By: Paul Reichert
It was another warm night of NASCAR racing at the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. The warm weather always seems to make the racing a little more challenging for the competitors. Tonight it was Cole Howland’s night to make it to victory lane. After being fastest in qualifying in five of the last six shows, Howland would keep veteran Tom Carlson in the rear view to claim his first NASCAR Late Model feature win of the season.
Greg Borchardt and Don Turner brought the field to the green for the NASCAR LM feature. Borchardt got loose in turn one, but he slide off the track and somehow would keep all four wheels straight. Turner took advantage and took the lead. Tom Carlson surged past Turner to assume the top spot on lap three. Yellow flew on lap eight for Borchardt’s solo loop in turn two. Carlson would now have to deal with Cole Howland on the restart. Cole wasted little time driving by Carlson to take over the race lead. Meanwhile, the rest of the top runners would having a hard time trying to move up through the field. That allowed both Howland and Carlson to build a huge advantage on the field. Howland would hold a few car lengths advantage over Carlson the rest of the way and drive off with his first feature win of 2018. After the race, Howland said “I was going to the high side on the restart to get around Carlson. I knew I had a good car. My team has been working hard to make this feature win happen.” Nick Panitzke got around Matt Henderson with a few laps to go to claim third. Nick Clement shot by both Steve Carlson and Henderson to take fourth, while Henderson recorded a fifth-place finish.
Last week Tom Luethe scored his first-ever Sportsmen feature win. This week Luethe would make it to victory lane for a second straight week. Unlike last week’s feature, Steve Bachman would keep pace with Luethe. However, Bachman could not muster enough of a rally of catch Luethe in the end.
Bill Schott took the lead at the start of the Thunderstox feature. He would have to deal with challenges from Andy Moore and Brad Warthan late in the going. Schott would keep them at bay and capture the win. Jestin Delap Sr. would lose the lead in the Street Stock feature to Dan Frye with six laps to go. Despite a yellow with four laps to go, Frye would hold onto the top spot and claim victory.
The leaders ran into lap traffic in the Upper Midwest Vintage feature, causing a calamity in turn three halfway through the race. Larry Bolster would inherit the lead and score the win in his first race at La Crosse in nine years. The night wrapped up with the Shipwreck Boat Race. ‘Reckless’ John Clausen would top the fan vote and earn the fish trophy for winning.
The 128th edition of the LaCrosse Interstate Fair takes place July 18th-22nd. A lot of food, a lot of exhibits, a lot of entertainment and a lot of thrilling rides await fair goers. There will also be lot of thrills on the race track as well during the fair. It all starts Friday, July 20th with a special Interstate Fair edition of the Friday Night Street Drags. Practice runs takes place at 6:45 and drag racing starts at 7:30. Don’t miss out on the Burnout and Shine ‘n Show contests too. Action continues Saturday, July 21st with the NASCAR Late Models, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, and Street Stocks. The NASCAR Late Models will compete in their third twin feature night, plus bring the kids out early for another night of the KQ98 Kids’ Rides. Gates open at 6:00, qualifying starts at 6:15pm and racing starts at 7:30.
For more information on the 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.