Fredrickson Wins Oktoberfest Headliner For ASA Midwest Tour by Dean Strom
Haseleu Claims ASA Midwest Late Model Tour Title
Racing in Wisconsin drew to a close Sunday afternoon with the final day of the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Headlining the festivities was the curtain closer for the inaugural season of the ASA Midwest Late Model Tour.
In the late model division, the weekend belonged to local standout Steve Holzhausen, newly crowned NASCAR national weekly series champion Steve Carlson and Dan Fredrickson.
In Friday nights “Dick Trickle 99”—a race run in three 33-lap segments and combined the driver’s three finishing positions to award an overall point total—Holzhausen and Fredrickson tied. Holzhausen took the overall title after the tiebreaker with Carlson a close third.
In Saturday’s ASA Midwest Late Model Tour qualifying, Holzhausen and Fredrickson again tied, this time atop the leader board with a new track record of 19.133 seconds. Carlson, not known for his qualifying prowess, timed in fourth quick.
And in Sunday afternoon’s Oktoberfest 100, only Andrew Morrissey kept the trio from sweeping the podium.
Fredrickson and Holzhausen started 10th and 11th, respectfully, after the mandatory invert with Carlson starting 8th. While Dean Cornelius and Josh Vadnais battled for the lead in the early going, the Fredrickson/Holzhausen/Carlson trio charged through the pack.
Steve Carlson (l-r), Dan Fredrickson and Andrew Morrissey were on the podium as the ASA Midwest Tour rounded up its season. (Doug Hornickel photos)
By lap 20, Fredrickson, Carlson and Holzhausen held down the third thru fifth positions, behind Cornelius and Vadnais.
But just three laps later Fredrickson nipped Cornelius at the line for the lead and pulled Carlson and Holzhausen with him.
Once out front, the trio set a torrid pace. Aided by an 88-lap green flag run, Fredrickson tore through the field and put all but five cars a lap or more down.
“Once I got in the lead, I actually slowed down about a half-second,” confessed Fredrickson. “Steve’s pretty wise and I’m sure he slowed down too and was just riding.”
Fredrickson survived two late race restarts to record the prestigious win.
“He had a really good car,” said Carlson. “He had super bite off the corner and I just couldn’t get in the throttle hard enough to put a challenge on him. Coming into the weekend, I figured Holzhausen and Fredrickson were the two cars to beat and I beat one of them.”
Late in the 100-lapper, Morrissey snuck past Holzhausen to take the final rung on the podium. Holzhausen settled for fourth with Travis Sauter rounding out the top five.
“I really didn’t know what to expect we were very fast in practice yesterday and we qualified real well,” an exhausted Morrissey said after the race. “I just saved my tires through the race and it paid off in the end.”
Dan Fredrickson (#66) leads Steve Carlson (#36) at LaCrosse.
The day’s only real drama played out with less than five laps to go when Mark Kraus spun exciting turn four and stacked the field up behind him. Kris Kelly, Jeremy Lepak, Jesse Saunders and Blake Horstman all got turned around in the melee. The incident happened directly in front of championship point leader Nathan Haseleu.
“I got stopped, probably 20 feet away,” said Haseleu. “But you never know who is going to hit you from the back. The whole track was blocked.”
Haseleu came through the incident unscratched and motored on to a 14th place showing, good enough to the claim the inaugural ASA Midwest Tour championship over Donny Reuvers.
“I was looking at the big picture and I didn’t race anyone hard at all,” confessed Haseleu. “But on the other hand, I didn’t have a good enough car to do anything anyhow. We were fortunate that Donny didn’t run all that well either.”
For Fredrickson, who, arguably, had the car to beat at the 2002 and 2006 Oktoberfest race, the win was extra sweet.
“This event is awesome. This place is awesome,” said Fredrickson. “This makes up for the two that I let get away. This is my own car and anything we win with my own stuff means a lot to me because we don’t have a lot of money and I know what a struggle it is to just go racing.”
Donny Reuvers (#41) races at LaCrosse.
The Final Numbers Are In
Over its 38-year run, the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway has become one of the premier short track weekends in the entire country. This year’s final numbers didn’t disappoint.
Including Wednesday nights practice session, 18,425 folks strolled through the turnstiles during the course of the weekend. And over 550 cars took part in the on track action.
But Oktoberfest is more than racing. It’s also about the daily Charity Pancake Breakfasts. It’s about the nightly after race parties. It’s about the Ag Societies pork chop sandwiches. It’s about the kids pumpkin coloring contest. It’s about Sunday mornings fan photo/driver autograph session. And, it’s about camping and campfires.
They were down a few from previous years, but still 950 hearty groups pitched everything from pop-up tents to fifth-wheel campers to half-million dollar RV’s and spent the weekend.
“This is a Fairgrounds, and is obviously very good for camping,” noted co-organizer John McKarns. “We have the buildings so we can host the parties. We can have the parties
There is plenty to see and do in the camping area at Oktoberfest.
whether it’s 35 degrees or 85 degrees. We really encourage all attendees to have fun and enjoy themselves.”
The Champs Big Year
With his 14th place showing in the ASA Midwest Late Model Tour feature, Nathan Haseleu laid claim to the up-start series first championship.
“The competition level in the ASA Late Model Series is huge and I’m real proud to win the first championship,” said Haseleu.
The title capped an extremely successful season for the short-track ace as he also won his third consecutive Wisconsin Challenge Series championship just weeks ago.
“That just says a lot for my team,” said Haseleu. “We used two different cars and two different crews a lot of the time. It says a lot about our preparation and the team that we have.”
Swan Again In Mid-Am Stockers
In addition to the ASA Midwest Late Model Tour crowning a champion, the Mid-American Stock Car Series declared a champion. James Swan finished 7th in Saturday nights Mid-Am feature and claimed his second straight championship and third overall.
“I would really like to have finished better,” said Swan. “But that doesn’t matter, we won the championship.”
Ryan Rose crossed the stripe first in the 35-lap main, but failed post race inspection, giving the win to Doug Brown.
Nathan Haseleu won the ASA MW Tour title.