12/14 Wisconsin Dells, WI – The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series closed out 2012 in style with their annual awards banquet Friday night. The Crystal Room of Buffalo Phil’s Grille, part of the Great Wolf Lodge resort property located in the popular Wisconsin Dells vacation area, proved to be an outstanding location for the gala. Over $70,000 in cash awards were distributed to 18 well deserving teams, based upon participation requirements. In addition to the healthy point fund, all eighteen teams shared in the popular IRA contingency product drawing which had teams winning such prizes as chassis, cylinder heads, wings, helmets, drive line components, shocks, wheels, a steering gear, and much more.
The night began with a wonderful 14 minute music video tribute of IRA’s 2012 season presented by Grandstand Video’s Jeff Fischer. IRA President Steve Sinclair welcomed the large gathering, recognizing several in attendance before turning the microphone over to emcee Justin Zoch.
Bill Balog was honored for his unprecedented 5th consecutive Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series championship. Balog, who a set modern day IRA record by winning 18 of 28 series events in 2012 aboard his Buesser Concrete / Hoeft Builder #17b Maxim, took home the $10,000 champion’s check, plus an additional $500 as the Osborn & Son Trucking / TW Metals Fast Timer for accumulating the most qualifying points throughout the season which included 12 fast times, and another $300 bonus for his perfect attendance. And lastly Balog won $200 from Carriage Auto Body for accumulating the 2nd highest point total of the 5 IRA races conducted at the Wilmot Raceway. Balog’s final take was $11,000 in cash awards! Bill also took home numerous contingencies highlighted with prizes from Super Shox and Simpson.
Robbie Pribnow was named Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series Rookie of the Year. Pribnow received an additional $1250 cash bonus for the achievement on top of his point fund earnings. Pribnow who finished a solid 8th in the final point standings despite being forced to run several events with his back-up 360 powerplant after losing his 410 on two separate occasions. Pribnow persevered however as he too pocketed an additional $300 for perfect attendance. Pribnow was honored by R&H Enterprises for his R.O.Y. accomplishment with a complete Winters front-end assembly, and would later would add a new Bell helmet to his nights’ take from the product drawing. Pribnow also grabbed a $200 product bonus from Behling Racing Equipment for winning the most B-mains in 2012.
Cousins Dave & Scott Uttech were the first ever co-recipients of the prestigious Rick Schmidt Memorial IRA Member of the Year Award which was presented this year by Al Schmidt. Scott’s night would continue on a high note as he won a Maxim chassis moments later in the Maxim / Gleason Equipment drawing among teams who either finished in the top ten in points or had 100% attendance utilizing a Maxim. Scott finished 10th in points.
The Mechanix Wear Mechanic of the Year Award also had co-recipients this year. Ralph Schmitt who turns the wrenches for series runnerup Mike Reinke (Reinke led the series with 25 top 10 finishes), and Matt Myers from the Balog team each won a $250 certificate from Mechanix Wear, plus some other prizes courtesy of All-Star Performance.
Phillip Mock and Russel Borland shared Most Improved Driver honors finishing 4th and 5th in points respectively.
Tommy Sexton’s #83 was recognized as the Mother’s Wax and Polishes Best Appearing Car.
Mike Kertscher, Balog, and Reinke were cash recipients based upon a bonus posted by Carriage Auto Body’s Ken Iles awarded to the top 3 in point accumulation in IRA’s 5 races held at Wilmot Raceway.
IRA Appreciation Awards were presented by Sinclair to Iles who in addition to posting the Wilmot bonus also put up bonus money making the Kenosha County Fair’s Roger Iles Tribute at Wilmot the highest “to win” event on the schedule ($7200 was won by Paul May), and so importantly Iles provided the series the use of his custom Chevy dually for the season which was desperately needed to tow a series support trailer. Other honorees included Fischer for his video prowess, push truck driver Dan Zborowski, series official Kevin Spease, and valuable safety team member Lee Smith. All have proven themselves to be extremely dedicated and essential for the overall success of the series.
The popular contingency drawing provided each team with additional goodies, with 17th place Mike Decker winning the chance to draw first, picking a new 2013 Maxim chassis from the prize closet. After all the teams picked their packages which also included product from All-Pro Cylinder Heads, Velocity, Afco, Weld, DMI, KSE, Brodix, HRP, FK, Super Shox, M&W, Wix, Outerwears, R2C, MSD, Schoenfeld, Simpson, Weld, Wilwood, PRO, Bell, Karavan, All-Star, King, Auto Meter, R&H, Behling, Design 500, Saldana, J&J, Winters, Mason, Hilborn, and Competition Specialists.
Phillip Mock won the HRP bonus drawing providing him with a new top & nose wing which comes complete with a replacement program for 2013 which would provide Mock up to 4 top and nose wings to use this upcoming season.
Other series sponsors for 2012 included Goodyear, Cummins Onan, Big Game Treestands, MPT Industries, Ultra Lube, Otis Gun, and Polaris DEFENSE.
IRA would like to thank Melissa Reinke and Heidi Warren for coordinating the banquet with the fine folks at The Great Wolf Lodge.
IRA wants long time treasurer Dick Symoens to know his presence throughout the season was missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with him as he continues to fight his courageous battle with cancer.
The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series plans on beginning the 2013 season on Saturday April 20th at the Oshkosh Speedzone.
Final 2012 IRA Point Standings…… point fund eligible teams
1. Bill Balog
2. Mike Reinke
3. Scotty Neitzel
4. Phillip Mock
5. Russel Borland
6. Mike Kertscher
7. Kris Spitz
8. Robbi Pribnow
9. Bill Wirth
10. Scott Uttech
11. Bill Warren
12. Tommy Sexton
13. Brandon Thone
14. Dennis Spitz
15. Dave Uttech
16. Wayne Modjeski
17. Mike Decker
18. Darrell Dodd