Paige Polyak took her 305 sprint car up against the NRA 360 Sprint Invaders and scored one of the most popular victories in Fremont Speedway history on JLH Construction Night.
A stellar field of 50 cars signed in for the 360 vs. 305 Challenge and Polyak, 17 years of age from Tiffin, had to pass Butch Schroeder and then hold off a late race charge by Kyle Sauder. It marked her third career feature win at “The Track That Action Built,” as she is the only female sprint driver to earn a victory.
Stated Polyak next to her Meggitt Sandblasting and Powder Coating/Burns Petroleum sponsored car, “This is the biggest win of my racing career. I knew I just had to hit my marks when Sauder was under me. I knew if I spun the tires, he would get me.”
In the make-up Kistler Racing Products Fremont Attica Sprint Title (FAST) feature for the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 sprints from the Aug. 6 rain-out, rookie Brad Haudenschild led the first half of the race before being passed by Cole Duncan, only to return the favor five laps later. Haudenschild was then never seriously challenged in the family-owned R&B Enterprises, R&S Lines sponsored car.
In the Engine Pro Victory Lane, Haudenschild quipped, “The yellow flags worked well because we weren’t very good in lapped traffic. We trashed a car during Ohio Sprint Speedweek and we’ve struggled since.”
Mike Linder looked in familiar form in the regularly-scheduled 410 main. Linder passed Jody Keegan on lap five and was never threatened the remainder of the race in the Linders Speed Equipment, Vision Quest sponsored ride.
“My mom passed away a couple of weeks ago and this win is for her. My crew has been working so hard this year and not getting the results, now we finally got one,” said Linder of his 12th career Fremont victory.
In the NRA Sprint Invaders 25-lapper, Butch Schroeder used his pole position to take the early lead over Polyak, Gregg Dalman and Dallas Hewitt. Once the race settled in, the top three pulled away from the rest of the field and had a spirited battle for the lead. Dalman would pass Polyak for second while both were within striking distance of Schroeder. Polyak was building momentum on the cushion and swept past both Schroeder and Dalman at the completion of lap 14.
Meanwhile, Kyle Sauder had worked his way to fourth, after starting 10th , and Caleb Griffith moved into the top five. Sauder made quick work of Dalman for third just prior to Schroeder catching a wheel and rolling over on his side in turn one.
On the lap 20 restart, Polyak had two lapped cars between herself and Sauder with Dalman, Griffith, and J.R. Stewart (started 21st) rounding out the top five. Polyak pulled away but a final caution on lap 24 would bunch the field one last time. With no lapped traffic this time, Sauder made a strong bid in turns 3 and 4 on the last lap but Polyak held her ground to finish ahead of Sauder, Dalman, Griffith, and Stewart.
In the FAST make-up feature, Haudenschild held command the first 15 laps before Cole Duncan shot past. Behind the lead pair early were Bryan Sebetto, Mike Linder, and Dean Jacobs. Jacobs would get past Linder on lap nine and then pass Sebetto briefly on lap 15. Sebetto would grab third back just as Duncan was making his pass for the lead. Haudenschild regained the top spot on lap 20 with Duncan remaining in striking distance. Duncan’s great run would end abruptly with two laps remaining when his engine expired. The final two lap dash would see Haudenschild maintain his advantage over Sebetto, Jacobs, Byron Reed, and Linder.
Once Mike Linder grabbed the lead from Jody Keegan on lap five of the 410 feature, it was over as Linder completely dominated the event. At a caution on lap seven, Linder’s lead was over Keegan, Dean Jacobs, Brian Smith, and Brandon Martin. Caleb Helms would supplant Smith in the fifth spot briefly before Smith came back.
A lap 12 red for a rough Byron Reed flip saw the running order Linder, Keegan, Jacobs, Martin, and Helms. Jacobs made quick work of Keegan for second on the restart and Martin would follow into third while Smith regained fifth. With five to go, Jacobs spun in turn two and was moved to the tail. Linder then held of Martin with Craig Mintz and Brad Bowman charging hard in the closing laps to take third and fourth over Smith.
Fremont Speedway will be off the next two weeks for the Sandusky County Fair, but will return to action on Sept. 4 for the 11th annual 305 Sprint Invitational on Hoys Bar & Grill Night. It is one of the highest paying 305 sprint races in the country. The late models and dirt trucks (double features for trucks) will also be in action.