By: Paul Reichert
The weather tried to play spoiler on day two of the 49th Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the LaCrosse Speedway. In the end the fans would witness a competitive final race of the season for the Great Northern Sportsmen Series. Fresh off his LaCrosse Sportsmen win on Thursday night, Eric Campbell would fight off former LaCrosse Sportsmen champion Randy Humfeld down the stretch to claim the final GNSS feature event of 2018.
Minnesota drivers Colin Neisius and Steven Schultz led the field of 24 cars to the green flag. Neisius surged past Schultz to show the way in the early going. Yellow flew on lap four when Sam Niles and Tony Leis tangled and spun on the back straight. Each driver suffered a flat tire, but both were able to make repairs and return to action. Neisius wasted little time on the restart and quickly got away from the field. Points leader Jason Thoma would work his way through the field, eventually reeling in Neisius and assuming command of the race on lap nine. A new challenger would make his presence known a few laps later. Elko Speedway regular Eric Campbell was feeling very competitive, just like he did in winning the LaCrosse Sportsmen feature on Thursday. Campbell caught up to Thoma and drove by him to become the new leader on lap 14. Another caution flag flew on lap 17 when Dan Harris looped it in turn two. Tom Luethe would start alongside of Campbell on the restart, but Campbell left Luethe to fight off the rest of the field. Luethe would bring out a third yellow on lap 20 when he lost it in turn four. Fortunately, Luethe did not make contact with the wall and continued on. For the next restart, Campbell would have to contend with 2017 LaCrosse Sportsmen champ Randy Humfeld. Humfeld would stick right behind Campbell off the restart, and even got alongside him with three to go. Unfortunately, Humfeld got loose in turn four and fell back behind Campbell. That is how they would finish as Campbell claimed his second victory in as many nights. Chris Weber took third, Thoma settled for fourth and Neisuis rounded out the top five. Thoma’s fourth place finish would be good enough to wrap up the 2018 Great Northern Sportsmen Series season championship.
Greg Oliver would like to thank the drivers and fans for helping to make 2018 another successful season in the Great Northern Sportsmen Series. We look forward to seeing everyone back in 2019.