Wednesday, June 5, 2024

1973 – Marzofka Captures Pyroil 100

Marv Marzofka

West Salem, Wis. (June 5, 1973) – Marv Marzofka bided his time, missed an accident which took frontrunner Jim Back out of action and went on to win the Pyroil 100 feature race here Tuesday night at the La Crosse Interstate Speedway.

Back, from Vesper, Wis., had an almost insurmountable lead of nearly a complete lap before a collision with Dan Przybrowski of Savage, Minn., put his 1973 Camaro in the pits and handed second-place runner Marzofka a lead which he never relinquished.

“Back would have won it if he’d have kept going,” said Marzofka, a Nekoosa, Wis., veteran who was the season point champion on this track last year.

Back, starting from the fifth row, grabbed the lead on the 17th lap and steadily increased on it until he had lapped all but Marzofka and one or two others before tangling with Przyborowski.

“I could see Back in my mirror,” said Marzofka. “I didn't run too hard until the last 30 laps. I knew my tires were getting hot and I changed them when the red flag came out after the accident.”

The mishap, which took the $1,000 first prize money away from Back, involved four cars in all. Przybrowski kissed the wall and bounced into Back’s path Prior to the pileup. Marzofka held second place for just five laps after beating back the challenges of Dave Watson of Beloit, Wis., and Larry Detjens of Wausau, Wis., for what looked like the only race of the night, that of runner-up.

“That was quite a battle going on for second,” said Marzofka. “And I wanted to stay clear of it. Much of the time I was just trying to keep the top ones in sight, except for Back.”

Watson, in a ‘72 Camaro, Came in second at the checkered flag with Bob Jusola of Burnsville, Minn., third Joe Shear of South Beloit, III., winner of two 100-lappers and the Oktoberfest 200 last year, in addition to a trophy dash victory, placed fourth. Tom Reffner of Rudolph, Wis., one of those battling much of the way with Marzofka for second, finished fifth.

In all, $8,000 in prize money was awarded with Watson pocketing $800 and the third and fourth placers taking home $650 and $500 respectively.

The 100-lapper had a crack-up on the very first lap when John Rank of Milwaukee tangled with Jim Pearson, resulting in a badly mangled front end on Rank’s ‘72 Nova and a restart.

Detjens, piloting a '72 Challenger, then took the lead and held it until lap 11 when Reffner took over, only to give way to the charging Back six laps later.

In all, 39 feature cars were on hand for the first special race of the season with the fast 15 timers starting inverted in the front of the pack with the remainder of the 24-car feature field made up of the top three finishers from each of three heat races.

Results –

1. Marv Marzofka, Nekoosa, Wis.
2. Dave Watson, Beloit, Wis.
3. Bob Jusola, Burnsville, Minn.
4. Joe Shear, South Beloit, Ill.
5. Tom Reffner, Rudolph, Wis.
6. John Chrest, Hamel, Minn.
7. Mike Miller, New Prague, Minn.
8. Rich Somers, Stevens Point, Wis.
9. Gregg Arenson, Minneapolis
10.Don James, Bloomington, Minn.
11.Les Anderson, Burnsville, Minn.
12.Larry Detjens, Wausau, Wis.
13.Jim Back, Vesper, Wis.
14.Dan Przybrowski, Savage, Minn.
15.Tom Carlson, La Crosse, Minn.
16.Ron White, Friendship, Wis.
17.Earl Sharping, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
18.Buck Linhart, Wonewoc, Wis.
19.Roy Schmidtke, New Lisbon, Wis.
20.Jim Sauter, Necedah, Wis.
21.Dick Graves, Minneapolis
22.Jim Pearson, Milton, Wis.
23.Axel Dahlberg, Mt. Horeb, Wis.
24.John Rank, Milwaukee

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