Pokorski team falls just short of Manitowoc Speedway title
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) September 7, 2016 – With three races in three days at three different tracks, Paul Pokorski and his Pokorski Motorsports team put in some hard work and extended hours over the Labor Day weekend, which paid off in the form of a pair of heat race victories and two top-10 A-main finishes.
The three-race holiday weekend began Friday, Sept. 2, as the Plymouth Dirt Track Racing (PDTR)-Midwest Sprint Car Association (MSA) 360 Sprint Car Series joined forces with the Interstate Racing Association (IRA) 410 Sprint Car Series to stage a special race at the Plymouth Dirt Track during the Sheboygan County Fair.
With a stellar field of 34 PDTR-MSA Sprint Cars on hand, Pokorski started 6th in the third heat race. On the drop of the green flag, Pokorski bolted into the runner-up positions with a series of bold moves in the opening laps. On lap 2, Pokorski worked past Zach Raidart to grab second.
Two laps later, Pokorski ducked under race leader Josh Teunissen with a low move in turn two to take over the top spot. Pokorski then pulled away to a full straightaway victory over Teunissen.
After starting the 25-lap PDTR-MSA Sprint Car A main from the fourth starting spot, Pokorski slipped past Shane Wenninger and Jim Melis on the opening lap to move into the runner-up position.
Three laps later, two-time PDTR Sprint Car track champion and current point leader Donny Goeden maneuvered underneath Pokorski to take over second place.
Pokorski held strong over the final 21 circuits on the way to a season-best third-place A-main showing at Plymouth behind race winner Donny Goeden and runner-up Lance Fassbender.
“Friday night at Plymouth was great for us,” Pokorski said. “We were all very happy with the result obviously. A top-three finish is always a nice accomplishment.”
On Saturday night, the team traveled north to the Manitowoc Speedway for the track’s final ever racing program. The special grand finale event drew a huge field of 179 cars in eight divisions, including 32 Sprint Cars, and was contested before a huge crowd of long-time Eastern Wisconsin Stock Car and Manitowoc Speedway supporters and well-wishers.
The final race at Pokorski Motorsports’ home track was also significant because the team entered the night just three points behind Brandon McMullen in the chase for the 2016 EWSC Sprint Car track title.
The evening got off to a promising start for Pokorski in the first Sprint Car heat race. After starting on the outside of the front row, Pokorski powered past polesitter Kurt Davis to seize the lead in turn one of the opening lap. The Manitowoc native then pulled away to notch his second heat race victory in as many nights by a half straightaway margin over Davis.
After the conclusion of heat race action, Pokorski entered the final Sprint Car A main at the Manitowoc Speedway just two point behind McMullen in the race for the 2016 track championship.
Pokorski lined up 10th and McMullen started 11th in the A main event. After McMullen slipped past Pokorski on the initial start, the title contending duo found themselves running 8th and 9th respectively in the early going.
With the championship on the line, Pokorski attempted to slide past McMullen on lap 5, but the 2015 MSA championship held off the challenge of 2014 MSA Masters Series champ to maintain the position.
After a caution slowed the field on lap 7, Pokorski lost three spots on the ensuing restart to fall back to 11th place. He battled back to pass Kenjay Fiedler and Chris Clayton on lap 11 to move into eighth place on lap 11.
As the laps wound down, Danny Schlafer worked past Pokorski to claim the eighth position. Pokorski went on to post a 9th place showing, while McMullen came home 7th to secure the 2016 EWSC Sprint Car championship by two points over Pokorski. Jim Melis earned the final Sprint Car victory at the Manitowoc Speedway
“Saturday night was just okay for us,” Pokorski said. “The car was really good in the heat and handled as we expected. We missed the set-up in the feature a little. The track was slicker than I anticipated it would be, but overall the night wasn’t terrible.
“The heat race win on the final night at Manitowoc was nice, but I wish it would have been the main. I am a little disappointed that I didn’t capitalize on the opportunity to win the final track championship at Manitowoc. But we lost it to a great race team and great, talented racer in Brandon McMullen, which makes it a little easier to bear.”
On Sunday night, the team joined the IRA 410 Sprint Car Series with its 360 car at the 141 Speedway in Francis Creek. Pokorski qualified 28th in the 29-car field before starting and finishing 10th in the first IRA heat race of the night. In the B main, Pokorski posted a 10th place finish in the 11-car field to miss out on an A-Main transfer spot.
“Sunday night did not go as well as I would have hoped, but I learned a few things that will hopefully help us when we go back there,” Pokorski said.
Pokorski Motorsports Crew Chief Dave Schultz said 141 Speedway’s unique configuration kept the team guessing throughout the night.
“The track has two very different corners,” Schultz said. “Turn one and two is pretty open and sweeping, but turn three and four is very tight and hard to get a handle on. We figured out that we need to set up the car to work well in three and four above everything else. That will be our focus the next time we race there.”
Pokorski was thankful for the support he received in completing the three-race weekend swing.
“I want to thank my family and crew for making the three straight nights of racing possible,” Pokorski said. “I had to work all three days and I couldn’t have done it without all the help. I truly appreciate everything they do. To top it off, the crew had to deal with a transmission issue on the tow vehicle. They ended up having to borrow my parents’ truck at the last minute to get us to the track on Sunday night.”
Only two races remain on the team’s 2016 schedule. The next race for the Pokorski Motorsports team is the Plymouth Dirt Track Racing (PDTR) season finale at Sheboygan County Fair Park this Saturday, Sept. 10. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
The team will then close out the 2016 season with the MSA season finale at the Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway in Beaver Dam on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Pokorski Motorsports Sponsor Showcase – Tisler Salvage
For the past 50 years, Tisler Salvage, located at 11530 County Road NN in Reedsville, has been your top source for used and aftermarket auto parts in the Manitowoc County area.
Tisler Salvage, which opened its doors in 1966, also buys scrap iron.
Contact Tisler Salvage by phone at 920-864-7631 or 920-732-3669, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Tisler Salvage can also be reached by email at email@example.com
Paul and the Pokorski Motorsports team would like to thank Gary and the folks at Tisler Salvage for their support over the years.
The Pokorski Motorsports sponsors for the 2016 season include: Goeden’s Auto Body, Goodwin Racing Engines, Jens, Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Services & Crematory, Kettle Moraine Landscaping, Novak’s Service Center, Pedal Down Promotions, Christel Sign, Tisler Salvage Inc. and The Cawley Company.
For more information on Pokorski Motorsports, check out Pokorski Motorsports on Facebook or visit www.pedaldownpromotions.com
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2016 Pokorski Motorsports Remaining Schedule
Saturday, September 10 – Plymouth Dirt Track (MSA)
Saturday, October 1 – Dodge County Fairgrounds in Beaver Dam (MSA)
2016 Pokorski Motorsports By The Numbers
Total Events – 25
MSA events – 21
IRA events – 4
A Main Victories – 0
Top Five A Main Finishes – 5
Top 10 A Main Finishes – 12
Heat Race Victories – 7