Arenz secures PDTR 360 Sprint Car title, Blackhurst secures IRA title

Noah Gass IRA 410 Sprint Car Plymouth Dirt Track RC Custom Design photo

September 25, 2021 – With four divisions of Sprint Cars basking in the spotlight, the curtain closed on the 2021 Plymouth Dirt Track Racing season Saturday, Sept. 25 at The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis.

After claiming his first Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Series A-main victory three weeks ago in his IRA debut at The Plymouth Dirt Track, 18-year-old Mounds, Okla. driver made it two-for-two by notching his second career IRA A-main victory, following a late-race duel with Danny Schlafer of Sussex in the 30-lap headliner.

Jack Vanderboom of Dousman racked up his first career 25-lap Kristine Hartmann Pleasantview Realty 360 Sprint Car A-main victory.

Veteran Tim Cox of Park City, Ill. captured the 20-lap Wisconsin WingLESS Sprint Car Series A main and Mike Neau of Pleasant Prairie raced to victory in the 20-lap IRA Lightning Sprints A main.

Jake Blackhurst of Hanna City, Ill. secured his second career Bumper to Bumper IRA 410 Sprint Car Series championship.

Travis Arenz of Sheboygan Falls nailed down his first career Plymouth Dirt Track Racing and Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint Car titles.

Ryan Marshall of Kansasville wrapped up the 2021 Wisconsin WingLESS Sprint Car Series championship and Nick Petska of Spring Grove, Ill. notched the 2021 IRA Lightning Sprints title.

Outside front row starter Noah Gass outpowered polesitter Jake Blackhurst to take the lead in turn one of the opening lap of the 30-lap IRA 410 Sprint Car Series headliner.

Gass rode the cushion with Blackhurst in tow in the early stages of the race before the leaders caught the rear of the field on lap 5. As Gass got boxed in behind two lapped cars racing side by side, Blackhurst closed the lap on lap 8.

However, Gass eventually worked through the dense lapped traffic to extend his advantage in the ensuing laps. On lap 16, the first of two caution flags appeared when Kyle Schuett of Philo, Ill. spun along the backstretch.

On the restart, sixth starter Danny Schlafer pulled off a slide job to take second from Blackhurst. Four laps later, Gass entered lapped traffic again as Schlafer sight his sets firmly on the lead.

The second caution flag appeared on lap 28 when Blake Nimee of Oswego, Ill. stopped in turn two to set up a two-lap dash to the finish. On the restart, Gass bobbled along the cushion in turn two, which allowed Schlafer to shoot into the lead exiting turn four on lap 29.

After Schlafer led lap 29, Gass recovered to mount a furious charge entering turn one to slip past Schlafer as the two drivers drifted high in turn two on the final lap.

Gass held on to notch his second career IRA 410 Sprint Car Series A-main victory and second consecutive IRA triumph at The Plymouth Dirt Track.

“I messed up in turns one and two on the final restart and he [Danny Schlafer] got a run on me and slide me in turns three and four near the end,” Gass said. “I heard someone and I could almost feel that it was coming.

“After that, I just had to drive hard into the next corner,” he said. “It was real close there in turn two. I tried to leave enough room and go into the corner without hitting him.”

Schlafer, who is a two-time Plymouth Dirt Track Racing 360 Sprint Car champion and third on the all-time PDTR 360 Sprint Car A-main victory list with 23, had to settle for second.

“Plymouth did a hell of a job tonight on the track,” Schlafer said. “When I saw how the track was coming around, it reminded me of the track surface we had here at Plymouth during all the 360 races I ran at this place over the years. I knew it was going to be in my wheelhouse. I hope the fans enjoyed it.”

Blackhurst secure his second IRA 410 Sprint Car Series title with a third-place finish.

“I have to thank my car owner Mike Urner for the opportunity to drive this car this year and the crew for all they do to make the car fast,” Blackhurst said. “I never dreamed that I would win one IRA championship, let alone two now.”

Third starter and fast qualifier Scotty Thiel of Sheboygan placed fourth and Steve Meyer of Sheboygan Falls rounded out the top five after starting eighth.

