Pit notes from April 28, 2001
By Brian Liskai
The new clay surface at Fremont Speedway (3,500 tons) installed last winter/fall held up extremely well under its first racing test. Not only did Dean Jacobs break Dale Blaney's track record (set June 18, 1997 at 12.618) with a time of 12.562, but he was one of nine drivers clocking in the 12 second bracket. Track preparer Walt Evans deserves a big pat on the back.
The pits at Fremont were crowded Saturday with 98 cars in all three divisions - 48 super sprints; 31 305-sprints; and 19 dirt trucks.
Bryan Scott earned an extra $100 for winning the 305 sprint feature thanks to ABC Detailing and Powerwashing of Fremont.
The Sandusky County Fairboard sold the 50/50 sweepstakes tickets Saturday at the race track. The winner, Jay Graber of Fremont, took home $1,400.
The new bleachers in the pit area - formerlly the bleachers at Fremont Ross High School - sure came in handy Saturday. The main grandstand area was standing room only. The frames for an additional 300 seats are at the track and will be installed soon thanks to Lucius Welding and Fabrication.
Bruce Robenalt had a 10th place qualifying effort Saturday, (13.043, just out of the 12 second bracket), but struggled in his heat and finished eighth in the B. The Most Improved Driver in 2000 at Fremont was kind enough to donate a t-shirt as a door prize.
Lauren Meyer, 12, a student at Clyde St. Mary's School, did a wonderful job of singing the National Anthem. The young lady was not intimidated at all standing in front of the large crowd and received a big hand from the audience.
Matt Merrill of Fremont, driver of the #39 305 sprint, made it to the track just in time to hotlap. Earlier in the day Merrill attended graduation ceremonies at Eastern Michigan University where he obtained a degree in physical education instruction.
Dirt Truck driver L.J. Connors had a nice tribute painted on the back of his racer to "The First Lady of Fremont Speedway" Dot Shilling who passed away this past winter at the age of 73. Dot and her husband Joe Stelter helped found the track 50 years ago.
Kenny Jacobs, Chad Kemenah, Rodney Duncan, Mike Linder, Bobby Foster, Jim Dayton, Bryan Scott had their cars on display at Foster's Auto Body in Fremont Saturday morning and drew hundreds of fans. There were also dirt trucks at Wendy's Restaurant and Burger King. Scott Barman conducted live interviews for WFIN's Racing World at Foster's Saturday.
The large crowd came to Fremont Speedway hungry Saturday as the chicken sandwiches were gone in a hurry. Over 100 pizzas were devoured and hundreds of pounds of french fries. Over 80 cases of beer were drank (16-ounce cans!). The new concession stand system seemed to work pretty well also.
Steve Hardin sold a number of his CD's that feature over 6,700 photos and video clips of races and virtual tours of tracks across the country. He was on hand at Fremont, recording a virtual tour of "The Track That Action Built" to be included on another CD.
The #99 crew of Alvin Roepke probably had the best outfits Saturday. You couldn't miss the bright green Mt. Dew shirts in the pit area.
All Star videographer Jeff Kristenson has nicknamed All Star Driver Jerrod Hull of Sikestown, Mo. "The Fury from Missouri."
Tony Beaber, son of former Fremont track champion Johnny Beaber, confirmed he will drive the 360 sprint of Toth Motorsports, formerly driven by Dale Cessna. Both father and son were at Attica Friday night helping Jack Hewitt with his USAC sprint.