Dan Deicher, "The Voice" of the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway and the Mississippi Thuunder Speedway covers racing at La Crosse, Fountain City, Tomah and Wisconsin Dells. News, off season moves, schedules, rule changes and more.
The racing community has lost a family member. 24 year old Kaleb “Trunk Monkey” Miller went to the best race track in the world this week, this after a bad snowmobile accident last weekend. Surrounded by family and friends, Kaleb left us Wednesday with two images that will last forever. His heart and smile.
I only knew Kaleb and his family for 8 years, but they were a close 8 years. I went to grade school with momma, Denise.
Kaleb and his brothers Dakota and Brad Warthan, followed in the footsteps of their father BIlly, racing and making names for themeselves through western Wisconsin. Dakota "The Kid" raced Thunderstocks and did stunts and while his brother, "Bad" Brad Warthan, who ran Thunderstocks, will try his luck at the rookie of the year title in the Sportsmen class at the La Crosse Speedway in 2014. Billy ran for years at the Sparta/Tomah Speedway and the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Kaleb ran door to door with and against both brothers for over 10 years locally in the Hornet and Thunderstocks divisions. Brothers off the track, competitors on. Billy, past track champion and wife, Denise, always "on the hill" rooting their sons to victory. And BIlly of course always showing me his favorite beer of choice down below while I was stuck with a trusty bottle of water. Denise always blowing me a kiss before the races started.
Racing nicknames don't mean a whole lot to some, but to Kaleb, the name "Trunk Monkey" was not only a fan favorite, but his favorite. About 4 years ago during a roll over competition, Kaleb had rolled a car onto it's roof, crushing it so bad that he couldn't get out. After several minutes of track safety crews thinking safety first, Dakota came running through the pits to the crumpled car. He smashed out the back window and pulled Kaleb out, somewhat through the trunk of the car. When I knew everyone was safe, I announced to the crowd....." And here folks is the Trunk Monkey, Kaleb Miller." I think, while at the hospital with his family and friends, I heard that name used more then his REAL name.
Kaleb, was loved in the pits as names like Critter ( Chris Sampson), The Joker ( Harley Jankowski), Double 8 (David Cavin) and others were always around the famed 08 cars. Never an argument, that I saw, just friends helping friends do what they loved. And beer of course, Lot's of beer. Miller High Life.
As we get set for another exciting race season at the La Crosse Speedway, The Trunk Monkey pitstall will still be there. Another driver parked in it. Friends all around. No matter what kind of car it is, what division it is and what number it is, the 08 will always be parked there. With Dakota, Brad, drivers and family always knowing that spot.
So when you walk in the pits this year, smile. Smile at the Trunk Monkey. Because I know damn well, he will be smiling at you. He always did. And he always will. Smile. - Dan Deicher La Crosse Speedway Track Announcer
R.I.P. KALEB L. MILLER.
Services will be Saturday, February 15th at the United Methodist Church, Sparta, with Jeff Burrows officiating. Family and friends are invited to call from 9 a.m. until time of services Saturday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. The Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Officials from LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway announced today that the annual pre-season competitors' orientation meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon, March 23rd. The meeting will take place at the Fox Hollow Banquet Hall, which overlooks the beautiful golf course located in Barre Mills, Wisconsin. Drivers, crew members, and anyone interested in participating during the LaCrosse Speedway's 2014 season is encouraged and invited to attend. The meeting will cover race night procedures, memberships, pit parking, and other topics regarding the new season. All interested race teams will meet at the same time. Doors will open for the meeting at Noon, when registrations and media forms will be accepted. The meeting will begin at 1:00. Those in attendance are eligible for some great door prizes pertaining to the upcoming racing season. The LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway's racing season for the first time ever will begin under the daylight. Budweiser presents the "Frostbuster" on Sunday April 27th featuring the Late Models, Sportsmen, Thunderstox, Hornets and Outlawz. Qualifying will begin at 12:45 and Green flag racing will start at 2:00 p.m.
The 2013 TUNDRA Super Late Model Series awards banquet wrap up.
Nick Panitzke was officially honored as the first touring TUNDRA Champion.
Paige Decker 2013 Rookie of the Year Award.
Mike Egan 2013 Most Improved Driver.
Mike Egan and Steve Lichtfeld, as a TUNDRA Iron Man.
Claire Decker The Outside-Looking-In
Monte Gress Mr. Silent
Nick Panitzke and Dalton Zehr Turning Point of the Year
Brandon Selle Mr. Fast Dash
Jeff Weinfurter Hard Luck
Eugene Gregorich Jr. More with Less
Rene Scheinoha Best Appearing Car ( won the online fan vote).
TUNDRA Person of the Year Dan and Chad Devine
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and the final 2013 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).