“Oktoberfest 200” LaCrosse Speedway; Recap/Photos by Stan Kalwasinski

Johnny Sauter wins Oktoberfest 200
By Kevin Ramsell
 
West Salem, Wis., October 8—It was a day that Wisconsin native Johnny Sauter has been waiting for throughout his career and it finally became a reality today as he dominated and won the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment’s Oktoberfest 200 presented by JE Pistons.
 
The 39-year-old Sauter, who also won the fast qualifier award, started ninth and took over the lead on lap 34 and led the final 166 laps to easily take the victory over defending winner and four-time Tour Champion Ty Majeski.
 
“Yeah, we got one, this is cool,” a smiling Sauter said in victory lane. “It’s a lot of work with a lot of great people helping me do this stuff. This is fun, and it’s rewarding when you can win, especially with the trouble I have had with this car. We were leading a race and the motor shut off. We worked our butts off and this is gratifying.”
 
Dan Fredrickson and Jason Weinkauf swapped the lead back in forth throughout the first 30 laps of the race, while Johnny Sauter and Ty Majeski worked their way to the front.
 
Sauter’s march to the front ended on lap 34 when he took over the top spot from Weinkauf. Majeski followed him to the second spot. Weinkauf fell back to third.
 
Sauter, a former NASCAR truck series champion and current full-time competitor, continued to lead as many stayed out during the first competition yellow on lap 50. After the caution, Sauter led with Majeski not far behind him.
 
The caution flew on lap 70 when Michael Ostdiek and John DeAngelis tangled in turn two. Both were able to restart at the back of the field.
 
The competition yellow flew on lap 114 and the entire field came down pit road during the competition, thus allowing the entire field to come back out in the same order as they were when they came in for their stop.
 
After the restart, Sauter and Majeski both continued to pace the field with direct competition.
 
The final competition caution came with 21 laps to go in the event. Both Sauter and Majeski chose the inside line, allowing third place runner Fredrickson to take the outside and restart alongside with Sauter.
 
The final yellow flew with nine to go when Dillon Hammond spun in turn one collecting Austin Nason and Jason Weinkauf. All three were able to continue, but fell to the back of the pack.
 
It was a single file restart with nine to go and Sauter pulled away as Majeski and Fredrickson put on a spirited battle for the second spot.
 
At the checkers, it was Sauter picking his official first Oktoberfest 200 presented by JE Pistons victory while Majeski edged Fredrickson at the line for second.
 
“Johnny was just a little bit better. Our car was pretty good, it really was,” Majeski said after the race. “I tried to get it done at the end and I was playing more defense then offense. Danny and I were racing pretty hard and that was a lot of fun. When I had a few open laps, I could maintain with Johnny but not catch him. Overall he was just better.”
 
Fredrickson saw an opportunity with the final double file restart with 15 laps to go in the race. Sauter and Majeski both chose the inside line, allowing Fredrickson to grab the outside front row for the restart.
 
“I tried, but I just about wrecked going into the corner and the brakes were fading,” said Fredrickson.  “I forgot to pump them up and we went in there and I about crashed it, if I pumped them I may have gotten the lead.”
 
Dalton Zehr finished fourth with Andrew Morrissey rounding out the top five.
 
Michael Ostdiek finished 17th and was crowned the 2017 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year.
 
The finish:
Johnny Sauter, Ty Majeski, Dan Fredrickson, Dalton Zehr, Andrew Morrissey, Jonathan Eilen, Paul Shafer Jr., Justin Mondiek, Erik Darnell, Skylar Holzhausen, Derek Kraus, Travis Sauter, Casey Johnson, Nick Murgic, Travis Dassow, Jacob Goede, Michael Ostdiek, Austin Nason, Dean LaPointe, Michael Sauter, Jason Weinkauf, Dillon Hammond, Bubba Pollard, Jim Sauter Jr., Matt Kocourek, John DeAngelis Jr., Chris Weinkauf, Dennis Prunty.
 
By Stan Kalwasinski
 
West Salem, Wis., October 8—In addition to Johnny Sauter’s impressive victory in the ARCA Midwest Tour 200, Ty Majeski, Danny Gilster and Woody Pool were also winners Sunday afternoon during the final day of the 48th annual Oktoberfest Racing Weekend at the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
 
Majeski, the Seymour, Wis., racer, was the overall winner of the JMck 63 Big 8 Invitational as he posted a first and two second place finishes in the three 21-lap segment event, which honors Oktoberfest promoter Gregg McKarns’ father, John, the longtime Midwest motorsports businessman who passed away in 2010.
 
Now part of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing team, Majeski wheeled the same Toby Nuttleman-prepared, Johnny’s Hobbies/Dakota Supply Group-sponsored Ford Fusion that he drove to victory in Saturday night’s Big 8 Series 68-lap main event.  Majeski won the opening 21-lap race with Johnny Baumeister Jr. and Jon Reynolds Jr. also scoring victories in the second and third 21-lap lap chases respectively. 
 
Gilster of West Salem wrapped up his title-run for the Mid American Stock Car Series championship by winning the 30-lap series finale at the five-eighths-mile paved oval.  Setting quick time earlier in the day during time trials, Gilster and his Gilster Farms Impala SS defeated last year’s Mid American champion Ryan Gutknecht.  Ron Vandermeir Jr., James Swan, Bill Preitzel and Kevin Berg rounded out the top six finishers.  The Mid American racing was originally slated for Friday night with rain washing out the action as it did also to Thursday’s program.
 
For the third consecutive year during Oktoberfest, Woody Pool of Tinley Park, Ill., was the winner of the Vintage Stock Car feature race.  A former competitor on Chicago area short tracks, Pool guided his Ford Torino to victory in the 15-lap contest.