By: Ashley Iwanski
(West Salem, WI – September 6, 2014) Fans flooded the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway grandstands Saturday night for the 22nd Annual Eve of Destruction presented by Subway Restaurants.
The ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornets raced in front of one of the largest crowds of the season. But it was Garrett Thicke who reaped all the glory winning the feature event.
Thicke won the second heat race earlier in the night. He made his second trip to victory lane after passing Cam Dezelske for the lead with five laps to go in the main event.
Thicke started mid-pack and worked his way through packs of three-wide racing to get to the point and capture the checkered flag.
Dezelske held on for second, Hunter Miller third, Matthew Carpenter fourth and Mark Bornitz fifth.
Bornitz continues to lead the standings by three points over Nate Towner (262). The division should have a heated battle for the championship during Oktoberfest Race Weekend as only 24 points separate Bornitz from fifth-place Thicke.
Although the Hornets stirred up a buzz throughout the stands, what’s an Eve of Destruction without Monster Trucks? And the Trailer Race of Destruction?
Monster Trucks Incinerator and Mechanical Mischief, back for the eighth time, went head-to-head in a free-style event. Fans were on their feet for a dazzling display of destruction as the Incinerator flew sky high, pancaking the cars on the track. Then Mechanical Mischief had the fans in awe as he finished the job, completely demolishing what was left of the pile.
The big finale of the night had cars, trucks, 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 SWAT van, 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.
One of the new events this year was Benny the Human Bomb. The seasoned stuntman bravely climbed into a car moments before it was blown to pieces. Fans were shocked as the car was engulfed in flames. As the car continued to burn Benny was pulled from the blaze, unwrapped from his protectant gear and walked away.
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.
Steve Rusch started the event with a T-Bone crash. Rusch started in Turn 1 and flew towards a ramp that launched him into the windshield of a waiting car.
Daredevil Dan Osthoff got behind the wheel of a car for the Steel Wall Crash. Osthoff had the crowd cheering as he started in Turn 4 and slammed into the car in Turn 1 that was propped up on its nose. The car exploded, pieces flying into the infield, as if soared into the air before crashing to the ground.
Driver Jackson Broer climbed out of his Hornet car and into a stunt car for the Pool Jump. Broer hit the ramp full speed and did a nose dive into the inflated pool sending a wave of water over the front stretch.
Dan Osthoff dominated in only his second Roll-Over Contest, scoring 10 points. Osthoff earned seven points on his first run. He hit the ramp perfectly, tumbling off, completely rolling his car. He scored three more points on his next run to collect the win.
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 and closed the night by melting down a car into nothing but hot twisted metal and ash. It rained down fire across the infield that burned into the night.
Football Kicking Contest got the fans fired up. Three cars represented 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 and Packers followed with the same results. Even with a second try none were able to hit the ball just right.
Before the night of destruction officially began, fans were invited down on the track to kick the evening off right with an Egg Toss competition and a much anticipated belly flop contest.
Friday, September 12 is another installment of Premier Powdercoating Friday Night Street Drags. Featured events include Bracket Racing, Burnout Contest, Shine N’ Show Contest and Pre-Event Grudge Matches. Your last opportunity to get in on the action is Saturday, October 11 in the 300’ Bracket Nationals.
If your calendars aren’t marked for the 45th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend they should be. All the action takes place October 2-5. Get ready for four straight days of stock car racing action including 17 different classes of cars, 700 laps of feature racing and 10 championships to be decided. Join your racing friends in the festive atmosphere to celebrate traditions. And don’t forget about the legendary post-race parties. For more information please call the Speedway office at (608) 786-1525 or visit www.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
ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornets
Subway 15 Feature (20 cars) — 1, Garrett Thicke, West Salem; 2, Cam Dezelske, La Crosse; 3, Hunter Miller, West Salem; 4, Matthew Carpenter, Galesville; 5, Mark Bornitz, Holmen; 6, Patrick Thicke, West Salem; 7, Nate Towner, Trempealeau; 8, Jeff Stumlin, Holmen; 9, Dan Rozek, Tomah; 10, Kris Berg, Ettrick; 11, Brandon LeMoine, West Salem; 12, Jerimy Wagner, Onalaska; 13, Jackson Broer, Coon Valley; 14, Andy Moore, Sparta; 15, Josh Viner, La Crosse; 16, Chris Arnold, Sparta; 17, Mike Carlson, West Salem; 18, Ben Stumlin, Holmen; 19, John Towner, Trempealeau; 20, Jeff Thompson, La Crosse.
Heat 1 — 1, Hunter Miller; 2, Dan Rozek; 3, Mark Bornitz; 4, Patrick Thicke; 5, Kris Berg.
Heat 2 — 1, Garrett Thicke; 2, Nate Towner; 3, Andy Moore; 4, Cam Dezelske; 5, Jerimy Wagner.
Zimmerman Driving School Figure-8
Subway 15 Feature (8 cars) — 1, Jeff Thompson; 2, Jackson Broer; 3, Cam Dezelske; 4, Scott Mahlum, La Crosse; 5, Dan Osthoff, La Crosse; 6, Jonathan Burbach, Winona, Minn.; 7, Jason Bolster, Sparta; 8, Brandon LeMoine.