By Jeff Pederson-Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) July 22, 2017 – On a night which showcased numerous hotly contested battles on the track and provided an ample opportunity for young autograph seekers to get up close and personal with their favorite drivers in the pit area, three seasoned veterans, a top candidate for breakthrough driver of the year and one of the youngest competitors in the pit area captured A-main event victories Saturday, July 22, in Plymouth Dirt Track Racing action at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds.
One of the most accomplished veterans at PDTR, Jim Melis of Glenbeulah, held off a late charge from point leader Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh to claim his first Sprint Car A-main victory of 2017. Jim Schmidt Cleveland notched his second Late Model A-main triumph the season, while B Mod point leader Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls posted his fourth A-main triumph of the year. Veteran Sprint Car driver Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee earned his first career Grand National triumph and 13-year-old Jack Vanderboom posted his second A-main triumph of 2017 in the Micro Sprint division.
Outside front row starter Kenjay Fiedler of Sheboygan Falls outpowered polesitter Jim Melis to grab the lead in the first corner of the opening lap of the 25-lap Sprint Car event. The first caution of the race appeared on lap 3 when Doug Wondra of Lomira, Nick Melis of Plymouth and Ryan Mayr of New Holstein collided in turn 3 sending Wondra flipping. The resulting damage forced Wondra and Melis to retire from the race, while Mayr was able to continue.
After the restart, Melis used the low groove to slip past Fiedler on lap 4. On the next lap, sixth starter Tyler Brabant of Waupun charged up to seize second on lap 5 and pressure Melis for the lead along the low line.
However, the cagey veteran switched his line and moved to the bottom of the track, which helped to turn back Brabant’s march to the front. Three laps later PDTR Sprint Car point leader Brandon McMullen, who started fourth, slipped past Brabant to assume second on lap 11 and quickly began to close the gap on Melis.
As the leaders encountered lapped traffic on lap 16, McMullen cut the gap even further. On the final lap, McMullen dove under Melis and two skilled racers dueled side by side to the finish line with Melis nipping McMullen by just .06 of a second to claim the 15th career PDTR Sprint Car A main victory and 18th Midwest Sprint Car Association A-main triumph of his career.
McMullen finished second, Brabant recorded a career-best third place showing, fifth starter Kurt Davis paced fourth and eighth starter Lance Fassbender of Burnett rounded out the top five.
Polesitter Charlie Schmidt of Cedar Grove led the first nine circuits of the 25-lap PDTR Late Model A main until Jim Schmidt powered up from his sixth starting position to pressure for the top spot.
On lap 10, Jim Schmidt bolted past Charlie Schmidt to gain the lead with a strong move along the outside groove. The second of two caution periods for debris bunched the field on lap 12.
On the restart, Jim Schmidt checked out to build up a half-lap lead over Charlie Schmidt. After dueling with Charlie Schmidt for numerous laps, three-time PDTR Late Model champ and current point leader Brad Mueller of Random Lake moved into second from his seventh starting position on lap 13 and one lap later, Luxemburg’s Jared Siefert seized third after starting 10th.
However, it was all Jim Schmidt out front as he cruised over the final 11 laps to seal to his second PDTR Late Model A-main victory of the 2017 season and his 11th career PDTR Late Model A-main win.
Mueller finished second, Siefert was third, Charlie Schmidt wound up fourth and Taylor Scheffler of Waukesha rounded out the top five after starting eighth.
Kurt Davis pulled off a huge move in the first turn of the race to lead the opening lap of 25-lap Grand National A main from the inside second row starting spot.
Polesitter Jeff Lammers of Plymouth refused to let Davis run away and hide as he moved in to challenge for the lead on lap 4. The lone caution of the race appeared on lap 9 when Dan Sorce of West Allis collided with Jacob Muehlbauer along the frontstretch.
When the race resumed, Davis again showed his strength with Lammers in tow. The two drivers remained 1-2 in the runner order over the final 13 laps as Davis recorded his first career PDTR Grand National A main victory.
Lammers finished second, fourth starter Tyler Kulow of New Holstein placed third, J.J. Pagel raced up from the ninth starting position to finish fourth and Will Sorce of West Allis, who claimed his first career PDTR Grand National A-main victory last week, finished fifth after starting 11th.
Polesitter J.J. Walvoord took the lead on the drop of the green flag of the 25-lap B Mod A main with third starter and current point leader Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls trailing in second.
Green grabbed the top spot on lap 3 before Walvoord battled back to regain the lead along the outside groove on lap 4. The first of three caution periods came out on lap 4 for a six-car incident in turn 2. On the restart, Green continued to pressure Walvoord for the lead until he finally seized the top spot for good in turn three on lap 7.
Green proceeded to build up a big full straightaway lead over Tim Warner of Fond du Lac, who started fourth. As Green locked down command of the race, several drivers jockeyed for spots in the top five. A flurry of inspired passes and close battles ensued in the final five laps of the race between Walvoord, Gary Glander of Sheboygan Falls, who started sixth, Warner and 11th starter Chad Vetting of Valders.
Green cruised to his fourth career A-main victory and fourth triumph of the 2017 season. A spirited late rally vaulted Vetting to a second-place finish, Glander was third, Walvoord wound up fourth and Warner completed the top five.
After starting fifth, Jack Vanderboom of Dousman grabbed the lead on lap 3 and cruised the rest of the way to notch his second A-main victory of the season ahead of Chad Bogar of Sun Prairie in second.
Tory Strauss of Waterloo took third, polesitter Preston Ruh of Elkhart Lake placed fourth and Josh Rehberg of Franklin completed the top five.
The PDTR Autograph Night program was presented by Hopf Farms, which distributed checkered flags to all kids, as well as several other handouts and raffle giveaways throughout the evening, while also serving as the nights trophy sponsor.
Next Saturday, July 29 will feature the second annual PDTR Kids Backpack Night with Buffalo Wild Wings serving as the evening’s trophy sponsor. Racing starts 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 Facebo.
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For more information on Pedal Down Promotions, email email@example.com, visit www.pedaldownpromotions.com or call 920-323-7970.