notes from busy two weeks at Fremont
FREMONT, Ohio (June 25) - There's been lots of interesting
tidbits of news out of Fremont Speedway the past couple
of weeks, including:
Brian Smith driver of the #16 Burmeister sprinter, and his
wife, Kim, recently found out they are expecting their second
child. Also, Smith climbed aboard the Jeremy Keegan #24
at the USAC show at Attica on Wednesday, and won his heat
race in impressive style. Also, Smith has recorded back-to-back
second place feature runs at Fremont.
Ed Psurny, driver of the #22R 305 sprint, let his brother,
Troy drive the car recently at Fremont. It was the second
time Troy had driven the sprint, the other was last season
at Portsmouth Speedway. Troy is Ed's crew chief.
A.J. Sleek, driver of the #15 305 sprint, celebrated his
18th birthday on June 22 at Fremont Speedway.
Former USAC sprint champion and 1963 Fremont Speedway champion
Rollie Beale was in attendance when the USAC sprints and
midgets raced at Fremont on June 20.
Don Keegan, driver of the #47 dirt truck, informed us that
his racing season might be coming to an end as he will have
to work Saturday afternoons. Keegan works for a construction
Scott Barman, co-host of "The Last Lap" radio
show (WFRO AM900-FM99.1) and sprint driver Jody Keegan were
pictured in the lastest issue of Mid-American Auto Racing
News. The photo was snapped by Brendon Collum, young son
of Fremont track photographers Jim and Elaine Collum.
Speaking of Jody Keegan, he has been hired as the automotive
instructor at Vanguard Sentinel Career Center in Fremont.
A couple of weeks ago, the grandchildren of Bill Shaw, driver
of the #48B sprinter, came all the way from California to
watch grandpa race.
Former sprint driver Al Hager of Fostoria was in the pit
area Saturday, June 22 at Fremont.
George Gillespie, owner of the ProShock company, has been
at Fremont the last few races, up from his Atlanta, Ga.
headquarters. He plans to be in Ohio through All Star Sprint
Speedweek. He was seen talking shop with Jim Linder and
Larry Keegan in the pit area.
Tom Teeple, father of sprint driver Bobby Teeple, said the
team has no plans to race in 2002. He said the team wanted
to take a year off to regroup and may return in 2003.
When 305 sprint driver and defending track champion Bryan
Scott flipped in Saturday night's feature, 9-time track
champion Mark Keegan ran out to the scene and looked over
the car and told Scott it wasn't hurt that bad. Scott joined
the back of the field in his badly beat-up car, and roared
back to 7th before spinning to end his night.
Defending 410 sprint track champion John Ivy and his crew
helped Shawn Chaney change a front axle prior to Saturday
night's feature when it was discovered a hub was cracked
on the #27c. Ironically, Ivy's left front wheel came off
during the feature event because of loose lug nuts.
Todd Heller was supposed to start on the pole of Saturday
night's feature. However, it was discovered that the rearend
gears were put in upside down and Heller could not get them
changed in time to start the race.
The 54 sprints that qualified for Thursday's USAC show at
Fremont was the most during the four nights of racing in
the first ever Buckeye Nationals. Troy Rutherford's track
record for non-wing sprints set last season still stands.
Ironically, it was USAC's first visit to Fremont Speedway
since 1981. During that show, Sheldon Kinser set a new track
record that stood until Rutherford's run last year. Kinser's
1981 record erased the mark posted in 1978 by Al Liskai.
The night Liskai set the track record was also the night
he won his only career feature at Fremont Speedway. Liskai
was in attendance at this past Thursday's races.
Fremont Speedway promoters Jim and Joanne Ford celebrated
their wedding anniversary on Tuesday, June 25. Joanne also
celebrated her birthday on Sunday, June 23.
The crew of Roger Shammo's #10s 305 sprint celebrate after
the races every week with ice cream. Not to be outdone,
the crew of Craig Mintz's #09 305 sprint head to the Rollersville
Tavern afterward for pizza (the tavern sponsors the team).
tjslideways.com has a nice feature story on Fremont's softwalls.
Sprint driver Donnie Jescke made hard contact with the turn
two softwalls and describes how they saved him injury and
damage to his car.
Mike Linder, driver of the #3 sprinter, has had a couple
great runs at Fremont over the past couple of weeks. On
June 15, he raced from 15th to a 6th place finish. On Saturday,
June 22, he raced from 18th to a 5th place showing. Linder's
car owner, Andy James, also debutted in his #72 sprinter
on June 22, racing his way into the feature through the
B. John Ivy was in James' sprinter for the USAC show. Besides
racing with his car owner, and his dad, Jim Linder, Mike
also races with his brother-in-law Jon Finsel, driver of
the #F1 sprinter.
Paul Hemrick debutted his #44 with the 410 sprints this
past Saturday. Hemrick had been running with the 305 sprints.
Matt Karbler raced the #44 during Thursday's USAC show.
Dick Liskai had a successful bone marrow/stem cell transplant
two weeks ago. Liskai, who is continuing to fight cancer,
will be living in Columbus for some time as he continues
treatments at The Ohio State University Hospital. In related
news, Liskai's son, Brent, recently announced his engagement
and forthcoming marriage. Also, Brent was hired as a social
studies teacher and the head boys' basketball coach at Gibsonburg
The kids really got a treat at Burger King Night this past
Saturday at Fremont. Burger King's Joanne Cook, who won
the 50/50 drawing at Thursday's USAC show, handed out hats,
pencils, balloons, can holders, Frisbees, and tatoos.
Sprint driver Johnny Beaber and car owner Dick Sabo are
known in the pit areas as the "grumpy old men racing
team," especially with the addition of crew members
Johnny Auxter and Tom Leaser.
The little boy who fell out of the bleachers on Thursday,
was taken to Fremont Memorial Hospital and then by helicopter
to Toledo, where he was treated for several injuries. No
word as to the extent of the injuries or if he is home yet.
However, his parents were at the races Saturday, and received
a Craig Mintz t-shirt to give to the little tyke to perk
up his spirits.