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07.13.12
BALOG ETCHES NAME IN RECORD BOOKS AS FIRST SPRINT CAR WINNER AT MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY



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By Jeffrey Sachse & Dan Bailey
FOUNTAIN CITY, WI (July 13, 2012) It was a history making night at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY as the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series made its first appearance at the 1/3 mile dirt oval. Fans who visited the raceway which was built just four years ago got their first taste of open-wheeled 410 sprint action and they would not go home disappointed.

The evening was full of anticipation as both the raceway and series officials were fighting incoming weather. Mother Nature teased at postponing the event, as rain began to fall when the 30 lap A-main event began to stage on the front stretch. However, when the brief shower ceased officials were able to push off the field and the event completed before any additional rain arrived at the raceway.

For Bill Balog, the event would be decided coming off the second of three caution periods on lap 12 when he would squirt past part time World of Outlaws standout Brooke Tatnell. From that point on Balog was able to repel Tatnell's challenges to reclaim the top spot. Tatnell had one final shot at stealing the win from Balog after a late race caution setup a three lap dash to the checkered flag, but Balog was up to the challenge securing his eighth feature win of the 2012 season. Tatnell a former champion in his home country of Australia would finish second only three car lengths behind. Travis Whitney a former champion in the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series would cross the line third.

A full field of 22 starters would accept the green flag for the main event which was delayed for 10 minutes as a brief shower passed. Officials knew a heavier storm was less than an hour away and as soon as the rain stopped and the racing surface was in condition for racing the field pushed off to the approval of the crowd.

Scott Uttech fresh off two straight podium finishes at recent events at Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway and the Sheboygan County Fairpark would pace the event from the pole position, while Tatnell would accept the green flag from outside the front row.

With the green flag in the air Tatnell would shoot into the lead while Uttech settled into the second spot. Balog and Whitney who shared the second row for the start were busy trying to decide the third position. Balog, the defending four-time series champion wasted little time in moving forward slipping past both Whitney and Uttech by lap four. Uttech was lowered another notch when Whitney shot by to claim third moments later.

Out front Tatnell had built a small lead on Balog as the pair soon began to encounter lapped traffic. Tatntell appeared to have the speed to maintain the top spot as the first of three cautions appeared when Phillip Mock slowed while trying to exit the racing surface.

One the restart Tatnell, Balog and Whitney were lined up nose to tail. Balog immediately went on the offensive and would find the room needed to claim the lead dropping Tatnell into the second spot before the next caution appeared as Todd King made contact with the wall and came to a stop. King was able to rejoin the contest.

Going back to green flag action Balog went back to setting the pace with Tatnell giving chase. Uttech found a new groove to his liking and managed to work past Whitney for the third position.

At the halfway point Balog, Tatnell, Uttech, Whitney and Scott Neitzel would hold the top five positions.

Uttech and Whitney continued their war over the third spot as the pair would toss the position back and forth until lap 18 when Whitney again secured the position.

Out front, the lead duo of Balog and Whitney were showing their talent, slinging their 900 horsepower machines through lapped traffic with Balog maintaining a small margin.

The torrid pace came to an end on lap 27 when Brandon Thone who had been running in the top 10 came to a stop in turn four. This would setup a three lap dash to the checkered.

As the field roared back to life Balog got a good jump on Tatnell creating the gap he would maintain to the finish.

The leaders were headed for the checkered flag as pair of cars encountered mechanical difficulty. Uttech who had been running in the top five suddenly slowed while Neitzel stalled just off the top of the track in turn three. The yellow checkered was displayed with Balog taking the victory. Tatnell would earn second followed by Whitney.

Reinke would be credited with fourth ahead of Bill Wirth who had another strong showing completing the top five. Earlier in the evening Wirth also captured his heat race fending off the challenges of Balog for the win.

Russel Borland, Dave Uttech, Tommy Sexton who made his return to racing after a wild flip in UASC Sprint action had sidelined him for several weeks comprised sixth through eighth. King rebounded from his earlier incident to finish ninth and Wayne Modjeski completed the top ten.

18 of the 22 starters were on the track as the checkered flag dropped.

In earlier action, Balog established the qualifying standard, with his trip around the raceway in 12.344 seconds. Whitney had held the top spot until Balog's lap and turned in the second quick lap on the day with a 12.390 second effort. Tatnell was third quick with a lap of 12.565 seconds. Nine drivers managed to click off sub 13 second laps.

Heat victories were captured by Wirth, Tatnell and Dave Uttech.

