By Jeffrey Sachse
July 21, 2012; Wilmot, WI – Played out before a packed grandstand, Wilmot Raceway’s “Outlaw Sprintacular” brought together the top drivers from the IRA Bumper to Bumper Outlaw Sprints and the UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions. With the top drivers from both series in attendance fans would be treated to some of the fiercest 410 Sprint competition taking place in the nation on Saturday Night.
After 35 action packed laps, it would be UNOH All-Star Series front runner Dale Blaney standing in victory lane, after fending off the challenges of current All-Stars point leader Tim Shaffer and Bill Balog, the four-time and defending Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series champion. Balog’s third place performance was notable having had to change engines overnight after expiring a motor at the Dodge County Fairgrounds the night before in IRA Sprint competition.
The victory for Blaney snapped a two race win streak by Shaffer in the All-Star series. Heading into the event at Wilmot Raceway’s third-mile clay oval, Shaffer had collected two straight victories picking up checkered flags at Brewerton and Fonda Speedways’ in New York this past week.
Blaney would prove to be a dominating force throughout the evening, narrowly missing a clean sweep of the program when he qualified second to David Gravel. In addition to winning the A-main, Blaney had also captured his heat and the dash.
24 drivers would accept the green flag for the main event with All-Star series drivers dominating the first four rows, holding down six of the top eight positions as the green flag fell. Blaney who sat on the pole would outgun fellow front row starter Gravel at the drop of the green flag. Shaffer had started in the third position and darted past Gravel for the second spot before the completion of lap two.
The lead duo of Blaney and Shaffer would check out on the field while Cap Henry would work by Gravel for the third position prior to the first caution which appeared for a spin by Wilmot Raceway regular Rusty Egan on lap ten. Egan would loop his ride again moments later forcing the second caution of the contest.
Action would resume with Blaney again showing the way, as Shaffer worked past lapped machines while trying to close the gap on the leader. While attention was focused out front, Balog began to use his knowledge of the track to begin to pick off positions, working past Paul McMahan and Gravel to reach the fourth spot.
The pace would be slowed again on lap 21 when Marty Perovich came to a halt on the track. Four more laps went into the books before the first and only red flag of the event occurred when 2011 Wilmot Raceway champion Tommy Sexton flipped his mount heading into turn one. Sexton would emerge from his battered machine unhurt but the incident negated a solid top ten showing for the popular local racer.
Under the red-flag, series officials allowed the pit crews to head trackside to add additional fuel and make adjustments for the final ten laps of the contest. The final ten laps of the event would pass without any further interruption as Blaney negotiated lapped traffic while maintaining a two car length gap on Shaffer.
It would be fourth running Balog who brought the fans to their feet over the final circuits as he worked the high line around the raceway. After taking the white flag Balog would sweep past Henry for the third spot and then make a daring attempt to surpass Shaffer for second coming off the final turn. That effort would fall just short with Blaney taking the win by two car lengths over Shaffer who narrowly edged out Balog for the runner-up spot. Balog laid claim to third place and took home the hard charger award for the most positions advanced in the feature contest. Henry would settle for fourth followed by Mike Reinke who completed the top five.
It was the second straight top five performance for Reinke in IRA action having finished third at the Dodge County Fairgrounds just 24 hours earlier.
Gravel and McMahan finished sixth and seventh respectively, while IRA Series regular Phillip Mock earned eighth. Perovich and Mike Kertscher would comprise the top ten finishers.
In heat race action, All-Star series regulars would take home top honors in three of the four heats as Blaney, Henry and Shaffer scored victories. Kertscher would bring home a checkered flag for the IRA competitors after winning the first heat event.
The B-main would prove to be hotly contested as 15 starters attempted to earn the final four transfer spots into the show. Wilmot Raceway regular Dave Uttech would take home top honors, followed by Ryan Irwin and Scott Young. Wayne Modjeski who had started near the tail of the field would take the final transfer spot from Kris Spitz on the final lap of the event.
Irwin fared best of the transfer cars in the main event climbing to eleventh by the checkered flag.
38 cars had checked into the pit area for the program with Gravel turning in the fastest qualifying effort with a 13.143 seconds tour of the track. Blaney had held fast time to that point with a 13.183 second effort. Henry turned in the third fastest time of the evening with a 13.302 second trek around the track. All-Star series regulars took home the top five positions in qualifying with Reinke setting the fastest lap among the IRA regulars earning 6th quick with a lap of 13.457 seconds.
