By: Ashley Iwanski
(West Salem, WI – May 16, 2015) Steve Carlson came back to the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway determined to make a statement in the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model division after a two week break. And he did just that. Carlson grabbed his second feature win in as many races this season after taking a late lead in the 25-lap race.
Carlson turned the fastest lap in qualifying but had to fight his way to the top spot after starting toward the back of the field.
It was Jack Litsheim who managed to take an early lead after passing pole-sitter Curt Eckelberg. It wasn’t easy sailing for Litsheim, who had Harley Jankowski on his bumper for several laps.
A caution on lap six was Litsheim’s downfall. The three cars of Cam Dezelske, Justin Zmyewski and Jonathan Eckelberg made contact in the middle of Turns 1 and 2, spinning all three and sending two into the wall on high side.
Shawn Pfaff narrowly missed the action. He went to the high side to avoid the car sitting at the bottom of the track, but then had to dive low quickly to avoid the two cars on the top. He made it through the tangled mess to restart fifth when the green flag waived.
Litsheim restarted in the lead, but Jankowski was quickly able to overpower him to lead the field as a second yellow flag flew after Brad Powell’s car spun in the middle of Turns 3 and 4.
Jankowski wasn’t as successful on the second restart. Jerimy Wagner worked his way around the lead car only to have to then fend off Carlson, who had made his way to the third spot.
Carlson took the second spot from Jankowski two laps later. It took Carlson three more laps to reach Wagner’s back bumper and only one more after that to get around him.
Carlson put the field in his review mirror and Jankowski recaptured the second spot from Wagner.
Jankowski held on to the second spot and Wagner the third. Adam Degenhardt finished fourth and Shawn Pfaff fifth.
Jimmy Gilster weaved his way through intense three- and four-wide racing to make his way to Victory Lane in the Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen division.
Jeff Thompson had a strong lead for the first half of the race. The last thing he wanted to see was a yellow flag, but the caution came out on lap eight after Tony Leis spun in Turn 4.
The caution brought Gilster and the rest of the field to Thompson’s back bumper. Gilster worked his way around Thompson on the restart for the feature win.
Thompson fell back to finish sixth. Nick Clements finished second, Brian Hesselberg third, Steve Bachman fourth and Bill Martin rounded out the top five.
Charles Vian Jr. won the Auto Value Thunderstox feature after race leader Andy Moore cut a tire and left the track with three laps to go. Kyle Lockington finished second and Jacinda Pfaff third.
Tom Luethe captured the checkered flag in the ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornet feature. Hornet drivers Garrett Thicke and Jason Lindvig took home Novelty wins.
Saturday, May 23 is Buck Night at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway presented by Tri-State Ambulance. Join us for exciting racing from the Late Models, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Street Stocks and Outlawz. There will also be a Tag Team race and Kid’s Box Car races. Plus, all concession stand menu items are just one dollar. 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.