Shaffer splits two cars late to take opening night of Jim & Joanne Ford Classic at Fremont
September 15, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Sept. 15, 2017
Contact: Brian Liskai
By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio – Thirteenth starter Tim Shaffer split race long leader Chris Andrews and second place Brian Lay exiting turn two with just six laps to go and drove to his 2nd win of the season at Fremont Speedway on All Pro Aluminum Heads Night, Friday, Sept. 15. The $5,000 win makes “The Steel City Outlaw” the car to beat for Saturday’s 10th Annual Jim and Joanne Ford Classic and its $10,000 payday.
Shaffer, who now has 17 career wins at “The Track That Action Built,” has taken the victory in the Jim & Joanne Ford Classic in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
“What a great car. Jeff Rudzik and Joe Demyan (owners) and Cody Jacobs…the whole team…boy that car was awesome to drive. These guys are making it fun again. With the schedule we have we can go where we want and do what we want and it makes it fun all around. It’s crazy…I don’t know why I run so well here. I could bend it really good there (bottom of turns three and four) but getting through the middle seemed really good to me. That car would go places you wouldn’t think it could. Starting 13th tonight I didn’t think we had a shot. We just kept plugging away. My team did, I did…that Scott Gressman engine ran awesome,” said Shaffer beside his Rudzik Excavating, Triple X Chassis, VRP Shocks, FK Rod Ends, Scoville Designs backed #49.
Though the feature results weren’t what he wanted, Fremont , Ohio ’s DJ Foos still locked up the 2017 All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads FAST 410 Championship Series presented by Ohio Logistics championship and its $10,000 pay check. Foos becomes the first driver in the nine year history of the FAST series to win both the 305 and 410 titles.
“The biggest thing is consistency. You can’t win them all…you just have to be there. The team travelled well. Unfortunately tonight I didn’t get the results the Jay (Kiser) and the guys deserved. These guys pour their hearts and souls into this. We’ve had speed all year and I’m so happy for these guys,” said Foos beside his Jet Express, Crown Battery, Kistler Racing Products, Kistler Engines, JLH General Contractor, NAPA of Bryan, Shelluke’s Bar and Grill backed #23.
Fremont’s Paul Weaver grabbed the lead in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature with 10 laps to go and drove to his third victory of the season at Fremont Speedway. It was Weaver’s 11th overall victory of 2017 and the 44th of his career at Fremont tying him with Wayne Maffett Sr. for eighth on the track’s all-time win list. The win also earned Weaver his second straight JLH General Contractor FAST 305 Championship Series presented by Engine Pro title.
“I’m just thankful to win one race let alone all the races I’ve won over the past two years. This car is good, the engine builders Dave Rice and Bob Hampshire are great…can’t thank them enough for bailing me out when the other engine took a crap,” said Weaver of his M&L Excavating, Hampshire Racing Engines, Schiets Motorsports, Weaver Performance Center, Tender Touch Car Wash, Miller Rigging sponsored #1w.
Delta, Ohio ’s Ky Harper held off 2017 track champion John Brooks to score his fifth McCullough Industries 602 Late Model win of the season. The victory is Harper’s 14th career checkered flag at the track.
“We tried some new things on the car tonight…tied some Monster Trucks (Matchbox) on tonight. That was the key and way to go…they’re probably going to ride on there for awhile. I have to thank all my sponsors and all the guys who bust their butts on this car,” said Harper of his B&R Powdercoating, H&H Environmental, Twist-T-Freez, Gibraltar Excavating, VA Risk Services, AM Transport, Track Side Truck & Trailer Repair, Childress Collision, Warpaint Graphics, Mastersbuilt Race Cars backed machine.
In the 30 lap Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint Feature Brian Lay and Chris Andrews brought the field to green with Andrews gaining the advantage over Lay, Lee Jacobs and Aaron Reutzel. As Andrews and Lay pulled away Jacobs and Reutzel battled for third with Stuart Brubaker rounding out the top five. Foos brought out the caution with three laps in with the running order Andrews, Lay, Jacobs, Reutzel, Brubaker, Craig Mintz and Byron Reed.
