Rookie Schultz Is An IRA Sprint Winner
The pair would square off at the drop of the green flag with Schultz getting the jump on Johnson for the opening lead. Third place became a contest of wills between Todd Daun and Scott Uttech.
On lap four Nick Alden who had stellar performance during his last appearance at Wilmot Raceway, lost the handle on his ride looping in turn four forcing the first caution flag.
By this point Balog had already been charging through the pack. Action resumed with Schultz again setting the pace with Johnson and Daun falling into second and third. By lap seven Balog had reached the top five and on the next lap he moved into the fourth spot and began to challenge Daun.
Out front Schultz was setting a pace which allowed him to pull away from Johnson opening up a ten car length lead.
Things became more challenging for Schultz as on lap 12 Raymond Hensley flew off the turn two embankment and the caution flag flew bunching the field.
Schultz once again got a good restart pulling away from his rivals. The third and final caution flew on lap 16 when Phillip Mock did a 360 spin bringing out the yellow per IRA series rules.
The balance of the race would go without interruption. As he had done before, Schultz nailed the restart creating a gap on Johnson who seemed unable to find a way to close on the high flying Schultz. Balog meanwhile slipped past Daun for third and began to reel in Johnson.
With five laps to go Schultz began to encounter lapped traffic and started carefully negotiating his way through back markers. This allowed both Johnson and Balog to begin to close in on Schultz.
Balog, an expert in lapped traffic, found a way to work past Johnson for the runner-up spot working into the position coming off turn two with three laps to go.
Balog then methodically closed the gap on Schultz closing within a car length. Schultz made a brilliant move on the final lap to place a lapped car between himself and Balog, and in doing so was able to create the cushion he needed to score his for first career series victory by two car lengths. Balog would settle for second followed by Johnson making his first showing of 2013 payoff with a third place performance.
Daun earned a solid fourth place showing followed by Scott Uttech who earned the final top five position.