Balog Wins IRA Main at Wilmot

Jeremy Schultz (#5) and Bill Balog (#17B). (Mark Funderburk photo)

From Mike Babicz
(Wilmot, Wis., Saturday, August 22, 2020)–Bill Balog of Hartford, nicknamed the “North Pole Nightmare” as he originally came from Alaska, scored his fourth Bumper to Bumper Interstates Racing Association (IRA) feature at Wilmot Raceway and eighth on the IRA 2020 series.
Balog overtook the lead from Howards Grove’s Mike Reinke 8 laps into the 11th Annual 36-lap Roger Iles Tribute presented by Carriage Auto Body of Waukegan, IL. The victory marketed Balog’s fifth in the Iles event, having won in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019. The win also secured Balog’s first ever Wilmot Raceway 410 Outlaw Winged Sprint Car Regular Season Series Championship.
Reinke finished second. Blake Nimee of Oswego, IL was third.
Derek Crane of Waukegan, IL won his second Autometer/Brewington Electric Wisconsin Wingless Sprints feature of the season taking top honors in the 3rd Annual Bill Grogan Tribute. Crane held off heavy challenges from Trevor’s Chris Dodd as the two got side by side several times in the closing laps. Dodd finished second with Shawn Swim of Zion, IL recording a career best third place.
C.J. Malueg of Johnsburg, IL captured his second IRA Lightning Sprints feature win in a row. Pleasant Prairie’s Mike Neau was second. Slinger’s Jeff Schmidt third.
John Kirk, Ion Stear and Nick Petska each flipped their machines in separate incidents, with none of the drivers injured.
Salem’s Ryan Johnson, defending Bandit 4-Cylinder Stock Car champion, finally cracked the feature win column in 2020 taking top honors in the non-stop 20-lap main event. Johnson barely made it, however, as his left-rear tire went flat as he was coming into victory lane. Scott Ellis of Lake Villa, IL finished second. John Cole of McHenry, IL took third.
Johnson’s win sets up a title defense battle with Cole leading the Bandits heading into their final season point championship scheduled on Saturday, August 29.
AutoMeter/Brewington Electric Wisconsin Wingless Sprints, Modifieds and Street Stocks are on the program as well.
Grandstands open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 6 pm and racing to follow. Grandstand admission is $15.00 for ages 12 and over, with ages 11 & under admitted free.
For updates phone the trackside raceline 262-862-2090, check the track website, or the official Wilmot Raceway Facebook Page.