Schultz wins thriller at Plymouth Dirt Track

by Jeffrey Sachse
Special to The Review

PLYMOUTH – It would be hard for Hollywood to write a script more dramatic than the events which played out at the prestigious 20th Annual Frank Filskov Memorial race Saturday Night at the Plymouth Dirt Track.

Heading into the evening Jeremy Schultz of Beaver Dam, once a weekly competitor in the tough 360 Sprint car division on the tight, third-mile clay oval in Plymouth, led the Bumper to Bumper IRA (Interstate Racing Association) Sprints to the track from his perch atop the point standings.

Still, he had come to the event seeking his first Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprint victory of the season. In spite of an impressive string of eight straight topfive finishes, including runnerup performances the past two events, Schultz had been seeking an elusive win.

He was due for a victory. Add to that the fact on this evening his father Jerry was celebrating his 59th birthday. What better way to honor the man who helped shape his racing career by giving him a triumph.

Jeremy would deliver in a dramatic way – pacing a majority of the 27-lap distance, a length which was chosen to honor Filskov whose number matched the length of the contest. It was the final lap however that got fans on their feet.

Seven-time IRA series champion Bill Balog of Brookfield had methodically picked his way through the field from his 10thplace starting spot, and after the white flag flew he put a perfectly timed slider on Schultz to briefly hold the top spot.

Schultz countered with an expertly crafted cross-over move and he then won the drag race into the final turns where he was able to repel any further challenge from Balog. He packaged up the victory and delivered by less than a car length. It was Schultz’s first series win at the Plymouth Dirt Track.

Chalk one up for a storybook ending except the unscripted action was real.

“I’m ecstatic. Thanks to all the fans, love you guys!” Schultz shouted after climbing from the car. We got it done tonight, I’m excited about that.”

Balog came up just short of his sixth win of the year, having to settle for second.

Mike Reinke of Howards Grove, who at one point in the contest appeared to have the fastest car on the track, was stymied by a late-race caution where he had been running second and was closing on Schultz.

Balog had slipped past Reinke on the restart and Reinke spent the balance of the contest trying to chase down the lead pair, eventually having to settle for third.

Balog finished second. Philip Mock of Pleasant Prairie placed fourth.

Ken Jay Fiedler, Sheboygan Falls, turned in a breakthrough performance this evening. Fiedler, who has won champion- ships at the Plymouth Dirt Track in the former Super Modified class, has been a steadfast competitor in the track’s 360 Sprint division. He battled in the lead pack all night, recording a fifthplace finish.

Ben Schmidt of Howards Grove, who had topped the Bmain this evening, clawed his way forward throughout the contest – earning a respectable sixth-place showing.

For more information on the IRA Outlaw Sprints, log onto www.irasprints.com.


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