By Gared Tennyson
Saturday September 23rd, the IRA will head back to the Beaver Dam Raceway for the 3rd annual Scott Semmelman Memorial. Beaver Dam Raceway has been one of Bill Balog’s strongest tracks, with him winning all 3 previous visits there this year in IRA competition. Coming off a week that saw Balog win his 100th career IRA feature win Wednesday night at the Dirt Oval 66, as well as a UMSS 360 win Friday night in Spencer, Iowa, and then win his first career Wisconsin wingLESS series presented by the IRA feature win Saturday at Wilmot Raceway, Balog is riding into Beaver Dam on a huge wave of momentum and will be looking to carry that all the way to victory lane. The Scott Semmelman Memorial however, has been Balog’s Achilles heel, as he has been unable to win in the prior two running’s despite being so strong at the high banked 1/3rd mile oval. One driver who could beat Balog this Saturday, is inaugural Scott Semmelman memorial winner Jordan Goldesberry. Goldesberry carries 2 career IRA wins into Beaver Dam and leads a group of veterans who are yet to get a victory in IRA competition this year. Others in that group include 2 time champion Scotty Neitzel, former Knoxville Track Record holder Mike Reinke and the man who was victorious twice at the Beaver Dam Raceway in 2014, Phillip Mock. Scotty Thiel could also be a strong contender, after two great charges this past week, driving from 11th to 5th Wednesday night in Joliet, and then an incredible 22nd to 6th run against a stacked field of cars at the Clay County Fairgrounds.
Sunday the series heads to LaSalle Speedway for Bill Waite Jr. Memorial, an event that is always exciting as the Midwest Open Wheel Association(MOWA) co sanctions the event with the IRA, and boasts one of the biggest purses of the year for the IRA, paying $5000 to win and $500 to start. Bill Balog is the defending event winner and will be looking to repeat, but will face challenges from not only the IRAs top competitors like Jeremy Schultz and Kyle Martin but also from the top MOWA drivers. Former ASCS regional champion Brad Loyet leads the MOWA Points as they head to LaSalle and will surely be at the front when the checkered flag drops Sunday night. Other top MOWA drivers include Jim Moughan, AJ Bruns and Jacob Patton. Another man to watch will be Bret Tripplett, who just recently picked up his first MOWA feature win. Hot laps to begin at 4:30 on Sunday, so be sure to get to LaSalle early as it is expected to be a packed house.
Mufflers are required at Beaver Dam, but will not be required Sunday at LaSalle.
The IRA would like to thank our wonderful sponsors, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, Osborn and Son Trucking, TW Metals, Carriage Auto Body, Cummins Onan, Hopf Farms, Hagar’s Half Pound Cookies and Hoosier Tire.