By:  Paul Reichert
January 27, 2024
Normally we are dealing with lots of snow on the ground and freezing cold temperatures letting us we are the tight grips of another Wisconsin winter.  This year was an unseasonably warm January winter night at the Maple Grove Venus as drivers and teams gathered to celebrate the 2023 racing season at the LaCrosse Speedway’s Champions’ Banquet.  After the pre-award ceremony invocation was performed by our very own Pastor Andy Burhow, everyone in attendance enjoyed another sumptuous buffet dinner provided by C&C Catering.  Then it was time to settle back and listen to many acceptance speeches from the drivers receiving trophies and plaques for their hard work in 2023.
Families were the theme of the evening, with the Barney family very prominent in the awards ceremony.  Andy was honored as the 2023 Line-X NASCAR Sportsmen champion, as well as the Sportsmen Chase Champion for a second straight year.  Andy also picked up the Hard Charger, Most Improved Driver, Most Popular Driver and the driver-voted Best Appearing Car awards. Paityn’s rookie year in the High School Racing Association did not go unrecognized.   She finished seventh in HSRA point s  and received both the fan-voted and driver-voted Best Appearing Car award.  She also earned a scholarship thanks to the #RacinforJason 24 team.  Keanna received the Good Luck Award for seeing her season end early with an on-track incident, but Keanna she plans to return to competition in 2025.  The Barney Racing Family was honored with Paul Reichert’s Competition Achievement Award for continuing to race weekly despite Keanna’s racing incident and medical situation.
Another family that was a big winner at the Champions’ Banquet were the Liebsch Brothers.  Zach Liebsch was crowned the Auto Value Street Stock champion, ran second in the Mountain Dew Mini-Vans and took third in the Novelty division.  Zach also received the fan-voted Best Appearing Car award.  Brother Alex was named the Novelty division champion, recognized for finishing ninth in Street Stock points, and was named the Most Popular Driver in the Mini-Vans.  The Stanfields also picked up a plethora of awards as well.  Rob was crowned the Auto Value Street Stock and Mountain Dew Mini-Vans champion, plus was second in the Novelty division points.  Stanfield was also named the recipient of the Hard Charger and the driver-voted Best Appearing Car awards.  Bella Boudoin was third in the HSRA points, and also picked up a #RacinforJason scholarship.. 
The Lockington name was being hard more and more throughout the 2023 season.  Shelby had a big year at another track, and that translated to a big year for other members of the Lockington family.  Landon was second in Hobby Stock points, and third in Six Shooter points.  Landon was a double winner of the driver-voted Best Appearing Car as he picked up the Hobby Stock and Six Shooter awards, and he was both the Most Improved Driver and the Most Popular Driver in the Hobby Stocks.  Tory was recognized for finishing ninth in the Six Shooter points, and received the fan-voted Best Appearing Car Award.for the Six Shooters.  It was a banner year for Braydon as he was crowned the HSRA champion and earned a scholarship for the #RacinforJason team.
Another family returning to competition at La Crosse is the Rinartz family.  We are proud to see Marshall, Mitchell and Carlie, the next generation of Rinartz’, competing on the ‘action track’ quarter mile in Street Stocks, Six Shooters and Mini-Vans.  The entire Rinartz family was honored with the Racing Family of the Year Award, presented by our track chaplain Pastor Andy Buhrow.  The highlight  of the evening was the presentation of the 37th Sportsmen of the Year Award.  This award is given to someone who has made a major contribution to racing not only at LaCrosse but racing everywhere.  This year’s recipient is the legendary Don ‘Thunder’ Turner.   Turner has been racing all over Wisconsin since the late 1960s, and he will forever be known as the only driver to have participated in every Oktoberfest Race Weekend since its inception in 1970. 
A complete gallery of award winners will be available in the coming weeks on track photographer Mary Schill’s web site,
Now that the 2023 racing season has come to its conclusion, teams can begin their preparations in earnest for what may be one of the most competitive and exciting seasons in recent memory.  Race cars will go through their pre-season shakedowns during the annual Open Practice and Media Day on Saturday, May 11th, then the teams will find out how good their race cars are during the first racing program of the year on Saturday afternoon, May 18th.  The Late Models, Sportsmen, Hornets, Six Shooters, Mini-Vans and the Novelty divisions will see their first on track action of 2024.  Gates open at 12:30, qualifying revs up shortly after that and the green flag will fly high once again at 2.
