By:  Paul Reichert
October 6, 2022
A tinge of fall was in the air to signal the start of the 53rd edition of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the LaCrosse Speedway.  Over the next four days we will witness over 600 laps of feature racing with 17 different divisions in action.  Thursday’s racing was highlighted by the local LaCrosse divisions wrapping up their seasons and crowning their track champions.  The Super Late Model Knights made their Oktoberfest debut after being rained out last year, and they thrilled the crowd with some very competitive racing.  A daring three wide move by Derek Kraus with six laps remaining would help him make history and claim the ‘knight in shining armor’ trophy.
Former LaCrosse track champion Nick Pantizke (Lonsdale, MN) drove by Austin Nason (Roscoe, IL) to take the lead early in the going in the inaugural Super Late Model Knights feature.  Panitzke tried to open up a lead on the field, but Nason stuck right behind Panitzke to stay within a couple car lengths.  Nason slowly closed the difference with Panitzke. Just before the halfway mark Nason started to look underneath for a way past Panitzke, but the LaCrosse veteran pulled away out of turn two.  This went on for about five laps until the yellow came out with eight laps remaining for the stalled car in turn two of Jeff Storm (Waterford, WI).  On the restart Derek Kraus (Stratford, WI) made a bold three wide move underneath both Panitzke and Nason to surge into the top spot.  Pantizke’s car began to fade deep into the field as Nason took over the second position late in the race.  Kraus was not to be denied as he captured the inaugural Super Late Model Knights feature victory.
After starting with a heated side-by-side battle for the opening few laps of the Super Late Model Futures feature, Bryan Syer-Keske (Lakeville, MN) got a better run out of turn two to charge past Brady Bill (Reedsburg, WI) to take charge of the race.  Tristan Swanson (Elko New Market, MN) got into a very intense fight with Grant Griesbach (Pewaukee, WI) over the number three position for several laps before Griesbach surges ahead to claim third at the midway mark.  Griesbach’s car was running on rails as he powered his way underneath Bill to move into second place with ten laps to go.  Griesbach had no answer for Syer-Keske as he led gate to wire to claim the victory and an automatic entry into Friday’s running of the Dick Trickle 99.   
Grant Brown (Prior Lake, MN) needed a couple of laps before powering past Jackson Lewis (Elko New Market, MN) to lead the early going in the LaCrosse Late Model Oktoberfest 20 lap feature #1.  Nick Clements (West Salem, WI) made his way forward through the field in pursuit of the lead.  By lap eight Clements was right on the rear bumper of Brown as he looked for an opening to dive under Brown.  That opportunity came on lap ten as Clements dove under Brown in turns one and two to assume the top spot.  Don Turner (LaCrosse, WI) and Adam Degenhardt (Coon Valley, WI) tangled in four four on lap 12 to bring out the yellow.  Jerimy Wagner (Onalaska, WI) challenged Clements for the lead on the restart, but Clements pulled away after a couple of laps to keep a tight hold on the top spot.  The memory of his close defeat by a thousand of a second last year was just a memory as Clements scored a long overdue Oktoberfest feature win. 
In the second 20 lap Oktoberfest LaCrosse Late Model feature, Ryan Kamish (Farmington, MN) powered his way past Steve Carlson (West Salem, WI) to lead the field at the start.  Kamish maintained about a six car length lead over Steve Carlson, who was not able to make a dent in Kamish’s lead with his patented outside line.  After Adam Degenhardt spun in turn four on lap six, Kamish opened up his lead over Carlson once again.  Dan Fredrickson (Lakeville, MN) was making some impressive moves to get to the front of the field as he cracked the top five on lap eight.  Just as Fredrickson was looking for a way around Kamish the caution came out for a stalled Devin Schmidt in turn two with five laps to go.  Fredrickson wasted little time on the restart to surge past Kamish and assume the race lead.  Fredrickson pulled away to a huge advantage to notch his second feature win this season.  
The LaCrosse Sportsmen feature saw a very intense battle take place over the second half of the race between veterans Dave Trute (New Lisbon, WI) and Randy Humfeld (Chaseburg, WI).  Sadly the black flag was shown with five laps to go to Trute for breaking out of the max lap time on two different occasions during the feature.  Humfeld would hold off Chris Weber (West Salem, WI) in the stretch run to claim the win.  Sam Niles (Holmen, WI) finished in seventh as he vaulted over the two title contenders in front of him to score back-to-back season titles for the first time in about 15 years.  Andy Barney (West Salem, WI) came home fourth and one spot ahead of Justin Berg (Bangor, WI) to add the Chase Championship crown to his Rookie of the Year title.
Brandon Olson survived a late flurry of yellow flags in the Hornet feature to cross the line in first.  Unfortunately Olson was nabbed for an infraction in post-race inspection, which gave the victory to Justin Schelitzche.  Despite dropping out in the late going, Lester Stanfield had built up enough of a points lead to claim the season championship.  While the Chase contenders struggled in the race, Keanna Barney scored the best finish in tenth place to join her dad as a Chase Champion.
Matt Moore powered around the outside of Tim Anderson on lap five of the Six Shooter feature.  Moore endured a rash of caution periods just before the halfway mark and pulled away from the pack to capture an Oktoberfest feature victory.
The thrills and excitement of the night concluded with the World Famous Double-O Race, the 12 lap race that alternates between the big track and the ‘action track’ quarter mile.  Mid-Am Racing Series veteran Dale Lecus, Jr. started a little further back from the rest of the field but only needed eight laps to get to the front of the field.  Lecus, Jr. would hold off Midwest Dash racers Phil Malouf and Kyle Stark to claim his first Oktoberfest championship.
The racing festivities at the 53rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend continue on Friday, October 7 with one of the marquee events of the weekend.  Super Late Models will battle for the Cheese Trophy in the 16th Annual Dick Trickle 99, a race featuring three 33 lap segments.  The driver with the lowest score after the three segments will capture the overall victory.  The Area Sportsmen will feature Sportsmen racers from across the Midwest competing for an Oktoberfest championship.  The LaCrosse Late Models will compete in another pair of 20 lap feature races to decide the Festmaster Champion from the four features run in two days, the driver that outlasts the other 19 to become Chase Champion and the season points championship.  Gates open at 3, qualifying fires up at 3:05 and the furious green flag action begins at 5:30.
For more information about the LaCrosse Speedway or the 2022 schedule of events, call the track office at 608-786-1525 or visit our web site at lacrossespeedway.com.  For more information about the 53rd Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend, check out oktoberfestraceweekend.com.  LaCrosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.


