Reed holds off late race Martin charge for $10K Jim Ford Classic at Fremont Speedway
September 17, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017
Contact: Brian Liskai
By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio – Byron Reed appeared to be well on his way to a $10,000 pay day at Fremont Speedway Saturday, Sept. 16. But defending track champion Broc Martin had other ideas the last three laps, diving under Reed numerous times. Reed, who wrapped up his seventh track title last week, held off the challenges and drove to his first ever win in the 10th Annual Jim & Joanne Ford Classic on JLH General Contractor Night.
The victory was the fourth of the year at “The Track That Action Built” and the 36th of Reed’s career at Fremont Speedway putting him 11th on the all-time feature win list. Reed, from Monclova , Ohio , led all 40 laps for the big pay day that is honors the Ford family who saved Fremont Speedway from near extinction in 2000.
“I was struggling with the lapped cars. I wasn’t much faster than them so I knew I was kind of in trouble. I felt good in three and four but one and two I didn’t feel like I was good and I thought I’d be a sitting duck. Last night I didn’t do the best job of driving and my parents were brutally honest. My mom said ‘I don’t think Tim Shaffer is any better than you he was just a better driver’ so I had to prove her wrong tonight,” said Reed beside his Crown Battery backed #5
“We are done for the year and it’s a great way to end it. We had a really great year and I have to thank my mom and dad, Kurt, Kevin, my family and Crown Battery for all they do for me. I want to thank all the fans for coming out and Fremont Speedway for putting this show on. We’ll be back next year but I do have things going on in my life that are important to me that I want to take care of but you’ll see me most nights,” Reed added in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
Fremont’s Paul Weaver made it a sweep of the weekend in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints but it wasn’t easy. With six laps remaining in the 25 lap feature, Weaver’s mount began to belch smoke and after taking the checkered flag he coasted to a stop on the back stretch. Weaver’s win is the fourth of the year at Fremont Speedway and the 45th of his career at the track tying him with Jim McCune for seventh on the track’s all-time win list.
“I don’t know if it blew up but it is that engine’s last race of the season, that’s for sure. One gauge was pegged all the way one way and the other all the way to the other side. It got awful slow at the end. I’m lucky to be old enough to know the names of the guys I’m with on the all-time win list so I really can appreciate it. I have to thank Dave Rice for helping me get back on the track when the first engine went and Bob Hampshire and Darrel Schiets for sponsoring me and Daniel; I sit back in my chair while he puts the set-up on,” said Weaver in the Engine Pro Victory Lane beside his M&L Excavating, Weaver Performance Center, Tender Touch Car Wash, Miller Rigging backed machine.
Fostoria, Ohio’s Shawn Valenti and Kent Brewer put on a whale of a battle in the Burmeister Trophy Dirt Truck A-main. The duo ran side by side the last 12 laps, trading the lead nearly every corner. When the checkers flew Valenti earned his eighth win of the year at Fremont and the 40th of his career at the track tying him with Harold McGilton for 10th on the all-time feature win list.
“It was good hard racing. This truck is amazing. This thing…I don’t know what it is about it…when I get behind it it’s just a matter of hitting the gas peddle and trying to hang on to the steering wheel. Jeff Babcock does an awesome job,” said Valenti of his A Plus Auto Center, Best Performance, Craig Miller Trucking, Dave Story Equipment, Real Geese, backed #7b.
Cole Duncan, who earned an extra $700 from DKW Transport and fans Steve Klisz and Lane Cecil for setting fast time in qualifications, and Reed were scheduled for the front row of the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint A-Main. But before the green could fly Duncan went to the pits with mechanical issues and was done for the night. Martin and Reed then brought the field to the green with Reed gaining the upper hand but a caution for Ayrton Olsen after a lap was scored kept the field close.
When the green flew again Reed pulled away from Craig Mintz, Martin, Travis Philo, Cale Thomas, Tyler Gunn and Jody Keegan. Reed’s lead began to evaporate by lap 11 as he prepared to race into heavy lapped traffic. Cap Henry, who had worked his way from 17th to sixth spun on lap 19 with the running order Reed, Mintz, Martin, Philo, Thomas, Keegan, Chris Andrews and 20th starter Tim Shaffer. On the restart Philo and Thomas got together with Thomas taking a nasty flip, collecting Keegan. Thomas was okay but done for the night while Philo went to the tail and Keegan continued with heavy winged damage.
Reed pulled away once again when the green reappeared while Mintz and Martin tried to keep pace with Andrews holding off Shaffer for fourth. With 10 laps to go once again Reed caught the back of the pack and that allowed by Mintz and Martin to close with Andrews, Shaffer and Lee Jacobs in tow. Martin drove into second on lap 34 and took big bites out of Reed’s lead. With the white flag waving Martin drove his machine extremely deep into turn three and right on Reed’s rear bumper. The pair ran nose to tail the final lap with Reed stopping Martin’s charge to take the win. Mintz, Andrews and Shaffer rounded out the top five.
Jamie Miller and Steve Rando brought the field to green for the 25 lap 305 sprint feature but Miller would get side ways in turn one, collecting George Englert who took a wild ride and also collecting Chase Dunham. While no one was hurt, the incident moved Weaver to the outside of the front row for the second start.
Rando grabbed the early lead over Weaver, Kyle Peters, Tyler Street , John Ivy and Brandon Moore before the caution flew for a Justin Adams spin with three laps scored. By lap eight Rando and Weaver were running side by side and would continue to do battle until Adams brought out the caution again n lap 10. When the green flew the battle up front resumed between Weaver and Rando with Street, Nate Dussel, John Ivy, Peters and Kyle Capodice in tow.
A final caution on lap 16 for a Joe Armbruster spin set up the dash to the finish with Weaver leading Rando, Street, Dussel, Peters and John Ivy. Weaver steadily pulled away after the green came back out but six laps to go his car began smoking and Rando closed as did Street, John Ivy and Capodice. Weaver was able to nurse his mount to the checkers over Rando, Street, Dussel and Peters.
Daniel Roepke and track champion Dustin Keegan brought the field to green for the 20 lap dirt truck A-main with Keegan gaining the advantage over Kent Brewer and Roepke. Brewer took over the top spot on lap two with Roepke moving into second three circuits later. Valenti charged from seventh to third by lap seven and joined the battle for the lead between Brewer and Roepke. Valenti took the lead by a bumper on lap 10 as the caution flew.
When the green reappeared the three truck break-away between Valenti, Brewer and Roepke resumed with Brewer regaining the top soot on lap 13 only to see Valenti return the favor with five laps to go. Valenti, Brewer and Roepke continued their entertaining battle up front until the checkers flew. Valenti held off Brewer, Roepke, Steve Endicott and Keith Sorg at the checkers.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 30 when the Rick’s Truck and Equipment Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS) non-wing sprints pay a visit for the Mike Hensel Memorial on Fort Ball Pizza Palace Night with the 305 sprints, trucks and late models joining the action.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FremontSpeedway or on Twitter https://twitter.com/FremontSpeedway.