justin Johnston, Mark Hanson, Jason Gross, Steve Hallquist, Scott Miller

8 lap Heat 1- M. Anderson, Drews, Balduc, Lindberg(Dallas), Gross(Cushing), J. Miller, Hanson, Johnston, Hudack

Heat 2 – A. Anderson, Davis(Devlin ONT), D. Baxter, G. Baxter, Hallquist(Eau Claire), B. Hessler, Mayala, Korpi

Heat 3 – Adams, Mahder, Halopka, M. Hessler(Menomonie), S. Miller(Rice Lake), Lavasseur, Hoffman, Nosser

WISSOTA Super Stocks

20 lap Feature – Jeff Brauer(Eyota MN), Curt Myers(Cameron), Shane Kisling(Park Falls), Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Aaron Wilson(Eau Claire), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound), Simon Wahlstrom(Rice Lake), Willie Johnsen Jr(Superior), Andy Grymala(Superior), Steve Thomas(Menomonie), Chad Gulllixson, Nick Traynor, Adam Soltis, Danny Richards, John Erickson, Larry Fitzsimmons, Kyle Helling, Doug Merrill, Jim Cimfl, Mike Hince, Luke Schultz, Tommy Richards, Don Muzzy, Cory Casari

10 lap B Feature – Cimfl(Turtle Lake), Helling(Rice Lake), Schultz(Cameron), Merrill(Luck), Matt Koski(New Richmond), Steve Davidson, Rick Hallquist

8 lap Heat 1 – Muzzy(Ironwood MI), Fitzsimmons(E. Bethel MN), Wilson, Gullixson(Hammond), Thomas, Helling, Davidson

Heat 2 – Grymala, Watkins, Kisling, Olson, Traynor(Barron), Hallquist, Cimfl

Heat 3 – Myers, Brauer, T. Richards(Mondovi), Wahlstrom, Hince(Medford), Schultz, Koski

Heat 4 – Soltis(Ladysmith), Casari(Montreal), Johnsen Jr, Erickson(Rice Lake), D. Richards(Mondovi), Merrill

WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds

15 lap Feature – Michael Truscott(Chippewa Falls), Austin Ellis(Rice Lake), Gunnar Watkins(Elk Mound), Shane Halopka(Greenwood), Ryan Viltz(Chetek), Mark Thomas(Menomonie), Craig Elliott(Hillsdale), Scott Meeds(Shell Lake), Kent Baxter(Colfax), Ross Fuhrman(Ashland), Alex Smith, Paul Suzik, Jason Williamson, Justin Weinberger, Wyatt Boyum, Derek Haas, Fran Hanson, Karl Kolek, Travis Anderson, Brady Caul, Justin Claussen, Curt Myers, Gary Baxter, James Kannegiesser

10 lap B Feature – Suzik(Ironwood MI), Smith(Solon Springs), Haas(Thorp), Weinberger(Park Falls), Cy Hoaglan(Ashland), Brandon Distel, Brent Miller, Brady Larson, Derek Berg, Mike Rukamp

8 lap Heat 1 – Myers(Cameron), Watkins, K. Baxter, Caul(Ft. Frances ONT), G. Baxter(Eau Claire), Suzik, Haas, Smith

Heat 2 – Halopka, Viltz, Kolek(Menomonie), Williamson(Ft. Frances ONT), Elliott, Berg, Distel, Weinberger

Heat 3 – Ellis, Claussen(Chippewa Falls), Kannegiesser(Hayward), Meeds, Hanson(Dallas), Miller, Larson

Heat 4 – Truscott, Thomas, Anderson(Colfax), Fuhrman, Boyum(International Falls MN), Rukamp

WISSOTA Street Stocks

15 lap Feature – Eric Olson(Ladysmith), Kolby Kiehl(Barron), Ron Hanestad(Glenwood City), Hunter VanGilder(Rice Lake), Jim Gullikson(Zimmerman MN), Jay Kesan(Weyerhaeuser), Cody Kummer(Medford), Danny Richards(Mondovi), Cooper Berlin(Rice Lake), Kevin Bogdanovic(Wausau), Adam Soltis, C.J. Wagner, Andy Cimfl, Gavin Rowland, Tyler Wahlstrom, Sam Fankhauser, Jake Hessler

8 lap Heat 1 – Van Gilder, Hanestad, Berlin, Cimfl(Clayton), Wagner(Rice Lake), Hessler

Heat 2 – Olson, Richards, Kiehl, Soltis(Ladysmith), Wahlstrom(Mondovi), Rowland

Heat 3 – Gullikson, Fankhauser(Rice Lake), Bogdanovic, Kummer, Shawn Amundson(Rice Lake)

Pure Stocks

12 lap Feature – George Richards(Mondovi), Mike Grover(Chetek), Austin Workman(Barron), Andrew Hanson(Iron River), Jack Bowers(Ridgeland), Ken Heser(Medford), Lou Fuzio(Chippewa Falls), Ken Larson(Balsam Lake), Josh Beaulieu(Chetek), Michael Miller(Rice Lake), Bob Thompson, Jon Wigchers, Wayne Braun Sr, Jason Havel, Jim Holden, Rob Holmstrom Jr

8 lap Heat 1 – Workman, Miller, Hanson, Grover, Holmstrom Jr(Cameron), Braun Sr, Wigchers, Bowers

Heat 2 – Havel(Rice Lake), Richards, Beaulieu, Heser, Fuzio, Thompson, Larson