Mintz wins 4th straight at Fremont in FAST 410s; Weaver gets 1st 305 win; Valenti storms to truck win; Fitch takes late model victory
June 2, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Contact: Brian Liskai
By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio - Craig Mintz is undefeated in 410 sprint action at Fremont Speedway in 2018. The Gibsonburg, Ohio driver led all 30 laps feature Saturday, June 2 on Vision Quest Night to claim his fourth straight win.
It wasn't easy for the two time Fremont Speedway track champion as Kody Kinser closed when Mintz got hung up in lapped traffic after just have taken the white flag. Unfortunately Kinser, who was on Mintz' rear bumper, got off the cushion in turn two and into the fence, ending his bid for the victory. Mintz had to then survive two restarts for the green, white, checkered finish to score his 14th career win at "The Track That Action Built."
Mintz padded his lead in the All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads FAST 410 Championship Series presented by Ohio Logistics as he seeks to add a third series title.
"First I feel bad for DJ (Foos). I didn't mean to get into him. For us to keep rolling after we hit him that hard...I'm just going to keep riding this wave," Mintz said.
About those two restarts with two laps to go?
"Me and Nate Dussel have raced since we were Brinley's (Mintz' daughter) age. He knows how I'm going to do things...he's been there before. So I just tried to do something different. I sat there on that red trying to figure out what I was going to do and how I'm going to get that jump because I know he's going to be pretty good. I haven't thanked Paul Kistler and Kistler Engines enough..this bullet is one heck of a motor," Mintz continued in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
"I was struggling in lapped traffic.There was just no where for me to go. I'd try to stick my nose in there and that's not against them...they are supposed to race too, they're not just going to pull over for you...this isn't Formula 1. I hate to see that happen to Kody. He's a good guy. I communicate with him quite a bit. As a matter of fact one of his companies is on our race car," Mintz concluded beside his #09.
Paul Weaver took the lead in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint A-main on lap five and survived a spat of cautions in the middle of the race and another with just three laps to go to post his first victory of the year at Fremont. It is the Fremont, Ohio driver's 46th career win at the track, placing him alone in seventh place on the all-time victory list.
"When we got up on those lapped cars it was kind of scary. When you come up on someone that is that slow...it's kind of dangerous. This car is an '09 but it sat on a shelf for about four years so it hasn't been run that long. But it's starting to crack in some spots. It was good tonight though," Weaver said of his Hampshire Engines, Weaver Performance Center, Seagate Sandblasting, Miller Rigging, M&L Excavating backed #1W.
Fostoria, Ohio's Shawn Valenti suffered some issues in his Burmeister Trophy Dirt Truck heat and was forced to start 17th in the A-main. He took the lead on lap 10 and survived several cautions to score his second win of the year at Fremont. Valenti, who also won the stock car feature at Limaland Motorsports Park on Friday, now has 43 career victories at Fremont, placing him 10th on the track's all-time win list.
"I didn't think this was going to be the out come starting that far back on this type of a race track. We busted tail after that heat race. We had a bunch of bent up steering parts. I can't thank Jeff Babcock enough for what he does for me," Valenti said of his Craig Miller Trucking, Best Performance Motorsports, Dave Story Equipment, KS Sales & Service, Gressman Powersports backed truck.
Tiffin, Ohio's Chester Fitch passed Dustin Keegan on the second lap of the McCullough Industries Limited Late Model feature and drove away in the non-stop 15 lap main for his 10th career Fremont win.
"I've had a lot of motor problems this year. Last night we went to Attica and I broke the motor for the third time. So we worked all night to put our crate motor in from last year just to come here tonight," Fitch said of his Westside Auto sales, Tiffin Auto Auction, Fremont Fence, Sacksteder-Worland Insurance, Miracle Motors, Danner's Recycling & Towing, Hi Way 101Auto Parts, Shorty's Auction & Liquidation Services backed machine.
Prior to the night's racing the 10th Annual Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were held in front of a packed grandstands. Inducted were drivers Skip Miller, Jimmy Leaser and the late Lin Potter. Mechanics/car owners inducted were brothers Larry and Buddy Gill, Richard Hazzard, brothers Ron and Don Keegan and Jay Engler and inducted as special contributors were Joe and Shirley Thompson.
