Balog Wins IRA Feature at Wilmot

Billy Balog. – Bill Miller Photo

From Jeremy Sachse


Wilmot, WI — (July 6, 2013) — You can almost imagine the eerie theme music that could play as a soundtrack to a Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series highlight reel this season.  It’s late in the race, the “North-pole Nightmare”  Bill Balog is stalking his prey and in an instant he strikes and flashes under the checkered flag for the victory.

Transplanted from North Pole, Alaska, Balog has given the competitors of the IRA series nightmares this season earning his 7th victory so far this season.   His career win total has now reached 52, just nine short of the legendary series competitor Joe Row who had ran many seasons simply owning victory lane.


Tonight’s victory at the historic Wilmot Raceway came at the expense of Nick Alden who was driving the race of his career. Alden was leading the contest with six laps to go when Balog performed a well-timed pass for the top spot.   From there Balog would survive a late race caution to score a convincing win.  2011 Wilmot Raceway champion Tommy Sexton gave his local fanbase something to cheer for stealing second from Alden in the closing laps, while Alden scored a well-deserved career high finish in the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series earning the final podium spot by taking third.


The sounds created by 900 horsepower, 410 cubic inch engines brought the fans to their feet during the four wide parade lap and their seats were not needed thereafter as 22 drivers accepted the green flag for the 30 lap A-main event.


Front row starters Kris Spitz and Nick Alden would square off at the drop of the green flag with Spitz taking the initial lead from his pole starting berth.  Sexton, who had started in the second row maneuvered into the third position. Sexton’s hold on the third spot was precarious at best as Balog began to pressure for the position by lap four, but Sexton was up to the challenge repelling Balog’s passing attempts.


Out front Spitz began to encounter lapped traffic and used the high line around the raceway to dispatch back markers.  On lap nine Alden sliced under Spitz in turns one and two to briefly take the top spot with Spitz performing a cross-over move to retake the top spot in the next pair of turns.  The two would run wing to wing for the next circuit before Alden secured the lead position.


Over the next several laps Spitz would begin to slow slightly allowing both Sexton and Balog to storm past for second and third on lap 12.


Balog wasn’t content to stay in the third spot as he began to work over Sexton for runner-up honors.  The two would continue their battle in lapped traffic while closing in on Alden.


On lap 21 Balog was able to work under Sexton for the second spot and began his pursuit of Alden.  Alden would see his lead evaporate and Balog would make a well-timed slide job work to briefly take the top spot on lap 23.  Alden would return the favor retaking the lead in the next set of turns.  Balog would again find room under Alden, this time securing the top spot with six laps remaining.


The event had appeared headed for a green to checker finish when Dennis Spitz was unable to get his malfunctioning machine off the racing surface forcing the only slowdown of the contest on lap 26.


When the green flag returned for the four lap dash to the checker and Balog would run away from the field while Sexton worked on Alden for second.  With a pair of laps to go Sexton worked the cushion to sweep past Alden for second.  Sexton had no time to attempt to close on Balog who would take the victory by ten car lengths over Sexton.   Alden spent his final lap fighting off a determined Jeremy Schultz to hold onto third securing his best career Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series feature finish.   For Schultz his fourth place run was his seventh top five effort so far this season in his rookie year with the IRA series.


Mike Kertscher would complete the top five on a night that was somewhat challenging for him.  Kertscher had tagged the wall in the heat race forcing him to run the B-main.  Kertscher then ran down Scott Neitzel for the lead in the final two turns of that event to take the victory.   In the feature contest Kertscher would slowly work forward in the field to reach fifth at the finish.


Todd King, Phillip Mock, Todd Daun, Scott Uttech and World of Outlaws series competitor Bill Rose completed the top ten finishers.


With 33 cars on hand tonight, the B-main was full of drivers capable of winning main events.  Following Kertscher and Neitzel to the line in that contest were Lance Fassbender, Ryan Irwin, Darrell Dodd and Brandon Thone as the top six all transferred to the feature.


Heat race victories were captured by Schultz, King, Daun and Bill Wirth.


32 of the 33 cars on hand tonight were able to turn in laps in time trials with Balog topping the speed charts with a lap of 13.112 seconds.  Mock was second quick by the slimmest of margins turning in a lap of 13.128 seconds.  Sexton was third in time with a lap of 13.201 seconds.   All totaled the top 26 in time all qualified within one second of Balog on the well-prepared racing surface.


