By Greg Aregoni
FRANCIS CREEK, Wis. (June 25) – In 2014, Mike Mullen started on the pole for 141 Speedway’s 50 lap, $10,000 to win Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified feature. There were rumblings that there was no passing and that all he did was stay out in front of the field.
Mullen quieted the naysayers Thursday night and proved why he is one of the top IMCA Modified drivers in the nation. Mullen won the last-chance qualifier, started 14th on the main event field and picked up his second straight Clash at the Creek win.
The new Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier raced his way into the lead with six laps left and took the rich checkers ahead of Shawn Kilgore, Russ Reinwald, Jeff Taylor and Johnny Whitman.
Seventy-four Modifieds vied at the Clash and nine states were represented in the main event.
Whitman grabbed the lead early on from the pole and put distance on the rest of the field. Kilgore worked from the sixth starting spot to the runner-up position before the first caution flag flew on lap eight.
On the restart, Kilgore powered up on top of the circle and made his bid for the lead. Kilgore and Whitman had a power struggle up top as they exchanged the lead numerous times over the first half of the race.
With the lead duo battling hard, Reinwald came into the picture to make it a three-car race. He caught the leaders and made the race a three-wide battle on lap 28. Kilgore grabbed the lead for himself as they made their way into lapped traffic.
A final caution on lap 37 bunched the field up for a final run to the checkered flag. Mullen and 12th starting Jeff Taylor made the race up front a five-car battle when the race resumed. Mullen picked his way around both Reinwald and Whitman, then set his sights on Kilgore and had all the open air he needed down low.
With Kilgore working the top, Mullen ran the shortest way around the track. Mullen shot into the lead with six laps remaining and never looked back in capturing his second straight Clash at the Creek win.
Brandon Czarapata was the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car winner and, for a second straight night, Kelsy Hayes prevailed in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature.
Modified feature results – 1. Mike Mullen, Seymour; 2. Shawn Kilgore, New Franken; 3. Russ Reinwald, Juneau; 4. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 5. Johnny Whitman, DePere; 6. Brad Lautenbach, New Franken; 7. Josh Long, Little Suamico; 8. Benji LaCrosse, Green Bay; 9. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb.; 10. Justin O’Brien, West Union, Iowa; 11. Brian Irvine, Oelwein, Iowa; 12. Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, N.C.; 13. James Tebon, Algoma; 14. Brian Mullen, Seymour; 15. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, Mo.; 16. Jason Wolla, Ray, N.D.; 17. R.C. Whitwell, Tuscon, Ariz.; 18. Eric Mahlik, Milwaukee; 19. Tony Wedelstadt, New London; 20. Tim Czarneski, Denmark; 21. Dan Roedl, Beaver Dam; 22. Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice, Neb.; 23. Curt Lund, Redwood Falls, Minn.; 24. Mike Wedelstadt, New London; 25. Dylan Smith, Osceola, Neb.