Super Late Model Knights

Feature (25 laps):  1. Derek Kraus, 2. Austin Nason, 3. Andrew Morrissey, 4. Dan Fredrickson, 5. Ty Majeski, 6. Dalton Zehr, 7. Nick Panitzke, 8. Gabe Sommers, 9. Chris Weinkauf, 10. Griffin McGrath, 11. Jonathan Eilen, 12. Billy Mohn, 13. Cole Butcher, 14. Mark Eswein, 15. Jacob Goede, 16. Jason Weinkauf, 17 Travis Volm, 18. Tyler Sauter, 19. Corey Jankowski, 20. Dean Cornelius, 21. Curt Tillman, 22. Jeff Storm, 23. Dean LaPointe, 24. Jeremy Lepak, 25. Colin Reffner

Qualifying:  1. Dalton Zehr, 2. Ty Majeski, 3. Dan Fredrickson, 4. Chris Weinkauf, 5. Jacob Goede, 6. Derek Kraus, 7. Andrew Morrissey, 8. Jonathan Eilen, 9. Gabe Sommers, 10. Nick Panitzke, 11. Austin Nason, 12. Griffin McGrath, 13. Colin Reffner, 14. Cole Butcher, 15. Jeff Storm, 16. Jason Weinkauf, 17. Dean Cornelius, 18. Billy Mohn, 19. Mark Eswein, 20. Jeremy Lepak, 21. Dean LaPointe, 22. Travis Volm, 23. Corey Jankowski, 24. Tyler Sauter, 25. Curt Tillman


