By: Dave Noelke
(West Salem, WI – June 20, 2015) Steve Carlson, even at an older age, proves every week that he can still drive the wheels off a race car. Tonight he did exactly just that.
The Old Dutch Foods 25 for the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models began with Curt Eckelberg and Jason Dummer on the front row. Dummer grabbed the lead quickly, but that was short-lived as Jack Litsheim passed Dummer on the high side on the race’s fourth lap.
Carlson, meanwhile, started deep in the pack, eleventh, and to the common eye, it looked like a short 25 lap main would not allow him enough time to get to the leaders.
“The car worked really good on the top groove tonight,” Carlson commented after the race. “I think we passed nearly every car on the top lane.”
By the eighth lap, Carlson was in the top five, and once he got around Matthew Henderson for second at the halfway lap, it was a matter of time, or laps, until he caught Litsheim. Taking the lead coming out of turn four, the blue and black number 66 took the lead with ten laps to go.
A caution came out on lap 20, as Matthew Henderson spun in the first turn, trying to take second place from Litsheim, which forced a double wide restart. Jonathan Eckelberg spun on the restart and forced another realignment of the field for another green flag.
Carlson regained the lead and held on over Brad Powell, Ty Majeski, Mike Carlson and Jack Litsheim at the finish.
“I’m having a pretty good year,” the veteran driver Carlson summarized.
The Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen Old Dutch Foods 15 went caution free, but did include some intense racing. Jeff Thompson got out to the early lead from the outside of row one, but it was Tony Leis, the sixth place starter, that showed he had the fastest car. By Lap three, Leis’ car was hooked up and passed Thompson for the lead.
Point leader Nick Clements started ninth and fought traffic all race long, and ended up with a top five. With five laps to go, Bill Martin broke out of a four car pack ahead of Clements and Brian Hesselberg to take third. Leis took the win, followed by Thompson, Martin, Clements and Hesselberg.
Auto Value Thunderstox took to the track for the Old Dutch 15 with Scott Mahlum on the pole. Mahlum spun on the frontstretch just after the green flew, leaving Kyle Lockington to take the lead. With five laps to go, Lockington and Bill Schott began a spirited battle for the remaining laps. At the finish the two cars got together in turn four heading to the line, and it was Schott spinning as he took the win, edging out Lockington. Charles Vian Jr., Andy Moore and Kaleb Hardy completed the top five. Schott was later disqualified in post-race inspection, handing the win to the Rookie Lockington for his first in the Thunderstox division.
Marc Luethe claimed his first ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornet feature win, holding off Steve Bornitz, Jeff Thompson, Nate Towner and Jeff Von Ruden. A big melee thrilled the fans as several cars spun as they crossed the finish line on the final lap.
The next event on the Speedway calendar is on June 27th, featuring the Late Models, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Street Stocks, The Klement’s Racing Sausages, and an Outhouse Race. 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.