ILS Club Reminders:
Awards Banquet is Saturday Dec 7 at 6:30 PM at 1175 Sports Park and Eatery in Kansasville. $25 per person checks made out to the IRA are required in advance, by November 22. Send the checks to:
5917 1st Pl
Kenosha, Wi 53144
Your 2020 ILS Board Members are:
Larry Neau (Alternate)
CJ claims 6th feature, Neau clinches 1st championship, Douglas earns Rookie of the Year honors!
12 cars signed in for the season finale at Plymouth Dirt Track. The event, dubbed as the “Wisconsin State Sprint Car Championships”, saw the pits full with over 100 cars across 4 sprint car divisions. Coming into championship night, the 16 of Mike Neau held a 22 point lead over the 55H of Mark Heinert. Last week after taking his 3rd victory of the season, Heinert cut 18 points off of Neau’s previous lead so the 22 point deficit was definitely in striking distance for Heinert. The duo would qualify 1st and 2nd with Heinert grabbing his 4th quick time of the year. This would put each driver starting 4th in their heat races. Heinert was able to bring home a 2nd place finish in heat 1 and Neau would win his heat race, narrowly extending the lead to 23 points before the feature. The “3” pill was drawn and that would line up Neau 5th and Heinert 6th for the 20 lap A-Main. Mike Unger in the 76 would lead the field to green from his pole position starting spot but quickly yield the point to the 13 of CJ Malueg who started to his outside. Heinert was up to 3rd on lap 1 as Neau remained in 5th. Heinert was able to navigate past Unger and claim the 2nd spot on lap 2 as Neau advanced to 4th and started working on Unger for 3rd. Meanwhile, Malueg had open track and found a fast groove around the middle where rubber was deposited from the previous sprint A-mains. Once Neau passed Unger for 3rd, the top 3 broke away from the field but no one was gaining on anyone until they reached lapped traffic. Malueg was able to get through the traffic the best without altering his line too much and lapped up to 5th place, taking the white flag just as Unger spun in front of him in 1 and 2 bringing out a yellow and setting up a 2 lap green-white-checkered finish. Malueg would hold on and bring home his 6th feature win of the season, with Heinert and Neau rounding out the podium. The 01 of Ron Brannam stole the 4th spot on the final turn and claimed the hard charger by advancing 5 spots. Neau would hang on to his point lead and be crowned this season’s champion and the 5k of Kevin Douglas would earn Rookie of the Year honors in the most impressive showing by a rookie this series has seen in quite some time despite not being in attendance at the season finale.
Mike Neau 2019 ILS Champion
Kevin Douglas 2019 ILS Rookie of the Year
CJ Malueg 9-28-2019 Feature Winner at Plymouth
Heinert Takes the Sycamore Feature and Makes ILS History
13 cars returned to Sycamore Speedway on 9/14. CJ Malueg was once again back atop the leader board after qualifying by setting a quick time of 14.633. Malueg was able to use that speed in the heat race as he was able to rocket around the top to the lead from his fourth place stating position on the opening lap of his heat race and go on to win. The 6 of Jeff Schmidt was also able to do the same from his outside front row starting position to claim heat 2. The feature saw the 4 pill again and another deep invert. Schmidt once again found himself on the outside of the front row at the drop of the green and was able to get out to an early lead, but the seas parted and Heinert and Malueg were able to charge towards the front on the opening corner. Schmidt would lead Heinert and Malueg for the next 9 circuits. As the leaders approached lap traffic, Malueg would make a run to the inside of Heinert but it wasn’t enough. This allowed the 5K of Kevin Douglas to close in on Malueg and the pair would battle and trade spots over the next few laps. Heinert was then able to use lapped traffic to his advantage and overtake Schmidt on lap 14 just before the only caution of the race was displayed. On the restart, Malueg was able to get by Douglas and then get Schmidt for second as Heinert drove off to the win. The win for Heinert makes him the first driver in series history to have recorded at least 1 Feature win at each of the 5 ILS tracks (Wilmot - 2012, 141 - 2013, Plymouth - 2014, Beaver Dam - 2019, Sycamore - 2019). Malueg would finish 2nd and Schmidt would hang onto 3rd. Heinert also claimed the hard charge by advancing 5 positions. The ILS takes a break next week before finishing the season with an all sprint car show at Plymouth on 9/28 that features 4 divisions of sprints including all 3 IRA divisions plus the MSA 360 sprints.
Douglas Claims 2nd Victory of 2019!
On 9/7, only 12 cars made the trip to Sycamore Speedway after some attrition from the previous double-header weekend at Wilmot Raceway. The evening saw the 9 of John Kirk in his newly acquired car already finding speed as he set quick time of the night with a 14.628. Heat races went to the 16 of Mike Neau and the 13 of CJ Malueg. The feature saw a 3 pill pulled which put Malueg on the pole and Neau to his outside. At the drop of the green, it was Neau who took the point and led a 4 car breakaway with Malueg, Kevin Douglas in the 5K, and Mark Heinert in the 55H in tow. Douglas would then make his move into 2nd and begin to apply pressure to Neau. Douglas would make the pass on the top of 1 and 2 on lap 9 and never look back. This marks his 2nd win of the year and he now owns a piece of history as the only rookie to win multiple ILS features in a season. Neau would finish 2nd and Heinert would round out the podium. Ron Brannam in the 01 would be the evening’s hard charger advancing 4 positions to finish 4th. The ILS will be back at Sycamore next week, 9/14 before taking a week off and concluding the season at Plymouth with a 4 class all sprint show on 9/28
CJ wins Wilmot championship, rain wins the night
The 11 cars that survived the Friday August 30 night carnage came back Saturday August 31 for Wilmot Raceway’s Championship Night. Ion Stear in the 19 again set the mark with quick time with a 14.770 qualifying lap. The 55H of Mark Heinert and the 01 of Ron Brannam captured heat race victories. Rain soon began to fall and an effort was made to start the ILS feature but the race ended up being stopped before it reached the half-way point and was ruled incomplete. The program was still ruled a complete show so all earlier results stand . Feature starting cars received equal points/equal pay for the incomplete feature. The 13 of CJ Malueg was crowned the 2019 Wilmot Lightning Sprint Champion. The 16 of Mike Neau, 19 of Ion Stear, 55H of Mark Heinert, and the 74 of Tim Brannam completed the top 5 of Wilmot Championship points.
CJ bags the quintuple On Tony Stewart Night!
That's now 5 wins for Malueg and 3 in a row. 17 cars signed in on August 30, but only 11 survived as heavy attrition looks to thin the field late in the season. Ion Stear was quick time, while Malueg and Kevin Douglas captured heat victories. In the feature, it was all Malueg as he led every lap. Mark Heinert and Kevin Douglas would round out the podium with Heinert claiming the Hard Charger advancing 3 positions.
Make it 4 for Malueg!
18 cars signed in for Family Night in support of the Tommy Homan Memorial at Wilmot Raceway. The 19 of Ion Stear grabbed quick time and set the quickest qualifying lap of the year at the track with a 14.634. Stear and the 13 of Cj Malueg were heat race winners and Malueg again led every lap of the feature for his 4th ILS victory of the year – all at Wilmot. Stear would place 2nd from his 8th starting spot and Jeff Schmidt in the 6 would round out the podium. Ron Brannam in the 01 would be the evenings Hard Charger by advancing 8 spots to finish 9th. The Wilmot Season will wrap up next weekend with a doubleheader. Friday, 8-30, an all IRA show with Tony Stewart battling the IRA 410’s, and then Saturday 8-31 for the Lightning Sprint track championship night.
CJ brings home Win #3 on Fair Night!
19 cars signed in for the all IR show on Saturday, August 17th at the Wilmot Raceway during the Kenosha County Fair. Bobby Tackman made his season debut in his 56 machine and previous series champion Tom Brown towed the B20 all the way from Nebraska in effort to try to repeat his win at this event from last year. The 55H of Mark Heinert was able to grab quick time with a 14.883 and heat race wins went to Tim Brannam in the 74 and CJ Malueg in the 13. The invert put Malueg on the pole for the feature and he led every lap. Heinert made his way through the field from his 8th position starting spot to take 2nd and would be the hard charger advancing 6 positions. Ion Stear in the 19 was able to pass Brown on the final circuit to claim the final podium position.
