IRA Interstate Racing Association
NEITZEL FLAWLESS IN NORTHERN NATIONALS! GRABS IRA VICTORY!
Uttech fends off Schultz for first podium of 2013!
Superior, WI, September 6, 2013 – The phrase to finish first ... first you must finish had was demonstrated on a balmy Friday evening at Amsoil Speedway in Superior, Wisconsin. Before a standing room only crowd the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints presented the featured entertainment on the opening night of the 25th annual Northern Nationals.
The well groomed and extremely fast three-eighths mile clay oval would prove challenging to many drivers in the 30 lap A-main event but Scott Neitzel kept his machine headed the right direction and clicked off flawless laps in the closing stages of the event to capture his first feature win of the 2013 season.
To earn that honor Neitzel had to survive a late race caution and then fend off the challenges of Bill Balog who was seeking his fourth straight Northern Nationals title.
Balog had to charges from deep in the field after being involved in an early race caution applied pressure to Neitzel over the final laps of the contest, but Neitzel never wavered and he accomplished what so many had tried to do this season and that is to outrun Balog in a showdown for the win.
The battle for the final podium position was equally intense as early race leader Scott Uttech and rookie sensation Jeremy Schultz battled wing to wing over the final circuit with Uttech winning the drag race off the final turn by a foot to earn his first podium finish of 2013.
Track preparation for the evening’s events proved to be top notch. The surface provided plenty of bite early in the evening which resulted in a new track record set by Davey Heskin when he blistered the raceway with a 12.653 second orbit in qualifying. That lap surpassed the previous mark set by Terry McCarl of 12.715 in September of 2009. The speedway remained racy throughout the event resulting in a smooth, tacky multi-groove surface for the feature contest.
The challenge however was to stay out of the extreme high groove through the third and fourth turns where the banking of the corners begins to flatten out. That area captured several top drivers with spins in the early going.
The first attempt at a green flag resulted in a spin by Bill Wirth in turn three. He would be able to continue when action resumed. On the second try Phillip Mock got sideways in the cushion in turn two, his ride dug into the clay and flipped onto its side resulting in the first red flag of the evening. Mock would be unable to continue.
The third try at the start would put race favorites Travis Whitney and Balog to the tail of the field. The pair together had won 5 previous Northern National crowns but a twin spin in turn four placed both at the tail of the field.
Racing would finally come up to full song with Blake Nimee setting the opening pace from his pole starting berth. However after the initial lap was in the books Kris Spitz lost the handle in turn four with Whitney spinning to avoid him and Duane Olson making contact with the wall.
Scott Uttech would use the low line to surpass Nimee for the top spot when turn four struck again this time grabbing the Hesken the evening’s fast qualifier and new track record holder.
With each yellow flag, those drivers able to keep their raises headed the right direction were finding themselves moving forward in the running order.
Action began in earnest with the next green flag as Uttech proved the lower line was the place to be shooting to the lead and leaving Steve Meyer, Nimee and Neitzel in his exhaust.
Neitzel darted to the bottom side if the racing surface to surpass Nimee on lap 3 to take over the third spot. Neitzel would make a similar mover on Meyer on lap 9 as the pair ran wing to wing for the second spot several a laps before Neitzel surged ahead.
Out front Uttech had established a large lead still clinging to the low line which Neitzel sought to erase.
Deep in the field Balog was putting on a passing exhibition charging up to the fourth spot by lap 14.
Neitzel was successful in closing the gap on Uttech and got additional assistance in doing so by a caution on lap 17 when Spitz came to a half in turn four.
Uttech, Neitzel, Balog, Meyer and Schultz sat atop the leader board when racing again got underway.
Neitzel would opt for the high groove with Uttech still favoring the low line as the duo did battle for the lead. Neitzel's speed in the high line would allow him to slowly gain the advantage pulling ahead on lap 19.
Neitzel was still fending off the challenges of Uttech when the race was halted for a final time in spectacular fashion. Leigh Thomas appeared to have a mechanical failure resulting in his car tagging the wall entering turn one which resulted in a series of flips which would catapult his car out of the racetrack and into a wooded area outside turn one. He would emerge from his battered car unhurt from the incident.
During the red flag teams were allowed to make a fuel stop before the final nine laps of the event were contested.
Neitzel was back to showing the way while Balog and Uttech waged a war for the second spot. Balog opting to rim ride the track slowly gained the upper hand on Uttech for the position and he now sought for run down Neitzel who had built a five car length advantage.
