Oshkosh, WI, June 22, 2012: - The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Cars were on hand for the first special event of the 2012 racing season at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. The program presented by Budweiser featured the 900 horsepower winged open wheeled machines which were joined in the show by the tracks own Automotive Supply Company Modifieds and Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds.
26 Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints checked in for the program which would see Mike Kertscher winner of the most recent IRA Sprint event at Oshkosh Speedzone last fall, and Bill Balog, the series four-time champion swap the lead through the first half of the contest. However Kertscher would have a tire go down just past the halfway point of the event allowing Balog to outdistance the field to score his sixth series win of the season in series action.
Justin Ritchie's final turn pass of Scott Mullen further supported Oshkosh Speedzone moniker as "Wisconsin's Modified Action Track". Mullen appeared to be headed to victory in the closing stages of the main event but Ritchie manged to close the gap as the pair ran side by side over the final lap. Ritchie hugging the bottom of the track came off the final corner with a good run and inched ahead of Mullen as the pair approached the finish line. Ritchie had the nose of his machine out front of Mullen by about one foot at the line to steal the victory his first career feature win at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway.
40 Automotive Supply Company Modifieds had checked into the pit area for the show.
In the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds, Troy Jerovetz would outrun Rod Solem to break the three race win streak of Tracy Wassenberg. It was the second trip of the year to victory lane for Jerovetz. The win did however extend the win streak for Razor Chassis to four as both Wassenberg and Jerovetz have used the chassis for their victories. 31 IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds were in the pit area this evening.
Robbie Thiel set the pace on the opening round of the 20 lap main event for the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds. Scott Mullen wasted little time in working his way to the front using the high line to sweep into the lead on lap two bring Mitch McGrath with him into second.
Thiel would continue to lose positions allowing Ritchie to reach the third position by lap four with Brian Mullen in tow.
A spin by Mike Klenz on lap five would created the first caution of the contest and bunch the pack. On the restart Scott Mullen again shot to the lead while McGrath and Ritchie contested the second spot.
A multi-car tangle in turn two on lap seven slowed the pace for the second and final time of the contest.
Underway again Scott Mullen went back to showing the field the fast line around the third-mile clay oval while McGrath and Ritchie went back to their tussle for the second spot. The majority of the field were racing three and four wide while the lead trio began to pull away.
Ritchie would come away with the second position before the halfway point in the contest and set out to close the gap on Scott Mullen. McGrath meanwhile now had his hands full with Scott's brother Brian Mullen as the Mullen family again sought to dominate the front of the pack.
Ritchie would reach the rear bumper of Scott Mullen with ten laps left in the contest. Favoring the low line Ritchie was able to maneuver to Scott's inside on several occasions but each time his effort to take the lead were repelled. After falling back two car lengths with only a couple laps to go, Ritchie mounted another charge. As the white flag flew Ritchie managed to work to Scott Mullen's inside.
The two went wheel to wheel the final lap with the pair dead event coming off the final turn. Ritchie finding bit on the bottom slowly inched ahead toward the waving checkered flags taking the win by the narrowest margin of victory so far this season at the track. Scott Mullen finished second followed by Brian Mullen and McGrath. 71 year old Jerry Muenster who has been racing 52 years earned another top five finish.
Brian Mullen now leads the standings by 34 markers over defending track champion Brian Drexler.
The Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modified main event saw it's share of cautions in the opening laps of the event.
Brad Ambroziak would take lead from rookie Brock Saunders on the opening lap of the event. Kelsy Hayes who returned from a hard crash the week before was proving the incident wasn't going to slow her progress this season as she worked under Ambroziak for the top spot on lap two.
Jerovetz who started deeper in the field was making quick progress toward the front as were Rod Solem and Tracy Wassenberg who was seeking to extend his win streak to four straight.
Hayes had built a six car length lead on the field when a major pileup occurred in turn two forcing a caution. Nearly a half dozen cars were collected to varying degrees with most being able to continue.
Once the green flag returned Jerovetz got the jump on Hayes taking over the top spot. Another caution flew on lap seven when Angie Wolf spun in turn two and collected Saunders. It would be the final slowdown of the event.
Jerovetz went back to the lead as the field came back up to speed steadily pulling away. On lap ten Solem worked past Hayes for the second spot. Jerovetz had built up a ten car length lead on Solem as the race approached the final laps. Wassenberg was able to reach the third spot with five laps to go but each of the front three cars ran a similar pace.
Jerovetz would take the win with a six car length gap on Solem. Wassenberg would settle for third. Josh Long collected fourth and Hayes completed the top five.
Plenty of action lies ahead on the 2012 schedule.
Next week on Friday Night June 29th will see Hansel Trucking make it's debut at Oshkosh Speedzone as a presenting sponsor. Hansel a former Late Model and Midget racer had the distinction of winning a Late Model feature race in his first ever appearance at the track shortly after the track opened around the 2000 season. Hansel Trucking will be providing additional purse money and prizes for the fans including a bike giveaway.
All five divisions will be on hand for the event including Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Leon's Frozen Custards IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn's Service Center Dirt Devils. Nearly 120 cars are expected to be on hand for the program. Racing action will begin at 7:00pm.
Tickets are $10 for adults, with students ages 11 through 15 admitted for $5. Children 10 and under are admitted free with a paid adult ticket.
Several other special events will be upcoming on the 2012 schedule.
