Even after starting third, it only took Ty Majeski 14 laps to get around an incredibly fast J. Herbst to take the lead and he did not look back on his way to win the Big 8 Series finale at La Crosse Speedway (WI) on Saturday night of Oktoberfest.
Shane Morrissey started on the pole, but was quickly overtaken by a strong Herbst for the lead. Herbst would take off like a rocket, but Majeski clearly had the faster car as he tracked the leader down. As they approached halfway, Majeski had nearly a three-second lead over second place, and a nine-second lead over Morrissey.
“Ty was the class of the field,” Herbst said afterwards. “We just got too tight in the middle, over engineered the car and made it too tight.”
The first caution of the race came out on lap 41 of 68 when Ty Reedy was battling on the inside of Morrissey for third place when Reedy lost control and spun going into turn one. Rich Schumann Jr. also made contact with Reedy which prematurely ended his night. Both Reedy and Morrissey would continue on, but both of their night’s would only get worse as the race went on.
Majeski once again shot ahead on the restart with 27 to go, and his lead would continue to grow until Reedy spun once again with 15 laps left in the race, this time coming out of turn four. This caution would quickly be wrapped up, but on the ensuing restart Griffin McGrath, who started sevent, became loose and the car went sideways causing the field to check up. Morrissey spun down the front straightaway and was violently t-boned by Lawrence Berthiaume to bring out the third yellow flag of the night. McGrath would then take the car to the garage.
After the final restart, Majeski took to the clean air once again and finished with a 4.6 second gap over Herbst for second place.
“The car was absolutely phenomenal. I was riding behind Herbst, seeing what he had,” said race winner Majeski. “I could have passed him at pretty much any time. I knew he would be our competition so I studied him, but his car did not look as good as mine.”
Michael Bilderback used the cone on the restart to gain several spots, but had the speed to back it up, and powered his way to a third-place finish with 14 laps to go. He would earn a podium finish and his second Big 8 Series championship.
“We had one heck of a season, something I will never forget,” Bilderback said after being crowned once again. “Being able to win four out of eight Big 8 races is incredible. Everywhere this crew goes they work their butts off to give me a really good race car.”
Michael Ostdiek finished fourth after having an up and down race. He unofficially finishes runner up in the 2016 standings. Joe Neisius rounded out the top five after spending much of the race in third place.
-By Caleb Slouha, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman