By Jeff Pederson – Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) May 27, 2017 – With some long overdue pleasant spring weather conditions greeting racers, crews, fans, sponsors and track workers, four cagey veterans and one newcomer grabbed A-main victories in the third Plymouth Dirt Track Racing program of the 2017 season Saturday, May 27, at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds.
For the third consecutive week, a large contingent of 109 cars packed the pit area to compete for the A-main trophies sponsored by Pedal Down Promotions. It was also Military Night with a special pre-race ceremony honoring those who have and continue to serve our country to ensure our daily freedom.
In the 25-lap Sprint Car A main, it was 25-year veteran Paul Pokorski of West Bend recording his first feature victory since August 2015. Newcomer Jesse Glenz of Fall Creek made his first visit to Plymouth count with a flag-to-flag victory in the 25-lap Late Model headliner. Mark Fieber of Cascade survived a wild Grand National A-main to claim the top prize. Rick Kretschmann of Sheboygan Falls captured the 25-lap B Mod A-main victory, while Tory Strauss of Waterloo rolled to victory in the Micro Sprint A-main.
The green flag fell in the Sprint Car A main with Kenjay Fiedler of Sheboygan Falls on the pole and Paul Pokorski on the outside of the front row. Pokorski utilized the preferred outside groove to power into the lead in turn two of the opening lap.
By lap 3, Pokorski had opened a half straightaway advantage over Fiedler. Pokorski, who was the 2014 Midwest Sprint Car Association Masters Series champion, encountered lapped traffic for the first time on lap 6.
Two laps later, the first caution of the event appeared on lap 8 for the stalled car of Mike Yurmanovich of Cascade in turn three. A red flag was then displayed when fire crews had to attend to situation in the pit area.
When the race resumed, ninth starter Brandon McMullen of Appleton charged up to take third place on lap 9. At the front of the field, Pokorski again built up a solid cushion over Fielder. By lap 15, Pokorski had stretched out a half-lap advantage.
Pokorski, who was involved in an opening night accident which has sidelined his primary 2016 Maxim car, overcame a near spin in turn two in the closing laps to steer his 2011 J&J backup machine to his first A-main victory since Aug. 14, 2015 at the now defunct Manitowoc Expo Speedway.
It was Pokorski’s third career PDTR Sprint Car A-main victory and 10th overall feature triumph of his Sprint Car career. Fiedler held on for second, 2008 PDTR Sprint Car Champion Lance Fassbender of Burnett was third, McMullen finished fourth and 10th starter Tim Haddy of Mayville claimed fifth, after starting 10th.
“It was great to get a victory,â€ Pokorski said. “I had a pretty close call getting sideways there in turn two, but luckily I was able to recover. It was a fast, hammer down track right around the top, which I normally like. Everything worked out well for us tonight.”
Jesse Glenz, who is a regular competitor at Cedar Lake Speedway and Red Cedar Speedway in Western Wisconsin, started on the pole of the Late Model A main next to outside front row starter Justin Schmidt of Cleveland.
Glenz grabbed the lead on the opening lap, as defending PDTR Late Model Champion Tim Buhler of Greenbush moved into second. On lap 5, Schmidt jumped up to the high grove to challenge the low riding Buhler for the runner-up spot. The two hard-charging drivers mounted an epic door panel-to door panel battle for the remainder of the race.
Buhler moved in to briefly challenge Glenz as the leaders moved into slower traffic on lap 8. On lap 12, Schmidt surged past Buhler to take over second. However, two laps later, Buhler regained the spot along the low groove.
Glenz, who was making his PDTR debut, built a half-lap lead by 17 before Charlie Schmidt of Cedar Grove prompted the first yellow flag of the race with a spin in turn three on lap 17.
On the restart, Glenz powered away as Buhler and Schmidt continued their race-long duel. Glenz went on to earn his first career PDTR Late Model A-main victory, followed by Buhler in second. Schmidt settled for third, three-time PDTR Late Model Champion Brad Mueller of Random Lake started and finished fourth and seventh-starter Taylor Scheffler of Waukesha wound up fifth.
“This is our first time here and I really enjoyed it,” Glenz said. “It is a great facility with a lot of cars in the pits and strong fan support. The car ran really well and I’m happy to be in victory lane.”