Ion Takes his first Feature of 2019
It was another solid car count for the ILS. 20 cars signed in for competition at the Wilmot Raceway on 7/27 including the season’s first outsider as Kinser Medler made the 300+ mile tow from West Salem, Il fresh off a win with neighboring lightning sprint club, MMSA, the week prior. Quick time was set by Mark Heinert in the 55H at 14.957. Heat winners were the 13 of CJ Malueg and the 56 of Medler. The feature saw Malueg take advantage of his outside front row starting spot and quickly take control. Medler, who started 3rd, was able to move into 2nd behind Malueg and soon start to reel him in until over-driving turn 3 and looping his machine with 4 laps to go. This would setup a 4 lap dash to the checkered that saw Malueg’s car lose power going into turn 1 on the restart causing a 3 car pileup with the top 3 cars of Malueg, 2nd place running Kevin Douglas in the 5K, and the 16 of Mike Neau. This allowed Ion Stear in the 19, who restarted in the 4th spot to rocket around the top and inherit the lead. Stear brought the 55H of Heinert in tow as Neau and Douglas were able to stay under power and blend back into the field behind them as Malueg retired to the infield after leading the first 16 laps. Medler was also a huge benefactor of the incident as he was able to get back up to 5th on the restart. At the drop of the checkered, it was Stear bringing home his first victory of the season from the 6th starting spot followed by Heinert who was also the evenings hard charger advancing 6 positions to finish 2nd, and then it was Neau rounding out the podium. ILS will be back in action again next week at the Wilmot Raceway for IRA Founders Night with all 3 IRA divisions plus the modifieds on the card.
Neau Takes his Second Feature on WOO Night
July 13th saw 21 ILS cars sign in for our largest car count this season in support of the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars at Wilmot Raceway. Making their season debut were John Smith in the 59, the “Prosthetic Outlaw” Nick Sheridan in the 88s and the 7j of Bob Jeziorski. CJ Malueg in the 13 would top time trials with a 15.029 after returning to the track following a hard crash at Beaver Dam a few weeks ago. Heat winners were the 55H of Mark Heinert and the 19 of Ion Stear. Stear was also returning to competition following a few weeks of gremlins of his own. The feature saw the 6B of Derek Fortier once again on the pole and lead the field to green. Fortier and Sheridan would battle side by side early until Mike Neau in the 16 would sneak under Sheridan on lap 8. Neau was then able to drive under Fortier to take the lead on lap 11 and hold off a late charging CJ Malueg who started in the 8th position. The evening’s hard charger was Kevin Frederiksen in the 67 advancing 7 positions to finish 9th. The ILS returns to Wilmot Raceway next week for Family Night.
A Rookie Takes the 6/30/2019 141 Feature
With a questionable forecast and early afternoon rain in the area, 12 ILS cars made the tow to 141 Speedway for the last of our two visits this year for a show featuring all 3 IRA divisions. Hats off to the track for staying positive and determined to get the show in as many would have cancelled based on the forecast, but it ended up to be a beautiful summer evening free of any rain. Qualifying saw Mike Neau in the 16 atop the leaderboard with a 13.750. Heat race winners were Neau and the 6B of Derek Fortier. The feature saw Mark Heinert in the 55H drive away from the field from his pole position starting spot and continuously turn sub 13 second laps until going up in smoke on lap 7. The misfortune would turn over the lead to Neau who would go on to lead the next 8 laps until missing entry to 3 and 4 on lap 15 allowing Kevin Douglas in the 5K to drive under him and go on to win his first ILS feature. The feat by Douglas marks the first time a rookie has won an ILS points race since Neau in 2012. The 74 of Tim Brannam would round out the podium. Hard charger went to the 73 of Jeremy Douglas advancing 5 spots to finish 5th. The ILS takes their first scheduled break next week and will return on July 13th at the Wilmot Raceway as support for the World of Outlaws.
Heinert Grabs the Win at the 6/22 Outlaw Show
14 cars made the trip to Beaver Dam to join the World of Outlaws at the Jim “JB” Boyd Memorial and despite early forecasts, it turned out to be a beautiful day for racing. Quick time was set by the 16 of Mike Neau with a 14.942. Heat winners were John Kirk in the 9 and the Ron Brannam in the 01. The number “4” pill was drawn (again) setting up another deep invert for the feature that saw a new face at the pole position as Derek Fortier in the 6 led the field to green. In the end, after a non-stop 20 lap event, it was the 55H of Mark Heinert returning to victory lane with his 2nd win of 2019. Rookie Kevin Douglas in the 5K continued his impressive season bringing home 2nd and was this evening’s hard charger by advancing 5 positions from his 7th place starting spot. Fortier would round out the top 3. Next stop is back at 141 Speedway for an all IRA show with the 410’s and Wingless Sprints on SUNDAY, June 30th.
It's Two in a Row for CJ
16 ILS cars were in attendance at Wilmot Raceway to do battle on the June 15 Raymond Neeve Tribute Night alongside the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints, the Wisconsin Wingless Sprints, and the Modifieds. Quick time was set by CJ Malueg in the 13 at 14.727 seconds. Heat race winners were Mike Neau in the 16 and Jeff Schmidt in the 6. The feature got off to a rocky start with the first 2 attempts at the start being waved off, but once we went green, it was a 20 lap non-stop event that saw Malueg bolt to the lead on the start from his 4th place starting spot and set a blistering pace. Malueg would go on to win his 2 nd consecutive feature by over 7 seconds and lap up to the 5 th place car. 10 th place starting Mike Neau would grab the runner up position and be this evening’s hard charger advancing 8 positions. Pole sitter Jeff Schmidt would round out the podium after he appears to have solved the electrical gremlins that haunted him the first 3 races.
The ILS will take the next 2 races on the road, first appearing as support for the World of Outlaws at the Beaver Dam Raceway on Saturday June 22 nd and then back up to 141 Speedway in Francis Creek for an all IRA show on Sunday June 30th.
CJ Malueg Captures the 06/8 Feature
18 cars signed into Wilmot Raceway for the first of several First Responder Appreciation Nights. It was also Sponsor Night for the IRA Lightning Sprints and the club organized a bike giveaway where race teams donated 6 bikes to 6 lucky fans. Quick time was set by Mark Heinert in the 55H with a 14.681 - just 2 tenths off his 9/9/2017 track record of 14.482. Heat race wins went to Heinert and Ion Stear in the 19. All 18 cars made the call for the feature which saw pole sitter Kevin Frederiksen jump out to an early lead in the 67. 4th place starting CJ Malueg in the 13 was able to overtake Frederiksen on lap 4 and never look back for his 1st win of 2019 and now sits atop the points standings after 3 races with a narrow 4 point lead. 6th starting Mike Neau in the 16 was able to overcome a poor start which dropped him back to 13th on the initial lap to finish 2nd and Frederiksen was able to hold on for the final podium position with his best lightning sprint main event finish to date. Hard charger was Derek Fortier – son of the Flyin Frenchman - in the 6B advancing 6 positions from his 15th starting position to finish 9th.The ILS will be back in action again at Wilmot Raceway on Saturday June 15th with the IRA 410 sprints, IRA Wingless Sprints, and the Modifieds.
Mike Neau Collects the 141 Feature
Finally the weather cooperated and allowed the second race of the season to finally take place. 15 cars made the long haul up to 141, with Mike Neau collecting the Feature on the uniquely shaped track. The Top 5 were as follows:
1). Mike Neau
2). Kevin Douglass
3). CJ Malueg
4). Mark Heinert
5). Tim Brannam
Mark Heinert Cruises to an Opening Night Victory
May the 4th be with you was certainly appropriate for the opening night of the IRA Lightning Sprint season. 17 cars signed in, with 3 rookies joining our ranks. The anticipated 3 generations of the Brannams racing in the Feature did not disappoint. The customary infield tires were temporarily replaced with a clay berm, that one of the rookies realized (the hard way) was not so soft. Mark Heinert led into the first corner and never relinquished the lead. No one could match his traction off the corner, as his left rear tire was destroyed.
In case you missed the annoucement, here is the press release I wrote up:
The Wisconsin Illinois Mini Sprint (WIMS) organization has announced they are changing their name to the Interstate Racing Association (IRA) Lightning Sprints (ILS). WIMS has been an active, independent organization for over 25 years, racing 1000cc motorcycle engine race cars throughout Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin. Wilmot Raceway remains their home track, but of the 20 races scheduled for 2019, 6 will be held at other venues. Unique for the 2019 season will be 3 generations of the Brannam family, racing against each other. The IRA began sanctioning the group in 2017. The name change is meant to highlight both the relationship with the IRA, and clarify the class of cars the group represents.