The Press Newspaper
Tim Shaffer worked his way through the field like a precision surgeon from his 14th starting spot, and took the lead with just four laps to go in the finale of the 27th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek at Fremont Speedway Saturday and went on to score the $10,000 victory.
A huge crowd witnessed six cars battling for the lead throughout the 40-lap feature event with the lead changing hand five times on Budweiser Night with the O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions Sprints.Shaffer ducked under Brock Mayes exiting turn four on the 36th lap to grab the lead and then pulled away on a lap 37 restart for the victory, his eighth of 2009.
The win was Shaffer's second of Speedweek, as he also took the checkered flag last Sunday at Millstream Speedway. It was the 89th appearance of the O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions at Fremont Speedway.
While Shaffer, who had to win the B-main to earn his spot in the feature, took home the big check, Stevie Smith's third place finish gave him the 2009 Ohio Sprint Speedweek championship.
"This place always puts a great race on. I'm so happy to be a part of this team. Brian (Kemenah, crew chief), Janet (Holbrook, owner) and Aaron (Call, owner)...this whole team...they did a great job all week...it's a tough week," said Shaffer beside his Kistler Racing Engines, J&J Chassis backed #83.
"I let them down last night and I was determined not to do that tonight. You had to be aggressive but patient tonight. I never thought we'd get up through there. We got a great start and the lapped cars helped me tonight...they hurt me last night so that's part of racing. We're building a great team," added Shaffer in the Engine Pro Victory Lane on his third win of the season at "The Track That Action Built."
For Mayes, it was another disappointing Speedweek finale, even though he would come home second.
"Daniel, Keith and Davey and my dad are behind us. What you see is what we got. Every now and then we pick up a little something. Just a little heart broken, a little disgusted, a little upset right now. We've been running good here all year. I thought we had 'em. I didn't make the right decision I guess," added Mayes.
Smith battled his way through the pack from his 11th starting spot to take third.
"Tim Shaffer did a nice job and he earned it...he started back there too. I just didn't get the job done. I'm real proud of these guys. We won the points... it's a shame they couldn't have had a little purse for that. After seeing all these cars this week, I was pretty amazed. The fans were really a big support for the Ohio Sprint Speedweek and they had a lot of race cars. I think it's something that could really be built up and I'd like to still be a part of it...but we need some sort of point fund for it," said Smith beside his Zemco Race Products backed #1, who was heading to compete in the Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek.
Chad Blonde led the field to the green to start the feature with Mayes falling in line while Duane Zablocki ran third and Craig Mintz fourth. Shaffer had moved up seven spots to the seventh position by lap four.Blonde set a blistering pace aboard the Hammer Pallets entry and caught the tail end of the field by lap nine, but he could not get around the back markers, which allowed Mayes and Mintz to close. Mayes would race right on Blonde's tail over the next four laps, which allowed Mintz, who was the only driver in the top five to run the high side, to move into second on lap 13. Blonde and Mintz would race side-by-side the next four laps while Shaffer had moved into fourth spot.
While the leaders still had difficulties with the tail end of the field, Mayes made a daring move on lap 18 to move from third to the lead. But, it was short-lived, as Mintz would sling-shot around him to the point a lap later before the caution would fly for a Daron Clayton spin. Mintz would pull away on the restart while Mayes had his hands full with Shaffer and now a closing Stevie Smith.
Mintz would encounter lapped traffic on lap 25 allowing Mayes, Shaffer and Smith to close. Mayes would use a lapped machine as a pick to drive around Mintz into the lead on lap 27 and pulled away slightly as Mintz, Shaffer and Smith duked it out for second. Shaffer would drive under Mintz into the runner-up position on lap 32, but Mintz would fight back to his outside lap after lap.
Lapped traffic, which had a few laps earlier helped Mayes take the lead, was now his enemy, as Shaffer used a it to his advantage. Shaffer used a terrific move on the low side of turn four to pass Mayes for the lead on lap 36. The second and final caution of the race would fly on lap 37 as David Harrison and Dale Blaney got together. While the cars idled around the track, Mintz, who was in the fourth spot, would see his great run end as an oil fire brought on his mount would bring out the red.
The fans were treated to a very exciting feature for the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints, as they competed for the first time this season without their wings. Defending track champion Stuart Brubaker slipped under Shawn Valenti in turn two on the last lap to grab the lead and his third career victory at Fremont.
"This is awesome. I told these guys before this feature...they said what do you want us to do. I said let's do something, but I'm not worried about it. This thing took off like a rocket ship," said Brubaker beside his Advanced Industrial Services, Brubaker Auction Services backed #35 in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
"I didn't like this non-wing stuff at first. This car was so unstable I didn't know what it was going to do. Then in the feature it was awesome. This is totally different ball game. I probably won't have a good night next Friday when we put the wing back on...it will take me 25 laps to get used to that. This is for these fans out here... I knew I could pass that guy on the last lap...that was just awesome," added Brubaker.
Roger Shammo grabbed the early lead in the 25-lap main with Bobby Clark, D.J. Foos and Paul Weaver in tow. The field had some troubles on lap four, as four straight cautions kept the field close, one involving Shammo and Weaver.Once the race resumed, Foos would grab the top spot with Jimmy Colvin in Second, Clark third, Valenti fourth and Brubaker fifth.
Valenti would drive under Foos for the lead on lap 9, but Foos would not give up, racing him hard to the outside. Following a lap 12 caution, Valenti and Foos would resume their side-by-side battle while Colvin and Brubaker ran right on their rear bumpers. Brubaker, using the low groove, would grab second on lap 17, but it looked like Valenti was on a rail up front. However, a caution on lap 22 for Colvin bunched up the field for a three lap dash to the finish.
As the white flag flew, Valenti got into turn one a little two hard and the car washed up the race track, allowing Brubaker to drive under him for the lead and the win. Valenti would recover to come home second, with Nate Dussel, Todd Heuerman (from the tail after an early race spin) and Foos rounding out the top five.
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