Fremont Speedway Pit Notes from May 5
By Brian Liskai
Tony Robins, a young racing fan from Fostoria won a free bike at Fremont Speedway Saturday night thanks to the Tackle Box II. There will be more bicycle give-aways throughout the season.
Willie's Sales & Service, 2215 E. State St., Fremont, sponsored Saturday night's racing at Fremont Speedway. Owners Chuck and Will Schepflin had a beautiful display of Toro Wheel Horse lawn and garden equipment on display at the race track. Will and Chuck even threw out free t-shirts into the stands Saturday night. Jason Moser of Toro was also on hand Saturday.
Dirt truck driver Rich Farmer of Fremont switched numbers over the winter. He campaigned the #29 last year, but switched to the shamrock 64 this year. There is a story behind the number. The number was on the race car that belonged to the father of Tim Shanahan who, with wife Joanne, owns the Little Tavern on the Prarrie in Fremont. The tavern is sponsoring Farmer's truck and is also a big supporter of racing at Fremont Speedway, supplying many of the Frisbees that are thrown into the stands.
Former All Star Circuit of Champions rookie of the year Brian Smith, who piloted the #2+ 305 sprint car last year at Fremont, was in the pit area Saturday. He said he is taking the year off to spend more time with his family, but may be in a sprint car next year.
John Wisbon, driver of the Burmeister #16, and Alvin Roepke, driver of the Mt. Dew #99, have been struggling so far this year. Both report they are putting new torsion bars in their sprinters this week in an attempt to start going towards the front.
Alvin Roepke and his fiancee Karen Stein received some good news this past week...they're going to be parents! Roepke and Stein had been making wedding plans for later this summer, but plan to move the nuptials date up. Congratulations!
After starting the year out in Scott Lucius' #32 sprinter, John Ivy has gone back to the Sid Eckelberry #20 Carousel Racing sprint car. In his first outing Friday, he took the feature win at Attica. He wasn't so lucky Saturday, as he put the car on its side during the start of the feature. Lucius had the #32 at Fremont Speedway Saturday, but it sat in the trailer without a motor. No word yet on a possible driver for Lucius.
Pennzoil World of Outlaws driver Tim Shaffer raced Dwight Reidling's #9 at Fremont Saturday. The #9 was driven by Phil Gressmen very successfully last season. Shaffer is usually behind the wheel of the Vivrain Shelma Shell #11. The WoO were rained out Saturday. No word if this is a permanent ride change for Shaffer or not.
Bill Kid of Fostoria sang the National Anthem Saturday at Fremont. Kid is a crew member of the #21 sprinter driven in the 305 sprint ranks by Scott Kraylek. Speaking of Kraylek, he sported a new top win in hot laps thanks to his sponsor Brown Precision, which manufactures top wings.
Many race fans and Fremont officials remembered former speedway flagman Mike Holman during the races Saturday, as earlier in the week, May 3, marked the anniversary of the day back in 1995 when Holman was killed at the track while flagging.
Racing photographer Rick Sherer was on hand Saturday, following recent corrective eye surgery.
There was another large field of cars in the pit area Saturday at Fremont Speedway. There were 32 super springs; 24 305 sprints; and 22 dirt trucks.
Former World of Outlaws star, The Ohio Traveler, Rick Ferkel, was in the pit area Saturday, helping his son Ricky Ferkel, who campaigns a very familiar looking #0 in the 410 sprint ranks.