(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) May 7, 2022 – Defending Plymouth Dirt Track Racing and Akright Auto Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint Car champion Travis Arenz of Sheboygan Falls capitalized on a late-race incident between former PDTR 360 Sprint Car champions Ben Schmidt of Plymouth and Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh to earn the 25-lap Kristine Hartmann Pleasantview Realty 360 Sprint Car main event victory in the 2022 season opener Saturday, May 7 at The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis.
After drawing the pole position, Arenz bolted into the lead on the drop of the green flag of the 25-lap 360 Sprint Car headliner as fourth starter Ben Schmidt ducked into second in the running order.
By lap 4, Arenz had caught the rear of the field on the multi-groove racing surface. On lap 7, the red flag was displayed when Will Gerrits of Waupun flipped in turn one.
On the restart, sixth starter Brandon McMullen made a bold move along the low line to sweep past Schmidt into second in turn two. Four laps later, Arenz found himself bogged down by heavy lapped traffic, which allowed McMullen to close the gap significantly.
On lap 11, Arenz made slight contact with a lapped car along the high groove as McMullen bolted into the lead along the low line exiting turn four. McMullen proceeded to power away from Arenz over the next five laps before Schmidt worked past Arenz to take over second on lap 16 and quickly set his sights on McMullen for the lead.
One lap later, Schmidt made a big run on McMullen along the low line entering turn three. However, contact between the two cars sent Schmidt flipping and resulted in damage to McMullen’s car to bring out the second red flag of the race.
With Schmidt out of the race and McMullen relegated to the pit area to make repairs before restarting the race at the rear of the field, Arenz regained the lead on the ensuing restart. Arenz pulled away on the restart before 2018 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Justin Miller of Plymouth spun in turn three on lap 18 to bring out a yellow flag.
Following the final restart, 2008 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Lance Fassbender of Burnett, who started eighth, and fifth starter Tim Haddy of Waupun waged an epic battle for second in the closing laps.
Fassbender and Haddy, two of the most experienced drivers in the PDTR 360 Sprint Car division, exchanged multiple slide jobs over the final seven circuits before Haddy emerged with the runner-up spot with two laps remaining.
Meanwhile, Arenz shot out to a commanding lead down the stretch en route to his 11th career PDTR 360 Sprint Car and 23rd overall Midwest Sprint Car Association A-main victory.
Haddy finished second, Fassbender was third, Doug Wondra of Oakfield charged from the 14th starting spot to finish fourth and Waldo’s Chris Clayton placed fifth, after starting 16th.
Tony Wondra of Campbellsport won the 15-lap PDTR 360 Sprint B main.
PDTR action featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Late Models, Grand Nationals and B Mods is scheduled to resume with Fire, Police and Emergency Medical Services Night on Saturday, May 14. All firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services personnel will receive free admission with a valid identification.
Spectator gates open at 3:30 p.m. with hot laps at 4:30 p.m. and racing at 5 p.m.
On Sunday, May 15, the Akright Auto Midwest Sprint Car Association is scheduled to visit the historic Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis. along with the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association and Wisconsin Dirt Legends with spectator gates opening at 4 p.m. and on-track action slated to begin at 6 p.m.
KRISTINE HARTMANN PLEASANTVIEW REALTY 360 SPRINT CARS
1, Cole Possi 2, Will Gerrits 3, Ben Schmidt 4, Katelyn Krebsbach 5, Justin Miller 6, Chris Clayton 7, Blake Wondra 8, Tony Wondra 9, Bill Taylor.
1, Tim Haddy 2, Anthony Knierim 3, Brandon Berth 4, Doug Wondra 5, Spyder Akright 6, Mike Yurmanovich 7, Dylan Winkel (DNS) 8, Tommy Colburn (DNS) 9, Jack Vanderboom (DNS).
1, Brandon McMullen 2, Justin Erickson 3, Travis Arenz 4, Lance Fassbender 5, Chris Larson 6, Preston Ruh 7, Paul Pokorski 8, J.J. Pagel 9, Tyler Brabant (DNS).
1, Tony Wondra 2, Chris Larson 3, Paul Pokorski 4, Bill Taylor 5, Blake Wondra 6, Tommy Colburn 7, J.J. Pagel 8, Preston Ruh 9, Jack Vanderboom (DNS) 10, Dylan Winkel (DNS) 11, Tyler Brabant (DNS).
1, Travis Arenz 2, Tim Haddy 3, Lance Fassbender 4, Doug Wondra 5, Chris Clayton 6, Justin Erickson 7, Tony Wondra 8, Anthony Knierim 9, Brandon McMullen 10, Paul Pokorski 11, Cole Possi 12, Mike Yurmanovich 13, Blake Wondra 14, Chris Larson 15, Justin Miller 16, Bill Taylor 17, Spyder Akright 18, Tommy Colburn 19, Katelyn Krebsbach 20, Ben Schmidt 21, Brandon Berth 22, Will Gerrits.