Andrew Morrissey Wins 53rd Annual Oktoberfest 200 at LaCrosse Speedwayby racerx55 October 16, 2022 1 comment
By: Alex Nowak
WEST SALEM, Wis. – Andrew Morrissey outran Derek Kraus and Casey Johnson to win the 53rd annual Oktoberfest 200 at LaCrosse Speedway.
The Oktoberfest 200 was nothing short of exciting that was filled with wrecks, multiple non-competition cautions and lead changes all race long. Chad Butz started from the pole of the 200-lap feature, but quickly saw his lead disappear to Dan Frederickson at Lap 11.
Ty Majeski accepted the “Ultimate Challenge” by starting dead last with a purse of $17,684 waiting at the finish line if he was able to go from last to first. It looked like it was going to be a possibility with Majeski coming all the way up to 12th at the time of the first competition caution at 57 laps in. The restart at lap 64 saw a 10 driver pile up in turn four that shook up most of the field from fourth position on back. With 43 laps to go in the race, a mechanical failure forced Ty Majeski to surrender the lead and head back to the end of the line putting a huge damper on his changes of the Ultimate Challenge, but he managed to climb all the way back to a third-place finish.
Derek Kraus benefited from Majeski’s emergency pit and took the lead and held it until a hard charging Andrew Morrissey took it away with 30 laps remaining. Kraus and Casey Johnson battled it out for second place the reminder of the race, and neither were able to chase down Morrissey giving him his second-career Oktoberfest 200 win in the past three years. Casey Johnson’s third-place finish was also enough for him to win his third ARCA Midwest Tour Championship.
The four-day event featured racing of all types, from Truck, to Super Late Models, Stock Crate Motor Cars and Vintage.
Thursday was headlined by a new event, the “Knights of Oktoberfest” race featuring Super Late Model drivers of all ages and experience. The 25-lap feature saw one of the most outstanding 3-wide passes for the lead with six laps to go from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Derek Kraus to secure the win and take home the first-ever “Knight in Shining Armor” Trophy. The top-five was rounded out by Austin Nason, Andrew Morrissey, Dan Fredrickson and Ty Majeski.
Friday night saw freezing cold temps, but it was hot action on the track. The Trickle 99 is one of the headline races of Oktoberfest and features some interesting rules. The race is 99 laps in total and three stages at different times throughout the night.
The first 33-lap stage has a 6-to-10 car inversion (a dice roll) from qualifying to determine starting position. The first stage was won by Dan Frederickson who edged past last-minute entrant, Johnny Sauter with two laps remaining.
The second stage was lined up by inverting 10-plus draw of the first segment. Dalton Zehr took the lead on lap 8 and never looked back.
The third and final 33 lap stage was started by inverting 10-plus draw of current points from the previous stages. Gabe Sommers took the win leading the last 25 laps uncontested in the freezing cold temps closing in on midnight. Ty Majeski and Dan Frederickson finished third and fourth ending up tied for total points and the overall winner. The tie breaker went to Majeski having the higher finish in the final stage giving him his third career Trickle 99 victory.
The cold front moved out just in time for an exciting Saturday of racing. The Big-8 Late Model 38-lap feature was won by Jacob Goege for the third consecutive year, but the bigger story was Dale Nottestad, taking home the Big-8 Championship in a borrowed back up car due to a mechanical failure in his own car earlier in the day.
I was able to catch up with back-to-back-to-Back State Park Speedway Super Late Model Champion and TUNDRA Series Champion, Justin Mondeik to see what he thought was the highlight of his 2022 season.
“Winning the TUNDRA Series Championship and winning at Norway was pretty huge for us winning three championships this year so that feels pretty good to get it done,” Mondeik said.
When I asked about his favorite part of the Oktoberfest weekend, it was a shared feeling from many.
“It’s a lot of fun, you get a lot of track time in a short amount of time, the camping, the atmosphere and you get to go out and have fun at night and in the morning work on your race car every single day,” said Mondeik. “It’s definitely a grind all weekend, the atmosphere, the cars, the history, it’s cool to be a part of this.”
Mondeik finished the weekend with a second-place finish in Friday’s 25-lap Super Late Model “Stubby” race and a seventh-place finish in the Oktoberfest 200 finale on Sunday.