(West Salem, WI - October 8, 2000) In the 31 years of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend, there has never been the kind of dominance shown by La Crosse area drivers that they showed in 2000. Steve Carlson, Kevin Nuttleman and Steve Holzhausen completed...
(West Salem, WI - October 8, 2000) In the 31 years of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend, there has never been the kind of dominance shown by La Crosse area drivers that they showed in 2000. Steve Carlson, Kevin Nuttleman and Steve Holzhausen completed a Sunday Sweep, as the three Coulee Region drivers swept the features on Sunday afternoon.
La Crosse area drivers competed in nine of the 16 features during the four-day weekend, and won an amazing seven of those races. Blake Horstman won two features, the La Crosse Sportsman and the Area Sportsman features. Other local winners during the weekend included Les Stanfield in the Thunderstox feature and Rick Steinhoff in the Double OO race on Thursday night. In addition, three of the four qualifying features on Saturday night were won by local drivers, including Nuttleman, Holzhausen and Brad Powell.
An estimated 17,731 fans attended the races, with 593 drivers competing in 16 divisions. The La Crosse Fairgrounds, and surrounding fields were packed with an estimated 1,05 campers and tents, despite the frigid October temperatures. The Oktoberfest Race Weekend was one of few racing events in the Midwest not cancelled because of the rain and cold that swept through the area this weekend.
John Zimmerman started at the front of the Wisconsin Late Models Oktoberfest 50, and quickly pulled away from Gary Back and Bobby Wilberg. Neil Knoblock settled into fourth, followed by Jeff Kendall and Todd Kluever, who battled side by side during the early part of the race for the fifth spot.
Wilberg and Back put on a battle for the second spot, with Wilberg looking low and high before finally getting his nose under Back on lap 14 as the cars headed into turn one. A lap and a half later, Back tried to drop back in line behind Wilberg, but Knoblock was there to take the spot, and Kendall was also able to make it through the hole. Kendall then moved by Knoblock on lap 17, taking over third. Steve Holzhausen moved into the top five with an outside-inside move, getting by Back on the outside, before ducking inside of Knoblock to take over fourth.
As Zimmerman continued to hold a comfortable lead of almost ten lengths, Holzhausen continued his charge, ducking under Wilberg for third on lap 27, following Kendall, who had gotten under Wilberg two laps earlier. As Kendall started trying to reign in the leader, Holzhausen continued to cut his gap to the second place car of Kendall.
As the leaders caught the lapped cars of Jason Hicks and Scott Broughton, Kendall drifted high in turn one of lap 35, allowing Holzhausen to slip by on the inside. One lap later, Holzhausen tried to duck inside of Zimmerman, but had to back off coming out of turn four. That move proved to be a key, as Robb Vanderloop lost an engine in turn one, and Zimmerman ran headlong into the oil,, and slammed into the wall between turns one and two.
Kendall was not about to sit back and let Holzhausen complete a sweep for the local drivers on Sunday, as he quickly looked inside of Holzhausen for the lead. His first attempt failed, but he continued to dog Holzhausen over the final 15 laps, as the lead pair pulled away from the field.
As Kendall continued to edge under Holzhausen and then back off, Eric Fransen and Chris Wimmer closed the gap on the lead pair, making it a four-car battle for the checkered. With four laps remaing, Fransen went to the high line, bypassing Kendall for second, and Holzhausen was able to open up a lead, as he took the checkereds. Fransen finished second, followed by Kendall, Wimmer and Wilberg.
Chris Wimmer and Les Ferris pulled away from the field at the start of the first Wisconsin Late Model Last Chance race, leaving Chris Weinkauf and Scott Broughton trying to hold off the rest of the field for the final two transfer spots.
Jeff Way worked his way around Boughton on lap five, and Dan Topel came around a lap later. As Topel and Way battled for the final transfer spot on lap eight, they touched twice on the frontstretch, with Way finally spinning into the wall in turn one, forcing a caution.
Topel went to the rear of the field on the restart, turning the final transfer spot back over to Broughton, but Chad Barker went to the outside right away in a bid for the spot. He slid high in turn three, allowing Clint Sillars to slide up and by him. Sillars charged up to challenge Broughton, and the two cars collided just before the start-finish line, but Broughton slid across the line backwards just before Sillars to finish fourth. Wimmer took the win, followed by Ferris and Weinkauf.
