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McMullen stays atop tight points battle with fifth MSA A-main triumph of 2023 campaign



(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) August 19, 2023 – Two-time Plymouth Dirt Track Racing 360 Sprint Car champion and current division points leader Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh kept himself in the driver’s seat for another title by claiming his fourth 25-lap Akright Auto PDTR 360 Sprint Car main event victory of the 2023 season Saturday, Aug. 19 at The Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wis.


Outside front row starter Lance Fassbender of Burnett outpowered polesitter Paul Pokorski of West Bend to grab the lead in turn one of the opening lap of the 25-lap PDTR – Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint Car headliner.


Meanwhile, fourth starter and Plymouth native Brandon McMullen moved past both Justin Erickson of Plymouth and Pokorski to secure second in turn two of the opening lap. On lap 6, Fassbender, who captured the 2008 PDTR 360 Sprint Car championship, caught the back of the field and began to maneuver his way through lapped traffic.


Three laps later, McMullen moved in to challenge Fassbender for the top spot along the low groove of the fast and challenging track surface. On lap 10, McMullen used the outside line to vault into the lead exiting turn four.


Five laps later, McMullen found himself boxed in behind side-by-side lapped traffic, which allowed Fassbender to reduce the lead gap. On lap 16, the lone caution flag of the race appeared when rookie Tristan Koenings of Van Dyne stopped along the apron of the frontstretch exiting turn four.


Following the restart, 2011 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Ben Schmidt of Plymouth, who started ninth, moved past Pokorski to assume third on lap 17. With McMullen holding down a comfortable lead as the laps wound down, Schmidt moved in to pressure Fassbender for the runner-up spot.


Schmidt then executed a low move to clear Fassbender in turn three on the white flag lap and gain second place, while McMullen notched his all-time division-leading 31st career PDTR 360 Sprint Car A-main victory and 43rd career Midwest Sprint Car Association A-main triumph, along with his fourth PDTR and fifth MSA main event win of the 2023 season.


Schmidt placed second, Fassbender wound up third, Justin Erickson came home fourth and 10th starter Kevin Karnitz of West Bend placed fifth.


“It was pretty tough to pass in turns one and two, but it was pretty good in turns three and four,” McMullen said. “I like tracks like this that have a little bit of character. I have to give props to my guys. The car was really good all night.”


Heading into the final three events of the 2023 PDTR season, McMullen leads Schmidt by nine points in the chase for the PDTR 360 Sprint Car title with Karnitz 89 points behind in third.


Alex Pokorski of West Bend claimed his second fast qualifier award of the 2023 season in the Akright Auto PDTR-MSA 360 Sprint Car division with a lap of 12.534 seconds.


The 14th event of the 2023 PDTR campaign drew a field of 20 MSA-PDTR 360 Sprint Cars.


The MSA 360 Sprint Car Series will take part in a doubleheader weekend of competition, kicking off on Friday, Aug. 25 at The Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wis.


Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. with qualifying at 6 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m.


The MSA will then make its second visit of the 2023 season to Wilmot Raceway in Wilmot, Wis. on Saturday, Aug. 26.


The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds is located at 229 Fairview Drive in Plymouth, Wis. For more information, visit www.plymouthdtr.com or check out Plymouth Dirt Track Racing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


AKRIGHT AUTO PLYMOUTH DIRT TRACK RACING 360 SPRINT CARS


A Main (25 Laps): 1. 98-Brandon McMullen [4]; 2. 35-Ben Schmidt [9]; 3. 7-Lance Fassbender [2]; 4. 3-Justin Erickson [3]; 5. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [10]; 6. 69S-TJ Smith [7]; 7. 68T-Tyler Davis [5]; 8. 85J-Logan Julien [12]; 9. 53A-Paul Pokorski [1]; 10. 4-Alex Pokorski [16]; 11. 22B-Brandon Berth [8]; 12. 69-Bill Taylor [6]; 13. 51-Chris Larson [17]; 14. 21H-TJ Haddy [18]; 15. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach [11]; 16. 30-Doug Wondra [19]; 17. 66T-Tristan Koenings [13]; 18. 12P-JJ Pagel [15]; 19. 11-Tony Wondra [14]; 20. 54-Randy Post [20]


Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 98-Brandon McMullen [1]; 2. 3-Justin Erickson [2]; 3. 7-Lance Fassbender [4]; 4. 11-Tony Wondra [3]; 5. 85J-Logan Julien [6]; 6. 21H-TJ Haddy [5]; 7. 30-Doug Wondra [7]


Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 68T-Tyler Davis [2]; 2. 53A-Paul Pokorski [1]; 3. 35-Ben Schmidt [3]; 4. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [5]; 5. 4-Alex Pokorski [4]; 6. 12P-JJ Pagel [7]; 7. 54-Randy Post [6]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 69-Bill Taylor [2]; 2. 69S-TJ Smith [1]; 3. 22B-Brandon Berth [3]; 4. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach [4]; 5. 66T-Tristan Koenings [6]; 6. 51-Chris Larson [5]


Qualifying 1: 1. 7-Lance Fassbender, 13.182 [2]; 2. 11-Tony Wondra, 13.221 [6]; 3. 3-Justin Erickson, 13.241 [1]; 4. 98-Brandon McMullen, 13.387 [5]; 5. 21H-TJ Haddy, 13.410 [7]; 6. 85J-Logan Julien, 13.458 [4]; 7. 30-Doug Wondra, 13.704 [3]


Qualifying 2: 1. 4-Alex Pokorski, 12.534 [5]; 2. 35-Ben Schmidt, 12.611 [7]; 3. 68T-Tyler Davis, 12.743 [4]; 4. 53A-Paul Pokorski, 12.782 [2]; 5. 63K-Kevin Karnitz, 12.819 [6]; 6. 54-Randy Post, 13.163 [1]; 7. 12P-JJ Pagel [3]


Qualifying 3: 1. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach, 12.672 [4]; 2. 22B-Brandon Berth, 12.677 [2]; 3. 69-Bill Taylor, 12.750 [1]; 4. 69S-TJ Smith, 12.913 [5]; 5. 51-Chris Larson, 12.950 [3]; 6. 66T-Tristan Koenings, 13.025 [6]

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