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Posts in 'Plymouth Speedway' Track

Bacon Dodges the Plymonth Rain to Win ISW Opener

July 28th, 2018

Plymouth, Indiana………Brady Bacon actually had multiple races to contend with at Friday night’s NOS Energy Drink “Indiana Sprint Week” opener at Plymouth Speedway.

First, there was the race against the persistent rain that doused the track’s surface with a plethora of moisture and remained a looming threat throughout the feature event.

Secondly, the 30-lap affair consisted of two battles within one: one for the race lead and one he wasn’t even aware of until he had already sewn up his third career ISW victory in his Brady Bacon Racing/Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts – Tony Elliott Foundation/Triple X/Rider Chevy.

“We actually had a tire going down at the end,” Bacon said. “It had a hole in it, but that actually helped me a little on the restart. I didn’t know I had a hole in the tire until (the crew) told me after the race.”

Urgency was at the forefront of matters on this night, but Bacon wasn’t sweating it. It was already in the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma driver’s playbook regardless of the weather.

“I was trying to go as fast as I could,” Bacon said. “I thought we had a decent window there. We got pushed off pretty quickly and the track didn’t take long to work in. You try to get to the front as fast as you can always because you never know when a yellow’s going to fall or when the track’s going to change.”

At the start of the 30-lapper, outside front row starter Chase Stockon raced to the lead outside pole sitter Isaac Chapple following a side-by-side battle into turns one and two.

Chapple instantly fought back on the following lap, driving to the inside of Stockon off the exit of two before Stockon stuck the point entering turn three where he paced the field for the entirety of the first half.

By the 15th circuit, Bacon had been making substantial gains a lane higher than Stockon. Stockon managed to fend off the Bacon charge by a wheel at the line to lead the lap. Stockon hurried into turn one, sliding up in front of Bacon. Bacon hunkered down underneath Stockon’s lost momentum, snaring the lead for himself on the 16th lap.

“We were good through the middle in the heat race, but I wasn’t sure it was going to come in during the feature,” Bacon admitted. “It was packed down so hard and it was slicker than I thought it was going to be. Finally, it got worked in enough, so I opened my entry into (turn) one and was slowing down and hitting the bottom coming off and it was getting hard to do that. He kind of slipped up enough for me to get underneath him and stay clear of him.”

Bacon made like a tree and got out of there as he stretched out his lead over Stockon. On the 21st lap, Chris Windom became a player in the game as he slipped past Stockon for second and went hunting after Bacon entering lapped traffic. Windom advanced on Bacon to pull within a couple car lengths from the lead. Bacon tussled with the lapped cars of Matt Westfall and Shane Cottle for a time before clearing the airway on lap 23.

The feature’s lone yellow flag flew with six to go when 2015 ISW champ Robert Ballou was turned around on the back straightaway while running ninth.

On the lap 25 restart, wide open spaces on the highway lie ahead for Bacon with traffic not playing a role in how this one would be decided. Bacon ran the middle between turns three and four and the bottom of turns one and two with Windom on the scent a few car lengths back. Though Windom appeared to cut the interval down on the entry into the corner, Bacon always was able to launch off the exits to stretch it out time and time again.

Ultimately, Bacon would be unbeatable down the stretch as he defeated Windom by seven tenths of a second. Dave Darland ran third ahead of Justin Grant and KSE Racing Products/B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger Tyler Courtney, who blitzed from 12th to a 5th place finish.

“I slipped up in lapped traffic a couple times and it slowed me down a little bit, but once I got by them, I knew it was going to be hard for anybody to pass me,” Bacon said. “On the restart, I was a little afraid the top was starting to come in. I thought I was kind of a sitting duck there. I was able to not make too many big mistakes. I made a couple, but none big enough and we were able to hold them off.”

Contingency award winners Friday night at Plymouth Speedway included C.J. Leary (Bell Helmets Fast Time Award), Dave Darland (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chase Stockon (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (KSE Racing Products/B & W Auto Mart Hard Charger), Brody Roa (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Shane Cockrum (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier).

Grant Breathes Easy with Victory in USAC Sprints’ First Pilgrimage to Plymouth

April 26th, 2017

Plymouth, Indiana………Early on in Justin Grant’s sprint car racing career, a fellow competitor told him that he wouldn’t last more than eight laps without consciously remembering to breathe while he was racing.

Justin heeded that advice, and a handful of years later, the Ione, California native is finding the greatest success of his driving career. He could breathe easy after all was said and done Friday night after holding off a late-race charge from Chad Boespflug while mired in lapped traffic to collect his second series victory of the season in the first ever visit by the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship to Indiana’s Plymouth Speedway.

The win came as a sigh of relief to Grant after a breathtaking moment in ProSource Qualifying that almost ended his night before it even began.

“I tried to end our night pretty early on during qualifying,” Grant said with a grin. “I was coming to the green (flag) and about spun out. I went ahead, turned around and went back and tried to gain a little composure. I took a breath, came back and restarted my qualifying attempt. I went down into (turn) three on the first lap and all but turned over. Getting into three, my speed and the calculations I was running in my head, I figured I was going to go ahead and make it over the fence. It went ahead and sat down and I was able to salvage a respectable time on the second lap. Fortunately for me, a couple guys missed the transfer through the heat races and that put us on the front row.”

Grant took full advantage of his seat on the outside of the front row, racing to the lead up top as polesitter Thomas Meseraull slid up the track in turn two, allowing Grant to breakaway to a substantial advantage.

By lap three, Grant was ahead by a half-straight. The lead had grown to the length of a straightaway with just five laps down as Meseraull, Chris Windom, Boespflug and Shane Cottle scrambled for positions two through five. Ten laps into the 30-lap event, Grant held a staggering half-lap lead as he began to negotiate lapped traffic.

“I felt like our car was pretty good,” Grant said. “It was launching down the straightaways pretty fast. I was going as fast as I was comfortable going through the holes. I didn’t know we had a straightaway lead or anything like that, but I thought we had a buffer. I couldn’t hear anything. Normally, you can hear a guy behind you, but I couldn’t hear anybody.”

Though he possessed a suffocating stranglehold on all those who followed, Grant’s lead would begin to shrink mightily by the halfway point as the drivers near the tail end of the field were running high, low, top and bottom as they engaged in their own battles for position ahead of Grant’s black and red No. 11.

“Getting into lapped traffic, they were all two-wide for three or four rows in front of me,” Grant recalls. “I was really just trying to keep myself calm, stay patient and wait for holes to open up so I could pick my way around those guys and not get caught up in something I didn’t need to get caught up in.”

Each lap, Boespflug chomped a significant chunk out of the interval between he and race leader Grant. On lap 23, Grant found himself entering turn three as he sought to overtake Aaron Pierce. Boespflug attempted to capitalize on the bottom to no avail as Grant clung to the lead by the cuticles of his fingernails. Grant then found his second wind, disposing of Pierce and Jarett Andretti to set himself free of the mounting pressure from Boespflug.

“I knew we had slowed down a ton in that group of lapped cars. I knew somebody was going to be coming pretty quickly. I was just kind of hoping things would open up. I saw Boespflug poke a nose under me in the middle of (turns) one and two. When I saw him, I decided I had to start taking some chances and be a little more aggressive. I kind of moved our way by a few of those guys and was able to open up a few lanes where I could start sliding guys and move around. As soon as I started clicking a couple lapped cars off, I felt comfortable and confident that we’d be alright.”

Meanwhile, 18th starting Tyler Courtney seemingly came out of nowhere, shooting to the top around Boespflug in turn two with just a pair of laps remaining to grab second. By then, though, Grant was long gone once again where he would pull away for a commanding 3.5 second victory over Courtney, Boespflug, Meseraull and Stevie Sussex.

Grant’s victory in the Sam McGhee Motorsports/Mike McGhee & Associates – Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Maxim/Foxco was his first since the season-opening “Winter Dirt Games” in Ocala, Florida. His sixth career score ties him with the likes of Jac Haudenschild, Jan Opperman, Tom Sneva, George Snider and Dick Tobias on the all-time USAC National Sprint Car win list.

Additionally, team owner Sam McGhee revisited Plymouth Speedway victory lane for the first time in six seasons, but this time, it was in a different role. The now 17-year-old McGhee drove to victory lane after winning a USAC Ford Focus Young Guns Midget feature at Plymouth in 2011 when the track was pavement.

Back to Grant, though, who established the 30-lap mark at Plymouth Friday night during a caution-free, green-to-checker feature finish in a time of 7:36.34 that saw all 22 starters finish. By Grant’s estimation, 30 laps non-stop in a sprint car doesn’t take long, but it can, without a doubt, be taxing on the mind.

Plymouth winner Justin Grant (middle) in victory lane along with second-place finisher Tyler Courtney (left) and third-place finisher Chad Boespflug (right).
(Gene Crucean Photo)

“A sprint car race is 30 laps, but they’re 30 intense laps,” Grant explains. “Things are happening so fast and everybody’s so quick, if the race gets away from you, you’re not getting it back. It’s mentally challenging and you just really have to try and make sure to breathe and that’s the biggest thing, especially when the track’s rough. You actually have to tell yourself to breathe. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out to just keep some oxygen going and to stay focused.”

After four-straight sub-top-ten performances to begin the season, Indianapolis, Indiana’s Tyler Courtney bounced back in just about the most spectacular way imaginable, driving from the outside of the ninth row to finish second without the aid of a single yellow flag in his TOPP Motorsports/TOPP Performance Race Parts – Custom Pump & Controls/Maxim/Claxton.

“This is what we all needed, not only for me as a driver, but as a team,” a proud Courtney beamed. “We struggled at the beginning of the year. We changed a few things this week and it worked out. Our car was the best it’s been in a while. We screwed up in qualifying on a tough racetrack and that put us deep in the field. It makes it pretty hard to win races from that far back, especially with the caliber of guys we have running in the series. You can’t slouch off at any point in the night. Getting behind the eight-ball is tough, but we rebounded to get a podium here in front of a hometown crowd for my car owner who grew up here in Plymouth.”

“I knew we were good from the start,” Courtney continued. “I was hoping we weren’t too good too early, but I was able to find a different line than everybody out there through (turns) one and two, which is where I passed a bunch of guys. I knew once I started seeing Chad (Boespflug), Thomas (Meseraull), Chris (Windom) and those guys, I had to be getting close to the front, but I still couldn’t see Justin. I knew I hadn’t passed him yet, so I knew it was still a long row to hoe. We needed a yellow, but we didn’t quite get one. To get second, I’ll take it. This is the best second has ever felt!”

Third-place finisher Chad Boespflug briefly clamped down on Grant for the race lead late in the going Friday night at Plymouth, yet he also closed to within one-point of Grant for the series point-lead in his Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green – PAC Springs/Maxim/Claxton heading into Eldora Speedway’s “LetsRaceTwo” on May 12-13.

“I just started to really hone in on my line when I got to Justin (Grant) in lapped traffic there,” Boespflug replays. “I tried to roll the bottom a few times and realized I was a little freer than I had been all night. Come to find out, we had a bleeder stick in the right rear, or actually shut off. We just grew too much pressure in the right rear. We got to Justin’s rear bumper there, kind of, and it was just time to try and make some moves. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for us tonight. We slipped back to third there at the end, but overall, great night again.

Contingency award winners Friday night at Plymouth Speedway include Chase Stockon (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chad Boespflug (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Stevie Sussex (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Tyler Courtney (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Landon Simon (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).

Stewart Victory Breaks Balog Win Streak!

June 21st, 2013

Plymouth, WI – Hollywood would be hard pressed to write a better drama than the events which took place on Saturday evening at the Plymouth Dirt Track as Tony Stewart made a guest appearance in the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint program. While “Smoke” may have swept the program, the final laps of the feature contest showcased the talent of the “North Pole Nightmare” Bill Balog who stole the lead with a pair of laps to go in the 30 lap A-main then then went wheel to wheel with Stewart to the checkered flag. In the end Stewart would edge Balog by a car length to take the victory but the battle left an impression on Stewart who commented to an official that the closing laps of the race was the best sprint car event he had participated in this year making referring to the battle with the #17 machine of Balog.

Stewart then climbed to the back of his car to thunderous approval from the crowd and the victory celebration began. As victory lane ceremonies got underway even more thunder took over, as approaching storms which had been threatening the race program all evening finally arrived at the raceway with a downpour which would eventually cancel the main event for the 360 sprints which were also on hand. Stewart would stick around for hours after the event signing autographs and posing for pictures creating memories which will last a lifetime for many of the fans in attendance. Tommy Sexton would join Stewart and Balog on the podium after capturing a hard fought third place finish out dueling several drivers for the spot and then fending off a late race charge by series point leader and leading rookie Jeremy Schultz.

The 30 lap A-main took to the track with drivers and fans well aware of approaching rain. With some 62 sprint cars in the pits between the two classes on hand, drivers had done their part running all the heats races with no cautions and keeping slowdowns to a minimum in the B-main events allowing for the featured event to take place ahead of the approaching weather.

Stewart would start eight on the grid with polesitter Steve Meyer getting the jump on Lance Fassbender to take the opening lead. Mike Kertscher eager to get back to victory lane charged into the second spot by lap two but was overhauled for the position by Balog on the next circuit around the racy quarter-mile oval. Balog wasted little time reaching the lead using the high line heading down the backstretch on lap three. Stewart was also on the move as he had been picking off cars since the drop of the green flag reaching the top five. Balog began to encounter lapped traffic by lap seven, moments later the first slowdown occurred when Fassbender rolled to a stop in the third turn. The cars of Robbie Pribnow and Kertscher became involved in the incident with Kertscher getting assistance to the pit area to work on his car. Fassbender and Pribnow were unfortunately done for the evening. The events was about to go back to green when the yellow flag was extended to hustle a safety vehicle off the racing surface. The additional time allowed Kertscher to return to the track at the tail of the field.

One more lap went in the books when Ryan Irwin lost power in turn one and was clipped by Kris Spritz who was unable to avoid him. Both drivers would retire to the pit area and the incident was the last slowdown of the contest. Balog would lead Meyer and Stewart back to the green flag and fans would be treated to an amazing show for the final 21 laps of the event. Balog bolted away from the pack at the return of the green flag while Stewart went to work on Meyer for second. Stewart would sweep to the outside of Meyer down the backstretch on lap ten powering ahead to grab the second spot. Balog began to encounter lapped traffic at the halfway point but he maintained a six car length gap on Stewart. While fans were focused on the impending battle between Balog and Stewart an impressive duel for third place was taking place between Meyer, Scott Neitzel, Sexton and Schultz as the quartet of drivers tossed the third spot back and forth.

On lap 17, Balog briefly got caught behind a lapped car and Stewart was quick to take advantage of the opportunity powering past Balog for the lead through turns three and four. At the same time Sexton swept to the outside of Neitzel to garner the third position.

Stewart would extend his lead to a full straightaway by lap 20 leaving many to believe the race was well in hand, that however was far from what took place. Balog would rally and slowly reel in Stewart closing within a couple car lengths by lap 25. Diving to the bottom of the track on lap 26 Balog was able to slice ahead of Stewart to retake the lead, leading at the line on lap 27.

For the next two laps Balog and Stewart would exchange the lead at opposite ends of the track with well timed sliders. As the white flag flew Stewart managed to get enough traction to fend off the passing attempt by Balog holding a narrow lead to the final two turns of the contest. Balog made one last ditch passing attempt to try and steal the top spot but the effort came up short with Stewart scoring the win. Balog’s efforts were rewarded with a second place finish with the roar of the crowd nearly approaching that of the cars on the racing surface.

Third place was hotly contested to the wire with Sexton managing to fend off Schultz for the final podium position. Schultz the leading series rookie and point leader recorded a fourth place finish extending his streak of finishing in the top ten in every A-main this season in the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints. Meyer would complete the top five finishing just ahead of Neitzel who held down the sixth spot. Nick Alden was the final car on the lead lap recording a seventh place finish after starting in the 17th spot advancing the most positions of any driver in the A-main.

Kertscher rebounded from his problems early in the contest to finish eighth. Phillip Mock and Wayne Modjeski completed the top ten. 17 of the 22 starters still on the track when the checkered flag fell. All totaled 33 drivers were on hand for qualifying tonight. Stewart by virtue of his draw would be the first car to take to the track in qualifying and he laid down the fast time of the evening. Phillip Mock would set the second fastest qualifying time and Balog was third quick on the evening.

Several drivers were still haunted by mechanical ills in tonight’s program including Mike Reinke who had started out the evening in strong with a fourth place qualifying effort and later earning a starting spot in the main event through his heat. In the A-main however engine problems sidelined the heavy hitter early in the contest. Engine problems also continued to plague rookie of the year candidate Bryon Walters who was unable to participate in any events this evening.

The B-main would see Scott Uttech run away from the field winning the contest handedly. Ryan Irwin would finish second followed by Kris Spitz, Todd Daun, Michael Decker and multi time track champion Ben Schmidt who had numerous titles to his name in 360 action at Plymouth Dirt Track. The top six advanced to the feature from the contest which had 15 starters. The event would be a heartbreaker for Brian Kristan who was making his first start of 2013 as he was in a transfer position until encountering mechanical difficulties with a handful of laps to go. Heat race victories were captured by Stewart, Dave Uttech, Balog and Schultz.

The month of June has one more event on schedule for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints with its first stop of the season at the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway. The show will be held on Friday evening June 21st. The wide, semi-banked third mile clay oval will see the stars of the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints blister the track reaching speeds of up to 130 mph in their 900 horsepower machines. Pit gates are set to open at 3:00pm with the grandstands opening at 4:30pm. Fans are advised to arrive early to get the best possible seating as a full house is expected. Hot laps will begin at 5:30pm followed by qualifying for the IRA Sprints. The first race is scheduled to push off at 7:00pm

In the last appearance at Oshkosh Speedzone Balog grabbed the lead from Reinke near the midway point of the contest to go onto victory. Neitzel would finish second after a late race charge and Reinke claimed the third position. Additional star-power is in the works for the June 21st program as efforts are being made to bring Kyle Larson to the track to display his open-wheeled driving talent behind the wheel of an IRA Outlaw Sprint. Larson’s appearance cannot be confirmed yet as of press time.

The track will be presenting two additional divisions with IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Northern Sport Modifieds on hand. Both Modified classes will be competing in a full point program and the facility is known for its hardcore Modified racing action. Kenny Schrader a NASCAR star known for his short track performances will be making a three race swing through Northeastern Wisconsin and will be participating in the program wheeling his IMCA Modified.

Admission for the special event is $20 for adults with young fans ages 11 through 15 admitted for just $10. Children ages 10 and under are admitted FREE with a paid adult.

Fans can visit the track website at, Oshkosh Speedzone can also be found on Facebook at 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.

For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at or logging onto the series Facebook page at

The IRA Outlaw Sprint Series is proudly supported by Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, Hoosier Tire, Osborn & Son Trucking, TW Metals, Onan, Carriage Auto Body, Polaris DEFENSE, and Mother’s Polishes and Waxes. The office of the IRA Sprints can be reached at 815-759-9269 or by e-mail at

Late Race Pass Nets Balog Sheboygan County Fairpark IRA Victory, Season Win Total Reaches 14!

September 3rd, 2012

Plymouth, WI –The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series is headed into its home stretch as the final month of a very successful 2012 racing season is set to take place. Heading to the Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairpark four-time and defending series champion Bill Balog had been on a tear with back to back victories in the prior two events. On Friday evening Balog would make a pass of Mike King in the closing stages of the 30 lap main event and then survive a late race caution to bump his win streak to three and raise his season win total to 14.

While it’s not set in stone Balog is on pace to capture his fifth consecutive Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint series title and if he were to do so he would break a tie of consecutive championships that he currently holds with IRA Sprint series legend Joe Roe. Balog is also in the running to earn the highest number of feature wins nationwide as his 14 victories
trails only United Sprint Car Series standout Tim Crawley who has earned 16 wins so far in 2012 as the national victory leader in Winged Sprint car action.

26 drivers would check in for action on the tight third-mile clay oval and the show run during the Sheboygan County Fair would see a solid turnout of fans witness the racing action.

On an immaculately groomed racing surface a field of 22 cars would take the green flag for the 30 lap feature contest which began after a unique driver introductory where fans got to see their favorite driver’s trackside before they strapped themselves into their 900 horsepower machines.

Front row starters Dave Uttech and local hotshoe Todd King who resides in nearly Sheboygan Falls set the pace in the early going with King gaining the upper hand on the opening lap. While King set the pace, Uttech, 2011 Wilmot Raceway champion Tommy Sexton, current IRA Rookie point leader Robbie Pribnow, Bill Wirth and Steve Meyer began to mix it up in
the lead group.

Balog, starting the contest in the ninth position next to the evening fast qualifier Mike Kertscher began to pick off cars as he started his charge toward the front.

King meanwhile was setting a blistering pace around the third-mile clay oval having built a solid lead by the halfway point of the event. As if often the case Balog began to make his presence known during the final half of the contest working his way into the second spot before moving in to challenge King for the lead with ten laps to go in the contest.

Balog was successful in taking over the lead position from King who remained within striking distance as the laps began to wind down. King saw his strong performance go awry when he looped his machine while running second with three laps to go in the contest bringing out the only yellow flag of the event. King would retire for the race officially credited with 21st place.

On the restart Balog would hold solid to the top spot while Uttech and Pribnow fought tooth and nail for the runner-up honors. Balog would go on to win the contest unhindered while Pribnow would work into the second position which he
would hold to the finish. Though a rookie in 410 sprint action with the Bumper to Bumper IRA series he has a vast
knowledge of the Plymouth oval having won the most feature races at the track during the 2007 season while running with the MSA 360 sprints. His runner-up performance tonight was his best career run in IRA competition. Uttech who stayed in the thick of the battle throughout the evening was rewarded with a well-deserved third place finish.

Sexton would come home in fourth just ahead of Mike Reinke who completed the top five finishers. Reinke who remains Balog’s closest rival in the title chase has scored an amazing 21 top ten finishes in the 22 events contested so far this season. Russel Borland turned in another strong performance to finish sixth just ahead of the evening fast qualifier Kertscher. Scott Neitzel, Bill Warren and Jordan Goldsberry completed the top ten finishers.

In earlier action Dave Uttech would take top honors in the B-main but would be unable to transfer into the main event when he suffered engine problems as the cars were pushing off for the main event. Warren, Michael Decker, Phillip Mock and Wayne Modjeski completed the top five runner in the B-feature.

Kertscher’s fastest qualifying lap of 11.931 seconds would prove to be the only sub 12 second qualifying lap of the evening. Balog time of 12.089 seconds was second quick of the evening just ahead of Neitzel whose 12.270 second effort was good for third quick.

The series now heads to 141 Speedway for a show on Sunday evening September 2nd. The event marks the third and final appearance of the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series at the track this season. Balog and Kertscher have split victories in the other two appearances at the tight third-mile clay oval this season.

In addition to the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints the 1200cc WIMSA Mini Sprints will be on hand for their first ever visit to the track. Also joining the show will be the tracks own Street Stock and 4 cylinder divisions.

For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at The Bumper to Bumper IRA
Outlaw Sprints can also be found on Facebook at and the series is also on Twitter at

The IRA Outlaw Sprint Series is proudly supported by Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts & Service Centers, Osborn & Son Trucking, Goodyear, TW Metals, Cummins Onan, DNA Energy Drink& Snacks, MPT Industries, UltraLube, Big Game Treestands, Carriage Auto Body, Otis Gun, Mother’s Polishes and Waxes and Polaris DEFENSE. The office of the IRA Sprints can be reached at 815-759-9269 or by e-mail at

Haley breaks track record at Plymouth Speedway

July 25th, 2012

PLYMOUTH, Ind. —Youngster JJ Haley, just 12 years old, broke the qualifying record at Plymouth Speedway Friday night. Haley has been on the edge of making the new mark for about the past six week, finally getting under the old track time of 14.892 in his latest attempt. His time was 14.836. Not only was the qualifying effort his best yet, he also finished
third in the Street Stock race for his best finish of the season. Leading Haley to the checkers was Steve Cristman, and just shy of his first win taking second was Plymouth’s Jeff Stetler. Scott Frost and Robert Read, of Plymouth, rounded out the top five.

Daren Miller was back with a force after a few weeks off repairing an engine for the Hornets series taking the win. Runner-up Sal Bustamante had spent the past several weeks taking the checkers in Miller’s absence. It looks like the two may duel it out for the points lead for the last few races of the season. Nelson Frost was third, giving all three Plymouth natives the top spots. Following was Cameron Mester and Travis Erhard in fourth and fifth.

Steve Stacy fans were excited to see him back at the winner’s podium, sponsored by the R&B Car Company. Stacy drove his Outlaw Late Model to the front and held off Shawn Amor by a short three seconds. The two Plymouth drivers were followed by Craig Cassel, Joe Fadke and Roger Northrup. Points leader Brian Ross finished eighth, so Amor was able to make up a little ground in the standings Friday night.

Amor took second in the Late Models, too, keeping his points lead in the series to around 125, over North Webster’s Kevin Gunkel, who finished sixth in Friday’s contest. Goshen’s Rodney Spencer took the win, and Radical Rich Boal placed third. Rich Segvich and Tom Hellinga finished fourth and fifth.

Another great weekend of racing is coming up with a double this weekend. Friday will bring the Outlaw Late Model, Late Model, Street Stocks and Hornets, with just two weeks remaining for regular season action after this race. Saturday night is the Nitro Crash-O-Rama, brought to Plymouth Speedway by Gertrude Street Metal Recycling. There will be school bus races, trailer races, a cops and robbers event, a road rage event, a motorcycle jump by Daredevil “Wild Ronnie” —through a wall of fire — and RV jumping by Stuntman “Scarecrow.” There will also be a front-wheel enduro race. Pit passes for the
Crash-O-Rama are $30; regular adult tickets are $12. There is a $25 registration fee for buses and trailers; however there is free registration if received before July 26. Check the Speedway’s website for details.

Visit or “like” the track’s Facebook page: Search Plymouth Speedway. Follow us on Twitter, Maggie@plymouthspeedway.

Hagen, Lauderbaugh win Plymouth Speedway asphalt/dirt double Bustamante gets two wins in two nights in Hornets series

July 11th, 2012

PLYMOUTH, Ind. – Monday, July 9, 2012 —Californian Darren Hagen edged Kyle Hamilton Friday night in the Mopar National Midget Series at Plymouth Speedway.

The two battled for much of the 50-lap race on the track’s asphalt Friday. Tracy Hines finished third.

“Starting position for us was everything,” Hagen said. “We were pretty decent for a while, but right through those cautions, we just kept getting looser and looser. We (Hamilton) both slid up the track there sideways when he got under me, but I just got back to the throttle and it drove off straight. I really thought he might try to bump me in the final corner – I was protecting the bottom – and he almost drove by us on the top. He raced us clean and it was a great finish.”

Hamilton said he tried everything, but couldn’t pass the leader. “I tried everything I had there,” he said. “You can’t fault me for lack of effort there. I got pinned up on the outside by Hines toward the end, so I just kept rolling the top and almost got him at the end. It was a great race, just tough to beat a good guy like that.”

The United States Auto Club reported the top-five was completed with a pair of cousins, as Caleb Armstrong was fourth and Dalton Armstrong finished fifth.

On Saturday the USAC pulled the midget series that was scheduled to run on the dirt due to extreme heat, but the 600 Mini Sprints kept to schedule and Nate Lauderbaugh narrowly edged Rodney Stealy.

Rounding out the top five of the 20-car field was Cole Bodine, Austin Thomas and Cole Ketcham.

Sal Bustamante made it a weekend double, winning the Hornets series Friday on asphalt and again Saturday on the Bullring. Friday night, Garrett Saunders took second; Nelson Frost third and Steve Cox fourth; and Saturday, Frost battled for a second-place finish on the dirt track, with Saunders in third and Cox fourth.

Bobby Stremme dominated the Street Stocks Friday night, with Scott Frost coming in second and Derek Wunder third. Joseph Coffin was fourth and Tony Lynch fifth.

Coming up this weekend will be the Hornets, Street Stocks, Late Model and Outlaw Late Models running, beginning at 8 p.m. Adult tickets are $12; children 10 and under are free; pits are $25. Coming up next weekend will be a $2,000 money drop by Oliver Ford, and regular racing along with one-on-one street drags.

Gunkel, Long, Ross, Kaechle winners at Plymouth Speedway

June 9th, 2012

PLYMOUTH, Ind — Kevin Gunkel dominated the Late Model race and a late surge by Plymouth’s Shawn Amor to win Friday night at Plymouth Speedway.

There were plenty of fans in the house to watch the win, as the track hosted $25 carload night, a nickel pitch for kids and a cast for cash event for adults.

Gunkel, of North Webster, said he was happy to beat Amor, one of the track’s toughest competitors. “Amor’s a good driver, and it’s nice to be able to beat a good driver like Amor.”

Wade Berger dominated early, with Plymouth’s Robert Reed and Tippecanoe’s Dave Long close behind until a caution by Pee Wee Warren– also of Plymouth – closed the gap in the Street Stocks. Going green again, just a few laps went by before local driver D.J. Frost hit hard and caused some damage to his car. Berger took the lead from the caution but Long took just two laps to catch and pass him. Plymouth’s Jeff Stetler moved into third, before one more caution by Warren slowed the field again. Long passed Berger and pulled away while Berger and Stetler battled to second and third, respectively.

“Our car was good tonight,” Long said. “I don’t know if anyone in the stands could hear or not, but we were running on 7 cylinders.”

Three cars pulled to the front of the Outlaw Late Models – South Bend’s Mike Shewchuk, Shawn Amor and Flyin Brian Ross, of Plymouth. Shewchuk pulled away while Amor and Ross battled for the second spot. Steve Stacy, also of Plymouth, was close behind in fourth. After a restart, Ross got passed Amor and drove hard to the outside of Shewchuk, who got a little loose in turn 2, allowing Ross to pass. Ross pulled ahead while Shewchuk and Amor finished second and third, with Stacy keeping the fourth spot.

An extra $300 prize awaited the Hornets, provided by Community Wide Federal Credit Union. It looked to be Sal Bustamante’s race as he came from mid-pack to lead by lap 3. A tough break came for Daren Miller, who had mechanical issues in a new car after replacing one he wrecked two weeks ago. Friday night was still a memorable one for him off the
track, as it was Miller’s high school graduation night.

Bustamante was passed by Kelton Kaechle with 7 laps to go, but battled back on the high side until he dipped underneath and almost grabbed the lead back. It was all Keachle to the checkers though, with Bustamante taking second, and Sean Stuart of North Liberty taking hird.

Top Speed Fabrication 75-lap feature will highlight Friday night’s racing next week; while NASCAR champ Tony Stewart will be running in the Sprints On Dirt Saturday night at the Bullring at Plymouth Speedway. Check out the website for ticket prices. Racing starts at 8 each night.