Koeneke makes a statement opening night
By: Ashley Iwanski
(West Salem, WI – May 17, 2014)
If Mike Koeneke came to La Crosse Speedway Saturday night looking to make a statement, he did just that. Koeneke captured the checkered flag in the first Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Model feature of the season before a large and loud crowd, making it clear that he’s ready to run for a championship.
Koeneke, a 50-year-old driver from Rockland, Wis., started the race mid-pack as Bill Niles and Todd Korish battled for the lead in the early stages of the race. Niles, a longtime fan favorite, grabbed the lead two laps after the green flag waved and stayed there for eight laps until Korish chased him down, pushing his car No. 32 past him.
Korish, a former track champion, held the top spot for only two laps before Koeneke came out of nowhere to stake his claim on the lead. Koeneke, coming out of Turn 4 with a full head of steam, pulled alongside – then past – Korish as the two blew down the front straightaway. It was a calculated and daring move, as he quickly cut to the inside in front of second-place finisher Korish.
Brad Powell, the fast-time qualifier, finished third, while Cole Howland and defending track champion Steve Carlson rounded out the top five.
Koeneke, driving car No. 19, never looked back. If he had he would have seen a storm brewing as there was a heated battle for second place between Korish and Powell. Korish wound up winning that battle, but there was no catching Koeneke.
“What a sweet win, what a way to start the season,” Koeneke said. “With new tires on and the way my son (Kyle) had the car set-up, I felt I could put this car anywhere on the track that I wanted to.”
Greg Scheck grabbed the first Coca-Cola Sportsmen feature win of the season, fending off hard-charging Steve Bachman who held on for the second spot.
Scheck started fifth and was able to take advantage of lap traffic to take over the top spot with five laps to go. Then-leader Jamie Dummer was stuck behind a lapped car when Scheck shot to the top of the track and surged into the lead, followed by Bachman.
The leaders luck didn’t last long, when half a lap later a caution flag flew for a car in the grass on the backstretch. This brought Bachman to the back bumper of Scheck. Bachman spent the next for laps chasing down the leader, but wasn’t able to make a pass.
Dummer finished in third place in front of Nick Clements and Jimmy Gilster, who crossed the line fourth and fifth, respectively.
The United Auto Supply Thunderstox division started the season with a bang as Andy Moore won the caution filled feature. Moore, who started his night with a Heat win, was able to hold on to the lead through three yellow flags with second-place finisher Jason Bolster and third-place Jordan Myers in hot pursuit.
Dan Rozek took home an ANTZ Complete Pest Control feature win. Jeff Stumlin and Nate Towner, who second and ninth in the feature, respectively, each grabbed a Second Over the Line novelty win.
Join us for a night of exciting racing Saturday, May 24 when 1st Community Credit Union sponsors Buck Night. All concession menu and drink items are just $1. The Late Models, Sportsmen and Thunderstox will be back in action along with the Outlawz, and the Street Stocks division will make its debut. For more information please call the Speedway office at (608) 786-1525 or visit www.lacrossespeedway.com.
LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway is a proud NASCAR Hometrack, part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series –www.hometracks.nascar.com.
LA CROSSE FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY
Kwik Trip NASCAR Late Models
Pischke Motors 25 Feature (22 Cars) — 1, Mike Koeneke, Rockland; 2, Todd Korish, Holmen; 3, Brad Powell, La Crosse; 4, Cole Howland, La Crosse; 5, Steve Carlson, West Salem; 6, Adam Degenhardt, Coon Valley; 7, Shawn Pfaff, Sparta; 8, Harley Jankowski, Sparta; 9, Mike Carlson, West Salem; 10, Bill Niles, Holmen; 11, Branden Berg, Melrose; 12, Jack Litsheim, La Crosse; 13, Jerimy Wagner, Onalaska; 14, Steve Owen, Camp Douglas; 15, Curt Eckelberg, West Salem; 16, Jonathan Eckelberg, West Salem; 17, Carter Chistenson, West Salem; 18, Travis Christenson, La Crosse; 19, Nick Clements, West Salem; 20, Jimmy Summerfield, Rockland; 21, Todd Oliver, Bangor; 22, Justin Zmyewski, Houston, Minn.
Qualifying — 1, Brad Powell, 19.724 seconds, 99.549 MPH; 2, Steve Carlson, 19.755 secs, 99.393 MPH; 3, Mike Koeneke, 19.771 secs, 99.312 MPH; 4, Shawn Pfaff, 19.775 secs, 99.292 MPH; 5, Cole Howland, 19.897 secs, 98.683 MPH; 6, Mike Carlson; 7, Adam Degenhardt; 8, Todd Korish; 9, Harley Jankowski; 10, Bill Niles; 11, Nick Clements; 12, Jack Litsheim; 13, Branden Berg; 14, Jerimy Wagner; 15, Curt Eckelberg; 16, Travis Christenson; 17, Todd Oliver; 18, Carter Christenson; 19, Jonathan Eckelberg; 20, Steve Owen; 21, Justin Zmyewski.
Heat 1 — 1, Branden Berg; 2, Bill Niles; 3, Adam Degenhardt; 4, Todd Korish; 5, Jack Litsheim.
Heat 2 — 1, Jerimy Wagner; 2, Curt Eckelberg; 3, Steve Owen; 4, Jonathan Eckelberg; 5, Todd Oliver.