Super Late Model Futures

Feature (25 laps):  1. Bryan Syer-Keske, 2. Grant Griesbach, 3. Brady Bill, 4. Tristan Swanson, 5. Brock Heinrich, 6. Justin Mondeik, 7. William Sawalich, 8. James Lynch, 9. Braison Bennett, 10. Michael Ostdiek, 11. Barrett Polhemus, 12. Chad Butz, 13. Tim Springstroh, 14. Travis Rodewald, 15. Andy Monday, 16. Carter Christenson, 17. Levon VanderGeest, 18. Jerry Mueller, 19. James Storey, 20. Darren Jackson, 21. Shaun Scheel, 22. Gregory Borchardt, 23. Jared deBoer
Qualifying:  1. Chad Butz, 2. William Sawalich, 3. Barrett Polhemus, 4. Grant Griesbach, 5. Brock Heinrich, 6. Tristan Swanson, 7. Braison Bennett, 8. Brady Bill, 9. Bryan Syer-Keske, 10. Shaun Scheel, 11. Justin Mondeik, 12. Michael Ostdiek, 13. Carter Christenson, 14. Andy Monday, 15. James Lynch, 16. Darren Jackson, 17. Tim Springstroh, 18. Jerry Mueller, 19. Gregory Borchardt, 20. Jared deBoer, 21. James Storey

LaCrosse Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models

Feature #1 (20 laps):  1. Nick Clements, 2. Jerimy Wagner, 3. Dan Fredrickson 4. Brent Kirchner, 5. Jacob Goede, 6. Mike Carlson, 7. Steve Bachman, 8. Jackson Lewis, 9. Adam Bendzick, 10. Steve Carlson, 11. Ryan Kamish, 12. Michael Haggar, 13. Devin Schmidt, 14. Riley Stenjem, 15. Steve Anderson, 16. Jason Stark, 17. Adam Degenhardt, 18. Dusty Mann, 19. Don Turner, 20. Joseph Scholze, 21. Kenneth Donais, 22. Grant Brown, 23. Michael Beamish, 24. Tom Luethe 
Feature #2 (20 laps):  1. Dan Fredrickson, 2. Ryan Kamish, 3. Steve Carlson, 4. Steve Bachman, 5. Adam Bendzick, 6. Nick Clements, 7. Jacob Goede, 8. Brent Kirchner, 9. Mike Carlson, 10. Jerimy Wagner, 11. Jackson Lewis, 12. Jason Stark, 13. Grant Brown, 14. Tom Luethe, 15. Steve Anderson, 16. Michael Haggar, 17. Adam Oxborough, 18. Riley Stenjem, 19. Don Turner, 20. Kenneth Donais, 21. Joseph Scholze, 22. Devin Schmidt, 23. Dusty Mann, 24. Adam Degenhardt
B-Feature (15 laps): 1. Riley Stenjem, 2. Jason Stark, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Steve Anderson, 5. Adam Oxborough
Qualifying:  1. Dan Fredrickson, 2. Jacob Goede, 3. Adam Bendzick, 4. Mike Carlson, 5. Brent Kirchner, 6. Jerimy Wagner, 7. Michael Beamish, 8. Nick Clements, 9. Steve Bachman, 10. Dusty Mann, 11. Grant Brown, 12. Jackson Lewis, 13. Ryan Kamish, 14. Michael Haggar, 15. Steve Carlson, 16. Adam Degenhardt, 17. Jason Stark, 18. Randy Sargent, 19. Adam Oxborough, 20. Devin Schmidt, 21. Riley Stenjem, 22. Steve Anderson, 23. Bryan Wrolstad, 24. Ryan Varner, 25. Franc Beldowski, 26. Don Turner, 27. Tom Luethe, 28. Darren Wolke, 29. Brian Hesselberg, 30. Stephen Scheel, 31. Peter Carlson, 32. Joseph Scholze, 33. Andrew Schultz, 34. Paul Brown, 35. Rob Christen, 36. Kenneth Donais, 37. Ridge Oien, 38. Joe Nuttleman, 39. Andrew Buhrow 

