By: Aspen Andre (West Salem, WI – September 10, 2016)
On a brisk September night at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, close to 5,000 people showed up to watch as numerous stuntmen crashed, smashed, and destroyed vehicles and trailers alike.
The 2016 Western Technical College Eve of Destruction started out with a belly flop contest into the Western Technical College swimming pool, where Scott Merat took first and Kim Wiese took second. After the belly flop contest, Jared Novak destroyed the pool, when he tried to jump a limousine across it, but failed to clear it by just a few feet and shattered the pool on the front straight away.
After the award winning track safety crew and the Coulee Region Chill hockey team cleaned up the mess from the pool jump, Dan Osthoff, took not only one, but two, jumps at the t-bone crash car. Taylor Dobbs then took a roughly 55 MPH run at the Buick Lesabre that was standing on end over 15 feet tall!! When Dobbs hit the Lesabre, it flipped a whole 360 degrees before it came crashing down onto the track. Dan Deicher, La Crosse Speedway Announcer, asked Taylor Dobbs after he exited the car what the first thought was that crossed his mind after he hit the car, to which he responded, “Can I do it again?”.
For the first time in five or six years, three monster trucks were present at tonight’s Western Technical College Eve of Destruction. Zach Adams of Greencastle, IN brought “The Defender”, Jim Burns of Rockford, IL came with his truck “Mechanical Mischief”, and Ryan Rice of Lafayette, IL showed up with “The Incinerator”. Mechanical Mischief was the overall crowd favorite throughout the night and we talked to owner, Ryan Rice, after his last session on the track to see what the specs were on these huge machines. Rice told us his monster truck is a 2000 Chevy Silverado, weighing 10,000 pounds, and has a 1,300 horsepower motor in it.
Benny the Human Bomb filled a house car with black powder, wired the car up, put on a special fire suit, climbed in the car, and blew it up!! He said afterwards, that he is 72 years old and has been doing this for 40 years, with this being one of his last shows ever!! When asked “What made you ever decide to jump in a car and blow it up?” Benny responded, “It was either blow myself up or get a job.” He told Dan Deicher and I later that the atmosphere and car size play a huge role in the success of the stunt. The cool, damp weather tonight wasn’t perfect weather, but he made it work for the fans.
Tony and Mary Ciano brought over their cars from Mississippi Mayhem to show us their 1960 cars with flaming tailpipes. Mary Ciano in her Gasoline Girls 1960 Impala was voted by the crowd to be the winner of the fire show.
Jared Novak, Scott Mahlum, and John Clauson decided that they were going to be the brave souls to attempt the Dukes of Hazzard Jumping Contest, where it’s a competition to see who can jump their car off of a ramp and land the farthest. Mahlum won round one, but it was Mahlum who took home the win after he won the next 2 rounds. Five cars were in the burnout contest tonight, but it was Tyler Michschl in the limousine that survived the pool jump earlier who won the fan vote.
The ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornet feature has 23 cars in it tonight and it was an exciting one to watch. John Clauson took the lead right away on lap 1 and held the lead until there was only a half a lap remaining in the 12 lap feature. Patrick Thicke and Jordan Young who started the race in 10th and 8th place respectively came up behind Clauson with 2 turns to go. At the line though it was Jordan Young who crossed first with Thicke, and Clauson following.
During the first lap of the Trailer Race of Destruction we saw a hornet car come crashing out of the walls of a camper being pulled as a trailer in the race. At the conclusion of the race the fans voted for who they thought should win the race and it came down to Davis Hulgerson flipped his car and trailer about half way through the race and had to be hauled off the track by the skid steer, and Taylor Dobbs from Galesville. After multiple fan votes to get a clear winner, it was Taylor Dobbs who took home the 2016 Trailer Race of Destruction Goblin Trophy.
Our next event at the La Crosse Speedway is Wednesday October 5th through Sunday October 9th for the 47th Oktoberfest Race Weekend, where there will be ARCA Midwest Tour cars, Big-8 Late Models, Dick Trickle 99 and more! Visit OktoberfestRaceWeekend.com for complete details.
For more information please call the Speedway office at (608) 786-1525 or visit www.lacrossespeedway.com.
LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway is a proud NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – www.hometracks.nascar.com.