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Mars Holds All In Rice Lake Triumph

RICE LAKE, Wis. – Jimmy Mars would make a first lap pass on Paul Niznik to take the lead and he would then stay in front for all 40 laps to win the McCain Foods-DCS Netlink Forty Saturday night at the Rice Lake Speedway.

Mars would build up nearly a full straightaway lead at one point, then lose much of that advantage to a charging Mike Prochnow before Rick Hanestad and Pat Doar would close in the final laps to make the finish close. The third and final Late Model special of the year at the track paid Mars two thousand dollars for his win.

Niznik and T.J. Adams would share the front row for the main event but Mars found an opening on the inside as they raced down the back chute on the opening lap and he would duck by Niznik to take the lead early. Only one lap could be completed before Aaron Wilson lost control and spun in turn four, triggering the first of only two yellows that would slow the pace.

As Mars pulled away from the pack, Mike Prochnow was on the move from his sixth starting position and after a good battle with both Adams and Niznik, Prochnow was able to take over the second position and set off after Mars.

Mars had built up nearly a full straightaway lead by this time but Prochnow would gradually start to cut it down. Also on the move to the front were Hanestad, Doar and Sam Mars with all three starting in the fourth and fifth rows and beginning to make some movement toward the front of the field.

The second and final yellow was triggered when Jeff Massingill got turned around in turn one with seventeen laps completed. Mars big lead over Prochnow was gone with both he and Hanestad on the tail of the yellow No. 28. At the halfway point of the race, those three would continue to run in the top three spots with Sam Mars moving ahead of Doar into fourth.

The last 23 laps of the race would go green with Mars building up a good sized lead, only to see it start to shrink as Hanestad moved past Prochnow into second and gradually began to cut into the advantage Mars had as he got into some heavy lapped traffic.

The other driver that really picked up the pace the second half of the race was Doar who moved to the cushion as that line got cleaned off and he really began to advance. He had slipped to fifth at the halfway point of the race but he began to pick off driver after driver by working the high side. He got by Sam Mars and then Prochnow and set off after the lead pair of drivers.

Jimmy Mars saw his lead cut down to just a couple of car lengths as he tried to fight his way past a couple of lapped cars running side-by-side that really slowed his progress. At the same time, Doar was catching both as a three car battle was developing.

Mars was able to use patience as he worked through the four lapped cars that were running together on the track and when he finally cleared them, he was able to again stretch his lead once again while Hanestad had to deal with the slower cars too as Doar was catching him.

However, with no more yellow flags to bunch the field with the race staying under green, Mars used his experience to not get flustered by the lapped cars and then pulled away by about ten car lengths and would continue on to take the win.

Doar continued his charge right up to the checkered flag as he put heavy pressure on Hanestad for second but Rick was just able to hold him off for that spot. A last lap charge netted Sam Mars fourth as he nipped Prochnow at the line amidst heavy traffic to take that spot.

The Finish:

Feature (40 Laps): 1. 28M-Jimmy Mars[3]; 2. 71H-Rick Hanestad[10]; 3. 11-Pat Doar[11]; 4. 28-Sam Mars[9]; 5. 68-Mike Prochnow[8]; 6. 55C-Chad Mahder[16]; 7. 6M-Jeff Massingill[14]; 8. 42-Paul Niznik[1]; 9. 71JR-Buddy Hanestad[7]; 10. 85-John Kaanta[13]; 11. 92-Aaron Wilson[4]; 12. T18-TJ Adams[2]; 13. 89-Scott Meeds[5]; 14. 29-Denny Cutsforth[17]; 15. 17J-Marcus Simonson[12]; 16. (DNF) 50-Gavin Tarras[15]; 17. (DNS) 90-Lance Matthees