Rice Lake WI – The Rice Lake Speedway wrapped up their 2018 racing season on Sunday night with the second half of the Labor Day weekend doubleheader and both Kevin Adams and Jason Havel won main events again, making them double winners for the weekend. Other winners on Sunday night included Terran Spacek, Eric Olson and Justin Oestreich.
Despite some heavy rains during the morning, the track prep crew was able to get the race track in fine shape after a long day of work and the program went off right on schedule with the race teams and officials enduring the muddy conditions in the infield and pit area.
Adams, after fighting his way through some heavy traffic, got up on the high side of the track to make his winning moves in the Midwest Modified feature event. Craig Elliott started on the pole and led the opening laps as he was challenged by Tanner Hicks early before Shane Halopka moved up from the third row to put the pressure on. Both Adams, and Calvin Iverson, who shared the fourth row, were trying to move up but both found the traffic to be heavy as a big group of cars battled for the third and on back positions.
An extended yellow resulted as a result of Doug Toepper blowing on the front straightaway and dumping fluids all over the track but once racing resumed, Elliott, having a great run, continued to hold the lead. Iverson was able to make some advances on the low side and he slipped inside Halopka to take over the second spot.
With his lane continuing to be blocked, Adams jumped up to the high side of the track and made immediate progress. One by one, he was able to pick off the contenders and he was flying on the top lane of the track. He eventually caught up to the leader and while Elliott continued to make strong laps, Adams used the high side to gain the momentum and he was able to slip around Elliott and take over the lead.
One late yellow bunched the field and set up a two lap sprint to the finish and Adams powered away from the field to open up a safe margin and cruise home the winner. The win for him was his eighth in the Midwest Modified at Rice Lake this year. Iverson nearly got under Elliott on the last lap but Craig hung on and fought him off and came home second, his best finish of the season at the track. Behind Iverson, it was Halopka and Hicks who rounded out the top five.
Kyle Copp and James Vendela were the early leaders of the Pure Stock feature as they battled back in forth for the top spot during the first couple of laps. Vendela edged in front but soon was being challenged by Havel, who started right behind him and found a hole to get up to the front. Jason drove into the lead and after a couple of quick yellows for minor incidents, the race then clicked off nonstop to the end.
Havel stretched his lead as Copp, Vendela, George Richards and Tyler Wahlstrom all battled for position behind him. Copp settled into second while Richards was able to drive past Vendela to take over the second spot and try to reel in Copp.
Up front, Havel was just cruising and with no yellows to bunch up the field, he was just able to drive on unhindered as he raced home to complete his weekend double wins. Copp fought off a late race challenge by Richards to hold on to the second spot with Vendela and Wahlstrom rounding out the top five.
Matt Deragon and Rich Bishop fought for the lead on the opening lap of the Super Stock feature before Deragon claimed the top spot. One early tangle slowed the action and after that, the racers ran off the last sixteen laps without a slowdown and this gave some of the drivers farther back a chance to charge forward.
As Deragon continued to lead, a large pack of cars behind him fought for position as Jason Schill, Marcus Simonson, Eric Olson, Spacek, Aaron Wilson and Nick Oreskovich were all in tight formation as they raced for position. Spacek moved up the track and started to advance as he was able to drive around a couple of cars and move into the second spot. He then began to close in on Deragon and a race for the lead ensued. Spacek had the speed on the top side and he was able to drive into the lead and then start to edge away.
Olson also started to pick up ground and he moved into the mix, challenging Deragon for the second spot. Also at this time, Jesse Redetzke, who was mired in the middle of the pack, moved up to the top side and the increase in his speed was profound and he started to pick off competitors in bunches as he stormed up through the field.
The top three competitors broke away from the field but were still running quite close together as the laps ran off. Olson was trying to set up a pass for second when suddenly, a huge ball of smoke came from under the hood of the Deragon car and he slid into the infield which allowed the race to continue.
Spacek had opened up a little breathing room and was unchallenged over the last few laps as he drove home for the win, his second of the year at the track. However, Redetzke continued his charge and he was blinding fast at the end, Despite a considerable gap, he caught Olson at the end and drove from ninth to finish second. Olson, Oreskovich and Wilson completed the top five.
While Olson wasn’t able to win the Super Stock main, he dominated the Street Stock feature to get his second win of the year in that class. He started on the pole and drove away from the field, not really being challenged throughout the event. He took the lead right after the start, and after a lap four spin by Zach Manley slowed the action, Olson again pulled away on the restart.
The driver on the move was Danny Richards who started eighth and steadily moved toward the front. Kolby Kiehl was Olson’s nearest challenger and he stayed close but wasn’t able to provide a serious challenge.
Richards, however, continued his charge and was able to get past Kiehl and move into second. Olson kept the hammer down and drove home for the victory with Richards chasing him at the finish. Manley fought his way back up through the field and settled for fourth with Jamey Fisher rounding out the top five.
Jake Miller and Pat Hoffman battled on the opening lap of the Modifed main event before Miller was able to lead the opening lap. He continued to hold the top spot as Neil Balduc and then Oestreich closed in on him. Oestreich was too strong however, and he was able to take over the top spot.
Meanwhile, Adams and Ashley Anderson were trying to thread their way to the front as they fought up through the pack. Adams broke to the high side of the track, the area he used in the Midwest Modified feature and he found some open space and started to challenge. Anderson soon followed him and the two moved up into the second and third places.
A couple of yellow flags at mid race bunched the field and while Oestreich continued to lead, he was now about to feel heavy pressure from Adams and then Anderson who caught the front two and it was suddenly a cluster of three fighting for the lead. Oestreich hugged the bottom while Adams rode the high side and Anderson sized things up behind him, looking for an opening.
Suddenly, the battle was down to two as Anderson dropped a drive shaft on lap fifteen, which set up a five lap scramble for the win between Oestreich and Adams. The pattern continued as Oestreich rode the low side while Adams climbed the banking. Adams would draw near several times down the front chute but then lose a little time in turn one and then try and fight his way back down the back chute as the two put on quite a show for the fans.
They crossed the line for the white flag nearly side by side but Oestreich again edged away through turn one and then down the back chute. Adams made a hard charge off turn four but came up just a little bit short as Oestreich drove a remarkably consistent race to earn his second win of the year at Rice Lake. The margin at the line was .199 seconds as Oestreich earned a grand for his win.
Jake Smith drove an excellent race of his own as the rookie Modified driver started ninth and took over third after Anderson dropped out and he held that spot to the finish. Mike Anderson also had to do much digging in the race to get up to fourth with Balduc rounding out the top five.
The 2018 racing season is now complete for the Rice Lake Speedway. Fans should check the speedway face book page for news of when the banquet celebrating the racing season will be held and for other announcements. The 2019 season is expected to start in mid April.