Chris Andrews isn’t a very big, physical person. But, the Sandusky, Ohio driver muscled his way into the lead with seven laps to go to take his first win of the season at Fremont Speedway Saturday Night.
The track was very heavy following rains all morning and early afternoon which made for difficult passing. Andrews, who picked up his first UNOH All Star win at Attica a month ago, started fifth and was part of a terrific three car battle throughout the race with Jody Keegan and Australian Stuart William. And when Williams opened the bottom groove ever so slightly on lap 23, Andrews pounced and lead by a nose at the flag stand when the caution flew for fourth running Stuart Brubaker who made contact with an infield tire barrier, moving it onto the track, necessitating a caution. Once out front and no traffic to deal with, Andrews ran away for his sixth career Fremont win in the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints.
“Muscle is not the word…pulled something out of my you-know-what is what that was. Wow…that was probably the most work I’ve ever done in an A-main. Stuart ran me pretty clean and he’s a fun guy to run with,” said Andrews beside his Burmeister Racing/K&N Filters/Lucas Oil/Adkins Sanitation/Fremont Applebee’s Restaurant/Goofy Golf backed No. 16.
“I’m probably not the first person to want to race on a track like this but once we got out front in the clean air the car did whatever I wanted it to do. Rich Farmer (track promoter) and the guys worked their butts off to give us a chance to race today. This Kistler motor is running awesome and Sonny and Sharon (Burmeister)…I appreciate they put me in their car and give me everything that I need. I have to thank Mikey and Tommy and Rollie for all they do.”
With just a few races remaining in the Kistler Racing Products Fremont Attica Sprint Title (FAST) Championship Series Presented by KS Sales and Service, Craig Mintz was able to score another top five finish to add to his point lead. Mintz, Fremont’s defending track champion and a former FAST champion, would come home third in the feature.
The Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature was a dandy as Dustin Dinan and Nate Dussel literally ran side-by-side the last eight laps, even rubbing tires. Dussel drove around Dinan – who had lead from the drop of the green – with four laps to go to take the lead. But, as they raced into turns three and four toward the white flag, Dinan used a lapped car as a pick and drove under Dussel for the lead and then held on for his third win of the season. It is the sixth win of 2013 for Dinan who also scored his third win of the year at Attica Raceway Park the previous night. Dinan now has 7 career wins at Fremont.
“That’s what we are here for…to put a show on for the fans. Nate raced me pretty clean and that lapped car – they will either hurt you or help you and he helped me tonight. I was better in lapped traffic than Nate was. I have to thank Rich Farmer and Shelly Liskai and my crew, Dave Foos, A.J. Sleek and Tom Losher and Aaron Fought and Jamie Adams,” said Dinan beside his Schiets Motorsports/Tender Touch Car Wash/Tanks Meats/Hillside Pawn Shop/Quality Welding backed No. 6.
The weekend sweep of the JLH General Contractor 305 FAST Championship Series events has Dinan knocking on the door for the point lead.
The 20-lap feature for the AAA Ohio Auto Club Dirt Trucks would go non-stop. And while Risingsun, Ohio’s Shawn Valenti would dominate for his second win of the season, the action for second was fantastic with five trucks battling it out to the end. Valenti scored a stock car win at Limaland the previous night. His win at Fremont is the seventh of his career for the former 410 sprint rookie of the year.
“It’s nice to pull a weekend sweep finally and get this thing rolling. I have to thank Jeff Babcock (who competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series earlier in the week at Eldora Speedway) for putting me in this and Tim Kern for turning wrenches on it and getting is going in the right direction,” said Valenti. “I couldn’t ask for a better track to get back up there and grab the cushion and get to the high side where I belong. Once you leave a sprint car and go back to a truck you’re trying to get that sprint car feel and tonight the way the track was it was nice.
In the Computer Man Sports Compacts, 12-year-old Evan Patynko of Clyde passed Taylor Holland and Chevy Farmer on a restart with three laps to go and went on to score his first career Fremont victory.
“My Grandpa told me all night to go high and it worked out. I have to thank my dad and my grandpa for all their help and my mom who couldn’t be here tonight,” said Patynko beside his Stone Street Tavern/Justice Brothers/IRM/Liberty Tax/ Steinle GMC Cadillac backed No. 7P.
In the 30-lap Fort Ball Pizza 410 Sprint feature, Devon Dobie and Jody Keegan brought the field of 20 to the green but Dobie would spin in turn two, necessitating a complete restart as Stuart Williams moved to the pole. When the green reappeared, Keegan would blast into the lead with Williams, Andrews, Broc Martin, Mike Linder, Stuart Brubaker and Todd Heller in pursuit. Keegan stretched his lead while Williams and Andrews ran nose to tail.