Kinser and Foos brought the field to green in the 30-lap Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint A-main but before a lap could be completed Kinser and Foos nearly made contact and fourth starter Mintz got into the back of Foos resulting in a flat right rear tire for Foos. That moved Mintz to the outside of the front row for the restart and he used it to bolt into the lead at the drop of the green.
With four laps scored just as Mintz was set to hit heavy lapped traffic Lee Jacobs stopped on the back stretch. When the green flew Mintz led Kinser, Dussel, Tyler Gunn, Duane Zablocki, Brian Lay and Stuart Brubaker. When the green flew Mintz pulled away from Kinser with Dussel comfortably in third while Tyler Gunn, Lay, Zablocki and Brubaker battled for fourth. Mintz' lead was over 1.5 seconds when he raced into heavy lapped traffic by lap 11. But Kinser was unable to mount a challenge as Mintz' lead grew to two seconds just past the half-way mark.
By lap 25 Mintz again found himself mired in heavy traffic and this time Kinser closed quickly, chopping the lead to just a little over a half second. As they raced past the flag stand after taking the white, Kinser tried to use a lapped car to trap Mintz but got off the cushion and slammed into the turn two fence, bringing out the red. After a lengthy race stoppage while fence repairs were made, Mintz got a great restart only to see fifth place running Tyler Gunn spin. On the second attempt Mintz again got a tremendous restart to drive to the win over Dussel, Brubaker, Lay and 12th starter Dan McCarron.
Weaver and Jamie Miller brought the field to green for the 25-lap 305 sprint A-main with Miller, who won the previous night at Attica Raceway Park, gaining the upper hand over Weaver, Bobby Clark, Alvin Roepke and Kyle Capodice. The leaders quickly caught the back of the pack and Weaver used it to his advantage, taking the lead on lap five. With 12 laps scored Clark and Roepke tangled with lapped cars and Clark ended up on his lid; he was able to walk away. When the green flew Weaver and Miller pulled away but a caution soon followed by a stalled Jimmy McGrath Jr.
On the ensuing restart Weaver pulled away from Miller with Capodice, Seth Schneider, Steve Rando, Matt Lucius, Brandon Moore and John Ivy in pursuit.. The field got one more opportunity to handle Weaver when the caution flew with three laps go to. Weaver got an excellent restart and drove to the victory over Miller, Capodice, Schneider and Rando.
Kevin Phillips and Brand Mitten led the field to green for the 20-lap dirt truck feature. After a lap was scored a multi-truck crash ensued involving four drivers . When the green flew again Phillips led Jim Holcomb, Mitten, Brad Keckler, Cory McCaughey, Keith Sorg and Dustin Keegan. The caution flew on lap five for Brandon Leighton and the truck on the move was Valenti who had stormed from 17th to fourth. When the green flew Phillips continued to lead but Valenti blasted into second and took the lead at the half way point as the yellow flew for Dustin Keegan. Three cautions over the next six laps kept the field close, the last coming with just three laps remaining.
Valenti rocked off when the green flew to score the win over Holcomb by an inch over Brad Stuckey, Sorg and Keckler.
Dustin Keegan and Fitch brought the field to green for the 15 lap late model A-main with Keegan gaining the advantage. It was short-lived though as Fitch blasted into the lead on lap two and never looked back, building his lead to over six seconds when the checkers flew. Keegan, Kyle Dukeshire, West Morrison and Jay King rounded out the top five.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, June 9 on Kistler Engines Night featuring the 410 and 305 sprints, dirt trucks and late models. It's Fan Favorite Night and fans get to vote on their favorite driver with the winner taking home a pickup truck load of racing products.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FremontSpeedway or on Twitter https://twitter.com/FremontSpeedway
About Vision Quest
Located in downtown Elmore, Ohio, Vision Quest provides high quality design and print work for all media including custom screen printing and embroidery work, vinyl lettering, digital printing, signs and lettering. Call 419-862-3891.