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Schmidt opens 2023 PDTR-MSA season with A-main triumph



(Pedal Down Promotions) May 6, 2023 - Former Midwest Sprint Car Association and Plymouth Dirt Track Racing champion Ben Schmidt of Plymouth held off four-time MSA champ Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh to earn the 2023 season-opening 25-lap Akright Auto Plymouth Dirt Track Racing and Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint Car A-main victory at The Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wis. on Saturday, May 6.


The PDTR 360 Sprint Car A main featured a heated battle among three former track champions as Ben Schmidt, who earned the 2011 MSA and PDTR titles, outbattled 2005 MSA and 2008 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Lance Fassbender of Burnett in the early going and fended off a spirited late charge from four-time MSA and two-time PDTR champ Brandon McMullen on the final lap to secure a hard-earned victory.

Polesitter Lance Fassbender and outside front row starter Ben Schmidt waged an epic side-by-side duel during the first 10 laps of the 25-lap PDTR 360 Sprint Car A main with Fassbender edging ahead of the high-riding Schmidt along the low groove on lap 2.

The two former PDTR and Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint Car champions dueled back and forth throughout the initial stages of the race until Schmidt ducked low on lap 11 to steal the lead away from Fassbender in turn four.

Three laps later, third starter Brandon McMullen worked his way past Fassbender in thick lapped traffic to take over second and set his sights on the leader. On lap 18, McMullen closed to within striking distance of Schmidt as the leaders weaved their way through heavy lapped traffic on the wide, smooth and slick third-mile clay oval track surface.

On the final circuit, McMullen made a bold move around the outside of Schmidt to briefly surge into the lead in turn three. However, Schmidt battled back to regain the lead exiting turn four en route to his 16th career PDTR 360 Sprint Car and 33rd career MSA 360 Sprint Car A-main victory in the caution-free race.

McMullen had to settle for second, Fassbender was third, fourth starter Kevin Karnitz of West Bend wound up fourth and Alex Pokorski of West Bend finished fifth after starting fifth to equal his career-best 360 Sprint Car A-main showing at The Plymouth Dirt Track.


Lance Fassbender turned the fastest lap in 360 Sprint Car group qualifying with a lap of 12.713 seconds.

The 2023 PDTR season opener drew 22 PDTR-MSA 360 Sprint Cars.

The PDTR-MSA 360 Sprint Cars return to action on Saturday, May 13.

The May 13th PDTR racing program will also be You’re Our Heroes Night with all military, police fire and EMS personnel admitted free with valid identification.

Grandstand gates open at 4 p.m. with Late Model and Sprint Car qualifying at 4:30 p.m. and racing at 5 p.m.

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 360 SPRINT CARS

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

Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 4-Alex Pokorski [1]; 2. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [3]; 3. 7-Lance Fassbender [4]; 4. 85J-Logan Julien [8]; 5. 3-Justin Erickson [2]; 6. (DNF) 66T-Tristan Koenings [6]; 7. (DNF) 66-Nick Daywalt [5]; 8. (DNF) 5-Kevin Seidler [7]

Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 69-Bill Taylor [3]; 2. 53-Shane Wenninger [5]; 3. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach [2]; 4. 21H-Tim Haddy [4]; 5. 12P-JJ Pagel [7]; 6. 53A-Spyder Akright [6]; 7. (DNF) 22B-Brandon Berth [1]

Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 11-Tony Wondra [1]; 2. 98-Brandon McMullen [3]; 3. 35-Ben Schmidt [4]; 4. 30-Doug Wondra [2]; 5. 69S-TJ Smith [7]; 6. 51-Chris Larson [5]; 7. 54-Randy Post [6]

Qualifying 1 (3 Laps): 1. 7-Lance Fassbender, 12.713 [4]; 2. 63K-Kevin Karnitz, 13.079 [6]; 3. 3-Justin Erickson, 13.081 [1]; 4. 4-Alex Pokorski, 13.101 [5]; 5. 85J-Logan Julien, 13.211 [8]; 6. 66-Nick Daywalt, 13.429 [3]; 7. 66T-Tristan Koenings, 13.773 [2]; 8. 5-Kevin Seidler, 13.789 [7]

Qualifying 2 (3 Laps): 1. 21H-Tim Haddy, 13.197 [5]; 2. 69-Bill Taylor, 13.210 [3]; 3. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach, 13.350 [6]; 4. 22B-Brandon Berth, 13.386 [2]; 5. 53-Shane Wenninger, 13.545 [4]; 6. 53A-Spyder Akright, 13.724 [1]; 7. 12P-JJ Pagel, 13.751 [7]

Qualifying 3 (3 Laps): 1. 35-Ben Schmidt, 12.881 [1]; 2. 98-Brandon McMullen, 12.899 [6]; 3. 30-Doug Wondra, 13.473 [4]; 4. 69S-TJ Smith, 13.572 [7]; 5. 11-Tony Wondra, 13.627 [3]; 6. 51-Chris Larson, 13.857 [5]; 7. 54-Randy Post, 13.931 [2]



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