Balog Wins Wisconsin IRA Opener

Interstate Racing Association

Balog Wins Wisconsin IRA Opener

Bill Balog and Crew in victory lane
Photo By: Bruce Palla

June 13 saw the Interstate Racing Association return home to Wisconsin for the first time in 2020. 33 winged 410 teams signed in to compete at the Wilmot Raceway in Wilmot,Wisconsin.

In Osborn and Son Trucking qualifying 9 time IRA champion Bill Balog set quick time over 2018 champion Jake Blackhurst. Russel Borland would time in third quick followed by Michigan native Chad Blonde and former Wilmot and IRA champion Jeremy Schultz.

Heat race one saw Dover, Ohio driver RJ Jacobs take the early lead and never looked back. Jeremy Schultz would finish in second followed by Bill Balog and Todd Daun.

The second heat race was won by Jordan Goldesberry who led from the drop of the green flag. Behind Goldesberry, Jake Blackhurst and Robby Pribnow battled for second but Blackhurst would take control. In the closing laps Pribnow would suffer an issue under the hood and fall to the back giving third place to Scotty Thiel followed by Brayton Lynch and Danny Schlafer.

Heat race three was exciting early as Johnny Fahl got turned around entering turn 3 and at the same time Patrick Haynes jumped the cushion and ended up outside or turns 3 and 4. Scott Biertzer would lead from the restart and take the checkard flag. Behind him Russel Borland would run second ahead of hard charging “Matty V” Matt Vandervere. Kyle Schuett finished in fourth and Johnny Fahl would rebound to finish in fifth.
The final heat race saw a returning Black Nimee pick up the win after an extended absence from the drivers seat over Illinois Joey Moughan and Chad Blonde. Dave Uttech would finish in fourth and Scotty Neitzel rounded out the top 5

In 2020 instead of the traditional redraw to line up the first five rows of the A main it now sets the field for a pair of 4 lap dashes. Dash one sets the inside first five rows while dash two sets the outside of the A main.
In dash one Scott Biertzer once again checked out from the field and led every lap. Behind him Blake Nimee charged from fourth to second place ahead of Brayton Lynch, Jordan Goldesberry, and Chad Blonde.

Dash two saw Bill Balog set the pace, but as the field rolled into turn 1 Russel Borland put his 23 machine on the cushion and threaded the needle between Balog and the wall to take the lead. Borland never looked back and led all 4 laps in route to a front row A main starting position. Balog would settle for second over Jake Blackhurst, Jeremy Schultz and RJ Jacobs.
The B main would set the final 4 spots in the 30 lap A main. Robbie Pribnow would take the early lead, behind him Austin Deblauw who was on the transfer bubble when he lost the handle on his 55 and as he began to spin was hit by rookie contender Jack Routson. Both would continue without the caution flying but just a handful of laps later Routson would spin his 14 car out and bring out the yellow flag. Pribnow would once again take the lead but now Georgia native Sean Rayhall worked his way into second over Jereme Schroeder. With two laps remaining the caution would once again fly when Austin Deblauw spun in turn 4. The caution would not hinder Pribnow and Rayhall as they would finish first and second but behind them Jereme Schroeder would struggle and fall back behind Billy Hafemann and Alan Gilbertson. Jack Routson would finish in fifth making him the alternate starter for the A main.

Russel Borland jumped out to lead the A main, as Bill Balog had a bad start and fell to seventh. Blake Nimee moved past Scott Biertzer and into second just three laps in and set his sights on the blue 23 piloted by Borland.

Borland would enter lapped traffic on lap nine and would need to be perfect with Blake Nimee and Bill Balog stalking the Wiese trucking car. At the half way point Balog would be able to utilize lapped traffic to take the lead as Nimee and Borland traded second place. With eleven laps to go the red flag would fly for the 73 of Jake Blackhurst who spun and tipped his car over in turn one. Blackhurst would return to finish the feature.. The restart would see Bill Balog lead Blake Nimee, Russel Borland and Scott Biertzer to the green flag. Would the clear track give Balog the advantage or would the others have a shot to take the win? With five to go the red flag would once again fly setting up a five lap dash to the finish with Bill Balog leading Blake Nimee and Jeremy Schultz. Balog would lead the final five laps uncontested to pick up the win. Jeremy Schultz moved into second by the checkered flag followed by Blake Nimee, Russel Borland and Jordan Goldesberry.


