Tim Shaffer iced the field to open Fremont’s Speedway’s 62nd year of racing Saturday.
The Aliquippa, Pa. driver waged a great battle the first half of the race with defending track champion Craig Mintz, but pulled away late to capture his 13th career 410 sprint car win at “The Track That Action Built” on JRC Transportation Night. It was also the season opener for the Kistler Racing Products FAST (Fremont Attica Sprint Title) Championship Series, a separate point fund from both race tracks that will pay the season-ending champion $10,000.
In the sports compacts, Delta’s Maverick Wright led all 12 laps to score his first ever Fremont win.
|Tim Shaffer in victory lane. (Photo courtesy of Brian
Amanda Shammo and McKenzie Biddle brought the sports compacts to the green for their 12 lap main. But, it was fourth place starter Wright who would drive into the lead. Shammo would battle with Erik Paulson for second with Myers, Taylor Holland, Evan Patynko, Kyle Famer and Andrew Schroeder in pursuit. After a lap two caution, Wright would continue to lead while Shammo ran second with Myers moving into third. Shammo would have troubles with an infield tire on lap five, dropping her to the tail and moving Myers into second.
Wright and Myers would pull away on the restart with Paulson, Schroeder, Farmer and Patynko following. Myers would mount a challenge the last five laps, but Wright was too strong and took the win. Myers, Shammo, Paulson and Schroeder would round out the top five.
In the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint feature, Shaffer would race side by side with Mintz from lap 6 through10 before driving under Mintz exiting turn four on lap 11 to take the lead for good.
“Hats off to these fans…it’s way too damn cold. Farmer (Rich, track promoter) and the guys did a great job…they gave us a great track. I could move all over the place. I had a great car. The CH Motorsports team has been awesome and it’s good to get a rebound and go for another championship,” said Shaffer beside his Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook owned machine in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
“The car was amazing…I could go top bottom through the middle…it makes my job a lot easier,” continued Shaffer about his Kistler Engines/VRP Shocks/J&J Auto/Weld Wheels/FK Rod Ends/Champion Oil/KSE Steering backed No. 83. “Wish we could get it like that every night. It would be a lot easier to drive.”
In the Surfin’ Sweepstakes Sports Compacts Wright jumped into the lead at the drop of the green. Wright, 13, had to hold off defending track champion Brandon Myers in the closing laps to score his first career Fremont win.
“I’ve raced at Oakshade, but I like Fremont. It was kind of bumpy in the third and fourth turns. I want to thank my dad for helping me out,” said Wright.
Mintz and Byron Reed would bring the field to the green in the 30-lap 410 sprint feature. Mintz would grab the lead while third place starter Shaffer shot into second while Reed, Chris Andrews, Stuart Brubaker, Duane Zablocki, Caleb Griffith and Caleb Helms gave chase. After two laps were scored, Brubaker would spin in turn four to bring out the caution with the running order now Mintz, Shaffer, Reed, Andrews, Zablocki, Griffith, Helms and Danny Holtgraver.
On the restart Mintz had his hands full with Shaffer who drove to the leader’s inside. Reed ran comfortably in third while Andrews, Griffith, Zablocki, Helms and Holtgraver waged a terrific battle for fourth. With four laps in, Cole Duncan would spin after making contact with Paige Polyak, bringing out the caution.
This time on the restart Mintz got a fantastic jump and pulled away slightly from Shaffer who had his hands full with Reed. But with seven laps in the books, Shaffer had regained his lost ground on Mintz and again raced to his inside while Reed was left to battle with Andrews and Griffith for third. Mintz and Shaffer ran side by side until lap 11 when Shaffer drove under Mintz exiting turn four to steal the lead. Shaffer would pull away slightly as Mintz and Reed now battled for second with Griffith, Andrews and Holtgraver mixing it up for fourth. Just as Shaffer was getting into lapped traffic on lap 13, Griffith took a tumble on the front stretch halting the action.
Now with a clear track, Shaffer would pull away on the restart as Mintz, Reed, Andrews, Holtgraver, Zablocki, Bryan Sebetto, D.J. Foos and Helms gave chase. The final caution would fly on lap 16 for Helms with the running order Shaffer, Mintz, Reed, Holtgraver, Andrews, Zablocki, Sebetto and Foos. When the green reappeared, Shaffer was gone with Mintz, Reed, Holtgraver and Andrews battling for second. Andrews would retake fourth on lap 18 and would drive into third on lap 20.
With seven laps remaining, Shaffer had found lapped traffic, but was able to maneuver the car through to maintain his lead with Mintz comfortably in second. Shaffer would drive to the win over Mintz, Andrews, Holtgraver and Reed.