By Jeff Pederson-Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) May 26, 2018 – Under steamy Memorial Day weekend weather conditions, the action on the track was equally hot and heavy as Plymouth Dirt Track Racing staged its annual Military Night racing program Saturday, May 26, at The Plymouth Dirt Track on the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis.
A strong field of 100 cars took to the one-third mile Plymouth Dirt Track with Josh Walter of Plymouth (Richard’s of Dunbar 360 Sprint Cars), Jared Siefert of Luxemburg (Gasroots Project Late Models), Don Sorce Jr. of West Allis (Klips & Tips Grand Nationals), Jeff Steenbergen of Watertown (Cellcom B Mods) and Preston Ruh of Elkhart Lake (Micro Sprints) securing A-main victories in the second full PDTR racing program of the 2018 season.
In the 25-lap Sprint Car A-main, Paul Pokorski of West Bend lined up from the pole position flanked by 2010 PDTR Sprint Car champion Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee.
After an aborted start for a flip involving Chris Clayton of Waldo, Davis jumped out into the lead with a high move in turn two on the opening lap. On lap 2, third starter Kevin Karnitz of West Bend and 2008 PDTR Sprint Car champ Lance Fassbender of Burnett, who started fifth, ducked under Pokorski to assume the second and third spots respectively.
Hugging the low line, Karnitz bolted under Davis to take the lead in turn one on lap 4. However, one lap later, Davis rode the cushion to power past Karntiz in turn two.
After Davis switched lines to run the low groove on lap 9, he quickly built up a half-straightaway cushion over Karnitz on lap 12. Meanwhile, Walter, who started sixth, flexed his muscle to move into third place on lap 13 before slipping past Karnitz to take the runner-up spot on lap 14 with a nifty low move.
Misfortune struck Davis on lap 16 when a flat left rear tire forced him to drop out of the race and relinquish the lead to Walter.
With Walter maintaining a half-straightaway lead, fourth starter Tim Haddy of Waupun gained second from Karnitz and began to set his sights on the top spot as the leaders worked through lapped traffic in the closing laps.
As Walter found himself bottled up by lapped traffic, Haddy closed the gap along the cushion, trailed closely by 2005 PDTR Sprint Car champion Danny Schlafer of Sussex, who started eighth, in third and Pokorski, who rallied to mount a late charge along the cushion, in fourth.
With Haddy closing rapidly, Walter held on to collect his fourth career PDTR Sprint Car A-main victory by just over one car length over Haddy, who was second. Schlafer finished third, followed by Pokorski in fourth and Eagle’s Scott Conger, who placed fifth, after starting seventh.
After cautions for spins involving Justin Schmidt of Cleveland and Kevin Baldry of Omro on the opening lap, Jim Schmidt of Cleveland assumed the top spot from the pole on the drop of the green flag of the 25-lap Late Model A main with outside front row starter Tim Buhler of Greenbush settling into second with fourth starter Jared Siefert third.
After working around Buhler with a high move on lap 3, Siefert used the outside line to pull event with Schmidt on lap 5. One lap later, Siefert powered around Schmidt in turn one to assume the lead.
As Siefert held a comfortable edge at the front of the field, a three-car battle raged between Schmidt, Buhler and four-time and defending PDTR Late Model champ Brad Mueller of Random Lake, who started sixth.
On lap 10, Mueller rode the high groove to second in turn two. However, the tricky high groove proved to be a challenge for Mueller, as he dropped back to fourth on lap 18 after jumping the cushion.
Siefert went on to post his second career PDTR Late Model A-main victory, Schmidt was second, Buhler took third, Mueller claimed fourth and eighth starter Paul Parker of Kaukauna finished fifth.
In the 25-lap Grand National A main, two-time PDTR Grand National champion Don Sorce Jr. jumped out to the lead from the pole on the opening lap.
After running side-by-side for the first lap and a half, fifth starter Tyler Kulow of Plymouth outdueled Steven Ruh of New Holstein, who was driving for Matt Loehr and Bender Racing, to assume second in turn three on lap 2.
Kulow kept pace with Sorce Jr. along the low groove throughout most of the race, but was unable to mount a serious challenge for the lead as Sorce Jr. posted his 11th career PDTR Grand National A-main victory in impressive flag-to-flag fashion.
Kulow had to settle for second, Ruh drove Loehr’s machine to a solid third-place showing, third starter Dick Hed of Plymouth placed fourth and Kurt Davis, who started seventh, rounded out the top five.
Elijah Koenig of Beaver Dam jumped out to the lead in the 25-lap B Mod A main followed by outside front row starter Tim Sheppard of Beaver Dam.
After the first of five caution flags was displayed on lap 2 for a spin involving Chris Gilson of Elkhart Lake.
One lap later, Sheppard spun in turn two while running second to bring out the second caution. On the restart, Koenig found himself feeling pressure from Jeff Steenbergen, who started fourth, and defending PDTR B Mod champion Justin Green of Sheboygan Falls, who started fifth.
On lap 9, Green dipped under Steenbergen in turn one to take second place. Three laps later, Green powered under Koenig to gain the lead in turn one.
However, Green’s lead was short-lived as he was penalized two spots for making contact with and knocking the infield tires onto the track in turn four to bring out the third caution of the race.
On the restart, Steenbergen wasted little time passing Koenig for the top spot. On lap 16, Green maneuvered around Koenig to assume the runner-up spot.
Steenbergen survived two more cautions to hold off Green by four car lengths to earn his first career PDTR B Mod A main victory. Green was second, 2016 PDTR B Mod champion Brandon Berth of Cascade finished third after starting seventh, Geoff Jeche of Juneau wound up fourth after starting ninth and Koenig rounded out the top five.
Dave Collins of Madison led the first eight laps of the 15-lap Micro Sprint A main before he was disqualified for a sparking brake rotor.
With Collins relegated to the infield, 2017 PDTR Micro Sprint champ Preston Ruh, who started second, assumed the top spot trailed by fourth starter Tory Strauss of Sun Prairie.
The lone caution of the race appeared on lap 7 for the stalled car of rookie Miles Quandt of Watertown in turn two. When the race resume, Ruh maintained the top spot with Strauss in tow.
Ruh went on to claim his second career PDTR A-main victory by two car lengths over Strauss. Dousman’s Jack Vanderboom, who started fifth, placed third, Plymouth’s Emily Portschy finished fourth, after starting third, and Quandt was scored fifth.
John Krebsbach of Cascade won the Sprint Car B main. Spencer Long of Oshkosh captured the first B Mod B Main and Rick Kretschmann of Sheboygan Falls collected the victory in the second B Mod B main.
The race program, which was sponsored by Pedal Down Promotions, featured 27 Sprint Cars, 14 Late Models, 16 Grand Nationals, 36 B Mods and 7 Micro Sprints.
PDTR racing action will continue next Saturday, June 2, with grandstands opening at 4:30 p.m. and racing scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The trophy sponsor for the Graduates Night program will be 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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