Balog wins IRA Sprint Car show at 141 Speedway
By Jeffrey Sachse
May 25, 2014; Francis Creek, WI. – Not the largest track on the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint tour, but surely one of the most exciting, 141 Speedway, played host to the 900 horsepower winged outlaw sprints on Sunday evening. The well groomed racing surface led to intense battles at the front of the pack that thrilled the large crowd on hand and when the contest was complete it was six-time and defending champion, Bill Balog, standing victorious in victory lane for the second consecutive night.
To collect top honors Balog had to fend off ferocious challenges from the hard charging Mike Reinke. Balog spent the early portions of the contest working his way into the third spot and with a daring move on lap 18 he split both Wayne Modjeski and Scotty Neitzel who were locked in battled for the lead. As a result of the move Balog was able to steal the top spot, vaulting from third to first in one swift stroke.
Reinke rim rode into the second spot several laps later putting on a thrilling display of speed while trying to catch Balog, but ultimately he would have to settle for second. Rookie of the Year contender, Scotty Thiel, showed poise and patience as he methodically picked off positions in a late race charge to score his first career podium finish with the series.
With excellent weather conditions the stands at 141 Speedway were full as the field of 22 starters rolled trackside for the 30 lap A-main event.
A flurry early race cautions flew for the stalled car of Brandon Thone and a quick spin by Russell Borland during the first two circuits. The next try resulted in Lance Fassbender spinning off the racing circuit onto the pit lane exit. All three drivers were able to rejoin the contest.
The first green flag stretch occurred after the next restart with Scotty Neitzel assuming the lead of the contest while Wayne Modjeski, Reinke and Balog gave chase.
Neitzel and Reinke opted to use the high line around the track while Modjeski held fast to the low groove. The group tossed the positions back and forth with Neitzel leading at the line at the conclusion of each lap.
On lap 10 Modjeski got a good run off the bottom and nosed ahead for the lead. Pacing his first A-main laps of the season. The front runners were catching lapped traffic when Scott Biertzer spun toward the infield coming off turn two drawing caution number four.
Modjeski fought off the challenges of both Neitzel and Balog still clinging to the bottom of the track while Neitzel found his speed running high in the turns inches from the wall. On lap 16 Neitzel edged out Modjeski for the top spot but before the lap was complete Balog placed his car on the center of the track and darted between the pair powering ahead down the backstretch.
Modjeski rallied to move back into the second spot dropping Neitzel into the third position. Once out front Balog began to stretch out his lead and he began to weave through lapped traffic with ten laps to go in the contest.
Reinke began to stand on the gas surging forward passing both Neitzel and Modjeski in quick order reaching second with six laps to go in the contest.
Over the final laps Reinke waited for a miscue by Balog to close in the lapped traffic but Balog drove a flawless race to the finish to earn the victory backing up his win last night at Wilmot Raceway. Reinke has now reached the podium in all but one of his appearances this season and has back to back second place runs.
Thiel, who reached the finish line in third, had perhaps the fastest car on the track over the final circuits vaulting from fifth to third during the final five orbits of the banked quarter-mile oval.
Modjeski narrowly missed a podium run with his fourth place effort, his strongest run of the 2014 season. Neitzel had to settle for fifth after leading the early positions of the event.
Fifth through tenth would literally finish in a pack. Mock, a two-time winner on the season so far, was awarded sixth just ahead of 2013 rookie of the year contender, Ben Schmidt. Eighth would go to Jordan Goldesberry while the most recent winner at 141 Speedway, Jeremy Schultz, finish in ninth. Steve Meyer completed the top ten finishers.
In earlier action Bill Rose and Dave Uttech did battle for the victory in the B-main, never separated by more than a car length. In the end Rose would claim the win by a slim margin while Uttech crossed the line second. Meyer, Ken Jay Fiedler, Biertzer, Blake Nimee and Bill Wirth made up the transfer cars.
Heat race victories were claimed by Thiel, Modjeski and Schultz.
Balog posted the quickest qualifying time of the 26 cars on hand turning in a lap of 11.080 seconds just edging Reinke for the honor. Reinke’s lap was clicked off at 11.091 seconds. Mock was third quick on the clock with a lap of 11.169 seconds.
Event # 5 – 141 Speedway – Francis Creek, WI – May 25, 2014
Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 17B-Bill Balog; 2. 02-Mike Reinke; 3. 64-Scotty Thiel; 4. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 6. 1M-Phillip Mock; 7. 35-Ben Schmidt; 8. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 9. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 10. 85M-Steve Meyer; 11. 6-Bill Rose; 12. 7-Scott Uttech; 13. 4K-Kris Spitz; 14. 53W-Bill Wirth; 15. 68-Dave Uttech; 16. 79-Blake Nimee; 17. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 18. 23-Russell Borland; 19. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler; 20. 94-Brandon Thone; 21. (DNF) 7F-Lance Fassbender; 22. (DNF) 4B-Scott Biertzer
Behling Racing Products B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 6-Bill Rose; 2. 68-Dave Uttech; 3. 85M-Steve Meyer; 4. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler; 5. 4B-Scott Biertzer; 6. 79-Blake Nimee; 7. 53W-Bill Wirth; 8. 38-Allen Hafford; 9. 6K-Kurt Davis; 10. 41-Dennis Spitz; 11. 73-Dennis Weisner
Weld Racing Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 64-Scotty Thiel; 2. 94-Brandon Thone; 3. 17B-Bill Balog; 4. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 5. 35-Ben Schmidt; 6. 6-Bill Rose; 7. 41-Dennis Spitz; 8. 73-Dennis Weisner; 9. (DNF) 85M-Steve Meyer
Diversified Machine Inc. Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 2. 02-Mike Reinke; 3. 4K-Kris Spitz; 4. 7-Scott Uttech; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 6. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler; 7. 79-Blake Nimee; 8. 38-Allen Hafford; 9. (DNF) 53W-Bill Wirth
All Star Performance Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 2. 7F-Lance Fassbender; 3. 1M-Phillip Mock; 4. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 5. 23-Russell Borland; 6. 4B-Scott Biertzer; 7. 68-Dave Uttech; 8. 6K-Kurt Davis
Qualifying: 1. 17B-Bill Balog; 2. 02-Mike Reinke; 3. 1M-Phillip Mock; 4. 6-Bill Rose; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 6. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 7. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 8. 7-Scott Uttech; 9. 68-Dave Uttech; 10. 35-Ben Schmidt; 11. 95A-Ken Jay Fiedler; 12. 7F-Lance Fassbender; 13. 94-Brandon Thone; 14. 4K-Kris Spitz; 15. 23-Russell Borland; 16. 64-Scotty Thiel; 17. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 18. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 19. 85M-Steve Meyer; 20. 79-Blake Nimee; 21. 4B-Scott Biertzer; 22. 41-Dennis Spitz; 23. 53W-Bill Wirth; 24. 6K-Kurt Davis; 25. 73-Dennis Weisner; 26. 38-Allen Hafford