The Race::2003 Oktoberfest 250 was an International Truck and Engine Corporation, Midwest Series event held at Track::LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway on October 5, 2003. It was the season finale. Tim Schendel won his only race of the year, holding off Ryan Hanson. Steve Carlson finished third to pick up his fifth NASCAR championship. Justin Diercks and Eric Fransen rounded out the top-five.
October 5, 2003; West Salem, WI - Tim Schendel, of Sparta, Wis., recorded his second career NASCAR Elite Division, International Truck and Engine Corporation Midwest Series victory by winning the Oktoberfest 250, Sunday at LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway. Schendel led 154 of the event’s 250 laps and collected $5,250 for the victory. It was Schendel’s first Midwest Series score since July 2002, when he earned his first win at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo.
To win during LaCrosse’s 34th annual Oktoberfest race weekend was especially sweet for Schendel, who lives and works just 10 miles from the Speedway.
“This means everything. LaCrosse is my home track; it’s just awesome to win in front of the home town crowd, where all my sponsors are and where all my family’s from,” Schendel said.
“It’s awesome to win at Oktoberfest, Matt Kenseth and a lot of big name guys have won this race so it feels great to win it,” Schendel said.
Bud Pole winner Ryan Hanson, of Beloit, Wis., started eighth after the field was inverted for the start of the race, but he worked his was back in to the top five and was, at times, Schendel’s biggest challenger. Hanson led laps 106-149 before surrendering the lead the Carlson when the leaders pitted under caution.
While Hanson and Carlson led, Schendel stuck to his race strategy and patiently plotted his next move.
“It’s 250 laps. We needed to save the left side tires because we knew we could get right side tires but I didn’t want to burn that left rear tire up,” Schendel said. “I kind of laid back a little bit because I knew Ryan was coming so I let him go when the time came.
“We made a little bit of an adjustment during the pit stop and I had a little but faster car than Steve did when we got back out on the track,” Schendel said.
By virtue of his third-place finish, Steve Carlson, of West Salem, claimed the 2003 International Truck and Engine Corporation Midwest Series championship – his fifth NASCAR title in the last six years. Carlson now owns nine series championships, including four he won before the series was first sanctioned by NASCAR in 1998. Eric Fransen, of West Bend, Wis., finished fifth and clinched the Victory Circle Chassis rookie of the year award for the Midwest Series.
WEST SALEM, Wis. (Oct. 4, 2003) -- Ryan Hanson, of Beloit, Wis., won the Bud Pole award for Sunday's Oktoberfest 250, the 2003 NASCAR Elite Division, International Truck and Engine Corporation Midwest Series season finale. Hanson toured the 5/8-mile oval at LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway in 19.377 seconds (116.117 mph) during Saturday afternoon's qualifying session to claim his second Bud Pole award of the season. Twenty-eight cars will take the green flag for Sunday's 250-lap event, scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. (Central Time) on Sun., Oct. 5. The top eight qualifiers will be inverted to start Sunday's feature event, with Steve Holzhausen, of Bangor, Wis., leading the field to the green flag.
Three drivers failed to qualify for the 2003 Octoberfest 250:
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 36 mins, 59 secs
Average Speed: 96.666 mph
Margin of Victory: 1.796 BUD POLE AWARD: RYAN HANSON, 60 Wehrs Machine Ford POWERADE POWER MOVE OF THE RACE: JEREMY LEPAK *, 67 Metro Milwaukee Auto Auction Chevrolet
Lap Leaders: ERIC FRANSEN * 1-37, TIM SCHENDEL 38-105, RYAN HANSON 106-149, STEVE CARLSON 150-164, TIM SCHENDEL 165-250.Total Laps Led: TIM SCHENDEL 154, RYAN HANSON 44, ERIC FRANSEN * 37, STEVE CARLSON 15. 4 changes involving 4 drivers.