Steve Carlson was able to pull out a feature win on the final night of weekly racing after being involved in a wreck, restarting in the back of the field, then passing only five cars to get the lead. It seems impossible; but the carnage that flooded the start of the Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model feature Saturday night at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway left nothing out of the realm of possibility.
There were two cautions before a single lap was recorded. The first yellow waved when Mike Koeneke spun in Turn 2. Koeneke was able to save his car and moments later the field was lined back up.
The field was set to go green again when chaos erupted on the restart.
As the field rounded Turn 4 six cars went spinning into the wall and grass. One of those cars was the 66 of Carlson. The points leader suffered only minimal damage, but had to restart in the back along with the two other cars that survived the wreckage.
This was quickly becoming Brad Powell’s chance to make up ground on Carlson in the division standings. Powell entered the night second in points, 19 behind Carlson.
On the second restart Powell was in third behind Bill Niles and Mike Carlson. Once the green flag waved again the pack was off and running: For one lap. On Lap 2 the leaders were involved in an incident that sent Niles’ car spinning like a top into the grass along the backstretch. Mike Carlson was sent to the back, putting Powell on the pole for the restart.
Only four cars sat between the 23 of Powell and the 66 and the next green flag stretch went uninterrupted. Powell lost the race lead to Matthew Henderson and then had Steve Carlson in his rearview mirror.
From that point the 66 car surged to the front and had just enough power for a trip to victory lane.
Henderson finished second, Cole Howland third, Powell fourth and Koeneke came back to finish fifth.
By finishing and qualifying ahead of Powell, Steve Carlson enters Oktoberfest’s Championship Night with a 33 point lead.
Steve Carlson and Powell were tied for the 2014 Late Model Dash Championship entering the night. However Carlson was able to grab the title after Powell qualified outside the top 6 (8th), not making it into Saturday’s Dash race.
Brian Hesselberg beat hard-charging Nick Clements and Steve Bachman across the finish line to win the Grand National Sportsmen feature.
Hesselberg took advantage of a caution at the half-way point and grabbed the lead. One lap later Bachman was at his door handle challenging for the top spot.
Bachman was able to get around the leader and held the point for two laps before Hesselberg reclaimed the lead and Bachman fell back to fourth.
The top five cars continued to shuffle themselves until the checkered flag waved with Hesselberg, Clements and Bachman leading Bill Martin and Greg Scheck.
Scheck holds a six-point lead over Bachman in the standings. Clements is third in points, 18 points behind the leader.
Scheck was also crowned the 2014 Sportsmen Dash champion.
The battle for the United Auto Supply Thunderstox Championship is Jason Bolsters to lose. Bolster, who finished second in the feature, holds a four-point lead over feature winner Jordan Myers.
Myers also won the Dash race earlier in the night, but Bolster won the 2014 Thunderstox Dash Championship.
Charles Schwabenhauer and Cole Scholze also took home feature wins Saturday night in the United Auto Supply Street Stocks and Coke Zero Outlawz divisions, respectively.
Get ready for 200 laps of mayhem August 30 in the Enduro Race. There will be no yellow flags during the two segments that total 200 laps of racing. A “Jam Truck” will be used to push any slow or stopped cars out of the way. Watch all the action from the grandstands or visit www.lacrossespeedway.com/drivers for information on how you can run in the big race. On September 6, Subway Restaurants presents the 23rd Annual Eve of Destruction. Check out all the great action, thrills, spills, stunts and excitement featuring Mechanical Mischief Monster Truck, Green Mamba Jet Car, and Steel Wall. Plus, a Zimmerman Driving School Figure-8 Race, Roll-Over Contest and of course the Trailer Race of Destruction. For more information please call the Speedway office at (608) 786-1525 or visit www.lacrossespeedway.com.
LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway is a proud NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – www.hometracks.nascar.com.
LA CROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY
Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models
State Bank Financial 25 Feature (18 Cars) — 1, Steve Carlson, West Salem; 2, Matthew Henderson, La Crosse; 3, Cole Howland, La Crosse; 4, Brad Powell, La Crosse; 5, Mike Koeneke, Rockland; 6, Adam Degenhardt, Coon Valley; 7, Jack Litsheim, La Crosse; 8, Mike Carlson, West Salem; 9, Branden Berg, Melrose; 10, Jerimy Wagner, Onalaska; 11, Curt Eckelberg, West Salem; 12, Jonathan Eckelberg, West Salem; 13, Jimmy Summerfield, Rockland; 14, Jeff Pataska, La Crosse; 15, Bill Niles, Holmen; 16, Harley Jankowski, Sparta; 17, Steve Owen, Camp Douglas; 18, Skylar Holzhausen, Bangor.
