By Jeffrey Sachse
September 8, 2012; New Richmond, WI – One of the most prestigious and highly anticipated events of the 2012 Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint schedule is the Jerry Richert Memorial race at Cedar Lake Speedway. The Richert family puts countless hours into making the event a success and that includes one of the best payouts in 410 Sprint Car action in the Midwest.
Over the years winners taking home top honors in the event represent some of the finest drivers to wheel a 410 sprint. This year, IRA star Mike Kertscher added his name to the list by leading the contest wire to wire and in the process pocketed a healthy $5,000 winner’s check by topping the 12th Annual Jerry Richert Memorial event.
The victory was Kertscher’s third of the 2012 season in IRA competition having captured victories at 141 Speedway and Beaver Dam Raceway earlier this summer.
31 drivers would check into the pit area and when timing was complete Brooke Tatnell found himself atop the leaderboard when he turned in a blistering lap of 10.757 seconds around the banked three-mile oval. That time equaled the track record set by Terry McCarl back in 2004.
The main event saw 22 starters take the green flag with the opening laps having their fair share of cautions. Kertscher had captured the opening lead when four-time IRA champion and current point leader Bill Balog looped his machine forcing the first caution. Balog would restart at the tail of the field. Under caution Austin Johnson had the engine fail in his machine making him the first DNF of the event. One more lap went in the books when Skylar Prochaska making his first IRA start of the season in his #35 machine spun. The next restart would see two-time IRA champion Travis Whitney tumble down the front stretch after contact with another car. Racing finally resumed in earnest with Kertscher again assuming command while Davey Heskin, Mark Dobmeier and Tatnell give chase. Phillip Mock’s machine would slow on the track coming to a halt on lap eight resulting in the field again bunching up on Kertscher’s rear nerf bar. With the green flag again waving Kertscher pulled away from Dobmeier who continued to fend off the challenges of Tatnell, Heskin and Justin Henderson.
Kertscher was able to extend his lead with each passing lap as the event passed the halfway point of the contest. On lap 21 current point runner-up Mike Reinke experienced an engine failure but was able to pull off the racing surface. The DNF for Reinke would mark only the second time this season that he failed to finish in the top ten. With seven laps to go in the contest Scott Winters, the evening second fastest qualifier rolled to a halt on the track forcing the final caution flag to fly.
In the dash to the checkered flag Kertscher was able to comfortably hold onto the top spot outrunning Dobmeier for the victory. Tatnell would lay claim to a third place finish. Henderson would finish in the fourth spot ahead of a fast closing Balog who hard charged from the tail of the field up to fifth by the checkered flag. Heskin, Jody Rosenboom, Jim Moughan, Scott Neitzel and Steve Meyer completed the top ten finishers. 17 of the 22 starters were still on the track at the conclusion of the event with 16 drivers still on the lead lap.
Earlier in the evening a B-main was needed to fill the final spots for the main event. The race was captured by Kris Spitz who outran Scott Uttech and Wayne Modjeski for the victory. Among the cars transferring from the B-main to the feature contest Brett Triplett made the most progress taking 11th.
Heat victories were taken by Prochaska, Johnson and Kertscher.
Only three races remain for the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints before the 2012 season concludes. First up is the Frank Filskov Memorial event held at the Sheboygan County Fairpark on Saturday, September 15th. The following Saturday Night on September 22nd the rain delayed Jim Wipperfurth Memorial event will take place at Beaver Dam Raceway. The 2012 Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint Season will conclude at the Dodge County Fairgrounds on Saturday Night September 29th.
For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints check out the tour website at www.irasprints.com The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/irasprints and the series is also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ira_sprints
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 email@example.com.
A-Main: 30 Laps: 1.) Mike Kertscher; 2.) Mark Dobmeier; 3.) Brooke Tatnell; 4.) Travis Henderson; 5.) Bill Balog; 6.) Davey Heskin; 7.) Jody Rosenboom; 8.) Jim Moughan; 9.) Mike Neitzel; 10.) Steve Meyer; 11.) Brett Triplett; 12.) Kris Spitz; 13.) Russel Borland; 14.) Robbie Pribnow; 15.) Scott Uttech; 16.) Skylar Prochaska; 17.) Phillip Mock; 18.) Scott Winters; 19.) Mike Reinke; 20.) Wayne Modjeski; 21.) Travis Whitney; 22.) Austin Johnson.
B-Main: 15 Laps: (Top 10): 1.) K. Spitz; 2.) Uttech; 3.) Modjeski; 4.) Pribnow; 5.) Triplett; 6.) Mock; 7.) Borland; 8.) John Sernett; 9.) Brandon Thone; 10.) Rob Kubli
First Heat: 1.) Prochaska; 2.) Balog; 3.) Heskin; 4.) Tatnell
Second Heat: 1.) Johnson; 2.) Reinke; 3.) Winters; 4.) Moughan
Third Heat: 1.) Kertscher; 2.) Neitzel; 3.) Henderson; 4.) Rosenboom
Qualifying (Top 10): 1.) Tatnell, 10.757 Seconds (Ties Track Record); 2.) Winters, 11.965 secs; 3.) Henderson, 11.213 secs; 4.) Whitney, 11.233; 5.) Dobmeier, 11.238; 6.) Meyer, 11.318; 7.) Heskin, 11.337; 8.) Reinke, 11.375; 9.) Rosenboom, 11.402; 10.) Balog, 11.532
1. 6-Kaley Gharst; 2. 29-Leigh Thomas; 3. 64-Scotty Thiel; 4. 45-Tony Norem; 5. 20G-Chris Graf; 6. 37-Sye Anderson; 7. 34-Rick Kobs; 8. 9-Jared Goerges; 9. 15-Chad Patterson; 10. 20-Jordan Wilmes; DNF 36-Jason Tostenson; DNF 95-Kevin Bradwell; DNF 93-Derrik Lusk; DNF 86AU-Brooke Tatnell; DNF 63-Jerry Richert Jr; DNF 5-Anna Kouba; DNF 3TK-Tony Kaus; DNF 13-Dan Grams; DNS 91-Mark DobmeierLap Leaders: Thomas 1-8, Gharst 9-20. Cautions: (2)
1. 64-Scotty Thiel; 2. 91-Mark Dobmeier; 3. 93-Derrik Lusk; 4. 9-Jared Goerges; 5. 34-Rick Kobs; 6. 63-Jerry Richert Jr; 7. 15-Chad Patterson; 8. 95-Kevin Bradwell; DNF 86AU-Brooke Tatnell; DNF 13-Dan Grams
1. 6-Kaley Gharst; 2. 29-Leigh Thomas; 3. 20G-Chris Graf; 4. 36-Jason Tostenson; 5. 37-Sye Anderson; 6. 45-Tony Norem; 7. 5-Anna Kouba; DNF 3TK-Tony Kaus; DNF 20-Jordan Wilmes
1. 63-Jerry Richert Jr; 2. 36-Jason Tostenson; 3. 91-Mark Dobmeier; 4. 29-Leigh Thomas; 5. 34-Rick Kobs; 6. 20-Jordan Wilmes; 7. 45-Tony Norem
1. 6-Kaley Gharst; 2. 93-Derrik Lusk; 3. 37-Sye Anderson; 4. 9-Jared Goerges; 5. 3TK-Tony Kaus; 6. 15-Chad Patterson
1. 86AU-Brooke Tatnell; 2. 20G-Chris Graf; 3. 64-Scotty Thiel; 4. 5-Anna Kouba; 5. 95-Kevin Bradwell; DNF 13-Dan Grams