Tuesday, June 15, 2021

1971 – Mueller Blazes to Victory in Invitational

Harold Mueller (left to right), Phil Prusak and Cecil Henderson display the trophies they captured for taking the top three places in Tuesday night’s Late Model Invitational at the Eau Claire Speedway.

Eau Claire, Wis. (June 15, 1971) - Harold Mueller made sure the first place money stayed at home Tuesday night at the Eau Claire Speedway.

Roaring from the third row of the 28-car, 40-lap feature, Mueller, laying it on his 1970 Monte Carlo, took the lead on the 13th lap and was pulling away at the finish.

Victory in the annual Late Model Invitational Championships netted the local gas station operator $600 in cold cash.

Phil Prusak made it a 1-2 local finish when, unable to cope with Mueller’s triumphant dash to the wire, he finished second and took home $450. Cecil Henderson, Dakota, Minn., hung in there all the way to take home the $350 third place money.

Fourth place and $300 went to Tim Lorentz, Ladysmith, while Kenny Mann, St. Cloud, Minn., finished fifth for $250.

But the story of the race, held on a balmy evening with temperatures in the 70s and a crowd of more than 2,000 fans looking on, was Mueller.

The popular and talented driver, deservingly respected as one of the top drivers in the Northwest strictly a battle between Mueller, Prusak and Jusola.

When Jusola suffered a flat tire while running second on the 27th lap, Prusak moved into the challenging position only to see Mueller pull steadily away.

By the 30th lap, Mueller had stretched his lead to a half lap, and he widened the margin to three-fourths lap seven laps later and eventually won by that margin.

Winning on the Eau Claire track is nothing new to Mueller, who is the season point leader and a former Late Model Invitational champion.

Only I0 of the original 28 cars finished the feature, all placing in the money.

Sixth was Ken Campeau of New Richmond; seventh was Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.; eighth was Dick Wilhelm, Duluth, Minn.; ninth was Scott Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and 10th was Denny Osborne, Thunder Bay.

Nesbitt was the winner last year and started the feature alongside Mueller in the third row Tuesday night only to slip back and finally be lapped by the leaders.

Results –

1. Harold Mueller, Eau Claire, Wis.
2. Phil Prusak, Eau Claire, Wis.
3. Cecil Henderson, Dakota, Minn.
4. Tim Lorentz, Ladysmith, Wis.
5. Kenny Mann, St. Cloud, Minn.
6. Ken Campeau, New Richmond, Wis.
7. Dave Noble, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
8. Dick Wilhelm, Duluth, Minn.
9. Scott Nesbitt, Thunder Bay, Ontario
10.Denny Osborne, Thunder Bay, Ontario

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