By Jeff Pederson – Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) July 1, 2017 – Undeterred by late afternoon rain showers which left the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds racing facility drenched, the Plymouth Dirt Track Racing show went on as scheduled Saturday, July 1.
After an approximately 30-minute delay to allow for some heavy-duty track prep work, the lightning fast racing surface produced some intense side-by-side action and a few cautions as well throughout the night.
In the extended 30-lap Late Model A-main, which was preceded by driver introductions, Luxemburg’s Jared Siefert posted his first PDTR A-main victory.
Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee claimed the 25-lap Sprint Car A-main, while Matt Loehr of Dotyville (Grand National), Chad Vetting of Valders (B Mod) and Andy Rein of West Bend (Micro Sprint) also posted A-main triumphs in their respective divisions.
The Late Model A-main provided plenty of thrills as polesitter Jared Siefert led the field to the green flag. Siefert outpowered outside front row starter Mike Stangl to take the lead in the second corner on the opening lap.
Meanwhile, three-time PDTR Late Model champion Brad Mueller of Random Lake wasted little time in making his presence felt as he moved up from the sixth starting spot. On lap 2, Mueller worked his way into third place and quickly began to reel in the second-place car of Cleveland’s Jim Schmidt.
The first of two caution flags appeared on lap 6 for a two-car incident in turn two involving Justin Schmidt of Cleveland and Jim Letizia of Milwaukee. Following the restart, third starter Dave Jaeger of West Bend charged in to challenge Schmidt for third on lap 7.
As Jaeger and Schmidt waged a spirited duel for third, Mueller began to steadily close the gap on Siefert for the top spot. Mueller dove to the inside of Siefert on several occasions, but was unable to wrestle the lead away.
The leaders began to move through heavy lapped traffic starting on lap 15, which allowed Mueller to close the gap significantly and eventually dive under Siefert to briefly assume the top spot. However, Mueller’s move ended up being for not when the second caution flag of the event flew for the stalled car of Justin Schmidt of Cleveland in turn two.
With the scoring of the race going to the previous lap, Siefert stayed on tap on the final restart with 10 laps to go. When the green flag flew, Mueller pounced again diving low in an attempt to unseat Siefert from the lead.
However, Siefert stuck to his line in the middle of the track, which made it very difficult for Mueller to find a way by. Siefert fended off Mueller’s advances over the final 10 laps to earn his first career PDTR Late Model victory.
Mueller had to settle for second, Jaeger recorded a strong third-place finish, Jim Schmidt was fourth and 10th starting Justin Schmidt charged to a fifth-place showing.
The 25-lap Sprint Car A main produced plenty of action, complete with four caution flags and a thrilling duel between two of the winningest Sprint Car drivers in PDTR history.
Polesitter Kenjay Fiedler of Sheboygan got the initial jump on the drop of the green flag before sixth starter Danny Schlafer of Sussex used a huge run on the top of the track to gain the lead in turn four of the opening lap.
The first of four caution flags appeared on lap 3 when Robbie Pribnow of Lomira made contact with the turn two wall. One lap later Anthony Knierim of Franksville spun in turn four after contact with Dannon Tessmer of Slinger.
On the restart, outside front row starter Kurt Davis made a daring move on the inside lane to seize second place. With Schlafer running the high side of the track along the high and treacherous cushion, Davis stuck his machine to the bottom of the track and began to track down Schlafer.
On lap 8, the two-time PDTR Sprint Car champion jumped the cushion in turn two, which allowed Davis to slip past into the lead. Schlafer attempted to regain the lead with a slide job, but Davis crossed over to the bottom the track to maintain the top position.
Back-to-back caution flags came out on lap 9 after Nich Melis of Plymouth stopped on the backstretch and Shane Wenninger of Kewaskum and Knierim collided in turn two.
Following the final restart, Justin Miller of Plymouth bolted up from his seventh starting spot to take third and PDTR Sprint Car point leader Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh followed in fourth after starting 11th.
From there, the 2010 PDTR Sprint Car champion weaved his way skillfully through lapped traffic in the closing laps to secure his first A main victory of the 2017 season and his 17th career PDTR Sprint Car victory to move him into a tie with Schlafer for second on the PDTR Sprint Car A-main victory list.
It was also Davis’ 52nd career Midwest Sprint Car Association (MSA) victory, which puts him seven wins ahead of Schlafer at the top of the all-time MSA A-main victory list.
Schlafer wound up second, Miller posted an impressive third-place finish, McMullen placed fourth and fifth starter Scott Conger of Eagle put together an impressive effort to round out the top five.
In the accident-marred, time-shortened Grand National A main, Matt Loehr jumped into the lead from his outside front row starting spot with fourth starter Will Sorce of West Allis following into second on the opening lap.
Three laps later, polesitter Jeff Lammers of Plymouth bolted past Sorce by lap 7 he moved in to pressure Sorce for the lead.
The first of five caution flags appeared on lap 8 when Dan Sorce of West Allis stopped on the backstretch.
When the race resumed Will Sorce and Lammers mounted an epic battle for second with Sorce working the high side and Lammers the low groove of the track. On lap 10, Lammers seized second and one lap later, Will Sorce slowed to a stop in turn two with a flat right rear tire.
On the restart, Dick Hed of Plymouth, who started ninth, moved in to challenge Lammers for second along the high groove. However, Hed’s impressive progress was halted by an eight-car pileup in turn four on lap 13.
Two laps later the checkered flag fell on the race upon the expiration of the 25-minute time limit with Loehr posting his second A-main victory of the season and his fifth career PDTR Grand National main event win.
Lammers was second, followed by Hed in third, sixth starter J.J. Pagel of Campbellsport in fourth and Sprint Car A-Main victor Kurt Davis, who started third, rounded out the top five.
Polesitter J.J. Walvoord led the first 20 laps of the B Mod A main with third starter Chad Vetting of Valders mounting a heavy dose of pressure for most of those circuits.
Vetting worked the high groove relentlessly while Walvoord stuck to the low line. On lap 18, 13th starter Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls charged up to join the fray slipping underneath Walvoord just as Vetting vaulted into the lead from the outside groove on lap 20.
Vetting maintained his momentum on the rim of the track to pull away over the final five laps en route to his second victory B Mod main event victory of the 2017 campaign by a solid half-straightway margin.
Rick Kretschmann of Sheboygan Falls put together a late rally to finish second, after starting sixth. Walvoord wound up third, seventh starter Glen Blanke of Sheboygan Falls placed fourth and Green rounded out the top five.
Andy Rein of West Bend led every lap of the 12-lap Micro Sprint A main en route to his second career PDTR Micro Sprint main event victory in his first appearance at Plymouth this year.
Dave Collins (second), Preston Ruh (third), Tyler Davis (fourth and Nick Van Stelle (fifth) rounded out the top five Micro Sprint A main finishers
B main victories went to Doug Wondra of Lomira (Sprint Car) and Tim Warner (B Mod).
Trophies for the evening were sponsored by the Sheboygan A’s baseball team.
Next week’s PDTR program will feature the Mid-Season Championships with trophies sponsored by Oscar Blues Brewery. Racing will begin at 6 p.m.
The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth is located at 229 Fairview Drive in Plymouth. For more information, visit www.plymouthdtr.com or check out Plymouth Dirt Track Racing on Facebook.
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