rub elbows, go-karts with sprint drivers
FREMONT, Ohio (Dec. 28) - Race fans got the rare opportunity
to race with their heroes Thursday night at the Race Place
in Fremont. David and Terri Harrison played host to the
annual Brad Doty Night at the sprint-kart racing facility,
with several sprint drivers, fans and others associated
with the racing scene on hand.
Besides signing autographs, drivers, Dean Jacobs, Rob Chaney,
Greg "The Kid" Wilson, Mark Keegan and Mike Linder
strapped into the go-karts with sprint car bodies to race
on the indoor paved oval with the fans. Rusty McClure, who
is making a miraculous recovery from a sprint car crash
that nearly claimed his life two years ago, also strapped
in a kart to race with fans.
Doty, a former sprint car racer and television race analyst,
was on hand to sign autographs and race with the fans.
Besides the sprint racers, also on hand were engine builder
Paul Kistler, Fremont Speedway promoter Jim Ford and his
son Randy Ford, a former sprint driver, who will handle
track maintenance duties in 2002. Also attending were former
late model drivers De Genzman and Dale Hasselbach, as well
as dirt truck driver L.J. Connors. Scott and Andrew Barman
and Brian Liskai, hosts of the radio show "The Last
Lap" were on hand as well. Aaron Hammer, crew chief
of All Star Champion Kenny Jacobs was also in attendance
with his dad, All Star official Randy Hammer. Former sprint
champion Daryl Harrison also was on hand to trade stories
with fellow former sprint driver John Auxter.
In the feature event, Wilson looked to have the field covered,
but spun in lapped traffic, putting him to the tail with
just a handful of laps remaining. That put Jacobs, who used
the caution to get rid of added weights on his kart when
no one was looking, on the point, with Doty right on his
rub rail. The two diced between lapped karts, with Wilson
moving back through the pack. Doty soon took the lead, with
Wilson right on his bumper. As the laps ticked off, Wilson
regained the lead and seemed to have the race in hand. However,
on the white flag lap, Jacobs, who was being lapped, pinched
Wilson into the guardrail and Doty snuck by for the win.
Everyone had a great time during the evening. Last Lap host
Brian Liskai also recorded several interviews with some
of the race drivers, which will be aired on Monday, Jan.
7 betwen 5:30-6:30 p.m. on WFRO AM 900-FM 99.1.
Some of the interesting news to come out of the Brad Doty
Dean Jacobs will drive the John Baker Excavating #4 sprinter,
driven last year by Danny Smith. Smith will be driving Guy
Webb's #51 in 2002, replacing Jerrod Hull. Jacobs' 2001
ride, the Peterbuilt of Northwest Ohio #7 owned by Rick
Daughterty will be campaigned in 2002 in the 360 sprint
ranks by Rick's son, Nick.
Rusty McClure is through with rehabilitation work and has
returned to work. He is making plans on getting back behind
the wheel of a sprint car sometime in 2002.
Rob Chaney, who started 2001 in Stan Cortaid's #9x and then
moved to Jack Elden's #22, is searching for a ride in 2002,
as Elden has gotten out of racing, and Butch Schroeder has
taken over the duties in the #9x. Chaney said he would go
to Florida in February as a crew member of Kenny Jacobs
#6 while searching for a ride. It was also learned that
Jacobs has lost team partner Honnecker for 2002.
Greg WIlson will again pilot his uncle Bob Hampshire's #63
in 2002. Wilson said the team has purchased a new trailer
and is building a new hauler to replace the motorcoach Hamp
has used for many, many years.
Fremont Speedway promoter Jim Ford hinted that besides the
Non-Win World Championship show for the SCRA sprints in
August, "The Track That Action Built" could host
another non-wing, mid-week show in 2002. Plans have yet
to be finalized though.
L.J. Connors, driver of the #X dirt truck, and his wife
Deb, were recently featured in their hometown newspaper,
The Clyde Enterprise, for portraying Santa and Mrs. Claus
for 29 years.
Sprint driver Alvin Roepke was unable to attend the Brad
Doty Night fun, as he is busy moving his specialty apparellel
business, Vision Quest, into a new building he recently
purchased in Elmore, Ohio. It was learned the #99 Mt. Dew
team has switched chassis for 2002, moving from a J&J
to a Maxim.
Paul Kistler revealed his dyno machine at his engine shop
had been down for repairs. He said he has 28 engines to
test over the next few weeks.