by Jeff Pederson
for The Beacon
Over the course of the past 70 years, the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds has served as a mecca for many of the top area, region, state and national-level dirt track race car drivers and teams, as well as the throngs of racing fans and supporters that have forged the foundation of what the sport of dirt track racing as grown into today.
With fearless drivers boasting colorful nicknames wheeling fast cars on the ragged edge of control around a tight third-mile dirt track, the fascinating stories of the countless races that have taken place at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds since 1950 could best be described as the stuff of legends.
A new book titled “70 Years of Plymouth Dirt Tracking” by noted Eastern Wisconsin Stock Car historian Dennis Darovich and Plymouth Dirt Track Racing George Baumann has been released in time for the start of the 2021 Plymouth Dirt Track Racing season on May 1.
The book recounts the heated rivalries, big personalties and even the many controversies that have been spawned over the past eight decades at the Plymouth Dirt Track facility.
In the 246-page book, Darovich and Baumann present a season-by-season account of each full year of regular racing action at the Plymouth Dirt Tracking facility, along with 183 photos, 140 of which appear in color.
Additional highlights of the book, published by Pedal Down Promotions of Manitowoc, Wis., include a chapter devoted to women in racing, final point standings for each season between 1950 to 2020, driver photograph identification pages and human interest stories.
“This book provides the definitive Plymouth dirt track racing history,” Darovich said. “It covers all of the years from 1950 and 2020, which makes it very comprehensive for anyone that has an interest in the history Plymouth track from way back in the beginning years all the way up until the 2020 season. It will be available at the track for purchase throughout the 2021 season. It is a must have for any stock car racing enthusiast.”
The staff of Plymouth Dirt Track Racing has thrown their full support behind the “70 Years of Plymouth Dirt Track Racing – Covering the 1950 through 2020 Seasons” book project with additional backing coming from Vintage Modified Stock Car, Partners in Success Networking Group, the family of Tom “T.J.” Ott and Klips & Tips of Plymouth.
“George and Dennis have done an excellent job of covering the history of racing in Plymouth,” Plymouth Dirt Track Racing Marketing and Promotions Director Bill Weinaug said. “I believe the fans will also enjoy the
pictorial history as well.”
According to Darovich several contributors added content and support to the project.
“Bill Mueller selected all of the recent photos to use in the book from Rob Eisentraut at RC Custom Design and also contacted drivers to gather photos for the book from those drivers’ personal collections,” Darovich said. “Bill also did most of the typing and proofreading and wrote the women in racing section.
“George Baumann wrote the text in many of the additional years, including the 1950s and the Plymouth Dirt Racing years from 2005 to 2020,” he said. “I wrote the content for the other years when Eastern Wisconsin Stock Cars sanctioned the racing at Plymouth between 1960 and 2004. In addition, John Surges from Vintage Modified Stock Car provided photos from his vast Milwaukee collection covering the 1950s through the 1990s. Also, the Nytes family gave us photos from 2000 through 2020, many of which have actual driver autographs on the photos.”
Darovich also noted the efforts of Plymouth Dirt Track, Pedal Down Promotions and three book project sponsors in making the book a reality.
“Bill Weinaug from Plymouth Dirt Track Racing raised the money to publish and print the book and did the publicity to help drum up interest and support from the project,” Darovich said. “As the publisher, Pedal Down Promotions put the book together into readable form, designed the cover and essentially turned the project from an idea into a physical product.
“I also want to thank Vintage Modified Stock Car, Partners in Success Networking Group, the family of Tom ‘T.J.’ Ott and Klips & Tips of Plymouth for stepping up to cover the cost of the first printing of the book,” he said.
In addition to being on sale during 2021 racing events at The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis., “70 Years of Plymouth Dirt Track Racing – Covering the 1950 through 2020 Seasons” is also available in e-book and paperback formats on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com. Premium color paperback editions of the book are available for purchase exclusively on amazon.com.
Additional information on Plymouth Dirt Track Racing and the upcoming 2021 PDTR racing season can be found at http://www.plymouthdtr.com.