By: Dave Noelke
May 23, 2015 (West Salem, WI) – On a night when fans packed the grandstands and enjoyed all the great bargains at the concessions, it was Steve Carlson showing that he is still the king of the short tracks.
The Tri-State Ambulance feature race for the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models started with Rookie Jason Dummer and Mike Carlson on the front row. Adam Degenhardt, the fourth place starter quickly jumped to second on the high side, as the younger Carlson took the early lead.
Degenhardt took the lead on the high side of the track on lap seven from Mike Carlson, as father Steve Carlson was quickly coming to the front. Steve got by Mike on lap nine and then had a spirited battle for the lead with Degenhardt for several laps.
At the halfway lap, Carlson got under Degenhardt for the lead and never looked back, although the sleek black #03 of Degenhardt never let Carlson go.
The fastest car in qualifying at the Frostbuster, Harley Jankowski showed some muscle and worked through traffic to end up third behind Carlson and Degenhardt at the Checkers. Mike Carlson and Brad Powell completed the top five in the caution free race.
“We could have used two more tires, but we took a big swing at the setup for the race tonight,” commented runnerup Degenhardt. “It paid off with a great run, and getting beat by Steve Carlson, isn’t entirely a bad thing,” concluded Degenhardt.
“The car actually ran better last week, and it was a little tight tonight,” Steve Carlson told the crowd after the race. “It’s a really good car though and we’re happy to grab the win,” concluded Carlson.
In what was one of the best races of the night, the drivers of the Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen Tri-State Ambulance 15 lap main used up their skills nearly every lap.
Early on, Brian Hesselberg spun his car to bring out a caution on lap four. On the restart the car of Rick Johnson got loose in turn two and and most of the pack had to regroup to avoid wrecking. Meanwhile, Tony Leis got out to the lead and showed that his car had some horsepower.
With four laps to go, Hesselberg spun in turn four and was hit by Jason Schaller, who was unable to avoid incident. With a four lap shootout the restart allowed Nick Clements to be right on Leis’ bumper. But the race wasn’t over yet.
Jimmy Gilster, last week’s winner spun on the frontstretch with two laps to go, with John Radtke and Mandi Eckelberg slamming on the brakes to avoid damage.
On the restart Leis regained command and narrowly held off Clements for the win by half a car length. Brad Warthan, Bob Fort and Bill Martin completed the top five.
The Auto Value Thunderstox feature had much for the fans to enjoy, and at the end of the race it was Kayla Rae Lockington taking the feature win in a side by side battle with Ron White. Charles Vian Jr., Andy Moore and Kaleb Hardy completed the top five.
Mountain Dew Outlawz hit the track and for their Tri-State Ambulance feature and fans could tell they were giving it every effort they had as cars passed high and low. At the checkers, it was the “O-No” car of Cols Scholze besting Todd Lockington, Glenn Busch, Jason Bolster and Kevin Kvalheim.
One of the most spectacular moments of the night was the Auto Value Street Stocks feature. Some bumping and nudging on the frontstretch led to John Eron’s car ending on top of the backstretch wall. The finish was nearly three wide at the line, as Taylor Dobbs took his first feature win, followed by Bill Bentzen, Tyler Mickschl, Jonathan Burbach and Bob Fort.
Next week the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models run two 30 Lap features, and joining them are the Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen, Auto Value Thunderstox, ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornets and the Queen Bees.
For more information, visit www.lacrossespeedway.com or call the office at 608-786-1525. LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway is a proud NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – www.hometracks.nascar.com.