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home : sports : sports January 24, 2015


7/9/2014 2:09:00 PM
Firecrackers packed in 128 cars

Modified driver Kevin Adams was the big winner on a big holiday night at the Rice Lake Speedway last Thursday. Adams picked up two feature wins in Thursday's Firecracker Special, which drew 128 cars from three states for a 26-race program. The Firecracker also drew a large crowd as the race night was highlighted by a fi reworks display. One of Adams' wins was in a Modified make-up feature from the previous Saturday. It was the second and third wins of the season for the Cameron driver, who had not waved a checkered fl ag on his home track since opening night. In Thursday's other features, three steady performers all season were finally rewarded with their first victories. Willie Johnsen Jr. of Superior won in Super Stock, Nick Koehler of Bloomer topped the Midwest Modifi eds, and Scott Clark of Cameron led the Streets. In Pure Stock racing, C.J. Wagner of Rice Lake got his second straight feature fl ag. After taking Saturday off, the speedway hosts another major event this Saturday when the winged sprint cars of the Interstate Racing Assn. make a series stop in Rice Lake. Defending point champion and former local resident Billy Balog will lead a fi eld of about 25 sprint drivers. Races begin at 6:30 p.m., and include a regular program in the track's fi ve divisions. In addition, the Super Stock feature postponed June 28 will be made up. ADAMS CHARGES TWICE Adams won features Thursday by coming from the fi fth starting spot in the makeup event and from seventh on the starting grid in the regular feature. In the fi rst race, Adams caught early leader Steve Hallquist halfway through the 20-lap feature. After the pair raced side by side for a couple of laps, Adams edged into the lead and opened up his gap during a nonstop event. Hallquist earned his best fi nish of the season by holding off Mike Anderson for second place. A full fi eld of 24 cars took the green fl ag for the second Modifi ed feature, with Anderson taking the lead from the pole. Adams used the low side to quickly move into third place and take off after Anderson in fi rst and Cory Mahder in second. After a yellow fl ag at the halfway point bunched the fi eld, Adams moved to the high side of the track to get past both Mahder and Anderson. Mahder then also passed Anderson and drove on to place second. CLARK, HANESTAD BATTLE Clark and Ron Hanestad spent most of the Street Stock's 15-lap feature racing side by side, with the outcome not decided until the final lap. Clark rode the inside, regularly taking a car length lead until Hanestad pushed strong off the high side to pull even again, while Simon Wahlstrom and Jimmy Randall stayed close behind. Despite Hanestad's strong run on the fi nal lap, Clark had just enough momentum to hold on for the win, his fi rst Street feature victory since 2009 in Rice Lake but the 43rd of his career. KOEHLER, JOHNSEN JR. WIN Koehler led wire to wire in the 15-lap Midwest Mod main event for his fi rst win of the season, holding off challenges by Cole Spacek, Nathan Thums and Ryan Viltz. Viltz started in the fourth row and got within two car lengths of Koehler in the late going. But the leader from Bloomer held his line for the win. Johnsen Jr. found an opening early in the 20-lap Super Stock feature, getting past Gunnar Watkins and Kevin Burdick. The driver from Superior led the rest of the way, while Jason Forehand and Watkins had an intense battle for second place. A yellow flag with three laps remaining bunched the field, but Johnsen Jr. again sped away en route to his fi rst checkered fl ag ever in Rice Lake. Forehand finished second, while Minnesota driver Andy Davey stole third place from Watkins on the last lap. Yellow flag kept slowing Pure Stock drivers, who kept spinning out. Jason Havel's spin in turn four resulted in the six-time winner getting clipped and knocked out of the race. On the restart, Wagner and John Erickson got past leader Rob Grabon, whose night ended shortly afterwards with a fl at tire suffered in another collision. After Wagner cleared Erickson, Hunter Van Gilder came on for one last challenge, but Wagner held on for the win. (This story includes a report filed by track publicist Ed Reichert and information gathered by The Chronotype.)

Lake 7 Theatre

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