Mother Nature helped provide the water this week for a track that proved to be very racy throughout an action packed evening of Friday Night Thunder at Luxemburg Speedway. Several new faces joined the weekly regulars in the pits, but would they find any success against the wily track veterans?
The Street Stocks would be the first class to answer the call to thunder. The 5W machine of last week’s winner, Nick Wunrow, would lead the field to the green and pace the opening circuits. It wouldn’t take long though for the Virlee Gunworks’ caution lights to fire off when the 32T of Becca Thiry got crossed up in turn four and was not able to get her car re-fired quickly enough prevent a yellow. The ensuing restart would see DeGrave lead Wunrow, Marcus Moede in the 9, and Eddie “The Eagle” Anschutz in the 71A back to the green. Moede would move quickly to 2nd and applied immediate pressure to the race leader. The pressure turned to contact in three and four that resulted in the 40D losing the handle and another caution would fly. Moede would be sent to the back with plenty of time to try and work through the field. The top four would now be; DeGrave, Wunrow, Anschutz, and the 46N of Chad Naze. DeGrave would pull away to a slight lead on the restart and leave Wunrow and The Eagle to battle for 2nd. The whole second half of the race would see the 71 and 5W battle back and forth for runner up. As laps wound down Wunrow would bobble slightly in turn three and move up the track opening just enough of a window for Anschutz to dive inside and take command of second until the checkers flew. The 111 car of Shannon Guelette would nip Naze for fourth. DeGrave earned a rewarding victory after breaking a transmission and blowing up a motor in consecutive nights last week.
The IMCA Northern Sport Mods would line up next to try and steal the thunder away from the rest of the classes. Randy LeMieux Jr. would find himself leading the field to green from the pole position, but would his 1JR machine have enough muscle to end there? The early laps would put that result in much doubt as LeMieux would face stiff competition from last week’s Luxy 500 winner, Troy “Snoot” DeGrave. DeGrave would move to the high side opening the door for Tailar Ness to duck down low and move into second. Meanwhile, back in the pack, the 14R car of Cody Rass moved past Chris Budzban into fourth as laps were ticking by. As the white flag flew Rass would be able to pick off DeGrave for third, Ness locked up second, and LeMieux would find himself parked in The Cobbler Shop Victory Lane.
Next on the docket for the evening was the IMCA Stock Cars who rolled out looking to earn the title of the class too tough to tame for another week. John Heinz must have slipped his 57H Mystery Machine a couple extra Scooby Snacks because he was able to power to the lead at the drop of the green. In a startling trend last week’s winner, Rob Waechter, would find himself sitting in second early on. A quick caution for the 33S of Zach Spangenberg would bunch up the field for a restart. Heinz would lead Waechter, the 2R of Dave Reinhardt, the 9K of Shawn Havel, and the 007 of Mike Carter back to the green. While Heinz and Waechter fell into line in first and second the field went three wide for third with Havel, Carter, and Reinhardt scrapping over the same piece of real estate. Havel would emerge from the scrum to lock down third but would not be able to hold on to it for long as Carter would find his way around the 9K after a handful of laps. The 99KK of Derek Moede had now worked his way into fifth and would engage in a side by side battle with Havel for fourth for the second half of the race. Havel would fend off the 99KK machine and come home fourth with Carter taking third, Waechter second, and Heinz would be unmasked by the gang as the winner.
The Sport Compact division would take to the track next to keep the excitement level building. The 07V of Cody Vinny would bull his way to the lead on the opening lap from his second row starting spot. He would face almost immediate pressure from the 5S car of Calvin Stueck and the 88B machine of Kevin Brice. Stueck would cut a right front tire and have to head down pit lane for service. This moved Brice comfortably into 2nd with the field battling behind him for third. A lap 8 caution would rerack the field with Vinny leading the way over Brice, the 21LM of Missy Clark, and the 76 Henry Neerdaels. Brice would stalk the leader until he found an opening to move up into P1. The 5S car of Calvin Stueck was able to rejoin the field and put on a show for the fans by going high, diving low, and even running off the back stretch to try and pass the 07V of Vinny but it was all for naught as Stueck was a lap down. Brice would hold on for the win in his first appearance of the 2019 season at Luxemburg while Vinny would finish second, Clark third, and Neerdaels would come home in fourth.