Keegan would set a blistering pace, catching the rear of the field on lap five. The heavy lapped traffic held Keegan up and Williams and Andrews closed as Martin, Brubaker, Linder and Craig Mintz gave chase. Keegan would put his sprint car up on its nose in turn one on lap seven, allowing Williams to scoot by for the lead. Keegan regained his composure and immediately pressured Williams for the top spot with Andrews, Martin, Brubaker, Linder and Mintz waiting to pounce.
At the half-way point it was Williams, Keegan, Andrews, Brubaker, Martin and Mintz. As the leaders tried to negotiate traffic on lap 18, Andrews was racing under Keegan for second which he would take a lap later. With 10 laps to go Andrews was right on Williams’ rear bumper with Keegan, Brubaker, Martin and Mintz in tow. Keegan would rally to make it a three car battle for the lead with just 9 laps remaining as Brubaker also closed.
With seven laps to go Williams missed his marks entering turn three every so slightly and Andrews dove to his inside and muscled his way into the lead with Keegan and Brubaker within striking distance. As they exited turn two, Brubaker would catch one of the infield tractor tires, throwing it onto the track to bring out the caution.
With a seven lap battle to the finish looming, Andrews now held the point and a clear track. He would power away as Williams and Keegan battled for second. Andrews would take the checkered with about a 7 car length lead over Williams, Keegan, Mintz and Martin.
Roger Shammo and Dinan brought the field of 20 to the green for the 305 sprint 25-lap feature with Dinan getting the advantage as Alvin Roepke shot into second, bringing Dussel to third while Shammo fell to fourth. Dan Hammond would click an infield tire on lap two to slow the race pace. On the restart Dinan drove away as Roepke and Dussel battled for second with Shammo, Paul Weaver, T.J. Michael, Jordan Ryan and John Ivy staying close.
Dean Jacobs would bring out the caution on lap five and on the ensuing restart Josh Harrison would take a tumble in turn three. He was okay.
When the green flew Dinan pulled away again as Roepke and Dussel continued their battle for second while Shammo had his hands full with Weaver and Michael. Dussel would finally take second on lap eight. At the half-way point it was Dinan leading Dussel, Roepke, Weaver, Shammo, Michael, Ryan and Ivy.
The leaders would hit lapped traffic by lap 13 as Dussel began reeling Dinan in. The caution would fly for debris on lap 16 giving Dussel the break he needed. On the restart Dussel would blast to Dinan’s outside as the pair raced wing to wing. Behind them Roepke and Weaver were waging a war of their own for third with Michael, Ryan and Ivy closing.
Dinan and Dussel raced and rubbed over the next four laps before Dussel was able to wrestle away the lead with four circuits remaining as they pulled away from Weaver, Roepke, Michael, Ryan and Ivy. As the lead duo flew through turns three and four coming to the white the lapped car of rookie Brandon Moore held up Dussel just enough for Dinan to sneak by on the bottom to regain the lead. Dinan would hold off a last lap attempt from Dussel for the win with Weaver, Roepke and Ryan rounding out the top five as Michael would be penalized two spots for jumping on the lap 16 restart.
In the 20-lap dirt truck feature Jeff Ward and Kent Brewer would bring the field to the green with Ward gaining the upper hand over Brewer, Cory Ward, Valenti, Matt Foos, Art Ball, John Ivy and Dustin Keegan. Valenti would take third on lap two and drove into the lead a circuit later.
As Valenti pulled away a tremendous battle ensued behind him involving Brewer, the Wards, Foos, Keegan, Ball and Ivy. Jeff Ward would take second on lap four and Cory Ward would move into third on lap seven with Foos into fourth and Ivy into fifth. Valenti would catch lapped traffic by lap nine but his lead was over five seconds at that point as Cory Ward took the second spot.
With just three laps to go Valenti’s lead was now seven seconds as Ivy had moved into second. Valenti would blast to the win over Ivy, Cory Ward, Jeff Ward and Dustin Keegan.
Chevy Farmer and Taylor Holland would bring the field to the green in the 12-lap sports compact main but before a lap could be completed several cars got together to bring out the caution. On the restart fourth starting Brandon Myers bolted into the lead over Farmer, Taylor, Eric Pocock and Patynko.
At the half-way point it was Myers leading Farmer, Andrew Schroeder, Holland and Patynko. With just three laps to go Myers would suffer mechanical failure, handing the lead to Farmer with Schroeder and Patynko there. When the green flew Farmer’s mount faded as Patynko used the high line to drive into the lead over Holland, Schroeder and McKenzie Biddle. Patynko would drive a flawless last three laps for his first win while Holland, Schroeder, Biddle and Farmer rounding out the top five.