Rice Lake Speedway 2024 Opener, Practice Sessions...
Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate
Rice Lake Speedway Banquet Scheduled
Rice Lake Speedway 2024 Opener, Practice Sessions...

Rice Lake Speedway 2024 Opener, Practice Sessions...

4/16/2024 -
Rice Lake WI, April 16 – The Rice Lake Speedway LLC made the decision this morning to both postpone the seventy second annual season opener scheduled
Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate

Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate

3/23/2024 -
Rice Lake WI, March 23 – Racers, crews, fans and employees of the Rice Lake Speedway gathered on Saturday night at the Elks Club in Rice Lake to hand
Rice Lake Speedway Banquet Scheduled

Rice Lake Speedway Banquet Scheduled

3/12/2024 -
Rice Lake WI – The last official act of the Adams-Hansen Inc. regime as owners of the Rice Lake Speedway will take place on Saturday night, March 23rd

Latest News

Rice Lake Speedway 2024 Opener, Practice Sessions Postponed

Rice Lake Speedway 2024 Opener, Practice Sessions Postponed

Rice Lake WI, April 16 – The Rice Lake Speedway LLC made the decision this morning to both postpone the seventy second annual season opener scheduled for Saturday night, April 20th along with practice sessions slated for April 16th and 17th by one week. According to track...more
Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate

Rice Lake Speedway Racers Celebrate

Rice Lake WI, March 23 – Racers, crews, fans and employees of the Rice Lake Speedway gathered on Saturday night at the Elks Club in Rice Lake to hand out the awards and celebrate the official conclusion of the 2023 racing season at the Rice Lake Speedway. For former track...more
Rice Lake Speedway Banquet Scheduled

Rice Lake Speedway Banquet Scheduled

Rice Lake WI – The last official act of the Adams-Hansen Inc. regime as owners of the Rice Lake Speedway will take place on Saturday night, March 23rd as the speedway will hold its annual awards banquet, honoring those racers that ran at the track in 2023. This year,...more

Class of 2020

2020 Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame Induction

2020 Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame Induction

The 10th class of the Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame inducted August 15, 2020. Left to right; Track co-owner Mitch Hansen, Larry Johnson, Al Hajdasz, Jim Randall, Son Terry Bolin and Brother Cliff Bolin accepting for Gene Bolin, and Track co-owner Dave Adams.

Jim Randall

Jim Randall has been around motor driven vehicles pretty much his entire life. While growing up in Rice Lake, he was part of an unofficial fraternity of a dozen or more teenagers and young men that built “souped up” muscle cars from the 50's era. During the evening hours and particularly during the Summer months from the late 50's through mid 60's, they would parade up and down Rice Lake's main street with their powerful and beautifully built cars. Jim was a prominent and proud member of this trendy moment in the history of most small towns.
Jim is one of the very few individuals left who can trace their history in local racing back to the days of the 53 Race Track on Rice Lake's south side that predated the current speedway. As a nine year old boy he rode his bike down to the track in those early years of the 50's and hung out with the workers that were preparing the track for racing. One of the jobs he got was turning on and off the water on the water truck that was preparing the race track for volunteers such as Bob Weber.

Jim graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1964 and served a tour of duty in the military, including serving in Vietnam.

Through the years, Jim has been a pit crew member for various drivers, most notably for Dean Harrington for many years.

All told, Jim has been involved in sixty five years of racing at the Rice Lake Speedway. He operated his sharp looking wrecker at the speedway during the 1960's, 70's and 80's. He continues to sponsor area race cars, contributes extra money to add to the weekly pay offs to the drivers and continues to advertise at the Rice Lake Speedway. All in all, Jim, in his own words, “has supported the track and races in whatever ways possible over the years.”

Jim currently owns Jim's Super Shell in Mikana and also JR Auto Sales in Rice Lake. He has three sons, one of which, Jim Jr or Jimmy “the Blade” is one of the most well known and prominent current drivers at the Rice Lake Speedway including a three time winner of the “Little Dream” race.

Jim and his wife Claire live in Rice Lake.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Famer Jim Randall.

Larry & Deanne Johnson

A track like the Rice Lake Speedway, which was purchased by and operated for many years by the non profit club, the Indianhead Stock Car Racing Association, had to rely on volunteer help to keep the track up and running. While many of the other tracks that were started in the hot bed days of the fifties all around the area have long disappeared, the Rice Lake Speedway continues to operate and in large part that was because the track had some great people that volunteered their time far above and beyond what could have been expected of them.
Larry Johnson was one of those people and has become known as among the ultimate volunteers who donated their time to keep the track operating against all odds. In his case, his job title would probably be known as track electrician but it was really so much more than just that.

In his early years, Larry attended school in Cameron, but he graduated from Milwaukee South High School in 1959. He returned to Cameron and got involved in racing, working as a pit crew member for Fred Staire and Lee Swan.

