(Plymouth, Wis.) June 9, 2018 – Overcast skies with a light mist at times kept the racing surface very fast for the 104 cars that gathered in the pits for a highly competitive night of Plymouth Dirt Track Racing action at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis., sponsored by WES Innovations LLC of Wisconsin on Saturday, June 9.
The fast and wide racing surface made for plenty of spirited side-by-side racing action, as well as some hard crashes.
In A-main action, Kevin Karnitz of West Bend took top honors in the Richard’s of Dunbar 360 Sprint Car main event, Justin Schmidt of Cleveland captured the Grasroots Project Late Model headliner, Matt Yancey from Sheboygan earned the triumph in the Klips & Tips Grand National feature event, Vince Engebregtsen of Algoma earned the victory in the Cellcom B Mod A main and Dave Collins of Lake Mills was the victor in the Kristine Hartmann Pleasant View Realty Micro Sprint feature race.
In the 30-lap Sprint Car A main, Chris Clayton of Waldo and Al Schlafer of Sussex were on the front row. As they charged into turn one, Clayton would be the leader. Past PDTR 360 Sprint Car champions Danny Schlafer of Sussex, Brandon McMullen of Plymouth and Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee were close behind the leader rounded out the top five competitors in the early going.
With Clayton setting a fast pace in front, the action behind him was intense. Davis and McMullen ran wing to wing before McMullen slipped ahead on the low side. Soon Karnitz would make his presence known by pressuring McMullen for second. By lap 11, Karnitz had secured the second spot just ahead of McMullen.
Meanwhile, 2011 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champ Ben Schmidt of Howards Grove, who started ninth, showed off his driving skill running outside line into the top five. On lap 16, the leaders caught the back of the field with Clayton holding off Karnitz, but a nifty move in turn one would send Karnitz to the lead with McMullen and Danny Schlafer in tow.
The action was slowed when Clayton’s car and another made contact in turn two resulting in front-end damage to his car, which ended his night.
With the restart tightening the field, a multi-car crash took place entering turn three, after it appeared a car slowed with a mechanical issue and cars went in all directions. The car of Al Schalfer flipped end over end before stopping on its side. After a few minutes, the veteran would immerge from the car and appeared uninjured, although shaken up.
The final laps saw plenty of action behind Karnitz, as Schmidt, McMullen and Danny Schlafer would swap positions.
Karnitz held on to post his second career PDTR 360 Sprint Car A-main victory and his third overall in Midwest Sprint Car Association competition. The victory was also the second in a row for Karnitz, who captured the most recent MSA A main at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie on Sunday, June 3. In victory lane, Karnitz gave credit to his pit crew for giving him the winning car.
Schmidt placed second, followed by McMullen in third, Danny Schlafer fourth and Davis, who rounded out the top five.
Justin Schmidt, who was a close second in the point’s standings entering the evening, would line up on the pole of the 25-lap Late Model A main, flanked by Turk Letizia of Milwaukee with four-time and defending PDTR Late Model champion Brad Mueller of Random Lake and Paul Parker of De Pere comprising second row.
Schmidt would grab the early lead and soon led Mueller by five car lengths, while Letizia and Parker engaged in a tight race close behind.
By lap 10, Mueller tracked down Schmidt to challenge for the lead. On lap 11, coming off turn four Mueller’s car jumped the cushion. The seasoned veteran would be able to keep his mount off the wall, but the bobble allowed Schmidt to build up a solid advantage.
By lap 12, Schmidt’s lead was seven lengths with Letizia and Parker following in nose-to-tail formation. On lap 14, the yellow flag waved for the stopped car of Zach Kessler.
On the restart, 2016 PDTR Late Model champ Tim Buhler of Glenbuelah lined up fifth and at the drop of the green, split the cars of Parker and Letizia to gain third.
The race would be stopped a lap later for an incident between Parker and Jim Schmidt of Cleveland, resulting in three cars sliding to a stop near the wall.
The next laps would see Buhler running low and Mueller high as they fought for the second spot. After a restart on lap 20, 2008 PDTR Late Model champion Bill Rezutek of Big Bend and Taylor Scheffler of Waukesha dueled for position side by side not far behind the leaders.
