By: Paul Reichert
October 10, 2021
After a rough start to the 52nd Oktoberfest Race Weekend back on Thursday, the race fans were treated to some terrific late summer weather and some exciting racing action the rest of the weekend at the LaCrosse Speedway. The big dog competitors of the ARCA MIdwest Tour headlined Sunday’s racing action as all of the drivers looked to claim the prestigious Oktoberfest Champion title while one was in pursuit of the ARCA Midwest Tour championship and some big bonus money. Casey Johnson accomplishes a lifelong goal as he captures his first ever Oktoberfest title to go along with his multitude of track and series championships. Ty Majeski did not claim the Ultimate Challenge bonus but did drive away with another ARCA Midwest Tour crown.
In the ARCA Midwest Tour 200 lap main event, Luke Fenhaus showed the way at the start with Johnny Sauter in hot pursuit of him. It would take the first 15 laps for Sauter to wear down Fenhaus as he darted to the inside to surge into the race lead. Dan Fredrickson was a man on the move from his twelfth starting spot as he powered his way around Casey Johnson for third on lap 24. Two laps later Fredrickson took to the high line again to charge past Fenhaus for second. Fredrickson spent several laps waiting for the right time to strike for the lead. That time came on lap 32 as the four-time Oktoberfest champion dove low to get around Sauter for the top spot. Ty Majeski accepted the Ultimate Challenge to win the feature from the rear of the field for $15,000. He broke into the top ten at the 50 lap mark but there was still a ton of racing yet to be run. Lap traffic was not a problem for Fredrickson to negotiate as he widened his margin over Johnson. After a lap 57 competition caution Fredrickson went right back to work pulling away from the field. This time Johnson would gain new life and close up on Fredrickson. Johnson tried to look inside on lap 70 but Fredrickson was able to shut the door and maintain the lead. Johnson tried again to use the low line and took advantage of Fredrickson running wide in turn one to take over the lead on lap 79. At the same time Majeski would dive low on Travis Sauter to crack the top five. Fredrickson began to fall back through the field as Johnny Sauter took over second on lap 82, while Majeski shot past both Fenhaus and Fredrickson to reach a podium spot on lap 83. Yellow flew on lap 91 when Levon Van der Geest and Jeff Storm tangled in turn four. Unfortunately it was right in front of Fredrickson as he suffered major front end damage to end his race. Many of the drivers decided to pit as we were closing in on the halfway mark, while Johnny Sauter stayed out and took over the lead with Ty Majeski behind him.
Just before halfway Majeski lined up alongside of Johnny Sauter for the restart and quickly shot into the lead position on lap 98. The pit stop Johnson took under the previous caution did wonders for him as he found some room on the inside on Matthew Henderson to get back into the top three on lap 109. Four laps later Johnson went low on Sauter to settle into the runner-up spot on lap 113. Johnson quickly caught the back to Ty Majeski’s machine and on lap 118 dove to the inside of Majeski to assume command of the race. New players entered the picture as both Travis Sauter and Skylar Holzhausen dropped Majeski back to fourth by lap 121. Lap traffic tried to make things a little difficult for Johnson, but he came out of it still holding onto the race lead with Travis Sauter trying to stay in Johnson’s tire tracks. Johnson’s torrid pace was no match for Majeski’s fading race car as he went a lap down on lap 145. Another competition caution flew with 50 laps remaining giving Majeski a chance to change tires and begin making his way back through the field. Johnson went right back to work on the restart as he opened up his lead but still had Travis Sauter trying to track him down. Dalton Zehr took a peak under Skylar Holzhausen and surged by him entering turn one to move up to third on lap 168. Rich Bickle, Jr. was looking to leave the fans with a lasting memory in his final Oktoberfest race. Bickle, Jr. needed several laps to whittle away at Zehr’s advantage and even lapped traffic helped him out. Unfortunately he lost ground and would have to surrender fourth to Majeski with nine laps to go. Majeski was not finished as his powered his way under Zehr with six laps remaining to take third. Majeski continued his rampant late race pace as he charges past Sauter for second with only four laps left. Majeski could not make up a full straightaway distance in those final four laps as Johnson claimed his first Oktoberfest 200 title. Despite not claiming the Ultimate Challenge bonus of $15,000, Majeski did claim an even bigger prize and locked up his fifth ARCA Midwest Tour championship.
Ben Behne powered his way to the lead at the start of the 25 lap Cratetoberfest 602 Challenge feature. After a spin in turn two by Clayton Storey on lap four, Behne would be pressured by other modified drivers on the restart. Dave Edwards would power his way around Behne to move into the lead on lap five. Behne and Eric Campbell battled over the runner-up spot as Edwards began to open up his lead. All of that racing would be halted by a spinning Randy Sargent in turn four on lap nine. On the restart Campbell would surge past Edwards for the lead on lap 10. Campbell began to pull away from the field but another yellow came out for another loop de loop by Clayton Storey on lap 13. Brad Warthan used the outside lane to get around Campbell to become the new leader on lap 14. Bryce Miller also passed Campbell thanks to the outer groove with seven laps remaining. Miller was given a gift in the form of the lead with three laps to go when Warthan bounded off the back straight wall. Miller had to repel the challenges of Eugene Gregorich, Jr. down the stretch to claim the victory. Miller wins a new crate motor and after the race drew the name of Warthan to also win a brand new crate motor.