In the Fall of 1959, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was trained as a Radar Technician. In his final two years of service, he was stationed at the Osceola Air Force base in Osceola Wisconsin so he was able to attend races at the Rice Lake Speedway even during his service days. Following his stint in the Air Force, Larry returned to Cameron where he began a thirty year career working for General Telephone company in Rice Lake as a lineman and a computer technician.

Larry did all the electrical work at the speedway for a period of time from the early 1970's until the mid 1990's. In 1971 he installed a new public address system at the track. In 1978 he did the electrical work when the track was expanded from a fifth mile track to a quarter mile track. He was there when major improvements were made in 1989 and was also there when the track was enlarged once again, this time to its current third mile banked status. He has installed and repaired several public address systems over the years, buried lots of cable and installed and maintained electrical systems including fuses, lights and wiring. He did the inspections of the track electrical system each year also, to comply with electrical codes and standards.

Whenever Larry was needed, he was there to supply help and expertise and when an emergency occurred on a Saturday night, Larry was always there to cobble things together so that the racing program could continue. It didn't hurt of course, that Larry has enjoyed racing at the speedway since the mid 1950's and was always at the track, ready to help if the need occurred. Many is the time that a plea was put out, “Larry Johnson to the tower,” and savvy race fans always could conclude that something was broken, not working or misfiring and Larry was always the “go to” guy to put things back in order with some kind of clever “make due” solution.

And Larry has been a great fan of the Rice Lake Speedway as well as a valued asset to the track. Until our recent Pandemic, Larry has been in the stands watching the racing program nearly every week and also has traveled to a number of other area tracks to catch special events with his wife as they have been long and loyal race fans of dirt track racing in this area.

In 1992 the Rice Lake Speedway gave him a recognition award for all the work he did for the Rice Lake Speedway as the Track Electrical Engineer. Tonight we add another award in gratitude.

Larry is retired now and he and his wife Deanne live in Cameron.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Famer, Larry Johnson.

Al Hajdasz

Like many others before him that are members of the Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame, Al Hajdasz has earned membership in this elite organization through a combination of participation, volunteerism and loyalty and support to the Rice Lake Speedway for decades.
Al started racing after graduating from high school in Rice Lake in 1964 with his first race car being a 1950 Plymouth. Soon after he joined the military and after three years of service, that included a tour of duty with the Army in Vietnam, Al settled in St. Louis where he lived for five years.

However, Rice Lake was calling and in 1973 he moved back to town, to be a partner with his father in South Lake Motors, the Chrysler dealership in Rice Lake.

The desire to race was rekindled at this time and he bought his first real race car from Vere Hessler when he retired from racing in 1975. That car was a 1962 Dodge with a big 383 cubic inch engine that raced in the track's Hobby Stock class. The car had a #1 on it, which was Hessler's number so Al just left the same number on the car and that is the number that he used during the rest of his fourteen year racing career. When Al retired from the sport, he gave that number to Paul Harelstad who would use that same lucky number to motor on to his own Hall of Fame career.

Chrysler Corporation was big into racing in those days and the factory even had a line of race cars that could be bought by the public. Called Chrysler's “Kit Car”, it was probably the only time in American automotive history that a race car could be ordered out of a parts catalog, just like buying a replacement floor mat.

Al had two of those Chrysler Kit Cars built for him by Don Smith, another Hall of Fame member, in the late 1970's. These were raced in the Hobby Stock class at Rice Lake and other various area tracks. Later, Al would jump into the newly flourishing Modified class that was started at Rice Lake, driving a Modified built by another Hall of Famer, Dave Morgan and sporting a Dodge Charger 024 body on it. Besides the Rice Lake Speedway, Al raced at and had success at numerous other tracks in the area including Racers Raceway in Bruce, ABC Raceway, Tri State Speedway, Centuria, Cedar Lake, Eau Claire Speedway, the Marshfield Super Speedway and Red Cedar Speedway.

He had success at many of these tracks, and claimed championships and finished high in points at several of these tracks. 1984 might have been his best year as he won the Mid Season Championshp at Rice Lake and finished fourth in track points. Another memorable night occurred in 1977 when he won double heat races and double feature races at Racers Raceway, all in one day!

Along with always having fast race cars, another constant with Al's cars was that they were always very sharp appearing race cars. The evidence of this is the high number of Best Appearing Car awards he garnered at Rice Lake, sweeping those awards year after year in the mid 80's . And of course, those cars were always Chrysler bodied and Chrysler powered race cars and sponsored by South Lake Motors.

Al has also been involved with the speedway when it was club owned, having served on the Board of Directors for a number of years as well as being a volunteer and sponsor of the speedway for many years. He has been a fan of the speedway for forty five years and is one of the few drivers that now follows the sport just as much as when he was participating himself. He can be found here most Saturday nights watching the races when he isn't traveling to a big race somewhere else and also spends February in Florida enjoying the Speed Week activities every year.

