May 12, 2012; Wilmot, WI – The intensity of the 2012 Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint season ramped up as fans were treated to some frenzied late race action in the 30 lap A-main. During the final eight laps of the contest a pair of restarts would showcase a classic duel between four-time and defending IRA Sprint champion Bill Balog and Mike Kertscher who was seeking his first feature win of 2012.
Swapping the lead back in forth in while performing classic cross-over moves, Balog and Kertscher would exchange the lead several times a lap until Balog got the upper hand in the closing laps and pulled away.
When the checkered flag fell it would be Balog sitting in victory lane for the second time this season, with Kertscher having to settle for runner-up honors for the second straight week. Kertscher had appeared at Wilmot Speedway last week for the season opening 410 sprint show at the track and had finished runner-up to defending track champion Tommy Sexton. Jordan Goldesberry would reach the podium finishing third after leading much of the first half of the contest.
Mike Reinke would line up for the main event on the pole with Springfield, IL native Goldesberry to his outside. Kertscher would line up third with Paul May of Terre Haute, IN starting outside Kertscher in row two. Balog would begin the event in the fifth stating position.
Reinke would bring the field to the green but would wiggle in turn two breaking his momentum causing him to slip to third. Goldesberry took advantage of the situation to place himself out front and Kertscher shot into the runner-up spot as the lead pair pulled away leaving Reinke to battle with Balog for the third spot.
Goldesberry was looking strong on Wilmot Speedway’s third third-mile oval as he began to distance himself from Kertscher, while Balog swept past Reinke to reach the third spot on lap five.
Just as the leaders began to reach lapped traffic looped his machine in turn one bringing out the first caution of the event.
On the restart Kertscher attempted a daring move diving deep into turn one briefly coming away with the lead, however Goldesberry would execute a perfect cross over move to regain the lead. Balog would follow Goldesberry under Kertscher to grab the second position while Kertscher now had to try and fend off Reinke to maintain third.
At the halfway point Goldesberry was still in command with Balog, Reinke, Kertscher following as the leaders began to separate themselves from the field. Goldesberry had been successful keeping Balog in his tire tracks but his machine began to show signs of smoke with 12 laps to go in the contest and Balog was quick to apply the pressure closing within a car length.
Moments later Brian Kristan who had been running in the sixth spot looped his ride in turn two forcing the second caution of the contest.
As soon as the green flag flew Balog was able to work under Goldesberry for the lead, while Kertscher disposed of several lapped machines and slipped by Reinke for the third position. A spin by Tommy Sexton in turn three would slow the pace again with nine laps to go.
The race would resume briefly with Balog in command. Goldesberry drifted high in turn two while trying to fend off Kertscher almost tagging the wall thus turning second over to Kertscher. Seconds later caution appeared when Kristan had looped his ride in nearly the identical spot he had earlier in the contest. Leaving the field with a dash race to the checkered flag.
When the event resumed Balog and Kertscher put on a thrilling show for the fans swapping the lead back and forth. The battle was interrupted for a final caution with just a couple laps remaining when Matt Vandervere and Bill Wirth both looped their cars in turn one.
Balog would stay out front to the finish taking the victory by eight car lengths on Kertscher. Goldesberry was able to nurse his car to the finish in spite of it smoking heavily the final two laps earning a respectable third place finish. Scott Uttech who started 21st after transferring from the B-main had patiently clung to the low line around the track and advanced into fourth at the finish. Uttech’s performance would net him the hard charger award for the event. Phillip Mock who had stayed near the front of the field the entire race finished solidly in fifth. Reinke, Scott Neitzel, Jim Moughan, May and Kris Spitz completed the top 10 in a race where 20 of the 22 starters were still running at the finish.
32 cars attempted to qualify this evening. Heat race wins win to May, Kertscher, Irwin and Vandervere. The B-feature was captured by Neitzel who finished ahead of Kristan and Sexton who comprised the top three finishers.
The next event on the IRA schedule will take place next Saturday Night May 19th at Beaver Dam Raceway. The following week on Saturday May 26th the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints will have a doubleheader weekend with a return trip to Wilmot Raceway for the Daun / Winkler Memorial and on Sunday, May 27th the winged warriors head back to 141 Speedway which hosted the season opening contest.
For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at www.irasprints.com
The IRA Outlaw Sprint Series is proudly supported by Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, Osborn & Son Trucking, Goodyear, TW Metals, Cummins Onan, DNA Energy Drink & Snacks, MPT Industries, UltraLube, Big Game Treestands, Carriage Auto Body, Otis Gun, Mother’s Polishes and Waxes and Polaris DEFENSE. The office of the IRA Sprints can be reached at 815-759-9269 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints:
30 Lap A-Main: 1.) Billy Balog; 2.) Mike Kertscher; 3.) Jordan Goldesberry; 4.) Scott Uttech; 5.) Phillip Mock; 6.) Mike Reinke; 7.) Scott Neitzel; 8.) Jim Moughan; 9.) Paul May; 10.) Kris Spitz; 11.) Russel Borland; 12.) Jereme Schroeder; 13.) Brandon Thone; 14.) Dave Uttech; 15.) Ryan Irwin; 16.) Blake Nimee; 17.) Robbie Pribnow; 18.) Matt Vandervere; 19.) Bill Wirth; 20.) Raymond Hensley; 21.) Brian Kristan; 22.) Tommy Sexton
B-Main: (Top 10) 1.) Neitzel; 2.) Kristan; 3.) Sexton; 4.) Moughan; 5.) S. Uttech; 6.) Hensley; 7.) Bill Warren; 8.) Darrell Dodd; 9.) Jimmy Sivia; 10.) Dennis Spitz
Heat 1: 1.)May; 2.) Reinke; 3.) Schroder; 4.) Thone
Heat 2: 1.) Kertscher; 2.) Pribnow; 3.) Wirth; 4.) Mock
Heat 3: 1.) Irwin; 2.) Borland; 3.) Balog; 4.) Nimee
Heat 4: 1.) Vandervere; 2.) D. Uttech; 3.) K. Spitz; 4.) Goldesberry
Qualifying: (Top 10) 1.) Hensley, 13.457 Secs; 2.) Mock, 13.520 Secs; 3.) Balog, 13.540 Secs; 4.) Neitzel, 13.601; 5.) May 13.604; 6.) Kertscher, 13.633; 7.) Sexton, 13.678; 8.) Kristan, 13,723; 9.) Moughan, 13,724; 10.) S. Uttech 13.771