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Kahler Takes The Big 8 TITLE ON ‘Championship Saturday’ At Oktoberfest

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Max Kahler
Ratnasty Racing Photo


By: Paul Reichert
October 10, 2020

Another ‘picture postcard’ day welcomed the race fans back to the 51st Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the LaCrosse Speedway. Now that the local track championships have been settled, it is time for the traveling series to decide their 2020 championships. Oktoberfest race wins were also on the line for those divisions during ‘Championship Saturday’. Headlining the day was the Big 8 Late Model season finale. Jacob Goede took the win while Max Kahler had a better run in the feature to claim the season championship.

Adam Bendzick quickly shot to the top of the 38 lap Big 8 Late Model feature. National Short Track Championship winner Max Kahler drove around Shaun Scheel to claim second place on lap eight. Jacob Goede found an opening on the inside of Zack Riddle to move up into third just before halfway. Goede caught up to the back bumper of Kahler and made quick work of him to settle into second on lap 20. Goede began to chomp away at Bendzick’s huge lead, but the yellow flew with 14 laps to go after Shaun Scheel spun into the grass in turn two. Goede wasted little time to apply the pressure to Bendzick on the restart. Goede continued to poke his nose underneath Bendzick looking for a way around the leader. Goede got a run out of turn three, got alongside Bendzick and surged into the lead with five laps to go. As Dan Deicher would say, Goede was “in, around and gone” as he drove away with the victory. Max Kahler ran 7th to vault past a struggling Jacob Nottestad and capture the 2020 Big 8 championship.

In the 30 lap Mid-American Stock Car feature, Titus Helgistad took the lead at the start of the race. Dale Lecus, Jr. lost control in the middle of turn two on lap three, but miracuously no other driver ran into him. On the restart, a familiar face to LaCrosse fans showed up as Dan Gilster got around Jason Thoma and broke into the top three on lap seven. Gilster got around both Helgistad and Corso to take over the lead on lap 13. Gilster was pulling away from the field, but soon would have a new challenger to deal with in Blake Brown. A late yellow with three laps to go would set up an exciting finish. Brown got into Gilster on the restart and turned him. Brown tapped his roof and accepted the blame for the incident. Gilster suddenly slowed in turn three on the final lap, allowing Helgistad to claim his first ever Mid-American and Oktoberfest victories. A rough day ended well for Ron Vandermier, Jr. as he ran seventh and locked up his third consecutive series championship.

George Seliger surged past Dave Auringer for the lead at the start of the 20 lap Midwest Dash feature. As the leaders were making their way through lap traffic, Patrick Thicke was closing up on Auringer. After a yellow flag on lap eight, Thicke drove around Seliger to take over the race lead. Making his way through the field to claim another Oktoberfest victory was Phil Malouf. Malouf made it all the way up to third before Scott Ciesielski wrestled third away from the point leader with eight laps to go. Ciesielski drove past Seliger for second with six laps to go and began to quickly catch Thicke. Ciesielski got a run on the outside of Thicke and surged ahead as both drivers took the two laps to go signal. Ciesielski pulled away over the final two laps to capture an Oktoberfest checkered flag. Malouf got by Seliger on the final lap to take third and wrap up the 2020 series championship.

In the 25 lap Midwest Truck feature, Danielle Behn shot past former LaCrosse competitor Jake Arenson to take command of the race early on. James Swan and Bryce Miller tangled for third on lap seven with Miller taking a hard hit into the turn one wall. Behn held the inside line on the restart, while Kevin Knuese took the outside groove. Behn began to pull away again, leaving Knuese to battle Joe Valento for second. Behn would have to do it all over again when Joey Pontbriand got loose in turn one and tagged the outside wall with ten laps to go. Knuese got a better run on the outside on the restart to shoot past Behn and assume the race lead. Over the last three laps, Knuese had to deal with a closing Behn and Levon VanderGeest. Knuese let them battle over second as he captured his first victory at Oktoberfest.

