The next two days are going to be a stark contrast for Chuck Deery, the general manager of the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Tonight, the five-eighth’s mile asphalt oval track will be filled with 25 or more Super Late Model cars competing in the driver-owned Tundra Series. The fewer accidents, the better, as drivers prefer to keep their cars in one piece. It can be costly if they don’t.
Saturday night, it’s strikingly different, as what is called the Wisconsin Lottery Smash-O-Rama takes over the racing facility. It’s an event where 15 to 20 cars will be destroyed — intentionally, that is — during what is a 2 ½ to 3-hour program.
“The Tundra is neat because it is drivers that like racing at La Crosse that drive a (significant) distant to race here. There is a series of races (in the Tundra) that are very competitive. These are cars that are uncommon at the track during the regular season.”
Tonight’s Tundra drivers’ list includes Seymour, Wis., native Ty Majeski, who made his Xfinity debut last weekend, as well as one of the Midwest’s top short-track drivers in Lakeville’s Dan Fredrickson. One of the area’s longtime Late Model and Sportsmen drivers, Tomah’s Corey Jankowski, also is registered for the event.
Saturday night, the Smash-O-Rama features Monster Trucks, the Green Mamba Jet Car and fireworks.
“For the Smash-O-Rama, we decided to destroy a car every way possible — burn it, wreck it, flatten it,” Deery said. “We’ll drive one into a pool. We’ll roll them over; any way to have a boatload of fun.”
Speaking of fun, Deery said there will be a “waterless boat race” on the quarter-mile track where the fans will choose the winner.
“This is the right time of the year for a less traditional event. It is a more of a fun family event,” Deery said, “and it gives our regular drivers a week off.”
Both tonight’s and Saturday night’s events start at 7:30 p.m.