BALOG SCORES BIG IN FIRST SEASON WITH THE ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS
Hartland, Wisconsin (November 19th, 2021) – After 15 years of racing and 10 IRA Sprint Car Series Championships, Bill Balog and B Squared Motorsports embarked on their most ambitious season of racing in 2021, joining the FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions tour. The team competed in sixty-two events in 2021, forty-eight of them with the FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions. They found success throughout the year at one of the highest levels of sprint car racing in the Nation.
“We learned a lot and had a ton of fun this year. I can’t thank everyone enough for making this possible; all the sponsors, crew and my mom who moved here for the summer to help with the kids and take care of life so we could do this. We should have done this years ago!” said Balog.
After starting the season with speed but battling lady luck throughout the month of April, the ASCoC rookie and the Anderson’s Maple Syrup #17B secured their first podium of the season at Gas City I-69 Speedway on May 22nd.
“We had to learn that you’re not going to “luck” into a heat race win or the Dash with the All Stars. You have to be in the right mindset to be wild or take chances throughout the night, right from the get go. If you miss the invert your chances go to zero. We proved that once we get racing, run consistent laps, we can be fast, move up and compete with almost anybody,” said Balog, driver of the CK Contractors LLC, Buesser Concrete, Wisecup Siding, Howard Law, Wayne Corini, CPA, Lein Acres, Rocky Rococo's Pizza, Turn It Up Media sprint car.
It’s no surprise that the four night All Stars vs. the IRA Midwest swing really got the team rolling as Bill claimed another podium run at Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL) after trading the lead with Tyler Courtney and Rico Abreu. The next night at Wilmot Raceway, Bill qualified to start the A-Main in 7th position, however, a mechanical issue after the four abreast fan salute before the start of the event relegated him to starting at the tail of the field. Bill went on to have an impressive run claiming the A-Main Hard Charger finishing 6th place; moving up +18 spots for the night.
On June 5th, the North Pole Nightmare picked up his first career FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions Feature win at Plymouth Dirt Track with a dominating performance! Bill set Quick Time, won the Dash and lead 26 of 30 laps in a thrilling green to checkered Feature in his home state of Wisconsin.
Less than 24 hours later, the “North Pole Nightmare” won again, this time at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, WI on June 6th. Earning a $6,000 top prize for his efforts, the All Stars versus IRA challenge victory not only doubled Balog’s All Star career win total to two, but it also bumped his all-time IRA Outlaw Sprint Series win total to 130; where he is a ten-time Series champion and the all-time leading feature winner.
Bill and the team would close out the month with another Angell Park Speedway victory with the IRA Sprints on June 27th. Bill kicked off July with early fireworks winning the IRA sanctioned $5,000 to win NASCAR Kick Off event at Plymouth Dirt Track, pushing his IRA feature win total to 132.
“The Wisconsin swing was so special to have such a great performance in front of family that came all the way down from North Pole, AK and locally in Wisconsin; friends, fans and sponsors. The Wisconsin fans were definitely rocking that weekend! We appreciate their support buying merchandise at these races which helps fund us and we love seeing it in the grandstands. It was an amazing experience; an unbelievable high point in my career, '' said the two-time 2021 ASCoC winner.
On July 17th, Bill piloted the B Squared Motorsports, Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup #17B to back-to-back World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series “King’s Royal” feature events at the legendary Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH. Balog earned a career best fourth place finish in the running of the 38th annual event while battling for a top 20 finish later in the day in the 37th edition. The 38th edition of the race took place in the afternoon and the 37th annual later that evening. This created a spectacular doubleheader with TWO $175,000 to win races. This was due to last year’s postponement of the 2020 event and Mother Nature delaying events earlier in the week with rain.
In August the team opted to work on their shock package and spend time at Tim Engler’s chassis dyno testing facility working with a pair of engines in place of a few tune up events before heading to Knoxville Nationals. It was an important investment that helped them find speed at Knoxville and carried them throughout the remainder of the All-Star Circuit of Champions season.
The Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup #17B started their 2021 Knoxville Nationals campaign strong, scoring ninth quick out of 48 cars on Thursday’s qualifying night. After 22 laps in the B-main, Bill was unable to capitalize and finished two spots out of the evening’s A-Main transfer position. This ended the team’s night and sent Bill to Friday’s “Hard Knox” last chance program. On Friday the team qualified well once again (8th in their flight) en route to picking up their respective heat race win! The win qualified “The North Pole Nightmare” for that evening’s “Hard Knox” A-Main, where they solidified an 8th place finish and enough points for a 13th starting position in Saturday’s 60th Knoxville Nationals B-Main event. Bill’s 60th Knoxville Nationals run came to an end after moving up two spots to finish 11th in Saturday night’s B-main.
