Dirt Modified stars compete in Plymouth

by Jeff Pederson
Special to The Review

PLYMOUTH – The stars of the Dirt Modified world turned out to headline a special Plymouth Dirt Track Racing program Friday night Sheboygan County Fair Park.

The evening featured The Plymouth Dirt Track debut of the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) and inaugural Cow Bell Street Stock Tour, as well as the PDTR Grand National division for a non-points event.

In the 40-lap USMTS head- liner, Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, took home the checkered flag. Jeff Jungwirth of Oshkosh notched the A-main victory in the nonstop Cow Bell Street Stock Tour event, while Don Sorce Jr. of West Allis notched his second straight PDTR Grand National A-main victory.

In the USMTS main event, pole-sitter Cory Mahder of Eau Claire jumped out to the early leader over outside front row starter Jake Timm of Winona, Minn. On lap three, Gustin, who started fourth, made his presence felt as he dove underneath Timm to take over the runner-up spot.

Mahder ran the high groove and Gustin choose to stay low in the early going as the leaders set a quick pace in the opening laps. Meanwhile USMTS Northern Series point leader Zack Vander- Beek of New Sharon, Iowa, stormed up from his 12th starting spot to secure fifth place on lap eight. VanderBeek came into the night having won the three previous USMTS races at Luxembug Speedway, 141 Speedway in Francis Creek and the Oshkosh Speedzone Raceway,

After a caution for debris on lap 10 and another on lap 12 for a two-car spin in turn four, Gustin continued to track down Mahder before pulling into the lead coming off of turn four on lap 13.

VanderBeek followed Gustin to the front taking second place from Mahder on lap 14 and wasting no time challenging for the lead. Gustin used a primarily outside line to maintain the lead over the hard-charging Vander- Beek who dedicated himself to running a low line.

VanderBeek ducked under Gustin on lap 15 as the two top USMTS competitors dueled side by side until Gustin was able to separate himself two laps later. The leaders caught up to lapped traffic on lap 24, which proved to be just what Gustin needed.

The veteran Modified and Late Model racer sliced his way skillfully through dense lapped traffic to build up a full straight advantage over VanderBeek, who had to deal with a challenge from eighth starter Cade Dillard of Robeline, La., in the closing laps.

Gustin went on to post his second USMTS Northern Region A-main victory of the season by nearly a half-lap margin over VanderBeeck who saw his three-race winning streak come to an end. However, Vander- Beeck was able to secure the 2017 USMTS Northern Region points title.

Dillard finished third, Mahder was fourth and 11th starter Lucas Schott of Chatfield, Minn., rounded out the top five.

Paul Diefenthaler of Manitowoc and Rice Lake’s Jim Randall tied for first in the inaugural Cow Bell Street Stock Tour title with 141 points each.

The 30-lap PDTR Grand National A main turned into the Don Sorce Jr. show. The twotime PDTR Grand National champion posted his 10th career PDTR Grand National A-main victory and second straight triumph at Plymouth this year.

Matt Loehr of Dotyville finished second, Milwaukee’s Kurt Davis ended up third, Tyler Kulow of Plymouth was fourth and Justin Erickson of Plymouth wound up fifth.

B main victories went to Curt Myers of Cameron (USMTS Modifieds) and Charlie Sancinati of West Allis (Grand National).

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