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NAS-TRACK Team Race #5
Rochester Hills, Michigan, July 23, 2004
Serviceman & Civilian pair up to win
By Dale Hughes
The #1 bike racer in the U.S. Armed Forces proved to be #1 on the Velodrome at Bloomer Park on Friday Night when Steve Mlujeak of the U.S. Coast Guard teamed up with the seasoned veteran on the boards Ray Dybowski to win Race #5 of the NAS-TRACK Team Racing Series.
The Series concludes with The Championship event this Friday, July 30 at the Velodrome but NAS-TRACK Racing continues with the Detroit 6-Day Aug. 10-15th and the SOUPerBOWL on Sept. 3.
Race #5 fielded seven 2-man NAS-TRACK Teams so evenly paired that nearly every team was still in the victory hunt before the last sprint of the night' s racing. Teams accumulate points in each race event which includes 2 1-mile sprints, a miss-and-out, a 50 lap Madison Team Race and 100 lap Madison Team Race. The team with the most points wins.
As the 100 lap Madison started counting down, Team Purple's Mlujeak and Dybowski were leading with 58 points, but only 4 points down with 54 was Team Neon of Dave Koesel and Andre Champoux. In third with 52 points was Team Red of Rob Good and Taylor Martin and in fourth with 48 points was Team Orange of Tony Bruly and Luke Cavendar.
With 25 points on first place for the final sprint, the spread became the critical issue and the last 50 laps of the 100 lap race saw a variety of tactical maneuvers that kept the competition heated all the way to the end. No team was able to escape the pack; every attack was quickly counter-attacked and the racing was strung out all the way around the 1/8th of a mile oval, a sign that the pace was in the 30s.
Two to go in the bike race and 16-year-old Cavendar of Team Orange completed his last exchange by throwing in his partner powerman Bruley, who turned on the afterburners and pulled away from the field. Behind, Team Red's Good was lining up to throw in the 21-year-old Canadian sprinting sensation Martin with 1½ to go. Martin had previously shown his power to come on strong from the back of the pack and Team Red had to finish first to win the night.
Another 20 feet behind, in the third and fourth positions, Teams Neon and Purple were scrambling to not only beat each other, but to get ahead of Teams Orange and Red. Purple's Mlujeak was able to go over Neon's Champoux -- who he had to beat to win the race, but he couldn't make it past Red's Martin.
The dazzling sprint ended with Orange in First, Red in Second, Purple in third and Neon in fourth.
At the final points tally, it was Team Purple with the victory with 74 points; in second and a single point behind was Team Orange. Red had to settle for third "I should have thrown him in ¼ of a lap sooner," said Good. And Neon ended with fourth... to make another incredible night of NAS-TRACK Team Racing.
For more information, contact NAS-TRACK Chairman Dale Hughes at 248-961-3705 or www.nas-track.com.
Team Purple - Steve Mlujeak, Rochester Hills & Ray Dybowski, Waterford 74 pts Team Orange - Tony Bruley, Rochester Hills & Luke Cavendar, Troy 73 Team Red - Rob Good, Toronto & Taylor Martin, Hamilton, Ont. 70 Team Neon - Dave Koesel, Livonia & Andre Champoux, Ypsilanti 69 Team Blue - Pio Apostoli, Toledo & Cullen Watkins, Royal Oak 60 Team Black - Nick Laughton, Rochester Hills & Steve Geerligs, Howell 52 Team Green - Matt Walpe, Royal Oak & Christopher Hughes, Rochester Hills 46 Individual overall standings 1 Andre Champoux 334 pts 2 Pio Apostoli 331 3 Dave Koesel 323 4 Tony Bruley 318 5 Ray Dybowski 298 6 Rob Good 280 7 Nick Laughton 247 8 Rippin Ronnie Sink 246 9 Cullen Watkins 243 10 Taylor Martin 238 11 Jim Houston 225 12 Luke Cavendar 199 13 Dave Teall 169 14 Rob Akers 142 15 Terry Palmer 141 16 Steve Mlujeak 138 17 Steve Geerligs 132 18 Eric Chase 90 19 Paul Jaqua 63 20 Matt Walpe 46 21 Christopher Hughes 46 22 Julia Bradley 31 23 Luis Bernhardt 28
Local results 2004