By Tom Wagner
LUXEMBURG, Wis. (Aug. 15) – Jay Matthias earned the moniker “Big Money” several years ago after a succession of wins in high paying events.
With $1,000 up for grabs, “Big Money” was back.
Matthias held off Johnny Whitman at the wire to win his first IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature of the season Friday night, highlighting action at the annual Corey Jonet Memorial at Luxemburg Speedway.
Matthias pounced early in the 2015 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier, assuming command of the point from Rob Charapata on the third lap. After an early caution, Matthias eased away to what appeared to be a comfortable margin.
Todd Dart and Whitman sorted out from the pack as contenders at the race’s midpoint with Dart moving into the runner-up spot on the 13th lap.
Despite racing for position, the duo managed to chip away at Matthias’ advantage. Whitman took sole possession of second with six laps to go, closing in on Matthias in the process. Matthias established the low line as the leaders began to work lapped traffic, with Whitman forced to follow in his tracks.
On the final lap, with traffic cleared, Whitman took one last shot, diving down to the bottom through the third and fourth turns, but couldn’t keep the momentum up to complete the pass. Matthias flashed across the line first, with Whitman just to his inside.
Dart completed the podium finishers in third. Title contenders Brad Lautenbach and James Tebon placed fourth and fifth respectively, closing ground on division leader Jason Czarapata.
Czarapata had issues in the heat, and was forced to start 22nd on the grid before rallying to a ninth place finish.
Also in the spotlight were winners Dave Bouche in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Jacob Zellner in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and, for the second straight week, Marcus Moede in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.