By: Paul Reichert
Mother Nature tried to be a burden on us again, but the rain stayed away to allow the first double feature night for the Tobacco Outlet Plus Grocery NASCAR Late Models to take place. Steve Carlson proved he is still the “King of the Short Tracks” by scoring a rare sweep of both feature events.
After Tony Bagstad got the lead on the first lap, mayhem ensured on lap two. Contact between Justin Mullikin and Nick Clements in turn three collected five other drivers, ending most of their nights early. Madison champ Bobby Wilberg stormed by Bagstad on the restart, and it looked like he would claim his first win at La Crosse. Then along came Steve Carlson. The blue 66 got around Wilberg on lap seven, and would not be challenged as he raced off to his first win of 2018. Nick Panitzke and Brad Powell would come from mid-pack to take second and third, while Wilberg fell to fourth ahead of Brent Kirchner.
The start of feature number two was thrown out for a spin on the front straight. Mike Carlson got the lead after the restart, but the yellow was out once again. Matt Henderson went to the outside on the restart and got around Mike Carlson for the lead. After another yellow for contact between Kirchner and Michael Beamish, Henderson did all that he could to hold the top spot. Steve Carlson roared through the field again and got around Henderson on lap 12 to assume command of the race. Carlson would watch the battle for second in his rear view as he scores yet another feature win. Panitzke got around Mike Carlson late to claim second, with Powell and Harley Jankowski completing the top five. After the race, Steve Carlson said “My whole team has been working all winter improving the car. We’re ready to challenge Nick for the championship this year.”
In the Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen feature, Mandi Eckelberg took a hard hit into the wall at the start. Sam Niles took the lead after that, but then Adam Oxborough made his presence felt. Oxborough took the lead at halfway, then would have to contend with Steve Bachman for the win. Oxborough stood his ground and came back from his opening day crash to win the feature.
More mayhem happened early in the Auto Value Thunderstox feature, but Jordan Myers avoided all the mayhem and got away the field to score a comfortable victory. Mike Heyer led the first half of the Auto Value Street Stock feature before more chaos happened. Matt Moore avoided it and came from the middle of the field to capture the victory.
Action continues next Saturday, May 26th with Concession Buck Night, The Late Models, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Hornets and Queen Bees. Gates open at 6:00, Qualifying at 6:15 and racing starts at 7:30.
For more information about LaCrosse Speedway or the 2018 Schedule of Events, please call the office at 608-7860-1525 or visit lacrossespeedway.com. LaCrosse Speedway is a proud NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.