Carlson Wins the Battle, Hoffman Wins the Championship, Moffitt is “Rookie of the Year”
Lexington, MI (October 4, 2008)
“Super Saturday” was just that for Wisconsin native Steve Carlson, winner of the ASA Late Model Series “Oktoberfest 100” held during day three of the 39th Annual “Oktoberfest” hosted by the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway, West Salem, WI.
Thirty-Two ASA Late Model North Series cars were on hand to qualify for the 100 lap event that Highlighted “Super Saturday”. Carlson set quick time during qualifying circling the .545 semi banked speed plant with a time of 19.251 seconds, barley beating 2008 “Rookie of the Year” contender Brett Moffitt’s earlier lap time of 19.257.
The Saturday night feature, the final one on the ASA Late Model North Series’ schedule for 2008, would determine who would wear the crown of 2008 Season Champion and would also determine who would win the 2008 “Rookie of the Year” honors. Eddie Hoffmann held the points lead going into the night, over second place Jesse Saunders but, Hoffmann did not have a lock on the championship. It was the same in the “Rookie of the Year” battle, Brett Moffitt who was third in the overall point standing, going into the night, had a slight lead over fellow rookie contender Jeremy Miller, who was just behind Moffitt, fourth place in the North Series overall points.
ASA Late Model Series Owner, Ron Varney made the decision to add all the cars that competed in the GMPP “Shoot Out” which allowed 31 ASA Late Model North teams to take the green flag for the “Oktoberfest 100”. The field included the most talented short track drivers in the nation, had a hard time getting started as the first of several early race cautions came out on lap seven. On the restart Carlson, who based on the invert, started from fourth row inside, made a move to take the lead. The lap eight restart would be the first of many as the caution flag flew five more times before a front stretch accident on lap twenty-two would bring out the red. Four cars were involved but somehow the 64 car of Griffith McGrath would end up on top of the 92 car of Trevor Dassow. Excellent work by the speedways safety crew allowed all four of the cars involved in the incident to restart the race. Four more cautions between lap twenty-three and lap thirty-two would keep the field tight but during green flag racing the #5 of Brett Moffitt had started a move toward the front. Back in the pack racing was tight but the crowd was fixed on a battle that was shaping up for the front spots. On lap forty-four, Moffitt, who started the race from sixth, would make a pass putting him into the second spot, setting his sights on the 66 of Carlson. On lap fifty-four, while making a pass on the #39 lap car of Shane Morrissey, Carlson would check up slightly and Moffitt, who was right on his tail, would make contact with Carlson, causing the leader to spin. ASA Late Model Officials ruled the cause of the spin was the #39 lap car and left Carlson followed by Moffitt in the first and second spots for the restart. The battle between the veteran Carlson and the rookie Moffitt had the crowd on its feet, some cheering for the local Carlson, others cheering for the new comer Moffitt.
On lap ninety-four the sixteen year old Moffitt put a veteran move on Carlson, making a pass on the outside coming off turn four to lead that lap however, on the very next lap Carlson used a lap car as a pick, getting past Moffitt to regain the lead. The yellow flew again on lap ninety-seven with another coming out on lap ninety-nine, setting up a green, white, checker shootout between Carlson and Moffitt. In what turned out to be a total of 101 laps, Carlson would prevail to win his second “Oktoberfest 100” title, with Moffitt on his tail, finishing second in his first ever race during the “Fest”.
When asked to comment on his well deserved second place finish Moffitt said, “To finish second to Steve in a race in Wisconsin is no problem. I have to thank the 5K crew for giving me an excellent car tonight”. When asked about the young Moffitt, in Victory Lane, Carlson commented, “You need to keep an eye on that kid, he is fast now and is only going to get faster. I am just happy to be here in Victory Lane for “Oktoberfest” it seems like forever since we won this event in 2000, concluded Carlson.
In the North Series points championship, while not quite having the night that either were looking for, Eddie Hoffmann would finish tenth, just three spots ahead of Jesse Saunders which enabled him to maintain his points lead, over Saunders, winning the 2008 ASA Late Model North Series Championship. And in the “Rookie of the Year” battle, Moffitt’s second place finish enabled him to maintain his lead over the eighth place finishing Jeremy Miller, earning Moffitt the 2008 ASA Late Model North Series “Rookie of the Year” honors.