The 15 lap Upper MIdwest Vintage Racing Series feature was a trip down memory lane to reacquint race fans with stock cars when they were actually stock. Ron Demers and his big blue Ford showed the way in the first few laps of the race. Ken Christenson took his #racinforjason24 Chevelle to the top spot on lap five. Dan Linnehan shot past Christenson to assume command of the race on lap seven. Zooming through the field was former track champion Todd Korish as he took his Trickle car to the head of the class on lap eight. Brian Lee lost control of his vintage car in turn one to bring out the yellow with four laps to go. Linnehan tried time and time again to find a way around Korish on the restart but Korish was in complete command as he scored an Oktoberfest checkered flag victory.
A big thank you goes out to the race fans for coming out to enjoy ‘One Last Green Racing Weekend’ and making some more great racing memories that will live on for years to come. Thank you also to the race teams and drivers who competed during the 52nd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend that put on another exciting four days of racing action. A huge thank you needs to be given to the staff of the LaCrosse Speedway, as well as the volunteers and all the vendors that worked tirelessly over the four days. Their hard work would not have made the 52nd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend even possible. We hope to see all of you back for the 53rd edition of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend on October 6, 7, 8 and 9 of 2022. With that the curtain falls on the 2021 racing season at the LaCrosse Speedway. Thank you from Motorsports Management for supporting short track racing and spending your Saturday nights here at LaCrosse. Stay tuned to the track’s web site and Facebook page for information about the upcoming 2022 racing season.
For more information about LaCrosse Speedway, 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.
ARCA Midwest Tour
Feature (200 laps): 1. Casey Johnson, 2. Ty Majeski, 3. Travis Sauter, 4. Rich Bickle, Jr., 5. Dalton Zehr, 6. Skylar Holzhausen, 7. Derek Kraus, 8. Luke Fenhaus, 9. Braison Bennett, 10. Riley Stenjem, 11. Ryan Farrell, 12. Jonathan Eilen, 13. Gabe Sommers, 14. Carson Kvapil, 15. Austin Nason, 16. Matthew Henderson, 17. Paul Shafer, Jr., 18. Jeff Storm, 19. Dillon Hammond, 20. Johnny Sauter, 21. Derek Lemke, 22. Cody Vanderwal, 23. Levon Van der Geest, 24. Mark Lamoreaux, 25. Bryan Syer-Keske, 26. Dan Fredrickson, 27. Griffin McGrath, 28. Justin Mondeik, 29. Andrew Morrissey, 30. Andrew Brocker
Cratetoberfest 602 Challenge
Feature (25 laps): 1. Bryce Miller, 2. Eugene Gregorich, Jr., 3. Brad Warthan, 4. Jason Stark, 5. Pete Moore, 6. Eric Campbell, 7. Tom Carlson, 8. Randy Sargent, 9. James Storey, 10. Brandon Laing, 11. Dave Edwards, 12. Ben Behne, 13. Ethan Rose, 14. Clayton Storey, 15. Tyler Noble, 16. Joey Pontbriand, 17. Destiny Bullard, 18. Colton Morgan, 19. Peter McVey, 20. Chris McQuality, 21. James Swan, 22. Adam Wiebusch, 23. Michael McKay
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Noble, 2. Chris McQuality, 3. Joey Pontbriand, 4. Peter McVey, 5. Michael McKay, 6. Destiny Bullard, 7. Adam Wiebusch, 8. Madison Larson
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Eric Campbell, 2. Ethan Rose, 3. James Swan, 4. Pete Moore, 5. Clayton Storey, 6. Dave Edwards, 7. Brad Warthan, 8. James Storey
Heat #3 (8 laps): 1. Brandon Laing, 2. Colton Morgan, 3. Eugene Gregorich, Jr., 4. Tom Carlson, 5. Bryce Miller, 6. Jason Stark, 7. Randy Sargent, 8. Ben Behne
Qualitying: 1. Randy Sargent, 2. Bryce Miller, 3. Tom Carlson, 4. Jason Stark, 5. Eugene Gregorich, Jr., 6. Colton Morgan, 7. Brandon Laing, 8. Brad Warthan, 9. Pete Moore, 10. James Swan, 11. James Storey, 12. Eric Campbell, 13. Dave Edwards, 14. Ethan Rose, 15. Clayton Storey, 16. Madison Larson, 17. Ty Majeski, 18. Ben Behne, 19. Joey Pontbriand, 20. Chris McQuality, 21. Adam Wiebusch, 22. Peter McVey, 23. Tyler Noble, 24. Destiny Bullard, 25. Michael McKay
Upper Midwest Vintage Racing Series
Feature (15 laps): 1. Todd Korish, 2. Dan Linnehan, 3. Jestin Jessop, 4. Sean Herzog, 5. Jim Kulseth, 6. Kenny Hutchens, 7. Ken Christenson, 8. Ralph Cottone, 9. Lloyd Wilkinson, 10. Ron Demers, 11. Brian Lee, 12. Ray Burrows, 13. Robert Fitzpatrick, 14. Mick Breckenridge, 15. Jim Olson, 16. Paul Dolphy, 17. Roger Peterson
Heat #1 (8 laps): 1. Roger Peterson, 2. Justin Jessop, 3. Ray Burrows, 4. Robert Fitzpatrick, 5. Mick Breckenbridge, 6. Ron Demers, 7. Lloyd Wilkinson
Heat #2 (8 laps): 1. Brian Lee, 2. Todd Korish, 3. Jim Kulseth, 4. Dan Linnehan, 5. Ralph Cottone, 6. Ken Christenson, 7. Sean Herzog