Luxemburg Finale Truly Spectacular!
By Tom Wagner
October 2, 2004; Luxemburg, WI. – Simply put, the Fall Spectacular lived up to its name.
Fueled by a record setting field of cars and exciting feature finishes, the curtain fell on the 2004 racing season in grand fashion Saturday night at the Luxemburg Speedway in Luxemburg. Despite dozens of visiting teams, all five features trophies went to drivers with plenty of Luxemburg experience.
Wisconsin State Modified Champ Benji LaCrosse won a wild modified headliner, with other wins going to Shawn Kilgore in the stock cars, Fred Davister in the street stocks, Tony Schlei in the hobby stocks and
Tyler Smith in the Sport 4s.
A total of 174 cars packed the pits, comprised of 41 modifieds, 41 stock cars, 33 Sport 4s, 31 street stocks and 28 hobby stocks.
Despite all the cars and all of the laps run, at least two solid lines of racing held through the course of the night, a fact demonstrated quite dramatically by the modifieds. Jeremy Jacobs emerged as the pace-setter, and quickly planted himself at the very bottom of the race track. Any pass would have to come from the high line, and several drivers were ready to give it a try.
The early lead pack included Dave Zeitler, Eddie Muenster, Dan Ratajczak, Brian Mullen, Jay Matthias and Brian Drexler. Zeitler was the first to challenge on the outside, but dropped for mechanical reasons a third of the way through the 30 lap headliner. About that time, Muenster brushed a tire, slowed slightly and was collected by Mullen, sending him to the infield and out of contention. Mullen kept control, and caught Jacobs on the 15th lap. By that time, Jared Siefert had become a player, following Mullen into third.
A caution on the 17th lap set Siefert up on the outside line for the restart, a position he quickly parlayed into the lead. Running the extreme edge, Siefert took the point on the 18th lap and began to gradually pull away. But just three laps later, he pushed the edge a little too far, slipping over the berm through three and four. Jacobs led a charge of five lead cars, that now included Eric VanIten and LaCrosse, past Siefert before he could right himself and get back in line. With Siefert no longer ruling the outside, Mullen moved out to take up the assault on Jacobs. But the complexion of the race changed
with eight to go as Ratajczak spun off the bank in three drawing caution.
Mullen was now bottled behind Jacobs, with LaCrosse set up on the outside for the restart. Jacobs was able to hold him off for two laps, but with the higher momentum on the outside LaCrosse was able to power by with six to go, taking the lead for good. Siefert battled back, but settled for third, unable to pass Jacobs a second time. Mullen, VanIten and Matthias rounded out the top six.
The outside line also proved to be the avenue to success for Kilgore in the stock car class. The luck of the draw put the nations’s fourth ranked IMCA stocker, Jeremy Christians, on the outside pole. A tribute to the talent in the division, Christians didn’t lead the first lap.
Despite the credentials of his front row mate, it was Jeff Vlies who took the lead at the drop of the green. Christians hung tough for a bit, actually leading the second circuit, but Vlies battled back to take command. To pull off the upset, Vlies not only had Christians to contend with, but also Kilgore, LaCrosse, Rod Snellenberger and Brian Bruechert as well.
Approaching half-way, Kilgore was around Christians and in rhythm on the outside. After two laps of side-by-side racing with Vlies, the Luxemburg champ powered by and never looked back. While not getting the win, Vlies had a stellar night, holding off Christians and LaCrosse, both Wisconsin IMCA Champs, for second. Bruechert was fifth, with Pat
Davister charging forward from his ninth row starting spot to claim sixth.
Moving to the high line paid dividends for Davister in the street stock finale as well. With Darren Otto out front, Davister made the move to the outside with nine laps to go and quickly closed the gap. He roared around Lance Arneson for second, then caught Otto with six to go. Otto could only hold the veteran off for a lap, as Davister moved to the lead
for good on the 15th circuit.
Arneson’s car quit on the front stretch with two laps to go, giving Oshkosh regular Tim Reichenberger a shot at the outside line from the third starting spot. He managed to pass Otto, but didn’t quite have enough for Davister.
Oshkosh champ Jerry Kope was fourth. Rookie Todd Polster posted an impressive fifth place finish ahead of three-time Sturgeon Bay champ Gregg Siebold.
A late caution proved to be a good news-bad news situation for Kelly Brown and Ed Anschutz in the hobby stock feature. The two were in a duel for the win, but after a long green flag run they found themselves having to contend with a pack of lapped cars all battling for position. The caution with six to go meant they wouldn’t have the lappers to contend with, but the bad news for them was that it brought the newly crowned Wisconsin Champ Schlei back into the mix.