The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints will now head into its final double header weekend for the month of July with its first ever appearance at St. Croix Speedway on Friday Night July 27th. The following evening on Saturday, July 28th the series makes its lone 2012 appearance at ABC Raceway located in far Northern Wisconsin.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Qualifying - Kistler Engines
1. 89G-David Gravel, 13.143; 2. 2-Dale Blaney, 13.183; 3. 54-Cap Henry, 13.302; 4. 83-Tim Shaffer, 13.387; 5. 17-Marty Perovich, 13.421; 6. O2-Mike Reinke, 13.457; 7. 45-Paul McMahan, 13.570; 8. 17B-Bill Balog, 13.701; 9. 1M-Phil Mock, 13.754; 10. 56-Ryan Irwin, 13.828; 11. 68-Dave Uttech, 13.838; 12. 4K-Kris Spitz, 13.849; 13. 80K-Mike Kertscher, 13.872; 14. 50-Rusty Egan, 13.872; 15. 9-Raymond Hensley, 13.911; 16. 79-Korey Weyant, 13.954; 17. 3-Scott Young, 13.961; 18. 53W-Bill Wirth, 14.057; 19. 2W-Scotty Neitzel, 14.087; 20. 23-Russel Borland, 14.090; 21. O1-Chris Dodd, 14.098; 22. 83D-Tommy Sexton, 14.100; 23. 8A-Nick Alden, 14.103; 24. 7-Scott Uttech, 14.123; 25. 41-Dennis Spitz, 14.132; 26. 94-Brandon Thone, 14.134; 27. 95-Billy Warren, 14.181; 28. 11-Darrell Dodd, 14.271; 29. 43-Jereme Schroeder, 14.281; 30. 5H-Patrick Haynes, 14.418; 31. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, 14.435; 32. 14-Kenny Haynes, 14.538; 33. 12-Mike Decker, 14.705; 34. 20R-Robbie Pribnow, 14.790; 35. 38-Allen Hafford, 14.914; 36. 25-Steve Muth, 15.062; 37. 71-Chad Tessman, 15.583; 38. 28B-Matt Bolin, 15.751
Heat 1 - Kears Speed Shop (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 80K-Mike Kertscher ; 2. 17-Marty Perovich ; 3. 89G-David Gravel ; 4. 43-Jereme Schroeder ; 5. 1M-Phil Mock ; 6. 3-Scott Young ; 7. 12-Mike Decker ; 8. 41-Dennis Spitz ; 9. 71-Chad Tessman ; 10. O1-Chris Dodd
Heat 2 - All Pro Aluminum Heads (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 2-Dale Blaney ; 2. 83D-Tommy Sexton ; 3. O2-Mike Reinke ; 4. 53W-Bill Wirth ; 5. 50-Rusty Egan ; 6. 94-Brandon Thone ; 7. 20R-Robbie Pribnow ; 8. 5H-Patrick Haynes ; 9. 28B-Matt Bolin ; 10. 56-Ryan Irwin
Heat 3 - Dragon Race Fuel (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 54-Cap Henry ; 2. 2W-Scotty Neitzel ; 3. 45-Paul McMahan ; 4. 9-Raymond Hensley ; 5. 8A-Nick Alden ; 6. 68-Dave Uttech ; 7. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski ; 8. 95-Billy Warren ; 9. 38-Allen Hafford
Heat 4 - Kinsler Fuel Injection (10 Laps - Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 2. 7-Scott Uttech ; 3. 23-Russel Borland ; 4. 17B-Bill Balog ; 5. 79-Korey Weyant ; 6. 14-Kenny Haynes ; 7. 4K-Kris Spitz ; 8. 11-Darrell Dodd ; 9. 25-Steve Muth
Dash - Outerwears Performance Products (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature
1. 2-Dale Blaney ; 2. 89G-David Gravel ; 3. 83-Tim Shaffer ; 4. O2-Mike Reinke ; 5. 54-Cap Henry ; 6. 17-Marty Perovich
B-Main - MSD Ignition (12 Laps - Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 68-Dave Uttech ; 2. 56-Ryan Irwin ; 3. 3-Scott Young ; 4. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski ; 5. 4K-Kris Spitz ; 6. 14-Kenny Haynes ; 7. 5H-Patrick Haynes ; 8. 11-Darrell Dodd ; 9. 12-Mike Decker ; 10. 20R-Robbie Pribnow ; 11. 94-Brandon Thone ; 12. 25-Steve Muth ; 13. 71-Chad Tessman ; 14. 38-Allen Hafford ; 15. 28B-Matt Bolin
A-Main - Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints/UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions:
1. 2-Dale Blaney; 2. 83-Tim Shaffer; 3. 17B-Bill Balog; 4. 54-Cap Henry; 5. O2-Mike Reinke; 6. 89G-David Gravel; 7. 45-Paul McMahan; 8. 1M-Phil Mock; 9. 17-Marty Perovich; 10. 80K-Mike Kertscher; 11. 56-Ryan Irwin; 12. 9-Raymond Hensley; 13. 79-Korey Weyant; 14. 68-Dave Uttech; 15. 23-Russel Borland; 16. 53W-Bill Wirth; 17. 7-Scott Uttech; 18. 2W-Scotty Neitzel; 19. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 20. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 21. 83D-Tommy Sexton; 22. 8A-Nick Alden; 23. 50-Rusty Egan; 24. 3-Scott Young
Hard Charger: 17B-Bill Balog[+5]