It was a five-car breakaway in the second Last Chance, with Robb Vanderloop leading the way in front of Shane Bishop, Jason Hicks, Tom Hockers and Troy Greenberg. Bishop took advantage of a bobble by Vanderloop on lap nine to take the lead, while Hockers moved by Hicks at the front of the field. The front four stayed nose to tail the rest of the way, as Bishop took the win, and Greenberg had to settle for a fifth-place finish to end his day.
Steve Holzhausen and Dan Fredrickson pulled out to the front in the Oktoberfest 50 for the NASCAR Northern Series Late Models, with Jason Schneider fading quickly in third. Fredrickson ducked underneath Holzhausen on lap four, taking over the top spot as they roared down the frontstretch.
The battle raged behind Schneider, as Mike Belling was the first to work around Andy Burgess and into fourth. Steve Carlson, Tony Bagstad and Kevin Nuttleman rode nose to tail behind Burgess, by lap eight, as the field stretched out before a lap nine yellow for debris on the track.
On the restart, the field got off cleanly, but in turn four, Bagstad and Burgess touched, and Burgess looped in front of most of the field, but they all managed to avoid the spinning 85 machine.
Belling made his move on Schneider on the restart, and he brought Nuttleman and Carlson along for the ride, as they moved up to third, fourth and fifth. Nuttleman wasn't content with fourth, and four laps later, he went to the high side to get by Belling for third.
Perhaps sensing the run by Nuttleman, on lap 18, Holzhausen set up inside of Fredrickson coming out of turn two, and edged his way back into the lead through turns three and four. Two laps later, Nuttleman turned the same trick to move into the runner-up spot.
Near the mid-race point, Nuttleman tried twice to get inside of Holzhausen, then on lap 25 he went outside, taking over the lead coming out of turn four. Nuttleman maintained that lead through lapped traffic, until a yellow flew on lap 40, as Rick Wateski spun in turn four just in front of the leaders.
Nuttleman left little doubt as to the outcome on the restart, as he quickly pulled away from Holzhausen and Carlson. Fredrickson maintained fourth, with Belling facing a late challenge from Mark Lamoreaux and Brad Powell for the fifth spot. Nuttleman cruised to the win, his third feature win of the season, and second of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend. The win also made his the second driver at Oktoberfest to repeat as champion.
Holzhausen finished second, followed by Carlson, Fredrickson, Belling and Lamoreaux. Powell, Schneider, Brent Kirchner and Troy Wangerin rounded out the top ten.
With 21 cars competing for four spots in the feature, the Twin NASCAR Northern Series Last Chance races were critical, and the first couple of laps showed just how much the drivers wanted to get into the feature. On the opening lap, Troy Goodenough drove too hard into turn three, and spun in between the turns, before being hit by Rick Burns, forcing a yellow. A lap later, Ken Hutchens and Darrin Giles tangled on the frontstretch, sending Giles to the outside wall, and Hutchens into the inside wall.
On the second restart, things settled down, as Tom Carlson, Kurt Thicke, Mark Lamoreaux and Brian Johnson pulled away, with Greg Scheck and Troy Wangerin trying to hang with the leaders. Wangerin did more than hang with them, as he used the outside line to push his way up into the lead with a pass of Carlson on lap seven, just before Goodenough and Steve O'Brien brought out the third caution when they tangled in turn one.
Lamoreaux moved by Carlson on the restart, as Carlson fell back to third, and Thicke held the final transfer spot. Johnson, Scheck, Tim Nelson and Kraig Burrows followed Thicke, hoping to move up and advance to the feature. Johnson made his move at the white flag, pulling alongside Thicke. The two cars went into turn three side by side, but Johnson was able to motor his way out of the turn a bumper in front to advance to the feature, as Wangerin took the win.
Adam Royle jumped to the lead in the second Last Chance Race, as Tom Gille had problems on the start. Gille recovered to settle into second in front of Frank Doherty, as Mark Numbers held onto the last transfer spot. On lap three, Bill Niles and John Vig, Jr bumped in turn one, sending Vig around and into the turn two wall in front of the AC Delco sign.
