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Balog drives to record 10th IRA sprint car series championship

by | Oct 1, 2020 | Sprint Car Racing

Bill Balog

North Pole’s Bill Balog was crowned king of the Interstate Racing Association’s sprint car points series for a record 10th time, living up to his ‘North Pole Nightmare’ nickname for competitors in the Upper Midwest racing league.

Balog took sole possession of the IRA’s all-time record for most series titles, passing nine-time champion Joe Roe.

The IRA series dates back to 1967 and includes 40-plus events annually in Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois.

Balog, of North Pole High fame, also won championships in 2019, 2017 and seven in a row from 2008 to 2014, according to the IRA website. Roe was a champion in three different decades and probably considered the IRA’s best driver before Balog came along.

Balog’s seven-straight-titles streak is also a record – the next longest streak is four.

The Alaskan closed out this season in style by winning the 30-lap main event for winged 410s on a lightning quick half-mile dirt track in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

It was his 12th win in 20 features, his highest season win total since his 13 victories in 2017.

He piled up 2,972 points on the year for a 309-point margin of victory. His winning margin was 404 last year.

Balog, 40, is believed to be the most successful sprint car driver from Alaska. He grew up racing motorcross and snowmachines before turning his attention to sprint cars in 2000.

He went from racing on Saturday nights in Fairbanks to racing for a living in the Upper Midwest. The son of a race car driver, Balog first moved to Washington to chase his racing dreams before going to Wisconsin.

In his first season in the IRA, he was named Rookie of the Year. He has dominated the racing series since then, racking up more than 100 wins.

In addition to his IRA success, he owns a 2016 win in the prestigious World of Outlaws series.

Story made possible by:

Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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