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Schmidt tallies fourth 2023 MSA triumph as late Cole Possi remembered at Plymouth


(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) June 24, 2023 – On a night dedicated to reflecting on the life of late Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint driver Cole Possi, 2011 Midwest Sprint Car Association champion Ben Schmidt of Plymouth racked up his fourth A-main victory of the 2023 MSA season Saturday, June 24 at The Plymouth Dirt Track in Plymouth, Wis.


Prior to the start of the racing program, the members of the Possi Racing team, including family and friends, who for many years traveled regularly from Upper Michigan to compete in the 360 Sprint Car division at The Plymouth Dirt Track, gathered in front of the grandstand to remember Cole, who passed away in March, with Cole’s Last Lap ceremony. In addition, Cole’s father Earl, who notched six PDTR 360 Sprint Car A-main victories during his racing career, strapped into the seat of Cole’s No. 39 car to compete in the 360 Sprint Car portion of the racing program in his memory.


In the 25-lap MSA-Plymouth Dirt Track Racing 360 Sprint Car A main, rookie T.J. Haddy of Waupun used his outside front row starting position to vault past polesitter Alex Pokorski of West Bend and grab the lead on the opening lap.


On lap 2, the first of four caution flags appeared when rookie Ryan Sawusch of Lake Villa, Ill. spun in turn four. Following the restart Ben Schmidt, who started third, vaulted past Pokorski into second in turn two before using the low groove to seize the top spot from Haddy exiting turn four.


Pokorski ducked low to work his way past Haddy into second in turn one on lap 4 before the caution flag appeared on lap 5 when Haddy spun into the turn four wall to bring out the second caution of the race.


On lap 6, fourth starter Brandon Berth of Cascade used the high line to power past the low riding Pokorski into second. One lap later, the third caution flag was displayed to the field when Chris Larson of Franksville collided with the turn four wall.


The restart saw Pokorski work the high groove to vault his way into second as Schmidt pulled away to build a solid lead cushion. The 24-year veteran was closing in on the rear of the field when the fourth caution flag came out on lap 11 for Sawusch’s second spin of the race in turn three.


Berth used the preferred outer lane to take second from Pokorski in turn two as Schmidt again bolted away from his pursuers. The 2011 Midwest Sprint Car Association champion caught slower traffic on lap 15 and two laps later Pokorski regained second when Berth washed up high along the undulating cushion.


Two-time Plymouth Dirt Track Racing 360 Sprint Car champion Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh, who started ninth, moved into third on lap 18. Pokorski began to reel in Schmidt as the leader wound their way through lapped traffic.


However, the fourth-year driver fell just short at the finish line as Schmidt collected his second straight and third overall PDTR 360 Sprint Car A-main victory and fourth MSA main event triumph of the 2023 season, along with his 18th career PDTR and 36th career MSA 360 Sprint Car A-main win.


“I raced against Earl [Possi] for a lot of years and I raced with Cole [Possi] for several years too,” Schmidt said. “This wins means a lot. I want to thank the Possi Family for coming and doing this event tonight in Cole’s memory, the fans for coming out to support us, the sponsors on this car and my crew for giving me a great car every night.”


Pokorski placed second, McMullen was third, rookie Logan Julien of Oconomowoc, who started fifth, placed fourth and Berth rounded out the top five.


As an extra Cole’s Last Lap event bonus, third place A-main finisher Brandon McMullen and ninth place finisher Justin Erickson of Plymouth each picked up $139 dollars courtesy of Goeden Auto Body. Also, rookie Tristan Koenings of Van Dyne collected $339 courtesy of Shufflebotham Tree Service in Cole Possi’s memory.


Logan Julien earned fast qualifier accolades in the PDTR-MSA 360 Sprint Car division with a top lap of 12.853 seconds.

The seventh event of the 2023 PDTR campaign, drew 22 MSA-PDTR 360 Sprint Cars.


The MSA 360 Sprint Cars will return to The Plymouth Dirt Track on Saturday, July 1 for an all-open wheel event, including the third 2023 appearance of the Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Series, along with the IRA Lightning Sprints.


Grandstand gates open at 4:30 p.m., hot laps are set at 5:30 p.m. with qualifying and racing to follow.


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. 35-Ben Schmidt [3]; 2. 4-Alex Pokorski [1]; 3. 98-Brandon McMullen [9]; 4. 85J-Logan Julien [5]; 5. 22B-Brandon Berth [4]; 6. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [16]; 7. 69-Bill Taylor [7]; 8. 69S-TJ Smith [11]; 9. 3-Justin Erickson [8]; 10. 7-Lance Fassbender [6]; 11. 66T-Tristan Koenings [14]; 12. 20-Robbie Pribnow [12]; 13. 12P-JJ Pagel [19]; 14. 53A-Paul Pokorski [10]; 15. 11-Tony Wondra [17]; 16. 54-Randy Post [20]; 17. 21H-TJ Haddy [2]; 18. 38-Jordan Miklas [21]; 19. 53-Shane Wenninger [13]; 20. 39-Earl Possi [18]; 21. 55S-Ryan Sawusch [22]; 22. 51-Chris Larson [15]


Heat 1 (10 Laps): 1. 69-Bill Taylor [2]; 2. 35-Ben Schmidt [1]; 3. 22B-Brandon Berth [4]; 4. 53-Shane Wenninger [3]; 5. 51-Chris Larson [5]; 6. 11-Tony Wondra [6]; 7. 12P-JJ Pagel [7]; 8. 55S-Ryan Sawusch [8]


Heat 2 (10 Laps): 1. 7-Lance Fassbender [2]; 2. 4-Alex Pokorski [1]; 3. 98-Brandon McMullen [3]; 4. 53A-Paul Pokorski [4]; 5. 69S-TJ Smith [6]; 6. 63K-Kevin Karnitz [7]; 7. 54-Randy Post [5]


Heat 3 (10 Laps): 1. 3-Justin Erickson [2]; 2. 21H-TJ Haddy [1]; 3. 85J-Logan Julien[4]; 4. 20-Robbie Pribnow [3]; 5. 66T-Tristan Koenings [5]; 6. 39-Earl Possi [6]; 7. 38-Jordan Miklas [7]


Qualifying 1 (5 Laps): 1. 22B-Brandon Berth, 13.294 [6]; 2. 53-Shane Wenninger, 13.345 [3]; 3. 69-Bill Taylor, 13.370 [7]; 4. 35-Ben Schmidt, 13.424 [4]; 5. 51-Chris Larson, 13.509 [5]; 6. 11-Tony Wondra, 13.528 [2]; 7. 12P-JJ Pagel, 13.918 [1]; 8. 55S-Ryan Sawusch, 13.918 [8]


Qualifying 2 (5 Laps): 1. 53A-Paul Pokorski, 12.913 [5]; 2. 98-Brandon McMullen, 13.060 [1]; 3. 7-Lance Fassbender, 13.105 [7]; 4. 4-Alex Pokorski, 13.132 [6]; 5. 54-Randy Post, 13.526 [2]; 6. 69S-TJ Smith, 13.528 [3]; 7. 63K-Kevin Karnitz, 13.579 [4]


Qualifying 3 (5 Laps): 1. 85J-Logan Julien, 12.853 [5]; 2. 20-Robbie Pribnow 12.896 [2]; 3. 3-Justin Erickson, 12.910 [6]; 4. 21H-TJ Haddy, 12.973 [4]; 5. 66T-Tristan Koenings, 13.163 [1]; 6. 39-Earl Possi, 13.257 [3]; 7. 38-Jordan Miklas, 14.947 [7]

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