On the restart Jacobs dove to Lay’s inside and took second on lap five as Lay had his hands full with Reutzel with Brubaker and 10th starter Cole Duncan closing. Action ground to a halt on lap 8 when Trevor Baker flipped; he was uninjured. On the restart Andrews pulled away as Lay slipped around Jacobs for the runner-up spot. All eyes were on Shaffer who had worked his way up to sixth. Reutzel drove into third on lap 11 and closed on Lay just as the caution flew for a Jody Keegan spin with 18 laps to go.
A Broc Martin came to rest to bring out the caution with 14 laps scored and on the restart Foos spun again, ending his night. Andrews again got a great restart over Lay with Reutzel and Jacobs battling for third with Shaffer up to fifth. Shaffer moved into fourth on lap 16 as Andrews held a two car length advantage over the entertaining battle for second involving Lay and Reutzel. As Andrews prepared to enter heavy lapped traffic with nine circuits remaining, Shaffer took third from Reutzel with Lay closing in on the leader.
Shaffer made his winning move exiting turn two on lap 24, splitting both Andrews and Lay and driving under a lapped car on the back stretch. Shaffer drove to the checkers over Andrews, a resurgent Jacobs, Lay and Duncan .
The start of the 25 lap 305 sprint feature was marred by a tangle involving Justin Adams and Bobby Clark initially, and then on the second attempt Jamie Miller spun and Dustin Rall flipped at the opposite end of the track. When the green flew for a third time Kelsey Ivy jumped into the lead from her front row starting spot over Nate Dussel, Ricky Peterson, Seth Schneider and Tyler Street .
Dussel took the lead on lap two but Ivy stayed glued to his rear bumper when the caution flew on lap four for an Alvin Roepke and Cody Bova mishap. In just four laps Weaver had moved from 14th to seventh. The race would go caution free the remaining 21 laps.
With eight laps scored Kelsey Ivy began to pressure Dussel to regain the lead with Weaver closing in third. By lap 11 it was a tremendous three car battle for the lead with Ivy retaking the top spot as Weaver drove into second a lap later. Weaver executed a slider on Ivy for the lead on lap 15 with Dussel following into second a lap later as the leaders caught the back of the field. Meanwhile, Kelsey’s dad, John Ivy, had drive into fifth from his 18th starting position.
Weaver began to pull away slightly over Dussel, Kelsey Ivy, John Ivy and Seth Schneider with five laps to go. Weaver went unchallenged the rest of the way for the win over Dussel, John Ivy, Schneider and Kelsey Ivy.
In the 15 lap late model feature, Ky Harper grabbed the lead from the drop of the green but 2017 Fremont Speedway champion John Brooks stayed glued to his rear bumper. A caution on lap nine bunched up the field, but Harper continued to hold off Brooks as Chester Fitch closed to challenge. With two laps to go Brooks made a couple of moves to the inside of Harper but couldn’t get the pass completed.
Harper took the checkers over Chester Fitch, Brooks, Skeeter Fitch and Kyle Dukeshire.
Fremont Speedway gets back to action Saturday, Sept. 16 for the $10,000-to-win Jim and Joanne Ford Classic with the Ohio Sprint Car Series again challenging the local competitors and the invaders on JLH General Contractor Night. JLH has a lot of contingency money on the line throughout the night and once again thanks to DKW Transport the night’s fast qualifier will earn $500; second quick $300; and third quick $150. Upping the fast time award to $700 are fans Lane Cecil and Steve Klisz.
Friday Jon Horn, owner of JLH General Contractor, announced he would return as the title sponsor of the JLH General Contractor FAST 305 Championship Series in 2018.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FremontSpeedway or on Twitter https://twitter.com/FremontSpeedway.