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Schmidt stays perfect at Eagle River Speedway with MSA triumph

(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) July 6, 2024 – Former Midwest Sprint Car Association champion Ben Schmidt of Plymouth claimed the top step on the podium in the 25-lap Akright Auto MSA 360 Sprint Car Series headliner at Eagle River Speedway to go two-for-two in main event competition at the unique D-shaped third-mile clay oval before an overflow contingent of enthusiastic fans on Saturday, July 6 in Eagle River, Wis.


The seventh official event and fifth completed A-main of the 2024 MSA season drew a solid field of 21 Winged 360 Sprint Cars for the series’ second straight appearance at the Eagle River facility. 


In addition, the second-ever full-size Winged Sprint Car event at Eagle River Speedway produced a buzz among race fans, who packed each of the track’s seating areas stretching from turn four through turn one.


After starting second in the 25-lap MSA A-main, Schmidt bolted past polesitter Chris Larson of Franksville to grab the lead in turn two of the opening lap. The 2011 MSA champion immediately stretched out a comfortable lead over Larson and the rest of the field using primarily the outside groove, which proved to be the preferred line in the early stages of the race.


On lap 7, Schmidt caught the rear of the field while holding a full straight-away cushion over Larson on the dry slick racing surface. The 25-year racing veteran skillfully sliced his way through slower traffic before the first of two caution flags was displayed on lap 14 when MSA rookie Steven Ruh of New Holstein spun along the front stretch.


Over the next six circuits, Larson made some headway on Schmidt in the middle portion of the track before the second and final caution flag flew on lap 21 when Bill Taylor of Boltonville slowed to a stop in turn four.


Following a single-file restart, Schmidt held tight to the inside lane, which had become the preferred groove in the latter stages of the race, to pull away from Larson on the way to his second MSA A-main victory of the 2024 season and his 44th career MSA triumph.


"I got a little lucky the first time we hit lapped traffic and the first couple of cars went to the bottom, while I was running the top,” Schmidt said. “Around the time of the second caution, I came down and found some rubber, which helped to get us to victory lane.


“I have to thank the crew, our sponsors, especially Sweetwater Spirits and Resort from Eagle River,” he said. “I also want to thank all the fans for packing the house tonight. That’s great to see.”


Larson recorded a career-best second-place showing, Brandon Berth of Cascade charged from the eighth starting spot to round out the podium with a third-place finish, MSA rookie Clayton Rossmann of Wadsworth, Ill. placed fourth after starting third and fourth starter T.J. Haddy of Waupun took fifth.


MSA heat race victories went to Ben Schmidt, who captured the A-main victory in the MSA’s debut appearance at Eagle River Speedway in 2023, Chris Larson and Tyler Davis of Franklin.


Brandon Berth claimed MSA fast qualifier honors with a top lap of 13.729 seconds.


The next race for the MSA 360 Sprint Cars is this Saturday, July 13 for Wall of Fame Night at The Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wis. The Super Six Late Model Series, PDTR Grand Nationals and B Mods will also be in action.  


Former MSA competitors Donny Goeden, Pete Ostrowski and K.J. Skelton will be among the Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Class of 2024 inductees.


Grandstand gates open at 4:30 p.m. with hot laps/qualifying at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 6 p.m.


One night later, the MSA will complete the second half of a doubleheader weekend with the series’ second and final appearance of the 2024 season at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis. for the Salute to Bryan Gapinski event on Sunday, July 14.


The Badger Midgets and Legends are also on the card.


Engine heat will begin at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m.


For more information on the 2024 Midwest Sprint Car Association season, visit or the Midwest Sprint Car Association Facebook page. 


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Akright Auto Midwest Sprint Car Association

Eagle River Speedway

Eagle River, Wis.

July 6, 2024


A Main (25 Laps): 1. 35-Ben Schmidt [2]; 2. 51-Chris Larson [1]; 3. 22B-Brandon Berth [8]; 4. 09-Clayton Rossmann [3]; 5. 21H-TJ Haddy [4]; 6. 4-Alex Pokorski [6]; 7. 3-Justin Erickson [5]; 8. 69S-TJ Smith [7]; 9. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [9]; 10. 0-Robbie Pribnow [11]; 11. 9C-Cole Stella [14]; 12. 68T-Tyler Davis [13]; 13. 24-Scott Conger [17]; 14. 39K-Kurt Davis [12]; 15. 11-Tony Wondra [19]; 16. 53A-Spyder Akright [21]; 17. 46-Steven Ruh [15]; 18. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach [18]; 19. 69-Bill Taylor [10]; 20. 7L-Ellie Hensley [16]; 21. 12P-JJ Pagel [20]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 35-Ben Schmidt [1]; 2. 69S-TJ Smith [3]; 3. 21H-TJ Haddy [2]; 4. 22B-Brandon Berth [4]; 5. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [5]; 6. 7L-Ellie Hensley [6]; 7. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach [7]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 51-Chris Larson [2]; 2. 4-Alex Pokorski [4]; 3. 69-Bill Taylor [1]; 4. 0-Robbie Pribnow [5]; 5. 09-Clayton Rossmann [3]; 6. 12P-JJ Pagel [7]; 7. 24-Scott Conger [6]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 68T-Tyler Davis [2]; 2. 9C-Cole Stella [1]; 3. 3-Justin Erickson [4]; 4. 39K-Kurt Davis [3]; 5. 46-Steven Ruh [6]; 6. 11-Tony Wondra [5]; 7. 53A-Spyder Akright [7]

Qualifying 1: 1. 22B-Brandon Berth, 13.729 [6]; 2. 69S-TJ Smith,13.747 [3]; 3. 21H-TJ Haddy, 13.967 [4]; 4. 35-Ben Schmidt, 14.058 [7]; 5. 63K-Kevin Karnitz, 14.101 [2]; 6. 7L-Ellie Hensley, 14.206 [1]; 7. 08-Katelyn Krebsbach, 14.325 [5]

Qualifying 2: 1. 4-Alex Pokorski, 13.875 [6]; 2. 09-Clayton Rossmann, 13.976 [3]; 3. 51-Chris Larson, 14.062 [7]; 4. 69-Bill Taylor, 14.106 [4]; 5. 0-Robbie Pribnow, 14.204 [5]; 6. 24-Scott Conger, 14.248 [1]; 7. 12P-JJ Pagel, 14.536 [2]

Qualifying 3: 1. 3-Justin Erickson, 13.884 [1]; 2. 39K-Kurt Davis, 14.284 [7]; 3. 68T-Tyler Davis, 14.339 [4]; 4. 9C-Cole Stella, 14.424 [3]; 5. 11-Tony Wondra, 14.471 [2]; 6. 46-Steven Ruh, 14.667 [5]; 7. 53A-Spyder Akright, 14.808 [6]



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