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IRA Interstate Racing Association




August 31, 2014; Francis Creek, WI – A fog hanging in there air, above the raceway reflected off the track lighting gave a surreal effect as backdrop.. one could say it was almost a scene from a nightmare, with eerie shadows cast in the mists. After consulting the drivers on the effects of the fog they opted to continue the show for the fans and they delivered an exciting main event.

Perhaps it was fitting then that Bill Balog, whose moniker “The Northpole Nightmare”, wound up sitting in victory lane after a hard fought battle with Mike Reinke for the win.

For Balog the victory was a matter of speed, skill and “luck”.

Reinke has demonstrated the past several weeks his #02 machine has the speed to win some more races this season. Since his win at the Roger Iles Memorial race at Wilmot, Reinke has set fast time the past three events, each time establishing a new track record in the process. Tonight he blistered the 141 Speedway oval with a lap of 10.668 seconds lowering the former mark set two years ago by Mike Kertscher, which had stood at 10.750 seconds.

This evening Reinke tracked down Balog in the closing stages of the 30 lap main event. Balog running a dozen car lengths ahead of Reinke had tagged the wall coming off turn four on lap 23. In a matter of two laps Reinke erased Balog’s advantage, and was working to Balog’s inside when a late race caution negated the pass.

Under the yellow Balog was able to access the damage to his ride, and finding none, he bolted back into the lead keeping Reinke at bay the final five circuits to score the win. Reinke was only three car lengths behind at the finish. The runner-up performance was Reinke’s fourth straight top four effort. Last year’s winner Jeremy Schultz crossed the finish line in third.

Balog acknowledged his enjoyment of the 141 Speedway track where he has seen a great deal of success over the years. Balog has won seven of the ten events at the quarter-mile bullring since the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints first appeared at the track during the 2010 season

Dave “Hagar” Nelson of Hagar's Half Cookie’s also provided extra incentive, giving Balog an extra $400 for his efforts. A wild card drawn earlier awarded the other portion of the bonus to Bryon Walters. The prize was awarded in memory of Dick Symones a former board member of the IRA sprints.

“It feels great, I just love this place”, exclaimed Balog after climbing from the cockpit in victory lane. Balog also indicated tagging the wall almost had cost him the race “We’ll probably have to put a new right rear wheel on it. I kind of lost track where I was behind a lapped car there and smacked the wall a little bit”, he said. The show hindered by fog did not deter the loyal fans attending the event. “It was an awesome night I want to thank everyone for coming out”, Balog concluded.

Reinke was pleased with his performance especially the handling of his ride. “We had the car real nice, it was rolling really good”, said Reinke also referenced Balog’s rare miscue. “He smacked the wall there, if the caution had not come out it would have been closer”. Still Reinke knew that a restart with only five laps would prove to be a challenge in overtaking Balog. “On the restart if you give Bill Balog an open track he’s going to be hard to pass. We did what we could, and just came up short again. The crew gave me a car to win we just didn’t accomplish it”, Reinke stated on his runner-up performance.

The 22 car starting grid rolled trackside for the A-main warm-up laps in a light fog which had descended on the speedway. The field was stopped to poll the drivers on the safety of racing in the conditions. With the fog beginning to lift, and with the approval of the drivers who wanted to put on a show for the fans the event resumed.

Rookie of the Year contender Bill Rose of Plainfield, Indiana set the pace for the opening green flag of the 30 lap contest. Schultz, last season’s event winner sat to his outside as the green flag fell, with Balog, and Jordan Goldesberry making up the second row.

Rose made the bottom work at the drop of the green flag to bolt into the lead, with Balog following in his tire tracks, while Schultz slipped back on the outside.

After leading the first lap Rose was unable to repel the charge of Balog, who sliced to his inside on the second circuit. Balog poured on the speed taking the lead. Reinke meanwhile was also on the move coming away with the third spot after a brief duel with Schultz.

Matt Vandervere came to a halt in turn four on lap seven, forcing the first caution of the contest.

The lead trio of Balog, Rose and Reinke again showcased the high line at the drop of the green flag as racing resumed. The leaders quickly found themselves working lapped traffic by the halfway point of the contest, with Balog moving out to a dozen car length advantage.

Second place became the focus of attention as Reinke pressured Rose for the position. Reinke managed to claim the spot before the only red flag of the event, which occurred when Scott Biertzer, and Kyle Marten collided in turn two on lap 18. Both cars nearly got upside down in the tangle. Both racers were okay but their machines were too damaged to continue.

Balog, with a cushion of several lapped cars between himself, and second running Reinke blasted back into the lead as action resumed.

Rose meanwhile lost the third position to an impressive restart by Schultz.

Out front Reinke quickly disposed of lapped machines and set out after Balog. On lap 23, Balog clipped the turn four wall as he attempted to negotiate past a lapped car. Breaking his momentum Balog soon found Reinke closing the gap. The pair crossed the line on lap 24 with only a car length between them. On the next circuit Reinke dove to the bottom of the track and drew alongside Balog but as that occurred Brandon Thone came to a halt in turn two creating the final slowdown.

The five lap dash to the checkered saw open track among the leaders as lapped machines fall to the tail of the field for the final five laps of an IRA event. Reinke was able to hang with Balog on the restart and the pair quickly pulled away from third running Schultz. Over the final laps Reinke remained close but Balog’s speed was enough to carry the six-time series champion to his 11th victory of the season. Reinke netted second place followed by Schultz taking the final podium spot.

Rose held on to fourth. Scotty Neitzel made his way into the final top five spot during the last half of the contest. Goldesberry netted a sixth place performance followed by Russel Borland and Steve Meyer.

Scotty Thiel, coming off a pair of second place runs the past two shows, had to settle for ninth tonight. He overcame a fair number of obstacles to do so. He expired a motor in his 410 powered machine forcing him to a backup car after the heat race. He then had to start at the tail of the B-main, but he blazed to the third spot to transfer to the A-main event. In the A-main he was able to advance to ninth from a 20th place starting spot.

Raymond Hensley making another late season IRA start was rewarded with a tenth place run.

15 of the 22 cars were still trackside at the finish.

Earlier in the night 15 cars ran the B-main to set the balance of the field. Ben Schmidt handedly won the contest followed by Scotty Neitzel, Scott Thiel, Jason Johnson, Brandon Thone, Ken Jay Fielder in the top six spots.

Four heat races were held with wins going to Borland, Balog, Dennis Spitz and Biertzer.

33 cars were on hand to qualify this evening with 31 actually taking a time on the clock. Reinke’s 10.668 second effort was good for the fastest lap, and established the new track record. Balog was second quick with a time of 10.715 seconds. Goldesberry was third quick turning in a lap of 10.929. Bill Rose, and Scotty Neitzel also eclipsed the 11 second mark.

The 2014 racing season continues with a double-header weekend in the extreme northwestern part of the state. First up is a trip to the Amsoil Speedway in Superior on Friday night, September 5th. The Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints are the featured class for the opening night of the tracks Northern Nationals weekend. That race was won by Neitzel last year.

Then it’s a two-hour trip back south to Cedar Lake Speedway for the running of the prestigious 14th annual Jerry Richert Memorial event on Saturday night September 6th. The program showcase the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw 410 winged sprints along with the UMSS 360 winged sprints and the Northern Vintage Stockcar Racers. The Richert Memorial is always one of the premier sprint car racing events held each season and should see a strong field of cars in both divisions.

IRA proudly moves continues it’s 2014 season backed by its long time supporting series partners led by title sponsor Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, and associate series partners Osborn & Son Trucking, TW Metals, Hoosier Tire, Cedar Creek Motorsports, Cummins Onan, and Carriage Auto Body.

The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints are a featured member of a website dedicated to bringing fans the best possible coverage of local short track racing.
For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at or by logging onto the series Facebook page at the series is also on twitter at #IRA_sprints.

IRA Sprint Cars - IRA Interstate Racing Association
Event #19 – 141 Speedway – Francis Creek, WI – August 31, 2014

IRA Sprint Cars | IRA Interstate Racing Association
Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 17B-Bill Balog[5]; 2. 02-Mike Reinke[6]; 3. 5J-Jeremy Schultz[2]; 4. 6-Bill Rose[3]; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel[11]; 6. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[4]; 7. 23-Russell Borland[8]; 8. 85M-Steve Meyer[13]; 9. 64-Scotty Thiel[22]; 10. 70-Raymond Hensley[17]; 11. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski[14]; 12. 7-Scott Uttech[1]; 13. 44-Jason Johnson[19]; 14. 35-Ben Schmidt[12]; 15. 41-Dennis Spitz[7]; 16. (DNF) 94-Brandon Thone[20]; 17. (DNF) 5-Bryon Walters[18]; 18. (DNF) 4B-Scott Biertzer[9]; 19. (DNF) 99-Kyle Marten[16]; 20. (DNF) 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler[21]; 21. (DNF) 5K-Brian Kristan[15]; 22. (DNF) 10V-Matt Vandevere[10]

