By: Paul Reichert
September 11, 2021
What started out 30 years ago as just a fun night for the drivers to let loose has turned into one of the biggest nights on the racing calendar annually at the LaCrosse Speedway. The biggest crowd of the season was packed like a can of sardines minus the smell to witness the metal mangling mayhem and chaos of the 30th Annual Night of Destruction presented by Western Technical College. There was also some exciting racing action to go along with the smashing as Late Model driver Mike Carlson joined the Hornets and put on an impressive showing in their feature event.
Keanna Barney showed the way early on in the Hornet feature. As she tried to pull away from the field Mike Carlson began to slowly creep up on Barney. Mike Carlson dove low to get around Barney at the halfway mark to become the new leader. Barney got tangled up with the lapped car of Matthew Miller bringing out the caution with six laps to go. Carlson had to contend with Andy Barney and Mark Bornitz over those final six laps, but Carlson was no match for either driver as he drove off with the victory.
John Huebner was the first to give the Steel Wall Crash a shot. Huebner gave one of the vehicles a good hard shot right in the middle of the trunk and was able to continue driving after that hard impact. John Clauson talked a little smack before taking his turn as he gave the other vehicle a very impactful hit. In the end Huenber won over the fans with his massive hit.
Ryan Suchanek returned for his 20th year to perform another thrilling set of motorcycle stunts that made the crowd cheer wildly. The holder of four different world records for racing a motorcycle on ice had a partner performing with him this year as Ryan’s eight year old son Landrick made one of his first public appearances. The crowd was left in awe of what Landrick can do on a stunt bike as the Suchanek family will be performing for many years to come.
Monster Trucks never disappoint a crowd with their big air leaps and dizzying spins. Josh Baumgartner from Litchfield, MN returned to thrill the race fans with his Mechanical Mischief monster truck once again. Making its debut at the Night of Destruction was the monster truck Wicked Sickness piloted by Allen Fenstermaker from Saint Louis. Both drivers caught big air and made huge leaps while crushing cars to make the crowd go ‘ooooo’ and ‘aawww’.
Four competitors were out to show who is the ‘smoke master of the speedway’ in the Burn Out Contest. Ben Strupp, Harley Brabant, Matthew Neff and Nick Steinhouse had one minute to pull off the biggest smoke screen that could kill off a lot of mosquitos. Steinhouse’s 1947 Dodge Rat Rod popped both of his rear tires at the end of his run that made the crowd scream so loud that he won the fan vote.
In the T-Bone Crash Zach Liebsch was out to take out the big motorhome that brother Alex ran in the Trailer Race earlier this year. Liebsch punched right through the center of the motorhome but the crowd wanted to see more. The car was still running and Liebsch decided to give the motorhome another shot. Another perfect drive right through the motorhome destroying much of the inside of the vehicle.
Three drivers wanted to live out their Duke fantasies in the Dukes Car Jumping Contest. Zach Liebsch, Dan Osthoff and Rob Stanfield were set to prove who could leap the farthest. Liebsch pulled out the three best jumps and his hood even popped open every time he hit the ground. That excited the crowd so much that Liebsch claimed the fan vote.
The Rollover Contest has been a popular contest with the race fans to see how many times a driver can roll his car. A perfect roll gets the crowd whooping and hollering to see the driver pull off another. Dan Osthoff pulled off two perfect rolls on his way to scoring a perfect 10 and claiming the win.
The night got a little hotter as the jet car Magdatude came all the way up from Missouri to burn down the house. The crowd was left speechless as Magdatude’s powerful jet engine needed just a mere six minutes to burn out an SVU down to just its metal frame.
The night concluded with the annual Trailer Race of Destruction as 25 competitors brought out an assortment of mobile homes, trailers and campers to be smashed and trashed. The race fans cheered loud and wild for the competitors who were doing the best job of wrecking and destroying. It was all up to the fans in the end as they decided the winner of the event. A most unique limousine piloted by the team of Matthew and Wade Elliott got some of the loudest cheers in years as they received the Gargoyle Trophy.
Racing takes a three week break as preparations begin in earnest for the grand season finale at LaCrosse. The 52nd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend takes place October 7, 8, 9 and 10 with 674 laps of feature racing taking place among the 16 different divisions and series competing over those four days. Racing is just one part of the ‘last great get together’ of the year as fans enjoy the After Race Parties, the Memorabi cv lia Show and all the fun memories they create in the Camper Village.
The action starts on October 7 with the Super Late Model Futures, the Super Late Models Knights, LaCrosse (NASCAR) Late Models, LaCrosse Sportsmen, Hornets, Six Shooters and the popular Double-O Race. Gates open at 2:30, qualifying begins at 2:45 and the night of feature racing kicks off at 6. For everything Oktoberfest you need to know about leading up to and during this huge weekend, be sure to check out oktoberfestraceweekend.com.
For more information about LaCrosse Speedway or the 2021 schedule of events, please call the track office at 608-786-1525 or visit our web site at lacrossespeedway.com. LaCrosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.
ANT’s Complete Pest Control Hornets
Feature (15 laps): 1. Mike Carlson, 2. Andy Barney, 3. Mark Bornitz, 4. Ben Thurk, 5. Cheyanne Stanfield, 6. Joey Johnson III, 7. Kristopher Berg, 8. Keanna Barney, 9. Nick Hadler, 10. Brandon McCarthy, 11. Jason Bolster, 12. Dave Marcou, 13. Christopher Lofquist, 14. Jacob Iverson, 15. Kyle Cottone, 16. Abigail Knaack, 17. Marshall Rinartz, 18. Jake Schomers, 19. Tristan Drazkowski, 20. Matthew Miller, 21. Tristan Finnegan, 22. Shawn Breese
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Tristan Finnegan, 2. Jason Bolster, 3. Marshall Rinartz, 4. Matthew Miller, 5. Kyle Cottone, 6. Abigail Knaack, 7. Shawn Breeze, 8. Keanna Barney
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Ben Thurk, 2. Nick Hadler, 3. Tristan Drazkowski, 4. Brandon McCarthy, 5. Dave Marcou, 6. Jacob Iverson, 7. Christopher Lofquist
Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. MIke Carlson, 2. Mark Bornitz, 3. Jake Schomers, 4. Andy Barney, 5. Joey Johnson III, 6. Cheyanne Stanfield, 7. Kristopher Berg
Qualifying: 1. Cheyanne Stanfield, 2. Mike Carlson, 3. Andy Barney, 4. Kristopher Berg, 5. Mark Bornitz, 6. Joey Johnson, 7. Jake Schomers, 8. Ben Thurk, 9. Tristan Drazkowski, 10. Dave Marcou, 11. Nick Hadler, 12. Jacob Iverson, 13. Brandon McCarthy, 14. Christopher Lofquist, 15. Jason Bolster, 16. Keanna Barney, 17. Tristan Finnegan, 18. Abigail Knaack, 19. Kyle Cottone, 20. Marshall Rinartz, 21. Matthew Miller, 22. Shawn Breese
Trailer Race of Destruction (Fan Vote):
1. Matthew and Wade Elliott, 2. John Clauson, 3. Alex Liebsch