By: Paul Reichert
October 3, 2019
The biggest racing event and reunion in the state of Wisconsin kicked off Thursday night at the LaCrosse Speedway. It was a perfect fall weather night to begin the Oktoberfest Race Weekend, which was marking its 50th running. The opening night was highlighted by Derek Kraus taking the lead late in the Super Late Model ‘Futures’ race and claiming the win. Ty Majeski won the battle in the 40-lap La Crosse Late Model feature, while Nick Pantizke won the war and the 2019 track championship.
Luke Fenhaus (Wausau, WI) lead early in the going in the Super Late Model ‘Futures’ race. He would be hounded for several laps by John DeAngelis, Jr. (Hubertus, WI), but Fenhaus stood his ground and held onto the lead. DeAngelis, Jr. worked his way under Fenhaus to take over the lead on lap 11. The lead would be a back-and-forth battle over several laps between the two, even with a spin by Michael Sauter (West Salem, WI) in turn four on lap 14. With four laps to go, Fenahus and DeAngelis, Jr. made contact down the front straight. Fenhaus went for a spin, and Derek Kraus (Stratford, WI) would now assume the race lead. Kraus would have to battle with Nick Murgic (Rosemount, MN) in the closing laps, but the NASCAR K&N Pro West point leader held on to drive away with the victory.
Don Turner (La Crosse, WI), marking his running all 50 Oktoberfests, lead the first ten laps of the 40-lap La Crosse Late Model feature. Adam Degenhardt (Coon Valley, WI) would motor past Turner to take over the lead on lap 11. Cole Howland (La Crosse, WI) found a gear and got around Degenhardt on lap 18 to be the new race leader. Coming from deep in the field, Nick Panitzke (Lonsdale, MN) powered his way around Howland just past halfway to assume the top spot. Brent Kirchner (La Crosse, WI) spun coming off of turn two to bring out the yellow with 15 laps to go. The restart did not last long when Kirchner, Randy Humfeld (Chaseburg, WI) and Ty Reedy (La Crosse, WI) made contact and ended up against the turn three wall. On the restart, Ty Majeski (Seymour, WI) made his way through the field. Majeski caught and passed Panitzke with five to go and drove off with the 97th feature win of his career. Panitzke’s runner-up finish and Steve Carlson’s fifth would give Panitzke the track championship by four points. After the race, Panitzke told the fans “You should thank Steve for a great season and a great championship battle.” Carlson did claim a championship, the 2019 Chase Championship.
In the La Crosse Sportsmen feature, Chris Weber (Sparta, WI) drove around Taylor Dawson (Friendship, WI) five laps into the 20-lap feature. Weber would have to endure a rash of yellow flags midway through the race, but they would not stop him from claiming his seventh win of the season. Weber also wrapped up the track championship and the Chase Championship.
Multi-time Hobby Stock champion Adam Moore took the lead halfway throught the Hobby Stock feature. Moore fought off Kaleb Hardy to capture the checkered flag first. Hardy felt short of his quest for a championship as Jason Bolster won with a fourth place effort.
In the Hornet feature, Troy Tuma took the lead early in the race and dealt with a barrage of caution periods. Tuma maintained his lead and held off Patrick Thicke to wind up in victory lane. Mark Bornitz would finish fifth, and that was good enough to lock up the track championship.
Dan Frye added an Oktoberfest Street Stock feature to his track championship at Tomah. Frye got around Al Bartels with five laps to go to score the win. Jake Schomers came home in fourth to wrap up the track championship.
Cory Kemkes used a lap car to ‘pick and roll’ his way past Glenn Bush, Jr. midway through the Outlawz feature to win for the second straight year.
The grand finale of the night was the Double-O Race. Corey Jankowski’s late model and Dave Edwards’ modified battled over the top spot for much of the second half of the race. Edwards looped in turn two with three laps to go, allowing Jankowski to drive off with the win.
The Oktoberfest Race Weekend action continues Friday, October 4 with the 13th annual Dick Trickle 99 for the Super Late Models, the Area Sportsmen and the Midwest Truck Series. Gates open at 3, qualifying kicks off at 3:05 and racing starts at 5:30. For more information about the LaCrosse Speedway, the 2019 schedule of events or the Oktoberfest Race Weekend, please call the office at 608-786-1525 or visit either lacrossespeedway.com or oktoberfestraceweekend.com. LaCrosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Super Late Model ‘Futures’
Feature: 1. Derek Kraus, 2. Nick Murgic, 3. Bryan Syer-Keske, 4. Michael Ostdiek, 5. Levon Van der Geest
Hooligan Race: 1. Brock Heinrich, 2. Corey Jankowski, 3. Wyatt Brooks, 4. Nick Egan, 5. Jimmy Dragich, 6. Harley Jankowski
Qualifying: 1. Skylar Holzhausen, 2. Carson Kvapil, 3. Murgic
Tobacco Outlet Plus Grocery NASCAR (La Crosse) Late Models
Feature: 1. Ty Majeski, 2. Nick Panitzke (Track Champion), 3. Jacob Goede, 4. Nick Murgic, 5. Steve Carlson (Chase Champion)
B-Feature: 1. Steve Bachman, 2. Brent Kirchner, 3. Mike Ehde, 4. Ty Reedy
Qualifying: 1. Majeski, 2. Mike Carlson, 3. Panitzke
Mountain Dew AMP Game Fuel (La Crosse) Sportsmen
Feature: 1. Chris Weber (Track Champion & Chase Champion), 2. Jeff Thompson, 3. Sam Niles, 4. Eric Campbell, 5. Jack Litshiem
Qualifying: 1. Weber, 2. Tom Luethe, 3. Thompson
Auto Value Hobby Stocks
Feature: 1. Adam Moore, 2. Kaleb Harby, 3. Bill Schott, 4. Jason Bolster (Track Champion), 5. Jordan Myers
Qualifying: 1. Hardy, 2. Schott, 3. Adam Moore
ANT’s Complete Pest Control Hornets
Feature: 1. Troy Tuma, 2. Patrick Thicke, 3. Mark Luethe, 4. Kris Berg, 5. Shawn McCarthy
Auto Value Street Stocks
Feature: 1. Dan Frye, 2. Matt Moore, 3. Al Bartels, 4. Jake Schomers (Track Champion), 5. Tim Murphy
Qualifying: 1. Schomers, 2. Tristan Drazkowski, 3. M. Moore
Feature: 1. Cory Kemkes, 2. Dave Edwards, 3. Glenn Bush, Jr., 4. Ben Passa, 5. Mike Krueger, Jr.
Qualifying: 1. Kemkes, 2. Passa, 3. Bush, Jr.
Double-O Race: 1. Corey Jankowski, 2. Mike Krueger, Jr., 3. Phil Malouf, 4. Dave Edwards, 5. Rob Christen