WEST SALEM — Devin Schmidt, a driver from Bell Plaine, Minn., tangled with Brent Kirchner and Matthew Henderson before emerging to win his first Late Model feature at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway on Saturday.
Schmidt, who placed 23rd in the first feature race two weeks ago and didn’t run in the twin features last week, took the lead with an inside pass on Kirchner with 10 laps to go and held off Kirchner and Henderson the final 15 laps to score the 25-lap feature victory.
Schmidt and Kirchner’s battle at the front of the pack heated up after a yellow flag tightened up a Kirchner lead that was established at the beginning of the race.
Henderson passed Kirchner — also on the inside — for a second place two laps later and did close his gap to within three car lengths, but Schmidt found a way to hold him off and become the fourth feature winner in four Late Model features this season.
Henderson crossed the line second, Michael Beamish third, Nick Murgic fourth and Adam Oxborough fifth.
Holmen’s Sam Niles won the Sportsmen feature by catching and overtaking La Crosse’s Bill Schott. Niles took the lead on the back straightaway with three laps left and powered his way to the finish line. Schott was second, Ed Ross third, Justin Berg fourth and Jesse Green fifth.
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Brandon Gallagher won a close battle with Jason Bolster in the Hobby Stock feature, and Andy Barney fought off a challenge from Michael Wachs to win the Hobby Stock feature. Keith Larson took the early lead in the Street Stock feature and won his first race at the Fairgrounds Speedway over second-place Tristan Drazkowski.
Late Models, Sportsmen, Hobby Stock, Six Shooters and the first race of the season for the High School Racing Association are included at the in the scheduled June 5 event.