FREMONT, Ohio – Chris Andrews has watched several races slip through his fingers at Fremont Speedway this season. The Sandusky , Ohio driver wasn’t about to let another opportunity get away Saturday on Kistler Racing Products Season Championship Night.
Andrews passed Byron Reed with seven laps to go and went on to record his first win of the season in the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints. Reed would finish second and earn his fifth career Fremont Speedway track championship.
“Byron took $10,000 away from me a couple of weeks ago (the Kistler Racing Products FAST Championship) so he can afford to lose some money,” joked Andrews beside his Burmeister Racing/Lucas Oil/Goofy Golf/Schiets Motorsports/Adkins Sanitation/Applebee’s Restaurant backed machine.
“I thought we were going to go winless at Fremont the way things were going. I love Fremont Speedway …the fans are awesome and Rich Farmer has the track in excellent shape. I can’t thank my guys enough. We had engine problems the last four weeks and Paul Kistler went to work and put an awesome motor together. Mikey Summers…works his tail off on this thing,” added Andrews in the Engine Pro Victory Lane .
“Caleb Griffith was the one that scared me. I about moved to the top and I watched him screw up and I figured I’d wait for that to clean off a little bit,” continued Andrews who now has 7 career wins at The Track That Action Built.
For Reed, it was his second straight track title, though he expressed disappointment at not winning a feature all season at Fremont Speedway.
“I feel bad…I wanted to win that one pretty bad. I got discombobulated with my motor trouble there (he had a cracked header) and Chris got going good in the middle and that’s where I needed to be in three and four,” said Reed beside his Crown Battery backed machine.
“Our goal coming into the season was to win the FAST championship and to win the Fremont championship. I thought if we did that we would have won a few more races. Like I said I credit this championship to my crew. Our bad nights we were eighth or ninth…we didn’t drop out of races. We weren’t the best car this year…we did get better the last couple of months,” added Reed.
Jordan Ryan is only 17, but the Castalia driver has put together a phenomenal season in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints. He picked up the Attica Raceway Park championship last month and did the same Saturday at Fremont . Ryan took the lead on lap 16 of the feature after a tremendous battle with Dustin Stroup and Steve Rando, and went on to score his fifth win of the season and wrap up the track title. He now has six career wins at Fremont .
“What a race. With Dustin Stroup and Steve Rando…we were three wide sliding each other behind lapped cars…that was nuts,” said Ryan beside his Frosty Frog/J&J Automotive/Griff’s Engines/Village Pizza House/Kistler Racing Products/Big D’s Lawn care backed #5.
“This has been a dream season. We’ve been finishing in the top five a lot and running out front with these guys. I hope it shows people something…I gave my all this season,” continued Ryan surrounded by his family and friends in the Engine Pro Victory Lane .
Risingsun, Ohio’s Shawn Valenti took the lead from Kent Brewer on lap 11 of the AAA Ohio Auto Club Dirt Truck feature and then held off a late race challenge from Brewer to score his 14th victory of the season. Valenti’s 23rd career win moves him into a tie for 21st on the track’s all-time win list with Bryan Sebetto, Jim Fleming and Cory Ward. Valenti also locked up the track championship.
“Lapped traffic was starting to come into play and I saw Kent ’s nose down there and I knew he was hanging with me. I hoped I could hit lapped traffic just right and stay ahead of him,” said Valenti beside his Craig Miller Trucking/Gressman Powersports/Day Dream and Memories Crafts and Antiques/KS Sales and Service/Conrad Transportation/Dave Story Equipment Repair backed #7b.
“It’s been a dream since I was a little kid to be a champion at Fremont Speedway ...I’m glad I can now call myself one,” added Valenti in the Engine Pro Victory Lane .
In the 30 lap 410 sprint feature, Reed and Andrews would bring the field to green, but before a lap could be completed T.J. Michael and Jason Dolick tangled in turn four, resulting in a red. Both drivers were okay but were done for the night.