For more information about the LaCrosse Speedway and the upcoming 2024 schedule of events, please call the track office at 608-786-1525 or you can visit our web site at  Be sure to go to LaCrosse’s Facebook page and  ‘Like’ it to get the latest updates on the upcoming season.  LaCrosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.
La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway 2023 Champions’ Banquet Winners
Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model Champion—Skylar Holzhausen
Line-X NASCAR Sportsmen Champion—Andy Barney
Skyline Fireworks NASCAR Hornets Champion—Ben Thurk
Auto Value Hobby Stocks Champion—Jason Bolster
Auto Value Street Stocks Champion—Zach Liebsch
Auto Value Six Shooters Champion—Rob Stanfield
Mountain Dew Mini-Vans Champion—Rob Stanfield
High School Racing Association Champion—Braydon Lockington
     Wisconsin State and Series Champion—Mitchell Berg
     Rookie of the Year—Caleb Arneson
Novelty Champion—Alex Liebsch
Rookies of the Year—Ridge Oien (Late Models), Taylor Goldman (Sportsmen)
Budweiser Dash Champions—Skylar Holzhausen (Late Models), Bob Fort (Sportsmen), Ben Thurk (Hornets)
Chase Champions—Nick Clements (Late Models), Andy Barney (Sportsmen), Ben Thurk (Hornets)
Best Appearing Car (Fan Vote)—Skylar Holzhausen (Late Models), Taylor Goldman (Sportsmen), Brandon Olson (Hornets), Jason Bolster (Hobby Stocks), Zach Liebsch (Street Stocks), Tory Lockington (Six Shooters), Al Bartels (Mini-Vans), Paityn Barney (High School Racing Association)
Best Appearing Car (Driver Vote)— Skylar Holzhausen (Late Models), Andy Barney (Sportsmen), Brandon Olson (Hornets), Landon Lockington (Hobby Stocks), Zach Liebsch (Street Stocks), Landon Lockington (Six Shooters), Rob Stanfield (Mini-Vans), Paityn Barney (High School Racing Association)
Hard Charger Award—Skylar Holzhausen (Late Models), Andy Barney (Sportsmen), Ben Thurk (Hornets), Jason Bolster (Hobby Stocks), Keith Larson (Street Stocks), Kyle Cottone (Six Shooters), Rob Stanfield (Mini-Vans)
Outstanding Performance Award—Brent Kirchner (Late Models), Travis Gordon (Sportsmen), Ben Thurk (Hornets)
Showmanship Award—Jerimy Wagner, Ryatt Dobbratz and Abigail Knaack
Competition Achievement Awards—Mark Challet (presented by Sharon Johnson), Tom Carlson (presented by Barry Folgate), Al Bartels (presented by Ray Loughan), Barney Family Racing (presented by Paul Reichert), Michael Young (presented by Jim Compton), Ridge Oien (presented by Andy Jandt), Jackson Martindale (presented by Jonathan Eckelberg)
#RacinforJason Scholarship Recipients—Braydon Lockington, Trinity Aasen, Bella Boudoin and Paityn Barney
Most Improved Driver—Adam Bendzick (Late Models), Andy Barney (Sportsmen), Jacob Iverson (Hornets), Landon Lockington (Hobby Stocks), Steven Brasda (Street Stocks), Matthew Miller (Six Shooters), Matthew Parent (Mini-Vans)
Community Award—Tom Luethe
Mechanic of the Year—Randy Humfeld
Social Media Award—Steve Bachman
Special Recognition—Vicky Folgate and Robert ‘Boo’ Bradley
Good Luck Award—Adam Oxborough (Late Models), Taylor Goldman (Sportsmen), Keanna Barney (Hornets)
Racing Family of the Year (presented by Pastor Andy Buhrow)—Rinartz Family
Most Popular Driver—Nick Clements (Late Models), Andy Barney (Sportsmen), Carter Horstman (Hornets), Landon Lockington (Hobby Stocks), Rob Stanfield (Street Stocks), Matthew Miller (Six Shooters), Alex Liebsch (Mini-Vans)
Sharing Award—Nick Clements, Justin Berg and Thomas Farra
Sportsman of the Year—Don ‘Thunder’ Turner
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