Saturday, September 30, 2023

1984 - Bryan Reffner Snares Close Oktoberfest 100

Bryan Reffner scored the biggest win of his career by capturing the 100-lap late model feature in the Oktoberfest 200 Sunday afternoon at La Crosse Interstate Speedway. – Lowell Dalsoren Photo

West Salem, Wis. (September 30, 1984) – Twenty-year-old Bryan Reffner held off Ted Musgrave and his father Tom Reffner to capture the 100-lap late model feature of the Oktoberfest 200 Sunday afternoon at La Crosse Interstate Speedway.

Lyle Nowak took the lead at the start of the main event from his pole position, but John McNamara overtook Nowak to gain the top spot on lap 2. McNamara paced the 25-car field until the ninth round when the younger Reffner took command. One lap later, the first caution of the event came out.

When the race resumed, Reffner continued to lead while Terry Baldry moved up to second. On lap 15, another yellow flag flew when Steve Murgic and Bob Iverson spun in turn three.

Reffner maintained his lead after the mishap and at lap 25 was followed closely by Baldry, Steve Holzhausen, and Musgrave. Bob Weis brought out another yellow on lap 31. One lap later, Tim Cox spun, forcing another slowdown.

Bryan Reffner retained the lead through the mishaps, but Musgrave overtook Baldry for second place on lap 42.

For the remainder of the race, Reffner used the outside groove thus forcing Musgrave to try the inside of the track. A broken differential on Baldry’s car knocked the Omro driver out of the race on lap 60, while the top three; Bryan Reffner, Musgrave, and Tom Reffner, pulled away from the field.

For the final 13 circuits, Reffner held off several attempts by Musgrave to get by on the inside. The elder Reffner took advantage of the duel to gain ground on the pair and pulled right up behind Musgrave.

At the finish, the top three crossed the finish line bumper-to-bumper with the young Reffner scoring the victory. Musgrave held off a determined Tom Reffner while Steve Burgess and Rick Wateski filled out the top five.

Tom Reffner fought off Wateski for the final 18 laps to win the first 50-lap feature, which was comprised of odd-number cars. Steve Burgess scored a relatively easy victory in the second 50-lapper for even-numbered cars.

Results –

1. Bryan Reffner, Rudolph
2. Ted Musgrave, Grand Marsh
3. Tom Reffner, Rudolph
4. Steve Burgess, Eau Claire
5. Rick Wateski, La Crosse
6. Bob Gunn, Madison
7. Jim Weber, Roseville, Minn.
8. Steve Holzhausen, Bangor
9. Tim Cox, Wildwood
10.Bob Iverson, Escanaba, Mich.

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