When the green flew again Reed jumped into the lead over Andrews, Caleb Griffith, Craig Mintz, Broc Martin and Stuart Brubaker. Reed pulled away slightly as Andrews and Griffith battled for second when the caution flew for Jimmy Colvin and Duane Zablocki who spun in turn four.
On the restart Reed led Griffith, Andrews, Mintz, Martin, Brubaker and Brian Lay. Griffith run up front would end when he went off the high side of turn two on lap five and hit the wall. When the green came back out Reed could not shake Andrews with Mintz, Martin, Brubaker, Lay and Brian Smith in pursuit.
The leaders hit lapped traffic by the 11th circuit and Andrews and Mintz closed on Reed. By the half-way point, Reed led by less than a car length over Andrews while Mintz and Martin battled for third. A lapped machine would get into Mintz, sending him spinning in turn one. The restart order was Reed, Andrews, Martin, Brubaker, Smith, Lay, D.J. Foos and Todd Heller.
With 10 laps to go, Andrews was racing to Reed’s inside and the two would battle side by side over the next three laps. Andrews would execute a perfect slider in turns three and four to not only drive by Reed for the lead but to clear a couple of lapped cars on lap 23. Andrews would then drive away for the win over Reed, Martin, Brubaker and Lay.
In the 25 lap 305 sprint feature, Stroup and Rando would bring the field to green but before a lap could be scored Paul Weaver would spin. On the second attempt at green Rando would power into the lead over Stroup, Ryan, Kyle Capodice, Kevin Lee and Seth Schneider.
The action would grind to a half on lap two when Ryan French and Nate Dussel tangled in turn one. On the restart Rando would continue to lead as Stroup and Ryan battled for second. The leaders raced into heavy lapped traffic by the 9th circuit and the three car battle was on.
Rando would slip up on lap 11 with Stroup driving into the lead and Ryan taking second. With 10 laps to go Strop, Ryan and Rando were battling for the lead and trying to negotiate lapped traffic. Ryan would take the lead on lap 16 but Stroup continued to race to his inside with Rando also challenging. Rando’s great run would end on lap 17 as he slid off the high side of turn two to bring out the caution.
Now with a clear track, when the race went back to green Ryan would drive off as Capodice now challenged Stroup for second. With five laps to go the running order was Ryan, Stroup, Capodice, Dustin Dinan, T.J. Michael and Tyler Gunn.
Ryan would drive to the win over Stroup, Capodice who wrapped up the division’s rookie of the year honors, Dinan and Michael.
Jeff Ward and Cory McCaughey would bring the field to green in the 20 lap dirt truck feature. The event would go green to checker with no cautions.
Kent Brewer would drive into the lead over Ward, McCaughey, Matt Foos, Valenti, Art ball and Jimmy McGrath Jr. Valenti would move into fourth on lap two and would take third by lap six as Brewer continued to lead Ward. Valenti would take second on lap eight and applied pressure to Brewer.
Valenti would finally take the lead on lap 11 as the leaders caught the back of the field. Brewer would stay close with Ward, McCaughey, Foos, McGrath Jr., Ball and Cory Ward in pursuit. Valenti made one little slip with two laps to go and Brewer dove to his inside as the pair raced side by side to the white flag. Valenti regained his composure and drove to the win over Brewer, Jeff Ward, McCaughey and Ball.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 4 with the Buckeye Machine BOSS non-wing sprints and the Run-What-You-Brung with the trucks and stocks in a class, the late models and modifieds in a division and four-cylinder compact in another class. There are no rules for the later three divisions and some teams usually show up with huge wings, side panels and more.
It’s also Family Fun Night which includes $1 hot dogs and 50 cent popcorn along with a penny toss for the kids with several special prizes. There will also be a ladies powder puff truck race.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com
Fremont Speedway - 9/27/2014
Kistler Racing Products Night
Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints (20 Cars)
Qualifying - Fricker’s Restaurant/Callie’s Performance