By: Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography
(La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway – West Salem, Wisconsin: October 7, 2012)
The last day I decided to shoot from the fan side to get a different look, I shot from high above in a turn one camera platform as well as the tope of the tower for most of the day before moving into the turn 4 entrance exit as shadows started forming from the trees surrounding the speedway. I would get my favorite shot from this location that happened to be event winner Travis Sauter.
Travis Sauter headlined the ASA Midwest Tour’s Oktoberfest 100 on the final day of the 43rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, WI. In the early laps a turn 3 melee would take out fast qualifier Jeff Storm and several others. Sauter would weave his way through the remaining traffic and get by Chris Wimmer to take home the win for the 2nd year in a row. He held off Skylar Holzhausen and Dan Fredrickson. Jonathan Eilen finished fifth and became the 2012 ASA Midwest Tour Champion, Matt Tifft winning the Rookie of the Year. It is the third time in the last four years in a row that a member of the Sauter family won the weekend’s main event.
The Sauter family is racing royalty in the Midwest, Jim Sr. raced against legends right here in La Crosse against Dick Trickle, Larry Detjens, Tom Reffner, Joe Shear etc. Jim Sr. is the family legend but his sons Johnny, Tim and Jim Jr and grandson Travis have carried on the name well.
Zach Riddle won the KMcK 63 which is modeled after the Dick Trickle 99 race format that John McKarns loved and introduced to ‘Fest during 2007, the JMcK 63 will be contested in three 21 lap segments with the first segment being lined up by draw, the second by inversion and third based on the roll of the dice. JMcK was an abbreviated version of John McKarns’ signature over the years. Lots of on track action would result in a couple fender benders but overall the format provided a great event.
The Late Model Challenge made its debut at Oktoberfest where they compete in a two-segment race with 10 laps on the big track and 12 laps on the quarter-mile track. Rob Myers led wire-to-wire in segment one to win the big track portion of the race. Dan Jung was second with Matt Berger in third.
The Late Models then took on the quarter-mile where Andy Niles had the early lead until Mike Beyer got around him coming off of turn two on lap five. Berger then got around into the second spot. Beyer would take the win with Berger in second.
Berger’s two-second place finishes made him the overall winner of the Late Model Challenge.
The Vintage Cars hit the track and had a interesting finish of it’s own to finish to their 15-lap feature event. John Gilbertson in the #15 AMC Javelin had the lead as the white flag in the air with Jerry Schneider in second. Gilbertson went into turn one a tick to fast and lost control of his car and spun, Schneider would go by and take the win.
Phil Malouf and Adam Hayden raced each other hard for the lead over the last five laps of the Bandit feature. Hayden was leading with five laps to go when Malouf went to inside of Hayden and the two battled side-by-side until Malouf took over the top spot with three laps to go. Hayden drove it in hard into turn one on the last lap but would come up short allowing Malouf to win the event.
The 50-lap Enduro closed out the 43rd Annual Oktoberfest. Kyle Stark and Justin Schelitzche blew the field away in an event of their own and lapped the field. Schelitzche got as close within a car length within Stark but that was as close as he would get and Stark would take the win.
This wraps up my 4 days of shooting the 43rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. HUGE thanks to my Brother Paula and his wife Michelle for their hospitality, Dan Deicher who made it possible with media passes through Midwest Family Broadcasting, track promoter Chuck Deery and David Noelke for the unrestricted access. Special thanks goes out to Mike and Heather Yost for sponsoring a couple drivers and making the trip up to watch the www.mancavesite.org mascot chug race around in new territory, I am glad you guys had fun and hope to see you do it again soon.
For more of the images I have taken from day 4, go to our Facebook business page and view the album.
Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography – Sierra Vista, Arizona