Isaak Owen moved quickly on the restart, ducking under Numbers for the fourth spot, and the final spot in the 50-lap feature. Greg Croell tried to squeeze by Numbers as well, but Numbers was able to hold him off for one lap, before Croell slipped by. Ricky Bilderback followed through a lap later, as Owen moved by Doherty and into third.
On lap eight, Croell also moved by Doherty, putting himself in position to make the feature, with Bilderback closing quickly. Royle took the win, with Gille holding off Owen for third, and Croell taking the final transfer spot just in front of Doherty and Bilderback.
Oktoberfest Race Weekend -- Sunday Summary
NASCAR Re\Max Challenge Series Oktoberfest 200 October 8, 2000 1 2 66 Steve Carlson, W. Salem, WI Phillips 66/Trop Artic Chevy 200 $6925 Running 2 11 35 Travis Kvapil, Janesville, WI Sports Now Paging Chevy 200 $3965 Running 3 1 01 Ron Breese, Jr, DeKalb, IL EWT, Inc./Honeywell Chevy 200 $2525 Running 4 6 79 Steve Holzhausen, Bangor, WI Valley View Ford/Menards Ford 200 $1800 Running 5 10 8 Eddie Hoffman, Wheaton, IL Lisa Thomas Salon Chevy 199 $2150 Running 6 23 60 Ryan Hanson, Beloit, WI Magic Construction Ford 199 $1650 Running 7 26 67 Nathan Haseleu, Marshall, WI autotrader.com Chevy 199 $1800 Running 8 8 1 Jason Schneider, St. Louis Park, MN LaFavre Racing Chevy 199 $1400 Running 9 7 86 Pete Moore, McFarland, WI Sports Now Paging Chevy 199 $1550 Running 10 3 39 Brad Wagner, Rockford, IL EWT, Inc/Avoco Oil Chevy 199 $1475 Running 11 14 68 Jeff Storm, East Troy, WI AFCO Shocks Chevy 199 $115 Running 12 21 20 Johnny Spaw, Cedar Rapids, IA Premier Racing Prod. Chevy 199 $1350 Running 13 16 21 Tim Schendel, Sparta, WI # Mathews Solo Cam Bows Chevy 199 $1340 Running 14 18 29 Justin Diercks, Davenport, IA First Midwest Banks Chevy 198 $1380 Running 15 12 9 Mark Kraus, Stratford, WI Structural Transport Ford 198 $1570 Running 16 22 53 Boris Jurkovic, Orland Park, IL # JMI/Reliable Recovery Chevy 198 $1310 Running 17 24 7 Jeff Martin, Webster, MN Northern Racing Products Ford 197 $1100 Running 18 4 18 Paul Menard, Eau Claire, WI # Conco Paints/Quaker State Chevy 197 $1240 Running 19 13 25 Chris Wimmer, Wausau, WI Sierra Racing Products Chevy 197 $1030 Running 20 19 42 Matt Mylin, Roscoe, IL EDC Water Treatment Pontiac 193 $1270 Running 21 20 78 Curtis Van Der Wal, Oskaloosa, IA Southwest Motorsports Chevy 192 $1010 Running 22 5 17 Jon Lemke, Greenfield, MN Jensen Audio Chevy 157 $1350 Axle 23 9 15 Mike Garvey, Lakeville, MN LaFavre Racing Chevy 151 $1000 Fuel Pump 24 17 00 Jeff Kendall, Montello, WI# Assembly Products Chevy 144 $1200 Accident 25 15 37 Dan Topel, Lake Mills, WI Havill-Spoerl Ford Ford 4 $1000 Damage 26 25 51 Brian Hoppe, Madison, WI Gildan Activewear Chevy 4 $1800 Suspension