Neitzel never wavered over the finals laps and in spite of Balog's best efforts to surpass him as he held fast to the lead taking the win with Balog trailing to the checkered. Uttech's steady performance would net a third place finish. Schultz claimed fourth with Wayne Modjeski earning a solid top five performance.
Nimee earned sixth his best run of the 2013 season in his limited appearances. Heskin recovered from his earlier spin to grab seventh followed by Meyer, Whitney and Donovan Peterson
17 of the 22 starters in the A-main were still running at the finish.
In earlier action Bill Wirth, Jeremy Schultz and Travis Whitney captured heat races.
The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints now head to Cedar Lake Speedway for their final appearance of the 2013 at the high banked three-eights mile oval as part of the 13th Annual Jerry Richert Memorial race which will be held on Saturday night September 7th.
Last year Kertscher collected the $5,000 top prize and taking the win for the IRA regulars outrunning Mark Dobmier and Brooke Tatnell. Tatnell had scored victories in the prestigious event in 2008 and 2009 and is expected to be on hand to challenge IRA’s best.
The field often has several visiting drivers on appear to steal the top prize which will again pay $5,000 to win. Teams will be competing for the highest total purse of any event on the IRA circuit this season when they participate in the Richert Memorial event which will also pay a minimum of $400 to take the green flag in the A-main.
The all-open wheeled show will see the UMSS 360 sprints join the program as well as area Vintage cars.
Grandstands will open at 5:00pm, with racing set to start at 6:00pm. Adults tickets are $25, with a student ticket available for $12 for younger fans ages 6 through 16. Children ages 5 and under are admitted FREE with a paid adult.
Admission prices are $25 for adults; $12 for students ages 6 to 16; while children 5 and under are FREE. Preliminary events are scheduled to begin at 6:00pm. Additional information on Cedar Lake Speedway can be found at www.cedarlakespeedway.com
To reach the track take Highway 94 West to Highway 63. Travel North on 63 and travel 14 miles to Highway 64. Turn left on 64 (West) and travel approximately 7 miles to Highway 65. Turn right on 65 (North) and travel approx.. 1.5 miles to 210th Ave. Turn left on 210th and travel approx. 4 miles to County Road CC. Turn right on County Road CC (where the Outpost Bar is). Track is 1.5 miles on the right.
The IRA Outlaw Sprint Series is proudly supported by Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, Hoosier Tire, Osborn & Son Trucking, TW Metals, Onan, Carriage Auto Body, Polaris DEFENSE, and Mother’s Polishes and Waxes. The office of the IRA Sprints can be reached at 815-759-9269 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Event: #21 – Amsoil Speedway – Superior, WI - September 6, 2013
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 2. 17B-Bill Balog; 3. 7-Scott Uttech; 4. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 5. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 6. 79-Blake Nimee; 7. 56-Davey Heskin; 8. 85M-Steve Meyer; 9. 16-Travis Whitney; 10. 19-Donovan Peterson; 11. 23-Russell Borland; 12. 12-Michael Decker; 13. 4K-Kris Spitz; 14. 5-David Glennon; 15. 68-Dave Uttech; 16. 38-Allen Hafford; 17. 71-Chad Tessman; DNF 29-Leigh Thomas; DNF 53W-Bill Wirth; DNF 14AJX-Heikkinen Patrick; DNF 16X-Duane Olson; DNF 1M-Phillip Mock
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 53W-Bill Wirth; 2. 17B-Bill Balog; 3. 1M-Phillip Mock; 4. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 5. 29-Leigh Thomas; 6. 12-Michael Decker; 7. 71-Chad Tessman; DNF 56-Davey Heskin
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 2. 85M-Steve Meyer; 3. 23-Russell Borland; 4. 19-Donovan Peterson; 5. 79-Blake Nimee; 6. 5-David Glennon; 7. 14AJX-Heikkinen Patrick
Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 16-Travis Whitney; 2. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 3. 68-Dave Uttech; 4. 4K-Kris Spitz; 5. 7-Scott Uttech; 6. 38-Allen Hafford; 7. 16X-Duane Olson
Qualifying: 1. 56-Davey Heskin; 2. 5-David Glennon; 3. 16-Travis Whitney; 4. 17B-Bill Balog; 5. 85M-Steve Meyer; 6. 7-Scott Uttech; 7. 1M-Phillip Mock; 8. 79-Blake Nimee
Article Credit: Jeffrey Sachse
Submitted By: Jeffrey Sachse