Mock collects first career feature win in cliff hanger at Beaver Dam Raceway
By Jeffrey Sachse
April 26, 2014; Beaver Dam, WI. – There have been several occasions over the past few years when young, second generation racer, Phillip Mock has been “oh so close” to that elusive first career Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series A-main victory.
Many within the series knew it was only a matter of “when”, not “if” the hard charging racer would score that win. On a frigid April evening Mock thawed a chilled crowd by taking that checkered flag in a spectacular manner.
After taking the white flag, Mock who had led much of the contest, saw his lead disappear as Bill Rose of Plainfield, Indiana swept past Mock on the outside heading into turn one. Rose a veteran racer with over 25 years of racing under his belt including several full season on the World of Outlaws tour appeared to have relegated Mock to second place finish.
Mock had other plans.
When Rose opted to stay in the high line heading into the final two turns, Mock dove to the bottom of the track in what appeared to be a desperation move. Mock manhandled his ride making it stick on the tacky racing surface and came out of turn four wing to wing with Rose for the lead.
In the drag race to the finish Mock was able to surge back ahead as the crowd rose to its feet to witness the youngster score his first A-main win by a mere . 221 seconds (about a car length) over Rose.
An elated Mock explained his thoughts after the contest. “I didn’t know if I could hold onto it (the lead), I knew there were a lot of heavy hitters behind me. I started to fade a little bit and Bill caught me, I had to put a bonsai move on him and he gave me enough room”, stated Mock.
I really wanted that win! I knew the car was just right and if I threw it in hard enough it would stick,” exclaimed an elated Mock.
Rose echoed Mock’s remarks. “He did a good job and stuck it in there at the end. I’d have done the same thing. It was good racing and I want to thank everyone for coming out”, said Rose. “We like to run more of these shows (IRA tour) if we can put the funding together. But we had fun tonight and that makes it easier to make a decision”, noted Rose.
The contest marked the second straight year that the season opening show at Beaver Dam Raceway had been decided in the final turn. Last year six-time champion Bill Balog edged out Mike Kertscher by .009 seconds and that win stands as the closest in IRA history.
The 22 car A-main would see the initial green flag appear with a dedicated crowd witnessing the contest as the temperature barely nudged about 40 degrees making it one of the coldest shows the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints has presented.
“Wild Bill” Wirth and Lance Fassbender would bring the field to the green. Before a lap would go in the books the caution appeared when Steve Meyer suffered problems with his steering and looped his ride coming off turn two. The resulting caution ended a string of two consecutive green to checker A-mains had come to an end.
Last season the final two shows had gone green to checkered including the last race held at Beaver Dam which was seven months ago. That race concluded the 2013 racing season and that 30 lap A-main contest was completed in less than seven minutes.
Meyer would head to the work area under the caution, and was soon joined by six-time and defending series champion Bill Balog. Balog, the evening’s fastest qualifier, had suffered a flat left front tire under yellow.
Balog was able to rejoin the contest in 20th spot, while Meyer’s effort to rejoin the field were negated when his car refused to re-fire after repairs had been made.
As racing resumed, Wirth got the jump on Fassbender to take command, and Mock found his way into the second position by the conclusion of the first lap. Fassbender soon was challenged by Rose who had worked his way into the fourth slot.
Mock sailed past Wirth for the top spot on lap three, and began to build a small lead. The torrid pace was halted on lap six when Matt Vandervere lost power and rolled to a stop on the front stretch.
Underway again Mock set a blistering pace on an extremely tacky racing surface, thanks to the addition of new clay added to the prior to the start of the season. This created some extremely quick lap times on the banked third-mile oval.
By lap 10 Mock had already began to encounter lapped traffic but he had extended his lead to a full straight ahead of Wirth. Rose meanwhile used the outside line to power past Fassbender for the third spot and began to reel in Wirth.
Scotty Neitzel would create the third caution of the contest as his car lost momentum coming off turn four on the 12th circuit. Neitzel’s crew was able to complete repairs and he was able to rejoin the event before the green flag.
The race past the halfway point with Mock still showing the way, and Wirth fending off the challenges of Rose to maintain runner-up honors. Fassbender would surrender the fourth spot to Reinke in lap 19.
Rose was able to work under Wirth for second position on lap 21 and now sought to close the gap on Mock who had been maintaining a dozen car length lead.
Fassbender’s solid showing came to an end on lap 22 as he crawled to a stop in turn one which also erased Mock’s cushion on Rose as the fourth and final caution flag waved.
On the restart, Mock was able to get a solid jump on Rose moving out to a slim lead as the laps wound down. With five laps to go Rose began to attack slowly reeling in Mock, while Reinke outmaneuvered Wirth to grab third.
Rose closed within a car length as the pair raced under the white flag, and Rose used a power move on the high side to briefly pull ahead of Mock into turn three. Mock would rebound with a perfect dive to the bottom of the track, and ultimately repelled Rose’s challenge to secure the victory. Rose was second by less than a car length at the stripe. Reinke reached the final podium spot in third.
