PLYMOUTH - After enshrining 18 drivers, track workers and racing families among the inaugural Class of 2022, the Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame will add a new set of 19 names to the list of esteemed honorees as part of the Class of 2023 Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, July 15.
In recognition of the spirit of competition and outstanding achievements taking place at the Plymouth racing facility over the past 73 years, the Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Committee is dedicated to recognizing those individuals that have exemplified dirt track racing at the highest level since the track’s inception in 1950.
The Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Class of 2023, which includes 11 drivers, five track workers and three families, will be recognized during a short induction ceremony at intermission of the Plymouth Dirt Track Racing program at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 15, which will feature 360 Sprint Cars, Late Models, Grand Nationals, B Mods and Vintage Modifieds.
The Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Class of 2023 includes the following 11 drivers:
Steve Edler – The Sheboygan driver earned three EWSC Sportsman championships in 1973, 1974 and 1976. Edler piled up 12 feature wins and 12 clean sweeps with 19 fast times in 1973. In 1974, Edler captured nine features, seven fast times, as well as three clean sweeps. In 1976, he had seven feature wins, two clean sweeps and 19 fast times.
Frankie Heimerl – The West Bend driver won six Eastern Wisconsin Stock Car Modified features and took five fast times at Plymouth in 1981. Heimerl earned the EWSC Modified championship in 1983, and set a new track record in qualifying on July 9, 1983. He claimed his second EWSC Modified championship in 1990, capturing one feature victory and posting seven fast time honors along the way. Heimerl, who also competed on the Milwaukee Stock Car Club Modified circuit during his career, retired after the 1993 season.
Woody Klug – The Cascade driver began racing Modifieds in 1965 and won his first Modified feature that year. Woody placed second in points in 1966 and 1971. Klug was the EWSC Modified champion in 1970, winning a feature at 141 Speedway on June 7 and capturing another feature victory at Plymouth on June 13. Klug, who carried a Woody Woodpecker emblem on his car, notched three feature wins in 1971 before retiring.
Hal Kulow – A resident of Plymouth, Kulow set his first EWSC Modified fast time at Plymouth in 1958. In 1959, Kulow won 15 races, including eight features and six fast time honors. Kulow placed second in the EWSC Modified point standings in 1967, while setting three fast times, including a new track record of 14.61 seconds. He retired after the 1967 season.
Gary Laack – Racing out of Glenbeulah, Laack enjoyed success at the Plymouth track in all three of the original EWSC divisions, posting multiple feature race victories in Modified, Sportsman and Hobby Stock competition and earning a grand title of nine championships. Laack was the 1976 EWSC Hobby Stock champion before claiming eight EWSC Sportsman titles in 1977, 1978, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990 and 1992. Laack moved to the EWSC Modified division in 1994, winning one feature race and posting two fast times, while placing ninth in the Modified point standings. He also finished second in the EWSC Modified standings in 1999 and 2004.
Ron Luedtke – A resident of Lomira, Luedtke won his first Modified feature in 1979. Luedtke won the EWSC Modified crown in 1982 by winning six features, including a sweep at 141 Speedway on August 18, to go along with four fast times. He took second in the EWSC Modified point standings in 1983. Luedtke, who was known as the “Flying Farmer,” retired from racing in 1986.
John and Rodney Michaels – The Michaels Brothers racing team began competing in the EWSC Hobby Stock division in 1971. In 1977 and 1978, John and Rodney earned Hobby Stock championships, while winning seven Hobby Stock features in 1977. The Michaels Brothers won eight Hobby Stock features in 1978 before retiring in 1982.
Ken Painter – Known as a fan-favorite throughout his career, Painter began racing in 1964. He took second in the Modified points race in 1969 before earning the 1971 Modified title aided by three fast times. Painter, who displayed a dinosaur on his cars, retired after the 1971 season. On Aug. 18, 1982, Painter won an Old Timer's Race at 141 Speedway, while driving a Sportsman car.
Jim Pitzen – The Plymouth driver, who was commonly referenced in racing circles as “The Boomer,” began his racing career at Plymouth in 1985 and placed second in the EWSC Sportsman point standings in 1986, 1987 and 1992. Pitzen captured a total of four EWSC Sportsman titles in 1988, 1989, 1994 and 1995. He won four feature races and had nine fast times in 1988, while racking up a total of 32 feature EWSC Sportsman feature race victories during his career. He retired after the 1995 season before returning to compete in the Limited Late Model division at Plymouth in 2003 and 2004.
Scott Vollbrecht – The Sheboygan Falls competitor began racing in 1977. Vollbrecht secured EWSC Sportsman championships in 1982 and 1984. In 1982, he recorded five feature victories and had three fast times, while setting a Sportsman track record of 15.63 seconds. In 1984, Vollbrecht captured two feature victories and 11 fast times, along with one clean sweep.
Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Class of 2023 inductees in the Dedication to Racing category include track workers Donna Bader, Beth and Tom Breyer and Evie Robel, along with car owner and mechanic Glenn Haddy.
In addition, the Akright, Ruh and Wondra families will be inducted to the Plymouth Wall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023 in the Racing Families category.
The names of each Class of 2023 inductee will be permanently etched on the Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame, located underneath the grandstands at The Plymouth Dirt Track racing facility.
The Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Committee intends to honor a new group of inductees on an annual basis, during future racing seasons at The Plymouth Dirt Track facility.
In the event of inclement weather on Saturday, July 15, a make-up date for the Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame Class of 2023 Induction Ceremony has been set for Saturday, July 22.
Family members of 2023 Plymouth Racing Wall of Fame inductees are encouraged to attend the induction event at The Plymouth Dirt Track on Saturday, July 15. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Ken Schulz in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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