OHIO’S DALE BLANEY SNAPS IRA BILL BALOG’S WIN STREAK TOPPING IRA/ALL STAR SHOWDOWN ON SALUTE TO IRA FOUNDERS NIGHT; HEINERT, CARLSON, REDDEN & HILLRINGHOUSE TAKE FEATURES
BY MICHAEL H. BABICZ AND JEFFREY SACHESE July 19, 2014; Wilmot, WI – Hartford, Ohio’s Dale Blaney came on in the late going to overtake Wisconsin’s Bill Balog to score the historic victory in the annual Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association(IRA) Outlaw Sprints versus UNOH All-Star Circuit of Champions Showdown on Salute to IRA Founders Night at Wilmot(Wis.) Raceway.
Union Grove’s Chris Carlson won the 20-lap modified headliner. Oak Creek’s Mark Heinert captured the 20-lap Wisconsin-Illinois mini-sprint feature.
In four-cylinder stock cars, Scott Redden of Woodstock, IL was first overall and in the Pro-4 division, while South Milwaukee’s Brian Hillringhouse literally took the Bandit Division win by the nose of his bumper.
Overall, the evening did not disappoint for thrills and spills as there were plenty of each on the challenging Wilmot Raceway third-mile clay oval.
The rescheduled Salute to the Founders of IRA also took place began the evening with special recognition made during pre-race ceremonies honoring Ray Toft of Trevor, originally from Antioch, IL, Whitey Harris of St. Germaine, originally from Lake Villa, IL, and the late Junior Dodd of Beach Park, whose family was represented by his oldest son, Darrell, who is still competing in sprint cars.
The trio originally organized and began the IRA back March 11, 1968. “If it was not for these three gentlemen, the current sprint car drivers of the IRA would not be still racing here,“ said Mike Babicz, Wilmot public relations/marketing manager, said in addressing the appreciative crowd as the three men joined on the front straightaway to a enthusiastic standing ovation. “We also acknowledge their wives, Joan Toft and Fran Harris, and Junior’s late wife, who were always behind the scenes giving their support.”
Toft and Harris were warmly greeted by the current IRA President Steve Sinclair and the group of current sprint car warriors from the All Stars and IRA at the evening’s drivers meeting.
Following the 35-lap sprint car feature, Blaney was congratulated by Toft and Harris, in the Wing’s Etc. of Antioch Victory Lane.
“This is very special,” said Blaney, defending All Star Champion and current point leader. “Being a part of the rich history of the IRA and Wilmot is really special. I appreciate what these men(Toft, Harris and Dodd), have done for our sport.”
Blaney is the first to have his name engraved on the perennial Founders trophy sponsored by the Southeastern Wisconsin Short Track Racing Hall of Fame. The trophy will be displayed at the Hall in Hartford.
On the track, in a match of titans, the all-time leader in the All-Star A-main win column, Blaney came to Wilmot looking to score his third consecutive win in the annual showdown event. On the other, Balog, originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, six-time and defending IRA champ, and point leader was looking to extend his current victory streak in IRA competition, elevating the modern era mark to a record six in a row.
Early race leader Jac Haudenschild of Wooten, Ohio earned the final podium third place spot with a last lap pass of Tommy Sexton of Antioch, former Wilmot Raceway champion.
Blaney greeted the crowed from victory lane after the contest. “We were really good. I struggled a bit early, and just fell in line to ride it out awhile”, noted Blaney about the run. “The track came to us, and we got a little bit better as the race went on. I got under Balog a few times in three and four and once we got out front the car just got better and better”, exclaimed Blaney.
“I thought we were really good early on. The groove just got higher and higher up,” said Balog, seemingly happy despite a runner-up finish. “We were hanging in there, but I knew we were not going to beat the “low rider” ( Blaney’s nickname ) when he was on the bottom. They found the groove and they won it, but this is our best All-Star finish. It was fun racing and I was really happy with it.”
The 35 lap main event would prove to be especially challenging for the 24 car-starting field as the drivers never seemed to catch a rhythm. As a result both cautions and red flags flew in abundance, and overall the event played out like a series of short dashes.
“The Wild Child” Haudenschild, celebrating his 40th year behind the wheel, sat on the pole for the start of the A-main event.
A preview of things to come, the first red flag flew before the field got out of turn two as Dennis Spitz of Lewisburg, KY, who summers in Kenosha, and Rusty Egan of Burlington made contact with Egan taking a tumble. Both drivers were unscathed but done for the night.