Qualifying — 1, Skylar Holzhausen, 19.936 seconds, 98.490 MPH; 2, Steve Carlson, 19.962 secs, 98.362 MPH; 3, Adam Degenhardt, 20.091 secs, 97.730 MPH; 4, Harley Jankowski, 20.115 secs, 97.614 MPH; 5, Cole Howland, 20.171 secs, 97.343 MPH; 6, Jerimy Wagner; 7, Matthew Henderson; 8, Brad Powell; 9, Mike Koeneke; 10, Mike Carlson; 11, Bill Niles; 12, Branden Berg; 13, Jack Litsheim; 14, Curt Eckelberg; 15, Steve Owen; 16, Jonathan Eckelberg; 17, Jimmy Summerfield; 18, Jeff Pataska.
Heat 1 — 1, Bill Niles; 2, Matthew Henderson; 3, Mike Koeneke; 4, Brad Powell; 5, Mike Carlson.
Heat 2 — 1, Jack Litsheim; 2, Steve Owen; 3, Jonathan Eckelberg; 4, Curt Eckelberg; 5, Jimmy Summerfield.
Fast Dash — 1, Harley Jankowski; 2, Steve Carlson; 3, Skylar Holzhausen; 4, Adam Degenhardt; 5, Jerimy Wagner.
Grand National Sportsmen
State Bank Financial 15 Feature (15 Cars) — 1, Brian Hesselberg, Bangor; 2, Nick Clements, West Salem; 3, Steve Bachman, West Salem; 4, Bill Martin, Madison; 5, Greg Scheck, La Crosse; 6, Tom Luethe, West Salem; 7, Brad Warthan, Sparta; 8, Jamie Dummer, Tomah; 9, Jimmy Gilster; 10, Justin Berg, Bangor; 11, Justin Mullikin, Holmen; 12, Jason Dummer, Holmen; 13, Mandi Eckelberg, West Salem; 14, Andy Buhrows, Sparta; 15, Jeff Thompson, La Crosse.
Qualifying — 1, Steve Bachman, 22.372 seconds, 87.766 MPH; 2, Nick Clements, 22.413 secs, 87.605 MPH; 3, Justin Mullikin, 22.512 secs, 87.220 MPH; 4, Greg Scheck, 22.536 secs, 87.127 MPH; 5, Brian Hesselberg, 22.541 secs, 87.108 MPH; 6, Bill Martin; 7, Jamie Dummer; 8, Tom Luethe; 9, Justin Berg; 10, Jason Dummer; 11, Brad Warthan; 12, Jimmy Gilster; 13, Jeff Thompson; 14, Mandi Eckelberg; 15, Andy Buhrows.
Heat 1 — 1, Jimmy Gilster; 2, Jason Dummer; 3, Tom Luethe; 4, Mandi Eckelberg; 5, Jamie Dummer.
Dash — 1, Bill Martin; 2, Greg Scheck; 3, Nick Clements; 4, Steve Bachman; 5, Brian Hesselberg.
United Auto Supply Thunderstox
State Bank Financial 15 Feature (12 cars) — 1, Jordan Myers, Sparta; 2, Jason Bolster, Sparta; 3, Andy Moore, Sparta; 4, Jason Schaller, La Crosse; 5, Ron White, Camp Douglas; 6, Joey Johnson, North Bend; 7, Melissa Rusch, La Crosse; 8, Kayla Lockington, Mindoro; 9, Kayla Steinhoff, Rockland; 10, Jacinda Pfaff, Sparta; 11, Steven Rusch, Sparta; 12, Dakota Miller, Sparta.
Dash — 1, Jordan Myers; 2, Thomas Farra; 3, Kayla Steinhoff; 4, Jason Bolster; 5, Bill Schott.
Heat 1 — 1, Thomas Farra; 2, Jordan Myers; 3, Kayla Steinhoff; 4, Jason Schaller; 5, Ron White.
Heat 2 — 1, Jason Bolster; 2, Bill Schott; 3, Andy Moore; 4, Dakota Miller; 5, Jacinda Pfaff.
United Auto Supply Street Stock
State Bank Financial 15 Feature (12 cars) — 1, Charles Schwabenhauer, Galesville; 2, Bob Fort; 3, Kyle Rozek, Tomah; 4, Mike Peters, Whitehall; 5, All Dobbs, Galesville; 6, Jonathan Burbach, Winona; 7, Scott Mahlum, La Crosse; 8, John Eron, St. Germain; 9, John Nerud; 10, Steven Brasda, Osseo; 11, Eric Thoeny, Winona, Minn.; 12, Taylor Dobbs, Galesville.
Qualifying — 1, Kyle Rozek; 2, John Eron; 3, Charles Schwabenhauer; 4, Steven Brasda; 5, Mike Peters; 6, Jonathan Burbach; 7, Taylor Dobbs; 8, John Nerud; 9, Eric Thoeny; 10, Al Dobbs.
Heat 1 — 1, Mike Peters; 2, Charles Schwabenhauer; 3, John Eron; 4, Steven Brasda; 5, Jonathan Burbach.
Coke Zero Outlawz
State Bank Financial 15 Feature (2 cars) — 1, Cole Scholze, Sparta; 2, Wayne Smith, West Salem.
Qualifying — 1, Cole Scholze; 2, Wayne Smith.
Heat 1 — 1, Wayne Smith; 2, Cole Scholze.
– La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway Press Release
Photo Credit: Mary Schill