PEMBER STEALS MODIFIED FEATURE

Eric Pember is no stranger to Victory Lanes . . . outside of Fountain City, Wisconsin, that is. As a weekly competitor at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY through the 2012 season, he'd never quite found his way to the front of the field as checkered flags were flying; that changed Friday night as the Pittsville, WI racer pointed his #89 towards the front of the field, worked his way through the pack, and took advantage of a changing racing surface to put on a battle to the finish line that had fans on their feet and cheering!

Starting from the outside of the fourth row, Pember knew that he had his work cut out for him if the evening was going to be entered into the books as a successful night. 2009 MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY track champion John Doelle jumped from his pole position starting spot to lead the opening two circuits of the 25-lap feature event, before multi-feature winner Lucas Schott relieved him of the top spot on lap three.

Just behind Doelle and Schott, first heat race winner Mick Glenn enjoyed a run up near the front, battling first Hank Rollinger, Jr. and then Pember before falling outside of the top 5, and later settling for a solid sixth place finish.

After Schott took the lead on lap three, it appeared as though he was going to settle into a strangle hold grip on the top spot and not give anyone else an opportunity to enjoy it. But, Pember was on his way towards the front, and incoming weather and a changing racing surface played into his hands. "Over the last half or so, the sprinkles were starting to fall," commented Pember after the checkered flag has been waved, "the way the track changed gave me the opportunity to close in on (Lucas Schott) for the lead."

It took the first fifteen laps for Pember work his way through the field and get his car into second place; over the next seven laps Pember slowly but surely closed in on Schott's race leading #69. The final three laps were a dog-fight as Schott came up off the extreme low line that he had been running in an attempt to keep Pember out of the lead, "When I saw Luke come up off the bottom, I knew we were going to have a good battle for the win," said Pember. Racing through the final turn on the final lap, Pember was sure that the win was his and he started celebrating early, pumping his fist in the air out the driver's window of his White City Glass / Molechek Meats Modified as he crossed the finish line beneath the checkered flag.

Schott finished second with Jake Timm, who'd come from a fifth row starting spot, holding off Doelle and second heat-race winner Josh Angst for third.

CLEAN SWEAP FOR ANDERSON

After winning the evening's second Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stock heat race, Hager City, WI WISSOTA Super Stock racer Kelly Anderson didn't even think he'd be racing a feature event. With lightning flashing all around the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY, he'd actually already trailered his Coordinated Business Systems / Knudtson Trucking #8. But with the rains staying away and the call going out through the pit area to get the Super Stock feature lined up in the staging area, Anderson and crew thrashed a bit to get ready, but his #8 was on track in his outside third row starting position when the green flag sent the field into turn one.

Anderson quickly worked his way towards the front and succeeded in taking the lead away from former feature winner Kevin Hager to lead lap four. Following Anderson to the front was Mondovi, WI's Tommy Richards, who'd started directly behind Anderson on the outside of the fourth row. After quickly working his way towards the front, Richards battled Hager for second a bit before taking the spot and then trying to work on Anderson for the lead.

Anderson, however, was in no mood to give up the top spot, and held on for his second feature win of the 2012 season, ahead of Richards Winonan Troy Langowski who completed the top-3. Point leader and first heat-race winner Shane Kisling, finished uncharacteristically deep in the field in the seventh position, the same spot in which he'd started the 18-lap feature.

EMOTIONAL WIN FOR HANSON

Winona's "Fast Freddie" Prudoehl lead a small, but strong field of Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks to the green flag for their 15-lap feature event; and despite the low number, those drivers who were on the track, put on an impressive battle for the night's win.

The top six spent almost the entire feature battling each other for position in the pack as early season point leader Cory Hanson squirted from his starting spot on the inside of the second row to the lead and never once relinquished the top position in the running order.

Holmen, WI youngster Ryan Henderson battled former feature winners Prudoehl, Doug Wojcik, Danny Richards, & Mike Conrad for second, right behind Hanson's Sunset Tavern #79. The battle for second raged on the entire feature with Conrad, Wojcik, Richards, & Prudoehl all swapping positions and attempting to take second away from Henderson.

Contact on the final turn of the final lap turned Henderson's red and yellow GATR Volvo #80 around and sent it slamming hard into the outside wall at the exit of turn four; Conrad collected second Richards third. But it was Hanson holding on to claim his second feature win of the season.

