Tiffin’s Paige Polyak – the first female to ever win a sprint car feature at Fremont in its’ 61-year history, waited until the last corner of the last lap to pass race-long leader Caleb Griffith to take the exciting Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature. She literally won by an eyelash as she claimed her fourth career Fremont win by .02 seconds.
“All I said on that last restart was ‘hit your marks.’ I knew the No.13 would hold up Alvin (Roepke) and I could get around him. I just needed a long green flag run. I finally got one. That last corner I just went in there as hard as I could and it stuck…I couldn’t believe it,” said Polyak beside her Steyer Seeds, H.E. Rudy Truck, Handy Grafix, Meggit Powdercoating, JLH General Contractors, Pit Stop Carryout, NAPA of Bryan backed machine.
“I like finishing this way…both cars come home in one piece. Caleb ran a heck of a race…he ran me clean. I was surprised when he went to the bottom…I knew it was my only chance to get him. I have to thank Liggins and my crew, Duane, my Dad, Kelsey, Jim Cobb, my Mom and all my fans,” added Polyak in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
Not to be outdone, the Fremont Fence Dirt Trucks also put on a great battle with six trucks running nose to tail and side by side the entire 20 lap distance. Dustin Keegan would drive the bottom to perfection to take the lead with eight laps to go and held off Jimmy McGrath Jr. lap after lap to score his third career win at Fremont and third this season.
“This is just unbelieveable the season we are having with this thing. We struggled here the last couple of weeks but we finally got it dialed back in. I seen Jimmy…and I was like ‘I’m not going to let him get by me…it’s not going to happen.’ I’m known as a bottom feeder…I don’t like to get off of it,” said Keegan beside his Paul’s Drive Thru, LST Excavating, Foster Auto Body, Advanced Auto Parts, York Fabrication backed No.D1.
“I have to thank all my sponsors and a couple we just added, OC Shocks, JLH General Contractors, Chuck Roelle Fabrication,” added Keegan.
Paul McMahan and Sebetto would bring the field to the green with Sebetto grabbing the lead over McMahan, Smith, Shane Stewart, Byron Reed, Mike Linder and Dean Jacobs. Sebetto would fly away out front while McMahan battled with Stewart and Reed for second. The caution would fly on lap four for a multi-car event involving Chris Andrews, Cory Crabtree and Cap Henry, who had worked his way from the 24th starting position up to 14th.
On the restart, with clean air, Sebetto would pull way. He would encounter lapped traffic by the 11th circuit with Stewart moving into second with McMahan, Smith, Blaney, Reed, Linder and Shaffer in pursuit. By lap 18, Stewart began to track down Sebetto with McMahan, Blaney, Smith and Reed right there to challenge. Blaney would move into third on lap 20, and just as Stewart began to pressure Sebetto for the lead, he would slide off the high side of turns three and four and drop back to third on lap 22.
As they neared the half-way point, Blaney was quickly closing on Sebetto who was dealing with heavy lapped traffic. By lap 27, Blaney was racing under Sebetto as the large crowd rose to their feet to watch the excitement. The two would continue to wage a great battle as they sliced and diced through lapped traffic with Stewart, Shaffer, McMahan and Smith in tow.
On lap 31, Sam Hafertepe would make hard contact with the front stretch wall and flip hard, though he would exit the car uninjured. On the restart, Sebetto, Blaney and Stewart would run nose to tail with two lapped cars separating them from Shaffer, McMahan and Smith. The red would bring about a fuel stop as well.
Now, with a clear track ahead of him, it appeared Sebetto was primed to win the biggest race of his career. He would pull away slightly on the restart with Blaney, Steward, Shaffer, McMahan, Smith, Reed and Greg Wilson in pursuit. Shaffer would drive under Stewart for third on lap 35.
With 10 laps to go, Sebetto would once again catch the rear of the field, allowing Blaney to close once again with Shaffer not far behind. Blaney would slide under Sebetto for the lead exiting turn two on lap 42 to take the lead. As Blaney picked his way through traffic, Sebetto now had his hands full with a closing Shaffer with Stewart, Smith and Reed in tow.
Blaney could not shake Sebetto or Shaffer, but he was able to negotiate through the traffic to take the win. Shaffer would drive under Sebetto on the last corner to take second with Stewart and Smith rounding out the top five.
In the 25-lap 305 sprint main, Jimmy Colvin and Alvin Roepke would bring the field to the green, with a pull-up involving Dustin Dinan, D.J. Foos and Jordan Ryan would necessitate a complete restart. Roepke would grab the lead when the green reappeared over Colvin, sixth starting Griffith, Polyak, Nate Dussel and John Ivy. Griffith would grab second on the next lap and would drive outside of Roepke exiting turn four on lap three to take the lead.
Polyak would take third on lap five as Griffith raced into lapped traffic on lap seven. The caution would fly for debris on lap eight, giving Griffith a clear track. He would pull away from a great battle between Roepke and Polyak with Ivy, Colvin and Dussel in pursuit. Meanwhile Foos would charge from last to fifth by lap 10.
Griffith would catch the rear of the field by lap 14, with Polyak trying to make up ground while Roepke battled with Ivy for third with Foos fifth. With eight laps to go, Polyak had reeled in Griffith with Ivy, Foos and Roepke in tow. With just three laps to go, Polyak had caught Griffith as Ivy, Foos, Roepke and Jimmy Colvin also battled hard for third.
Griffith and Polyak would race side by side over the next few laps as they sliced through lapped traffic. As they took the white flag, Polyak raced to Griffith’s inside. Griffith would move down to block through turns three and four as Polyak jumped to the outside at the white flag.
It was side by side the entire last lap and as they exited turn four to the checkered, Polyak edged just past Griffith for the close win, with Ivy, Foos and Roepke rounding out the top five.
In the 20-lap truck feature, Kent Brewer and Jimmy McGrath Jr. would drive to the green with McGrath leading the first lap by a nose over McGrath while John Ivy, Art Ball, Danny Roepke Jr. and Keegan stayed very close. Brewer would take the lead on lap two with Ivy jumping into second on lap four and immediately driving to Brewer’s outside to challenge for the lead.
A caution for a Bob Dible spin on lap five bunched up the field with Brewer leading Ivy, McGrath Jr., Roepke, Keegan, Cory Ward, Art Ball and Art Howey Jr. After the green reappeared, just as Ivy was again challenging for the lead, something mechanical would strike Ivy, who would retire to the pits, moving Keegan to second.
Brewer and Keegan raced door to door over through lap 11 before Keegan could drive under Brewer for the lead. McGrath Jr. would blast around the high side to move into second on lap 12 and pressured Keegan the rest of the way. A caution for Chuck Roelle on lap 17 would bunch up the field, but Keegan was too strong on the bottom and would pull away for the win over McGrath, Roepke, Ward and Brewer.