The ARCA Midwest Tour ran their premlinary races to decide the field for the Sunday’s big 200 lap season finale. Ty Majeski set fast time as he toured the big 5/8-mile oval in 18.540 seconds. Majeski also accepted the Ultimate Challenge with $6,300 on the line if he wins Sunday’s 200 lap feature from the back of the field. The top 16 drivers in qualifying who got locked into Sunday’s big show also ran in two dashes. Paul Shafer, Jr. dominated the dash for the odd qualifers, while point leader Casey Johnson fought back the advances of Jonathan Eilen to take the checkered flag first in the dash for the even qualifers. The rest of the field ran in one of two qualifying races that took the top two finishers out of each race to the big dance on Sunday. Michael Ostdiek put his driveshaft issue in qualifying behind him as he scored the win in the first Qualifying Race. Derek Kraus was able to hold back Matt Henderson to claim the other transfer spot. Johnny Sauter’s car was on rail as he drove away with the victory in the second Qualifying Race. John DeAngelis, Jr. kept R. J. Braun in his rear view mirror to take the second golden ticket into Sunday’s show.

Racing action at the 51st Oktoberfest Race Weekend concludes on Sunday, October 11 with the 200 lap main event as the ARCA Midwest Tour brings their season to a close and crowns a champion. The Central Wisconsin Racing Association (CWRA) Late Models return to race at Oktoberfest for the first time in at least 25 years and crown their season champion. The ‘Cratetoberfest’ Challenge returns after a successful debut at last year’s Oktoberfest Race Weekend. The Vintage cars will make their annual Oktoberfest visit, plus debuting at Oktoberfest will be the Super Vintage cars. Gates open at 8:30 and racing fires up at 12 Noon.

For more information about LaCrosse Speedway, please call the office at 608-786-1525 or visit our web site at For news, information and updates on the 51st Oktoberfest Race Weekend, be sure to check out LaCrosse Speedway is proud to be a NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.

Big 8 Late Model Series
Feature (38 Laps): 1. Jacob Goede, 2. Adam Bendzick, 3. Zack Riddle, 4. Riley Stenjem, 5. Michael Haggar, 6. Nick Clements, 7. Max Kahler, 8. MIchael Beamish, 9. Tony Leis, 10. Ryan Kamish, 11. Griffin McGrath, 12. Chris Marek, 13. Jon Reynolds, Jr., 14. Morgan Schissel, 15. Justin Niesius, 16. Brent Edmunds, 17. Jesse Bernhagen, 18. Jacob Nottestad, 19. Adam Oxborough, 20. MIke Ehde, 21. Mitch Haver, 22. Franc Beldowski, 23. Steve Rubeck, 24. Shaun Scheel, 25. Stephen Scheel, 26. Hunter Drefahl

B-Feature (18 Laps): 1. Nottestad, 2. McGrath, 3. Neisius, 4. Ehde, 5. Rubeck, 6. Beldowski, 7. Chris Storey, 8. Dylan Schuyler, 9. Russ Grossen, 10. Hunter Drefahl, 11. Bryan Rogers, 12. Willie Nelson, 13. Mitch Haver

Qualifying Race #1 (20 Laps): 1. St. Scheel, 2. Marek, 3. Reynolds, Jr., 4. Clements, 5. Bernhagen, 6. Riddle, 7. Goede, 8. Beamish, 9. Oxborough, 10. Neisius, 11. McGrath, 12. Ehde, 13. Beldowski, 14. Schuyler, 15. Nelson, 16. Rogers, 17. Wenzel

Qualifying Race #2 (20 Laps): 1. Bendzick, 2. Kahler, 3. Schissel, 4. Kamish, 5. Stenjem, 6. Haggar, 7. Sh. Scheel, 8. Edmunds, 9. Leis, 10. Nottestad, 11. Rubeck, 12. Haver, 13. Storey, 14. Grossen, 15. Drefahl, 16. Schultz

