(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) July 13, 2019 – The record book will show that Josh Walter of Plymouth led all 30 laps of the Plymouth Dirt Track Racing Remembering Randy Tracy Mid-Season Championship 360 Sprint Car A main at the Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wis. on Saturday, July 13.
However, a closer examination will find that Walter used all of the skill he has accumulated in his 14 seasons of Sprint Car racing to negotiate heavy lapped traffic and turn back a heated challenge from Travis Arenz of Sheboygan in the closing laps to earn his second A-main victory of the 2019 season in the Richard’s of Dunbar PDTR 360 Sprint Car division in the first Remembering Randy Tracy Night celebrating of the life and racing career popular late driver affectionately dubbed “The Meat” during his 24-year racing career at Plymouth.
In the 30-lap Remembering Randy Tracy Sprint Car A-main, Walter got the jump on the drop of the green flag from the pole position with third starter Will Gerrits taking second on the opening circuit. Riding the high line around the multi-groove racing surface, Walter had built up a full straightaway cushion over Gerrits when he encountered slower traffic beginning on lap 8.
On lap 9, fifth starter Jim Melis of Glenbeulah dove underneath Gerrits to wrestle away the second spot in the running order. However, Gerrits battled back to regain the position before the lone caution flag of the race appeared on lap 10 for a three-car incident in turn two involving Paul Pokorski of West Bend, Anthony Knierim of Franksville and Shane Wenninger of Kewaskum. Pokorski and Wenninger were forced to drop out of the race, while Knierim was able to return.
Following the restart, Jim Melis pulled off a slide job to move past Gerrits into second in turn four on lap 12, while Travis Arenz of Sheboygan, who started eighth, used the low line to advance to fifth on lap 13.
By lap 14, Walter had again bolted out to a full-straightaway advantage over Melis. However, lapped traffic began to become a factor starting on lap 16 when Walter had to deal with the cars of Anthony Knierim and Bill Taylor dueling side by side for multiple laps.
As Walter struggled to find a way through the lapped traffic, Melis closed significantly along the high groove before Walter was finally able to split Knierim and Taylor on lap 24. As Melis faded with a power steering issue in the closing laps, Arenz was on a charge as he worked is way past 2011 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Ben Schmidt of Howards Grove, who started seventh, on lap 26 to secure second.
Arenz pulled even with Walter with a low move in turn two on lap 29, but he was unable to make the move stick as Walter held strong along the cushion. On the final circuit with Arenz still hot on his heels, Walter made a bold low move underneath the slower car of Tyler Brabant in turn three to clinch his sixth career PDTR 360 Sprint Car A-main victory and second A-main triumph of the 2019 season.
Arenz, who came into the event as the winner of the last two Midwest Sprint Car Association A mains, had to settle for second, Schmidt, who was sporting the No. 42 made famous by Randy Tracy for the evening, placed third, Gerrits wound up fourth and 2010 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion and current point leader Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee moved up for the ninth starting spot to place fifth.