Anschutz was edging to the lead on the outside when the yellow flew, but the line was occupied by Schlei in the third starting spot on the restart. Schlei kept Anschutz below him as the final laps ticked by, moving to the outside of Brown and taking over the point as the white flag flew.
With Schlei past him, Anschutz bolted back to the outside to pass Brown for second. At the line, it was Schlei, Anschutz and Brown filing by in close order. Tom Brumlic, Dan Davister and Dave DeGrave also carded top six finishes.
Smith, the season’s Sport 4 champ, ended his season with an exclamation point by leading every lap of the final feature of the night. A series of cautions, including two roll-overs, kept the field close. Matt Oreskovich and Greg Banker had a couple shots at the lead on restarts, but Smith was able to hold the point throughout.
LUXEMBURG SPEEDWAY RESULTS 10/2/04
30 LAP FEATURE: Benji LaCrosse, Luxemburg – Jeremy Jacobs, Algoma – Jared Siefert, Green Bay – Brian Mullen, Seymour – Eric VanIten, Green Bay – Jay Matthias, Green Bay
Semi-feature 1: Rob Waechter, Ellisville – Wade Schutt, Shawano – Ryan Besaw, Omro – Matt McDermid, Oconto Falls
Semi-feature 2: Sean Jerovetz, Little Suamico – Paul Parker, Kaukauna – Scott Mullen, Seymour – Randy LeMieux, Jr, Sturgeon Bay
Heat 1: Jacobs – Matthias
Heat 2: R.M. VanPay, Green Bay – Eddie Muenster, Green Bay
Heat 3: Siefert – Tom Schaal, Gillett
Heat 4: Dave Zeitler, Luxemburg – Brian Mullen
25 LAP FEATURE: Shawn Kilgore, Kewaunee – Jeff Vlies, Kewaunee – Jeremy Christians, Horicon – Benji LaCrosse, Luxemburg – Brian Bruechert, Kewaunee – Pat Davister, Luxemburg
Semi-Feature 1: Pat Davister – Dave Davister, Luxemburg – Chris Lange, Appleton – Steve Kastning, Bonduel
Semi-feature 2: Kyle Frederick, Gillett – Gary Reinhardt, Fish Creek – Eric Malfroid, Luxemburg – Shawn Havel, Brussels
Semi-feature 3: Eddie Muenster, Green Bay – Troy Jerovetz, Green Bay – Brett Wenzel, Two Rivers – Eugene Gregorich, Sr, Kewaunee
Heat 1: Larry Karcz, Jr, Pulaski – Jason Czarapata, Pulaski
Heat 2: Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski – Troy DeGrave, Green Bay
Heat 3: Christians – Bruechert
Heat 4: Darren Otto, Green Bay – LaCrosse
22 LAP FEATURE: Fred Davister, Luxemburg – Tim Reichenberger, Neenah – Darren Otto, Green Bay – Jerry Kope, Oshkosh,
Todd Polster, Baileys Harbor – Gregg Siebold, Denmark
Semi-feature 1: Cory Friday, Berlin – David Hoerning, Appleton – Pat Vandermause, Luxemburg – Todd Wagner, Brussels
Semi-feature 2: Trevor Schmidt, Hartford – Joe Johnson, Oneida – Alan Schlueter, Oconto – Dave Drawenek, Kaukauna
Last Chance Qualifier: Drawenek – Brian Long, Neenah – Schlueter – Phil Hiles, Appleton
20 LAP FEATURE: Tony Schlei, Zion, IL – Ed Anschutz, Algoma – Kelly Brown, Friesland – Tom Brumlic, Denmark – Dan Davister, Luxemburg – Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg
Semi-feature: Mike Mueller, Green Bay – Dave Lane, Green Bay – Bob Voigt, Little Chute – Gary Vandenhouten, Chilton
Heat 1: Anschutz – DeGrave
Heat 2: Brumlic – Davister
Heat 3: Brown – Schlei
17 LAP FEATURE: Tyler Smith, Luxemburg – Matt Oreskovich, Clintonville – Greg Banker, Bonduel – Mike Dolphin, Maribel – Kraig Koehler, Two Rivers – Bruce Sand, Two Rivers.
Semi-feature 1: Mark Rose, Elcho – Jeremy Schwoch, Waupun – Jacob Wilcox, Seymour – Jim Roffers, DePere
Semi-feature 2: Bruce Sand – Ron Koenig, Fox Lake – Tony Everard, Green Bay – Nick Everard, Green Bay
Heat 1: Josh Sand, Two Rivers – Adam Ambrosius, Pulaski
Heat 2: Oreskovich – Dave Schlise, Shawano
Heat 3: Smith – Dolphin
Heat 4: Banker – Koehler