IRA Sprints

Dobmeier Defends Northern Turf
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Dobmeier Defends Northern Turf

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Dobmeier Defends Northern Turf: Norman County speedway was met with 36 of the best of the upper Midwest featuring the Bumper to Bumper IRA and the Buf
Buffalo Wild Wings King of the Wings Points Fund

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7/15/2024 -
The Bumper To Bumper IRA Outlaws Sprint Series will make their 3rd annual trek to join the Northern Outlaw Sprint Series (NOSA) for the Buffalo Wild W
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Dobmeier Defends Northern Turf

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Epic Title Chase to Play Out at Oshkosh Speedzone.
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7/23/2015

7/23/2015

IRA Interstate Racing Association


Epic Title Chase to Play Out at Oshkosh Speedzone.

Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints Visit “The Zone”

July 23, 2015; Oshkosh, WI - Weather hasn’t been too kind to Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway when the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints are scheduled, but the forthcoming event to be held this Friday Night, July 24th appears to be free of a weather threat, and the series will bring an epic point battle to the wide, semi-banked third-mile clay oval.

The halfway point of the season is fast approaching, and three drivers have begun to separate themselves from the pack in the quest for the 2015 championship crown.

Ben Schmidt who has earned multiple titles in area 360 sprint car action joined the IRA tour full-time last year. Racing for the Rhine Auto Motorsports team, Schmidt has established himself as a front runner in the series. This year he collected his first career IRA victory with a win at Beaver Dam Raceway back in May, and he’s rolled off four additional runner-up performances. The only setback so far this year has been a tumble at the Dodge County Fairgrounds while trying to avoid an incident between two other cars. Schmidt is looking to get his season back on track, and the wide open driving style that the Oshkosh Speedzone oval encourages will likely play into his strengths.

Schmidts point lead? A mere three points.

Giving chase is Plainfield, Indiana native Bill Rose. A former regular on the World of Outlaws tour, and the 2014 Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint series Rookie of the Year, Rose has had remarkable consistency since joining the series. In fact, he’s only had a single DNF since he began competing on a regular basis with the IRA. He’s finished in the top ten in all but one A-main this year, and was looking at a top five in the other event when fuel pickup problems slowed his pace on the final lap of that race at Dodge County Fairgrounds. Ironically that mechanical issue negated what would have been a big gain in points, as Schmidt had already dropped from that contest. While the championship is within reach of Rose, he’s also made it clear his primary focus is to win. He’s had multiple runner-up finishes since joining the series yet a victory has eluded him.

Creeping into the picture in the title hunt is Beaver Dam resident Scotty Neitzel. Neitzel has been slowly chipping away as the point advantage of Schmidt, and Rose. Using the strength of a win at Angell Park back in June to gain momentum, Neitzel has avoided the recent pitfalls of his rivals, and has closed within 78 points of the lead. The two-time series champion is known to take care of his equipment, and seems to gain momentum as the season rolls along. If any misfortune befalls Schmidt or Rose, Neitzel will be right there to take over the top spot,

Jeremy Schultz, sits in the fourth spot. Though he has shown impressive speed this year he’s still seeking to regain the rhythm of a very impressive rookie season two years ago. When he won Rookie of the Year honors in 2013, Schultz had finished second in points but a sophomore slump last year broke his momentum. This year, Schultz is back with his hard charging driving style. He already captured a win at Wilmot Raceway this year, it’s a track where he won a championship in 2013. With Wilmot as part of a double-header this weekend following Friday night at Oshkosh, it’s a perfect time for Schultz to place his name as a contender in the title chase. He’s currently 132 markers from the top of the standings and the time to close the gap is now.

Other drivers included in the top ten in the current standings include Scotty Thiel. Thiel has had a pair of podiums in the past three events and is eager to make his way back to victory lane. Blake Nimee is having the best season of his IRA career having scored his first career IRA win in June and he’s been on the verge of breaking into the top five in the series standings.

Phillip Mock has earned a pair of wins at Wilmot Raceway’s own 410 sprint shows and had a runner-up performance at Beaver Dam in IRA competition back in May. The second generation racer is looking to gain some consistency and if he does he’ll easily improve on his seventh place point ranking.

Russel Borland quietly worked into the eighth spot having made all but a single A-main this year. Some early season motor issues slowed his pace but he seems to have overcome those issues and is looking for his first podium of 2015.

Kyle Marten currently sits ninth in points and is the leading rookie in the 2015 Rookie of the Year chase. Marten surprised everyone with an amazing run last year at Luxemburg Speedway when he won the winner of the 1st annual Battle by The Bay. As a precursor to his full season this year Marten has shown he’s got the speed to run up front but is still facing a learning curve after graduating from 360 to 410 sprints.

Scott Uttech currently rounds out the top ten. One of the best drivers on tight tracks or when the racing surface takes rubber, Uttech has been hindered by a few mechanical issues. His performances late in a race usually result in him moving forward, and as the season goes on expect Uttech to start climbing the standings if he can avoid some bad luck.

In addition to the aforementioned drivers other IRA regulars such as Dave Uttech, Kris and Dennis Spitz, rookie contenders Rick Kelsey, and Josh Walter, Wayne Modjeski, Scott Biertzer, Jereme Schroeder, Bill Wirth, Allen Hafford, Michael Decker and Brandon Thone.

Mike Reinke who has had four consecutive top five performances and a win at Manitowoc in the Harbor Town Showdown is also likely to appear at Oshkosh. Veteran racer Steve Meyer is also a probability to appear based upon his strong runs at the track in the past.

A field in excess of two-dozen drivers is expected for the event at Oshkosh Speedzone.

In addition to the IRA Sprints it will also be the second round of the IMCA Modified “King of the Ring” series which will pay the winner $1000. IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Sport Mods will also race Friday evening.

Pit gates will open at 4:00pm with the grandstands opening at 5:00pm. Qualifying is set to begin at 6:00pm with the first green flag expected to flay at 7:00pm.

Adult admission for this special event is $20, with students ages 11-15 admitted for $10. Children ages 10 and under are admitted for free.

Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.

Fans and drivers can find additional details on the contest by visiting the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net

For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at www.irasprints.com or by logging onto the series Facebook page at www.facebook.com/irasprints the series is also on twitter at #IRA_sprints.

The IRA Sprints are presented by its long time supporting series partners. The series support is 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.

2015 Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints Upcoming Events:
7/24/2015 Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway – Oshkosh, WI
7/25/2015 Wilmot Raceway – Wilmot, WI
7/31/2015 Langlande County Speedway – Antigo, WI
8/1/2015 Sheboygan County Fairgrounds – Plymouth, WI
8/2/2015 Seymour Speedway – Seymour, WI


Submitted By: Jeffrey Sachse

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