Bill and the team worked hard to build a spare car for the final event in August at BAPS Motor Speedway. The car, repaired after a 2018 crash at Knoxville by Midland Performance, rewarded the teams hard work with a heat race win and a top 10 All Star Circuit of Champions feature event finish for the Anderson’s Maple Syrup #17B.
As the team neared the end of August, Capital Senior Services LLC came on board as a partner for the remainder of the season. The team kicked off their rookie Tuscarora 50 weekend with a bang on the first of the three-day Central Pennsylvania blockbuster event September 9th-11th. After qualifying seventh overall in time trials on opening night, Balog claimed the All Star Circuit of Champions Heat Race #2 victory, qualifying him for the Dash Redraw, where the Hartland, WI resident drew the pole position. After securing the Dash #2 victory, the CK Contractors LLC, Buesser Concrete, Wisecup Siding, Howard Law, Wayne Corini, CPA, Lein Acres, Turn It Up Media sprint car started on the outside of the front row for the Thursday night preliminary victory worth $8,000. AJ Flick earned the initial advantage from the pole position, leading the first eight circuits before surrendering the lead to the “North Pole Nightmare” as the lead duo hit lapped traffic. Bill would trade sliders with Brent Marks for the lead but ultimately would settle for a second-place finish as the fifth starting Pennsylvania native went on to take the win. It was the seventh 2021 series podium finish for Balog, the two-time 2021 All Star Circuit winner.
Qualifying for Saturday’s 50-lap, $54,000-to-win finale against a 57-car field featuring the All Star Circuit of Champions would prove to be a bigger challenge after missing the heat race invert by under 0.01 seconds in qualifying. This forced Balog to run the B-main after a 5th place finish in his heat race. The North Pole Nightmare started the B-Main in the 9th position and moved up four positions to advance to the Tuscarora 50 A-main in the final transfer position. In the 50-lap finale, Bill would find his stride, running all three lanes of the Port Royal Speedway to advance +15 positions, capping his first Tuscarora 50 with an exciting eighth place finish!
“It was really helpful keeping the car and hauler with Matt & Kahla Miller in Pennsylvania for the month of September. We were able to be efficient with travel and prepare the car for the final Pennsylvania stretch of the season,” said Balog, as the team continues to learn in their first season with the All Star Circuit of Champions.
On October 9th, The North Pole Nightmare would finish his All Star Circuit of Champions rookie campaign with an impressive A-Main run at the Jim and Joanne Ford Classic at Fremont Speedway in Fremont, OH. The Anderson’s Maple Syrup #17B would stomp up 11 positions from the 18th starting spot, securing a seventh-place finish in the final race of the season.
Bill and the B Squared Motorsports Team completed their rookie season racing many new tracks, learning a lot and having a ton of fun on their way to securing 5th place in the All Star Circuit of Champions Drivers Season Point Standings.
“We had a great car throughout the year, Hans Lein and all the sponsors contributed so much to allow us to do this. I gotta thank Dennis & Susan Gregg, Austen Semmelmann, Joe Taylor, Matt Miller, Jimmy Bradford, Jason Sosnoski, Jason Early, Greg & Kelsey Renderman and all the guys who have given me such an awesome car. They work their tails off and never give up, I can’t thank them enough! I also need to thank Natalie Klemko and Turn It Up Media for all the marketing support.”
“We’re already working on next year and we have a thicker notebook for sure. We have to be better in qualifying. We’re working on our engine program and I have to be more confident and aggressive in qualifying to be put in a position to win each night. We showed we belonged with the All Stars in our first year, now we have to improve over the offseason and be better prepared for a season on the road,” Balog said, in his final statement as an All Star Circuit of Champions Rookie.
Photo Credit: Chad Warner Photography / All Star Circuit of Champions and Shawn Mueller Photography
Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup, CK Contractors LLC, Buesser Concrete, Wisecup Siding, Howard Law, Wayne Corini, CPA, Lein Acres, Rocky Rococo's Pizza, Forest Brook Farms LLC/Forest Brook Trucking LLC, Indian Motorcycle of Metro Milwaukee, Utica Bar, Mr. Jim's Racing, Sam I Am, DSG, Turn It Up Media, M3 Custom Creations, All Star Performance, Behling Racing Equipment, HRP, FK Rod Ends, Outerwears Inc., Dirty Slide Jobs, Midland Performance Inc., K1 Race Gear, XYZ Machining, BLZ, Capital Senior Services LLC
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Turn It Up Media
Submitted By: Bill Balog