In the 25-lap PDTR 360 Sprint Car A main, Will Gerrits of Waupun grabbed the lead on the opening lap from the pole with outside front row starter Jack Vanderboom following in second.

On lap 3, sixth starter Travis Arenz moved his way into third as the lead trio of Gerrits, Vanderboom and Arenz ran in lock-step formation at the front of the field for the next 12 laps before the first of four caution flags was displayed when Matt Rechek of Beaver Dam spun in turn two on lap 15.

On the restart, contact at the front of the field sent Gerrits spinning to a stop in turn two, while Arenz also spun, but continued on, which brought out the second caution period of the race. By rule, Arenz was sent to the rear of the field, along with Gerrits, on the next restart.

With Gerrits restarting at the rear, Vanderboom assumed the lead over third starter Adam Miller of Plymouth following the restart. The third caution of the race was displayed on lap 17 when 2011 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Ben Schmidt, 2018 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champ Justin Miller of Plymouth and Justin Erickson of Plymouth spun along the backstretch.

Tim Haddy of Waupun, who started eighth, bolted into second on lap 18 with two-time and defending PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Brandon McMullen of Oshkosh, who started 15th, following in third.

The fourth and final caution flag appeared on lap 18 when Cole Possi of Rock, Mich. slowed along the front stretch with a flat tire.

On the restart, McMullen ducked under Haddy to claim second, but he was unable to mount a serious challenge for the lead as Vanderboom pulled ahead to secure his first career PDTR and MSA 360 Sprint Car A-main victory.

“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Vanderboom said in victory lane. “The car felt amazing and the crew did a great job to make this happen.”

McMullen finished second, Adam Miller placed third, 2008 PDTR 360 Sprint Car champion Lance Fassbender of Burnett, who started 12th, finished fourth and Haddy rounded out the top five.

Arenz recovered from his spin on lap 15 to finish ninth and nail down his initial PDTR 360 Sprint Car championship by a 14-point margin over McMullen.

Allen Hafford of Beach Park, Ill. led the opening lap of the 20-lap Wisconsin WingLESS A main as outside front row starter Jimmy Sivia of Winthrop Harbor, Ill. slipped into second.

On lap three, fourth starter Tim Cox worked the high groove to move past both Sivia and Hafford to sweep into first place. With Cox leading the way, sixth starter Ryan Marshall and fifth starter Ryan Zielski of Oconomowoc, who entered the race first and second in the Wisconsin WingLESS Series points battle, dueled side by side for several laps until Zielski surged head on lap 7.

Four laps later, Zielski moved into second with Marshall following in third. The first of three caution flags appeared on lap when Nathan Crane of Waukegan, Ill. spun in turn two.

On the restart, Zielski moved in to pressure Cox for the top spot. Two more cautions slowed the pace on lap 16 when Dennis Spitz of Lewisburg, Kentucky stopped on the track and Derek Crane of Racine slowed on the track.

Cox maintained the lead on the restart before Zielski mounted a spirit charge in turn two on the final lap. However, Cox held on to earn the Wisconsin WingLESS Sprint Car Series A-main victory.

Zielski had to settle for second, Marshall wrapped up the 2021 Wisconsin WingLESS title with a third-place finish, Sivia wound up fourth and third starter Chris Klemko of Bristol rounded out the top five.

Ron Brannam of Holiday Hills, Ill. led early in the 20-lap IRA Lightning Sprints A main before second starter Mark Heinert of Oak Creek assumed the top spot on lap 3.

One lap later the lone caution flag of the race appeared when Andrew Kiedrowski of Union Grove spun in turn two. On the restart sixth starter Mike Neau flexed his muscle along the high groove to take second on lap 11.

Two later later, Neau bolted past Heinert and into the lead in turn one. Neau held on over the final seven laps to secure the victory.

Heinert was second, Nick Petska, who started fourth, placed third to wrap up the 2021 IRA Lightning Sprints championship, Tim Brannam of Holiday Hills, Ill. placed fourth after starting third and 12th starter John Kirk of Johnsburg, Ill. finished fifth.

Kevin Karnitz of West Bend won the 15-lap PDTR 360 Sprint Car B main. Mike Sullivan of Burlington captured the 12-lap Wisconsin WingLESS B main.

