WEST SALEM — It was a night that Adam Oxborough won’t soon forget, as the New Prague, Minn., driver took advantage of a restart on Lap 11 to swipe the lead from Nathan Borchardt, then held it for the final four laps to win the Dean’s Satellite Sportsmen Division feature race Saturday night at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
A crowd estimated at 4,000 — many in anticipation of the wildly popular Trailer Race of Destruction — watched Oxborough win his first feature race at the track.
It was far from easy, however, as West Salem veteran Steve Bachman pressured Oxborough all the way to the finish line. Two-time defending track champion Nick Clements had a strong second-half of the race to finish third, while Borchardt wound up fourth.
There was plenty of excitement surrounding rookie Dakota Miller, who was two laps away from a top-three finish last week before a spin took him out. Saturday night, Miller led for the first nine laps before a yellow flag came out on Lap 10. One lap later, things took a turn for the worse for Tom Luethe as the West Salem driver found himself crowded, then into, the Turn 3 wall with four laps remaining.
Luethe, who was running third at the time, hit the wall hard, creating a shower of sparks. He was knocked out of the race as his car incurred considerable damage.
Miller’s car didn’t appear to be as strong after the second yellow, but he still managed a top-10 finish.
LATE MODEL: The 25-lap Late Model feature, which included Xfinity driver Ty Majeski of Seymour, Wis., as well as points leader Steve Carlson and runner-up Nick Panitzke, was won by Ty Reedy of Galesville. It was Reedy’s first Late Model win of his career, leading from green to checkered flag. Brent Kirchner of La Crosse was second, while Majeski was third. Majeski started 14th and worked his way up from the back.
SIX-PACK OF WINS: Andy Moore of Tomah is the man to beat in the Auto Value Thunderstox Division once again. Moore won his sixth feature race of the season Saturday night, the most in the division.
MULLIKIN TRIUMPHS: Justin Mullikin of Holmen was pretty pumped Saturday night when he won a Late Model heat race. How could you tell? He held his arm out of his window, finger pointed to the sky, as he crossed the finish line.
STRANGE NIGHT: Steve Carlson was a bit off in qualifying, as the West Salem driver — and four-time defending track champion — had the 11th best qualifying time (20.100 seconds), or 97.612 mph.
That meant Carlson had to go through a qualifying heat to determine his starting spot in the feature. He won the heat race, zipping past Carter Christenson at the finish line.
LARGE FIELD: It was another deep Late Model field at the Speedway, as 25 drivers turned out to compete in the Tobacco Outlet Plus Division. That field included Ty Majeski, who had a rare night off from his ARCA Midwest Tour and Xfinity schedule.
FAST TY: Speaking of Majeski, under contract as developmental driver for Jack Roush, he turned in the fastest qualifying time in the Late Model field when he stopped the clock at 19.819 seconds, or an average speed of 98.966 mph.
Nick Panitzke had the second-fastest time at 19.845 seconds, or 98.845 mph.