The Village Kitchen IMCA Modifieds would show why we save the best for last as the storm was brewing for an epic, thunder filled finish to the night. Kyle Kudick would jump to the lap one lead from his outside front row starting spot but it was far from uncontested as he had to throw his 4K machine three wide with the 19J of Justin Green, and the 21K of James Tebon to secure the top spot. Tebon would settle in to 2nd and the hard charging 20T of Brad Theys would find himself quickly sitting in 3rd. Theys would work the high side to move abreast of Tebon and managed to find the bite up top to move into the lead while Tebon was able to squeeze past Kudick as well to hold on to second. The 90J of Jeremy Jacobs and the 88L of Josh Long were able to move past the 4K after a brief battle. Back at the front Tebon moved inside of Theys with four to go while the 88L also moved inside of Jacobs to secure 3rd. With two laps to go Tebon was able to wrestle away the lead from Theys and looked to set sail to victory. Coming to the white flag Long would get past Theys to lock up second but by the time the lead trio came out of turn four to take the checkers they found themselves running three wide coming to the line. It was a photo finish that left the drivers wondering who won the dog fight until Tebon was handed the checkers for a victory lap. Theys would end up with second, Long third, and Jacobs had the best seat in the house finishing fourth in a race that was truly memorable.
Luxemburg Speedway will be back in action on July 5th as we celebrate our country’s independence with fireworks in the sky after the fireworks on the track. Be sure to join us next week for the next edition of pulse pounding Friday Night Thunder!
20 LAP STREET STOCK FEATURE: Dave DeGrave, Luxemburg, WI.; Ed Anchutz, Two Rivers, WI.; Nick Wunrow, Denmark, WI.; Shannon Guelette; Chad Naze; Green Bay, WI.
HEAT 1) DeGrave; Wunrow; Jake Burt, De Pere, WI. 2) Anschutz; Marcus Moede, Algoma, WI.; Guelette
20 LAP IMCA SPORT MOD FEATURE: Randy LeMieux Jr., Brussels, WI.; Tailar Ness, Abrams, WI.; Cody Rass; Troy DeGrave; Chris Budzban, Luxemburg, WI.
HEAT 1) DeGrave; Craig Dorner, Brussels, WI.; Vince Engebregtsen, Algoma, WI. 2) Ness; LeMieux; Budzban
20 LAP IMCA STOCK CAR FEATURE: John Heinz, Green Bay, WI.; Robert Waechter, Ellisville, WI.; Mike Carter, Greenleaf, WI.; Shawn Havel, Algoma, WI.; Derek Moede, New Franken, WI.
HEAT 1) Heinz; Moede; Havel 2) Waechter; Dave Reinhardt, Fish Creek, WI.; Dave Bouche, Algoma, WI.
15 LAP SPORT COMPACT FEATURE: Kevin Brice, Oconto, WI.; Cody Vinny, Manitowoc, WI.; Missy Clark, Luxemburg, WI.; Henry Neerdaels, Greenleaf, WI.; Dalas Topel
HEAT 1) Calvin Stueck, Clintonville, WI.; Brice; Topel 2) Clark; Neerdaels; Joey Krentz, Denmark, WI.
20 LAP VILLAGE KITCHEN IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE: James Tebon, Algoma, WI.; Brad Theys, Suamico, WI.; Josh Long, Little Suamico, WI.; Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg, WI.; Lucas Lamberies, Clintonville, WI.
HEAT 1) Tebon; Long; Jay Matthais, Green Bay, WI. 2) Lamberies; Greg Gretz, Kewaunee, WI.; Theys