Plymouth, WI — (September 14, 2013) — Some events are simply beyond words, to try and describe, the action, intensity, and excitement of Saturday Nights A-main for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints at the Plymouth Dirt Track will simply fall short. To understand what fans in attendance witnessed, you had to be there.
It’s a tale of an epic battle in a 27 lap feature contest dedicated to the memory of the late Frank Filskov, where the lead trio of cars driven by Bill Balog, Scott Neitzel and Steve Meyer diced through lapped cars in the closing stages of the race. Neitzel had slipped by Meyer for the lead a dozen laps earlier fending off repeated attempts at the lead by both Meyer and Balog as the race wound down. Neitzel seemed to have the speed to keep Balog at bay the final two laps as he worked the high line in effort to clear a pair of lapped cars.
Balog would dive under Neitzel heading into turn three briefly running wing to wing before standing on the gas, drifting between both lapped cars and motoring away with the lead. He would then spend the final laps repelling Neitzel’s attempts to reclaim the lead taking the win by a couple of car lengths. Neitzel and Meyer would reach the stripe in second and third.
The win for Balog has ended a career along ascension to the top of the IRA Sprint win list. He now stands at the top, tied with the legendary Joe Roe for the most career victories. That win total stands at 61.
The 27 lap IRA main event and the 28 lap feature contest for the 360 sprints honored the memory of Brian Portschy with the 55 laps of feature competition matching the number on his car which he had piloted in both classes.
As cars rolled trackside for the IRA portion of the show, series official Fred Ebler clicked his watch and a mere 13 minutes and 33 seconds slipped by from the time the first engine fired during the initial push off to flagman Jim Barr’s checker flag waving above Balog’s #17b machine as it crossed the finish line. It was the first non-stop A-main of the season for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Srpints.
Polesitter Jordan Goldesberry brought the field around for the opening green flag. Fresh off a second place finish the night before at Oshkosh, Goldesberry surprised Balog on the start, jumping into the lead and bringing with him Meyer as Balog drifted into the third spot.
Meyer then outmaneuvered Goldesberry heading into turns three and four officially pacing the first lap.
On the next circuit Balog regained his footing to sweep past Goldesberry for the second spot.
Neitzel was also on the move, after starting sixth Neitzel’s charge already set his brake rotor aglow as he blew by car after car reaching third at Goldesberry’s expense on lap three.
Neitzel continued to move forward reeling in Balog. Diving to the bottom of the track Neitzel charged into the second spot on lap nine.
Two circuit’s later Neitzel worked the low groove to move ahead of Meyer for the top spot as the lead trio continued to swap positions.
The intensity began to ratchet up further as Balog now moved in to pressure Meyer for second as the top three were in a pack as they sought to work past back markers.
On lap 18 Balog swapped second spot with Meyer and he now began to work on Neitzel. With a car length between them Neitzel led Balog around the quarter-mile oval with both drivers leaning heavily on the cushion. On lap 25 with the lead in hand Neitzel opted to try and work the high line past two lapped cars, Balog reacted by diving under Neitzel and driving between them to come away with the lead as Meyer again closed on the lead pair.
Over the final lap Balog would fend off the challenges of Neitzel to score the victory with Meyer continuing to post strong finishes earning third this evening.
Behind the lead trio a battle for fourth place had also waged all race long. Goldesberry and Kris Spitz had swapped the position back and forth until the final laps when Goldesberry secured the spot. Goldesberry’s efforts this weekend netted two top five finishes. A second last evening at Oshkosh and a fourth place performance tonight added up to a solid weekend for the Southern Illinois native.
Russel Borland who had earlier dominated his heat race, made his way around Spitz in the final laps to crack the top five. Spitz would settle for sixth after racing among the leaders all night.
Robbie Pribnow, Ben Schmidt and Dave Uttech comprised the top ten finishers in the contest with 13 cars still on the lead lap at the finish.
In preliminary action local favorite and former track champion Ken Jay Fiedler engaged in a race long battle with the evening’s fastest qualifier Todd Daun in the B-main. Fiedler won the battle taking the victory with Daun having to settle for second. Brandon Thone, Matt Vandervere, Bill Wirth, Michael Decker and Allen Hafford completed the list of transfer cars. Scott Uttech who battled stubborn engine problems all evening long just missed the show becoming the first alternate.
Heat race wins were grabbed by Neitzel, Borland and 2012 Bumper to Bumper Rookie of the Year Robbie Pribnow.
All but two of the 26 cars on hand qualified within one second of the evening’s fastest qualifying lap which was turned in by Daun when he circled the track at 11.975 seconds. Multi-time track champ and potential 2014 Rookie of the year candidate Ben Schmidt turned in the second quickest lap of the evening at 12.019 seconds with Meyer holding third fast at 12.070 seconds.
Two races remain on the 2013 Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint series schedule. First up is a Saturday night September 21st contest held at the Beaver Dam Raceway. One week later on Saturday night September 28th the Dick Witt Memorial event at the Dodge County Fairgrounds will wrap of the 2013 racing season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: #24 – Plymouth Dirt Track – Plymouth, WI – September 14, 2013
Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Cars
A Feature (27 Laps): 1. 17B-Bill Balog; 2. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 3. 85M-Steve Meyer; 4. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 5. 23-Russell Borland; 6. 4K-Kris Spitz; 7. 20R-Rob Pribnow; 8. 35-Ben Schmidt; 9. 68-Dave Uttech; 10. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 11. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 12. 10V-Matte Vandervere; 13. 8A-Brian Kristan; 14. 1M-Phillip Mock; 15. 79-Blake Nimee; 16. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler; 17. 53W-Bill Wirth; 18. 19-Todd Daun; 19. 12-Michael Decker; 20. 38-Allen Hafford; 21. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 22. 94-Brandon Thone
B Feature (12 Laps): 1. Ken Jay Fiedler; 2. Todd Daun; 3. Brandon Thone; 4 Matt Vanderbere; 5. Bill Wirth; 6. Michael Decker; 7. Allen Hafford; 8. Scott Uttech; 9. Chris Dodd; 10. Chad Tessman; 11. Ozzie Wiesner
Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. Scott Neitzel; 2. Jeremy Schultz; 3. Bill Balog; 4. Phillip Mock; 5. Brian Kristan; 6. Todd Daun; 7. Michael Decker; 8. Chad Tessman; 9. Ozzie Wiesner
Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. Russell Borland; 2. Wayne Modjeski; 3. Ben Schmidt; 4. Dave Uttech; 5. Jordan Goldesberry; 6. Bill Wirth; 7. Chris Dodd; 8. Scott Uttech
Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. Robbie Pribnow; 2. Jereme Schroeder; 3. Kris Spitz; 4. Steve Meyer; 5. Blake Nimee; 6. Ken Jay Fiedler; 7. Matt Vandervere; 8. Allen Hafford
Qualifying: (Top 10) 1. Todd Daun; 2. Ben Schmidt; 3. Steve Meyer; 4. Bill Balog; 5. Jordan Goldesberry; 6. Robbie Pribnow; 7. Nick Alden; 8. Dave Uttech; 9. Kris Spitz; 10. Phillip Mock