Fans Share Their Oktoberfest Race Weekend Memories

Officials with the Oktoberfest Race Weekend recently went on the event’s Facebook page and asked followers to share how long have they been coming to the four-day racing event and what is their favorite memory.

The famous racing event will be celebrating it’s 50th annual gathering this October 3, 4, 5, 6 at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin. This year, 18 different divisions will be competing over the four days with fans making the fairgrounds one of the largest temporary cities in the Midwest.

Oktoberfest Race Weekend is an event that competitors and fans plan up to a year in advance to continue their tradition of being a part of this event year after year.

So, what are some of the memories that was shared on the Facebook page? Here are some of the memories, you can see all of them on the Oktoberfest Race Weekend Facebook page.

“My first year of Oktoberfest I believe was ’92. Earlier in the year I was doing my two weeks of Air Force Reserve duty at Camp McCoy and while there I made it a point to hit as many tracks as I could. I grew up hearing about how those guys up in Wisconsin race four or five nights a week and just couldn’t believe it. Anyway, one of the tracks that I visited was La Crosse and during the race I got to talking with some folks sitting by me and they said that I should come up to ‘Fest as they called it. So, I did,” Jerry Tracy wrote. “Been making the trip up from Missouri almost every year since. I think I’ve missed three years in those 26 years since. Now my favorite memory is hands down getting to see Joe Shear race. The one race that stands out though is not ones that he won but one he finished fourth in. Joe had engine trouble all weekend in 1997 and had blew up every engine he had and had failed to qualify for the event. But Brad Wagner gave up his ride and let Joe drive his car. Joe had never sat in that car before, started 25th or dead last, and gave a driving performance that I don’t think has ever been equaled, at least in my book, and finished 4th!! Absolutely amazing and to just add another hurdle, Joe was battling cancer and was in poor health. A true hero in my book!! See you all in 3 weeks!! Oh, and if you think you’ve seen me, I’m the guy that wears the St. Louis Cardinals jacket!! Gets a lot of remarks!! You even took my pic a few years ago!!”

“I’ve been coming since the year I met my husband. This year will be 12 years,” Robin Back shared. “My favorite memory is standing in victory lane with all our family after my brother-in-law won a feature.”

Billy Beamish shared his personal memory.

“My first year was 1978. I have only missed a couple of years since. My favorite memory was my son winning the JMcK in 2014.”

Paul Summerfield has very early memories.

“My Mom and Dad took me to my first Fest races when I was a few months old, 1971.
My best memory is being part of the winning crew for Tom Carlson in 91!”

“I’ve been at Fest every year except for maybe two since I was eight months old! So, this will be year 23 for me,” Nikki Jorgenson wrote. “My favorite memory has to be winning a huge trophy for beating my cousins out in the pumpkin coloring contest when I was 11!”

“I have been to every Oktoberfest race and there are so many memories I have with my parents in the beginning and then with my own children and working as an official for 22 years of Fest,” Tim McCarthy said. “I have great memories with so many wonderful friends, and with my friend and my hero Dick Trickle. Some of my best memories also was helping on Rob Curran’s car and winning an Oktoberfest Race. I have been camping at Fest since it was allowed and it has grown so much over the years, every year amazes me, and the best thing about Fest is that everyone is family at Fest. I have been to hundreds if not at least 1000 races in my lifetime and I can tell you the show at Oktoberfest races in La Crosse is the best show in the country. You get to see the best drivers in short track racing. You can’t go and see so many different divisions anywhere else, and you can’t get the car count anywhere else like you do at Oktoberfest. I can’t wait to see you all soon at my 50th Oktoberfest race weekend.”

“I think I have been to at least one night ever since I was about 5,” Alex Liebsch wrote. “15 years, my best memories are either last year when I finally got to race at Octoberfest. Or years back Dick Trickle came at stood by us watching the race and talked to us as kids the entire time.”

Many of us who have attended an Oktoberfest Race Weekend have a personal memory or memories. Thank you to those who shared their personal memory.

What will be your memorable moment this year? Make your plans now to attend the 50th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend.

Please visit the official website and download the fan guide and competitor information today. Also, you can find a listing of nearby hotels and campgrounds.