Veteran Mullen, Rookie Colwell Share The Spotlight With Feature Wins at Luxemburg!
By Tom Wagner and Jay Ohman
July 12, 2002; Luxemburg, WI. – The streak is over.
The string of first time feature winners in the competitive IMCA modified ranks is over, as Brian Mullen scored his second triumph in a row Friday night at the Luxemburg Speedway in Luxemburg. Mullen was joined in victory lane by IMCA stock car rookie Jaime Colwell, who recorded his first win in the division since moving up from the street stock class this year.
The two IMCA classes ran in conjunction with the first ever visit to Luxemburg of the MSA 360 Sprint Cars. Don O’Neal of Greenfield captured the division’s 25-lap headliner.
For over two months, no modified driver was able to boast a repeat visit to the winner’s circle at the third mile clay oval. Nine weeks produced nine different winners, the last of which happened to be Mullen. Rookie Jay Matthias was hoping to extend that string to ten, as he jumped from the pole early to take the initial lead.
Tucked to the low line, Matthias was under constant pressure from Eric VanIten, with Dan Ratajczak, Dale Boerschinger and R.M. VanPay not far behind. As this group maneuvered behind the leader, Mullen was quickly advancing from his sixth row starting spot. VanIten finally got the best of Matthias on the 11th lap, but by that time Mullen was on the scene. He used a nifty outside-inside move through corners three and four to go from fourth to second on the 12th lap. VanIten was able to keep the Seymour veteran at bay for just a single circuit after that, as Mullen assumed the lead for good on lap 13.
Mullen had one last obstacle to contend with: a late caution brought about by Jerry Muenster’s spin with 6 to go. The challenge came from Dave Zeitler. Zeitler began the race one row behind Mullen on the starting grid and matched him pass for pass all the way through the field. At the green, Zeitler moved outside in front of VanIten, but couldn’t quite get into position to attempt a pass.
Zeitler improved from 14th to claim second, with Ratajczak passing VanIten late for third. Scott Mullen also shot forward from the 7th row to claim 5th.
In the stock cars, Colwell had little time to savor any lead he could muster. The first ten laps proved to be a wrestling match between the eventual winner and Sturgeon Bay’s Bernie Reinhardt. The clean, side-by-side dual finally ended with Colwell using the outside lane to establish the point. Reinhardt then came under siege from a wave of challengers headed by Shawn Kilgore, Greg Gretz and Jeremy Christians. As Reinhardt fought to hold second, Colwell was able to edge into the clear.
That advantage was wiped away with just five laps remaining as Benji LaCrosse looped in the third turn. Kilgore and Christians line up in the second row for the restart, with Tim VanDeHei and Gretz in the third. It was Kilgore who secured second, and immediately went to work on Colwell. Several times he was able to squeeze to the inside, nearly pulling even on several attempts. But Colwell was able to hold the momentum with the slightly higher line. The final try came in the final corner, as Kilgore again shot to the low line. But the lane was too narrow to advance, and Colwell was under the checkers first ,securing his first ever sanctioned trophy at the track. VanDeHei, Gretz and Christians followed in line across the stripe.
Friday night, its back to normal at the Speedway as the street stock class will be in action after a week off, joining the two IMCA classes. Completing the card will be the Door County Bombers. The program, sponsored by Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, will see the first green flag drop at 7:00PM. For more information, visit the track website at www.luxemburgspeedway.com.
David O’Neal wins first MSA Feature at Luxemburg – Friday, July 7, 2002 – by Jay Ohman
Luxemburg, WI – David O’Neal snatched the lead then held on to win the Midwest Sprintcar Association Feature event Friday July 7th at Luxemburg Speedway. K.J.Skelton battled through the B-Main to finish well in the Feature and maintain his points chase lead over Troy Hepfner.
As the MSA made a first time appearance at the one-third mile oval of Luxemburg, Lloyd Dykstra grabbed the early lead from Andy Hunt. After a lap seven yellow, Dykstra again opened up a five car lead over the rest of the field.
Hunt and O’Neal spent the next 11 laps reeling in Dykstra, and with one fell swoop, O’Neal slipped by both Hunt and Dykstra. Donny Goeden had worked his way up from the sixteenth spot and with the yellow again waving on the 23rd lap had moved up to second.
