Driver Profile

Roger Iles Tribute Race

Roger Iles Tribute Race

(Wilmot, Wis., Saturday, August 21, 2021)--Jake Blackhurst of Hanna City, IL scored his second win in the 12th Annual 36-lap Roger Iles Tribute presented by Carriage Auto Body of Waukegan, IL for the Bumper to Bumper Interstates Racing Association(IRA) Outlaw Winged Sprints to close out the Saturday, August 21 Kenosha County Fair 100th Anniversary events on the 1/3-mile Wilmot Raceway. Blackhurst, who won the same event in 2018, used the victory to secure his first ever regular season Wilmot Raceway 410-Winged Sprint Car Championship.
Blake Nimee of Oswego, IL took the initial lead in the feature with Blackhurst taking top spot near the halfway point. The two battled back and forth as they worked lapped traffic until a red flag flew when Gibson's Danny Schlafer, who was battling in the top five for some time, slammed hard into the turn four wall and catch fence knocking out the track safety lights. Schlafer was checked out by the track paramedic crew.
On the restart, Nimee dove low into turn one hooking the infield berm in one final attempt to get the lead back. The caution flew Nimee restarting at the back of the lead lap cars. Blackhurst maintained his lead to the finish. It was an Illinois podium sweep with Chris Windom of Canton scoring a career best second place Wilmot finish. Carson Short of Marion was third.
Sheboygan's Scotty Thiel was fourth. Beaver Dam's Jeremy Schultz came from 13th starting spot to take fifth. Beaver Dam's Scott Neizel moved from 12th to sixth. Jordan Goldsberry of Springfield, IL seventh. Kewaskum's Russel Borland eighth. lomira's Rob Pribnow came from 18th to take ninth. Howards Grove's Mike Rienke tenth.
"This is a big race for us to win," said Blackhurst. "To win the season championship here at Wilmot, with all of the history and the drivers who have won it before, it's special to get my first one. I have to thank our team. Now we set our sights on the IRA season championship."
Jimmy Sivia of Winthrop Harbor, IL scored the biggest victory of his career taking the 20-lap 4th Annual Bill Grogan Memorial for the AutoMeter/Brewington Electric Wisconsin wingLESS Sprints. Sivia took the lead on the opening circuit and never looked back. On a restart just prior to the halfway point, Trevor's Chris Dodd momentarily got side by side with Sivia. Sivia was able to retake command. Burlington's Rusty Egan ended up second. Greg Olsen of Round Lake Heights, IL moved up from 11th starting spot to third. Bristol's Chris Klemko from 12th to fourth. Salem's Daniel Graumenz 14th to fifth.
Paris' Brian Strane was sixth. Kansasville's Ryan Marshall seventh. Bristol's Natalie Klemko from 16th to eighth. Tim Cox of Park City, IL ninth. Oconomowoc's Ryan Zielski tenth. Dodd ended up 11th.
"This is definitely the biggest win of my career," said Sivia of his third win at Wilmot this season. "I have to thank my family, especially my mom whose birthday is today, all of the sponsors who helped put the extra money up for this event. Especially the late "Pops" (Bill Grogan) who always did so much to support race teams and me, personally. This is really special and to lead every lap is unbelievable."
C.J. Malueg of Johnsburg, IL scored his third 20-lap IRA Lightning Sprints feature win of the season at Wilmot, and second in a row. Malueg held the lead start to finish, but not without a late race challenge. Pleasant Prairie's Mike Neau caught up with Malueg out of turn four coming for the checkered flag. At the finish it was Malueg with the victory with Neau second by less than a car length as the pair crossed side by side. Tim Brannam of Holiday Hills, IL was third. Nick Petska of Spring Grove, IL fourth. Madison's Mike Unger fifth.
Ron Brannam of Barrington, IL was sixth. Hales Corner's Kevin Frederiksen moved up from 12th starting spot to seventh. Delavan's Chris Quillman eighth. Franksville's Derek Fortier ninth. Max Brannam of Holiday Hills tenth.
"I knew Mike(Neau) was coming, but the car has been running really strong," Malueg, the 2020 Wilmot regular season champion, said. "I have a great crew and sponsors. We will do the best we can with one night(Wilmot regular season championship on Septmeber 4) left for our class here."
Next up for Wilmot Raceway is Saturday, August 28 featuring the traditional appearance by the BADGER Midgets. Wingless Sprints, Modifieds and Street Stocks are on the program as well. Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m. with on track activity at about 5:45 and racing slated for 6:30. Grandstand admission is $20.00 for adults ages 12 and over; ages 11 & under admitted free.
Wilmot has its last point championship events on Season Champion Night slated for Wingless Sprints, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Bandit 4-Cylinder Stock Cars and IRA Lightning Sprints Labor Day weekend, Saturday, September 4.
The last event for the 2021 Wilmot season is the always big Jim Wildman Watson Tribute featuring the Dirt King Late Models on Saturday, September 11. Non-Wilmot Points events for Modifieds, WingLess Sprints, Street Stocks and Bandits are on the year ending card. The traditional huge bike giveaway for youngsters ages 16 & under is part of the evening with currently a record approaching number of 150 or more to be handed out.
For the latest information on Wilmot Raceway check the trackside raceline 262-862-2090, track website or the official Raceway Facebook page.
Submitted by Michael H. Babicz(262)206-5465.

Article Credit: Mike Babicz
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