By Jeff Pederson – Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) July 14, 2017 – The stars of the Dirt Modified world turned out to headline a special Friday night racing Plymouth Dirt Track Racing program Friday, July 14, at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds.
The evening featured The Plymouth Dirt Track debut of the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) and inaugural Cow Bell Street Stock Tour, as well as the PDTR Grand National division for a non-points event.
In the 40-lap USMTS main event, Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa took home the checkered flag. Jeff Jungwirth of Oshkosh notched the A-main victory in the non-stop Cow Bell Street Stock Tour event, while Don Sorce Jr. of West Allis notched his second straight PDTR Grand National A-main victory.
Polesitter Cory Mahder of Eau Claire jumped out to the early lead in the USMTS A-main over outside front row starter Jake Timm of Winona, Minn. On lap 3, Gustin, who started fourth, made his presence felt as he dove underneath Timm to take over the runner-up spot.
Mahder ran the high groove and Gustin choose to stay low in the early going as the leaders set a quick pace in the opening laps. Meanwhile USMTS Northern Series point leader Zack VanderBeek of New Sharon, Iowa, who came into the night having won the three previous USMTS races this week at Luxembug Speedway, 141 Speedway in Francis Creek and the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway, stormed up from his 12th starting spot to secure fifth place on lap 8.
After a caution for debris on lap 10 and another on lap 12 for a two-car spin in turn four, Gustin continued to track down Mahder before pulling into the lead coming off of turn four on lap 13.
VanderBeek followed Gustin to the front taking second place from Mahder on lap 14 and wasting no time challenging for the lead. Gustin used a primarily outside line to maintain the lead over the hard-charging VanderBeek, who dedicated himself to running a low line.
VanderBeek ducked under Gustin on lap 15 as the two top USMTS competitors dueled side by side until Gustin was able to separate himself two laps later. The leaders caught up to lapped traffic on lap 24, which proved to be just what Gustin needed.
The veteran Modified and Late Model racer sliced his way skillfully through dense lapped traffic to build up a full straight advantage over VanderBeek, who had to deal with a challenge from eighth starter Cade Dillard of Robeline, La. in the closing laps.
Gustin went on to post his 84th career USMTS main event win and second USMTS Northern Region A-main victory of the season by nearly a half-lap margin over VanderBeeck, who saw his three-race winning streak come to an end. However, VanderBeeck was able to secure the 2017 USMTS Northern Region points title.
Dillard finished third, Mahder was fourth and 11th starter Lucas Schott of Chatfield, Minn. rounded out the top five.
Polesitter Jeff Jungwirth grabbed the lead on the drop of the green flag of the 30-lap Cow Bell Street Stock Tour A main. On lap 4, third starter Kyle Genett of Rangeline moved up to second and immediately set sail to reel in Jungwirth.
Lapped traffic made things very interesting for the leaders in the caution-free race beginning on lap 12. With 11 laps to go, Jungwirth found himself bottled up behind a lapped car, which allowed Genett to close drastically.
With lapped traffic still baffling Jungwirth, Genett used the high groove to bolt into the lead in turn three on lap 26. However, Jungwirth was not to be denied as he battled back to regain the lead on the following lap.
Jungwirth and Genett continued to duel side by side over the final two laps before Jungwirth surged ahead to notch a five-car-length victory over Genett, who had to settled for second. Fourth starter Cody Potter of Pell Lake placed third, Alex Crapser finished fourth and Frank Knaus of Rosendale finished fifth after starting sixth.
Paul Diefenthaler of Manitowoc and Rice Lake’s Jim Randall finished in a tie for the first ever Cow Bell Street Stock tour title with 141 points each.
The 30-lap PDTR Grand National A main turned into the Don Sorce Jr. show. The two-time PDTR Grand National champion started on the outside of the front row and outpowered polesitter Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee to take the lead on the opening lap.
By lap 7, Sorce Jr. had built a comfortable half-straightaway lead over Davis. The first of two caution flags was displayed on lap 9 for debris in turn one. On the restart, Matt Loehr of Dotyville used a low move to slip past fifth starter Tyler Kulow of Plymouth to gain third.
On lap 18, Loehr dove under Davis to assume second in turn four. Loehr managed to stay within striking distance of Sorce Jr. over the final 12 laps, but he was never able to mount a serious challenge.
Sorce Jr. went on to post his 10th career PDTR Grand National A-main victory and second straight triumph at Plymouth this year. Loehr finished second, Davis ended up third, Kulow as fourth and eighth starter Justin Erickson of Plymouth wound up fifth.
B main victories went to Curt Myers of Cameron (USMTS Modifieds) and Charlie Sancinati of West Allis (Grand National).
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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