By: Ashley Iwanski
(West Salem, WI – September 8, 2012) Fans filled the grandstands for all the thrills and spills of the 20th Annual Eve of Destruction presented by Wisconsin Lottery.
It was championship night for the Window World Hornets, who started the night with heat races. Mark Bornitz was leading the points standings entering the night and ended the season on top. He was unofficially named the track champion for 2012 with 301 points after finishing fifth in the second feature, won by Jeff Thompson. Meanwhile Kim Strom and Jacob Bemis were tied for second in points entering the night. Strom finished second, two spots ahead of Bemis, in the second feature; which landed him the runner-up spot in the points standings with 292 points. Bemis placed third (290).
Matt Inglett, a regular in the weekly Sportsmen division, won the first Hornet feature.
The motorcycle stuntmen got the fans geared up early in the night, pulling more than 15 different stunts from their bag of tricks. But they didn’t just perform once. They came back out to put on a second show for the crowd.
Dakota Miller and Ben Allen went head-to-head in a Steel Wall Crash competition. Allen, the resident stunt man, took his turn first. Allen went straight towards the second of two cars propped up on its nose by two-by-fours. The car flipped once and came down on its nose. Miller then took his turn. He ran head-on into the first car, sending scraps of metal flying all over the track. What was left of the original car, flipped and landed on its roof. After a fan vote Miller was crowned the champion.
Allen came back later in the night to perform the Flying Mini-Van T-Bone Crash. An event that consisted of a minivan, a ramp and two cars. Allen started in Turn 4 and sped towards a ramp sitting in front of two cars he was going to smash into. He dodged the ramp the first time, but his second time around hit the ramp and landed on top of the two cars. The cars took off down the front stretch and the minivan rolled three-quarters of the way over.
John Clausen came from behind to win the Roll Over Contest. Kaleb Miller scored three points on his first attempt. Clausen scored two points on his first turn, presenting a challenge to Miller. On his second run, Miller scored another three points, leaving a four point gap for Clausen to close. What seemed impossible, Clausen made look easy. He rolled his car completely over to pass the leader and win the contest.
Mechanical Mischief didn’t just pounce on four cars on the front stretch; the beloved Monster Truck obliterated them. The fans cheered emphatically as the truck hit the cars, shot up straight towards the sky, bounced back to the ground and then continued to destroy the cars on the track. But, he was the only one wanting to get in on the action. Incinerator was also in attendance to finish pancaking what Mechanical Mischief left behind. And to give the fans something extra, the Incinerator also did donuts in front of the flag stand bringing the crowd to its feet.
The Drifters returned to the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. They had been out once before and the fans were excited to see them again. The cars slid sideways through the corners on both the tracks like they were dirt-track racing. The four drivers represented three different states; and by fan vote the Wisconsin driver was determined the winner.
A new event for the night was a Football Kicking Contest. Three cars were painted to represent the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings. Each car was given two chances to hit a giant blowup ball through a field goal post. The Vikings went first, but didn’t get enough speed to get the ball high enough to go through the posts. The Bears followed with the same results. The Packers were easily named the winner after sending the ball through the goals, twice.
If the Fans were chilled by the cool night air the Green Mamba Jet Car was able to take care of that problem. Always a fan-favorite, the Green Mamba raced around both the small and large track sending 15-foot flames, which could be felt 50 yards away, out of the back of its jet engine. It came back later in the night to melt down a car into nothing but hot twisted metal and ash.
And for the big finale of the night, there were cars, there were trucks, there were vans and SUVs, but most importantly there were trailers. It was the event fans wait all year long for, the Trailer Race of Destruction. Sixteen trailers, including the Pumpkin Express, graced the track for the La Crosse Speedway’s version of a demolition derby. What was left on the quarter mile wasn’t pretty; in fact it looked more like a natural disaster. The tornado of trucks completely demolished every recognizable piece on the track. All that was left were heaps of bent metal and scraps of wood and plastic. Chris Neilland, with his lawn mower-riding Scooby Doo trailer, defeated five-time winner John Ratz in a fan vote and was declared the winner.
The 43rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend is October 4 to the 7. The four days will be jam packed with racing action, including 700 laps of feature racing in more than 15 different divisions. Mark your calendars and join the fun, festive atmosphere with a variety of great food, cold beverages and our legendary after-race parties. For more information please call the Speedway office at (608) 786-1525 or visitwww.lacrossespeedway.com.
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway is a proud NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – www.hometracks.nascar.com.
LA CROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY
Window World Hornets
Wisconsin Lottery 15 Feature (20 cars) — 1, Matt Inglett, West Salem; 2, Pete Muenkel; 3, Dan Hundorf, Minnesota City, Minn.; 4, Dakota Miller, Sparta; 5, Wendy Liebsch, Winona, Minn.; 6, Eugene Haws, Tomah; 7, Garrett Thicke, West Salem; 8, Dan Osthoff, La Crosse; 9, Joey Johnson, North Bend; 10, Devan Heaney, Caledonia, Minn.; 11, Ron Burus, Viroqua; 12, Trevor Sveen, Galesville; 13, Patrick Thicke, West Salem; 14, Fletcher Milene, Winona, Minn.; 15, Ronald Stolzman, Warrens; 16, Taylor Dobbs, Galesville; 17, Kyle Rozek, Tomah; 18, John Clausen, Onalaska; 19, Charles Koch, Alma; 20, Mike Carlson, West Salem.
Wisconsin Lottery 15 Feature (19 cars) — 1, Jeff Thompson; 2, Kim Strom, West Salem; 3, Lonnie Wood Sr., Tomah; 4, Jacob Bemis, Trempealeau; 5, Mark Bornitz, Holmen; 6, Jill Oostdyk, La Crosse; 7, Jake Schomers, La Crescent, Minn.; 8, Chris Swenson, Tomah; 9, Kaleb Miller, Sparta; 10, Samantha Linnehan, Sparta; 11, Melissa Rusch, La Crosse; 12, Kyle Swenson, Sparta; 13, Larry Holets, Rochester, Minn.; 14, Amanda Eckelberg, West Salem; 15, Kevin Thompson, Galesville; 16, Lonnie Wood Jr., Tomah; 17, Chris Sampson, Dickeyville; 18, Kris Burg; 19, Jeff Stumlin, Holmen.
Heat 1 — 1, Dan Hundorf; 2, Chris Sampson; 3, Dan Osthoff; 4, Dakota Miller; 5, Pete Muenkel.
Heat 2 — 1, Charles Koch; 2, Jeff Thompson; 3, Kaleb Miller; 4, Garrett Thicke; 5, Kris Burg.
Heat 3 — 1, Samantha Linnehan; 2, Jake Bemis; 3, Jake Schomers; 4, Kim Strom; 5, Jeff Stumlin.