Behling Racing Products B Feature (15 Laps): 1. 35-Ben Schmidt[2]; 2. 2W-Scott Neitzel[1]; 3. 64-Scotty Thiel[15]; 4. 44-Jason Johnson[4]; 5. 94-Brandon Thone[6]; 6. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler[5]; 7. 68-Dave Uttech[3]; 8. 21H-Tim Haddy[11]; 9. 73-Dennis Weisner[9]; 10. 1-Paul Pokorski[7]; 11. 7F-Lance Fassbender[10]; 12. 6K-Kurt Davis[13]; 13. 95B-Ty Bartz[8]; 14. 55P-Samantha Portschy[12]; 15. (DNF) 4K-Kris Spitz[14]; DNS 53W-Bill Wirth; DNS 79-Blake Nimee

Weld Racing Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 23-Russell Borland[2]; 2. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski[3]; 3. 10V-Matt Vandevere[4]; 4. 02-Mike Reinke[6]; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel[5]; 6. 1-Paul Pokorski[7]; 7. 21H-Tim Haddy[8]; 8. (DNF) 64-Scotty Thiel[1]; DNS 4K-Kris Spitz

Diversified Machine Inc. Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 17B-Bill Balog[6]; 2. 70-Raymond Hensley[1]; 3. 99-Kyle Marten[2]; 4. 5J-Jeremy Schultz[5]; 5. 68-Dave Uttech[4]; 6. 95B-Ty Bartz[7]; 7. 55P-Samantha Portschy[8]; 8. (DNF) 44-Jason Johnson[3]

All Star Performance Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 41-Dennis Spitz[1]; 2. 85M-Steve Meyer[4]; 3. 7-Scott Uttech[5]; 4. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[6]; 5. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler[3]; 6. 73-Dennis Weisner[7]; 7. (DNF) 6K-Kurt Davis[8]; 8. (DNF) 94-Brandon Thone[2]

King Racing Products Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. 4B-Scott Biertzer[4]; 2. 6-Bill Rose[6]; 3. 5-Bryon Walters[1]; 4. 5K-Brian Kristan[3]; 5. 35-Ben Schmidt[5]; 6. 7F-Lance Fassbender[7]; 7. (DNF) 79-Blake Nimee[2]; DNS 53W-Bill Wirth

Osborn & Son Qualifying: 1. 02-Mike Reinke, 10.668[18]; 2. 17B-Bill Balog, 10.715[2]; 3. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 10.929[8]; 4. 6-Bill Rose, 12.292[3]; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel, 10.974[1]; 6. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, 11.063[15]; 7. 7-Scott Uttech, 11.073[25]; 8. 35-Ben Schmidt, 11.106[21]; 9. 10V-Matt Vandevere, 11.148[30]; 10. 68-Dave Uttech, 11.163[27]; 11. 85M-Steve Meyer, 11.191[26]; 12. 4B-Scott Biertzer, 1.216[11]; 13. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, 11.276[16]; 14. 44-Jason Johnson, 11.320[4]; 15. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler, 11.341[24]; 16. 5K-Brian Kristan, 11.372[22]; 17. 23-Russell Borland, 11.404[31]; 18. 99-Kyle Marten, 11.404[33]; 19. 94-Brandon Thone, 11.416[14]; 20. 79-Blake Nimee, 11.461[6]; 21. 64-Scotty Thiel, 11.479[19]; 22. 70-Raymond Hensley, 11.493[12]; 23. 41-Dennis Spitz, 11.604[20]; 24. 5-Bryon Walters, 11.632[28]; 25. 1-Paul Pokorski, 11.672[23]; 26. 95B-Ty Bartz, 11.826[5]; 27. 73-Dennis Weisner, 11.894[32]; 28. 7F-Lance Fassbender, 12.179[13]; 29. 21H-Tim Haddy, 12.210[9]; 30. 55P-Samantha Portschy, 12.277[17]; 31. 6K-Kurt Davis, 12.292[10]; DNS 53W-Bill Wirth; DNS 4K-Kris Spitz

Article Credit: Jeffrey Sachse

Submitted By: Jeffrey Sachse

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