2010 PDTR Grand National Champion Brian Gilles started the Grand National A-main from the pole flanked by 2011 PDTR Grand National Champ Mark Fieber, who started second. Gilles and Fieber raced side-by-side on opening lap before Fieber gained the advantage in turn two on lap 2.
The first of four caution flags appeared on lap 2 when 2008 PDTR Grand National Champion Matt Yancey of Sheboygan hit the wall in turn two. On the restart, defending PDTR Grand National Champion Brian Cesar of Sheboygan used the high groove to challenge Gilles for the runner-up spot. After two laps of heated action, Gilles and Cesar made contact in turn two, which caused Gilles to drop back to seventh in the running order.
After the second caution appeared on lap 5 debris, Cesar challenged fourth-starter Tyler Kulow of Plymouth for second starting on lap 7. Following four laps racing in side-by-side formation, Kulow gained the upper hand on lap 11. The third caution flag came out on lap 13 for a spin involving Justin Erickson of Plymouth.
After the restart, the action continued to be hot and heavy behind Fieber as a host of drivers jostled for position in close proximity. The final caution appeared on lap 17 for Josh Pierce of Random Lake, who spun in turn two to set up an entertaining eight-lap trophy dash between Fieber, Kulow and Cesar.
Kulow attempted to duck under Fieber for the lead in turn two on lap 20, but contact ensued, which caused Kulow to drop back slightly. Meanwhile Cesar charged hard along the high groove to pull even with the bottom-hugging Fieber on lap 22.
Cesar surged into the lead briefly in turn 2 on lap 23, but Fieber was not to be denied as he turned back under Cesar to regain the lap later in the lap in turn four. Fieber held on to secure his 11th career PDTR A-main victory to move firmly into second place on the all-time PDTR Grand National A-main win list behind Brad Lubach, who has 24.
Cesar was second, Kulow took third, two-time PDTR Grand National Champion Don Sorce Jr. of West Allis place fourth after starting 10th and seventh starter Dan Sorce of West Allis placed fifth.
Polesitter Ken Childre of Milwaukee led the field into turn one on the B Mod A main before third starter Rick Kretschmann of Sheboygan Falls moved into the top spot in turn three.
The first of four cautions appeared on lap 3 for a spin involving Craig Gessner of Kewaskum. On the restart seventh starter Cody Eickberg of Plymouth was the drive on the move as he worked the high groove to pass second starter J.J. Walvoord of Oostburg on lap 9 for the runner-up spot.
Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls, who started 11th, also mounted a charge to the front as he assumed third on lap 13. On lap 16, Green used the outside line to pressure Eickberg for second. Green cleared Eickberg for second on lap 17 and quickly set his sights on Kretschmann.
After two more caution periods in the final seven laps, Green had to deal with a hood panel that had flipped up. However, he held on to maintain second at the finish line behind Kretschmann, who notched his second career PDTR B Mod A main victory, Eickberg was third, followed by ninth starter Glenn Blanke of Sheboygan Falls in fourth and Walvoord in fifth.
In the 20-lap Micro Sprint A main, Tory Strauss started from the pole and was never seriously challenged throughout. Defending PDTR Micro Sprint Champion Zach Boden of Cambridge worked his way into second on lap 11, after starting fourth.
Boden appeared poised to challenge Strauss for the top spot before Joe Snow spun and later flipped on lap 16 to bring out the second caution of the race. On the restart Boden fell back to fifth, while 11th starter Chad Bogar of Sun Prairie powered up to second place.
Strauss held on over the final four laps to notch his second career PDTR Micro Sprint A main victory by a half straightaway over Bogar. Matt Perterson, who started second, took third, Dave Collins placed fourth after starting 10th and Boden rounded out the top five.
B main victories went to Tyler Brabant of Waupun (Sprint Car), Steven Weber of Plymouth (Grand National) and Brandon Knepprath of Kewaskum (B Mod).
PDTR racing action will continue next Saturday, June 3, with racing scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. It will be Police, Fire and EMS Night, as well as Graduates Night. All police, fire and EMS personnel, along with graduates will receive free admission with proper ID. Trophies will be sponsored by Pit Stop Pizza.
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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