Scotty Thiel earned IRA 410 Sprint Car Series fast qualifier honors with a fast lap of 11.056 seconds.

The 18th and final PDTR program of the 2021 season, which was sponsored by Josfo Electric, drew 106 total cars, including 25 IRA 410 Sprint Cars, 31 PDTR-MSA 360 Sprint Cars, 33 Wisconsin WingLESS Sprint Cars and 17 IRA Lightning Sprints.

The new book “70 Years of Plymouth Dirt Track Racing” by Dennis Darovich of Sheboygan and George Baumann of Waupun, covering every season of racing at The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis. from 1950 to 2020 will be available for purchase at every race during the 2021 PDTR season, as well as at the Sheboygan County Fair office during regular business hours and online at and


1, Scotty Thiel 11.056 2, Scotty Neitzel 11.150 3, Dylan Cisney 11.153 4, Mike Reinke 11.217 5, Blake Nimee 11.252 6, Wayne Modjeski 11.308 7, Noah Gass 11.343 8, Danny Schlafer 11.344 9, Steve Meyer 11.359 10, Jake Blackhurst 11.380 11, Jordan Goldesberry 11.435 12, Dave Uttech 11.448 13, Robbie Pribnow 11.465 14, Kyle Schuett 11.468 15, Josh Walter 11.484 16, Russel Borland 11.516 17, Jeremy Schultz 11.520 18, Hunter Custer 11.610 19, Jack Berger 11.619 20, Kris Spitz 11.645 21, Jereme Schroeder 11.831 22, Ion Stear 11.958 23, Austin Hartmann 12.365 24, Matt Myers 14.552 25, Ryan Irwin (no time).

1, Jake Blackhurst 2, Noah Gass 3, Scotty Thiel 4, Robbie Pribnow 5, Mike Reinke 6, Jack Berger 7, Russel Borland 8, Ion Stear 9, Ryan Irwin.

1, Danny Schlafer 2, Scotty Neitzel 3, Jordan Goldesberry 4, Blake Nimee 5, Jeremy Schultz 6, Kris Spitz 7, Kyle Schuett 8, Austin Hartmann.

1, Steve Meyer 2, Dylan Cisney 3, Dave Uttech 4, Josh Walter 5, Wayne Modjeski 6, Hunter Custer 7, Jereme Schroeder 8, Matt Myers.

1, Jake Blackhurst 2, Scotty Thiel 3, Mike Reinke 4, Scotty Neitzel 5, Dylan Cisney.

1, Noah Gass 2, Blake Nimee 3, Danny Schlafer 4, Steve Meyer 5, Wayne Modjeski.

1, Noah Gass 2, Danny Schlafer 3, Jake Blackhurst 4, Scotty Thiel 5, Steve Meyer 6, Dylan Cisney 7, Mike Reinke 8, Jordan Goldesberry 9, Josh Walter 10, Scotty Neitzel 11, Jeremy Schultz 12, Dave Uttech 13, Russel Borland 14, Robbie Pribnow 15, Kris Spitz 16, Hunter Custer 17, Jack Berger 18, Kyle Schuett 19, Wayne Modjeski 20, Ion Stear 21, Jereme Schroeder 22, Austin Hartmann 23, Blake Nimee 24, Ryan Irwin 25, Matt Myers.


1, Travis Arenz 2, Tony Wondra 3, Tim Haddy 4, Katelyn Krebsbach 5, Justin Erickson 6, Chris Clayton 7, Tyler Tischendorf 8, Jeremy Hunt.

1, Tyler Brabant 2, Jack Vanderboom 3, Justin Miller 4, Matt Rechek 5, Kevin Karnitz 6, Dylan Winkel 7, Preston Ruh 8, Anthony Knierim.

1, Josh Teunissen 2, Cole Possi 3, Lance Fassbender 4, Paul Pokorski 5, Tyler Davis 6, Nick Daywalt 7, Chris Larson 8, Blake Wondra.

1, Adam Miller 2, Will Gerrits 3, Ben Schmidt 4, Brandon McMullen 5, Kurt Davis 6, Scott Conger 7, Bill Taylor.

