Balog outduels NASCAR Cup Series driver to win in Wisconsin
North Pole’s Bill Balog beat all comers at the Plymouth Dirt Track on the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Wisconsin, including NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe.
The ‘North Pole Nightmare’ took the lead for good on the sixth lap of the 30-lap sprint car race on the clay oval and then held off challenges from several drivers to collect his 132nd A-main victory in the Interstate Racing Association.
On lap six, Balog blew by Briscoe in heavy traffic to take the lead. On lap eight, two-time IRA champion Scotty Neitzel charged in to briefly pressure Balog for the lead as the leaders weaved their way through slower traffic.
Former IRA champion Jake Blackhurst turned up the heat to close in on Balog on lap 20, but Balog pulled away down the stretch to collect his fifth A-main win of the 2021 season.
Balog, 40, is believed to be the most successful sprint car driver from Alaska. He grew up racing motorcross and snowmachines before turning his attention to sprint cars in 2000.
He went from racing on Saturday nights in Fairbanks to racing for a living in the Upper Midwest. The son of a race car driver, Balog first moved to Washington to chase his racing dreams before going to Wisconsin.
In his first season in the IRA, he was named Rookie of the Year. He has dominated the racing series since then, racking up a record 10 championships in the season points race. In addition to his IRA success, he owns a 2016 win in the prestigious World of Outlaws series.