By Jeff Pederson – Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) August 19, 2017 – With only a handful of Plymouth Dirt Track Racing events remaining in the 2017 season at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds, competitors in each division looked to put their best foot forward Saturday, Aug. 19, whether it was to rack up valuable points in the quest for a track championship, earn a coveted A-main victory or to carry positive momentum into the final races of the season.
On PDTR’s annual Race for Cancer Night featuring an appearance by the Pink Heals of Sheboygan County pink fire truck and Project Angel Hugs, Sprint Car point leader Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh posted his third 25-lap Sprint Car A-main victory of the 2017 campaign. Defending PDTR Late Model track champ Tim Buhler of Glenbeulah notched his second PDTR 25-lap Late Model A-main victory of the season, while Jesse Cullen of Chilton earned his first career 25-lap PDTR Grand National A-main triumph. Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls won his sixth B Mod A-main triumph of the season and Jack Vanderboom of Dousman claimed his third PDTR Micro Sprint main event win of 2017.
Polesitter Bill Taylor of Boltonville raced into the lead along the low groove on the opening lap of the Sprint Car A main. On lap 5, Brandon McMullen, who started on the outside of the front row, moved in to challenge Taylor along the high groove. Taylor fended off McMullen’s early challenge before third starter Justin Miller of Plymouth ducked under McMullen to briefly assume second place on lap 10.
The action heated up significantly one lap later when McMullen, Miller and Taylor raced three-wide for the lead heading into turn three. Utilizing the high groove, McMullen blasted into the lead in turn four, while Miller followed into second.
The first caution of the race appeared on lap 12 when Campbellsport’s Tony Wondra stopped on the frontstretch after losing a right rear tire. When the race resumed, McMullen bolted out to a full straightaway cushion over sixth starter Tim Haddy of Waupun by lap 17.
McMullen was cruising to a comfortable victory when the second caution of the event flew just as the field took the white flag for an incident in turn two involving Danny Schlafer of Sussex and Bill Taylor.
The late caution set up a green-white-checkered flag finish and again it was all McMullen at the head of the field as he pulled away to post his 11th career PDTR Sprint Car A-main victory and 16th overall career Midwest Sprint Car Association A-main triumph.
McMullen was followed to the finish line by Haddy in second, 11th starter Jim Melis of Glenbeulah placed third, Miller wound up fourth and West Bend’s Kevin Karnitz, who started ninth, finished fifth.
Polesitter Tim Buhler jumped out to the lead on lap 1 of the 25-lap Late Model A main as 2014 PDTR Late Model champ Mitch McGrath of Waukesha ventured up to the high groove to challenge for the top spot. McGrath pounded the cushion, while Buhler held tight to the bottom groove to maintain a quarter-straightaway edge.
The first of four caution flags were displayed on lap 11 for the stalled car of Sheboygan’s Randy Markwardt. When the race resumed, three-time PDTR Late Model champ Brad Mueller of Random Lake used the high line to challenge McGrath for second. The two championship-caliber drivers dueled back and forth until lap 17 when McGrath took command of the runner-up spot.
After two more caution flags on lap 19, McGrath continued to pressure Buhler along the high groove on lap 20. One lap later, Jared Siefert of Luxemburg powered around Mueller to grab third place.
The fourth and final caution for the stalled car of Randy Markwardt on lap 23 set up a two-lap dash to the finish. Despite a valiant effort from McGrath, Siefert and Mueller in the closing laps, Buhler held on to notch his 11th career PDTR Late Model A-main victory. In doing so, Buhler moved into a tie for fourth on the all-time PDTR Late Model A-main win list.
McGrath wound up second, Siefert was third, Mueller took fourth and 2008 PDTR Late Model champion Billy Rezutek placed fifth, after starting ninth.
After the completion of driver introductions, Plymouth’s Travis Schmidt took the initial lead of the extended 30-lap B Mod A main from the pole, while third starter John Rothmund of Manitowoc, who was making his first appearance of the season at the Plymouth track, assumed second from his third starting spot.
As Rothmund ran the high groove, PDTR B Mod point leader Justin Green, who started fifth, worked the low line to seize second place on lap 5. Following a caution for Jonathon Singer’s stalled car in turn 4, Green got a great jump on the ensuing restart to slip under Schmidt in turn four on lap 6.
On lap 8, Rothmund charged past Schmidt into second, but he soon felt pressure from former PDTR Outlaw Compact champion Travis Arenz of Sheboygan in Justin Bauer’s No. 75 car. As Green built up a half straightaway lead, Rothmund and Arenz waged an epic duel for second starting on lap 14.
The fourth caution flag was displayed for Fond du Lac’s Tim Warner, who looped his car to a stop in turn 2 on lap 27. After Arenz was penalized two spots on the restart for hitting the infield tires, he wasted little time regaining second as he passed Schmidt and last week’s B Mod A-main winner J.J. Walvoord of Howards Grove, who started 11th, on lap 28.
While the rest of field jockeyed for position, Green stayed in control at the front of the pack en route to is sixth PDTR B Mod victory of the 2017 racing season.
Arenz placed second, Walvoord was third, Schmidt ended up fourth and Sturgeon Bay’s Kelsey Hayes placed fifth from her seventh starting spot.
The 25-lap Grand National A main saw Chilton’s Jesse Cullen assume the lead on the drop of the green field from the pole position. Outside front row starter J.J. Pagel kept Cullen in sight throughout the race while also dueling with seventh starter Jeff Lammers of Plymouth over the final five laps of the event.
As Cullen set a blistering place at the front of the pack, 2011 PDTR Grand National champ and current point leader Mark Fieber, who started 11th, Lammers and eighth starter Matt Loehr of Dotyville went three-wide for third place on lap 22 with Loehr gaining control of the spot.
Pagel mounted a big run over the final three laps to close in on Cullen, but it was not quite enough as Cullen posted his first career PDTR Grand National A-main win by three car lengths over runner-up Pagel. Loehr wound up third, Plymouth’s Tyler Kulow, who started sixth, was fourth and Fieber rounded out the top five.
In the 15-lap Micro Sprint A main, rookie Tyler Davis of South Milwaukee led the first six laps from the pole. On lap 3, Jack Vanderboom moved up from his fifth starting spot to take over second.
On lap 7, disaster struck Davis as he spun in turn four while leading to give the top spot over to Vanderboom. Three more cautions slowed the pace over the final eight laps, but Vanderboom held strong to post his third Micro Sprint A main victory of the 2017 PDTR season.
Tory Strauss of Marshall finished second, followed by Preston Ruh of Elkhart Lake in third, Davis fourth and Josh Rehberg of Milwaukee fifth. Dave Collins of Madison emerged uninjured after his car went on a wild series of flips in turn four on lap 12.
Danny Schlafer won the Sprint Car B main and Jim Bailey of Oostburg claimed the victory in the B Mod B main.
The trophy sponsor for evening was Sorce Services. The next Plymouth Dirt Track racing program will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26. Racing will begin at 6 p.m.
Pedal Down Promotions is a full-service public relations and media services company devoted to helping clients effectively communicate with targeted audiences through a diverse array of promotional strategies and methods, including press releases, newsletters, profile and feature articles, website and social media content development, printed media, editing and layout, graphic design and book publishing services
For more information on Pedal Down Promotions, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.pedaldownpromotions.com or call 920-323-7970.