The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints plan to help you double your fun next weekend by presenting a pair of events.   First on Friday evening, July 12th, the series heads to the “Horsepower Half-mile” presenting the Rick Schmidt Memorial race at the Dodge County Fairgrounds in Beaver Dam.  The IRA Sprints will be joined by the popular Badger Modified Tour.


The following evening the series heads to the banked third-mile Rice Lake Speedway for a show on Saturday Night July 13th.  Making their lone appearance at that facility each year, the 2012 show saw race run green to checker in just over eight minutes.


The Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints then make their next appearance at Wilmot Raceway on July 20th with the IRA vs. All-Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Challenge.


For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at or logging onto the series Facebook page at


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, 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




Event: #10 – Wilmot Raceway – Wilmot, WI – July 6, 2013


Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Cars


A Feature (30 Laps): 1. Bill Balog [6]; 2. Tommy Sexton [4]; 3.  Nick Alden [2]; 4. Jeremy Schultz [9]; 5. Mike Kertscher [12]; 6. Todd King [8]; 7. Phillip Mock [5]; 8. Todd Daun [10]; 9. Scott Uttech [14]; 10. Bill Rose [15];  11. Scott Neitzel [11]; 12. Kris Spitz [1]; 13. Wayne Modjeski [16]; 14. Bill Wirth [7]; 15. Russel Borland [18]; 16. Lance Fassbender [19]; 17. Jordan Goldesberry [3]; 18. Ryan Irwin [20]; 19. Darrell Dodd [21]; 20. Matt Vandervere [17]; 21. Dennis Spitz [13]; 22. Brandon Thone [22].


B Feature (15 Laps): 1. Mike Kertscher; 2. Scott Neitzel; 3. Lance Fassbender; 4. Ryan Irwin; 5. Darrell Dodd; 6. Brandon Thone; 7. Dave Uttech; 8. Andrew Kiedrowski ; 9. Patrick Haynes; 10. Jereme Schroeder; 11. Allen Hafford; 12. Kenny Haynes; 13. Michael Decker; 14. Rusty Egan; 15. Dave Maynard; 16. Chris Dodd; 17. Chad Tessman


Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. Jeremy Schultz; 2. Bill Balog; 3. Kris Spritz; 4. Wayne Modjeski; 5. Scott Neitzel; 6. Lance Fassbender; 7. Jeremy Schroeder; 8. Rusty Egan; 9. Chad Tessman]


Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Todd King; 2. Nick Alden; 3. Dennis Spitz; 4. Phillip Mock; 5. Ryan Irwin; 6. Patrick Haynes; 7. Darrell Dodd; 8. Allen Hafford


Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. Todd Daun; 2. Tommy Sexton; 3. Matt Vandervere; 4. Bill Rose; 5. Dave Uttech; 6. Brandon Thone; 7. Andrew Kierdrowski; 8. Dave Maynard


Heat 4 (10 Laps): 1. Bill Wirth; 2. Russel Borland; 3. Scott Uttech; 4. Jordan Goldesberry; 5. Kenny Haynes; 6. Mike Kertscher; 7. Michael Decker; 8. Chris Dodd


Qualifying: 1. Bill Balog; 2. Phillip Mock; 3. Tommy Sexton; 4. Jordan Goldesberry; 5. Scott Neitzel; 6. Nick Alden; 7. Dave Uttech; 8. Mike Kertscher; 9. Kris Spitz; 10. Dennis Spitz; 11. Todd Daun; 12. Scott Uttech; 13. Lance Fassbender; 14. Ryan Irwin; 15. Bill Rose; 16. Chris Dodd; 17. Jeremy Schultz; 18. Todd King; 19. Brandon Thone; 20. Bill Wirth; 21. Wayne Modjeski; 22. Patrick Haynes; 23. Matt Vandervere; 24. Russel Borland; 25. Jereme Schroeder; 26. Darrell Dodd; 27. Andrew Kierdrowski; 28. Michael Decker; 29. Rusty Egan; 30. Allen Hafford; 31. Dave Maynard; 32. Kenny Haynes; 33. Chad Tessman