Big Payday For Mullen at Luxemburg!
By Tom Wagner
September 3, 2004; Luxemburg, WI. – While not intended for racing, the famous quote from legendary baseball personality Yogi Berra is perfect for describing Friday night’s modified feature at the Luxemburg Speedway. The quote: “It ain’t over…’till it’s over.”
Such was the case for Scott Mullen, as the recently crowned track champ saw a huge lead wiped away by caution, then needed to fight off a determined Jeremy Jacobs to win the Prestige Custom Cabinetry 40 lap modified special taking home $1,500 in the process. The night proved to be an encore performance for two other 2004 track champs, Shawn Kilgore in the stock cars and Tyler Smith in the Sport Fours, as both were also feature winners. In the hobby stocks, it was second year pilot Dave Lane capturing his second trophy in a row.
With points out the window for the open special, starting feature spots were determined by the luck of the draw. And Mullen had the best luck of all. Picking the pole position, he quickly parlayed the good fortune into a commanding lead. Aiding his escape from the rest of the pack, was a torrid battle for second, featuring Brad Rohloff, Todd Dart, Mike
Klenz, Jay Matthias, R.M. VanPay, Brian Mullen, Sean Jerovetz and Jacobs.
With that position contested, Mullen was able to fly to a solid half-lap advantage, lapping over half of the 24 car starting field in the process. Dart finally won the war for second after 24 straight green flag laps, but had no chance what-so-ever of catching Mullen. But in just four laps, the complexion of the race changed entirely. Flying down the front-stretch, Billy LeMieux’s left rear wheel popped free, sending it bouncing into the first turn. The resulting yellow flag meant that Mullen’s insurmountable advantage was washed away to nothing.
Not only was the lead gone, but the contenders suddenly back in the mix included five area past or present track champs (Jacobs, Dart, VanPay, Jared Siefert and Scott’s brother Brian), plus other veterans all with feature winning credentials.
The first of the all-star pack to take a shot at the leader was Dart. After a good restart from Scott Mullen, Dart closed and began to work the low line. On the 31st circuit, Dart made a dive to the inside between one and two, briefly pulling even with Mullen. But the car came around, sending Dart into a slide. Yellow flew again, signaling another cease fire and an end to Dart’s shot at the win. With Dart relegated to the back of the field, the next challenger to the plate was Jacobs.
With Brian Mullen, Matthias and VanPay running side by side for third behind him, Jacobs was able to concentrate on Scott Mullen. He too tried to gain the inside edge, probing several times, but could never drive in deep enough to wrestle the preferred line from the Mullen. On the final turn of the final lap, Jacobs finally gained the footing and was able to get his front bumper just about up to Mullen’s door panel. But the last ditch effort fell just short, sending Mullen to the big score by less than a car length.
Establishing the outside line, VanPay secured third with two laps to go. He was chasing down the lead duo as the checkers flew. Brian Mullen, Matthias and Siefert completed the top six.
Kilgore also picked a good starting spot for the stock car feature. In just two laps, he moved from the second row past Shawn Havel into the lead for good. Settling in up front, it appeared like Kilgore could cruise home to the win. However, the stock car feature story followed the same script as the modified headliner.
Jason Czarapata shadowed Kilgore early, but left pretty much alone running for second. Travis VanStraten had taken third from Laurel Ettien on the 12th lap, but would have had trouble catching Czarapata. That’s when the cautions started flying and things got interesting again. Despite not causing the first amber, VanStraten was dropped from contention after being send to the pits under caution to remove the front cowling which had been torn loose after a brush with an infield tire.
Any hope of an easy win was gone at that point, as incidents stopped things with four laps and only two laps to go. Czarapata and Ettien stayed close, as did Troy DeGrave. Joining them for the late push were two drivers who came from deep in the field. Kyle Frederick drove to the front despite an eighth row starting spot, and Joe White advanced from dead last on the 20 car starting grid to challenge for the win at the final sprint.
The laps green-white-checker segment saw Kilgore take the win, with Czarapata, White, DeGrave, Ettien and Frederick closely in tow.
A late caution kept things interesting for Lane in the hobby stock feature. He grabbed the point from Duane Mertens on lap three, but was forced to fend off Tom Brumlic for the second straight week following a restart on lap 13.
Brumlic pressured to the wire, but it was Lane recording his second career Luxemburg win, going back to back in the process. Derek Moede, Ed Anschutz, Dan Davister and track champ Keith Kickbusch rounded out the top six.
Just like the hobby stock finale, the Sport Four feature was a carbon copy of the previous week’s finish. Smith, starting from the pole, was chased to the wire by Greg Banker. Banker had a couple shots at the inside, but Smith was able to fend him off each time en route to the win.
Racing takes a break at the Speedway until the rescheduled Battle of the Burg III takes to the clay as part of the two-day Fall Spectacular October 1&2. The Wisconsin Dirt Late Model Association will headline the Friday night slate, joined by modifieds, stock cars and street stock running a complete show featuring qualifiers and features. The mods, stocks and streets will be back Saturday with hobby stocks and Sport Fours also on the card. For more information call 920 863 8446. The track’s website is www.luxemburgspeedway.com.
40 LAP FEATURE: Scott Mullen, Seymour – Jeremy Jacobs, Algoma – R.M. VanPay, Green Bay – Brian Mullen, Seymour – Jay Matthias, Green Bay – Jared Siefert, Green Bay.
Semi-Feature: Sean Jerovetz, Little Suamico – Tim VanDeHei, Green Bay – Danny Deau, Suamico – James Tebon, Algoma
Heat 1: Siefert – Eric VanIten, Green Bay
Heat 2: Brad Rohloff, Pulaski – Matthias
Heat 3: Jacobs – Billy LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay
25 LAP FEATURE: Shawn Kilgore, Kewaunee – Jason Czarapata, Kewaunee – Joe White, Oconto Falls – Troy DeGrave, Green Bay – Troy Muench, Sturgeon Bay – Kyle Frederick, Gillet
Sem-feature: Frederick – Jeff Vlies, Kewaunee – Muench – Brandon Mindak, Casco
Heat 1: Czarapata – Dave Davister, Luxemburg
Heat 2: Mike Wietor, Green Bay – Craig Paque, Algoma
Heat 3: Shawn Havel, Brussels – Kilgore
18 LAP FEATURE: Dave Lane, Green Bay – Tom Brumlic, Denmark – Derek Moede, Casco – Ed Anschutz, Algoma – Dan Davister, Luxmeburg – Keith Kickbusch, Kewaunee
Heat 1: Brumlic – Mike Mueller, Green Bay
Heat 2: Anschutz – Jesse Behnke, Mishicot
15 LAP FEATURE: Tyler Smith, Luxemburg – Greg Banker, Bonduel – D.J. Jorgenson, DePere – Jim Roffers, DePere – Bruce Sand, Two Rivers – Pokey Schlise, Shawano
Heat 1: Sand – Smith
Heat 2: Greg Gawryleski, Green Bay – Schlise