Oktoberfest Race Weekend: Ty Majeski captures JMcK 63

Jon Reynolds holds off Ty Majeski to win the third segment of the JMcK 63 Big Invitational Sunday at the 48th annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. Majeski, who won the first segment and finished third in the second 21-lap segment, was the overall champion.

Eriik Daily, La Crosse Tribune

WEST SALEM — Ty Majeski knows where he cut his racing teeth and he won’t soon, if ever, forget it.

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Majeski

That is exactly why the rising star from Seymour, Wis., continues to race in the Late Model, Super Late Model and ARCA Midwest Tour events at the Oktoberfest Race Weekend.

Majeski, a developmental driver in the Roush Fenway Racing stable, could focus his efforts on the Midwest ARCA Tour, where he won his fourth consecutive season championship this year. Instead, he continues to do what he loves — race — in multiple divisions.

“I pay my dues back. Gregg (McKarns) has done a lot for short-track racing. And I am paying back, so-to-speak, and coming back and support him and his Dad’s race,” Majeski said.

“We will continue to run it as long as I can.”

So when Majeski won the three-part, 63-lap race named after the late John McKarns — the JMcK 63 Big 8 Invitational — Sunday afternoon during the final day of the 48th annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend, he was happy to give an estimated 4,500 fans at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway something to talk about.

Majeski won the first 21-lap segment, finished second to Beloit’s Johnny Baumeister Jr. in the second stage, then turned in another runner-up performance in the third part to easily win the popular event with five points.

That was well ahead of second-place overall finisher Brody Willett, who had 13 points on finishes of second, fifth and sixth. Zach Riddle was third with 15 points on finishes of third, seventh and fifth.

Reynolds, who was fifth with 18 points, was elated to win a segment of the event.

“It wasn’t too good in the first two races, but we fixed it there for the third one and it stayed the same there for 21 laps,” Reynolds said of his car.

“It is a big win. Gregg McKarns (Motorsports Management Services president) and I have grown up racing. I raced for him for a long time and still do at Madison, but I always wanted to win a Late Model Series event here.

“It was a big deal for me to try and get up here and win one of these JMcK things. I am pretty proud we finally did. I was shaking pretty good (on the last lap).”

GILSTER WINS MID-AMERICAN: Danny Gilster, a former multi-time track champion in the Sportsmen Division at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, still knows the Fairgrounds Speedway track quite well, as he won the 30-lap Mid-American Okoberfest feature.

Gilster beat Ryan Gutknecht across the line by 0.475 seconds, while Ron Vandermeier Jr. was third in the 18-car field.

The win was extra special for Gilster, as he also captured the season championship.

VINTAGE OKTO FEATURE: Woody Pool of Tinley Park, Ill., powered his red and black No. 2 to victory in the Vintage Oktoberfest 15. It was the third consecutive victory for Pool in the event.

Ken Hutchins, of Black River Falls, a former longtime driver at the Fairgrounds Speedway, was second. Dan Navrestad of La Crosse was third.

ARCA MIDWEST TOUR QUALIFYING: Johnny Sauter, who has had a strong Camping World Truck Series season, turned in the fastest lap in the 36-driver ARCA Midwest Tour qualifying session Sunday morning.

Sauter, a Necedah, Wis., native, stopped the clock at 18.675 seconds, or an average speed of 120.482 mph. Sauter, who is currently fourth in the Truck Series standings, just three points out of third and fifth out of second, has two wins in the national series this season.

Sauter’s time was just a tick ahead of Bangor’s Skylar Holzhausen, whose time of 18.680 (120.450 mph). Ty Majkeski, who won the race last year, qualified ninth with a time of 18.948 mph (118.74 mph).

MAJESKI WINS BIG 8: Seymour, Wis., driver Ty Majeski, a developmental driver in the Roush Fenway Racing stable, won the 68-lap Big 8 Okoberfest Feature late Saturday night. After three days of steady, even heavy rain, Fairgrounds Speedway officials were finally able to run a race about 9 p.m. Saturday. Majeski, to no one’s surprise, was ready.

Majeski, who was the fast qualifier for the event, started in the 13th spot and have powered his way into the top 10 by Lap 6. He continued his march to the front, passing is way into the top five on Lap 17. On Lap 32, he moved into third, then took second place away from Derek Lemke on Lap 33. On Lap 38, he took over the lead from Brody Willett, then cruised to a 5.8-second victory in the caution-free race.

CAR COUNT: Despite heavy rain that washed out all of Thursday’s and Friday’s action and some of Saturday, a total of 467 cars registered for the 48th annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend. That is 23 less than in 2016, when all of the races that were scheduled were actually run.

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