BDR CONTINUES TO PRODUCE NEW WINNERS IN IRA ACTION
May 9, 2015; Beaver Dam, WI – It had been some time in the making, but the Rhine Auto Motorsports team, and it’s driver Ben Schmidt had been destined for victory lane, it was simply a matter of when, and if their luck would hold.
Snake bit on several occasions the past couple seasons, Schmidt avoided mechanical issues, and outran Phillip Mock, and a hard charging Blake Nimee to earn his first career victory with the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints. Aside from an initial red flag incident the 30 lap main event clicked off 30 laps in rapid fashion running from green to checker.
The smooth racing surface of the third mile, banked oval provided plenty pedal down racing as Schmidt ran, and hid from Nimee throughout the majority of the contest, with Mock taking over second in the closing laps. Neither driver was able to move within striking distance of Schmidt who held a dozen car length lead as the checker flag fell.
“This feels like the first win of my career”, exclaimed Schmidt after returning to the ground for an interview after having climbed the wing of his car to salute the fans from victory lane. Schmidt who had tasted victory often in 360 Sprint action, most notably at the Sheboygan County Fairpark, where he holds multiple championships was able to bask in the glory of his first 410 sprint win this evening.
Schmidt pretty much ran the entire 30 laps with his foot planted firmly on the gas. “I kept looking over my right rear looking for someone to try and pass. No one ever came”, noted Schmidt.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying by his competitiors.
When the initial green flag waved the 24 car field came up to speed only briefly as fourth row starters Mike Reinke, and Travis Whitney touched briefly sending Reinke into a series of tumbles. The incident also collected, 2013 IRA Rookie of the Year titlist Jeremy Schultz. Both Whitney, and Schultz would be able to rejoin the action, while Reinke’s broken machine was relegated to the pit area.
Underway again polesitter Jason Johnson burst in opening lead, while Schmidt who started outside the front row scrambled to make the high side work.
Johnson was credited with leading the initial circuit before Schmidt overhauled him for the top spot. Once out front Schmidt began to check out on the field.
Johnson held fast to the second spot while Scott Uttech, Nimee, and Mock did battle for the third position. Nimee, surged past Uttech on the outside for third on lap six and then began to reel in Johnson.
By lap ten Schmidt already began to lap back markers weaving in, and out of traffic while maintaining his lead. Nimee used lapped machine to his advantage bolting past Johnson on lap 11 to snag second.
Once into second Nimee now fought to close on the straightaway lead Schmidt had built up. Deeper in the field Mock began his effort to advance. He worked past both Uttech, and Johnson for third and began to shadow Nimee.
As the race continued Schmidt kept his margin at the front. When the final circuits came into view Schmidt found himself having to work extra hard to pass lapped cars. This allowed Nimee to close within a dozen car lengths. Mock meanwhile began to surge, finding additional speed in his #1m machine that he had twice put in victory late at Beaver Dam Raceway last season. Inside the final five circuits Mock moved into second, and began to slice away at Schmidt’s margin.
The effort was too little, too late however as Schmidt reached the finish line first. Mock, who scored his first career Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Car victory at Beaver Dam last year, had to settle for second this evening. Nimee held fast to his first career podium finish. His third place effort marking his best run in the series.
Johnson’s smooth driving was rewarded with a fourth place effort also a career high run. Fast qualifier Bill Rose nailed down the final top five spot with a solid drive from the 9th starting spot. Rose, the series point leader, has three consecutive top five performances so far this season.
Jordan Goldesberry netted a sixth place run, followed by Steve Meyer. Meyer coming from the 20th spot had advanced the most positions of any driver in the race. Scott Biertzer netted the eighth spot followed by the highest finishing rookie in the race Kyle Marten who earned ninth. Scotty Thiel, who also won his first career IRA victory at Beaver Dam in an event last season, rounded out the top ten finishers.
In earlier action Kris Spitz turned in a dominating performance to top the B-main. Wayne Modjeski, Nick Alden, Russel Borland, Brandon Thone and Jereme Schroeder followed in the top six to transfer to the A-main. Josh Walter who rebounded from a devastating crash two weeks ago finished seventh just missing the A-main.
Schultz, Dave Uttech and Schmidt captured heat race victories.
Rose turned in the fastest lap of the 30 cars that attempted to qualify this evening setting a mark of 11.955 seconds. He was the only driver to crack the 12 second barrier. Reinke was second quick with a lap of 12.257 seconds and Whitney was third fast with a lap of 12.260 seconds. The top 27 cars all qualified within one second of the fastest time making for an extremely competitive field.
The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series will now head to Wilmot Raceway located in Southeastern Wisconsin for the first of five appearances this season. The show is next Saturday night, May 16th.
For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at www.irasprints.com or by logging onto the series Facebook page at www.facebook.com/irasprints the series is also on twitter at #IRA_sprints.
The IRA Sprints are presented by its long time supporting series partners. The series support is led by title sponsor Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, and associate series partners Osborn & Son Trucking, TW Metals, Hoosier Tire, Cedar Creek Motorsports, Cummins Onan, and Carriage Auto Body.