# rookie competitor MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.08 seconds TIME OF RACE: 1 hour 17 minutes 50 seconds AVERAGE SPEED: 84.026 mph LAP LEADERS: Steve Carlson 1-55, Travis Kvapil 56-143, Ron Breese, Jr 144-160, Carlson 161-200 CAUTIONS: 3 for 21 laps BUD POLE WINNER: Mark Kraus 19.049 seconds (102.998) GATORADE FRONT RUNNER AWARD: Steve Carlson ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Tim Schendel 25-LAP LAST CHANCE RACE: 1. Matt Mylin; 2. Curtis Van Der Wal; 3. Johnny Spaw; 4. Boris Jurkovic FAILED TO QUALIFY: (6) Ronnie White, Michael Winstead, Barry Tanner, Jr, Josh Vadnais, Jeff Frederickson, Dave Finney NEXT EVENT: 2000 Season Complete
Wisconsin Late Models
Oktoberfest 50 1 Steve Holzhausen Bangor, WI 50 2 Eric Fransen West Bend, WI 50 3 Jeff Kendall Montello, WI 50 4 Scott Wimmer Wausau, WI 50 5 Bobby Wilberg Orfordville, WI 50 6 Ron Breese, Jr. DeKalb, IL 50 7 Eddie Hoffman Wheaton, IL 50 8 Neil Knoblock Wausau, WI 50 9 Chris Wimmer Wausau, Wi 50 10 Todd Kluever Marshall, Wi 50 11 Kirby Kurth Nekoosa, Wi 50 12 Toby Rott Slinger, Wi 50 13 Gary Back Vesper, WI 50 14 Rich Loch Muskego, Wi 50 15 Frank Kreyer Cottage Grove, WI 50 16 Trent Snyder Ironton, MN 50 17 Shane Bishop Pell Lake, WI 50 18 Les Ferris Northfield, MN 50 19 Tom Hockers Green Leaf, WI 50 20 Jason Hicks Lake Geneva, WI 49
21-26: 21. Dean LaPointe, Marshfield, WI; 22. Kevin Tunks, Edgerton, WI; 23. Scott Broughton, Madison, WI; 24. Robb Vanderloop, Kaukauna, WI; 25. Chris Weinkauf, Merrill, WI; 26. Todd Blair, Madison, WI
Last Chance #1 - 1. Chris Wimmer, Wausau, WI; 2. Len Ferris, Northfield, MN; 3. Chris Weinkauf, Merril, WI; 4. Scott Broughton, Madison, WI; 5. Clint Sillars, Wausau, WI
Last Chance #2 - 1. Shane Bishop, Pell Lake, WI; 2. Robb Vanderloop, Kaukauna, WI; 3. Tom Hockers, Greenleaf, WI; 4. Brian Hicks, Lake Geneva, WI; 5. Troy Greenberg, Beloit, WI
NASCAR Northern Series
Oktoberfest 50 Hometown Laps 1 Kevin Nuttleman Bangor, WI 50 2 Steve Holzhausen Bangor, WI 50 3 Steve Carlson West Salem, WI 50 4 Dan Fredrickson Lakeville, MN 50 5 Mike Belling La Crosse, WI 50 6 Mark Lamoreaux Bloomington, MN 50 7 Brad Powell La Crosse, WI 50 8 Jason Schneider St. Louis Park, MN 50 9 Brent Kirchner La Crosse, WI 50 10 Troy Wangerin Jordan, MN 50 11 Johnny Spaw Cedar Rapids, IA 50 12 Kraig Burrows West Salem, WI 50 13 Adam Royle Farmington, MN 50 14 Bart Horstman Bangor, WI 50 15 Dan Gilster West Salem, WI 50 16 Tom Carlson La Crosse, WI 50 17 Rick Wateski La Crosse, WI 50 18 Tim Hagen La Crescent, MN 50 19 Greg Croell Holmen, WI 49 20 Tom Gille Winnebago, IL 49
21-27: 21. Mike Ehde, Prairie du Chien; 22. Brian Johnson, Jr., South Beloit, IL; 23. Jeremy Miller, Roscoe, IL; 24. Tony Bagstad, Cashton, WI; 25. Isaak Owen, Onalaska, WI; 26. Brian Johnson, Lakeville, MN; 27. Andy Burgess, Rice Lake, WI
Last Chance #1 - 1. Tony Wangerin, Jordan, MN; 2. Mark Lamoreaux, Bloomington, MN; 3. Tom Carlson, La Crosse, WI; 4. Brian Johnson, Lakeville, MN; 5. Kurt Thicke, West Salem, WI
Last Chance #2 - 1. Adam Royle, Farmington, MN; 2. Tom Gille, Winnebago, IL; 3. Isaak Owen, Onalaska, WI; 4. Greg Croell, Holmen, WI; 5. Frank Doherty, Elgin, IA