Qualifying: 1. Goede, 2. Stenjem, 3. Riddle, 4. Edmunds, 5. McGrath, 6. Nottestad, 7. Beamish, 8. Haggar, 9. Neisius, 10. Sh. Scheel, 11. Bernhagen, 12. Kamish, 13. Marek, 14. Schultz, 15. Clements, 16. Kahler, 17. Reynolds, Jr., 18. Bendzick, 19. St. Scheel, 20. Schissel, 21. Ehde, 22. Rubeck, 23. Oxborough, 24. Haver, 25. Wenzel, 26. Leis, 27. Beldowski, 28. Storey, 29. Schuyler, 30. Grossen, 31. Nelson, 32. Drefahl, 33. Rogers

Mid-American Stock Car Series
Feature (30 Laps): 1. Titus Helgistad, 2. Bobby Gutknecht, 3. Rick Corso, 4. Jason Thoma, 5. Tyler Sauter, 6. Taylor Dawson, 7. Ron Vandermier, Jr., 8. Dan Gilster, 9. Joe Monti, 10. Kevin Berg, 11. Blake Brown, 12. Brian Gibson, 13. Dusty Mann, 14. Dale Lecus, Jr., 15. Andrew Meyerhofer, 16. Henry Vian, 17. Jim Cormack, 18. Jimmy Wilson, 19. Steve Blair, 20. Brian Back, 21. Sam Niles, 22. Bob Fort, 23. Mark Challet, 24. Dillon Sellner

Heat #1 (8 Laps): 1. Corso, 2. Brown, 3. Gibson, 4. Back, 5. Berg, 6. Gilster, 7. Mann, 8. Gutknecht, 9. Weber

Heat #2 (8 Laps): 1. Cormack, 2. Blair, 3. Lecus, Jr., 4. Thoma, 5. Sauter, 6. Niles, 7. Dawson, 8. Monti, 9. Helgistad

Heat #3 (8 Laps): 1. Vandermier, Jr., 2. Meyerhofer, 3. Sellner, 4. Vian, 5. Fort. 6. Wilson, 7. Challet, 8. Schott

Qualifying: 1. Berg, 2. Brown, 3. Gilster, 4. Gutknecht, 5. Mann, 6. Weber, 7. Gibson, 8. Corso, 9. Back, 10. Helgistad, 11. Thoma, 12. Vandermier, Jr., 13. Monti, 14. Lecus, Jr., 15. Dawson, 16. Blair, 17. Niles, 18. Cormack, 19. Sauter, 20. Meyerhofer, 21. Clements, 22. Fort, 23. Schott, 24. Wilson, 25. Challet, 26. Vian

Midwest Dash Series
Feature (20 Laps): 1. Scott Ciesielski, 2. Patrick Thicke, 3. Phil Malouf, 4. George Seliger, 5. Kyle Stark, 6. Tim Finstad, 7. George Sparkman, 8. Dave Auringer, 9. Karl Genett, 10. Devon Dixon, 11. Justin Pearson, 12. Jared deBoer, 13. Lyle Phillips, 14. Jake Halterman, 15. Ashley Bell, 16. Kyle Genett, 17. Shawn Grabinger, 18. Merek Pankow, 19. Ronnie Osborne, 20. Andy Barney, 21. Tyler Custer, 22. Justin Schelitzche, 23. Craig Phillips, 24. Eric Brietenfeldt, 25. Andrew Rhone, 26. Josh Tanguay, 27. Zach Liebsch, 28. Ben Thurk, 29. Rylie Mullin

Qualifying Heat (8 Laps): 1. Grabinger, 2. deBoer, 3. Breitenfeldt, 4. Barney, 5. Custer, 6. K. Stark, 7. Osborne, 8. Schelitzche, 9. C. Phillips, 10. Rhone, 11. Thurk, 12. Mullin, 13. Liebsch, 14. Pankow, 15. Tanguay

Odd Dash (8 Laps): 1. Seliger, 2. Thicke, 3. Finstad, 4. Malouf, 5. Auringer, 6. L. Phillips, 7. Pearson

Even Dash (8 Laps): 1. Ciesielski, 2. Halterman, 3. Sparkman, 4. Bell, 5. Ka. Genett, 6. Ky. Genett, 7. Dixon

