LaCrosse Repeats, Mullen Crowned Modified Champ!
By Joe Verdegan
August 27, 2004; Luxemburg, WI. – Feature winners shared the spotlight with champions as the Luxemburg Speedway wrapped up its 2004 points season Friday night.
Benji LaCrosse continued his late season hot streak as he raced away to his second straight feature win in the IMCA modifieds, marking three victories in the last four weeks of the year. LaCrosse was joined in the winner’s circle by IMCA stocker Greg Gretz, Dave Lane in the IMCA hobby stocks and Tyler Smith in the Sport 4s.
All four divisions were up for grabs going into the final features. Each of the four eventual champs raced to strong top five finishes to lock in their titles. The list includes first time champs Scott Mullen in the modifieds, Shawn Kilgore in the stock cars and Smith in the Sport 4s, plus repeat winner Keith Kickbusch in the hobby stocks.
The safest cushion belonged to Mullen in the modifieds. He entered the final feature 14 points in front of Jeremy Jacobs, and 16 ahead of Sean Jerovetz.
James Tebon used the inside line on a restart to gain position and eventually the lead from Billy LeMieux on the seventh lap of the headliner. LaCrosse also used the restart to pick up momentum on the outside line, taking the lead from Tebon for good two laps later. As he pulled away, Tebon tried to hold second under pressure from Brad Rohloff, Tim VanDeHei and Brian Mullen.
Two cautions just after the half-way mark did little to slow LaCrosse, as he bolted away to a comfortable lead each time. But it did give Scott Mullen the opportunity to join the lead pack. With 12 laps left, he took fourth, then quickly moved to third to solidify his championship bid. Rohloff had taken second from Tebon just before the yellows flew, but couldn’t match LaCrosse down the stretch.
Rohloff settled for a solid second place run, with Mullen locking up the title by placing third. Jared Siefert turned in a steady run for fourth. Jacobs, forced to qualify through the semi-feature, advanced from his eighth row starting spot to place fifth.
There was a little more drama in the stock cars where Kilgore’s edge on second place Jason Czarapata was a scant four points, with Craig Paque five back and Rod Snellenberger only 10 in arrears. With the contenders running together, it provided the opportunity to watch two races in one, as Brandon Mindak and Gretz were putting on a show of their own at the point.
Mindak was strong earlier, but Gretz chased him down on the 11th lap. The two ran side by side for nearly three laps before Gretz was able to gain the advantage from his inside position. In the pack, Kilgore was able to get in front, and then stay in front, of both Czarapata and Paque. He shadowed Snellenberger as they marched to the front behind Travis VanStraten. Van Straten led the charge past Mindak with six to go, but there was no time left to mount a serious challenge on Gretz.
The third place run by Snellenberger moved him to second in the standings, but he was only able to gain a point on Kilgore who placed right behind him in fourth. Mindak finished his fine night by placing fifth, to go along with a heat win earlier in the evening.
Not only did the hobby stock championship go down to the final feature of the year, it went down to the final lap. Looking to repeat as champ, Kickbusch had to weather the challenge from two tough competitors who were tied for second just three points behind him; Tom Brumlic and Tony Schlei.
The title literally changed hands several times as the trio worked their way through traffic, passing cars and earning points. In front the whole way was Lane, looking to capture his first Luxemburg feature win. With four to go, caution flew due to an incident in the fourth turn which left Evan Madden sideways in the corner, in a cloud of smoke and on three wheels.
Lane set up on the point for the restart with Ed Anschutz and Dan Davister in the second row, Schlei and Brumlic in the third and Kickbusch behind then in the fourth. Lane held a slight advantage as the behind him scrambled for position. With two laps to go, Schlei cut a tire running for position, ending his night and title hopes. Brumlic made a late pass of Davister to take second. He needed to pass Lane to tie Kickbusch for the crown but couldn’t do it on the final lap.
Lane held on for the win, with Brumlic second, Davister debuting a new car third and Kickbusch fourth. Anschutz rounded out the top five. Brumlic picked up two points, ending the season a single marker behind Kickbusch.
Smith had to contend with Greg Banker for not only the Sport 4 feature win, but the title as well. Banker was 10 points behind him going into the final race, but with Smith out front by the third lap, the championship was secured. D.J. Jorgenson was two points back entering the night, but had to borrow a car for the feature and was not a factor.
In his first Luxemburg feature of the year, Kyle Wanner rolled his mount on the third lap. Once righted, Wanner refired the car, drove to pit lane and eventually came back to complete a few more laps.
While the point season is over, racing continues this Friday night as Prestige Custom Cabinetry will host a $1,500 to win Modified special. Stock cars ($500 to win) and hobby stocks ($200 to win) are also on the card. Normal track rules will be followed, with the exception of the claim rule. For more information call 920 863 8446. The track phone
number on race day is 920 845 2300. The track’s website is www.luxemburgspeedway.com.
IMCA Modified 30 Lap feature: Benji LaCrosse, Luxemburg – Brad Rohloff, Pulaski – Scott Mullen, Seymour – Jared Siefert, Green Bay – Jeremy Jacobs, Algoma – Tim VanDeHei, Green Bay
Semi-Feature: Jacobs – Scott Boyea, Abrams – Doug Maurer, DePere – Scott Derenne, Luxemburg
Heat 1: Bill LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay – Rohloff
Heat 2: Siefert – Dave Zeitler, Luxemburg
Heat 3: LaCrosse – Mullen
IMCA Stock Car 25 Lap Feature: Greg Gretz, Kewaunee – Travis VanStraten, Hortonville – Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski – Shawn Kilgore, Kewaunee – Brandon Mindak, Casco – Jeff Vlies, Kewaunee
Semi-feature: George Gerbers, Suamico – Dave Bouche, Algoma – Troy DeGrave, Green Bay – Shawn Havel, Brussels
Heat 1: Snellenberger – VanStraten
Heat 2: Mindak – Craig Paque, Algoma
Heat 3: Cory Suchocki, Denmark – Mike Wietor, Green Bay
IMCA HOBBY STOCK 20 LAP FEATURE: Dave Lane, Green Bay – Tom Brumlic, Denmark – Dan Davister, Luxemburg – Keith Kickbusch, Kewaunee – Ed Anschutz, Algoma – Derek Moede, Casco
Heat 1: Joe Hegnet, Sturgeon Bay – Kickbusch
Heat 2: Evan Madden, Algoma – Anschutz
SPORT 4 FEATURE: Tyler Smith, Luxemburg – Greg Banker, Bonduel – Bob Abbet, Maribel – Mark Rose, Elcho – Ryan Johnson, Denmark – Greg Gawryleski, Green Bay
Heat 1: Smith – Abbet
Heat 2: Bruce Sand, Two Rivers – Banker
Heat 3: Rose – Jim Roffers, DePere