The championship weekend for the ARCA Midwest Tour is only days away at the 49th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. The stars and cars will be on track on Saturday, October 6 with qualifying and preliminary races leading up to the Oktoberfest 200 on Sunday, October 7.
The point battle will be the main focus going into this weekend as the top six are only separated by 34 points.
Current point leader Austin Nason will be coming into Oktoberfest with a slim two-point lead over Dalton Zehr. Casey Johnson is just 25 points back while 2011 ARCAMT Champion Andrew Morrissey is 26 points behind the leader. Paul Shafer Jr. is just 30 points back and 2012 ARCAMT Champion Jonathan Eilen is only 34 points away from capturing his second title.
Those six drivers will have to battle with 33 other drivers who have already pre-entered this weekend.
Defending winner and 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season champion Johnny Sauter will be back to defend his victory. His nephew and four-time winner Travis Sauter will be looking for his fifth win along with another four-time winner and two-time series champion Dan Fredrickson.
2016 winner Ty Majeski will be taking a weekend off from his NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule to come home and look for his second victory. Rich Bickle Jr. hopes to end a 32-year drought and win his second Oktoberfest title, a victory he got in 1986.
Three other drivers are mathematically still eligible for a shot at the championship and will be at Fest this weekend.
John DeAngelis Jr. is currently seventh in points and is 98 points back while leading Rookie of the Year contender Billy Mohn is only 107 points back, and current Kulwicki Driving Development Program leader Justin Mondeik is 113 points behind Nason.
One of the top names and a driver who is winning big events all over North America will try to add the Oktoberfest 200 to his list of big victories this season as recent Oxford 250 winner Bubba Pollard will make the trek from Georgia. Pollard made a strong debut at Fest last year and vowed to return for some unfinished business in 2018.
Pollard won’t be the only driver making a long trek to Fest as Brad Tilton will head in from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Johnny and Travis won’t be the only Sauters trying to make Sunday’s field. Michael Sauter and Jim Sauter Jr. hope to add their name to this list of winners.
Nick Panitzke, who recently finished fifth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings and is currently in a tight point battle for the La Crosse Late Model title, will strap into a Super Late Model this weekend.
Derek Kraus, three-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West so far this season will represent the young guns along with Luke Fenhaus, who is currently second in the Midwest Truck Series standings. Central Wisconsin young hot shoe Gabe Sommers hopes for a solid run on the 5/8-mile oval.
Former ARCAMT Rookie of the Year winners Nick Murgic. Jacob Goede and Michael Ostdeik have entered along with current ROY contenders John Beale and Jeff Holmgren Jr.
Erik Darnell, Chris Weinkauf and Skyler Holzhausen are former winners of the Dick Trickle 99 presented by JE Pistons and will try to put their name on another Fest list.
Other Super Late Model stars that have entered include: former ARCAMT winner Jason Weinkauf, Dillon Hammond, Matt Kocourek, former Dixieland 250 winner Dennis Prunty, Paul Paine, Dean LaPointe, Tommy Pecaro, and former ARCAMT winner Brent Kirchner.
Six states will be represented in the ARCA Midwest Tour portion of the 49th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend, which starts this Thursday, October 4th with a total of 18 divisions competing over the four days of racing.
For more information, visit oktoberfestraceweekend.com.
Who will be the 2018 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion? Find out this Sunday afternoon!
Visit midwesttour.racing for a full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@MidwestTour).
Oktoberfest 200 Expected Entries
LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI
Car # Name Hometown State
1 Michael Sauter – West Salem WI
4 Luke Fenhaus – Wausau WI
4 Brad Tilton – Cheyenne WY
5 Casey Johnson – Edgerton WI
5 Jeff Holmgren, Jr – East Troy WI
5 John Beale – Verona WI
5 Johnny Sauter – Necedah WI
5 Travis Sauter – Prairie Du Sac WI
7 Erik Darnell – Park City IL
7 John DeAngelis, Jr – Hubertus WI
7 Paul Shafer, Jr – Portage IN
8 Billy Mohn – New Market MN
8 Brent Kirchner – LaCrosse WI
9 Derek Kraus – Stratford WI
9 Tommy Pecaro – Kingston WI
12 Nick Murgic – Rosemount MN
14 Austin Nason – Roscoe IL
15 Dean LaPointe – Marshfield WI
15 Gabe Sommers – Plover WI
18 Michael Ostdiek – Lakeville MN
22 Nick Panitzke – Lakeville MN
26 Bubba Pollard – Senoia GA
27 Paul Paine – Mound MN
36 Dan Fredrickson – Lakeville MN
36 Tim Springstroh – DePere WI
39 Andrew Morrissey – DeForest WI
42 Dennis Prunty – Knowles WI
43 Matt Kocourek – Franklin WI
44 Justin Mondeik – Gleason WI
45 Jim Sauter, Jr – Tomah WI
45 Rich Bickle, Jr – Edgerton WI
72 Jacob Goede – Carver MN
75 Chris Weinkauf – Merrill WI
75 Dillon Hammond – Grand Marsh WI
76 Jason Weinkauf – Merrill WI
77 Jonathan Eilen – Hampton MN
78 Skylar Holzhausen – Bangor WI
91 Ty Majeski – Seymour WI
119 Dalton Zehr – Daytona Beach FL
-Midwest Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com