While most drivers will say that a win is a win, it definitely helps when you actually earn the win rather than have one handed to you. Friday night at Oktoberfest Dan Fredrickson was declared the winner of the Dick Trickle 99 after the apparent winner, Nick Murgic failed post race inspection. Despite finishing a strong second in the uniquely scored 3 segment format, one has to wonder how gratifying that win was.
Sunday at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, Fredrickson earned the victory in the Oktoberfest 100 for the ASA Midwest Tour cars, by leading the final seventy seven laps in capturing his third Oktoberfest win.
“I love this place, it’s awesome,” exclaimed Fredrickson. “We hadn’t won a race in this series this year. We took a couple of weeks off and got our stuff together. It’s awesome!”
Nick Panitzke and Nathan Haseleu led the field of thirty cars to the green flag. Panitzke would get the jump and take the early lead. Fredrickson settled in behind Haseleu for the first few laps.
Jacob Goede, driving a car he borrowed from his brother after launching his own car over the top of Chris Weinkauf during Friday night’s Dick Trickle 99, quickly got to the inside of Michael Bilderback and into fourth place.
The first caution of the race flew on lap five, when fast qualifier Griffin McGrath spun in turn two with a little help from Boris Jurkovich.
Panitzke would get a huge jump on the restart, and pull away to a several car length lead. As the field took the green, the car of Tim Schendel never came up to speed. Schendel pitted and was several laps down when he finally returned to action.
Fredrickson began his assault on the lead by first getting around Haseleu on lap 12. Fredrickson continued to catch leader Panitzke and finally was on his rear bumper by lap 18. Once he was glued to Panitzke’s rear bumper, it was just a matter of time before Fredrickson would make the pass.
That pass would happen on lap 23, when Fredrickson got underneath Panitzke coming off of turn four. As the duo got into turn one, Fredrickson drove it in just a tad deeper and came off of turn two with the lead.
While Panitzke maintained the early lead, the championship battle between Steve Carlson and Chris Wimmer never materialzed. Carlson, who entered the race with a scant 6 point advantage over Wimmer, slowly worked his way into the top ten. Wimmer was never a factor and was lapped by Fredrickson on lap 53.
With Fredrickson gradually increasing his lead, Jacob Goede found his way around Haseleu for third place on lap 50. Meanwhile a bit further back, Steve Carlson and NASCAR Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter worked their way into the top ten.
Ross Kenseth, who became the ASAMT Rookie OF The Year, continued to struggle at Oktoberfest. Kenseth and Andrew Morrissey worked their way up to sixth place, before Kenseth couldn’t hold the car down in the corners. Carlson, Sauter, and Becca Kasten all got around Kenseth.
Back up front, Fredrickson seemingly put it on cruise control and led comfortably until the competition yellow came out on lap 75 setting up a twenty five lap shooutout.
However, the shootout never occurred, as Fredrickson got a huge jump on the restart. He soon extended his lead to almost a full straightaway advantage. Jacob Goede also got a good restart and got around Nick Panitzke for second place on lap 77. Panitzke got caught on the high side and was soon passed by Haseleu and Nick Murgic.
Murgic continued his strong run at Oktoberfest despite getting disqualified after Friday’s apparent win. Murgic got around Haseleu on lap 95 and settled into third place.
However, on this day no one would threaten Fredrickson, as he cruised to a near full straightaway win over Jacob Goede and Nick Murgic. Nathan Haseleu held oon for fourth place while Nick Panitzke came home in fifth place. Johnny Sauter wound up sixth with Steve Carlson clinching the season championship with a seventh place finish. Skylar Holzhausen would finish eighth, while Becca Kasten scored her career best ASAMT finish in ninth. Andrew Morrissey would round out the top ten.
Once in Victory Lane, Fredrickson was quick to point out that he “stole” a little help from a fellow competitor.
“I got one thing first,” said Fredrickson from Victory Lane. “Brent Kirchner, whoever’s Big 8 car you drive, I think it’s Todd Korish maybe? Thank you for the alternator. We stripped it off your car because mine went out just before we started to line up.”
Was Kirchner even aware of the “theft”?
“He does, we told him we were doing it,” said Fredrickson. “He was gracious enough not to shoot us. Let’s go ask Kirchner if we can steal that radiator and if he says no, we’ll just take it anyway.”
As for this win he earned, Fredrickson was matter of fact about his car.
“It’s a hot rod right there,” said Fredrickson. “I got a couple of guys that help me out and I’m getting lazier in my old age. They do almost all the work. It was bad to the bone.
Jacob Goede was ecstatic about his second place run, especially considering his devastating crash on Friday night.
“This car was good, but we didn’t bring them both,” explained Goede. “We had to go home and get the second one. We weren’t planning on that obviously, but it was fast just like the other one. I have to thank my brother Matt for letting us use his ride here today. Pretty good season, it was a great way to end it. Congratulations to Danny, he had a heck of a car today, that was pretty sweet.”
Perhaps the sweetest thing of this day was Steve Carlson clinching the championship. Not only did he accomplish that feat, he became the first driver to win both a second ASAMT championship, but also the first to win consecutive titles. Clinching the title at his home track is just an added bonus.
“It feels great,” said Carlson. “It always worked out that I think every championship I’ve ever won I’ve always had to win it here (at La Crosse) because it’s the last race of the year. It’s just cool in front of all my fans and friends, family, sponsors, it’s just great.”
LA CROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY
ASA Midwest Tour
Miller Lite 100 Feature (30 Cars) — 1, Dan Fredrickson, Lakeville, Minn.; 2, Jacob Goede, Shakopee, Minn.; 3, Nick Murgic, Rosemount, Minn.; 4, Nathan Haseleu, Pardeeville; 5, Nick Panitzke, Sauk Centre, Minn.; 6, Johnny Sauter, Necedah; 7, Steve Carlson, West Salem; 8, Skylar Holzhausen, Nekoosa; 9, Becca Kasten, Mequon; 10, Andrew Morrissey, De Forest; 11, Ross Kenseth, Spring Valley, Ill.; 12, Matt Kocourek, Franklin; 13, Boris Jurkovic, Manhattan, Ill.; 14, Jason Weinkauf, Merrill; 15, Thor Anderson, Bondurant, Iowa; 16, Jamie Iverson, Escanaba, Mich.; 17, Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 18, Mike Carlson, West Salem; 19, Brian Johnson Jr., Machensney Park, Ill.; 20, Chris Wimmer, Wausau; 21, Russ Blakeley, Whitewater; 22, Blake Bown, Franksville; 23, Michael Bilderback, Rockton, Ill.; 24, Jeff Storm, East Troy; 25, Mark Kraus, Stratford; 26, Gregg VanGool, Riverside Estates, SK, CA; 27, Eugene Gregorich Jr., Amhurst; 28, Danny Darnell, Park City, Ill.; 29, Jason Schneider, New Market, Minn.; 30, Tim Schendel, Sparta.