Matthias Rides High to First Career Luxemburg Win!
By Joe Verdegan
July 8, 2005; Luxemburg, WI. – A fast outside groove coupled with the courage to run it proved to be the winning combination for Jay Matthias, as the DePere veteran raced to his first career feature win Friday night at the Luxemburg Speedway in Luxemburg.
On a night were down-to-the-wire finishes were the normal order of business, Matthias was joined in victory lane by Rod Snellenberger in the IMCA stock cars, Tom Brumlic in the IMCA Hobby Stocks, and Greg
Banker in the Sports 4s. Area Street Stocks were also on the card, with Aaron Thornton claiming his second feature win in the special series.
Despite four feature wins at other area tracks, missing from the Matthias trophy case was any hardware from a modified feature at his home track; Luxemburg. That all changed Friday.
Earlier features proved that there were at least two fast grooves of racing that had developed on the third-mile clay oval. Early leader Chad Wilcox settled into one of the lower lines. Lining up behind him were Sean Jerovetz, Matthias, Dean Maurer and Benji LaCrosse on the top with Jerry Muenster and Jared Siefert below. Jerovetz was first in line, and used the top to power around Wilcox on the 11th lap.
This set the stage for a high speed chess match of sorts, with drivers changing lanes and shuffling positions behind Jerovetz. Jerovetz began to edge away into heavy lapped traffic as Matthias was trapped on the lower line with Wilcox to the outside, when caution flew with six laps to go. Running third at the time, the ensuing restart would hand the outside edge to Matthias if he so chose to take it. And he did take it.
Pulling quickly to the outside of Jerovetz, the two ran neck and neck for two laps with Matthias scored as the leader for the first time on lap 18. Jerovetz was able to hang close, but the higher line’s added momentum gave Matthias all he needed to hang on for the win.
Jerovetz was able to withstand added pressure from LaCrosse and a hard-charging Jared Siefert to claim second. Siefert used the late caution to also race out to the edge, advancing several spots in the closing stages to finish fourth. Saddled with a seventh row starting spot, Brian Mullen picked his way through the pack to finish fifth with Wilcox completing a solid run to end up sixth.
Aiding Snellenberger over the course of the final circuits of the IMCA stock car headliner was the fact that there wasn’t just one guy to trying to pass him, there were three, and they ended up contending with each other.
The inside line was the route Snellenberger used to pass Cory Suchocki on the ninth lap with Greg Gretz following him through the opening. Jaime Colwell followed a short time later, with the three breaking free from the pack. Gretz and Colwell were busy dicing for second, all the while keeping Snellenberger in their sites. Just behind the lead trio, Shawn Kilgore managed to break free from Jason Czarapata, and he chased down the leaders with two laps to go.
With Gretz and Colwell side by side just off his back bumper, and Kilgore trapped behind the battle for second, Snellenberger was able to hang on for his second win of the season. Colwell eventually made the pass for second, with Gretz third and Kilgore fourth. Czarapata was fifth with Charlie Kroll leading the second pack across the line to record a sixth place run.
In keeping with the theme of the night, Brumlic’s feature win in the IMCA Hobby Stocks went down to the wire as well. Establishing second place on the sixth lap, he caught leader Derek Moede three laps later. Moving to the outside, Brumlic made the pass for the point on the 11th lap. He had company in a hurry, as Eddie Anschutz followed suit on the outside.
Anschutz kept the heat on, but was unable to pull even, settling for second. It was Brumlic’s second straight feature win, moving him five points closer to division point leader Tony Schlei. Schlei missed his heat, and had to start dead last on the field. He joined Dave DeGrave and Keith Kickbush on a late assault on Moede. Moede was able to counter, holding onto the position with DeGrave, Kickbusch and Schlei following in close order.
A solid field of Street Stocks representing Seymour, Oshkosh and Sturgeon Bay, as well as teams based in the Luxemburg area, were on hand for the season’s third visit of the division.
The finale proved to be a duel between Thornton, the 2004 Thunderhill champ, and Jerry Kope, the two-time defending Oshkosh champ. Kope had the early advantage, starting from the front row. Thornton started deeper in the pack, but was up to third by the time a caution flag flew on lap 7. He used the restart to take over the runner-up spot from David Hoerning, and just one lap later was passing Kope for the lead.
But as champions often do, Kope fought back, and was scored as the leader the next lap. That set the stage for six straight laps of lead swapping and door rubbing. A slight advantage gained on the 11th lap was just enough to keep Kope from edging ahead, as Thornton was able to cling to the preferred line en route to the win.
