The date of October 7, 2006 is still a clear picture in the head of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Landon Cassill. Cassill was 17-years-old when he made a bold last lap pass on veteran driver Eddie Hoffman to win the ASA Late Model Series 100-lap event at the famous Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Speedway in West Salem, WI.
Ten years later, he still recalls his victory like it was yesterday.
“Yep, I passed him (Hoffman) on the last lap, that was pretty cool experience. I would like to go back and race there again,” Cassill recalled of memorable night. “That is just a special racetrack. I remember that race, my tow was knocked out after I made contact with someone earlier in the race. My car was really loose, but I found the harder I drove it, the better it felt. So I had to keep driving it harder into the corner and it would tighten up and get faster and started catching Eddie.”
Cassill would get Hoffman loose and drag race him to the finish, causing the fans to give the biggest cheer of the night when he jumped out of his car and climbed the fence in celebration.
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa driver also remembers the famous atmosphere that he experienced at Oktoberfest.
“Just the weekend in general, it’s a special experience,” Cassill exclaimed. “It’s cold, you’re usually camping in your toterhome or camper. You have to get up early in the morning and get your car through inspection and practice going. The fans who are reserving their seats when the gates open, and things like that. It’s one of the iconic race weekends that’s memorable.”
He even mentioned the famous pink flamingo that has become a mainstay in the camping village at Oktoberfest.
The victory couldn’t have come at a better time in his career.
“Timing wise that was an important win,” Cassill explained. “It was at a time where there was a lot of attention of what I was doing, and there is nothing better to do than to win races while people are watching you.”
At that time, those eyes were from Hendrick Motorsports who gave him an opportunity in 2007 and made his debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in May, 2007.
Since then he has 213 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 118 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and eight starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Today he drives the #38 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and competes in Ironman Triathlons.
The next generation of stars will be heading to La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway for the 47th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend on October 6, 7, 8, and 9th. A total of 17 divisions will be competing over the four days.
Along with the racing action, there will be plenty of events for fans to participate in from the Pet Costume parade, memorabilia show and Racer’s Reunion.
Full information can be found at www.oktoberfestraceweekend.com.
Make your plans now to experience the 47th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend on October 6-9 at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin.