Elmore’s Roepke gets another win — this time at Fremont

Brian Liskai

D.J. Foos did all he could to try and claim the Fremont Speedway 410 track title Saturday, Sept. 14.
He won his second straight feature but it wasn't enough to overtake Penngrove, California's Michael "Buddy" Kofoid for the track title. Because Foos scored the win, Kofoid had to finish third or better to lock up his first ever championship and he did just that...finished third, to take the title by two points on Fremont Federal Credit Union Night.
 For Foos, his fourth victory of the season and 15th of his career at "The Track That Action Built" was tempered with the fact he just missed winning the track title, after already claiming the Attica Raceway Park and All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads/Kistler Racing Products Attica Fremont Championship Series Presented by the Baumann Auto Group championships.
 "I gave it everything I had. We won the race...I knew if I won the race he (Kofoid) would have to take care of the rest. Hats off to the Linders and Buddy Kofoid. It feels good to win but man I really wanted that trifecta. We definitely have something to go off of for next year. Mikey had the car pretty good. I felt like I could go anywhere. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity this year the Burmeisters have given to me," said Foos beside his Jet Express/CR Juices/Crown Battery/Greer Automotive/Burmeister Trophy/KS Sales & Service/Kistler Racing Products/Kistler Engines/NAPA Auto Parts/Dave Story Equipment/Minor Customs/Berryman Shocks backed machine.
 "I wish it didn't have to come down to being that close. It's stressful and I hate playing points like that. D.J. and his crew have the best car at Fremont. We got a little bit better tonight in the slick. Hats off to D.J. and his crew, they did all they could do. The 410 championship is pretty cool. I can't thank Ed Neumeister enough and Ray Brooks with Gill Construction and CK Plumbing and all the Linders and everyone who makes this car what it is," said Kofoid
 Elmore's Alvin Roepke took the lead with just five laps to go in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 feature and drove to his seventh career victory at Fremont Speedway.
 With his fourth place finish, Fremont's John Ivy claimed his second straight 305 track championship. It is Ivy's eighth total track title as he has three 410 championships, four 305 titles and a dirt truck championship.
 "Don't ever leave me an inch because I'll take a mile and he (Brandon Riehl) left just enough space in one for me to get under him. When track gets slick like this it's just patience, patience, patience. My brother has the car running pretty good and he and Chad make a big difference," said Roepke beside his NAPA Auto Parts/Crown Battery backed No.99.
Two weeks earlier in the 305 feature at Attica Raceway Park, Roepke — ironically the 2002 Attica 410 track champion and 2002 Brad Doty Classic winner — took the lead with eight laps to go and drove to the $1,000 pay day there.
For Ivy, it was all about winning the track championship.
 "We're still having fun. I'm glad Alvin and those guys finally got a win there. I was just kind of running around there. I think we should have kept the tire on we had in the heat race. We won some races this year. Last year we won the track championship and didn't win a race," said Ivy.
 Fostoria's Kent Brewer had to hold of a last lap charge by Brad Mitten to score his seventh career dirt truck feature win at Fremont Speedway. With his sixth place finish Fostoria, Ohio's Shawn Valenti wrapped up his second career track championship.
 "It's been a long summer. Brad's been fast last couple of weeks. We finally got one done. I want to say thanks to everyone who comes out here every week and supports this speedway and everyone who works hard at this track and all my family and friends," said Brewer beside his Kent's Transmissions/Fremont Fence backed machine.
 "We got behind the eight ball right from the get-go with a bad pill draw and a tough heat race. And all these guys are getting faster but it's pretty awesome to get another championship here. I have to thank the Babcocks for everything they do for me," said Valenti of his track title.
 Caleb Griffith and Gary Taylor brought the field to green for the 30 lap Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 feature with Griffith gaining the advantage over Taylor, Foos, Craig Mintz, Kofoid and Nate Dussel. Following a lap two caution, Griffith once again pulled away as Taylor had his hands full with Foos who eventually took the runner-up spot two laps later.
 While Griffith was glued to the bottom, Foos was able to make up ground quickly using the middle line and took the lead on lap nine. Kofoid used lapped traffic to take third on lap 13 just before the caution flew. With a clear track Foos pulled away on the restart over Griffith, Kofoid, Taylor, Mintz and Stuart Brubaker.
 Foos built up a four second lead with 10 laps to go while Griffith held off Kofoid with Dussel closing.  A final caution flew with five laps to go, but Foos was too strong on the restart to pull away for the win over Griffith, Kofoid, Dussel and Taylor.
 In the 25 lap 305 feature, Brandon Riehl jumped into the early lead from his pole starting position with Valenti, Matt Foos, Ivy, Roepke and Steve Rando giving chase. Foos took second on lap two with Ivy grabbing third a circuit later. Roepke drove into third on lap five and closed quickly on Foos, taking the runner-up spot on lap eight.
Riehl had built a 1.7 second lead  by lap nine but Roepke started to take big bites out of that advantage and raced to Riehl's outside as they encountered lapped traffic with 11 laps to go. Behind the battle for the lead, Foos and Ivy were going at it for third. With five laps to go Riehl slipped off the bottom every so slightly entering turn one and Roepke pounced to grab the lead. Foos drove into second with three to go but could not reel in Roepke who drove to the win. Riehl, Ivy and Valenti rounded out the top five.
 Brewer jumped into the lead at the drop of the green for the 20-lap dirt truck feature with Jim McGrath, Dustin Keegan, Dan Hennig and Cory McCaughey giving chase. Keegan too second a lap later while McGrath, Hennig, McCaughey, Keith Sorg and 12th starter Mitten waged a war for third.
 Following a couple of cautions with two laps scored, Brewer began to pull away once the green came back out, building his lead to 3.7 seconds with five laps to go. Meanwhile, Keegan now had his hands full with a closing Mitten as Hennig, McCaughey, McGrath continued to entertain with their battle for fourth.
 With three laps to go Mitten had chocked a full second off of Brewer's lead when the caution flew. On the restart Mitten drove to Brewer's outside but could not make the pass. Coming to the checkers, Mitten gave it one last shot but Brewer held on to win by half a truck length, Keegan, Hennig and McGrath rounded out the top five.


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