By: Paul Reichert
Chamber of commerce weather welcomed the race fans back to the La Crosse Speedway for the annual Frostbuster race. If you saw the action in the closing laps of the main event of the first race of the season, you can only image how exciting the rest of the 2019 will be. Late race yellows made the final few laps exciting, and Steve Carlson fought off Nick Panitzke to claim win number one of 2019.
Jerimy Wagner led the first seven circuits of the NASCAR LM Feature before Steve Carlson charged by to take over the top spot. At the halfway mark, Nick Panitzke shot between Bobby Wilberg and Brad Powell to take over third. Panitzke still had some distance to make up on the front two. Then the late race yellows showed up. Rob Christen spun in turn three with three to go. Carlson and Panitzke battled back and forth on the restart. Just as Panitzke was getting around Carlson, calamity in turn two on the final lap brought out another yellow. Carlson and Panitzke battled hard in turns one and two on the final lap. Panitzke got loose and Jacob Goede took over second, with Ty Majeski and Bobby Wilberg rounding out the top five. In his post-race interview, Carlson told the fans “If you liked the finish of that race, come back out here for more action like that this season.”
Sam Niles took the lead two laps into the Sportsmen feature, but things got very interesting down the stretch. Steve Schultz and Tom Luethe stayed glued to Niles’ bumper and gave him a serious challenge for the top spot over the final few laps. Niles held off both drivers to claim the victory.
In the Hobby Stock feature, BIll Schott closed the gap on race leader Adam Moore. They made contact and spun each other out with five to go. That gave the lead to Kaleb Hardy, who would drive off with the win.
Minnesota driver Ridge Oien made his first visit to La Crosse a successful one as he won the Hornet feature. Jake Schomers’ debut in the Street Stocks was also a success as he took the lead at halfway in the feature and ran away with the win.
After a short break, the first Friday Night Street Drags of the season take place on Friday, May 10th. Weekly racing begins on Saturday, May 11th with the NASCAR Late Models, Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, Hornets and Mini-Vans. After qualifying, the kids can get their first rides of the year in a stock car. Gates open at 6:00m, qualifying starts at 6:15 and racing begins at 7:30.
For more information about La Crosse Speedway or the 2019 schedule of events, please call the office at 608-786-1525 or visit lacrossespeedway.com. La Crosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.