By: Ashley Iwanski
(West Salem, WI – August 9, 2014) Only two weeks remain of regular weekly racing and Steve Carlson where every driver wants to be: In the lead. Carlson won the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model feature Saturday night at La Crosse Fairgrounds and extended his lead over third-place feature finisher Brad Powell in the division points standings.
Carlson started mid-pack, but a caution in the second half of the feature helped get him to the front of the field.
It was Mike Koeneke’s first night back since wrecking his car two weeks ago during practice and it was going well until lap 16.
Koeneke started on the pole with Matthew Henderson behind him. When the green flag waved the pair took off and were building a significant lead on the field lap-by-lap.
Henderson was looking high and low for any opportunity to break into the lead. But as the two started to run into lap traffic things took a turn for the worse.
There were nine laps to go when the leaders caught two lap cars entering Turn 3. Half way through the corner contact was made and all four damaged cars scattered around the track.
When the race was restarted Carlson grabbed the lead from Harley Jankowski, who was previously running third. Once Carlson was out front he was able to put some space between himself and the rest of the field. Jankowski finished second followed by Powell.
Carlson’s points lead grew with win. He now has 688 points, Powell is in second with 623.
Steve Bachman started to close the gap on leader Greg Scheck in the points standings after winning the Grand National Sportsmen feature.
Bachman took advantage of an early caution that also brought Nick Clements and Scheck to the front of the field.
The yellow flag waved two laps into the race when leaders Tom Luethe and Jamie Dummer were caught up in a wreck in Turn 3. Luethe was in the wall and had to be towed off the track while Dummer limped away with front end damage.
Bachman and Clements were in the front row on the restart and when the green flag waved again Bachman pulled out to the lead.
The race leader was forced to defend his spot two laps later when a second caution came out after Jake Bemis spun in Turn 4.
Scheck was in the front row with Bachman for the next restart. Bachman again took the lead as Clements and Scheck battled side-by-side for the second position. Clements secured the position as Scheck fell back.
From that point on Clements was glued to the back bumper of Bachman. With four laps to go Scheck jumped up to rejoin the action. The three were nose to tail with no air between them. And as the trio rounded Turn 4 on the final lap Clements moved to the outside of Bachman. The two crossed the finish line door handle-to-door handle, Bachman just inches ahead of Clements.
Scheck finished third and holds a ten point lead of Bachman (555) in the division’s season standings.
Thomas Farra won the United Auto Supply Thunderstox feature after crossing the finish line behind Andy Moore. Moore took the checkered but was later disqualified. Ron White, Bill Schott, Kayla Rae Lockington and Jacinda Pfaff rounded out the top five.
Jason Bolster (711) continues to lead Jordan Myers (708) in the division points standings. Bolster finished eighth in the feature and Myers 10th.
Nate Towner led Mark Bornitz and the rest of the field to the finish line in the ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornets feature. Towner is now only two points behind Mark Bornitz (230) in the standings.
Wayne Smith grabbed the checkered flag in the both the Coke Zero Outlawz feature and heat race.
William Klaetsch of Onalaska won the Tough Truck competition. The event that took place on the front stretch was like a tug-of-war with a lot of smoke and burning rubber. Two trucks were connected with a strap and pulled in opposite directions. Whoever moved the farthest after three minutes was declared the winner. Klaetsch’s Ford Raptor dominated over two Chevys and a Dodge.
Only two more weeks left before the regular weekly racing season wraps up. Don’t miss out on all the hard-charging action as the points battles heat up. Saturday, Aug. 16 is the first Fantastic Five night. Fans will get to see five 20-lap feature races, two for the NASCAR Late Models, one for the Grand National Sportsmen and two for the Mid-American Stock car series. Bring the kids early for the final Kids’ Rides night. Then join us for the final weekly race of 2014 on Aug. 23 that brings five great divisions of action to check out. Plus, it’s Buck Night. All concession menu items are just $1. Pack up your box car racers and arrive at the track early for the Subway Fresh Fit for Kids Race after Late Model qualifying. 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.