NEW RICHMOND, Wis. – official release — The 14th Annual Jerry Richert Memorial race at Cedar Lake Speedway on Saturday was one for the record books, and it included a $7,000 first-place prize.
The main event didn’t disappoint, and the showdown involved two of the best in the business. Six-time, and defending IRA champion Bill Balog found himself in the lead with a handful of laps to go, while newly crowned 2014 Knoxville Raceway champion Ian Madsen was on the move.
Balog has been seen so many times making a late race charge, reeling in the leader. While the leader saw his lead evaporate. Saturday, the roles were reversed; it was Balog, trying to find the pace to reach the checkered flag first, with Madsen, driving on the edge slicing away at Balog’s lead.
On lap 28, the clash of the titans came into play. The circuit began with Madsen performing a perfectly timed slider. This briefly gave Madsen the upper hand. Balog countered with a successful cross-over heading for the white flag to briefly retake the top spot. Madsen however was up to the challenge, and his second sweeping maneuver past Balog would stick leaving Balog no opportunity to take another shot at Madsen’s lead the final circuit.
Madsen had stolen the victory, by three car lengths, with Balog making his way to the finish in second.
“It was a great honor to win the Knoxville point championship, and thankfully we got that over with,” Madsen said. “Now we can have some fun.
“I was just kind of struggling and going nowhere. With about 10 (laps) to go the car just came on, and I just went for it. I figured I was going to win it or just junk it here. Thankfully we won it.”
Balog was a bit more reserved but still pleased with his run.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed. But we did a good job, we beat some good cars,” Balog stated.
There was an element of surprise to Madsen’s late race charge.
“I didn’t know where those guys were,” he added. “I believe I looked up at the scoreboard with about five laps to go and saw the 55 (Tatnell) still there in second. I was just running as hard as I could.”