By: Paul Reichert
The annual La Crosse Interstate Fair always brings a lot of fun and excitement to the Coulee Region. That is always the case every Saturday night here at the LaCrosse Speedway, and this Saturday night was no exception. All five feature events ran without any yellow flag interruptions, including the latest round of double features for the NASCAR Late Models. Steve Carlson swept the double features for a second time this season, bringing his season win total to seven.
Bobby Wilberg would charge by Matthew Henderson to take charge of the first NASCAR Late Model feature. He would lead the opening seven laps. Nick Clements would come from his fourth starting spot to catch and drive around Wilberg for the lead on lap eight. Steve Carlson would also make his way through the field, getting around Matt Henderson for third on lap six. The very next lap he took over second from Wilberg. Carlson quickly caught Clements and surged past him on lap ten to take command of the race at halfway. Carlson and Clements would runaway from the field in the second half of the race. Clements tried to catch up to Carlson, but Carlson would maintain a five car length lead the rest of the way as he claimed his sixth win of the season. Cole Howland finished third after being fast qualifier for a sixth time in the last seven shows. Wilberg came home in fourth, and Michael Beamish claimed fifth.
Mike Ehde got ahead of Justin Mullikin to take the lead at the start of NASCAR Late Model feature #2. Ehde would hold onto the lead with Mullikin pressing the Prairie du Chien veteran for the top spot. They even got into a few side-by-side battles. Eventually Ehde would drive wide in turns one and two on lap eight, allowing Mullikin to zoom into the race lead. Clements would also get around Ehde for second a lap later. Mullikin would withstand the pressure Clements was applying, but Clements would dive under Mullikin to become the leader on lap 13. Steve Carlson came from deep in the field to track down the leader. Carlson would take third from Nick Panitzke on lap 12, and second from Mullikin two laps later. Carlson would catch Clements and use the outside groove to get in a neck-and-neck battle over the final two laps. Carlson would charge by Clements on the final lap to score the double feature sweep. After the race, Carlson said “Our car was a little tight in the second race. It was a little harder for me to work the outside groove. Overall, we had a pretty good car tonight.” Clements got loose coming to the finish line, but just edged Panitzke for second. Mullikin claimed another career best with a fourth, and Mike Ehde claimed his first top five of the season.
Travis Gordon would lead his first laps ever in the Sportsmen feature, leading the opening five laps. Tom Luethe would slice and dice through the field before catching and passing Gordon on lap eight to assume the race lead. Luethe would drive away with the feature win for the third week in a row.
Adam Moore started on the pole for the Thunderstox feature and left the field in his dust. Moore pulled out to a huge lead, and would lead all 15 laps en route to yet another victory. Kendon Thurk led the first seven laps of the Hornet feature, but then would have to contend with 2016 champion Kris Berg. Berg would charge by on lap eight and drive away to a very comfortable win.
Action continues on Saturday night, August 4th with the NASCAR Late Models, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Hornets and Mini-Vans. Bring the kids out early for the KQ98 Kids’ Rides, and stick around for the biggest event of the year at the end of the night. Get ready for the metal mangling mayhem of the World Famous Trailer Race of Destruction. Gates open at 6:00, qualifying starts at 6:15 and racing begins at 7:30.
For more information about LaCrosse Speedway or the 2018 schedule of events, please call the office at 608-786-1525 or visit lacrossespeedway.com. LaCrosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.