WEST SALEM, Wis. — The third scheduled day of the 48th annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway actually was the first night of racing action as Saturday evening saw Ty Majeski capture the 68-lap Big 8 Series late model stock car race at the five-eighths-mile paved oval.
Losing Thursday and Friday’s programs to rain, track officials fought a battle with the weatherman a good part of the day Saturday after drying out the track early, then having practice and group qualifying completed before another batch of rain hit the speedway for some three hours.
Back to drying the track and officials were able to get in feature races for the Great Northern Sportsmen Series, the Midwest Truck Series and the Midwest Dash Series in addition to qualifying heats and the main event for Big 8 Series competitors.
Majeski, who earlier this year wrapped up his fourth consecutive ARCA Midwest Tour championship, made it look rather easy as he came from his 13th starting position in the 26-car field.
Wheeling his Toby Nuttleman-prepared, Johnny’s Hobbies/Dakota Supply Group-sponsored Ford Fusion, Majeski, who earlier set fast time during qualifications, cut through the field and passed Brody Willett on lap 38 for the top spot in the caution-free race and had a commanding margin at the finish over four-time Big 8 Series champion Jeremy Miller.
Willett came home third followed by Tim Sargent and Jacob Goede.
“We had to be smart about it (the race),” said Majeski. “Sometimes you get a race with a ton of cautions. It looked like this race was going to go green for quite a while. I knew I had somewhat of a sense of urgency (to get to the front). Sometimes the race gets strung out and it becomes hard to pass with the tires falling off so much. It was important to get up to the top five at least fairly early so I wouldn’t dig myself into too much of a hole.
“I timed it pretty good (to get to the front). Once I got out front, I kind of rode in case a caution would come out. The biggest thing was picking the right groove for the lappers (lapped cars). Some lapped traffic will go high and some would go low. It was important to see where they were going to go and anticipate it and try not to give up too much time.”
Michael Bilderback had previously wrapped up his third straight Big 8 Series driving championship. Unfortunately, Bilderback crashed his car earlier in the day.
Phil Malouf won the 20-lap Midwest Dash Series feature race with Reagan May capturing the 25 lapper for Midwest Truck Series racers, holding off a charging Chris Weinkauf. James Swan finished third.
Brad Warthan was the winner of the 25-lap main event for the Great Northern Sportsmen Series division. Warthan defeated Dave Trute, who claimed this year’s series title. Dan Gilster took third.