Sprints flip over La Salle; Waite celebrated at memorial race

La Salle SpeedwayBy: Betty Glynn

La Salle, IL – Sunday night at La Salle Speedway Bill Waite, Jr. was remembered in style as the Outlaw Sprint Cars dashed around the clay oval at record speeds. Waite, a lifelong Illinois Valley resident, businessman, and a sprint car driver himself lost his life in an unfortunate accident. In 2008, he was killed aiding a stranded motorist on I-80 while working for his family’s towing business. He left behind his partner, Lynn Anderson, and a barrage of family and friends who still miss him tremendously.

Last year, the Waite family, along with Pace Promotions, created a race in his honor. The event was stopped prematurely following an epic accident that ended with Springfield racer Joey Moughan caught up in the safety fencing between turns three and four. The inaugural event was over before it really got started.

For the 2nd Annual Bill Waite, Jr. Memorial Outlaw Sprint Car Race, the sixth circuit of the first Sprint Heat contest was eerily similar to last year as Moughan, a.k.a. the Show Stopper, flipped near the same area. Again, he walked away unscathed. His flip was just the beginning of a night full of end over end tumbles.

Outlaw Sprint Cars:

Thirty five racers made the trek to the IRA and MOWA co-sanctioned event making their way fromWisconsin,Indiana,Illinois,Iowa,Missouri, andMinnesota. Scott Neitzel had the fastest ride with a timed lap of 11.082. After time trials the heat race grids were set. It didn’t take Scott Biertzer long in the first heat race to jump into a solo run as Mike Reinke held a strong second. A restart of the sixth lap put the field back nose to tail. One lap later, Reinke gave him a low line challenge. As Reinke was taking over, Beirtzer spun on his own ending his chance at the heat win. Reinke took the checkers over Billy Balog and Wayne Modjeski.

Bill Warren was bad fast leading the majority of the second heat contest to capture the checkers.Warrenwon ahead of Paul May, Jimmy Hurley, and TJ Luedke.  The third heat race had a horrible flip before a lap could be scored. Jerrod Hull started sixth in that heat but never gave up. He shot to the lead around Matt VanderVere who led most of the race.Hull’s power plant was maximized as he led the field to the finish line. Korey Weyant started as the pole sitter for the fourth heat and endured a four way battle for the point during the first lap. He managed to find his way out front of the pack and led until falling off the pace with two laps to go. Scott Uttech claimed the win over AJ Bruns and Jordan Goldesberry.

Reinke and Biertzer were the front row starters for the A Main line up. Reinke was quick to pull into the lead. With three laps on the scoreboard, Chris Urish caused a red flag to be signaled when his ride flipped in turn three. Two laps later, Biertzer’s third place run was given up when he spun. Balog was on fire as he seemed to be finding his comfort zone and looked like he had a plan.

The eighth lap was painful for all. Three restarts and still the talented field could not get it started. Bill Wirth spinning got things off to a bad start. Just one thing after another stalled the action. At each glance to the scoreboard it felt like the never ending scene involving Bill Murray in the 1993 Groundhog Day comedy. The event was scheduled as a 30 lapper but was cut to twenty laps.

The final eleven laps were an exciting display of full throttle racing. Balog took charge and held on for his tenth win of the season. The three time defending champion added on to his current points lead with the $3,000 to win victory. Hurley charged hard on the inside of the track for second finishing over Reinke, Goldesberry, TJ Luedke, Vandervere, Moughan, Weyant, Modejski, and Kris Spitz.

UMP Open Wheel Modified’s:

Twenty five UMP Open Wheel Modified racers were on hand for a chance at their $1,000 to win contest. Nick Allen topped the qualifiers with a fast lap time of 14.705. Jamie Lomax, Steven Brooks, and Donovan Lodge each won the divisions heat races. AJ May, Charlie Harmon, Don Cox, Bill Gray and Dale Lueth earned transfer spots after their semi-feature finishes.

Their feature started later than expected at10:51 pm.Lomax was fast out of the blocks and led the  nearly the entire race with Brooks on his heels. As the white flag was about to drop, Brooks spun the leader. A sad state considering there was enough room for a side by side battle by the two impressively talented drivers. A visibly unhappy Lomax was forced to the tail for the restart.

Gary Cook Jr. gave a finish line challenge but Brooks edged him out for the win. Allen took third in front of Ray Bollinger, Lodge, Harmon, Tom Knippenberg, Nathan Balensiefen, Jason Pieshy, Dan Glover, Lueth and Gray.

UMP 4 Cylinder Hornet’s:

Allen Provenzano swept the Hornet division winning the feature event over Jon Provenzano, Rich Bell, JR Brown, Rick Wagner, Rich Zifko, Corey West, Todd Breitbarth, Jerry Legner, Zach Bollinger, Aaron Sutton, Crytal Provenzano Broyles, and Brad Carrington.

