FRANCIS CREEK, Wis. – Bill Balog drove to yet another Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Car Series triumph Sunday evening at 141 Speedway, his 11th victory of the season for the multi-time series champion.
For Balog the victory was a matter of speed, skill and “luck.”
Mike Reinke has demonstrated the past several weeks his No. 02 machine has the speed to win some more races this season. Since his win at the Roger Iles Memorial race at Wilmot, Reinke has set fast time the past three events, each time establishing a new track record in the process. Sunday he blistered the 141 Speedway oval with a lap of 10.668 seconds lowering the former mark set two years ago by Mike Kertscher, which had stood at 10.750 seconds.
Sunday evening Reinke tracked down Balog in the closing stages of the 30 lap main event. Balog, running a dozen car lengths ahead of Reinke, had tagged the wall coming off turn four on lap 23. In a matter of two laps Reinke erased Balog’s advantage and was working to Balog’s inside when a late race caution negated the pass.
Under the yellow Balog was able to access the damage to his ride, and finding none, he bolted back into the lead keeping Reinke at bay the final five circuits to score the win. Reinke was only three car lengths behind at the finish. The runner-up performance was Reinke’s fourth straight top four effort. Last year’s winner Jeremy Schultz crossed the finish line in third.
Balog acknowledged his enjoyment of 141 Speedway track where he has seen a great deal of success over the years. Balog has won seven of the 10 events at the quarter-mile bullring since the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Car Series first appeared at the track during the 2010 season.
“It feels great, I just love this place,” said Balog after climbing from the cockpit in victory lane.
Balog also indicated tagging the wall almost had cost him the race.
“We’ll probably have to put a new right rear wheel on it. I kind of lost track where I was behind a lapped car there and smacked the wall a little bit. It was an awesome night I want to thank everyone for coming out,” Balog said.
Reinke was pleased with his performance, especially the handling of his ride.
“We had the car real nice, it was rolling really good,” said Reinke. “He smacked the wall there, if the caution had not come out it would have been closer. On the restart if you give Bill Balog an open track he’s going to be hard to pass. We did what we could, and just came up short again. The crew gave me a car to win we just didn’t accomplish it,” said Reinke.
Bill Balog, Mike Reinke, Jeremy Schultz, Bill Rose, Scott Neitzel, Jordan Goldesberry, Russell Borland, Steve Meyer, Scotty Thiel, Raymond Hensley, Wayne Modjeski, Scott Uttech, Jason Johnson, Ben Schmidt, Dennis Spitz, Brandon Thone, Bryon Walters, Scott Biertzer, Kyle Marten, Ken Jay Fiedler, Brian Kristan, Matt Vandevere.