By: Ashley Iwanski
(West Salem, WI – October 3, 2013) Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgounds Speedway started with the some of the most exciting racing of the weekend, literally. As rain threatened to shorten the opening night action the question among fans became “what will they do?”
With only a small window open to race the answer became obvious; run the features. And that’s exactly what they did. No Heats, and for some, no qualifying. Which made the racing that much more intense.
Drivers like Steve Carlson, Jake Arneson and Adam Moore had to go full throttle right out of the gate. None walked away disappointed with the night as the three were crowned track champions after running just one race each.
Carlson, who won the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model Championship, was just one spot away from also capturing a checkered flag. But Ty Majeski overpowered the field to grab the La Crosse Late Model feature win.
Majeski started the 40-lap race next to Carlson near the back of the field. It wasn’t long before Majeski was weaving back and forth through traffic, making his way to leader Matthew Henderson, with Carlson on his back bumper.
Henderson was leading the first nine laps before J. Herbst took the lead, and Brad Powell moved into the second spot. Herbst and Powell put up a fight to hold on to those positions, especially as Majeski and Carlson appeared in their rearview mirrors.
For nine laps Majeski was on the back bumper of Powell, trying to sneak his nose to the inside of the No. 23 car. When Majeski was finally able to get a run on Powell he took advantage and did a sling shot move to get to the second spot. Carlson also took advantage and followed Majeski around Powell for third.
The next challenge was the leader. Herbst tried everything he knew to keep the powerful duo behind him. But eventually it became too much of a struggle. Both Majeski and Carlson passed the leader in time to secure the first and second spots.
Herbst finished third, Powell fourth and Shawn Pfaff fifth.
Cole Yach got the jump to the lead over Chad Walen at the start of the Futures 25-lap feature event. Yach and Walen put on a good battle for the top spot but Walen wanted the lead. With three laps to go, Walen got to the back bumper of Yach down the frontstretch and went to the inside for the lead. Walen would get the lead and Yach fought back but would get loose out of turn two and make heavy contact with the backstretch wall to end his night. Walen would hold off Ryan Hinner over the last three laps to get the big win. Mike Carlson finished third. Dalton Zehr was fourth and Paige Decker was fifth.
Steve Bachman got by Mark Challet on lap six to take home the Exhaust Plus Grand National Sportsmen Oktoberfest feature. Jerrod Loging tried to chase down Bachman over the last 14 laps to challenge for the win, but it was a smooth ride to the checkered flag. Greg Scheck was third with Jake Arneson in fourth. Brian Hesselberg was fifth. Arneson’s fourth place finish secured the 2013 championship by 31 points over Bachman.
Jason Bolster was the class of the field in the United Auto Supply Thunderstox to win the 15-lap feature. Adam Moore had the early lead but Bolster quickly raced his way to the front and challenged Moore on lap 8. A lap later, Bolster cleared Moore and drove off to the Oktoberfest win. Moore was the victor in the points standings though, claiming the 2013 division championship.
The Hornets ran two separate feature events on Friday night. In the first, Mark Bornitz got by Joshua Viner on lap five to cruise to the easy win. In the second, Patrick Thicke made an impressive three-wide move on a re-start past Hunter Miller and Jake Schomers on lap three and drove off to the victory. Jacob Bemis was named the division champion after finishing three points ahead of Kevin Turner in the final points standings.
Mark Bornitz picked up his second Oktoberfest win of the night by winning the Double-O feature. Bornitz was in a tight battle with Kyle Stark and Joe Mueller coming to the checkered flag. Bornitz used the inside line to his advantage to get the win in an impressive three-wide finish.
The weekend is just getting started as more action is on tap for Friday with the Super Late Models, Great Northern Sportsmen, Midwest Trucks and the Midwestern Dash Series.
Grandstands open at 2 p.m. and action starts at 5 p.m. 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.