1, Kevin Karnitz 2, Kurt Davis 3, Paul Pokorski 4, Justin Erickson 5, Chris Clayton 6, Nick Daywalt 7, Bill Taylor 8, Preston Ruh 9, Chris Larson 10, Tyler Tischendorf 11, Blake Wondra 12, Scott Conger 13, Dylan Winkel 14, Jeremy Hunt 15, Anthony Knierim (DNS).

1, Jack Vanderboom 2, Brandon McMullen 3, Adam Miller 4, Lance Fassbender 5, Tim Haddy 6, Kurt Davis 7, Kevin Karnitz 8, Tyler Brabant 9, Travis Arenz 10, Will Gerrits 11, Justin Erickson 12, Josh Teunissen 13, Tyler Davis 14, Paul Pokorski 15, Chris Clayton 16, Cole Possi 17, Nick Daywalt 18, Ben Schmidt 19, Katelyn Krebsbach 20, Tony Wondra 21, Justin Miller 22, Matt Rechek.


1, Nathan Crane 2, Tate Hensley 3, Daniel Graumenz 4, Greg Alt 5, Vince Bartolotta 6, Tom Eller 7, Seth Johnson 8, Shawn Swim 9, Daniel Walldan 10, Billy Hafford 11, Samantha Stefan 12, Ralph Jonson (DNS).

1, Natalie Klemko 2, Jake Kouba 3, Dennis Spitz 4, Trinity Uttech 5, William Huck 6, Lance Thompson 7, Josh Davidson 8, Bryce Andrews 9, Mike Sullivan 10, Zach Hansen 11, George Gaertner III.

1, Mike Sullivan 2, Shawn Swim 3, Zach Hansen 4, Tom Eller 5, Daniel Wallden 6, George Gaertner III 7, Lance Thompson 8, Josh Davidson 9, Billy Hafford 10, Ralph Johnson 11, Samantha Stefan 12, Bryce Andrews 13, Seth Johnson.

1, Tim Cox 2, Ryan Zielski 3, Ryan Marshall 4, Jimmy Sivia 5, Chris Klemko 6, Jake Kouba 7, Clayton Rossmann 8, Tate Hensley 9, Jordan Paulsen 10, Allen Hafford 11, Natalie Klemko 12, Daniel Graumenz 13, Rusty Egan 14, Trinity Uttech 15, Mike Sullivan 16, Zach Hansen 17, Nathan Crane 18, Greg Alt 19, Vince Bartolotta 20, Shawn Swim 21, Tom Eller 22, William Huck, 23, Derek Crane 24, Dennis Spitz.


1, Mike Neau 12.786 2, John Kirk 13.225 3, Nick Petska 13.420 4, Tim Brannam 13.485 5, Mark Heinert 13.489 6, Ron Brannam 13.600 7, Mike Unger 13.621 8, Mark Brannam 13.641 9, Nick Sheridan 13.796 10, C.J. Malueg 13.928 11, Andrew Kiedrowski 14.325 12, Kevin Frederiksen 14.325 13, Mitchell Reich 14.893 14, Xander York 15.060 15, Chris Quilman 15.166 16, Carl Sturt (tome time) 17, Jacob Sturt (no time).

1, Mark Heinert 2, Mike Neau 3, Mike Unger 4, Nick Petska 5, Nick Sheridan 6, Chris Quilman 7, Andrew Kiedrowski 8, Mitchell Reich 9, Carl Sturt.

1, Tim Brannam 2, John Kirk 3, Max Brannam 4, Ron Brannam 5, Kevin Frederiksen 6, Xander York 7, Jacob Sturt 8, C.J. Malueg.

1, Mike Neau 2, Mark Heinert 3, Nick Petska 4, Tim Brannam 5, John Kirk 6, Mike Unger 7, Ron Brannam 8, Max Brannam 9, Xander York 10, Chris Quilman 11, Andrew Kiedrowski 12, Kevin Frederiksen 13, Mitchell Reich 14, Nick Sheridan 15, C.J. Malueg (DNS), 16, Carl Sturt (DNS) 17, Jacob Sturt.