In the closing laps, Buhler and Mueller would continue running side by side and 2014 PDTR Late Model champ Mitch McGrath of Waukesha, who started the race 18th, charged up to sixth.
Schmidt said he was glad he had a lead that allowed him to run his preferred line while the others had to race all over the track. For the Cleveland driver, it was his second A-main win three events this season at Plymouth and his seventh career PDTR Late Model A-main triumph.
Mueller had to settle for second, Buhler was third, Scheffler placed fourth and Rezutek rounded out the top five.
Justin Bauer of Sheboygan Falls took the initial lead in the 25-lap B-Mod main event. Gary Glander of Sheboygan Falls passed Bauer on the second circuit with defending PDTR B Mod champ Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls and Vince Engebregtsen right behind.
Engebregtsen would made a high side pass for the lead on lap 6 and would stay in front for the remainder of the race. Engebregtsen started lapping traffic by lap 10, while Glander would stay in second with Green, Rick Kretschmann of Sheboygan Falls and Glen Blanke of Sheboygan Falls rounding out the top five in the early going.
After several cautions, things settled down with Cody Eickberg of Plymouth and Travis Schmidt of Plymouth moving into the top five.
Engebregtsen and his family traveled from Algoma to The Plymouth Dirt Track for the first time and he was very happy in victory lane after notching his first career PDTR B Mod A-main victory.
Green wound up second, Glander was third, Kretschmann placed fourth and Eickberg rounded out the top five.
The 25-lap Grand National A-main event saw Sheboygan drivers Ryan Minster and Matt Yancey comprise the front row. Yancey, the 2008 PDTR Grand National champion, took the lead on the backstretch of the first lap. Luke Scholten of Oostburg, who was driving the Bender Racing car for Matt Loehr, made an outside pass for second place on lap 3.
A caution waved on lap 6 to keep the field tight. Yancey would maintain his lead, but could never put much distance on the hungry drivers close behind. Scholten made numerous attempts to get past the leader, but was unsuccessful.
Minster, Kurt Davis, Steven Weber of Plymouth and Tyler Kulow of Plymouth ran very close inside the top five to create suspense until the checkered flag flew. After a lap-23 caution, it was a two-lap dash to the finish with Yancey holding on to claim his fifth-career PDTR Grand National A-main victory.
Scholten finished second, Kulow was third, Minister took fourth and Weber wound up fifth.
The 15-lap Micro Sprint main event went to Dave Collins in a race that saw several leaders have problems.
Defending PDTR Micro Sprint champion Preston Ruh of Elkhart Lake had the lead until he spun out, turning the lead over to 14-year-old Jack Vanderboom of Dousman.
All appeared well for Vanderboom until his car stopped and the lead was turned over to Collins, who started the race fifth. Emily Portschy of Plymouth chased Collins to the finish before ending up second. Ruh came back to get third ahead of Jake Dohner of Janesville and Vanderboom.
Anthony Knierim of Franksville won the Sprint Car B-Main; The two B-Mod B-mains went to Tim Shepard of Beaver Dam and Mark Hoeppner of Rubicon. In the third Sprint Car heat race, Adam Miller from Plymouth escaped injury when contact with another car sent his machine on a wild series of flips.
The race program saw 36 B-Mods, 28 Sprint Cars, 18 Late Models, 17 Grand Nationals and 5 Micro Sprints take to the third-mile Plymouth Dirt Track facility.
PDTR would like to thank Hagar Nelson for once again sponsoring his cash giveaway, providing an opportunity for drivers to take home extra cash.
This Friday, June 15, PDTR will hold a special Friday night event paying tribute to former Late Model champion Russ Scheffler, who passed away last September. The event will feature a special 30-lap Late Model A-main paying $2,274 to the winner and $300 to start. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. with racing set to begin at 7 p.m.
The PDTR 360 Sprint Cars, B-Mods and Grand Nationals will also be in action for the Friday night program, which is sponsored by A1 Appliance.
There will be no racing at The Plymouth Dirt Track on Saturday, June 16.
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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