Luxemburg Speedway release
Longtime racer Dave Zeitler held off a closing Benji LaCrosse to win his first IMCA Modified feature in several years, highlighting action at the Luxemburg Speedway in Luxemburg Friday night.
Joining Zeitler in victory lane were Shawn Havel in the IMCA Stock Cars, Randy LeMieux, Jr in the IMCA Northern Sport Mods, Paul Deifenthaler for the fourth straight night in the Street Stocks and Mitch Meier in the Sport Compacts.
It would be safe to say that when Zeitler scored the first feature win of his career, many of the racers present Friday night weren’t even on the planet yet. That came at the then named Door County Speedway in Sturgeon Bay, driving a Late Model, in 1979.
With the local Late Model class fading from the scene in the 80s, Zeitler made the transition to the “new kid on the block” – the IMCA Modifieds – and has been a solid performer in the class ever since.
Friday night, Zeitler established the lead early from his front starting spot. Moving into second to give chase was R.M. VanPay, whose storied career has the same roots as Zeitler’s. With no cautions produced on a fast and racy track, the duo were able to edge away from the pack.
They needed every inch of the margin as LaCrosse was in the process of making one of his patented charges from deep in the field.
LaCrosse made steady progress moving forward, taking third from Josh Lambert with five to go, then picking off VanPay two laps later. With one lap to go, he had Zeitler in his sights, but the advantage Zeitler had built up was too much to overcome.
The win for Zeitler was his first since a Thunderhill victory at Sturgeon Bay in 2009, and his first at Luxemburg since 2008.
Behind LaCrosse, VanPay scored his best Luxemburg finish of the season with a podium third. Lambert was solid all night, holding off Todd Dart for fourth.
The IMCA Stock Cars turned in another dazzling performance with multiple veterans in the hunt until the end, featuring 3-wide, and at times even 4-wide, racing up front.
Rob Waechter was the early pacesetter, leading the first eight laps under constant pressure. Heinz was the first to make a move, shaking free momentarily from Havel, Brandon Czarapata and Tom Bumlic.
Heinz, looking for three wins in a row, ducked to the inside of Waechter on the ninth lap to take over the point. Havel moved to the outside and immediately went to work on Heinz. As the two raced side by side, Czarapata established third, running in the shadows of the lead duo.
Havel made a pass stick on lap 12 and went on to the lead. Czarapata followed, hounding Havel to the finish. While close, he could never pull even as Havel raced to his first feature win of the season.
At the line, it was Havel, Czarapata and Heinz in the top three. Waechter recorded his best finish of the year with a fourth place run, and Derek Moede pressed forward from the fifth row for a solid fifth.
The IMCA Sport Mod feature finished under caution in dramatic fashion.
For most of the event, it looked like it was going to be Brian Bruechert taking center stage at the end. After a lap one restart, he took the lead and built what appeared to be a safe cushion.
But LeMieux had other ideas. The point leader made all the right moves and by the eighth lap was already in third. It took a bit to track down Craig Dorner, but he did so with five laps to go.
Dorner stayed close to LeMieux as the duo closed on Bruechert. On the final lap, LeMieux pulled even as they exited turn two and headed down the backstretch. Bruechert was determined to hold the lead and LeMieux was just as determined to hold his ground.
As they raced into the corner for the final time, Bruechert slid to a stop in the middle of the turn. LeMieux lost his momentum enough to allow Dorner to shoot to the outside. Dorner sped across the finish line first, but with Bruechert stopped in the corner, the yellow flag flew, ending the race under caution.
With the 20th lap not counted, rules state that the official order of finish will be taken from the last completed lap – the 19th-dropping the “caution car” to the rear. Bruechert was the leader on the 19th lap but was ruled the caution car. That moved LeMieux up to the trophy spot in the running order with Dorner second.
Much like LeMieux had done, others in the top six came from deep in the starting grid. Wyatt Block finished third despite a fifth row starting spot. Todd Wiese placed fifth, coming from the 9th row after qualifying for the main through a Last Chance Qualifier. Kelsy Hayes was 6th, with a big run up from the 7th row. Sandwiched between those racers was Marcus Moede with a season best 4th.
