From Jeffery Sachse
McHenry, IL – (April 25, 2013) – The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series has its share of talent from grizzled veterans to young chargers set to become the future stars of the series. However one key factor in the strength of a racing program is the number of new drivers, the “rookie class”, which participate for the coveted “Rookie of the Year” honors.
It is these rookie drivers which insure the future of a racing series as they develop into the stars of the tour. This insures fans an ever growing field of talented racers and laying the groundwork which creates the legacy of a series such as the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints.
This season the three drivers have indicated they anticipate running for Rookie of the Year honors with the goal to run as many events as possible to do so. Like last season when Robbie Pribnow captured the title, the impact of their participation should be immediately felt as these talented drivers will no doubt be in contention for A-main victories along the way.
It’s going to be an exciting season with these new teams in the pit area.
Lance Fassbender will enter the 2013 season with a strong resume, coming from a racing family. Lance is the son of legendary modified racer Fuzzy Fassbender who won dozens of championships at area tracks and was active from 1949 until 1982. Lance would continue the family tradition in motorsports jumping behind the wheel of a stock car at the Dodge County Fairgrounds in 1996.
When Lance opted to skip the fendered racing and get behind the wheel of a 360 Sprint his real success began. Competing in the Midwest Sprint Car Association Lance would go on to win the Most Improved Driver award in 1999 and continue to develop becoming the MSA and Wilmot Raceway track champion in 2005.
Lance would add another pair of titles to his collection winning both the Plymouth Dirt Track and Manitowoc County Expo titles in 2008. He also lays claim to a number of track records owning the fastest 30 lap feature record for 360 sprints at Plymouth as well as qualifying records at five different tracks which includes Manitowoc, Lancaster, Darlington, Sun Prairie, and Wilmot Raceway.
To win the Rookie of the Year title Lance and his family race team faces several challenges, adapting to the 900 horsepower machines of the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints while fending off the challenges of his fellow rookies.
Alphabetically, Jeremy Schultz is the second of the rookie in the 2013 campaign and is familiar with Fassbender as the pair have gone wing to wing in events in the Midwest Sprint Car Series as well as weekly events at both Plymouth and Manitowoc.
Jeremy came from a multi-generational racing family and was introduced to the sport having watched his father race. With racing in his blood Schultz began his quest to follow in his father’s footsteps. Those steps included learning in ins and outs of the equipment he would later race. Jeremy would join the team of R & H Enterprises, whose team driver Scotty Neitzel remains one of the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series star drivers.
Schtultz won on the R&H team when Neitel captured the IRA championships during the 2004 and 2005 seasons and would witness firsthand the dedication and commitment it takes to win a championship.
Drawing on what he had learned Jeremy would get behind the wheel of a 360 Sprint for the first time in 2007 running a limited schedule. It would be 2008 that would become Jeremy’s breakout season. Running a full schedule with EWSC and MSA he would participate in over 40 events that summer going on to win the EWSC “Rookie of the Year” award.
Garnering the nickname “Sherm’, Schultz soon developed a following, his fans which are very vocal and supportive had plenty to cheer about the following season as he cracked the top five in points in both EWSC and MSA.
After a brief setback due to an illness in 2010, Schultz got his career back on track capturing five A-main victories in 2011. Last season Schultz learned the value of consistency, though he won just a single A-main event his ability to always be contending for the checkered flag at the end of a race resulted in his winning both the Plymouth Dirt Track and MSA championships.
It lays the groundwork for the rookie chase with the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints where he dabbled last season and has already shown the speed has had having reached the podium with a third place finish in an event held at 141 Speedway.
While the first two drivers have had plenty of Winged Sprint Car experience, the next driver in the rookie chase Bryon Walters, beings to the series a unique background having has most of his laps turned behind the wheel of a midget and non-winged sprint cars.
Walters resided in Beaver Dam Wisconsin has been racing since the age of eight. His career started racing go karts with Badger Kart Club and Sugar River Raceway; eventually moving into national and regional IKF and WKA races.
He transitioned to dirt track racing serving on the pit crew with numerous midget and sprint teams until he received his first driving opportunity with Dan Nowak in 1989.
Bryon raced midgets until 1998 with ARCA, BMARA, MARA, NAMARS, POWERI, UMARA, USAC& WOOM along with competing at the Bellville Midget Nationals, Chili Bowl, Pepsi Nations, Wolverine Nationals.
From 1996 thru 2003 Bryon also competed in the USAC Sprint Car division and regional non-wing sprint car races throughout the Midwest. His growing family and the birth of his daughter saw Walters return to local racing opting to compete with the Badger Midgets where he recently won the Kevin Doty Above and Beyond award and the BMARA Fan Club special appreciation award for his efforts during the 2011 season.
Bryon plans on driving the Speed Monkeys LLC Maxim in the full IRA schedule and possibly some non-conflicting USAC midget & sprint car show; and BMARA midgets shows.
Walters time behind the wheel surpasses that of the other two rookies but his biggest challenge comes from the addition of a wing to his racing equipment. The feel and manner of a wingless car is quite a bit different than winged versions even in the realm of sprint car racing. Should Bryon overcome that challenge expect him to be a chief rival in this season’s “Rookie of the Year” battle in the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints.
Whichever of these drivers emerges with the title in hand one thing is for sure, each will bring with them new talent to the series, adding to an already impressive driver lineup for 2013 and we wish them many successful seasons ahead as they continue their careers.
The IRA Outlaw Sprint Series is proudly supported by Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, Hoosier Tire, Osborn & Son Trucking, TW Metals, Onan, Carriage Auto Body, Global Vision Eyewear, Polaris DEFENSE, and Mother’s Polishes and Waxes. The office of the IRA Sprints can be reached at 815-759-9269 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org