For Reinke, the performance was notable as he had engine trouble in practice just days before this event leaving him and his crew with plenty of work before the contest today. This evening, it appeared Reinke’s troubles were behind him with a solid third place run.
Balog had clawed his way back to the fourth spot by the checkered after a late race pass on Wirth who held down the final spot in the top five.
Rookie of the year contender Ben Schmidt turned in a solid performance netting sixth edging out 2013 rookie of the year titlist Jeremy Schultz. Jordan Goldesberry, Russell Borland and rookie Scotty Thiel comprised the top ten finishers.
16 cars were still on the racing surface after the 30 lap feature contest.
Earlier in the evening the B-main also had its share of drama as Scott Uttech appeared to have the race in hand until the closing laps when he bicycled in turn three while headed for the white flag. Uttech was able to regain momentum and more importantly he avoided a roll over. The incident, did however, allow Borland to sneak past for the lead. Borland then spent the final laps fending off Thiel for the win. Uttech would hold on for third followed by Dennis Spitz, Wayne Modjeski, Dave Uttech and Matt Vandervere as the top seven transferred to the main event.
Heat race victories were captured by Neitzel, Blake Nimee and Bill Rose.
Balog topped the 25 car field in qualifying. Balog’s lap of 11.772 seconds edged out Reinke’s trip around the track in 11.924 seconds. Rose was third quick with a lap of 12.062 seconds.
The high powered machines of the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints now return to Oshkosh Speedzone for a rescheduled contest on Sunday Afternoon May 4th. The original event was to have been held on April 19th and would have opened the 2014 season for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints.
Pit gates will open for the show at noon, grandstands will open at 2:00pm, hot laps and qualifying are to take place at 4:00pm with racing expected to start at 5:00pm. Pit passes will be $30.00 for this event and purses for the supporting divisions will race for an increased purse. These divisions will be Outlaw Chassis Grand Nationals, Gold Star Racing Supply Street Stocks and Ellington Mutual Dirt Devils.
Admission for this special event is just $20 for adults while students ages 11 through 15 are admitted for $10.00. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free.
Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway is a 1/3 mile semi-banked clay oval located at the Sunnyview Expo Center which resides near the intersection of Highways 76 and County Trunk Y in Oshkosh.
Event # 1- Beaver Dam Raceway – Beaver Dam, WI – April 26, 2014
Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts A Feature (30 Laps): 1. 1M-Phillip Mock; 2. 6-Bill Rose; 3. 02-Mike Reinke; 4. 17B-Bill Balog; 5. 53W-Bill Wirth; 6. 35-Ben Schmidt; 7. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 8. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 9. 23-Russell Borland; 10. 64-Scotty Thiel; 11. 4K-Kris Spitz; 12. 68-Dave Uttech; 13. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 14. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 15. 79-Blake Nimee; 16. 41-Dennis Spitz; 17. (DNF) 7F-Lance Fassbender; 18. (DNF) 7-Scott Uttech; 19. (DNF) 10V-Matt Vandevere; 20. (DNF) 94-Brandon Thone; 21. (DNF) 85M-Steve Meyer; 22. (DNF) 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski
Behling Racing Products B Feature (12 Laps): 1. 23-Russell Borland; 2. 64-Scotty Thiel; 3. 7-Scott Uttech; 4. 41-Dennis Spitz; 5. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 6. 68-Dave Uttech; 7. 10V-Matt Vandevere; 8. 01-Chris Dodd; 9. 38-Allen Hafford; DNS 12-Michael Decker
Weld Racing Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 2. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 3. 35-Ben Schmidt; 4. 17B-Bill Balog; 5. 4K-Kris Spitz; 6. 7-Scott Uttech; 7. 64-Scotty Thiel; 8. 10V-Matt Vandevere; 9. (DNF) 12-Michael Decker
Allstar Performance Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 79-Blake Nimee; 2. 02-Mike Reinke; 3. 7F-Lance Fassbender; 4. 85M-Steve Meyer; 5. 43-Jereme Schroeder; 6. 01-Chris Dodd; 7. 68-Dave Uttech; 8. 23-Russell Borland
Diversified Machine Inc. Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 6-Bill Rose; 2. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 3. 94-Brandon Thone; 4. 53W-Bill Wirth; 5. 1M-Phillip Mock; 6. 41-Dennis Spitz; 7. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 8. 38-Allen Hafford
Osborn & Son Qualifying: 1. 17B-Bill Balog; 2. 02-Mike Reinke; 3. 6-Bill Rose; 4. 7-Scott Uttech; 5. 85M-Steve Meyer; 6. 1M-Phillip Mock; 7. 35-Ben Schmidt; 8. 7F-Lance Fassbender; 9. 53W-Bill Wirth; 10. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 11. 23- Russel Borland; 12. 41-Dennis Spitz; 13. 4k-Kris Spitz; 14. 43-Jeremy Schroeder; 15. 94-Brandon Thone; 16. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 17. 79-Blake Nimee; 18. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 19. 64-Scotty Thiel; 20. 01-Chris Dodd; 21. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 22. 10V-Matt Vandevere; 23. 68-Dave Uttech; 24. 38-Allen Hafford; 25. 12-Michael Decker