Fast Dash — 1, Cole Howland; 2, Mike Koeneke; 3, Shawn Pfaff; 4, Brad Powell; 5, Steve Carlson.
Pischke Motors 15 Feature (14 Cars) — 1, Greg Scheck, La Crosse; 2, Steve Bachman, West Salem; 3, Jamie Dummer, Tomah; 4, Nick Clements, West Salem; 5, Jimmy Gilster, West Salem; 6, Justin Mullikin, Holmen; 7, Jeff Thompson, La Crosse; 8, Brad Warthan, Sparta; 9, Brian Hesselberg, West Salem; 10, Tom Luethe, West Salem; 11, Justin Berg, Bangor; 12, Mandi Eckelberg, West Salem; 13, Andy Buhrow, Sparta; 14, Bill Martin, Madison.
Qualifying — 1, Jimmy Gilster, 22.072 seconds, 88.959 MPH; 2, Brian Hesselberg, 22.098 secs, 88.854 MPH; 3, Steve Bachman, 22.145 secs, 88.666 MPH; 4, Bill Martin, 22.199 secs, 88.450 MPH; 5, Nick Clements, 22.256 secs, 88.223 MPH; 6, Greg Scheck; 7, Jamie Dummer; 8, Jeff Thompson; 9, Justin Mullikin; 10, Justin Berg; 11, Tom Luethe; 12, Brad Warthan; 13, Mandi Eckelberg; 14, Any Buhrow.
Heat 1 — 1, Jeff Thompson; 2, Justin Berg; 3, Jamie Dummer; 4, Brad Warthan; 5, Tom Luethe.
Dash — 1, Greg Scheck; 2, Nick Clements; 3, Brian Hesselberg; 4, Jimmy Gilster; 5, Steve Bachman.
United Auto Supply Thunderstox
Pischke Motors 15 Feature (13 cars) — 1, Andy Moore, Sparta; 2, Jason Bolster, Sparta; 3, Jordan Myers, Sparta; 4, Dakota Miller, Sparta; 5, Jason Schaller, La Crosse; 6, Thomas Farra, Cashton; 7, Jacinda Pfaff, Sparta; 8, Melissa Rusch, La Crosse; 9, Kayla Lockington, Mindoro; 10, Kayla Steinhoff, Rockland; 11, Ronald White, Camp Douglas; 12, Steve Rusch, Sparta; 13, JR Tourtellott.
Dash — 1, JR Tourtellott; 2, Jason Schaller; 3, Jordan Myers; 4, Jason Bolster; 5, Andy Moore.
Heat 1 — 1, Jason Bolster; 2, Jason Schaller; 3, JR Tourtellott; 4, Dakota Miller; 5, Steven Rusch.
Heat 2 — 1, Andy Moore; 2, Jacinda Pfaff; 3, Jordan Myers; 4, Thomas Farra; 5, Kayla Steinhoff.
ANTS Complete Pest Control Hornets
Pischke Motors 15 Feature (24 cars) — 1, Dan Rozek, Tomah; 2, Hunter Miller, West Salem; 3, Jeff Stumlin, Holmen; 4, Josh Viner, La Crosse; 5, Garrett Thicke, West Salem; 6, Mark Bornitz, Holmen; 7, Jeff Thompson, La Crosse; 8, Samantha Linnehan, Sparta; 9, Nate Towner, West Salem; 10, John Eron, St. Germain; 11, Kris Berg, Ettrick; 12, Patrick Thicke, West Salem; 13, Matthew Carpenter; 14, Brandon LeMoine; 15, John Piotrowski, Black River Falls; 16, Matthew Moore, Kendall; 17, Jake Schomers, La Crescent, Minn.; 18, Cam Dezelske, La Crosse; 19, Tim Murphy Sr., Warrens; 20, Hunter Nelson, Rushford, Minn.; 21, Jackson Broer, Coon Valley; 22, Kevin Thompson, Galesville; 23, Chris Swenson, Tomah; 24, Josh Brown, Cashton.
Semi-feature — 1, Cam Dezelske; 2, Hunter Nelson; 3, Jackson Broer; 4, Josh Brown; 5, Aaron Hopkins, Burnsville, Minn.
Heat 1 — 1, Nate Towner; 2, Jeff Thompson; 3, Garrett Thicke; 4, Josh Viner; 5, Hunter Miller.
Heat 2 — 1, Brandon LeMoine; 2, Jake Schomers; 3, Tim Murphy Sr.; 4, Kevin Thompson; 5, Samantha Linnehan.
Heat 3 — 1, Matthew Moore; 2, Jeff Stumlin; 3, Chris Swenson; 4, John Eron; 5, Dan Rozek.
Heat 4 — 1, Mark Bornitz; 2, Kris Berg; 3, Patrick Thicke; 4, Matthew Carpenter; 5, John Piotrowski.
Second Over Wins 1 — 1, Nate Towner; 2, Kris Berg; 3, Garrett Thicke; 4, Hunter Miller; 5, Aaron Hopkins.
Second Over Wins 1 — 1, Jeff Stumlin; 2, Matthew Carpenter; 3, Kris Heinz; 4, John Piotrowski; 5, Patrick Thicke.
Pischke Motors 8 Feature (6 cars) — 1, Kim Eckelberg; 2, Susie Reinhartz; 3, Tina Gettinger; 4, Colleen Hundorf; 5, Ruth Inglett; 6, Angie Petrowski.