Two laps went in the books with Jac Hudenschild setting the pace over California native and World of Outlaws star California’s Tim Kaeding when the caution flew for Haudenschild’s son, Sheldon, going for a quick spin in turn four.
On the restart Jac Haudenschild opted for the high line while Kaeding hugged the infield tires as the pair dueled for the lead. Balog watched the pair from the third spot while repelling the challenges of Blaney. The high line was the place to be as Balog utilized the momentum to sweep past Kaeding for second on lap seven, then beginning to to reel in Haudenschild.
A crowd roar of approval could be heard as Balog carried the IRA banner to the front, roaring past Haudenschild down the front stretch on lap nine. Balog had little time to enjoy the lead as the caution flew when Bill Rose of Plainfield, IN spun on the next circuit.
The next restart resulted in a multi-car shunt in turn three. Mike Reinke Howards Grove who had been battling for a top five position did a quick flip, landing back on his wheels. The incident also collected rookie of the year contender Ben Schmidt, also from Howards Grove. Both continue from the tail of the pack after some quick repairs during the stoppage.
Back to racing, Balog was fending off repeated challenges of Blaney when another caution flew for a spun car. A third red flag flew on lap 15 when Beaver Dam’s Scotty Neitzel found himself upside down with Jim Moughan of Springfield, IL also involved in the incident. Neither was injured, but both were out of action.
The next green flag stretch saw Balog set the pace, opting for the high line with Blaney hugging the bottom, a decision that proved fruitful. Blaney worked under Balog on lap 17 grabbing the lead. Balog continued to try and fight back on the high side but it became apparent that line was not going to provide the speed to catch Blaney.
On lap 23, a final caution flew closing the field one last time. Blaney was able to distance himself from Balog over the final circuits reaching the finish line nearly a straightway ahead. On the final lap, Haudenschild shot past Sexton for the third place podium spot.
Sexton came home a strong fourth. Pleasant Prarie’s Todd Daun quietly and patiently worked through the field the entire contest, advancing the most positions improving 15 spots from his original 20th starting berth in the 24-car field to finish fifth.
Reinke turned in an amazing performance rebounding from his flip at the mid portion of the contest to place sixth.
Matt Vandervere of Beach Park, IL was seventh. Kaeding recovered from his late race spin to take eighth. Sheldon Haudenschild of Wooten, son of Jac, earned a ninth place run driving a machine borrowed from Hartnell Motorsports of Kenosha. The younger Haudenschild followed up with a IRA win in the Hartnell car on Sunday, July 20 at Angel Park Speedway in Sun Prarie.
Oak Creek’s Wayne Modjeski rounded out the top ten.
“This was a great win for us, especially after the struggles we had last week,” said Heinert following his first min-sprint win of the season. “My dad has been a great supporter for the last 16 years, and I have to thank him. I saw Nick(Petska)’s nose inside of me on the restart, but was able to hold him off. This is fantastic.”
Heinert led flag to flag in the mini-sprint main which was red flagged on lap five when John Smith of St. Charles, IL flipped hard in turn one. Smith was not injured, but the car was done for the night. The only other interruption came for a spin setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Heinert was up to the challenge to score the win. Kenosha’s Mike Neau came on to take second, Tim Brannam of Holiday Hills, IL third, Ron Brannam of Barrington, IL fourth and Hubertus’ Kyle Daywalt fifth. Petska of Spring Grove, IL faded to tenth as he got caught by the fright train when he shot to the inside trying to overtake Heinert.
Union Grove’s Chris Carlson scored his sixth feature win of the season as the defending champion held back the Antioch contingent of Scott Kuxhouse, Jim Morrison and 19-year-old Cameron Kuxhouse, along with Genoa City’s Nick Simon to complete the top five.
Redden won his second straight Pro-4 and overall victory in the four-cylinder stock cars. Hillringhouse literally edged out newcomer Joe Bank by less than one-thousandth of a second on the transponder for the Bandit win and fourth place overall.
Wilmot Raceway hosts the Badger Midget Association Salute to Harry Turner Special on Saturday, July 26. Joining the midgets in their only Wilmot appearance of the season are home track division modifieds, street stocks, mini-sprints plus a visiting group of micro-sprints. Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m. with racing slated for 7:00 p.m.
For the latest information check the Raceway hotline 262-862-2090 or website www.wilmotraceway.com.