LaCrosse LawnKeepers Sportsmen

Feature (20 laps):  1. Randy Humfeld, 2. Chris Weber, 3. Tytus Helgestad, 4. Andy Barney, 5. Justin Berg, 6. Dale Lecus, Jr., 7. Sam Niles, 8. Rick Coppernoll, 9. Jamie Dummer, 10. Tony Holm, 11. Joey Pontbriand, 12. Mark Challet, 13. Ed Ross, 14. Jeremy Wolff, 15. Dexter Malin, 16. Dave Swanson, 17. Nathan Borchardt, 18. Travis Gordon, 19. Ben Gannon, 20. Alex Rud, 21. Mitchell Rinartz, 22. Dave Trute, 23. Jesse Vian, 24. Matt Wiebusch, 25. Devin Schmidt
Qualifying:  1. Chris Weber, 2. Randy Humfeld, 3. Sam Niles, 4. Tytus Helgestad, 5. Dave Trute, 6. Dale Lecus, Jr., 7. Justin Berg, 8. Andy Barney, 9. Ed Ross, 10. Matt Wiebusch, 11 Jamie Dummer, 12. Dan Secor, 13. Jeremy Wolff, 14. Rick Coppernoll, 15. Joey Pontbriand, 16. Jesse Vian, 17. Mark Challet, 18. Tony Holm, 19. Nathan Borchardt, 20. Dave Swanson, 21.  Ben Gannon, 22. Dexter Malin, 23. Mitchell Rinartz, 24. Travis Gordon, 25. Dan Osthoff, 26. Devin Schmidt

ANT’s Complete Pest Control Hornets

Feature (20 laps):  1. Justin Schelitzche, 2. Jimmy Bjorkman, 3. Ben Thurk, 4. Nick Newton, 5. Abigail Knaack, 6. Mark Bornitz, 7. Jaydin Schock, 8. Carter Horstman, 9. John Clauson, 10. Keanna Barney, 11. Joey Johnson III, 12. Scott Riedner, 13. Cheyanne Stanfield, 14. Kristopher Berg, 15. Nick Hadler, 16. Rob Stanfield, 17. Michael Wachs, Jr., 18. Jake Schomers, 19. Lester Stanfield, 20. Shawn Breese, 21. Brandon Olson (DQ)
B-Feature (10 laps):  1. John Clauson, 2. Jaydin Schock, 3. Nick Hadler, 4. Mark Bornitz, 5. Brandon McCarthy, 6. Christopher Lofquist, 7. Kendon Thurk, 8. Joe Halvorson, 9. Hunter Sarver, 10. Keanna Barney, 11. Jacob Iverson, 12. Kyle Cottone, 13. Jacob Bemis, 14. Kyle Cross, 15. Bentley Knaack 
Qualifying:  1. Lester Stanfield, 2. Cheyanne Stanfield, 3. Michael Wachs, Jr., 4. Kristopher Berg, 5. Jimmy Bjorkman, 6. Carter Horstman, 7. Ben Thurk, 8. Joey Johnson III, 9. Justin Schelitzche, 10. Abigail Knaack, 11. Jake Schomers, 12. Brandon Olson, 13. Scott Riedner, 14. Nick Newton, 15. Rob Stanfield, 16. Shawn Breese, 17. Brandon McCarthy, 18. Mark Bornitz, 19. Jaydin Schock, 20. Nick Hadler, 21. John Clauson, 22. Kendon Thurk, 23. Joe Halvorson, 24. Jacob Bemis, 25. Jacob Iverson, 26. Kyle Cottone, 27. Hunter Sarver, 28. Keanna Barney, 29. Kyle Cross, 30. Bentley Knaack, 31. Matt Carpenter

Coulee Tire Six Shooters

Feature (20 laps):  1. Matt Moore, 2. Steven Mueller, 3. Tim Anderson, 4. John Huebner, 5. Peter Thompson, 6. Steven Brasda, 7. Zach Liebsch, 8. Chuck Muller, 9. Ryan Stanfield, 10. Dakota Miller

Double-O Race (12 laps): 

1. Dale Lecus, Jr., 2. Phil Malouf, 3. Kyle Stark, 4. Mark Bornitz, 5. Justin Schelitzche, 6. Tim Anderson, 7. Nick Newton, 8. John Clauson, 9. Josh Inglett, 10. Alex Rud, 11. Thomas Farra, 12. Scott Riedner, 13. Tim Murphy, Sr., 14. Alex Liebsch, 15. Steven Brasda, 16. Zach Liebsch, 17. Mitchell Rinartz