One of the best crowds was on hand for opening night of the 46th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. That crowd witnessed eight divisions of racing on Thursday night.
Brad Keith, Ty Majeski, Steve Bachman, Mark Luethe, Charles Vian Jr., Mark Bornitz, and Jason Stark entered their names into the famous Oktoberfest record books.
Brad Keith would go wire-to-wire to capture the The Futures 25-lap feature for the Super Late Models. Keith had a great side-by-side battle with Austin Nason in the final 10 laps, but Keith would get away for the victory.
With 46 cars qualifying, there were two 20-lap qualifier races with the top three advancing to the feature. Chad Whalen, Corey Jankowski, and Mike Lichtfeld advanced from the first while Ryan Farrell, Natalie Decker and Adam Degenhardt advanced from the second qualifier.
Ty Majeski didn’t waste time in the Kwik Trip La Crosse Late Models as he worked his way to the front and drove his way up to second until the first caution flew for Cam Dezelske’s spin in turn four. On the restart, Majeski would take the lead from from Cole Howland. Caution flew again for a light sprinkle on lap 18. After a brief delay, Majeski would restart alongside Steve Carlson. The would touch going into turn one as Carlson was hoping to get in front of Majeski into turn one. Majeski held his inside line and would pull away to the victory in the 40-lap feature.
Carlson would claim another Late Model championship at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Steve Bachman was the big winner in the Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen 20-lap feature. Bachman inherited the lead after Tony Leis, who was leading, got tangled with the lap car of Dave Meyerhofer going into turn one. Leis made contact with the wall and he was done for the night. Bachman would get the lead and go on to take the drive to victory lane.
Nick Clements won the 2015 Sportsmen track championship.
Mark Luethe jumped to the lead and wasn’t challenged as he won the ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornet 15-lap feature. Luethe started on the outside of the front row and jumped away from the field. The caution flew with two laps to go when Kris Berg lost a tire in turn three. Luethe wasn’t challenged on the restart to get the win.
Brandon LeMoine, Luethe, and Travis Lee were the Hornet heat winners. Patrick Thicke won the B-Feature.
Nate Towner is the 2015 Hornet champion.
The Auto Value Thunderstox finished off their 2015 season with a stellar photo finish between Charles Vian Jr. and Bill Schott. The caution flew on the last lap when Kayla Lockington spun on the frontstretch. It was a one-lap dash to the checkered flag where Vian and Schott battled side-by-side all the way to the line with Vian taking it by inches.
Jacinda Pfaff and Andy Moore won the Thunderstox heats.
Andy Moore finished fourth to capture the season championship.
Mark Bornitz took home the Bandit feature win. Ridge Oieh took the early lead until the caution flew on lap five. On the restart, Bornitz got on the inside of Oieh coming out of turn four and took over the top spot going into turn one. He would go on to take the victory.
Oieh and Michael Wachs Jr. took the checkered flags in the Bandit heats.
The Mountain Dew Outlawz had a wild 20-lap feature with Jason Stark taking the win. Ron Lockington came into the season finale with the point lead, but he was involved in an incident with Brian Back on lap three where the two got together in turn three. Lockington was done for the night. Stark was uncontested in the lead while Jason Bolster tried to steal the championship. As Stark went to take the checkered flag, Bolster came up short as Lockington took the title.
Stark would return to compete in the famous Double-O race and would go on to his second victory of the night.
Day two of the 46th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend gets underway on Friday with the Super Late Models Dick Trickle 99, Great Northern Sportsmen Series, and Fest Trucks in action. The Pet Costume parade starts at 2pm with qualifying at 2:25pm. Racing will get underway at 5pm.
For more information, please visit www.oktoberfestraceweekend.com.
-La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: