IRA Lightning Sprints
Neau wins 2nd feature of season, claims Wilmot opener in front of record crowd
The return of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series to Wilmot Raceway was also the season opener for the IRA Lightning Sprints as Mother Nature has cancelled 5 events so far this year – 4 of which were Wilmot races. 21 cars signed in – the highest total of the year so far – and again it was the 16 of Mike Neau leading the way in qualifying. Heat races we won by Mark Heinert in the 55 and CJ Malueg in the 13 as he made an amazing pass in the last 2 corners to move from 5th to 1st as the top 5 were bunched up and 3 wide down the backstretch on the final lap. The 6B of Derek Fortier was on the pole for the feature and quickly set a torrent pace for the first 4 laps until it appeared his car popped out of gear and handed the lead over to the 6 of Jeff Schmidt. 3 laps later, the race was red flagged for a multi-car crash on the front straightaway that took out 4 cras – all running in the top 10 at the time. After a long cleanup, the race was shortened from 20 laps to 15 and Schmidt had the K9 of Kiedrowski and Neau directly on his bumper for the restart. Kiedrowski was able to power past Schmidt in 1 and 2 and Neau would follow in 3 and 4 and the two would begin to pull away until a second red flag for a single car accident with 3 laps to go bunched the field up yet again. This time Neau was able to get under Kiedrowski on the restart after drag racing side by side down the backstretch and hold on for his 2nd win of the season. The ILS will be back in action at Wilmot raceway next Saturday, July 16th.
Photo Credit: Mike Weber
Submitted By: Mike Neau