Ashley Anderson Tops Rice Lake Speedway Modifieds
Rice Lake, WI–Ashley Anderson won his first feature race at the Rice Lake Speedway since the 2005 racing season as he topped the Modified field on the opening night of the annual, two day Labor Day Weekend special. Other winners on a busy holiday night of racing included Shane Kisling, Grant Southworth, Jimmy Randall and Darwin Brown.
Anderson had the outside pole for the Modified headliner and took the early lead as he immediately jumped to the cushion to edge past Mark Gerth. Only two laps were completed before Aric Lindberg rolled to a halt bringing out the first yellow of the race. Before another lap could be completed, Doug Gustafson got turned around and the yellow waved once more.
After that, the race went nonstop green to checkered and Anderson was flying on the cushion as he pulled away from the field. Mark Hessler battled with Mark Hanson for third before Hessler claimed the spot with Cory Mahder running behind them. Kevin Adams was also on the move after starting in the fifth row.
Anderson continued to hold a comfortable edge with Adams moving into the top five and pressuring Mahder for a position. As the laps started to run down, Gerth picked up the pace as he started working the low side, and he began to slowly reel in the leader. It was down to about three car lengths with two laps to go and Gerth was continuing to close. On the last lap, the leaders split a lapped car and Anderson was able to get past on the back chute, carry his momentum through the last set of corners and race home with a car length advantage and earn his first Modified win since returning to the class earlier this Summer. Gerth finished a strong second with Hessler, Mahder and Adams trailing.
Kisling did the most passing of any of the feature winners as he rode the top side of the track from the fourth row to secure the Super Stock triumph. Wayne Dean got the jump on Kevin Eder to take the early lead in the race. While Dean led, he was soon challenged by Dave Flynn who moved up from the second row after getting by Eder for second. Flynn made a hard drive into turn one and edged past Dean to take over the top spot.
Meanwhile, Kisling had immediately taken to the cushion and after waiting for the traffic to clear, began a charge toward the front of the pack. He edged past Eder to take second, just as the yellow waved for Dean who had looped in turn four.
With the green back out, Kisling continued his charge with Aaron Wilson also on the move from the fifth row, tucking in behind Kisling. Shane drove past Flynn on the high side to take over the lead with Wilson then moving into second. Wayne Harris Jr. was also using the top side and he drove into third as he passed Flynn while Eric Olson also made ground toward the front.
Wilson pushed as hard as he could, but he wasn’t able to cut into Kisling’s lead. After a heated battle, Eder was turned around in turn four, and the yellow flew one more time with only two laps to go. Kisling was strong on the restart and he
wouldn’t give Wilson an opening as he drove on for the win. Eder made a great charge on the high side at the end as he edged past Harris Jr. for third with Flynn completing the top five.
Southworth completed a dominating performance as he led from start to finish in the nonstop Midwest Modified main event. He started on the pole, got the jump on Doug Toepper and took off with the lead. Mike Truscott moved into the second spot and tried to stay with Southworth, but he was soon challenged by Nick Koehler for the position. Meanwhile, Shane Halopka was on a tear as he tore up through the field after starting in the fourth row. Using the high side, he race past Jimmy Randall and then Koehler as he moved toward the front. Continuing his charge, he drove past Truscott to take over second and then set off after Southworth.
However, the race remained under the green and after Grant had built up the big lead, the was a lot of catching up to do. Halopka pushed as hard as he could, but Southworth continued his strong run as he crossed the line in front with space over the rest of the field. Koehler made a late race pass to take third from Truscott and Tito Viltz charged up to fifth at the finish.
Randall made another one of his patented moves to take the Street Stock feature. Chanda Fjorden-Nord was the early leader as she got the jump on Ron Hanestad to l had the opening rounds. Randall quickly moved in to challenge Hanestad for second as Eric Olson, Chris Peterson, Jay Kesan and Adam Soltis formed a close running pack behind the leader.
Randall moved into second over Hanestad as the yellow waved three times in the first five laps for minor spins. When all over racing commenced, Randall moved in to challenge Fjorden-Nord for the lead and he was able to gain some momentum through the corners and sweep past her for the point. Once in front, he put a few car lengths on the field while Hanestad continued to challenge Chanda for second.
A late yellow for debris set up a four lap sprint to the finish. Randall pulled away from Fjorden-Nord on the late restart, and drove home for the win. Hanestad tried the high side but it cost him as he dropped a position, with Olson edging him for third while Soltis completed the top five.
Jay Folz was the early leader of the Pure Stock main event with Dustin LaBlonde racing up to challenge him for the top spot. Brown started in the third row and also quickly moved into contention as John Erickson and Jason Havel were moving to the front also. Brown was able to cut through traffic and with a strong move, edge past
Folz to take over the lead.
Havel was also charging too, and he slipped into second and set off after Brown as the two Ford Thunderbird pilots tore around the track. The yellow flew with only three laps to go after Chad Eastman lost power and stalled on the back chute. On the green, Havel was pushing hard going for the lead and he slipped up the track with Erickson moving under him to take over the second spot. However, Brown was not to falter and he drove on for the win with Erickson and Havel trailing. Folz made a nice recovery after falling back in the pack and he raced back up to fourth with LaBlonde completing the top five.
One hundred and forty four cars from three states and two Canadian provinces signed in to race on the opening night of the doubleheader and the entire program was completed by 10:45 p.m. Another full show will be contested on Sunday night starting at 6 p.m.
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