The first Tuesday event on the schedule is the annual "Walk of Fame" Night scheduled for July 17th. Each season several drivers from the historic Leo's Speedway are inducted into the Walk of fame representing racing's top drivers from the era. A full point program with all five divisions will gather for this special night. Fans are treated to throwback pricing with $5.00 grandstand admission, along with $1.00 tap beer, $1.00 soda and $1.00 hot dogs.
The next Tuesday Night special will see the return of racing to the Winnebago County Fair will a full show going on during fair week. The August 7th program will again feature all five weekly point divisions.
The final Tuesday Night special will take place when Hansel Trucking will present the WDLMA Late Models in their lone appearance of the season. The fastest fendered cars in the state will be appearing on Tuesday Night August 21st. Joining the WDLMA Late Models will be the debut of the Badger Modified Tour at the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. The finest Modified drivers from the upper Midwest will challenge top local favorites for bragging rights as winner of the inaugural Badger Modified feature winner at The Zone. Rounding out the program will be the Leon's Frozen Custard IMCA Northern Sport Modified division.
For fans wanting to take in two evenings of racing comprising the fastest cars in the state a special "Need For Speed Week" ticket will offer fans a chance to see the fastest cars, just three days apart at a discounted price. The ticket will be good for the Tuesday Night Hansel Trucking WDLMA Late Model/Badger Modified Special on August 21st and final appearance of 2012 for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints on Friday Night August 24th. The IRA Sprints are regarded as the fastest open wheels cars in the Midwest, while the WDLMA Late Models are the quickest full bodied cars in the state of Wisconsin.
Additional information on the "Need For Speed Week" ticket package will be announced shortly.
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. Weekly racing
Friday Night racing continues until September. Fans and drivers are encouraged to visit the track website at www.oshkoshspeedzone.net for additional information on upcoming racing events. Fans can also friend the raceway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thespeedzone and you can receive all the latest updates from the track on twitter as www.twitter.com/thespeedzone.
BUMPER TO BUMPER IRA OUTLAW SPRINTS:
A-Main (Top 15): 1.) Bill Balog; 2.) Scott Uttech; 3.) Bill Warren; 4.) Mike Reinke; 5.) Phillip Mock; 6.) Bill Wirth; 7.) Tommy Sexton; 8.) Brian Portschy; 9.) Wayne Modjeski; 10.) Scott Neitzel; 11.) Kris Spitz; 12.) Todd King; 13.) Johnny Fahl; 14.) Michael Decker; 15.) Jereme Schroeder
B-Main (Top 6): 1.) Scott Young; 2.) Mock; 3.) Andy Hunt; 4.) Rusty Egan; 5.) Decker; 6.) Russel Borland
First Heat: 1.) Kertscher; 2.) Dave Uttech; 3.) Modjeski
Second Heat: 1.) Balog; 2.) Wirth; 3.) Sexton
Third Heat: 1.) Portschy; 2.) King; 3.) S. Uttech
AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY COMPANY MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 15): 1.) Justin Ritchie; 2.) Scott Mullen; 3.) Brian Mullen; 4.) Mitch McGrath; 5.) Jerry Muenster; 6.) Tim Lemirande; 7.) Tom Schall; 8.) Kyle Lentz; 9.) Joe McGrath; 10.) Brian Drexler; 11.) Chris Engels; 12.) Johnny Whitman; 13. ) Mike Klenz; 14.) Matt Klenz; 15.) Chad Bartel
First Consolation: 1.) Schall; 2.) Engels; 3.) Eddie Muenster; 4.) Jason Briese; 5.) Mike Wedelstadt; 6.) Kyle Fredick
Second Consolation: 1.) Mike Klenz; 2.) Craig Priewe; 3.) Drexler; 4.) Ben Stumpf; 5.) Chad Nelson; 6.) Travis Spaulding
First Heat: 1.) Whitman; 2.) J. Muenster; 3.) Shawn Frelich
Second Heat: 1.) John Schultz; 2.) S. Mullen; 3.) Tony Wedelstadt
Third Heat: 1.) Ritchie; 2.) B. Mullen; 3.) Matt Klenz
Fourth Heat: 1.) Lentz; 2.) Robbie Thiel; 3.) Bartel
Fifth Heat: 1.) M. McGrath; 2.) Lemirande; 3.) J. McGrath
LEON'S FROZN CUSTARD IMCA NORTHERN SPORT MODIFIEDS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Troy Jerovetz; 2.) Rod Solem; 3.) Tracy Wassenberg; 4.) Josh Logn; 5.) Kelsy Hayes; 6.) Erik Mahlik; 7.) Brad Lautenbach; 8.) Ryan Besaw; 9.) Kevin Bethke; 10.) J.J. Anderson
Consolation: 1.) Bethke; 2.) Anderson; 3.) Dion Wahl; 4.) Jon Schultz; 5.) Rick Kretschmann; 6.) Todd Ewald
First Heat: 1.) Mahlik; 2.) Solem; 3.) Brock Saunders
Second Heat: 1.) Jerovetz; 2.) Long; 3.) Wassenberg
Third Heat: 1.) Brad Ambroziak; 2.) Raymond Keyser; 3.) Angie Wolf
Fourth Heat: 1.) Lautenbach; 2.) Kurt Moeller; 3.) Hayes
This article was posted to the website on June 23rd, 2012