IRA Interstate Racing Association
The Schlafers Still Got It!
For the last time in the 2022 competitive season for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints, 27 sprints checked in to battle at Beaver Dam Raceway for the Scott Semmelmann Memorial.
Picking up the extra $300 donated by the Semmelmann family, Rockstar Energy Drink’s Jordan Goldesberry.
Our heat race winners were Scotty Neitzel, Dave Uttech, and Jake Blackhurst. Those drivers picked up the extra $100 from www.lakehomeretreats.com. Thank you again John for all you have been doing for the IRA Sprints the past couple of weeks. Book your next vacation with Lake Home Retreats! Visit them online or give them a like on Facebook!
Danny Schlafer and Jordan Goldesberry would win their dash and set up the front row of our Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts 30 Lap feature.
At the drop of the green, it was Schlafer by the tractor tires, and Goldesberry ripping the lip heading into turns one and two. Schlafer, driving off the backstretch, would lead the opening lap at the raceway until we threw the red for Jordan Paulsen upside down in turn two. Paulsen was able to walk away. Unfortunately during this time, the U2 of Fast Jack Vanderboom, would pull into the pits and retire for the night. Schlafer, Goldesberry, and Blackhurst would be the top three when we went to the green. Justin Henderson and Dave Uttech would restart just outside the podium, and would look for one of those spots on the restart. Henderson would be the first to challenge Blackhurst for a podium finish and would pass the 39 in turns one and two on the restart and would begin to hunt down the Springfield, IL native of Goldesberry. With another lap in the books, Henderson would pass Goldesberry for second. The Lone Wolf would reach lap traffic and would now be joined by the 1 of Justin Henderson. In turns three and four, Schlafer would bobble on the high side opening the door for Henderson to pass on the low side and take the lead on lap 8. Blackhurst would take this opportunity to pass the 25 as well for second that next lap in turn 2. 20 laps remained with Schlafer in third when he could have the company of Goldesberry and Nimee. Goldesberry would pass Schlafer for third and Nimee would show his nose as well with 17 laps remaining. Justin Henderson was still on top of the charts with the “halfway home” signal shown on the raceway with Blackhurst second, Goldesberry third. With 12 laps remaining race leader Justin Henderson would bring out our second red flag of the night on the backstretch.
Blackhurst would take over as the race leader with Goldesberry and Schlafer on his tail, Nimee would restart fourth, and Uttech fifth. Drama would arise again on the speedway for Rookie of the Year Contender, Jake Neuman, would pull into the work area with a flat left rear tire. He would unfortunately retire there for the night. Blackhurst would lead the field back to green, and the battle to watch would be between Schlafer and Goldesberry. Goldesberry would hold off Schlafer at first, but Schlafer would take second place with 10 laps remaining. Blackhurst and Schlafer would drive to lap traffic and the final countdown would begin. They both would weave around traffic, and would be wing to wing with six laps to go. In turns three and four, they would need to weave around a lap car Blackhurst higher and Schlafer would dive low and take the lead back with 5 laps remaining. After that, the 25 would race away for the win at the Scott Semmelmann Memorial race. Blackhurst would take second, and Goldesberry would round out the podium.
The photo merged with the victory lane photo from Saturday was from Schlafer’s very first 360 feature win at the World of Outlaws show at Beaver Dam Raceway. It was in his second full year of racing. The 360’s were a support series that night! It is awesome to see this history and this story come full circle.
Schlafer said in his interview, it was “Speechless to win at this place in a 410…” It is another track that Al and Danny can cross off the list as a track they have both won together. “This place means so much to the Schlafer family…” Danny continued, “If it weren’t for my uncle Gary I don't even know if I would have gotten the chance to race to be honest.” Gary Schlafer bought the race track in 1986 and rebuilt it to reopen it in 1993. “I can still see the old building sitting up there, I can see my grandpa and grandma sitting up there smiling, so it’s emotional.” Danny’s grandparents always sat up in the observers tower and watched on race nights. Congratulations again to the Schlafer Family!
To see full results from Beaver Dam Raceway: www.irasprints.com/schedules/event/406389
With only two nights left in the 2022 season, here’s how the points battle looks. Jake Blackhurst hangs onto the lead by only 9 points over Rockstar Energy Drink’s Jordan Goldesberry. Danny Schlafer sits third in points, Jake Neuman fourth, and Scotty Neitzel fifth. To see a full points rundown heading into championship weekend, visit: www.irasprints.com/standings
Our season concludes with a Sprintacular doubleheader weekend. Friday night, the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints return to the “Horsepower Halfmile” for the Checkered Classic featuring the Wisconsin Wingless Sprints. Saturday, we crown champions at the A-Main Apparel Wisconsin Sprint Car Championship Night. The IRA Sprints will be joined by the Wisconsin Wingless Sprints, IRA Lightning Sprints, and the MSA 360 Sprints.
Can’t be there? Watch the action live on FloRacing!
Photos by Emily Schwanke
Article Credit: Madeline "Chatty Madi" Schultz
Submitted By: Madeline Schultz