Pit Notes From
Fremont Speedway For Sprint Speedweek
By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio (July 7, 2003) - The 21st Annual All Star Circuit of
Champions Ohio Sprint Speedweek created much excitement this year, including
the two shows at Fremont Speedway. Here's some of the information many
fans may not have heard:
The Miller Rigging #2 was back in action Thursday at Fremont with Kyle
Sauder of Archbold behind the wheel. Sauder experienced great success in
360 sprint racing, including just missing Earl Baltes' bonus for becoming
the first driver in that division to win 10 features at Eldora. Sauder
hasn't raced all season, but showed little rust, as he set quick time in
qualifications and raced his way into the feature event.
Jason Deel (son of the late Jimmy Deal, sprint car driver), and his
wife Amy became the proud parents of a baby boy on Thursday. Word had it
Jason, who works on the family's #3j 305 sprinter, was trying to get to
the race track Thursday. Speaking of the #3j, driver Scott Miller scores
his first win for the team at KC Raceway on Wednesday, July 2.
Bill Shammo, father of 305 sprint driver Andy Shammo (#48) celebrated
his 60th birthday on July 2.
The Sandusky County Fair Board is expected to award a contract for
the construction of new restrooms at the race track soon. Word has it the
lowest bid came in at approximately $99,000. The fair board has received
a grant to help pay for the facility, along with donations and the proceeds
from the weekly 50/50 raffle. Speaking of the raffle, a lucky fan took
home over $2,900 on Tuesday and over $4,800 on Thursday! Word has it Tuesday's
winners were from Fremont and Thursday's lucky ticket holder hails from
Fremont Speedway promoter Jim Ford noticed former racer Gene Lentz
in attendance Thursday and presented him with a check to help with his
medical expenses. Lentz was injured in a crash many years ago, but was
a regular fixture in the infield at Fremont during the 1970s and 1980s.
Thursday night's crowd was estimated to be the largest in the 52-year
history of the track (when including the pit receipts).
Area radio personality Beth Daniels, who also is the lead singer in
the band Sweet Cheater, sang the national anthem Tuesday at Fremont. Beth
also learned earlier in the week she and her husband were expecting their
Andy Potter, who began the season as the crew chief with the Miller
Rigging sprinter, took on the duties for the #70 Pete Grove car driven
during speedweek by Kenny Jacobs. The team put together a new car for the
Tuesday show at Fremont, assembling the machine at De Genzman's shop.
Brian Smith, a former All Star rookie of the year and driver of the
#20x 305 sprint, was so excited after winning his first ever feature, he
attempted (and failed) a back flip on the front stretch. However, promoter
Jim Ford reminded him of a bet the two had if Smith would win a feature,
and Smith took to his belly to do a "snake dance".
Alan Holland, creater and webmaster for the popular hoseheads website,
was in attendance at Fremont Speedway.
Fremont Speedway has now had 14 first-time feature winners in 2003
in all divisions combined.
Mark Keegan continues to lead all active drivers in career feature
wins at Fremont with 55 (fourth on the all-time list, just three away from
tying Jim Linder for third and just 10 away from tying Art Ball for the
top spot). Next would be late model driver Tim Sabo, who sits tied for
13th with 24 wins; Bryan Scott, tied for 19th with 19 wins; John Ivy and
Dan Roepke, tied for 22nd with 17 wins; Bobby Foster at 30th with 15 wins;
and Steve Sabo, tied for 31st with 14 wins. Chad Kemenah has moved up to
52nd spot on the all-time feature win list at the track with 8 victories,
and Byron Reed and Andy Shammo are tied for 58th, each with seven victories.
As of July 7, 2003, there have now been 317 different feature winners in
the history of Fremont Speedway.
The granddaughter of the late sprint/modified driver Jimmy Roepke (Tonya)
served as trophy queen Tuesday night.
When the music comes over the PA system at the beginning of the 410
sprint feature, Barry Boss, who handles the start cone at turn 4 and on
the front stretch, and assistant flagman Darren Rice, lead the crowd in
dance. While Barry shows signs of being a back-up dancer on music videos,
Darren's moves resemble Carlton's on the former t.v. show "The Fresh Prince
Scott Barman, who co-hosts the popular radio show "The Last Lap" (Mondays
at 7 p.m. on Eagle 99.1 FM), will become assistant flagman on Aug. 2 as
Monty Collins, the head flagman, will be out of town. Barman has handled
several duties at the track this year such as running the scoreboard and
driving the pace truck.
Race fans showed their generosity Tuesday by contributing over $700
in a collection to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association.