The champs prevail on Plymouth Dirt Track

Pedal Down Promotions

The cream rose to the top as three former track champions and one of the region’s most versatile and successful competitors rolled to victory lane in Plymouth Dirt Track Racing at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth on Saturday.

In the 25-lap Kristine Hartmann Pleasant View Realty A main, defending PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Travis Arenz of Sheboygan Falls racked up his fourth Plymouth Dirt Track Racing main event triumph in five attempts this season.

Polesitter Doug Wondra of Oakfield jumped into the lead on the drop of the green flag with third-starter Shane Wenninger of Kewaskum, who was competing for the first time since the end of the 2020 season, moving into second and Ben Schmidt of Plymouth, who started fourth, taking third on the opening lap.

Four laps later, Schmidt worked his way around Wenninger to take over second. On lap six, the first of three caution flags appeared when Preston Ruh of Elkhart Lake spun in turn two. Following the ensuing restart, Travis Arenz, who started sixth, swept past Wenninger and Schmidt to move into the runner-up spot on lap seven.

One lap later, the second caution flag flew when Alex Pokorski of West Bend rolled to a stop in turn three. When the race resumed, Arenz used the outside groove to power his way around Wondra and into the lead in turn one on lap eight.

As Arenz bolted away from the field, Schmidt used a low move to pass Wondra and gain second place on lap 12. Schmidt closed the gap slightly as the leaders began to weave their way through lapped traffic on lap 18.

On lap 20, the final caution flag appeared when Tyler Davis of Franklin spun to a stop in turn two. Arenz then fended off Schmidt over the final five laps en route to the win, his 14th career PDTR 360 Sprint Car main victory and 26th career Midwest Sprint Car Association feature triumph.

Schmidt was second, followed by Wondra, Lance Fassbender of Burnett placed and Brandon Berth of Cascade, who started 14th.

In other races:

ν Four-time PDTR late model champion Brad Mueller of Random Lake raced to victory in the 25-lap Sheboygan’s Country B93.7 Late Model A main.

PDTR Late Model rookie Bill Edler of Howards Grove raced to the lead on the opening lap from his outside front row starting spot with polesitter Eric Michaels of Cleveland moving into second.

The first of four caution flags appeared on lap two when Jim Schmidt of Cleveland stopped in turn four while Wayne Freimund of West Allis spun in turn two.

On the restart, four-time defending PDTR Late Model champion Justin Schmidt of Cleveland, who started fourth, powered his way into second place along the high groove.

The second caution flag was then displayed on lap 3 when Wayne Freimund spun in turn four. When the race resumed, Brad Mueller, who started eighth, moved in to challenge Schmidt for the runner-up spot. On the following lap, Schmidt looped his machine into the infield, but continued on after dropping several spots, while Mueller assumed second.

On lap eight, Mueller began to apply pressure to Edler along the outside groove before securing the lead in turn four on lap 10. Once ahead, Mueller set sail to build up a sizable cushion.

A pair of cautions slowed the pace and bunched the field on lap 19 when Sawyer Specht of Sheboygan Falls spun in turn two, and on lap 23 when Charlie Schmidt of Oostburg stopped in turn two.

Mueller was not to be denied as he pulled away after the final restart to notch his 23rd career PDTR late model A main victory.

Edler placed second, followed by Justin Schmidt, Joe Bongiorno of Milwaukee and Turk Letizia of Milwaukee.

ν Greenville’s T.J. Smith adapted quickly to the Plymouth Dirt Track in a rare appearance at the third-mile clay oval by claiming a victory in the caution-filled 25-lap Oostburg Automotive Grand National A-main.

Chad Espen of West Bend assumed the initial lead in the 25-lap Grand National A main. The first of six caution flags appeared on lap four when Marc Caswell of West Allis spun in turn four.

On the restart, 2010 PDTR Grand National champion Brian Gilles of Plymouth, who owns a total of six PDTR career track championships, moved in from his sixth starting spot to take second in the Bender Racing No. 89 car along the high groove on lap eight.

The third caution flag was displayed when Kyle Caswell of Caledonia spun along the front stretch on lap eight. On the restart, T.J. Smith made his presence felt as he powered into second from his fifth starting spot on lap 9 and worked past Espen into the lead on lap 10 before the fourth caution flag flew when Rich Garb spin in turn four.

Gilles, who came out of retirement as one of three team drivers for Bender Racing this season, battled back to take second from Espen along the outside line on lap 10 before two more caution flags slowed the pace in succession on lap 11 for single-car spins.

When the race resumed, Luke Scholten of Oostburg, who started 19th, charged in to duel with Gilles for second before Gilles gained the runner-up spot for good on lap 20. Gilles then mounted one final charge as he again worked the outside lane to pull even with Smith on lap 24.

However, Smith was too strong as he fended off Gilles’ persistent challenges to earn his first career PDTR Grand National A-main victory. Gilles placed second, Scholten wound up third, Espen placed fourth and 13th starter Jonathan Otte of Cedar Grove completed the top five.

ν Two-time PDTR Grand National B Mod champion Tim Warner of Fond du Lac endured six caution flags to earn the victory in the 25-lap Next Stop Insurance B Mod A-main in his first PDTR appearance of the season.

Outside front-row starter Andy Welter of Hartford outpowered polesitter Jonathan Hitsman of Newton to lead the first lap.

The first of six caution flags was displayed on lap four when Steve Lorier of Sheboygan spun and collected Gary Glander of Sheboygan Falls in turn two.

On the restart, Warner worked his way into second from his seventh. He was closing on Welter when the second caution flag came out for Gary Glander, who stopped near turn three while attempting to exit the track on lap 14.

After a series of three caution flags with one on lap 15 and two on lap 18, Warner tracked down Welter and powered into the lead with a high move in turn two on lap 19. The sixth and final caution flag was displayed when Jonathan Hitsman spun in turn four on lap 23.

Following a single-file restart, Warner pulled away to notch his seventh career PDTR B Mod A-main victory, which moved him into second place on the all-time PDTR B Mod A-main win list.

Welter placed second, followed by Travis Schmidt of Waldo, Shane Long of Sheboygan Falls and Brendon Ostrowski of Milwaukee.

ν Will Gerrits of Waupun was victorious in the PDTR 360 Sprint Car B main.

ν Tim Haddy of Waupun was the overall fastest qualifier in the PDTR 360 Sprint Car group qualifying session with a lap of  12.427 seconds.

PDTR to race again June 30

The next PDTR program is set for Thursday, June 30, featuring the Road America Challenge Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Series event and the PDTR 360 Sprint Cars.

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with qualifying at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m.

Advance adult $25 tickets can be purchased at until Thursday, June 30, at 9 a.m. Adult tickets at the gate are $30.

Shuttle buses will transport NASCAR weekend campers from Road America to PDTR.



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