WEST SALEM, Wis. – Ty Majeski’s journey to his third ARCA Midwest Tour Oktoberfest 200 victory meant he had to pass every single car to do it.
On Sunday afternoon, he got the trophy and the Ultimate Challenge bonus of $6,300 to close out the 51st Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
“It was just an easy answer with that much money, at that point you take the risk of whether or not your race car is going to be good or not to try to go after it,” Majeski said in victory lane. “It was definitely a no brainer.”
Majeski passed half the field by lap 14 of the 200 lap main event with Justin Mondiek leading the race. Mondiek would give up the lead to Andrew Morrissey on lap 46 while Majeski drove his way up to the sixth spot.
It was on lap 80, when the caution flew for a competition caution. Mondiek and Johnny Sauter, who was running fourth, both made a pit stop. When the field chose their lane for the restart, both Morrissey and Mondiek chose the inside allowing Majeski to be the first car to take the outside lane. Majeski would take the lead on the restart on lap 87.
Caution flew on lap 121 when Billy Mohn’s car came to a stop on the backstretch. Most of the field came to the pits except Sauter, who would inherit the lead.
On the restart on lap 129, Sauter would lead with Majeski in second.
With 40 laps to go, Morrissey would get by Majeski for second. Three laps later, Morrissey would chase Sauter down and the two made contact coming out of turn four, causing Sauter to spin. Both were sent to the rear, allowing Majeski to take back the lead.
Majeski would go unchallenged in the closing laps while Rich Bickle Jr. made a late run and would get by Skylar Holzhausen for second with 10 laps to go, Morrissey barreled through the field and would pass Holzhausen for third, but come up short from catching Bickle.
Majeski would capture his third Oktoberfest 200 win in the past five years. Bickle would finish second with Morrissey in third. Dan Fredrickson was fourth with Mondiek rounding out the top five.
Bickle was smiling after the race as it was his first podium finish in the Oktoberfest main event.
“I screwed myself, I thought Ty would go to the outside on the last restart, and if I went to the outside I could have gotten by the 36 (Fredrickson) and it took me 10 laps by the 44 (Mondiek) and then I drove the hell out of it,” Bickle said. “Last year, I couldn’t pass the pace car and to come here and run second to the best in the business, like I said 34 years between top three’s with a win and a second, can’t beat that.”
Morrissey, who appeared to have the strongest car in the field, recovered from the early spin to finish third.
“We had a real good car all week, we should have walked out of here with two fast times and won both races, but made a few mistakes and got into Johnny and spun him out and I didn’t mean to do that,” Morrissey explained. “We were all racing tight there, and to come back and get a podium finish is still not bad.”
Matthew Henderson won the last chance race to get a starting spot in the main event. RJ Braun was second with Billy Mohn in third and would also join the starting field. Brent Kirchner finished fourth and earned the final position in the starting field.
Casey Johnson finished seventh in the 200-lap race, which earned him his second ARCA Midwest Tour championship.
“I don’t know how to describe it,” a smiling Johnson said after the race. “We had high expectations coming into the season and wasn’t sure with a shortened schedule. We fired off really good and we kept it going all year long.”
Ty Majeski, Rich Bickle Jr., Andrew Morrissey, Dan Fredrickson, Justin Mondeik, Skylar Holzhausen, Casey Johnson, Gabe Sommers, Johnny Sauter, Jonathan Eilen, Dillon Hammond, John DeAngelis, Matthew Henderson, R.J. Braun, Chad Butz, Jason Weinkauf, Austin Nason, Ryan Farrell, Derek Kraus, Dean LaPointe, Brady Bill, Billy Mohn, Paul Shafer Jr., Brent Kirchner, Brock Heinrich, Michael Ostdiek, Jacob Goede, Bobby Kendall.