Belland Allen Provenzano won the heat races.
Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Car Series Main Event (started), 20 laps: 1. 17B, Bill Balog, Milwaukee, WI (5) 2. 35, Jimmy Hurley, Springfield, IL (8) 3. 02, Mike Reinke, Howards Grove, WI (1) 4. 65, Jordan Goldesberry, Springfield, IL (6) 5. 21T, TJ Luedke, Plymouth, WI (15) 6. 10V, Matt Vandervere, Zion, IL (16) 7. 1mm, Jim Moughan Jr., Springfield, IL (20) 8. 99, Korey Weyant, Springfield, IL (17) 9. 14AJ, Wayne Modjeski, Oak Creek, WI (18) 10. 4K, Kris Spitz, Salem, WI (12) 11. 4B, Scott Biertzer, West Bend, WI (2) 12. 1m, Phillip Mock, Pleasant Prairie, WI (22) 13. 53w, Bill Wirth, Cudahy, WI (14) 14. 95, Bill Warren, Beaver Dam, WI (9) 15. 84, Ben Wagoner, Emden, IL (19) 16. 7, Scott Uttech, New Berlin, WI (10) 17. 71M, Paul May, Terre Haute, IN (4) 18. 44, AJ Bruns, Lincoln, IL (3) 19. 12, Jerrod Hull, Sikeston, MO (7) 20. 5H, Patrick Haynes, Bradley, IL (21) 21. 2w, Scott Neitzel, Beaver Dam, WI (11) 22. 77u, Chris Urish, Elkhart, IL (13) Lap Leaders: Reinke 1-8, Balog 9-20. Hard Charger: Jim Moughan.

Quick Qualifier: Scott Neitzel, 11.082 seconds.

Weld Racing Heat one (started, top four to A, 10 laps): 1. Mike Reinke (3) 2. Bill Balog (5) 3. Wayne Modjeski (7) 4. Scott Biertzer (4) / 5. 14, Kenny Haynes, Bourbonnais, IL (9) 6. Patrick Haynes (1) 7. 23s, Robbie Standridge, Springfield, IL (2) 8. 14x, Joey Moughan, Springfield, IL (8) 9. Scott Neitzel (6)

Lane Automotive Heat two (started, top four to A, 10 laps): 1. Bill Warren (2) 2. Paul May (5) 3. Jimmy Hurley (6) 4. TJ Luedke (1) / 5. Jim Moughan Jr. (7) 6. 68, Dave Uttech, Kenosha, WI (3) 7. Ben Wagoner (4) 8. 11, Mark Brucker, Elliott, IL (9) 9. 41D, Michael Decker, Silver Lake, WI (8)

DMI Heat three (started, top four to A, 10 laps): 1. Jerrod Hull (6) 2. Chris Urish (4) 3. Matt Vandervere (1) 4. Bill Wirth (2) / 5. Phillip Mock (3) 6. 3JR, Mike Martin, Yuma, AZ (9) 7. Kris Spitz (5) 8. 28, Justin Springer, Pekin, IL (7) 9. 58, Tony Bures, Bristol, IN (8)

King Racing Products Heat four (started, top four to A, 10 laps): 1. Scott Uttech (3) 2. AJ Bruns (5) 3. Jordan Goldesberry (6) 4. Korey Weyant (1) / 5. 52F, Logan Faucon, Elkhart, IL (7) 6. 10s, Jeremy Standridge, Springfield, IL (4) 7. 23, Russel Borland, Kewaskum, WI (2) 8. 94, Brandon Thone, Sheboygan, WI (8)

Behling Racing Products B Main one (started, top three to A, 10 laps): 1. Scott Neitzel (1) 2. Ben Wagoner (2) 3. Patrick Haynes (5) / 4. Robbie Standridge (4) 5. Dave Uttech (3) 6. Brandon Thone (8) 7. Mark Brucker (7) 8. Justin Springer (6) DNS – Joey Moughan, Tony Bures

Behling Racing Products B Main two (started, top three to A, 10 laps): 1. Kris Spitz (1) 2. Jim Moughan Jr. (5) 3. Phillip Mock (3) / 4. Logan Faucon (6) 5. Jeremy Standridge (2) 6. Kenny Haynes (8) 7. Michael Decker (7) 8. Russel Borland (4) 9. Mike Martin (9)

UMP Modifieds: 25 Cars

Qualifying: Nick Allen 14.705

Heat 1: Jamie Lomax, Nick Allen, Ray Bollinger, Tom Knippenberg, Justin McCoy

Heat 2: Steven Brook, Travis Kohler, Gary Cook Jr., Tom Bell, Bob Silaggi

Heat 3: Donovan Lodge, Jason Peishy, Nathan Balensiefen, Dan Glover, Brandon Maciejewski

Feature: Steven Brooks, Gary Cook Jr., Nick Allen, Ray Bollinger, Donovan Lodge, Charlie Harmon, Tom Knippenberg, Nathan Balensiefen, Jason Pieshy, Dan Glover, Dale Lueth, Bill Gray, Brandon Maciejewski, Justin McCoy, Travis Kohler, Mike Marden, Jamie Lomax, Bob Silaggi, AJ May, Don Cox

UMP 4 Cylinder Hornets: 19 Cars

Heat 1: Rich Bell, Rich Wagner, Jon Provenzano, Andrew Schwarko, Todd Breibarth

Heat 2: Allen Provenzano, JR Brown, Jerry Legner, Rich Zifko, Corey West

Feature: Allen Provenzano, Jon Provenzano, Rich Bell, JR Brown, Rick Wagner, Rich Zifko, Corey West, Todd Breitbarth, Jerry Legner, Zach Bollinger, Aaron Sutton, Crystal Provenzano Broyles, Brad Carrington, Anthony, Freddie Thatcher, Mark Sutton, Ryan Williams, Andrew Schwarko, Derrick Deford