FREMONT, Ohio – Monclova, Ohio’s Byron Reed wanted to prove he’s still a “gasser” even though he is a tad older than most of the drivers in the 410 sprint division at Fremont Speedway. On a fast, action packed track Saturday on Jon Wright’s CustomChrome Plating Night, Reed would take the lead on lap 24 of the 40-lap feature and drove to the $5,000 win, the richest payday in the eight year history of the Kistler Racing Products FAST Championship Series.
It was the second win of the season at “The Track that Action Built” on Al Franks Day – honoring the hall of famer who had 34 wins at Fremont and four track titles - for Reed and the 29th of his career. A six time and defending track champion, Reed sits 15th on the track’s all-time win list. He also garnered valuable points as he looks to claim his fourth FAST title and the $10,000 prize.
“I had to do this for my mom. She told me with the track being like it is it is probably an Andrews (Chris) or Brubaker (Stuart) track because those guys stand on the gas. So I had to show her she was wrong,” joked Reed beside his Crown Battery, Maxim Chassis, Kistler Engines backed #5.
Fremont’s Paul Weaver would grab the lead from Alvin Roepke on a lap eight restart and would cruise to his 37th career win at Fremont Speedway in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints. Weaver now sits 10th on the track’s all-time win list.
“I told Farmer (Rich, track promoter) last year to get rid of those medium Hoosiers…it helped some and killed some and I was one of them. Now I can for forward and race these…these tires are 100 percent better,” said Weaver beside his M&L Excavating, Schiets Motorsports, Weaver Performance, Hampshire Racing Engines backed #1W.
“I want to thank Dave Rice and Bob Hampshire for building the motor for me and Daniel Hoffman for helping me and my wife,” added Weaver.
In the Burmeister Trophy Dirt Truck feature, Fostoria ’s Shawn Valenti would first battle with Cory McCaughey and then held off several late race challenges from defending track champion Kent Brewer to score his third win of the season. It is Valenti’s 28th career win at Fremont which puts him 16th on the track’s all-time win list.
“This has been one awesome truck and I’m the lucky one that gets to drive it. The thing just cuts the corners so good and gets down the straight-aways awesome. Gressman Powersports horse power is a big help. Have to thank Craig Miller Trucking, JP Enterprise, Real Geese Decoys,” Valenti said in the Engine Pro Victory Lane .
In the 40-lap 410 sprint feature Stuart Brubaker and Gary Taylor would bring the field to green but Bryan Sebetto would take a tumble in turn three. He was uninjured. On the restart Taylor would bolt into the lead over Brubaker, Reed , Jordan Ryan, Tyler Gunn, Brady Bacon and Craig Mintz.
Reed would grab second on lap two and quickly closed on Taylor who was setting a blistering pace, racing into lapped traffic by lap seven. Bacon was on the move, taking fourth from Ryan on lap six. With 10 laps scored Taylor and Reed had slipped away from Brubaker and Bacon while Ryan, Mintz and 13th starter Carson Macedo waged a terrific battle for fifth.
The leaders would encounter heavy lapped traffic by lap 13 and Reed closed on Taylor . Reed would dive under Taylor to lead lap 14 with Taylor returning the favor the next circuit. Meanwhile Bacon had driven into third with Brubaker, Ryan, Mintz and Macedo in tow.
By the half-way point Taylor held a slim lead as Reed and Bacon battled for second. Ryan would bring out the caution on lap 21. On the ensuing restart Taylor would be challenged by Reed and Bacon with Mintz moving into fourth. Reed would drive around Taylor the lead on lap 24.
Just seven laps into the restart and the leaders again found lapped traffic. Reed would make aggressive moves with the lapped cars as Taylor, Bacon, Mintz, Macedo and Brubaker gave chase. On lap 29 Mintz would drive around Bacon for third but Bacon returned the favor a lap later.
Ryan and Duane Zablocki would tangle on lap 31 halting the action. When the green flew so did Reed, rocketing away from the field with Taylor, Bacon, Mintz and Macedo in pursuit. With just two laps to go Reed encountered heavy lapped traffic.
Reed would pick his way through for the win with Taylor narrowly edging Bacon for second while Mintz and Macedo rounded out the top five.
“I felt I had to be aggressive with the lapped cars because I got beat by Carson (Macedo) a few weeks ago maybe being not aggressive enough,” Reed said. “I have to thank my crew, Kurt, Kevin, my mom and dad, my wife and all the fans for coming out tonight.”
Alvin Roepke and Kyle Capodice brought the field to green for the 25 lap 305 sprint feature with Roepke gaining the advantage as Weaver challenged Capodice for second. Weaver would take the runner-up spot on lap three with Capodice, Nate Dussel, Bobby Clark, Jason Keckler and Steve Rando in tow.
With five laps scored Kyle Farmer and Trevor Baker would get together. When the green reappeared it only lasted a lap before Josh Harrison would spin. Again another lap and another Harrison spin. On the ensuing restart Weaver would muscle his way under Roepke to take the lead with Dussel moving into third.
With 10 laps to go Weaver found the back of the field, allowing Roepke and Dussel to close with Clark, Keckler and John Ivy giving chase. On lap 18 Weaver narrowly missed disaster in lapped traffic as Matt Foos would spin to give the leaders a clear track for a seven lap shoot-out.
When the green flew Weaver pulled away with Roepke trying to hold off the challenges of Dussel with Clark, Keckler and Ivy in pursuit. Weaver would drive to the win with Roepke narrowly holding off Dussel for second with Ivy and Clark rounding out the top five.
“He opened the bottom and I took it. Alvin would drift to the wall and I had to get out or risk running over his tire and crashing. When he gave me the lane I jumped on it,” explained Weaver of his winning move.
Dana “Fireball” Frey and Brandon Leighton paced the field for the 15 lap dirt truck feature. As soon as the green flew it was an immediate four truck battle for the lead with Cory McCaughey grabbing it over Leighton, Valenti and Frey. Valenti would move into second on lap two just before the caution would fly for a stalled Jeff Ward.
McCaughey and Valenti would battle when the green flew with Leighton trying to hold off Kent Brewer and Frey. Sam Weaver would bring out the caution on lap four. On the restart McCaughey now had his hands full with Valenti and Brewer with Frey, Brandon Stuckey and Keith Sorg staying close.
Valenti would drive into the lead on lap six, bringing Brewer to second though McCaughey didn’t give up. Following a caution for Weaver, Valenti and Brewer would wage a terrific battle for the lead. The pair would race side by side through the turns until the checkers.
Valenti would win by half a truck length over Brewer with McCaughey, Frey and Sorg rounding out the top five.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Sunday, May 29 with the BOSS Sprints running for $5,000 to win for the Mike Hensel Memorial. The 305 sprints will battle for $1,000 to win with the 602 late models also in action.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com