By Jeffrey Sachse
September 7, 2012; Superior, WI –The final double header weekend of the season for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint series took place in Northern Wisconsin. Day one of the weekend took place at Amsoil Speedway located in Superior. The IRA Outlaw Sprints would make their lone appearance of the season at the track participating in the Northern Nationals held at the 3/8 mile clay oval.
Heading into the contest Bill Balog had put together a streak of four consecutive victories taking wins at LaSalle, Oshkosh, Sheboygan County Fairpark and 141 Speedway, the question was, would the streak continue?
Balog indicated early in the program that he would be in contention for the evening's main event by setting quick qualifying time of the 24 cars on hand for the program. Balog turned in a lap of 16.012 seconds to pace the qualifying followed closely by Mike Kertscher's effort of 16.172 seconds.
Three heat races would take place with both Balog and Kertscher collecting victories, establishing themselves as favorites to top the 30 lap A-main contest. The third and final heat event went to Brett Triplett piloting the #79 machine which had been wheeled by Blake Nimee at the start of the season.
With a deep invert in the starting grid, Kertscher and Balog started the main event in the fifth row, with Triplett and current Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Series point runner-up Mike Reinke making up the front row for the start of the A-main. The feature contest would wind up going from green to checkered, marking the second time this season feature race would be held without interruption.
At the drop of the green flag it would be Triplett taking over the top spot, while Davey Heskin, runner-up in the 2012 Knoxville Raceway title chase, and Travis Whitney, a two time IRA Sprint title holder began to work their way forward.
Whitney would reach the runner-up spot chasing down Triplett as the race surpassed lap ten. Meanwhile Balog and Kertscher were slicing through the pack making their way to the front behind the lead pair.
Balog continued his charge maneuvering past Whitney and moments later he took over the lead position from Triplett just past lap twelve.
Once out front Balog's main nemesis would be lapped traffic. Kertscher would follow in Balog's tire tracks working into the second spot but he was unable to close in on the leader as the laps began to wind down.
By keeping lapped cars between himself and Kertscher, Balog was able to maintain a solid grasp on the lead, and without a caution to put his rivals back on his tail Balog was able to take the victory by a comfortable margin.
Kertscher would hold onto second fending off the challenges of Heskin to claim second. Heskin held onto third followed by Whitney and Triplett. Wayne Modjeski turned in one of his best runs so far in 2012 earning a sixth place finish. Reinke and Scott Uttech were the final cars on the lead lap at the finish taking seventh and eighth respectively. Top rookie Robbie Pribnow finished ninth with Jim Moughan completing the top ten.
The double-header weekend would conclude on Saturday evening September 8th with the running of the Jerry Reichert Memorial race at Cedar Lake Speedway.
After that event just three races will remain on the 2012 schedule with the Frank Filskov Memorial event held at the Sheboygan County Fairpark on Saturday, September 15th. The following Saturday Night on September 22nd the rain delayed Jim Wipperfurth Memorial event will take place at Beaver Dam Raceway. The 2012 Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Season will conclude at the Dodge County Fairgrounds on Saturday Night September 29th.
For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at www.irasprints.com The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/irasprints and the series is also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ira_sprints
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 [email protected]
Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints:
A-Main: 30 Laps: 1.) Bill Balog; 2.) Mike Kertscher; 3.) Davey Heskin; 4.) Travis Whitney; 5.) Brett Triplett; 6.) Wayne Modjeski; 7.) Mike Reinke; 8.) Scott Uttech; 9.) Robbie Pribnow; 10.) Jim Moughan; 11.) Todd King; 12.) Kris Spitz; 13.) Steve Meyer; 14.) Michael Decker; 15.) John Sernett; 16.) Phillip Mock; 17.) Dennis Spitz; 18.) Brandon Thone; 19.) Bill Wirth; 20.) Russel Borland; 21.) Scott Neitzel; 22.) Bill Warren
First Heat: 1.) Balog; 2.) Kaley Gharst; 3.) Pribnow; 4.) Modjeski
Second Heat: 1.) Kertscher; 2.) Reinke; 3.) Whitney; 4.) Neitzel
Third Heat: 1.) Triplett; 2.) King; 3.) Heskin; 4.) Uttech
Qualifying (Top 10): 1.) Balog, 16.102 Seconds; 2.) Kertscher, 16.172 secs; 3.) Moughan, 16.239 secs; 4.) Modjeski, 16.355; 5.) Whitney, 16.481; 6.) Heskin, 16.485; 7.) K. Spitz, 16.498; 8.) Neitzel, 16.522; 9.) Uttech, 16.543; 10.) Gharst, 16.686