Davis win Fremont crowns
By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio (Nov. 5, 2005) - It was an emotional night Saturday,
Nov. 5, as The New Fremont Speedway wrapped up its 54th year of racing
by crowning its 2005 champions - Mike Linder (410 sprints); Paul Weaver
(305 sprints) and Bobby Davis (Coors Light Dirt Trucks).
Fremont Speedway Promoter Jim Ford began the night's festivities by
thanking all of the fans, drivers, crews and sponsors for their prayers
and well-wishes which helped his family during a time of crisis. Jim and
Joanne Ford's son, Doug, who organizes the track's scheduling, purse structures
and race night activities, was involved in serious car crash. Doug, who
has Muscular Dystrophy, was critically injured, but has since healed and
"You people will never know how much strength you gave our family.
Your thoughts and prayers were responsible for keeping us going," said
an emotional Jim Ford. "Racing is a family and we are so proud to be associated
with all of you. We will be back better and stronger than ever in 2006."
The top 10 in points in all three divisions were honored with trophies
In the 410 sprints, Mike Linder of Fremont joined his father to become
the track's first father-son duo to win a championship. Mike admitted he
has a ways to go to catch his father, Jim, who owns seven Fremont Speedway
After finishing second in the point standings in 2004, Mike had a story-book
season, picking up four feature wins (June 4, June 18, July 23 and Aug.
6). He recorded 12 top 10 finishes out of the 15 A-mains he competed in,
including an outstanding 10 top five finishes. His average A-main finishing
position throughout the season was fifth.
"I keep having to pinch myself to remind me this isn't a dream. When
you see your name added to the list of former champions...it's pretty humbling.
I grew up sitting in the stands at Fremont watching my dad race, my Uncle
Fred, Mark Keegan....and now to do what I always wanted to do - race 410
sprints - and win a track championship...it's overwhelming," said Linder.
"I have the greatest car owner in the world. I haven't seen Andy James
since January. I talk to him on the phone and he just says do your best.
He likes reading about our success in the papers and he's having a lot
of fun with it," added Linder. "I have to thank Beaverdam Contracting,
Linder's Speed Equipment, J&J chassis, ProShocks and Paul Kistler...he
does so much for us. Paul kept an old motor running pretty good this year
Finishing second in the 410 point standings was 2001, 2002 and 2004
Fremont champion John Ivy. Ivy scored one win in 2005, moving him into
a tie for 15th on the track's all-time career win list with 23 victories.
He recorded 12 top 10 finishes out of the 15 A-mains he competed in during
2005, including eight top five showings. His average feature finishing
position in 2005 was sixth. Ivy announced he would be taking a year off
of racing in 2006 to spend more time with his family.
Third went to Gibsonburg's Craig Mintz, who picked up his first career
Fremont feature win in 2005 (June 25) and was edged out for another by
veteran Kenny Jacobs in the Chuck Kear Memorial race. Mintz recorded 10
top 10 finishes including five top five showings.Of the 14 A-mains he competed
in (missing only the Ohio Sprint Speedweek feature) his average finishing
position was seventh. Mintz announced he was looking for a ride in 2006.
Fourth in the standings went to Fremont's Bobby Clark. He scored one
win in 2005, but was part of some of the closest finishes. Clark competed
in every A-main in 2005, recording eight top 10 finishes and six top five
showings. His average A-main finishing position was 9th. Clark too is looking
for a ride in 2006.
Eight-time Fremont champion Mark Keegan finished fifth int he point
standings. He recorded 10 top 10 finishes in 2005, including three top
five showings. He did not finish out of the top 10 the last 10 shows of
the year. One of only four drivers to make all 15 A-mains at Fremont Speedway
in 2005, Keegan's average finishing position was 9th.
Burgoon's David Harrison finishes sixth in the standings. He recorded
eight top 10 finishes, including three top five showings in 2005. His average
finishing position in the 13 A-mains he competed in was 11th.
Fremont's 2003 champion Byron Reed of Monclova picked up career win
number nine during 2005 to finish seventh in the final point standings.
He recorded 11 top 10 finishes, including eight top five showings of the
14 A-mains he competed, for an average finishing position of 7th.
Attica's Brandon Martin - who was honored by Jim Ford for his hurricane
relief efforts - finished eighth in the point standings. He recorded seven
top 10 finishes in the 11 A-mains he competed in for an average finishing
position of 12th.
Fremont Speedway's 2004 305 sprint champion Brian Smith finished 9th
in the 410 points in 2005. Smith scored four top 10 finishes while competing
in 11 A-mains.
Todd Heller of Whitehouse rounded out the top 10. He recorded five
top 10 finishes in 2005, competing in nine of the 15 A-mains.
The 410 rookie of the year was Fremont's Bryan Sebetto.
Fremont's Paul Weaver dominated the 305 sprint division on route to
his 2005 track championship. Weaver picked up three feature wins (May 7,
July 23 and July 30), running his career total to 13. Weaver scored an
incredible 11 top five finishes. His only non-top 10 finish during the
yar was a 17th place showing on June 25. His average A-main finishing position
was an unbelieveable fourth.
"I have to thank my car owner Dee Genzman, my engine builder Dennis
Levell and my wife, Andrea," said Weaver, who vowed to be back to defend
his title in 2006.
