Last-corner pass nets Schmidt MSA
Jim Wipperfurth Memorial victory
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) April 17, 2021 – Former Midwest Sprint Car Association champion Ben Schmidt of Howards Grove pulled off a thrilling last corner pass to outduel hard-charging Sheboygan competitor Travis Arenz and secure a 2021 season-opening victory in the 25-lap Akright Auto Parts of Sheboygan Falls Midwest Sprint Car Association Jim Wipperfurth Memorial A-main at Beaver Dam Raceway in Beaver Dam, Wis. on Saturday, April 17.
The first event of the 23rd season of MSA series competition drew 34 entrants to Beaver Dam Raceway, which served as the birthplace of Winged 360 Sprint Car racing in Southeastern Wisconsin in 1996.
Polesitter Tim Haddy of Mayville, who has been racing Winged 360 Sprint Cars since the division’s inception at Beaver Dam Raceway in 1996, jumped into the lead on the drop of the green flag as fourth starter Ben Schmidt, who captured the 2011 MSA title, bolted into second and Travis Arenz moved up from his sixth starting spot to slide into third on the opening circuit.
On lap 3, Schmidt moved in to pressure Haddy for the top spot. Two laps later, Schmidt pulled off a slide job in turn two to briefly seize the lead before Haddy battled back along the fast middle groove to regain the top spot in turn four.
Haddy and Schmidt continued their side-by-side duel until Schmidt finally gained control of the lead exiting turn four on lap 7. Four laps later, Arenz made his presence felt as he worked the high groove to surge ahead of the low riding Haddy before the first of two caution flags was displayed for a spin involving Josh Teunissen in turn four on lap 12.
On the restart, five-time MSA champion Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee spun in turn two and collected Justin Miller of Plymouth, Jason Johnson of Campbellsport, Waupun’s Will Gerrits and MSA rookie Matt Rechek of Beaver Dam. Davis, Miller, Johnson and Rechek were able to continue, but Gerrits was done for the night.
When the race resumed, Arenz went to the cushion to challenge Schmidt, who was stuck to the middle line of the multi-groove third-mile facility. On lap 19, Arenz finally pounced as he bolted around Schmidt with a high move in turn two.
Two laps later, Arenz began to encounter heavy lapped traffic, which allowed Schmidt to cut the gap considerably. As Arenz was forced to deal with a pair of slower cars racing side-by-side just ahead of him, Schmidt moved to within striking distance on the white flag lap.
Schmidt used a huge run down the backstretch on the final lap to pull even with Arenz along the inside groove in turn three and sweep into the lead in turn four en route to his 27th career MSA A-main victory.
Arenz had to settle for second, Haddy took third, two-time MSA champion Danny Schlafer of Sussex took third after starting eighth and 2005 MSA champ Lance Fassbender of Burnett charged up from the 15th starting spot to finish fifth.
Heat race victories went to Tyler Davis of South Milwaukee, Tim Haddy, Kevin Karnitz of West Bend and Danny Schlafer.
Austin Hartmann of Plymouth claimed his first career MSA race victory in the 15-lap B main.
The next race on the 2021 Akright Auto Parts of Sheboygan Midwest Sprint Car Association schedule is Saturday, April 24 at Gravity Park Speedway in Chilton. The program will also feature Sport Mods, 4-Cylinders and Street Stocks.
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Midwest Sprint Car Association
Beaver Dam Raceway
Beaver Dam, Wis.
April 17, 2021
1, Tyler Davis 2, Paul Pokorski 3, Kurt Davis 4, Al Schlafer 5, Matt Rechek 6, Scott Conger 7, Preston Ruh 8, Bill Taylor 9, Tyler Tischendorf.
1, Tim Haddy 2, Ben Schmidt 3, Nick Daywalt 4, Blake Wondra 5, Lance Fassbender 6, Spyder Akright 7, Ken Schmick 8, Justin Erickson (DNS) 9, Tom Kreutz (DNS).
1, Kevin Karnitz 2, Will Gerrits 3, Jack Vanderboom 4, Josh Teunissen 5, Austin Hartmann 6, Chris Larson 7, Doug Wondra 8, Tommy Colburn.
1, Danny Schlafer 2, Travis Arenz 3, Justin Miller 4, Jason Johnson 5, Tyler Brabant 6, Katelyn Krebsbach 7. Adam Miller 8, Mike Yurmanovich.
1, Austin Hartmann 2, Blake Wondra 3, Preston Ruh 4, Adam Miller 5, Tyler Brabant 6, Jason Johnson 7, Scott Conger 8, Chris Larson 9. Mike Yurmanovich 10, Spyder Akright 11, Tom Kreutz 12, Katelyn Krebsbach 13, Ken Schmick.
1, Ben Schmidt 2, Travis Arenz 3, Tim Haddy 4, Danny Schlafer 5, Lance Fassbender 6, Adam Miller 7, Jack Vanderboom 8, Kevin Karnitz 9, Matt Rechek 10, Kurt Davis 11, Justin Miller 12, Austin Hartmann 13, Blake Wondra 14, Tyler Davis 15. Jason Johnson 16, Josh Teunissen 17, Al Schlafer 18, Nick Daywalt 19, Will Gerrits 20, Paul Pokorski 21, Preston Ruh 22, Tyler Brabant.