SUMMARY – WILMOT RACEWAY, WILMOT, WIS. – SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2014
SALUTE TO FOUNDERS OF INTERSTATE RACING ASSOCIATION(IRA) NIGHT
SPONSORED BY STRITAR TREE SERVICE OF ANTIOCH, IL & SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN SHORT TRACK HALL OF FAME OF HARTLAND, WI
IRA/ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS CO-SANCTIONED:
(38 Cars)[#]-Starting Position
Qualifying – 1. 14K-Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH 13.340 seconds; 2. 9W-Jac Haudenschild, Wooten, OH 13.408; 3. 1MM-Jim Moughan, Springfield, IL 13.434; 4. 17B-Bill Balog, Hartford 13.507; 5. 11K-Rick Kelsey, New Berlin 13.630; 6. 7F-Lance Fassbender, Burnett 13.772; 7. 6R-Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN 13.780; 8. 23-Russel Borland, Beaver Dam 13.865; 9. 59-Tim Kaeding, California 13.886; 10. 83-Tommy Sexton, Antioch, IL 13.888; 11. 56-Ryan Irwin, Twin Lakes 13.912; 12. O2-Mike Reinke, Howards Grove 13.915; 13. 2W-Scott Neitzel, Beaver Dam 13.949; 14. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, Beaver Dam 13.958; 15. 35-Ben Schmidt, Howards Grove 14.030; 16. 50-Rusty Egan, Burlington 14.068; 17. 1M-Phillip Mock, Pleasant Prarie 14.071; 18. 7-Scott Uttech, New Berlin 14.118; 19. 41-Dennis Spitz, Lewisburg, KY 14.179; 20. 48H-Sheldon Haudenschild , Wooten, OH 14.190; 21. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, Springfield, IL 14.190; 22. 10V-Matt Vandervere, Beach Park, IL 14.350; 23. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski, Oak Creek 14.357; 24. 19-Todd Daun, Pleasant Prarie 14.476; 25. 53W-Bill Wirth, Cudahy 14.535; 26. 94-Brandon Thone, Plymouth 14.581; 27. 64-Scotty Theil, Sheboygan 14.584; 28. 79-Blake Nimee, Oswego, IL 14.612; 29. 5H-Patrick Haynes, Bradley, IL 14.727; 30. 23D-Trey Datweiler, Herscher, IL 14.749; 31. 43-Jereme Schroeder, Lake Villa, IL 14.915; 32. 5W-Brian Walters, 14.921; 33. 4K-Kris Spitz, Kenosha 14.946; 34. 68-Dave Uttech, Kenosha 15.110; 35. 25-Steve Muth, Plymouth 15.517; 36. 71-Chad Tessman, Jefferson 16.183; 37. 16-Don Durham, Racine No Time; 38. 72-Dave Maynard, Twin Lakes No Time.
Heat 1 – (TOP 5 IN HEATS GO TO “A” MAIN) 1. 59-Tim Kaeding ; 2. 65-Jordan Goldesberry ; 3. 14K-Dale Blaney  ; 4. 1M-Phillip Mock  ; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel ; 6. 11K-Rick Kelsey  ; 7. 5H-Patrick Haynes ; 8. 4K-Kris Spitz ; 9. 53W-Bill Wirth ; 10. 16-Don Durham Heat 2 – 1. 7-Scott Uttech ; 2. 83-Tommy Sexton ; 3. 5J-Jeremy Schultz ; 4. 9W-Jac Haudenschild ; 5. 10V-Matt Vandervere ; 6. 7F-Lance Fassbender ; 7. 23D-Trey Datweiler ; 8. 94-Brandon Thone ; 9. 68-Dave Uttech ; 10. 72-Dave Maynard Heat 3 – 1. 41-Dennis Spitz ; 2. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski ; 3. 35-Ben Schmidt ; 4. 64-Scotty Theil ; 5. 56-Ryan Irwin ; 6. 6R-Bill Rose ; 7. 1MM-Jim Moughan ; 8. 43-Jereme Schroeder ; 9. 25-Steve Muth Heat 4 – 17B-Bill Balog ; 2. 19-Todd Daun ; 3. 48H-Sheldon Haudenschild  ; 4. O2-Mike Reinke ; 5. 79-Blake Nimee ; 6. 23-Russel Borland ; 7. 50-Rusty Egan ; 8. 5W-Brian Walters ; 9. 71-Chad Tessman  Dash – (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature
1. 9W-Jac Haudenschild ; 2. 59-Tim Kaeding ; 3. 14K-Dale Blaney  ; 4. 17B-Bill Balog ; 5. 83-Tommy Sexton ; 6. 56-Ryan Irwin
B-Main – (15 Laps – Top 4 finishers transfer to the A-feature)
1. 1MM-Jim Moughan ; 2. 11K-Rick Kelsey  ; 3. 6R-Bill Rose ; 4. 50-Rusty Egan ; 5. 7F-Lance Fassbender ; 6. 53W-Bill Wirth ; 7. 23-Russel Borland ; 8. 94-Brandon Thone ; 9. 4K-Kris Spitz ; 10. 43-Jereme Schroeder ; 11. 68-Dave Uttech ; 12. 5H-Patrick Haynes ; 13. 23D-Trey Datweiler ; 14. 71-Chad Tessman  ; 15. 5W-Brian Walters ; 16. 25-Steve Muth ; 17. 16-Don Durham ; 18. 72-Dave Maynard A-Main – (35 Laps) 1. 14K-Dale Blaney ; 2. 17B-Bill Balog; 3. 9W-Jac Haudenschild; 4. 83-Tommy Sexton; 5. 19-Todd Daun; 6. O2-Mike Reinke; 7. 10V-Matt Vandervere; 8. 59-Tim Kaeding; 9. 48H-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 10. 14AJ-Wayne Modjeski; 11. 6R-Bill Rose; 12. 35-Ben Schmidt; 13. 64-Scotty Theil; 14. 11K-Rick Kelsey ; 15. 79-Blake Nimee; 16. 5J-Jeremy Schultz; 17. 56-Ryan Irwin; 18. 1M-Phillip Mock ; 19. 1MM-Jim Moughan; 20. 2W-Scott Neitzel; 21. 65-Jordan Goldesberry; 22. 41-Dennis Spitz; 23. 50-Rusty Egan; 24. 7-Scott Uttech Hard Charger: 19-Todd Daun(+15 positions).
MODIFIEDS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Chris Carlson, Union Grove; 2. Scott Kuxhouse, Antioch, IL; 3. Jimmy Morrison, Antioch; 4. Cameron Kuxhouse, Antioch; 5. Nick Simons, Genoa City; 6. Erik Scribner, Kiel; 7. Phil Rehberg, Waukesha; 8. Mike Learman, Jr., Woodstock, IL; 9. Mike Simons, Genoa City; 10. Derek Thompson, Monroe; 11. Mike Conn, Big Bend; 12. Jeff Bodendorfer, Waterford; 13. Marc Caswell, West Allis; 14. Dan Paskiewicz, Ottawa, WI; 15. John Dost, Bristol; 16. Ryan Marshall, Bristol; 17. Mark Brunner, Milwaukee; 18. Jason Buss, Freeport, IL; 19. Lee Tibbitts, Hebron, IL; 20. Scott Barnharst, Franklin; 21. Steve Mueller, Eagle; 22. Mike Sullivan, Burlington.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: S. Kuxhouse; C. Kuxhouse; Buss.
WISCONSIN-ILLINOIS MINI-SPRINTS: 20-LAP FEATURE: 1. Mark Heinert, Oak Creek; 2. Mike Neau, Kenosha; 3. Tim Brannam, Holiday Hills, IL; 4. Ron Brannam, Barrington, IL; 5. Kyle Daywalt, Hubertus; 6. Randy Reed, Kenosha; 7. Adam Schroeder, Zion, IL; 8. Ian Stear, Harvard, IL; 9. Nick Daywalt, Hubertus; 10. Nick Petska, Spring Grove, IL; 11. Jeff Schmidt, Slinger; 12. Kevin Frederiksen, Milwaukee; 13. Greg Fortier, Racine; 14. Kyle Koch, McFarland; 15. Nick Sheridan, Fox Lake, IL; 16. Randy Stanford, Kenosha; 17. John Smith, St. Charles, IL.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: N. Daywalt; T. Brannam.
FAST QUALIFIER: Petska(:15.242 seconds).
FOUR-CYLINDER STOCK CARS: 15-LAP FEATURE: PRO-4s: 1. Scott Redden, Woodstock; 2. Erik Grosch, Arlington Heights, IL; 3. Joe Summers, Wonder Lake, IL. BANDITS: 1. Brian Hillringhouse, South Milwaukee; 2. Joe Bank, South Milwaukee; 3. Rob Ehlenberg, Woodstock; 4. A.J. Izzo, Capron, IL; 5. Erik Nevoso, Twin Lakes; 6. Austin Susala, Bristol; 7. Taylor Dawson, Wheatland; 8. Jason Jones, North Chicago, IL; 9. Gary Mondus, Streamwood, IL; 10. Ashley Panek, Kenosha; 11. J. T. Myra, Salem; 12. Carl Benn, Menominee Falls.
8-LAP HEAT WINNERS: Grosch; Bank.