Bryan Scott - the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Fremont track champion - finished
second in the points. He picke dup career win #20 on June 25, to move him
into a tie for 21st on the track's all-time win list. Scott recorded 11
top 10 finishes including eight top five showings. Of the 13 A-mains he
compete din during 2005, his average finishing position was sixth.
Andy Shammo never finished out of the top 10 of the 13 A-mains he competed
in during 2005, to finish third in the point standings. Shammo scored five
top five finishes on route to an average A-main finish of sixth.
Roger Shammo - who will be moving up to the 410 sprint ranks in 2006
- was one of five drivers to compete in all 13 A-mains in 2005, to secure
fourth in the final point standings. He scored his fifth career Fremont
win on July 9 on route to recording eight top 10 finishes and an average
A-main finish of 9th.
Fostoria's Bill Kraylek finished fifth in the points. He picked up
a win (April 30) along the way and recorded seven top 10 finishes including
five top five showings. His average feature finishing position of the 11
A-mains he competed in, was 10th.
Gibsonburg's A.J. Sleek finished sixth in the final point standings.
He become one of the first-time feature winners in 2005 (Aug. 6), on route
to scoring six top 10 finishes and an average finishing position of 11th
of the 13 A-mains he competed in.
Brad Bowman of Shelby finished 7th in the points, picking up his first
Fremont feature win (June 4) along the way. He secured eight top 10 finishes
and had an average A-main finishing position of 12th.
Eighth in the point standings went to Fremont's Daniel Smith, another
first-time feature winner in 2005 (June 11). He recorded eight top 10 finishes,
including six top five showings. His average A-main finishing position
for the 10 features he competed in was 9th.
Mt. Blanchard's Barry Cole secured 9th in the final point standings.
He scored six top 10 finishes and his average A-main finishing position
or the 11 A-mains he competed in was 13th.
Kevin Lee of Green springs - the 2004 co-rookie of the yar at Fremont
- rounded out the top 10 in points.He recorded three top 10 finishes in
The co-rookies of the year for 2005 in the 305 sprint division were
Coty Runion of Tiffin and Duane Zablocki of Tiffin.
Ross Palson handed out checks to the top five in the final Computer
Man Dash Series. The weekly program pits the winners of the heats from
the 305 sprint division in a special dash where they accumulate points.
In the two years of the program, $10,000 has been given out to 305 sprint
drivers.Bryan Scott claimed the championship and the $700 by making eight
dashes in 2005. Sleek ($550); Weaver ($400); Smith ($350); and Roger Shammo
($250) rounded out the top five in the points.
Bobby David of Fremont scored a pair of wins to highlight his championship
season in the Coors Light Dirt Truck Division in 2005. Davis recorded eight
top 10 finishes, including seven top five showings. Of the 11 A-mains he
competed in during 2005, Davis had an average finishing position of 7th.
"I have to thank all our great sponsors, my brothers, my wife and everyone
who helped out," said Davis. "We had a lot of fun...that's why we do it.
We get to hang out with a bunch of great guys. I have to thank Al Davis
Carpeting, Jenny's Copper Penny, Crown Battery, Smith Automotive...and
all our sponsors. That's how we can do this."
The 2001, 2002 and 2004 Fremont champion Steve Sabo finished just six
point behind Davis. He scored a win (May 14) in 2005 to move his career
total to 22 and is tied for 17th on the track's all-time win list. Sabo
scored eight top 10 finishes in 2005, including six top fives. His average
A-main finishing position was 7th.
Tiffin's Brian Arnold led the division with three feature wins in 2005
to finished third in the final standings. He recorded seven top five finishes
for an average A-main finishing position of sixth.
Dan Roepke of Woodville - the 2000 track champion - finished fourth
in the final point standings. He picked up two wins in 2005, moving his
career total to 21 for 20th on the all-time win list. Roepke scored seven
top 10 finishes, including six top fives in 2005. His average A-main finishing
position for the 11 features he competed in was 8th.
Finishing fifth in the final point standings was Fostoria's Bob Dible.
Dible had his most successful year behind the wheel of a dirt truck, picking
up his first career feature win on July 9 and following it up with a win
on Aug. 6. Dible socred seven top 10 finishes including six top five showings.
His average A-main finishing position was 10th.
The 2004 rookie of the year, Art Howey Jr. of Fremont, finished sixth
in the point standings. He finished in the top 10 six times in 2005, including
three top five finishes. Of the 11 A-mains he competed in his average
finishing position was 8th.
Gibsonburg's Jim Welty scored nine top 10 finishes in 2005 to grab
the 7th place in the final point standings. He recorded three top five
showings in the 11 A-mains he competed in for an average finishing position
The veteran Ron Kepling of Fostoria finished 8th in the points, scoring
six top 10 finishes along the way. He recorded four top five finishes while
making all 11 A-mains for an average finishing position of 11th.
Wayne's Dwight Waltermeier picked up the 9th place position in points.
He recorded eight top 10 finishes in 2005, including three top fives. His
average A-main finishing position was 9th.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Coors Light Dirt Truck points was Gibsonburg's
Andy Maynard. He recorded four top 10 finishe while competing in 10 A-mains
for an average finishing position of 12th.
Besides the point fund, Action Photos handed out $250 to four drivers
in each of the divisions' top 10 in points whose names were drawn at random.
Fremont Speedway will begin its 55th season of racing in April.