By: Paul Reichert
September 3, 2022
After another long season of racing at the LaCrosse Speedway, the big 5/8ths-mile track takes a long late summer vacation before the 53rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend happens in a little over a month. For the next few weeks the spotlight shines brightly on the ‘action track’ quarter mile. This weekend’s featured feven on the quarter mile was the annual Big Cheese 200 Enduro. All sorts of four and six cylinder cars, mini-vans and pickup trucks raced hard for 200 laps to claim a big $1,000 payday. In the end Lester Stanfield won a hard fought battle with Dakota Miller to capture a big checkered flag.
57 different four and six cylinder cars took the green flag on a fantastic 200 lap adventure in the Big Cheese 200 Enduro. With that many cars racing on the ‘action track’ quarter mile there will be a lot of contact and interesting things occurring. On lap eight the hood flew open on the mini-van of Brendan Loustuen. Brenan Folsom took a hard hit into the turn four wall on lap 15, but he somehow was able to continue on his way. Two cars ended up in the tires coming out of turn two on lap 45 but also were able to rejoin the action. Isiah Reinhart tried to shortcut it through the turn three and four infield on lap 48 and took out a couple other drivers. Early race leader Ridge Oien, piloting a former Kyle Stark four cylinder, suddenly pulled into the infield on lap 54. A small fire was developing under Carson Bullerman that forced him to retire a lap later. A lot of stuff was being dragged under Tyler Wilhelmson’s car on lap 59 as he went to the pits to clear that up. Wilhelmson’s night was not over as he collided with Alex Liebsch coming out of the pits on lap 80. A lap later Wilhelmson tangled with Cody Sprain in turn four and that left Reinhart with nowhere to go as he collided with Sprain. Dakota Miller led the way as the field took their halfway break after 105 laps.
32 cars returned to action after the ten minute break to start the second half of the Big Cheese 200 Enduro. Dakota Miller went right back to work as he darted through the traffic to open up his advantage on Lester Stanfield. David Casper, the winner of last year’s Big Cheese 200 Enduro, spun out in turn two on lap 112 while running fourth and lost a lap to Miller. Ethan Kumpf squeezed Jason Witte into the turn two tires on lap 124 but Witte was able to free himself and continue to race. Lester Stanfield used lap traffic to his advantage to catch Miller and pass him for the lead on lap 147, only to see Miller rally back to once again take command of the race with 50 laps remaining. Greg Lofquist’s right front wheel broke loose from his race car to force a brief red flag on lap 161. Miller’s comfortable lead was interrupted when he was spun out by another car with 27 laps to go and handed Stanfield the lead back. Austin Dvorski got turned coming out of turn four on lap 179 and made contact with Drew Standish. Luckily the contact was not hard enough to end their nights. Miller was struggling to keep up with Stanfield as smoke started to come from his rear end with 18 laps left. The smoke was getting progressively worse for Miller with less than ten laps to go as Stanfield put Miller a lap down and claimed a big $1,000 slice of cheddar.