PLYMOUTH, Wis. — It was a long time coming for the 10-time IRA Outlaw Sprint Series champion, but Bill Balog finally earned his first FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory in front of a packed house Saturday night at the Plymouth Dirt Track.
Balog, driver of the B Squared Motorsports/Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup/CK Contractors LLC/Buesser Concrete/Wisecup Siding, Howard Law/Wayne Corini CPA/No. 17b sprint car, led 26 laps of the non-stop 30-lap program, utilizing his front row starting position to set up his eventual slider for the lead over Ian Madsen on lap five.
From that point forward, it was all Balog, cruising on to secure the All Stars versus IRA challenge win for a $6,000 top prize.
“This is unbelievable. I didn’t want to give that one away, I’ll tell ya,” Balog said. “I can’t believe we finally did it. These All Star guys are really competitive. They don’t like to give wins away. I’ve been very welcomed with this Series and it’s awesome, but at the same time, the drivers and teams are really intense. They don’t want you to win.”
It was a convincing victory, nonetheless, actually charging out to a near-half-track advantage by halfway. But the North Pole, Alaska, transplant did have some opposition during his campaign, all of which in the form of lapped traffic. Slower cars entered the picture for the first time on lap eight, not distracting Balog initially, as the all-time IRA win leader put most of the back runners a lap down with ease.
It was not until lap 22 when things started to get interesting.
With victory less than 10 laps away, a wall of traffic consisting of eight cars flooded the racing lane ahead of Balog. Maneuvering methodically, Balog withstood the mess, getting crossed up on the cushion only once.
Without saying, Balog held strong, ultimately crossing under the final checkers with a margin of victory of six seconds.
“I was probably pushing a little too hard,” Balog said. “Honestly, when I slowed down a little bit, I got really tight. So I just had to go pretty much as hard as I could the whole time. You can almost hear the guys behind you even if they’re not there. It makes you push harder. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
“All I could think about when I got to the mess of lapped cars was ‘don’t spin out in front of me,’” Balog continued. “My car was so good, so I could slide them when I got to them.”
Ian Madsen finished second, followed by Rico Abreu, Spencer Bayston and Tyler Courtney.
Feature (30 laps): 1. 17B-Bill Balog ; 2. 11-Ian Madsen ; 3. 24-Rico Abreu ; 4. 13-Spencer Bayston ; 5. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 6. 5-Paul McMahan ; 7. 26-Cory Eliason ; 8. 91-Kyle Reinhardt ; 9. 4-Cap Henry ; 10. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 11. 10-Zeb Wise ; 12. 51B-Joe B. Miller ; 13. 21-Carson Short ; 14. 5J-Jeremy Schultz ; 15. 65-Jordan Goldesberry ; 16. 20R-Robbie Pribnow ; 17. 8M-TJ Michael ; 18. 39-Jake Blackhurst ; 19. 97-Greg Wilson ; 20. O7-Skylar Gee ; 21. 49-Josh Schneiderman ; 22. 9K-Kyle Schuett ; 23. 68-Dave Uttech ; 24. 29-Hunter Custer 
Lap Leaders: Ian Madsen (1-4), Bill Balog (5-30)