FREMONT, Ohio – Byron Reed used a restart with just five laps remaining to grab the lead and went on to score his second victory of the year at Fremont Speedway in the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints on AmeriGas Night.
The victory for Reed, a six time Fremont champion, is the 34th of his career at “The Track That Action Built,” putting him in a three way tie for 12th on the track’s all-time win list.
“DJ (Foos) was pretty good. It was a little tricky. It was a fine line between getting off the bottom good or just hanging just a little bit. He just about a car width too high and that made the difference. I didn’t feel that good early. It seemed like the bottom was better in three and four but as I got going I got better and better around the top and I changed my entry into one…entered higher but then stuck it to the bottom and that made the difference. When I just entered on the bottom I’d push out. Once I started diamonding it that made a big difference,” said Reed of his Crown Battery backed machine.
“I want to thank all my crew, Kurt, Kevin, Dick, my parents, my sons and my wife,” added Reed.
Lindsey, Ohio’s Steve Rando took command of the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature on lap two and survived a couple of cautions late to score his first win of the season. It was his 10th career victory at Fremont Speedway.
“It’s about time. We’ve done a lot of work. I destroyed two race cars already this year…it was a very rough start. This win is very special because it’s my daughter’s birthday (she turned six). I want to thank my parents…they help me tremendously…all my sponsors and my Uncle Mike,” said Rando beside his Davis Fabricators; North Coast Sealing; North Coast Asphalt, Attitude Hair Salon backed #19R.
The Burmeister Trophy Dirt Truck feature saw Dustin Keegan, Keith Sorg and Shawn Valenti battle throughout the 20-laps. Keegan was able to hold off five time winner Valenti to secure his second victory of the season at Fremont . It was his sixth career checkered flag at the track.
“This thing was pretty tight and I saw him (Valenti) under me on the last lap and I was like ‘don’t mess up.” I want thank Shelluke’s Bar and Hoppe, LST Excavating, Kevin Walby, Green Creek Lawn Care, my dad for doing everything he can for me, my crew, Dabby, Denny, LJ, Carol, Noah, my son and my daughter…this is just an awesome feeling,” said Keegan in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
Tiffin, Ohio’s Chester Fitch held of big challenges of defending track champion John Brooks and three time feature winner Ky Harper to score his third win of the season in the McCullough Industries 602 Late Models. It was his 9th career Fremont victory.
“That start was rough. I started to get crossed up Dustin (Keegan) come under me. Me and his dad had just had a talk a couple of weeks ago and really the guy straightened me out a lot…I’m not too old to take advice. I’m really sorry it had to happen. It’s a shame. I’d rather win a race clean. I’m kind of a guy to charge but I don’t mean any roughness,” said Fitch beside his Tiffin Auto Auction, Westside Auto Sales, Hi-Way 101 Auto Parts, Danner’s Recycling and Towing, Handy Grafix and Swartz Race Cars backed #101.
Rookie Dan McCarron and Jody Keegan brought the field to green for the 30-lap 410 sprint feature but after a lap was complete Broc Martin took a tumble, walking away okay but very dejected. On the restart McCarron led Keegan, Tyler Gunn, DJ Foos, Stuart Brubaker and Reed.
McCarron continued to lead with Keegan comfortably in second while Foos and Gun battled for third. Keegan drove to McCarron’s outside in turns three and four and took the lead on lap nine with Gunn moving into second three circuits later. Disaster struck for Gunn on lap 13 as the front part of his hood came off, bringing out a debris yellow and sending the second place runner to the tail.
On the restart Foos slipped by McCarron for second and started to close on Keegan as Reed drove into third on lap 16. Foos immediately pressured Keegan for the lead and dove under him in turns three and four to take the top spot on lap 18.
Foos raced into lapped traffic on lap 22 with Keegan, Reed, Chris Andrews (from the tail), McCarron, Brian Lay and Brubaker in pursuit. Reed took second on lap 24 just before the caution flew for an Ayrton Olsen spin.
When the green reappeared, Reed dove under Foos and into the lead. Andrews moved into third with four laps to go. A caution for McCarron who had a broken steering system with three laps to go had the crowd on their feet. Reed got a tremendous restart and drove away for the win over Foos, Andrews, Keegan and Gunn.
Nate Dussel and Rando comprised the front row of the 305 sprint feature and when the green flew Dussel grabbed the early lead over Rando, Alvin Roepke, Kelsey Ivy, Seth Schneider and George Englert. Rando wasted little time establishing himself as the car to beat as he drove around Dussel for the lead on lap two and began pulling away.
Rando encountered lapped traffic by the seventh circuit and that allowed Dussel to close while 12th place starter Paul Weaver drove into third. The lapped traffic really became a challenge with 10 laps scored but Rando picked his way through and by lap 12 had a bit of a clear track as Dussel, Weaver, Roepke and Jason Keckler gave chase.
With 10 laps to go Rando’s lead was nearly four seconds over Dussel, Weaver, Roepke, Brandon Moore, John Ivy and Keckler. That big advantage vanished with seven laps to go as Rando again found heavy lapped traffic.
The race’s first caution flew with five laps to go putting Dussel and Weaver right on Rando’s rear bumper. Another caution a lap later kept the field close. Rando got an excellent restart with four laps to go as Weaver took second but could not close.
Rando drove to the victory over Weaver, Dussel, Roepke and Moore.
A spat of cautions slowed the pace of the 20-lap dirt truck feature. But, once it got going, a very entertaining battle transpired at the front between Keith Sorg, Dustin Keegan, Jeff Ward and Shawn Valenti. That four truck war went lap after lap until there was a caution for debris on lap nine.
When the green reappeared so did the battle up front. Sorg would hold off all challenges the first 13 laps before Keegan used a restart with seven laps to go to grab the lead, bringing Valenti into second. A final caution with five laps to go put Valenti right on Keegan’s tail but Keegan didn’t make a mistake.
As Keegan took the white flag, Valenti tried a last ditch attempt for the lead, diving under Keegan. Keegan was able to keep up his momentum and edged Valenti for the win with Sorg, Ward and Kyle Farmer rounding out the top five.
At the start of the 15 lap late model feature outside front row starter Fitch bobbled on the start, causing a collision involving Jamie Miller and Dustin Keegan while Fitch continued on. When the green flew again Fitch held on to the lead over John Brooks, Ky Harper, Kyle Dukeshire and Skeeter Fitch.
Back to back cautions on laps five and six kept the field close. Fitch continued to lead while Brooks and Harper continuously looked for ways to get around him. Fitch hit his marks and drove to the win over Brooks, Harper, Keegan and Skeeter Fitch.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, June 24 with the first visit by the American Late Model Series (ALMS) in several years. The 305 sprints and dirt trucks will also be in action.
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