Qualifying: 1. Malouf, 2. Ciesielski, 3. Finstad, 4. Ka. Genett, 5. C. Phillips, 6. Sparkman, 7. Thicke, 8. Halterman, 9. Pearson, 10. Bell, 11. Seliger, 12. Dixon, 13. Auringer, 14. Ky. Genett, 15. Grabinger, 16. deBoer, 17. Barney, 18. Osborne, 19. Breitenfeldt, 20. Pankow, 21. Custer, 22. Schelitzsche, 23. Mullin, 24. Rhone, 25. L. Phillips, 26. Thurk, 27. Liebsch, 28. Tanguay, 29. K. Stark (NO TIME)

Midwest Truck Series
Feature (25 Laps): 1. Kevin Knuese, 2. Danielle Behn, 3. Levon VanderGeest, 4. Erik Darnell, 5. Joe Valento, 6. Rich Schumann, Jr., 7. Joey Gase, 8. Todd Kluever, 9. James Swan, 10. A.J. Kreager, 11. Chester Ace, 12. John Ovadal, Jr., 13. Jake Arneson, 14. Kenny Joosten, 15. Brent Kirchner, 16. Brad Gajewski, 17. Alex Ertmann, 18. Cody Houseweart, 19. Joey Pontbriand, 20. Bryce Miller

Heat #1 (10 Laps): 1. Ertmann, 2. Kirchner, 3. Joosten, 4. Gase, 5. Ovadal, Jr., 6. Ace, 7. Gajewski, 8. Kluever, 9. Houseweart, 10. Pontbriand

Heat #2 (10 Laps): 1. Darnell, 2. Schumann, Jr., 3. Knuese, 4. Swan, 5. VanderGeest, 6. Miller, 7. Arneson, 8. Behn, 9. Valento, 10. Kreager

Qualifying: 1. VanderGeest, 2. Valento, 3. Darnell, 4. Miller, 5. Schumann, Jr., 6. Knuese, 7. Swan, 8. Behn, 9. Arneson, 10. Kreager, 11. Ace, 12. Kluever, 13. Gase, 14. Ovadal, Jr., 15. Kirchner, 16. Houseweart, 17. Gajewski, 18. Pontbriand, 19. Joosten, 20. Ertmann

ARCA Midwest Tour (Premilinaries)
Odd Dash (8 Laps): 1. Paul Shafer, Jr., 2. Gabe Sommers, 3. Bobby Kendall, 4. Rayn Farrell, 5. Chad Butz, 6. Dan Fredrickson, 7. Rich Bickle, Jr., 8. Ty Majeski

Even Dash (8 Laps): 1. Casey Johnson, 2. Jonathan Eilen, 3. Jacob Goede, 4. Dillon Hammond, 5. Justin Mondeik, 6. Jason Weinkauf, 7. Skylar Holzhausen, 8. Andrew Morrissey

Qualifying Race #1 (12 Laps): 1. Michael Ostdiek, 2. Derek Kraus, 3. Matt Henderson, 4. Brock Heinrich, 5. Dean LaPointe, 6. Brady Bill, 7. Brett Yackey, 8. Brad Tilton

Qualifying Race #2 (12 Laps): 1. Johnny Sauter, 2. John DeAngelis, Jr., 3. R.J. Braun, 4. Austin Nason, 5. Billy Mohn, 6. Brent Kirchner, 7. Harley Jankowski, 8. Andrew Brocker

Qualifying: 1. Majeski, 2. Morrissey, 3. Sommers, 4. Holzhausen, 5. Bickle, Jr., 6. Eilen, 7. Fredrickson, 8. Mondeik, 9. Farrell, 10. Hammond, 11. Butz, 12. J. Weinkauf, 13. Kendall, 14. Goede, 15. Shafer, Jr., 16. Johnson, 17. Ostdiek, 18. J. Sauter, 19. Henderson, 20. DeAngelis, Jr., 21. Kraus, 22. Braun, 23. Heinrich, 24. Nason, 25. LaPointe, 26. Mohn, 27. Bill, 28. Kirchner, 29. Yackey, 30. Jankowski, 31. Tilton, 32. Brocker

By: Paul Reichert


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