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Rankin Commits to IRA Sprints in 2024

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Special from Box3 Media - Back in the mid to late 1990’s, Greg Wheeler owned and drove a car in several events with the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints. Now, in 2024 the iconic blue #16C will make a return to the tour in a full time role with Indiana hot-shoe Tylar Rankin at the wheel.

“We had a great time running several IRA shows in 2023.” Rankin said. “The series was super competitive last year and looks to be just as strong this coming season, so we were pleased to run as well as we did. It just seemed like the right time to get out on the road and follow a tour like the IRA.”

Rankin and the Greg Wheeler Motorsports team racked up 3 Top 10’s in 2023 in just 5 feature starts with the IRA Sprints, including a Competition Specialists Quick Time Award at the Plymouth Dirt Track on July 28th. The team also picked up 3 410 Sprint Car victories at the Butler Motor Speedway in Michigan during their 2023 campaign.

“One of the bigger draws of the IRA was the track diversity.” Rankin said of the decision to commit to the 2024 IRA season. “They visit a ton of different places and all the tracks seem to race differently and require different skill sets. It’s nice to have some races closer to home on the schedule as well as some that require serious levels of travel. It’s going to be fun to visit a lot of new places this season and continue to learn and grow as a team.”

The first two months of the 2024 Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints schedule has already been released to the public, with the season opening up at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, IA in doubleheader fashion on April 5th and 6th. The IRA season opener at 34 Raceway drew 48 cars on back to back nights in 2023.

“The car counts on the nights we raced with IRA, and from what we saw seemingly every night, were massive.” Rankin said of the challenge of following an established tour like the IRA. The series averaged over 32 cars per event in 2023. “The competition level was extremely high as well so consistency will be key. Our goal going into the season will be to pick up the Rookie of the Year award and hopefully challenge for the overall points title.”

Rankin acknowledges that sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

“You really have to be on your ‘A Game’ every night. One night you could be up front challenging for the win and the next you could be struggling to get out of the B Main with a series like that. The guys that end up towards the top of the points table are consistently up there come feature time no matter who shows up. It’s going to be a great challenge for us and we can’t wait to get started.”

The first two months of the IRA Schedule is listed below, with the remainder of the tour to be released at a later date.

April 5th-34 Raceway, West Burlington, IA

April 6th-34 Raceway, West Burlington, IA

April 19th-Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, WI

April 20th-Beaver Dam Raceway, Beaver Dam, WI

May 3rd-Ogilvie Raceway, Ogilvie, MN

May 4th-Cedar Lake Speedway, New Richmond, WI

May 11th-Sycamore Speedway, Maple Park, IL

May 18th-Plymouth Dirt Track, Plymouth, WI

May 19th-Angell Park Speedway, Sun Prairie, WI

May 25th-Wilmot Raceway, Wilmot, WI

May 26th-141 Speedway, Francis Creek, WI

Story - Loren Kelly, Box3 Media

Photo - Jim DenHamer



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