After climbing atop his car in Victory Lane, thrusting his fists in the air to celebrate the victory, Hanson had yet one more battle to fight - against his conflicting emotions. The joy of the feature win was more than offset by the concern for one of his main supporters, "My family is a huge part of racing," said Hanson to the crowd in Victory Lane, "but we also have some great businesses who help out. Tonight we're racing for the owner of the Sunset Tavern who was in a bad accident last night . . ." And that was as far as Hanson could make it, overcome with emotion, the tears of both joy and concern mingled and flowed as he was joined by family and friends in Victory Lane.

BLEESS, FIRST TIME PURE STOCK FEATURE WINNER

13 year-old Andrew Bleess proved once again that the future of stock car racing is in good hands and he took his #2 to the front of the field and collected his very first feature win. The first time winner was literally speechless in Victory Lane, but the smile on his face more than made up for his silence when presented with a microphone in front of the race fans who were cheering for him and his first checkered flag.

Former feature winner Ryan Konkel and first time visitor to the speedway Keith Weber, who'd also won the evening's opening heat race in convincing fashion, finished second and third respectively.

MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY's 2012 season continues next Friday night July 20th with the Baehman B-Mod Challenge presented by Baehman Law! On-Track action begins at 6 PM with the Sunshine Sanitation A and B Mini Mods on the "Lightning Speedway", with competition on the fast 1/3-mile getting underway at 7 PM comprised of a complete program from the River City Manufacturing USRA Modifieds, Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stocks, TheEngineStore.com USRA B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks, REDBOX+ 600 Mods, & Elmer's Auto Salvage MTS Pure Stocks.

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MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY is presenting its 4th season of top-notch dirt track action in Fountain City, WI. The high-banked 1/3 mile dark-clay oval is quickly becoming known as one of the best speedways in the upper Midwest presenting dirt track racing in a fan and family friendly atmosphere every Friday night throughout the racing season.

For all details, keep visiting the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY web site: www.MississippiThunder.com



JULY 13TH - RESULTS



Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints:


A-Main: 1.) Bill Balog; 2.) Brooke Tatnell; 3.) Travis Whitney; 4.) Mike Reinke; 5.) Bill Wirth; 6.) Russel Borland; 7.) Dave Uttech; 8.) Tommy Sexton; 9.) Todd King; 10.) Wayne Modjeski; 11.) Scott Uttech; 12.) Scotty Neitzel; 13.) Robbie Pribnow; 14.) Kris Spitz; 15.) Dennis Spitz; 16.) Andy Hunt; 17.) Darrell Dodd; 18.) Michael Decker; 19.) Brandon Thone; 20.) John Sernett; 21.) Phillip Mock; 22.) Bill Warren



Heat 1: 1.) Wirth; 2.) Balog; 3.) Hunt; 4.) S. Uttech
Heat 2: 1.) Whitney; 2.) Reinke; 3.) Sernett; 4.) Mock
Heat 3: 1.) D. Uttech; 2.) Neitzel; 3.) Tatnell; 4.) Dodd



Qualifying: (Top 10) 1.) Balog, 12.344 Seconds (ESTABLISHES TRACK RECORD); 2.) Whitney, 12.390 Seconds; 3.) Tatnell, 12.565 Seconds; 4.) S. Uttech, 12.657; 5.) Reinke, 12.772; 6.) Thone, 12.821; 7.) King, 12.892; 8.) Mock 12.914; 9.) Neitzel, 12.970; 10.) Hunt 13.037





River City Manufacturing USRA Modifieds

FEATURE
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 8 89 Eric Pember Pittsville , Wi 100.00
2 5 69 Lucas Schott Chatfield , Mn 95.00
3 9 49JR Jake Timm Winona , Mn 91.00
4 1 94JR John Doelle - 87.00
5 10 99 Josh Angst , Mn 84.00
6 3 18 Mick Glenn - 81.00
7 2 59 Hank Rollinger, Jr. - 78.00
8 6 0 Les Duellman Winona , Mn 76.00
9 11 95 Keith Foss Winona , Mn 74.00
10 12 4G Chris Gilbertson Trempealeau , Wi 72.00
11 4 77 Thomas Brink - 70.00
12 7 4X Dan Hesch Acadia , Wi 68.00
13 16 6P Tony Peterson Big Bend, Wi 66.00
14 15 86 Phil Wernert - 64.00
15 17 11 Lance Hofer - 62.00
16 14 45X Bob Fort Fountain City, Wi 60.00
17 13 44 Leroy Scharkey - 58.00
18 18 6T7 Brian Albrecht Winona , Mn 56.00