A Feature -Presented by Bumper to Bumper: A Feature 30 Laps
1. 17B-Bill Balog[4]; 2. 5J-Jeremy Schultz[8]; 3. 79-Blake Nimee[3]; 4. 23-Russel Borland[2]; 5. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[7]; 6. 2W-Scott Neitzel[17]; 7. 5B-Chad Blonde[9]; 8. 73AF-Joey Moughan[11]; 9. 10W-Scotty Thiel[12]; 10. 9K-Kyle Schuett[14]; 11. 19-Todd Daun[16]; 12. 4K-Kris Spitz[18]; 13. 20R-Robbie Pribnow[21]; 14. 25-Danny Schlafer[19]; 15. 1B-Billy Hafemann[23]; 16. 29L-Brayton Lynch[5]; 17. 14R-Sean Rayhall[22]; 18. 97-Alan Gilbertson[24]; 19. (DNF) 4B-Scott Biertzer[1]; 20. (DNF) 68-Dave Uttech[15]; 21. (DNF) 18J-RJ Jacobs[10]; 22. (DNF) 73-Jake Blackhurst[6]; 23. (DNF) 10V-Matt VandeVere[13]; 24. (DNF) 0-John Fahl[20]
B Feature: 12 laps 1. 20R-Robbie Pribnow[1]; 2. 14R-Sean Rayhall[5]; 3. 1B-Billy Hafemann[7]; 4. 97-Alan Gilbertson[9]; 5. 43-Jereme Schroeder[2]; 6. 70-Chris Klemko[6]; 7. 77-Wayne Modjeski[10]; 8. 88-Chris Flick[12]; 9. 55-Austin Deblauw[4]; 10. 14-Jack Routson[3]; 11. (DNS) 29-Hunter Custer; 12. (DNS) 12-Corbin Gurley; 13. (DNS) 5H-Patrick Haynes

Heat Races:
Heat 1 Presented by Weld Wheels: 10 Laps 1. 18J-RJ Jacobs[1]; 2. 5J-Jeremy Schultz[3]; 3. 17B-Bill Balog[4]; 4. 19-Todd Daun[2]; 5. 4K-Kris Spitz[6]; 6. 55-Austin Deblauw[7]; 7. (DNF) 29-Hunter Custer[8]; 8. (DNF) 97-Alan Gilbertson[5]; 9. (DNF) 12-Corbin Gurley[9]
Heat 2  Presented by All Star Performance: 10 Laps 1. 65-Jordan Goldesberry[2]; 2. 73-Jake Blackhurst[4]; 3. 10W-Scotty Thiel[5]; 4. 29L-Brayton Lynch[3]; 5. 25-Danny Schlafer[6]; 6. 14R-Sean Rayhall[8]; 7. 77-Wayne Modjeski[7]; 8. (DNF) 20R-Robbie Pribnow[1]
Heat 3 Presented by Behling Racing Products: 10 Laps 1. 4B-Scott Biertzer[2]; 2. 23-Russel Borland[4]; 3. 10V-Matt VandeVere[5]; 4. 9K-Kyle Schuett[3]; 5. 0-John Fahl[6]; 6. 43-Jereme Schroeder[1]; 7. 70-Chris Klemko[7]; 8. (DNF) 5H-Patrick Haynes[8]
Heat 4 Presented by Hepfner Racing Products: 10 Laps 1. 79-Blake Nimee[2]; 2. 73AF-Joey Moughan[1]; 3. 5B-Chad Blonde[4]; 4. 68-Dave Uttech[3]; 5. 2W-Scott Neitzel[5]; 6. 14-Jack Routson[6]; 7. 1B-Billy Hafemann[7]; 8. 88-Chris Flick[8]

Qualifying Presented by Osborn and Son Trucking: 1. 17B-Bill Balog, 00:13.241[15]; 2. 73-Jake Blackhurst, 00:13.291[5]; 3. 23-Russel Borland, 00:13.311[13]; 4. 5B-Chad Blonde, 00:13.359[12]; 5. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, 00:13.374[28]; 6. 29L-Brayton Lynch, 00:13.386[2]; 7. 9K-Kyle Schuett, 00:13.459[18]; 8. 68-Dave Uttech, 00:13.552[8]; 9. 19-Todd Daun, 00:13.584[26]; 10. 65-Jordan Goldesberry, 00:13.601[10]; 11. 4B-Scott Biertzer, 00:13.632[20]; 12. 79-Blake Nimee, 00:13.641[27]; 13. 18J-RJ Jacobs, 00:13.658[1]; 14. 20R-Robbie Pribnow, 00:13.704[4]; 15. 43-Jereme Schroeder, 00:13.715[14]; 16. 73AF-Joey Moughan, 00:13.731[29]; 17. 97-Alan Gilbertson, 00:13.743[9]; 18. 10W-Scotty Thiel, 00:13.768[7]; 19. 10V-Matt VandeVere, 00:13.824[19]; 20. 2W-Scott Neitzel, 00:13.831[25]; 21. 4K-Kris Spitz, 00:13.855[6]; 22. 25-Danny Schlafer, 00:13.986[31]; 23. 0-John Fahl, 00:14.165[21]; 24. 14-Jack Routson, 00:14.167[16]; 25. 55-Austin Deblauw, 00:14.183[17]; 26. 77-Wayne Modjeski, 00:14.186[24]; 27. 70-Chris Klemko, 00:14.258[11]; 28. 1B-Billy Hafemann, 00:14.355[33]; 29. 29-Hunter Custer, 00:14.358[32]; 30. 14R-Sean Rayhall, 00:14.472[22]; 31. 5H-Patrick Haynes, 00:14.545[30]; 32. 88-Chris Flick, 00:14.614[3]; 33. (DNS) 12-Corbin Gurley, 00:14.614

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