Along with his own racing activities, the Rice Lake Speedway helped spawn the sports career of another family member, son Lance. Lance was hired as a scorer for the Rice Lake Speedway when he was just ending his high school days and he learned the ins and outs of how a sports related business operates, albeit a slightly small business than say the Green Bay Packers. Lance went on to school and studied Sports Broadcasting, and moved quickly up the ladder and is now the Sport Anchor for WTMJ TV in Milwaukee where he is frequently seen on major broadcasts of all of Wisconsin's professional sports teams. He is known as Lance Allan, using his middle name as he quickly discovered that Hajdasz is difficult for other people to pronounce correctly and even more difficult to spell correctly!

Al owned and operated South Lake Motors for forty five years before selling the business to his son-in-law Aaron Resnick and daughter Krista but he still has an office there and can be found most days hanging around the business and talking racing.

Al is now retired and he and his wife Lynda live in Rice Lake.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Famer, Al Hajdasz.

Gene Bolin

Racing in the early days was a wild, hell for leather activity, participated in by only the bravest of men. Driving cobbled together hot rods using salvaged parts and equipment with rudimentary safety devices, drivers became legends and ordinary men became heroes as they tore around the dusty, bumpy, rock strewn, poorly lit race tracks of the day. They raced a circuit that included tracks in Amery, Boyceville, Milltown, Eau Claire and Rice Lake. Of those, only the track here in Rice Lake still survives.

Two of those early day rising stars were the Bolin brothers from Cumberland, Gene and Dale. Residents of Barron County all their lives, Gene started racing at Rice Lake in 1953 when he was twenty four years old and was joined two years later by his younger brother Dale. Gene's first car was a 1935 Ford coupe that he raced in the Jalopy class.

The Bolin brothers were soon both highly valued assets to the local racing scene and Gene even became an officer of the Indianhead Stock Car Racing Association, serving as Secretary in 1955.

His final secretary report for 1955 included this comment, “ The year 1955 has been a good one to us in the Indianhead Stock Car Racing Association. I have enjoyed working with my fellow officers this year and it has been a pleasure to serve the association. I thank one and all, and trust next years report by the secretary will be even better in tone. Until next year, then, it's good-bye from: Yours truly, Gene “4” Bolin. Secretary.

Sadly, while the 1956 racing season was a good one, it was one also filled with tragedy. On Sunday afternoon, August 19th, twenty four year old Dale Bolin was killed in a crash at the Boyceville track. Gene was also racing at Boyceville that day and was with him when he passed away in a Menomonie hospital later that day. Memorial races were held for Dale at both the Boyceville track and at the Rice Lake Speed Pit and all proceeds went to the Bolin family. The 1956 Rice Lake Speed Pit annual report was dedicated to Dale.

The loss of Dale was a bitter pill, but racing carried on at area tracks in 1957 and Gene Bolin was a big part of it, racing successfully at Rice Lake and other tracks as well. The next few years were very successful for Gene, as he won big races at Rice Lake and also traveled to many other tracks with equal success, winning big shows in the Twin Cities and Proctor Minnesota. He drove a flathead powered 1940 Ford owned by his brother Cliff in the Semi-Modified class and also drove a Super Modified for Bill Seeman from Cameron. He was one of the very first drivers to race in two separate classes on a weekly basis. During this time, he racked up eight feature wins at Rice Lake, five in the Super Modified #4 and three in the Semi Mod. Bolin had become one of the top competitors on the area racing scene and a threat to win every night.

But the grim reaper was again going to visit the Bolin family and for the second time they would lose a son to that spectacular but violent era in dirt track racing.

On Friday night, July 19th 1963, Bolin was racing at the Milltown Speedway and was going wheel to wheel with another celebrated driver from that era, Ron Larson, when they came of out turn four side by side. Larson slowed for corner four but Bolin's car just kept accelerating. Apparently the victim of a stuck throttle, the car , going at an estimated speed of ninety miles an hour, hit and then vaulted over a three foot brick wall and landed upside down, killing Bolin instantly.

Gene's death was stunning to the local racing community and hit everyone very hard. At Milltown, the track would shut down after that year and with a pall over it, the track would never race on a regular basis again. Bolin was only thirty four years old but in the ten years he raced he accomplished so much and was so well thought of by other racers that his passing was especially hard on them.

Members of the Indianhead Stock Car Racing Association participated in a memorial service the following Tuesday at the Cotone Funeral Chapel and a benefit race was later held for the family.

Despite the loss of two of their family members, the Bolin family continued to be involved with racing for decades to come with Bolin family members both owning and driving race cars and despite his rather short tenure of racing, Gene Bolin won more than enough races and made more than enough friends in racing to be considered as a member of the Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame.

Accepting the award for Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Famer Gene Bolin is his son Terry who joins us tonight after making the trip all the way from Corvallis Oregon to be here for this night along with Gene's brother Cliff.

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