One of the great memories race fans have when they made the annual trek to the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin, was the chance to catch up with the legendary Dick Trickle.
For Trickle, coming to Oktoberfest was a highlight every year for him. Whether he competed or just came up to sign autographs or to share stories with anyone, the four-day event was a can’t miss event for him.
In 2007, John McKarns, president of the ARTGO Challenge Series and Oktoberfest Promoter, approached his long-time friend about the idea of having a race named after him. Trickle was very open to the idea and felt that Oktoberfest would be the proper place to have an event named after him, he gladly gave his blessing to McKarns to go ahead with it.
But McKarns didn’t want it to be a typical race, he wanted to have something unique that fans haven’t seen in the Midwest.
That idea was something he saw at another track, the famous Milk Bowl event at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT.
It was in 1962, when track promoter and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ken Squier came up with this event as a unique way to end their racing season. The Milk Bowl is broken into three 50-lap segments with inverts in each segment. The overall winner would get a glass of milk for their victory and was expected to kiss a cow.
McKarns was intrigued by the idea and had a few ideas of his own to make this a memorable event not just for the fans, but for the participants as well. An idea that Trickle was definitely on board with and wanted to compete in the first event himself.
With Trickle’s approval, McKarns reached out to Squier and Tom Curley, who both owned and promoted Thunder Road and asked for their permission to take their Milk Bowl idea and come up with the Dick Trickle “99”. Squier and Curley graciously gave McKarns their blessing and the first event was held in 2007.
The event was an immediate success as fans were able to get scorecards and keep their own score throughout the three segments. The format is simple. Each driver who competes in the Dick Trickle “99” will earn points in each 33-lap segment. The winner will get one point, second will get two points, etc. After the three segments are complete, the driver with the lowest overall points will be declared the overall winner.
Trickle competed in it and finished 18th. This would be the last year he would get behind the wheel of a stock car. His final race he competed in at Oktoberfest was the 2007 ARCA Midwest Tour 100 where he finished seventh. Trickle came back every year to host the event until his passing in 2013.
There have been 10 different drivers who have won in the previous 12 runnings of the Dick Trickle “99”. Will we have our 11th different winner or will someone join Dan Fredrickson as a multi-time winner or will Fredrickson win his fourth? We will find out on Friday, October 9th!
Also on Friday night, the LaCrosse Late Models will have two 20-lap feature events and the Area Sportsmen will also be in action along with “The Stubby” semi feature for the Super Late Models.
A total of 17 divisions of racing action will make up the 51st Oktoberfest Race Weekend October 8-11, 2020. For additional information including Schedules, Rules, Camper Village information, Registration and more, visit www.oktoberfestraceweekend.com or call 608-786-1525.
Dick Trickle “99” Winners
2007 – Steve Holzhausen
2008 – Nathan Haseleu
2009 – Chris Weinkauf
2010 – Dan Fredrickson
2011 – Neil Knoblock
2012 – Skylar Holzhausen
2013 – Erik Darnell
2014 – Dan Fredrickson (2)
2015 – Ty Majeski
2016 – Dan Fredrickson (3)
2017 – Rained Out
2018 – Johnny Sauter
2019 – Nick Murgic