Luxemburg’s Siefert battles pros on his turf
Jared Siefert is jacked up to battle in a “home game,” so to speak, next week.
The Green Bay native now lives in Luxemburg — a stone’s throw from Luxemburg Speedway. For many years, Siefert battled on the third-mile, clay oval and achieved great success — winning the street stock track title in 1999 and later posting a pair of track championships in an IMCA modified, including a national crown along the way.
Three years ago, he jumped from the mods into the late model division and has never looked back. Problem is, Siefert’s home track doesn’t host late models weekly — there are just two late model shows on the schedule for 2017.
The first of those shows is May 19 when the Lucas Oils late model series comes to town. The show pits the touring stars against the handful of locals who have the resources and talent to hang with the professional dirt late model drivers.
Late models haven’t run weekly at Luxemburg since the early 1980s. IMCA modifieds have been the headlining division in recent decades.
“It’s cool we get there at least twice this year with the late models,” Siefert said. “We were there last year with the late model and were running well in a special event until we lost the fuel pump belt. I’ve got a lot of laps there but truthfully those Lucas Oils guys run different tracks every night and can pick that stuff up right away. They are true professionals so I really cannot say I’ve got a lot of a home track advantage racing with these guys. I’d just be happy to make the show.”
When the touring acts like the Lucas Oils series come to town, the locals racing against the touring pros is akin to bringing a knife to a gun fight. The traveling pros basically live on the road for several weeks at a time and have budgets more than triple that of the weekly racers. Their big toter home haulers come equipped with spare motors and parts, dozens of tires and in many cases even spare race cars.
“We’re definitely underpowered compared to those guys as we’ll be running our weekly WISSOTA legal motor that we run on Saturday nights at Shawano Speedway,” Siefert said. “Those guys have some pretty big stuff under the hood compared to what us locals have, that’s for sure.”
There are also some extra expenses that come along with making your race car legal to run with the Lucas Oils series. For example, the series requires an elaborate fire suppression system — an essential safety item that is recommended at local tracks, but not required. That coupled with a couple of other rule changes that would require teams to purchase certain parts to make their cars legal to run this race has some local drivers thinking twice. Siefert has one of those fire suppression systems installed in his car.
“They cost around $850 but from a safety standpoint, to me it’s a pretty good investment,” Siefert said. “Not everybody can afford it and there will still be some local guys who’ll be there for the show.”
In his third year of racing in the late model class, Siefert has started to get into a “comfort zone” of sorts.
“We’re still learning and every week it’s something different,” Siefert said. “One of the downsides of this class is that at least with the modifieds we had three nights a week we were running where we could learn stuff. We’re down to one night a week with the late models with some special events thrown into the mix. Because of that, the learning curve is slowed a little bit. But it is what it is, I guess.”
Siefert is aided in that he’s in his third year of racing the same chassis — one that was built by his good friend and fellow competitor Nick Anvelink of Navarino.
“You do get to know what the car is going to do, so that helps really from year to year a little bit so you know what to expect,” said Siefert, who won a pair of features with the car his rookie year in 2015.
One of the more prominent names in the national dirt late model ranks who will be at this show is Mooresburg, Tennessee’s Scott Bloomquist. “The Bloomer” as he’s affectionately known was at Luxemburg two years ago for a special. His apparel sales have been known to rival many NASCAR Cup teams in terms of sales nationwide. At age 53, Bloomquist is still winning races and can be an intimidating factor to local racers who want to trade paint with him.
“I’m not gonna lie and yes to race against him it would be a little bit intimidating,” Siefert said. “But those guys are professionals. Most of them will race you clean. They respect one another’s equipment. Or at least I hope that’s how things will go down.”
The other chance for Siefert to run at his home track will be when the new Dirt Kings late model series visits Aug. 11. The series hosts events at several tracks across Wisconsin, including Siefert’s “other” home track of Shawano, Oshkosh, Beaver Dam, 141 Speedway in Francis Creek, Wilmot, Plymouth and Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie.
“Yeah at least that series gives us a chance to run some different shows at different venues,” Siefert said. “Truthfully I wish there were more races, but I guess we’ll take whatever we can get at this point.”
Joe Verdegan is a freelance writer who covers area racing for USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin and author of “Life In The Past Lane” and “Where the Big Ones Run” chronicling local racing history. Email him at [email protected]
Luxemburg news and notes
Luxemburg Lucas Oils notebook: Among the other Wisconsin drivers expected to compete in the Lucas Oils race at Luxemburg are Bonduel’s Nick Anvelink, Marion’s Doug Blashe, Appleton’s Paul Parker, former Badger Mod Tour champion Mitch McGrath of Neosho and Taylor Scheffler of Pewaukee. The 50-lap feature will pay $10,000 to the winner. Running in support of the late models will be IMCA modifieds, stock cars and northern sportmods. Racing gets underway at 7 p.m.
Cow Bell tour: Luxemburg’s Scott Boulanger won the inaugural Cow Bell Street Stock tour race at Luxemburg Speedway with 53 cars in attendance. The next tour race is scheduled for July 4 at Tomahawk Speedway.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: Luxemburg's Siefert battles pros on his turf