WEST SALEM, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Get ready to go racing. The La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway opens for 2012 on Saturday, and the drivers stand poised to deliver another thrilling season.
Roaring V8 engines echo once again across the Coulee Region, as the Speedway roared to life during last weekend's practice session.
"[It] gave us a chance to see what our competitors have, what everyone else is running. You know, we're just putting our stuff together. We're worrying about us and trying to make our cars a little bit better than they were," said La Crosse's J. Herbst.
Herbst was last year's points winner in the Kwik Trip Late Model Series. The driver of the #82 J-R Transport Ford took his car to victory lane only 20 points ahead of Todd Korish of Holmen, who says he's ready to start fresh in his 2012 Toyota Camry, and he's putting the pressure on himself to get the job done.
"Really, I can't ask my team to do anything more," said Korish. "They're about as best as I can get. It's all up to me and the guys that I race around to have a clean season."
Plenty other drivers have their sights set on the Winners' Circle, including previous champs like West Salem's own Steve Carlson and Sparta's Shawn Pfaff.
"Last year it was inconsistent. I think that's what dragged us down out of the points. We're going to have to be a lot more up on top of what's going on with the car and the tires and try to be more consistent to try and finish at the top," said Pfaff.
Regardless of where they finish, the drivers say it's the fans who are number one.
Herbst said, "Cold weather, hot weather, raining, sleeting, and sometimes even snow we've had, and they're just die hard. Without the fans, we couldn't put on the show we do."
With the season running from now through the Oktoberfest finale, there's plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy the action. And, as Herbst said, if it's anything like the last four years, this years' racing will go right down to the checkered flag.
The action gets underway Saturday, April 28th at 7:30 p.m.
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