Action was just as entertaining in the contest for third as Hoerning was chased by a strong pack of cars including Scott Reinhardt, Phil Hiles, Harley Simon, Von Eytcheson, Fred Davister and Jerry Winkler.
It was Reinhardt who would garner third place honors, following by Hiles, Simon and Hoerning in the top six.
The Sport 4s featured their own two-car shootout as Banker and Tyler Smith went one on one in the event’s later stages, with Banker winning from the outside. Smith had taken the lead from David Habeck on the 2nd circuit, but couldn’t withstand Banker’s late charge.
Bruce Sand, Jeremy Czarapata, Tim Jorgenson and Brad Matuszak carded top six finishes as the checkers flew.
This Friday night, racing continues at Luxemburg with Pepsi sponsoring the annual Kid’s Big Wheel races. The regular race card will also include the Lady 4s, with racing getting under way at 7:00PM. For more information, visit the track’s website at www.luxemburgspeedway.com.
Luxemburg Speedway Results 7/8/05
IMCA MODIFIED 22 LAP FEATURE: Jay Matthias, DePere – Sean Jerovetz, Little Suamico – Benji LaCrosse, Luxemburg – Jared Siefert, Green Bay – Brian Mullen, Seymour – Chad Wilcox, Stiles
Semi-Feature 1: R.M. VanPay, Green Bay – Bill LeMieux, Sturgeon Bay – Danny Deau, Little Suamico – Tim VanDeHei, Green Bay
Semi-Feature 2: Eddie Muenster, Green Bay – Todd Dart, Algoma – Randie Back, Green Bay – Scooter Boyea, Abrams
Heat 1: Matthias – Dave Werbelow, Green Bay
Heat 2: Siefert – Wilcox
Heat 3: Scott Derenne, Luxemburg – Jerovetz
Heat 4: Jerry Muenster, Green Bay – Dean Maurer, DePere
IMCA STOCK CAR 20 LAP FEATURE: Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski – Jaime Colwell, Wrightstown – Greg Gretz, Kewaunee – Shawn Kilgore, Kewaunee – Jason Czarapata, Pulaski – Charlie Kroll, Algoma
Semi-Feature 1: Dave Bouche, Algoma – Ben Kroll, New Franken – Bernie Reinhardt, Sturgeon Bay – Kraig Gretz, Kewaunee
Semi-Feature 2: Kyle Frederick, Gillett – Craig Paque, Algoma – Jesse Colwell, Wrightstown – Tony Bouche, Algoma
Heat 1: Czarapata – Eugene Gregorich, Sr, Kewaunee
Heat 2: Greg Gretz – Cory Cochart, Kewaunee
Heat 3: Kroll – Kilgore
Heat 4: Jaime Colwell – Laurel Ettien, Luxemburg
STREET STOCK 15 LAP FEATURE: Aaron Thornton, Maplewood – Jerry Kope,Oshkosh – Scott Reinhardt, Baileys Harbor – Phil Hiles, Appleton -Harley Simon, Seymour – Dave Hoerning, Appleton
Semi-Feature 1: Larry Ingebretsen, Luxemburg – Tim Reichenberger,Neenah – Faron Beilke, Oneida – Alan Schlueter, Oconto
Semi-Feature 2: Dave Drawenek, Kaukauna – Eric Arneson, Krakow – ShawnVanOoyen, Appleton – Bill Kelsey, Sobieski
Heat 1: Kope – Von Eytcheson, Forestville
Heat 2: Mike Pierrard, Green Bay – Hiles
Heat 3: Dan Rihm, Weyauwega – Fred Davister, Sugar Bush
Heat 4: Hoerning – Reinhardt
IMCA HOBBY STOCK 15 LAP FEATURE: Tom Brumlic, Denmark – Eddie Anschutz,Algoma – Derek Moede, Casco – Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg – Keith Kickbusch,
Kewaunee – Tony Schlei, Zion, IL
Heat 1: Jesse Kanas, Lomira – Moede
Heat 2: Anschutz – DeGrave
15 LAP SPORT 4 FEATURE: Greg Banker, Bonduel – Tyler Smith, Luxemburg -Bruce Sand, Two Rivers – Jeremy Czarapata, Krakow – Tim Jorgenson,DePere – Brad Matuszak, Pulaski
Heat 1: Banker – David Habeck, DePere
Heat 2: Jorgenson – Smith