Much like the Stock Cars, the Street Stock main featured a wild multi-car scramble for the lead in the early stages. John Hill, Mike Carter, Justin Mahlberg, Dave DeGrave, Scott Boulanger and Deifenthaler were all in the mix.
Deifenthaler took over from Mahlberg on the 6th lap. A point leader with three wins in a row taking the lead early might suggest a runaway, but that wasn’t the case.
Deifenthaler had to work hard to the end, surviving two restarts, as he was continually pressured by DeGrave and Boulanger. With the final restart coming five laps from the end, Dan VanPay was brought into the mix as well.
As the checker flew, it was Deifenthaler, DeGrave, Boulanger, VanPay and Carter in order in the top five.
The only feature that didn’t go down to the final corner came in the Sport Compacts where Mitch Meier prevailed easily.
He took the lead on the 8th lap from Nick Everard, then motored away to his second feature win in a row. Everard placed second, followed by Mike Meier, D.J. Jorgenson and Anthony Fletcher in the top five.
The annual trailer race concluded the evening with a bang. Tim Wanner was declared the winner, completing the most laps, with Carmen Dejardin awarded the “best in show” by a vote of the fans.
The Speedway will take a scheduled night off this coming Friday. Armed Forces Night is next on the docket, Friday, June 30th. All active military personnel will be admitted free. All five regular divisions will be in action with the first green flag at 7:00pm.
The Luxemburg Speedway is located at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg, WI. Visit the track’s website at www.luxemburgspeedway.com for updates and more information.
Luxemburg Speedway results 6/16/2015
Jerovetz Motorsports Shock Service IMCA Modified 20 Lap Feature: Dave Zeitler, Luxemburg – Benji LaCrosse, Green Bay – R.M. VanPay, Green Bay – Josh Lambert, Casco – Todd Dart – Algoma – Tyler Hackett, Algoma
Heat 1: Brad Lautenbach, New Franken – James Tebon, Algoma
Heat 2: Zeitler – VanPay
Quietwoods RV IMCA Stock Car 20 Lap Feature: Shawn Havel, Algoma-Brandon Czarapata, Pulaski – John Heinz, Green Bay – Rob Waechter, Ellisville – Derek Moede, Casco – Devin Snellenberger, Pulaski
LCQ 1: Trent Nolan, Shawano – Eric Malfroid, Luxemburg – Barry VanStraten, Shiocton- Rod Dart, Luxemburg
LCQ 2: Troy Muench, Brussels – Dave Reinhardt, Fish Creek – Riley Magee, Pulaski – Zach Spangenberg, Manitowoc
Heat 1: Heinz – Tom Brumlic, Denmark
Heat 2: John Anschutz, Forestville- Rod Snellenberger, Pulaski
Heat 3: Havel – Waechter
Heat 4 – Larry Karcz, Jr, Pulaski – Dave Bouche, Algoma
Busch Light IMCA Sport Mod 20 Lap Feature: Randy LeMieux, Jr, Sturgeon Bay – Craig Dorner, Luxemburg – Wyatt Block, Tigerton – Marcus Moede, Algoma – Todd Wiese, Algoma – Kelsy Hayes, Hobart
LCQ: Hunter Parsons, Green Bay – Wiese – Jacob Zellner, New Franken – Vince Engebretsen, Green Bay
Heat 1: Brian Bruechert, Kewaunee – Scott Boyea, Abrams
Heat 2 – Moede – Kyle Raddant, Shawano
Heat 3: Wayne Haines, Green Bay – Block
Showcase Kitchens Street Stock 20 Lap Feature: Paul Deifenthaler, Manitowoc – Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg – Scott Boulanger, Luxemburg – Dan VanPay, Denmark – Mike Carter, Greenleaf – Allen Dillon, Two Rivers
Heat 1: Carter – VanPay
Heat 2: DeGrave – Boulanger
JB Landscaping Sport Compact 15 Lap Feature: Mitch Meier, Chilton – Nick Everard, Green Bay – Mike Meier, Chilton – D.J. Jorgenson, Green Bay – Anthony Fletcher, Greenleaf – Mike Zitzer, Sheboygan
Heat: Mike Meier – Mitch Meier