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Crouch Is IRA Winner On Founder’s Night

WILMOT, Wis. — Brenham Crouch made his first Bumper to Bumper Interstates Racing Ass’n feature win memorable by capturing the 25-lap IRA Founder’s Night feature Saturday at Wilmot Raceway.

“I heard a lot about this race and the prestige of winning here at Wilmot,” said the 17-year-old. “My team and our sponsors have been very supportive and it feels great to finally get a feature win. I appreciate the crowd coming out with the weather kind of iffy. We will be back for the fair race(Aug. 19).”

Crouch’s name will join the previous Founder’s Night winners on the trophy sponsored by the Southeastern Wisconsin Short Track Racing Hall of Fame and the perennial trophy will be displayed at the HOF in Hartford. Previous winners are Dale Blaney in 2014 and 2015, Bill Balog in 2016, 2017 and 2020; Jake Blackhurst in 2018, Jeremy Schultz in 2019, Scott Neitzel in 2021 and Danny Schlafer in the rain delayed 2022 event. 

Founder’s Night is in recognition of the original founders of the IRA, Whitey Harris, the late Ray Toft and the late Junior Dodd.

Scotty Thiel of Sheboygan took the initial lead in the main, with Bill Balog taking over the point as the pair encountered traffic on lap 17. Balog appeared headed for a fourth Founder’s Night win when he spun off the cushion in turn four with three laps to go. Crouch took the lead on the restart, with a final yellow coming a lap later setting up a green-white-checkered finish.

With traffic cleared Crouch maintained the lead going on to the prestigious win for the IRA season point leader. Thiel held on for second. Joel Myers Jr. was third. Tim Estenson and Travis Arenz rounded out the top five.

Ryan Zielski won his third CK Contractors/AutoMeter Wisconsin Wingless Sprints feature at Wilmot this season.

Due to the curfew, the Pfeiffer Trailer Sales IRA Lightning Sprints feature was not run.