WMSD PTN #1 May '13 Race Recap

The Pro Truck Nationals kicked off their 2013 Fast Friday Nights series over Memorial Day Weekend at West Michigan Sand Dragway in Mears, MI. If Race 1 is any indication, this series is going to feature some amazing racing action from start to finish. Also part of the PTN docket is the Top Fuel Revolution series, which features one qualifying session during Fast Friday Nights and the rest of their show on Saturday during WMSD’s regular race program. Let’s take a look at the action from this weekend at WMSD.

PTN 3.5 Index

The 3.5 Index category continues to be the cornerstone of all classes at the Michigan events. A strong turnout of twelve entries made the round one call for PTN action on this Friday night. Round one saw some great numbers on the improved surface at WMSD. Bad Company Racing’s Ben Dozeman ran closest to the Index in round one with a 3.529 to earn the Qualifying bonus points with his Blown Small Block Jeep as he defeated Roger Jareo.

Unfortunately for top qualifier Dozeman, he would take a wild ride as right rear wheel studs sheared off at the hit. Thankfully with this happening at the line, damage was minimal and Dozeman was none the worse for wear. In the other lane, Jay Poortenga’s Drag Nasty ran a 3.581 to move on. That round win would earn Poortenga the semi-final round bye to advance to the final. On the other side of the semi-final round ladder, the “World Famous Bob502” Bob Ramlow in the Strictly Business Altered lined up against the Primal Scream Jeep of Kip Martin. This pass would be good and bad news for Martin as he recorded his Quickest ever pass with a 3.479, but that would be a break out and advance Ramlow on as he ran a stellar 3.532 with a .069RT. This set up a great final round between two veteran racers of Michigan sand drag racing. When the tree dropped, it would be all Poortenga as he left first .030 to .074 and hung on for a 3.58 to 3.64 victory to earn the early season PTN 3.5 Index point series lead.

Jay Poortenga - 3.5 Index Winner

PTN 3.95 Index Pro ATV

This event would see the debut of the 3.95 Index Pro ATV category. Eight entries made the first round call for the Inaugural running of this class. Shocker Racing’s Matt Ewing put on a show in the early rounds with a pair of 3.98’s to advance to the final round. Matt would line up against Proformance Prototypes’ Shawn Roth on the Dragstar Pro ATV. Shawn ran a solid 3.99 in round one action, so this would be a great battle. When the tree dropped, Ewing threw down a solid .027 RT to Shawn’s .061 and held on for the win in a 4.02 to 4.08 battle. Shocker Racing takes the early season lead in the PTN 3.95 Index Pro ATV standings.

Matt Ewing - 3.95 Index Pro ATV Winner


PTN’s Ironman Open Bracket category came down to a tough ATV vs. Jeep final round. Tom Hartman Jr. on his Snowmobile-powered ATV put it in the beams against Neal Swain’s SBC-powered Jeep for all the marbles on this Friday night. Hartman used a .03 starting line advantage to push Swain’s Jeep into a 4.030 (4.05) break out. Tom ran a solid 4.840 (4.80) for the victory.

Tom Hartman Jr. - Ironman Winner

Top Fuel Revolution

The Top Fuel category had seven entries in this Season Opening field. The PTN TF Revolution is basically a heads-up, run what ya brung category with everything from Blown Alcohol Dragsters to Nitro burning 4-cylinder Buggies and everything in between. Qualifying saw the U.S. Army Blown BBC-powered Dragster of Scott Scheytt card quick time with a 2.90/117MPH. Right behind him would be the Traxxas/Go Fast Energy Blown Ford-powered Altered of Brian Ambs with a stellar 2.948. Rob Scheytt’s Bad Frog Hemi-powered TA Dragster experienced Trans problems in qualifying that put him at the bottom of the ladder. Two entries were unable to make the round one ladder as Rick Vandernoot had problems to where he was unable to run the 3.30 minimum and wasn’t grandfathered in while Adam Roe’s brand new Turbo 4-cylinder Buggy broke forcing him to withdraw from competition.

Round one kicked off with the highly anticipated match up between “The Boss” screw blown Funny Car of Brian McWethy against the Nitro-burning 4-cylinder Buggy of Frank Martuscelli. Unfortunately for Martuscelli, he would roll the beams handing McWethy the first win light of eliminations. In the next pair, Ambs busted off his quickest pass ever as the Ford-powered Altered stopped the clocks with a 2.884 to defeat Rob Scheytt, who once again had transmission issues. Rounding out the class, low qualifier Scott Scheytt wheeled the U.S. ARMY entry to a 2.887 on his bye run.

The second round started with Scheytt’s ARMY entry lining up against McWethy’s “The Boss”. McWethy did a great job fighting the Funny Car off the guard rail all the way down, but at the stripe it would be the Chevy power for Scheytt paying off in a 2.86/118MPH to 3.03/99MPH victory. Ambs would solo to the final round with a 2.95/106MPH to advance to the final round. In the mean time, on an exhibition pass Rob Scheytt attempted a high gear only pass with the Bad Frog TA Dragster and put a mind blowing 2.69/130MPH blast on the board for Low ET of the weekend. Frank Martuscelli also made a test pass and carded a personal best pass with the Buggy running 3.05/104MPH.

Tension was high as the Top Fuel final rolled to the line under the lights at WMSD as Scott Scheytt in the U.S. ARMY / Appletree Auto / Mid-West Coatings Dragster squared off with the Traxxas / Go Fast Energy Drink Altered of Brian Ambs. Ambs has that nose for turning the win light on, and he would show that again on this night. Brian left first .091 to .094 and would get to the stripe first with a 2.912/111MPH to Scott’s 2.919/113MPH. This gives the Ambs team the early season lead in the PTN Top Fuel Revolution point series. Their next race will be over 4th of July Weekend at WMSD.

Brian Ambs - Top Fuel Winner

Top Fuel Final Round: Winner Brian Ambs (Far Lane) vs. Scott Scheytt

Other Classes

Local racer Bruce Hartung debuted a new car and put it in the Quick 16 Winner’s Circle as he defeated fellow veteran racer Roger Jareo in the final round. Randi Lynn Vsetula turned on the win light in the Pro Cars final with her V6 Ford-powered Buggy over Tim Holstege’s alcohol-injected SBC Altered. Shocker Racing domination continued as Steve Ewing won the Pro ATV class over Teddy Clark. 2011 PTN Pro Truck Champion Lee Reynders got the job done in the Pro Truck class, defeating Neal Swain in an all-Jeep final round. Jon Sorg’s Unleashed VW-powered Buggy emerged victorious in the Sportsman final round over the Baadlands Chevy-powered Dragster of Dave Weaver. Wanna Play Racing’s Jake Vogel scored a huge ATV class victory defeating Steve Ewing in his second final round of the night. Brian Wiersma took the Outlaw ATV Heads-Up class win over Steph Roth. Junior class winners were Joshua Rammacher (Juniors) and Elsa Groenink (Mighty Midgets).

Bruce Hartung - Quick 16 Winner

Randi Vsetula - Pro Cars Winner

Steve Ewing - Pro ATV Winner

Lee Reynders - Pro Truck Winner

Photos Courtesy NSDN

Event Photo Gallery - Courtesy of NSDN

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