The season finale for the ARCA Midwest Tour got off to a great start on Saturday night with qualifying and preliminary races for Sunday’s Oktoberfest 200, the main event of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin.
Ty Majeski set the fast time of 18.623 seconds. He edged out Dan Fredrickson by 0.064 seconds. Jacob Goede was third quick with Bubba Pollard in fourth. Casey Johnson rounded out the top five.
Coming into this weekend, the top six in points were separated by 34 points and all six qualified in the top 16 to lock themselves into Sunday’s starting field and gain more points in the dash races.
Austin Nason was able to gain four points on Dalton Zehr as he qualified seventh while Zehr qualified 15th.
Both of the cars made the top 16 to lock themselves into Sunday’s main event and get a chance to get more points in the odd dash race later on Saturday night.
In that odd dash, Zehr started on the front row and won the dash while Nason finished fourth allowing Zehr to get back within three points, setting up a battle for the championhip that could go down to the checkered flag on Sunday. Jonathan Eilen finished second in the odd dash and is now 36 points behind Nason. Casey Johnson finished sixth and is now 24 points behind the leader.
Chris Weinkauf won the even dash with Andrew Morrissey finishing second. Morrissey is now 28 points behind Nason. Paul Shafer Jr. finished fourth and is 31 points back heading into Sunday.
The top two in a pair of 15-lap qualifier races advanced their way into Sunday’s main event. In the first qualifier race it was Nick Murgic and Rookie of the Year leader Billy Mohn earning a starting spot, while Dennis Prunty won the second. Rich Bickle Jr. held off a strong battle from four-time Oktoberfest winner Travis Sauter to earn a spot in Sunday’s 200.
The rest of the field will be determined in a last chance race on Sunday afternoon.
Racing action will get underway at noon on Sunday, the final day of the four-day Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Make your plans to come out and witness the battle for the closest championship race in the history of the series.
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).