O’Neal would handily hold off Goeden in the final green white checker laps claiming his first ever MSA feature win, Goeden would settle for second and Dykstra came across the line third. Hunt finished fourth and KSE Hard Charger
Dean Erfurth advanced an incredible seventeen spots to claim the fifth spot despite the dry slick conditions.
Skelton had worked his way up from the tenth row to finish sixth, and Joe Wipperfurth slipped a couple spots to take seventh. Doug Schenk, Danny Schlafer and T.J. Luedke capped the top ten in the action packed race.
In the Triton Trailers B-Main, three of the top five in the points chase took the green. Troy Hepfner took the checkered flag after working around John Sauermilch half-way through the race, Sauermilch finished second. K.J. Skelton, Craig Gravatt, Danny Schlafer and Dean Erfurth rounded out the top six transfering to the Budweiser Feature.
Jerry Ski picked his way through the field to win the Hepfner Race Products first heat for the win, Andy Hunt followed in second. The second heat sponsored by JB Enterprises was David O’Neal picking up his first heat win of the season
with Keith Olejnik taking second.
The MPD third heat was pole sitter T.J. Luedke retaking the lead from Davis on the last lap for the win, with Davis in tow. J.J. Stefan made two consecutive heat wins in the B & B Oval Track Products sponsored fourth heat, Lloyd Dykstra
Time Trials were not held, so the 30 car field was lined up according to the season points standings.
Luxemburg Speedway Results 7/12/02
Midwest Sprintcar Association -
Feature — 1. David O’Neal, Greenfield, WI; 2. Donny Goeden, Kewaskum, WI; 3. Lloyd Dykstra, Waupun, WI; 4. Andy Hunt, Randolph, WI; 5. Dean Erfurth, Oregon, WI; 6. K. J. Skelton, Cascade, WI; 7. Joe Wipperfurth, Sun Prarie, WI; 8. Doug Schenck, Madison, WI; 9. Danny Schlafer, Sussex, WI; 10. T.J. Luedke,
B-Main Feature — 1. Jeremie Hedrick, Shawano, WI; 2. Troy Hepfner, Hartland, WI; 3. John Sauermilch Jr., Sheboygan, WI; 4. Skelton; 5. Craig Gravatt, Plymouth, WI; 6. Danny Schlafer.
Heat Race — First: 1. Jerry Ski, Milwaukee, WI; 2. Hunt; 3. Frank Firari, Lowell, WI; 4. Lance Fassbender, Rubicon, WI. Second: 1. O’Neal; 2. Keith Olejnik, Sun Prarie, WI; 3. Tim Haddy, Lomira, WI; 4. Schenck.
Third: 1. Luedke; 2. Kurt Davis, West Allis, WI; 3. Michael Emme, Manitowoc, WI; 4. Goeden.
Fourth: 1. J.J. Stefan, Hartford, WI; 2. Dykstra; 3. Al Schlafer, Sussex, WI; 4. Wipperfurth.
25 Lap Feature – Brian Mullen, Seymour: Dave Zeitler, Luxemburg: Dan Ratajczak, Frog Station: Eric VanIten, Green Bay: Scott Mullen: Seymour. Todd Dart: Algoma.
14 Lap Semi-feature – Dart:: Sean Jerovetz, Suamico: Randie Back, Green Bay: Dean Maurer, DePere.
First 10 Lap Heat – Dale Boerschinger, Green Bay: Randy LeMieux, Jr, Sturgeon Bay.
Second – R.M. VanPay, Green Bay: Rob Waechter, Ellisville.
Third – Jeremy Hodkiewicz, Shawano: Jay Matthias, Green Bay.
IMCA Stock Car
22 Lap Feature – Jaime Colwell, Greenleaf: Shawn Kilgore, Kewaunee: Tim VanDeHei, Green Bay: Greg Gretz, Kewaunee: Jeremy Christians, Horicon: Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski.
12 Lap Semi-Feature – Jason Czarapata, Pulaski: J.J. Heinz, Green Bay: Brian Bruechert, Kewaunee: Jeff Vlies, Brussels.
First 10 Lap heat – VanDeHei: Eric VanIten, Green Bay.
Second – Craig Paque, Algoma: Kilgore.
Third – Joe LeBotte, Kewaunee: Dave Bouche, Algoma.