By: Kevin Ramsell
We are just hours away from the 53rd Oktoberfest Race Weekend getting underway at the La Crosse Fairground Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin. Here are some last minute notes heading into the big four days of racing.
OXFORD 250 WINNER TRAVELING TO FEST
Oktoberfest Race Weekend promoter Gregg McKarns announced that Oxford 250 winner Cole Butcher is making the trek from Porters Lake, Nova Scotia to West Salem to compete in all four days of Fest. Coming to Oktoberfest is part of his 32-race schedule for 2022. He is a two-time Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion. He is the first driver from Nova Scotia to win the famous Oxford 250. Oh yes, Porters Lake, Nova Scotia is only 1,911 miles from West Salem, Wisconsin.
JOHNSON LOOKING TO DEFEND AND GET ANOTHER BIG PAY DAY
Defending Oktoberfest 200 winner and two-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion Casey Johnson comes to Fest with a 96-point lead over Gabe Sommers coming into the season finale. Johnson is looking for another big check this weekend with $10,000 on the line to the winner of the Oktoberfest 200. Earlier this year, he took home $15,000 for winning the Joe Shear Classic at Madison international Speedway. Got a big win at the Milwaukee Mile, and collected another $10,000 for winning the Howie Lettow Classic at Madison. Johnson won $5,000 for the race, and collected a $5,000 bonus for winning both ARCAMT events at Madison in 2022.
MAJESKI MAKING FIRST WISCONSIN RACE APPEARANCE SINCE FIRST BIG TRUCK VICTORY
Five-time ARCA Midwest Tour Champion Ty Majeski is coming back to Oktoberfest as the only driver currently locked into the Championship Four in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series after his recent victory at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was his first Truck Series victory and will be going for the championship at Phoenix Raceway in November. But first, he is looking for another big payday. His last Midwest Tour victory came in August by winning the Gandrud Auto Group 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Buchanan, Wisconsin. He took home a $15,000 check for the win.
SAWALICH LOOKING TO IMPROVE FROM INAUGURAL MIDWEST TOUR START
William Sawalich, who turned 16-years-old on Monday, will be heading to Fest and will make his second ARCA Midwest Tour start since finishing a close second to Casey Johnson at the Milwaukee Mile back in June. Sawalich made his debut last year in the Big 8 Series finishing 11th in Big 8 Series feature event. So far in 2022 he has two victories in the Southern Super Series and another two in the ARCA/CRA Super Series.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with drivers from Minnesota and Wisconsin who I used to race with,” Sawalich recently said. “A lot of these guys encouraged me in my racing career and believed in me. A victory at Fest would mean that I am good enough to race with all of greats in the upper Midwest.”
THE BLUE KNIGHT TO PRESENT THE FIRST KNIGHTS OF OKTOBERFEST TROPHY
Legendary ARTGO star Tom Reffner, also known as the Blue Knight, will present a unique trophy to the winner of the Knights of Oktoberfest 25-lap Super Late Model feature on Thursday night. The competitors in this race are for those who are not eligible to compete the other Super Late Model feature on Thursday, The Futures 25-lap event.
MONDEIK LOOKING FOR MORE IN 2022
Justin Mondeik is having a banner year and he hopes to keep his momentum going into Oktoberfest. So far this season, So far this season, he won his third championship at State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin, then the Super Late Model championship at Norway Speedway in Norway, Michigan, and recently won the TUNDRA Super Late Models title. A Dick Trickle “99” victory or scoring the big win in the Oktoberfest 200 could be a great icing on the cake to a great season.
WAKE UP EARLY FOR GO PACK GO!!!
On Sunday morning, the main grandstand gates will open at 8am for fans to claim their spot for the final day of racing. The gates are opening a half-hour earlier this year in order for fans to enjoy the Green Bay Packers/NY Giants football game from the United Kingdom on the Fest Jumbotron screen. There will also be a bloody mary bar open along with Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen Polka Band providing live music on the main concourse as you walk in the gate. Also, don’t forget the famous pancake breakfast in the exhibition hall.
SCORING.RACING WILL KEEP YOU UP TO SPEED
With today’s technology in the palm of your hands, scoring.racing website will keep competitors, teams, officials and fans up to date with lineups all four days at Fest. The website will also help keep you up to date with the point standings during the Dick Trickle “99.” This is a free website for everyone!
MEET THE STARS & CARS
If you can’t get there early to watch the Packers game, make sure to get to the track by 10:45am to meet the stars & cars of the ARCA Midwest Tour, 602 Cratetoberfest, and Vintage cars for an on-track autograph session. Many of the drivers will have autograph cards for you to collect along with meeting your favorite drivers.
LIVE MUSIC AFTER THE RACES
After the racing action on Friday & Saturday night, stop on by the Exhibition Hall and enjoy the live music on the Jacoby Waterproofing stage. On Friday night, The Dweebs will be playing top 40 hits from the 60’s to today. Then on Saturday night, Dude Fresh will be performing hits from the 70’s to today. Also, on Saturday afternoon, Static Echo will be rocking the stage starting at 1pm.
Have a safe trip if you are traveling to the 53rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. If you can’t make it, all four days of racing will be streamed live on midwesttour.tv. Please visit their website and sign up today to enjoy legendary weekend.