As I have mentioned before in previous posts, La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway is hallowed ground for me, LFS is a track I went to as a kid with my Dad and was the first track I competed at as a racer. To come home to La Crosse to capture the 43rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend was special for Maria and I and we had a lot of fun. The Oktoberfest event is Wisconsin’s oldest and most prestigious race event in the state and arguably the biggest race event in the Midwest. It’s more of a home coming to racers where friends and family reunite with racers from all over the region, the camp grounds are flooded with campers and ‘fest goers and they hunker down for a week of racing and party type atmosphere. Maria and I got there on Wednesday night and stayed at my Brothers house for the first night before, Paul and I would then camp out for the next several days in a borrowed camper which was perfect for what we needed.
On Thursday morning we would pick up our media passes provided by friend Dan Deicher and Midwest Family Broadcasting for the race weekend. We’d hunker down and set up shop in Brent Kirchner’s hauler that was set up with power and most importantly HEAT.
The opening night kicked off with it’s share of action and drama in both the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models and Super Late Models “Futures” events; sadly I was positioned in turn 3 and the wrecks happened across the track in turn one so I didn’t get ANY of that action…. Talk about fail on my part but I guess you can’t be everywhere at once. The “big one” for the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models happened on lap 1 involving 11 cars, which would have Championship implications between the top two drivers. Shawn Pfaff would be involved in the wreck that would puncture his radiator ending his night handing over the Championship to Todd Korish who made it through unscathed. The SLM Futures race got off to a crazy start as well when on lap two, Derek Gress made significant contact with the inside frontstretch wall. He then shot back up the track collecting Nick Barstad. Then all hell breaks loose when 12 cars altogether with no place to go are involved. All drivers in both accidents were ok.
With both accidents taking out almost half the field sure made for lame images for those events, all the stars and class favorites were taken out. Not a good way to start the weekend.
Matt Inglett wins the North Country Contractors 20-lap Sportsmen feature with Steve Bachman on the inside coming out of turn four on the last lap winning by half a car length for the win. Greg Scheck and his Oktoberfest race sponsor www.mancavesite.org sponsorship was third with Jake Arneson in fourth. Randy Humfeld would win the 2012 track championship by merely starting the night after a solid season.
Only five points separated Dakota Miller and Tom Luethe for the season championship and it would be settled in dramatic fashion in the United Auto Supply Thunderstox feature. The two got together coming off of turn two with two laps to go causing Miller to spin going down the backstretch. Miller wasn’t able to continue, Luethe was sent to the rear but would win the championship by three points as Dakota Miller would watch from the infield with a left rear cut tire.
You can find complete race results from night one here.
For more of the images I have taken from day 1, go to our Facebook business page and view the album.
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