FREMONT, Ohio – Though he is considered one of the rising stars of NASCAR, 21-year-old Christopher Bell still likes to have fun on the dirt in a sprint car. The Norman , Oklahoma driver dominated the 410 sprint feature at Fremont Speedway Saturday.
Bell, who has recorded two victories in the past two years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, led all 30 laps on Crown Battery Night at “The Track That Action Built.” Only a late race caution would slow his march to the $3,000 payday with extra prize money added by Crown Battery.
“I can’t thank Craig and Les Mintz enough and all the Linders and Kevin (Shammo). They worked their butts off all night long and provide really good race cars for me and Carson (Macedo). It makes it fun for us when ever we get to come out here and play,” said Bell of his Real Geese Decoys, Eagle Ignition Products; Real Archery Targets; KS Sales & Service; Ti22; Shetzer Insurance; Story Equipment; S&S Builders; Linder’s Speed Equipment; Keizer Wheels; Real Caps backed #09.
“This is my home track…this is where I grew up racing. One of my first ever 410 starts came here and it’s kind of like coming back home whenever I get to come to Fremont,” added Bell in the Engine Pro victory Lane of his third career Fremont win.
Not to be out done, Bradner , Ohio ’s Nate Dussel dominated the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature, leading all 25 laps for his third win of the year at Fremont . It was his 20th career victory at the track and was worth $1,000 thanks to Crown Battery.
“We’ve had a car that’s fast all year it’s just usually there’s 10 or 11 guys between me and the front. First, I want to apologize to Jamie (Miller) if I hit him. I never saw him, I never heard him. I know he really wanted to win tonight for the whole Earl Lowe family…it’s great what Fremont did for Earl…I hate to spoil that for them. We were just so fast tonight,” said Dussel of his Berrier Custom Fabrication; Al Davis Carpet and Laminate; Gressman Powersports; Foster Fabrication; Real Geese; Industrial Machinery Movers; Kistler Racing Products backed #1.
“It’s places like Crown and the Baumann Auto Group and JLH General Contractor that really make Fremont a really super special place. The money they put up that they don’t have to…trust me the racers really, really appreciate it,” added Dussel of the bonus cash from Crown Battery.
In an entertaining and wild McCullough Industries 602 Late Model feature, Tiffin , Ohio ’s Chester Fitch grabbed the lead with just three laps to go after a tremendous battle with Ky Harper and John Brooks and drove to his third win of the year. It was Fitch’s sixth career win at Fremont .
“That was fun. It was good for a lot of hard work. That was a good clean run. Ky and John ran a good race. This Swartz Race Car is a lot better car than I am a driver,” said Fitch of his Tiffin Auto Auction; Westside Auto Sales; Hi-Way 101 Auto Parts; Danner’s Wrecking and Towing; Shorty’s Auction and Liquidation backed #101.
Shawn Valenti continues to dominate in the Burmeister Trophy Dirt Trucks. The Fostoria , Ohio driver took the lead on lap four after an intense battle with defending track champion Kent Brewer and drove away to his sixth feature win of the year. It is the 31st career win at the track for Valenti and ties him for 14th on the track’s all-time win list with Rollie Beal.
“Jeff Babcock just gives me a great piece. This truck rolls the corners so nice,” said Valenti of his Dave Story Equipment Repair, Craig Miller Trucking, KS Sales & Service; Real Geese Decoys, backed #7B.
The night had a lot of cash included thanks to Crown Battery. Not only did they run an Australian Pursuit for the 410 sprints that paid $1,000 to win, but every heat race winner in every division took home $100. Also, besides the extra money for the winner of the 410 sprint and 305 sprint features, the hard charger – the driver who passed the most cars in the features – took home an additional $250 in each division. Also, the “hard luck” driver in each division went home with an additional $250.
Also the fans voted Reed as their favorite driver and he took home over $2,000 in racing products thanks to donations from many area businesses.
In the 30-lap Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint feature Todd Heller and Bell brought the field to green but several cars got together on the start including Broc Martin, Carson Macedo, Tyler Gunn and Chuck Wilson. Macedo and Gunn would not restart. On the second green, Bell jumped into the lead over Heller, Gary Taylor, Byron Reed, Stuart Williams and Brian Lay.
Bell quickly pulled away from the field with Taylor moving into second. Bell drove into lapped traffic by just the sixth circuit and held a huge lead over Taylor, Reed, Stuart Brubaker, Heller, Williams, Duane Zablocki and Lay. By the half-way point Bell held a nearly 3 second lead when the yellow came out for Joey Pendergrass. But when the green flew again so did Bell.
The rest of the field would have one more shot at Bell when Zablocki stopped on the track with 21 laps scored. This time on the restart Taylor hung with Bell and challenged on several occasions with Reed, Brubaker, Williams, Lay and Martin in pursuit. Once Bell got his rhythm back, he pulled away for the win. Taylor, Reed, Brubaker and Williams rounded out the top five.
Dussel and Miller would bring the field to green for the 25 lap 305 sprint feature with Dussel grabbing the lead over Kyle Capodice, Dustin Dinan, Dustin Stroup, Miller and John Ivy. Cautions on lap three, four and five kept Dussel from driving away. When the green flew on lap five, Dussel lead Capodice, Miller, Dinan, Stroup, Alvin Roepke and Paul Weaver.
Dussel drove into lapped traffic by the 11th circuit and that allowed Capodice and Miller to close. At the half-way point Dussel had worked his way through the heaviest of traffic and pulled away while Capodice had his hands full with Miller while Dinan, Weaver, Roepke and Stroup stayed within striking distance. Miller grabbed second on lap 14 and thanks to a caution with eight laps to go had a shot at Dussel.
On the ensuing restart Dussel was able to pull away and drove to the win over Miller, Capodice, Weaver and Dinan.
In the 15 lap late model feature Steve Sabo and Tim Sabo brought the field to green but it was fourth starter John Brooks who drove into the lead just before a caution flew. On the restart Brooks would lead Ky Harper, Tim Sabo, Matt Shipley, Fitch and Steve Sabo. Harper began pressuring Brooks as the pair raced side by side over the next hand full of laps while Fitch methodically drove into third by lap five.
The final caution flew on lap 11 with the running order Brooks, Harper, Fitch, Shipley, Tim Sabo, Steve Sabo and Dustin Keegan. When the green flew it was a tremendous battle for the lead and on lap 13 Fitch was able to drive under both Harper and Brooks to take the top spot. Fitch would old off Harper the final two circuits for the win with Brooks coming home third followed by Shipley and Tim Sabo.
Brewer and Curt Inks brought the field to green for the 15 lap dirt truck feature with Brewer gaining the advantage over fifth starter Valenti, Inks and Brad Stuckey. A caution waved on lap three for a three truck incident. On the restart Valenti was able to drive around Brewer for the lead while Stuckey and Cory McCaughey battled for third. Valenti steadily pulled away and drove to the win over Brewer, McCaughey, Stuckey and Dustin Keegan.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, July 23 for Miller Rigging Night. It will be a Kistler Racing Products FAST Championship Series presented by KS Sales and Service point night for the 410 sprints. The 305 sprints, late models and dirt trucks will also be in action.
Some lucky fans will also take part in a hot dog eating contest as well on Saturday which is National Hot Dog Day. The night is also part of the 2nd Annual Johnny Auxter Days weekend. There will be classic car/truck/motorcycle show prior to the night’s racing and on Sunday, July 24 there will be an antique tractor pull/display along with a full program of vintage race cars in competition.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com