EL’s Ruh earns first PDTR feature win

by Jeff Pederson
Special to The Review


BRANDON BERTH (left) of Cascade and Jonathon Singer, Random Lake, compete in a B Modified heat at the Plymouth Dirt Track Saturday night. – Photo by RC Custom Design BRANDON BERTH (left) of Cascade and Jonathon Singer, Random Lake, compete in a B Modified heat at the Plymouth Dirt Track Saturday night. – Photo by RC Custom Design PLYMOUTH – On a night when Plymouth Dirt Track Racing honored the best drivers who have ever strapped into a race car at the venerable Plymouth track, the stars of today treated fans to thrilling finishes and side-by-side racing action as PDTR presented its annual Past Champions Night program Saturday at the Sheboygan County Fair Park.

In the Sprint Car 25-lap headliner, Danny Schlafer pulled off a last-lap pass to claim his third A-main triumph of the 2017 season. Likewise, Justin Schmidt of Cleveland executed a final-lap pass of his own to win his first PDTR Late Model A-main event of the year.

Former PDTR Grand National champion Mark Fieber of Cas- cade notched his second Grand National feature victory of the season while J.J. Walvoord of Sheboygan (B Modified) and Preston Ruh of Elkhart Lake (Micro Sprint) each picked up their first career A-main victories in their respective divisions.


PRESTON RUH of Elkhart Lake is on his way to winning the Micro Sprint feature at the Plymouth Dirt Track Saturday night. – Photo by RC Custom Design PRESTON RUH of Elkhart Lake is on his way to winning the Micro Sprint feature at the Plymouth Dirt Track Saturday night. – Photo by RC Custom Design Will Gerrits of Waupun jumped out to the lead in the Sprint Car feature with a low move in turn four of the opening lap. Gerrits held down the top spot while Boltonville’s Bill Taylor, who started on the pole, rode the high groove to pressure the lead on lap six.

The first of five caution flags appeared on lap seven when Tyler Brabant of Waupun spun in turn four. Two more caution periods ensued before another green flag lap was completed. The first came when Taylor and 2008 PDTR Sprint Car champion Lance Fassbender of Burnett collided in turn two and the second appeared for debris in turn one.

When green-flag action resumed, 2010 PDTR Sprint Car champ Kurt Davis of South Milwaukee, who started fifth, used the high line to take second. One lap later, Davis charged around Gerrits to assume the top spot.

Meanwhile, two-time PDTR Sprint Car champion Danny Schlafer powered up from his 11th starting spot to take third on lap nine. After the fourth caution of the race came out for Jeremy Hunt’s spin in turn four, Schlafer flexed his muscle to sweep past Gerrits and Davis to take over the lead on lap 11.

Schlafer and Davis each rode the high groove over the second half of the race with Davis staying within five car lengths as the leaders worked through lapped traffic starting on lap 16.

Just as Schlafer appeared set to cruise to the victory the fifth and final caution flag was displayed on lap 23 when Shane Wenninger of Kewaskum and Waupun’s Tim Haddy made contact in turn three.

That set up a mad two-lap dash to the finish between Schlafer and Davis, the two winningest drivers in the history of the Midwest Sprint Car Association. After a single-file restart, Davis used the high groove in turns one and two to set up a slide job in turns three and four which vaulted him past Schlafer into the lead on lap 24.

However, Schlafer was not to be denied as he ducked under Davis in turns one and two and slid in front of Davis in turn four of the final lap to post his third PDTR Sprint Car victory of the season, 19th career A-main PDTR Sprint Car triumph and 48th MSA Amain victory of his career.

Davis finished second by just a car length, point leader Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh, who started seventh, finished third.

In the 15-lap Micro Sprint A main, Ruh grabbed the initial lead from the pole and held off repeated challenges from second starter Dave Collins of Madison on the way to his first career Micro Sprint A-main triumph.

Collins was second, Tyler Davis of South Milwaukee took third and Josh Rehberg of Milwaukee placed fourth.

Ten Vintage Modifieds were also on hand to stage an exhibition race.

For more information, visit www.plymouthdtr.com or check out Plymouth Dirt Track Racing on Facebook.

The next Plymouth Dirt Track racing program this Saturday will feature Race Against Cancer Night with a special appearance by Pink Heals of Sheboygan County and the organization’s pink fire truck. Racing will begin at 6 p.m.


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