West Salem, Wis. (June 6, 1976) – Will history repeat itself? It certainly will if Tom Reffner of Rudolph is involved.It was June 1, 1975, when Reffner turned in the fast time, won the fast dash, the first 50-lap feature and the third 50-lap feature for a sweep in the first annual Dr. Pepper 150 at the La Crosse Interstate Speedway on Sunday.
Reffner duplicated the effort and went one step farther, setting a track record of 20.423 seconds in the time trials during the second Dr. Pepper 150.
“For 100 laps of racing, that's really good,” said Reffner, when told of his $1,055 paycheck.
Reffner picked up $75 for setting the fast time of the day. $100 for breaking his old record in time trials, $30 for winning the 6-lap fast dash, $350 for taking the checkered flag in the first 50-lap feature and $500 for sweeping the third 50-lap feature race.
“The car is working pretty good," said Reffner, who has been running his newly built 360-cubic inch 1974 Javelin since last Tuesday.
Reffner made it look easy, winning both 50-lap races he entered.
He stayed in the middle of the pack in the third 50-lap feature, then wormed his way through the field to third on the 27th lap. On lap 30, Reffner was leading the 25-car field and won going away.
“Those guys were joggin' back and forth for a while early in the race, and I thought that was no place for me. So, I just laid back and didn’t get my nose in there," said Reffner "When things cleared out, I made my move."
When asked if the mid 90-degreetemperature had any effect, Reffner said. "My tires held up, but a lot of guys were having trouble with their tires blistering. When you get out in you just watch your gauges and hope nothing goes wrong
When I saw the 10-lap sign (10 laps to go in the third feature race) I took it a little easy. But you try to build up a good lead if you can. You want a cushion I you start having trouble," said Reffner, who was last year’s track champion here.
While Reffner was happy with his day's work, Larry Wehrs — owner of the La Crosse Interstate Speedway and Dells Motor Speedway at Wisconsin Dells — was not pleased with the attendance figure.
"We had 1,800 adults, 300 juniors and 100 kids today," said Wehrs "Last night at the Dells we had 2,500 adults alone. Right now, I’m afraid I ’ll have to change the format for the next big race.”
Feature #1 –
1. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
2. Bill Oas, Minneapolis
3. Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
4. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
5. Dave Watson, Milton, Wis.
6. Don James, Bloomington, Minn.
7. Tom Jones, Northbrook, Ill.
8. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire, Wis.
9. Denny Paasch, Marshfield, Wis.
10.John Speer, Janesville, Wis.
Feature #2 –
1. Bob Senneker, Door, Mich.
2. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa, Wis.
3. Mark Lamoreaux, Minneapolis
4. Rich Somers, Stevens Point, Wis.
5. Axel Dahlberg, Mauston, Wis.
6. Dewey Gustafson, Minneapolis
7. Mike DeMars, Minneapolis
8. Tom Musgrave, Adams, Wis.
9. Darrel Swartout, Janesville, Wis.
10. Bruce Sparrman, Excelsior, Minn.
Feature #3 –
1. Tom Reffner
2. Jerry Makara, Ancaster, Ontario
3. Joe Shear
4. Bob Senneker
5. Rich Somers
6. Bruce Sparrman
7. Dave Watson
8. Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
9. Tom Musgrave
12.Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
15.Ray Young, Dolton, Ill.
24.John Ziegler, Madison, Wis.