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Balog Streak Continues in IRA Sprint Action at The Zone!

Baker’s Last Lap Pass Nets Back to Back Victories in Street Stock Action!

August 24, 2012; OSHKOSH, WI – The Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway concluded it’s “Need for Speed” Week with an appearance by the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series thanks to generous support by event sponsor Budweiser. The week was dedicated to bringing the fastest cars in the state to the third-mile clay oval and it concluded tonight with the appearance of the Winged Outlaw 410 Sprints which gave fans a chance to witness the fastest cars on dirt. Turning in laps under the 13 second mark the drivers of these machines once again provided proof they are the fastest cars to sling clay.

Bill Balog the four-time and defending Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint champion collected his second straight series checkered at The Zone having topped the previous event at the track back in June. To score tonight’s victory Balog snared the lead from Mike Reinke when Reinke tagged the backstretch wall coming off turn two with a handful of laps to go in the 30 lap contest. Once out front Balog was on cruise control taking the win in convincing fashion. Reinke who led the first 25 laps of the contest was able to keep his car up to speed and was challenged over the final laps by Scott Neitzel for runner-up honors. Coming off the final turn the pair would run wheel to wheel to the line with Neitzel stealing the position by less than a foot. Reinke would settle for third followed by Jeremy Schultz and Steve Meyer in the top five.

The raceway also presented three of its weekly divisions which participated in a full point program. In the Total Power Sales Street Stocks Mark Barker scored his second straight victory with a last lap pass of Trevor Schmid in an event with a fair share of fender rubbing action. Tim Doehling was able to repel the challenges of Tim Thompson to top the Miller Lite Grand National feature, and Mike Montie once again made his way to victory lane in the Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils.

The Miller Lite Grand Nationals would check in with 21 competitors and the division featured an extremely close point battle. Heading into the program Brian Henry held a slim seven point lead over defending champion T.J. Smith, with Steve Schneider an additional two points back.

The event had just two cautions both for spins by Evan Beattie who was substituting for his sister Arianna Beattie in her car. Otherwise it would be an incident free contest.

Tim Doehling and Rex Karner would make up the front row for the start of the 20 lap Grand National main event with Doehling taking the opening lead. Thompson who narrowly missed the feature win a couple weeks ago charged into contention working his way into the second spot by lap three bringing a hard charging Troy Weich with him. The lead trio would separate themselves from the pack before the first caution for a Beattie spin on lap nine. On the restart Doehling would again set the pace but he soon came under heavy pressure from Thompson who pulled alongside him to challenge for the lead. The pair would toss the top spot back and forth with Thompson nosing ahead on lap eleven and showing the way until lap fourteen when Doehling rallied to reclaim the lead. Once out front Doehling set the pace to the finish to collect the victory. Thompson would settle for second one car length off Doehling’s pace. Brian Gilles made a late race charge reaching the third spot with five laps to go and though he was able to close on second running Thompson he was unable to make a serious bid for the position taking third at the finish. Weich would nail down the fourth spot with title contender T.J. Smith reaching fifth.

It was a tough night for Steve Schneider and Tim Reichenberger who still were in the title hunt heading into the evening. Schneider would be forced to drop from the contest early on diminishing his title hopes. Reichenberger meanwhile needed a strong performance this evening to stay in the championship chase but he would drop from the contest while running fourth which eliminated him from title contention. Brian Henry who finished eighth this evening continues to show the way in the standings by a mere five points over Smith. The championship will likely be decided in the final feature race next week.

While the point battle is close in the Grand Nationals, the Total Power Sales Street Stocks have an equally exciting title chase.

Heading into tonight’s program Richard Garb held a slim four point advantage over Jerry Winkler. Both drivers would have to contend with a wild main event but fortunately neither would be caught up in any incident.

Trevor Schmid found the safest place to be in the feature contest was out front which saw 22 starters take the green flag. Some early fireworks between Jon Ashcraft and Frank Knaus and later an on track duel between Lexii Ashcraft and Dan Knaus set the tone for the event during which a healthy dose to paint trading took place.

Schmid would set a pace which kept him out of harms was and he spent the early portion of the main event fending off the challenges of Frank Knaus. Knaus however would see his night cut short suffering a flat tire while running second after doing battle with Mark Baker for the position. Once Baker inherited the runner-up spot only six laps were left in the contest. Lap after lap Baker would close in on Schmid reaching his rear bumper as the white flag flew. Baker would find room to draw even with Schmid going down the backstretch nosing ahead through the final two turns. Schmid made one last ditch effort to retake the lead but the effort came up short with Baker earning his second straight main event win. Schmid’s efforts resulted in a second place finish.

Garb in the thick of the points battle made a decisive move heading for the finish line to earn third just nosing out Shawn Haydon at the wire. Haydon settled for fourth ahead of Jerry Kope who completed the top five. Garb’s closest point rival Jerry Winkler spent much of the race mired in traffic eventually finishing seventh.

Garb now holds a slim six point advantage heading into the final point night and it’s likely the title won’t be decided until the final lap of the main event next week.

In the Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils, the entry level class turned in a great show this evening running their feature contest from green to checkered.

Andrew Meyerhofer set the pace in the early going of the contest while Hillary Kreutz and Wes Lungwitz did battle over the second spot. Kreutz who earlier in the evening narrowly missed winning her heat race fell to the charge of Lungwitz who took over the second spot and began to chase down Meyerhofer. Mike Montie who had started mid field was also on the charge cracking the top five by lap three.