Modifieds - HEAT 2

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 2 99 Josh Angst , Mn 0.00
2 5 49JR Jake Timm Winona , Mn 0.00
3 7 94JR John Doelle - 0.00
4 1 0 Les Duellman Winona , Mn 0.00
5 6 59 Hank Rollinger, Jr. - 0.00
6 4 4G Chris Gilbertson Trempealeau , Wi 0.00
7 8 45X Bob Fort Fountain City, Wi 0.00
8 3 6P Tony Peterson Big Bend, Wi 0.00
9 9 6T7 Brian Albrecht Winona , Mn 0.00

Modifieds - HEAT 1

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 1 18 Mick Glenn - 0.00
2 3 77 Thomas Brink - 0.00
3 9 69 Lucas Schott Chatfield , Mn 0.00
4 5 4X Dan Hesch Acadia , Wi 0.00
5 6 89 Eric Pember Pittsville , Wi 0.00
6 8 95 Keith Foss Winona , Mn 0.00
7 7 44 Leroy Scharkey - 0.00
8 2 86 Phil Wernert - 0.00
9 4 11 Lance Hofer - 0.00


Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stocks

FEATURE
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 6 8 Kelly Anderson Hager City, Wi 35.00
2 8 7R Tommy Richards Mondovi , Wi 33.00
3 4 88 Troy Langowski Winona , Mn 32.00
4 3 7C Dan Bork Mondovi , Wi 31.00
5 5 34 Jeff Brauer Rochester , Mn 30.00
6 2 94 Kevin Hager Kellogg , Mn 29.00
7 7 6 Shane Kisling Sarona , Wi 28.00
8 11 52 Gary Wiersgalla Fountain City, Wi 27.00
9 10 67W Matt Wolfe Mondovi , Wi 26.00
10 1 47 Jon Duffy Winona , Mn 25.00
11 9 0 Brandon Duellman Winona , Mn 24.00

Super Stock - HEAT 2

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 2 8 Kelly Anderson Hager City, Wi 10.00
2 4 7R Tommy Richards Mondovi , Wi 9.00
3 3 47 Jon Duffy Winona , Mn 8.00
4 5 88 Troy Langowski Winona , Mn 7.00
5 1 67W Matt Wolfe Mondovi , Wi 6.00

Super Stock - HEAT 1

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 5 6 Shane Kisling Sarona , Wi 10.00
2 1 7C Dan Bork Mondovi , Wi 9.00
3 4 34 Jeff Brauer Rochester , Mn 8.00
4 3 94 Kevin Hager Kellogg , Mn 7.00
5 6 0 Brandon Duellman Winona , Mn 6.00
6 2 52 Gary Wiersgalla Fountain City, Wi 5.00


Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks

FEATURE
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 3 79 Cory Hanson Black River, Wi 35.00
2 6 M76 Mike Conrad Independence , Wi 33.00
3 4 3R Danny Richards Mondovi , Wi 32.00
4 5 3D Doug Wojcik Ladysmith , Wi 31.00
5 1 2 Fred Prudoehl Winona , Mn 30.00
6 7 06 Jesse Lutz Winona , Mn 29.00
7 8 5B Ben Goldsmith Chatfield , Mn 28.00
8 2 80 Ryan Henderson Holmen , Wi 27.00

Street Stock - HEAT

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 5 3D Doug Wojcik Ladysmith , Wi 10.00
2 1 79 Cory Hanson Black River, Wi 9.00
3 6 3R Danny Richards Mondovi , Wi 8.00
4 3 2 Fred Prudoehl Winona , Mn 7.00
5 4 80 Ryan Henderson Holmen , Wi 6.00
6 7 M76 Mike Conrad Independence , Wi 5.00
7 8 06 Jesse Lutz Winona , Mn 4.00
8 2 5B Ben Goldsmith Chatfield , Mn 3.00


Elmer's Auto Salvage MTS Pure Stocks

FEATURE
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 3 2 Andrew Bleess Chatfield , Mn 35.00
2 4 13 Ryan Konkel Winona , Mn 33.00
3 5 9 Keith Weber Austin , Mn 32.00
4 1 Z1 Corey Ziemer Minnesota City, Mn 31.00
5 2 77B Larry Dubois Winona , Mn 30.00
6 6 97 Bobby Jr Fort Fountain City, Wi 29.00

Pure Stock - HEAT

Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Race Points
1 2 9 Keith Weber Austin , Mn 10.00
2 3 13 Ryan Konkel Winona , Mn 9.00
3 6 Z1 Corey Ziemer Minnesota City, Mn 8.00
4 4 2 Andrew Bleess Chatfield , Mn 7.00
5 5 77B Larry Dubois Winona , Mn 6.00
6 1 97 Bobby Jr Fort Fountain City, Wi 5.00


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