Lungwitz became the second leader of the contest slipping by Meyerhofer for the top spot on lap five with Montie dropping Meyerhofer another notch on the next circuit. The lead pair of Lungwitz and Montie separated themselves from the field engaging in their own private battle for the top spot.

Montie gained the upper hand on lap ten and once out front he would prove uncatchable taking a convincing win. Lungwitz continued in second to the finish making another strong showing. Jason Fairbank the defending champion and current point lead in the division all but locked up the 2012 title with a third place finish. Fairbank now leads Montie by 31 markers heading into the final night. To secure the title Fairbank needs only to start next week’s feature contest.

Kreutz would earn a fourth place finish this evening on of her strongest runs of the season. Chris Maas completed the top five. The race itself would have a wild finish as Matt Brehmer appeared to have knocked off a fuel line on his machine causing his car to tail a he fireball behind it. Looking like a rocket car as it went around the track officials quick got Brehmer to slow his machine and the fire was quickly extinguished with no injury to the driver and minimal damage to the car.

A very busy week at Oshkosh Speedzone will conclude on Sunday Afternoon, August 26th as the Gladiator Racing Series makes it annual appearance at the track. The enduro based race program will feature twin 100 lap main events for V-8 powered Hobby Stock/Street Stock type cars, while twin 75 lap contests will take place for 4 cylinder Bandit/Hornet type machines. Pits open at 9:30 am with racing to start at 1:00pm.

Additional information on the show can be found at www.racethegladiators.com.

Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway will conclude its point battles next week in all five weekly divisions. LaSure’s Banquet Hall will be presenting the program on Friday Night August 31st and champions will be crowned in the Automotive Supply Company Modifieds, Leon’s Frozen Custard Sport Modifieds, Miller Lite Grand Nationals, Total Power Sales Street Stocks and Lynn’s Service Center Dirt Devils. Over 120 cars are expected for the event.

The 2012 season will conclude with the two-day Fall Classic which takes place on Friday Night, September 7th and Saturday Afternoon September 8th. Six divisions will take place in this year’s show with IMCA Type Stock cars participating in the program for the first time.

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.

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.

BOX SCORE:

BUMPER TO BUMPER IRA OUTLAW SPRINTS:
Feature: (Top 10) 1.) Bill Balog; 2.) Scott Neitzel; 3.) Mike Reinke; 4.) Jeremy Schultz; 5.) Steve Meyer; 6.) Mike Kertscher; 7.) Kris Spitz; 8.) John Haeni; 9.) Andy Hunt; 10.) Bill Wirth; 11.) Tommy Sexton; 12.) Dave Uttech; 13.) Todd King; 14.) Scott Uttech; 15.) Robbie Pribnow; 16.) Michael Decker; 17.) Allen Hafford; 18.) Bill Warren; 19.) Phillip Mock; 20.) Johnny Fahl; 21.) Dennis Spitz; 22.) Wayne Modjeski; 23.) Russel Borland; 24.) Jereme Schroeder

First Heat: 1.) Hunt; 2.) Reinke; 3.) Kertscher
Second Heat: 1.) Balog; 2.) Wirth; 3.) Phillip Mock
Third Heat: 1.) Sexton; 2.) Neitzel; 3.) Schultz

Qualifying: 1.) Kertscher, 12.665 Seconds; 2.) Balog, 12.810; 3.) Neitzel, 12.867

MILLER LITE GRAND NATIONALS:
Feature (Top 10) : 1.) Tim Doehling; 2.) Tim Thompson; 3.) Brian Gilles; 4.) Troy Weich; 5.) T.J. Smith; 6.) Larry Richards; 7.) Terry Van Roy; 8.) Brian Henry; 9.) Tom Schneider; 10.) John Schultz III

First Heat: 1.) Richards; 2.) Rex Karner; 3.) Weich
Second Heat: 1.) Doehling; 2.) Gilles; 3.) Smith
Third Heat: 1.) Thompson; 2.) Henry; 3.) Tom Schneider

TOTAL POWER SALES STREET STOCKS:

Feature (Top 10) : 1.) Mark Baker; 2.) Trevor Schmid; 3.) Rich Garb; 4.) Shawn Haydon; 5.) Jerry Kope; 6.) Mark Schultz; 7.) Jerry Winkler; 8.) Jeff Jungwirth; 9.) Dan Knaus; 10.) Jason Jensen

First Heat: 1.) Baker; 2.) Schmid; 3.) Haydon
Second Heat: 1.) Frank Knaus; 2.) Winkler; 3.) Jensen
Third Heat: 1.) Jon Ashcraft; 2.) Jungwirth; 3.) Schultz

LYNN’S SERVICE CENTER DIRT DEVILS:
Feature (Top 10): 1.) Mike Montie; 2.) Wes Lungwitz; 3.) Jason Fairbank; 4.) Hillary Kreutz; 5.) Chris Maas; 6.) Steve Seehawer; 7.) Andrew Meyerhofer; 8.) Patrick Klawitter; 9.) Erik Kollmann; 10.) Timothy Kundinger Maule

First Heat: 1.) Montie; 2.) Kreutz; 3.) Lungwitz
Second Heat: 1.) Matt Brehmer; 2.) Seehawer; 3.) Meyerhofer