Henry tightens AFCS battle: Westfall gets dramatic victory; Ivy scores late race win

Brian Liskai

Cap Henry knows the ups and downs of sprint car racing. It was made very evident to him this weekend as he missed the feature Friday at Attica Raceway Park but rebounded Saturday to score his second 410 win of the season at Fremont Speedway on Roots Poultry/Fort Ball Pizza Palace Night.
 The win also vaults Henry back into the battle for the championship of the Kistler Racing Products/All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Attica Fremont Championship Series (AFCS) Presented by the Baumann Auto Group. Henry, from Republic, Ohio, came into the night third in the series points.
 Henry's eighth career Fremont win wasn't easy as he made a phenomenal move to split two lapped cars with two laps to go in turns three and four as Nate Dussel was closing on him.
 "These guys have been working really hard all year and we've been close a lot of times and just couldn't seal the deal. This goes out to all the crew guys who worked really hard to keep us out front. It was getting pretty hairy there at the end and I knew it was time to go. Hopefully those guys new they were a lapped down and there was a race going on. I could hear someone back there and I knew I had to get ahead of those guys," said Henry beside his Lane Racing/Beer Barrel Bourbon/Geck Electric/Pro Auto Wraps/Wings Unlimited/Lead Head Waterfowl/FK Rod Ends/backed machine.
 Pleasant Hill, Ohio's Matt Westfall survived near disaster on the final lap to score his second Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS) non-wing win of the season. Westfall, the current BOSS point leader, hadn't won a series race since the first event of the season. The end was a thriller as Westfall had gotten around Dallas Hewitt for the lead as they took the white flag with Cooper Clouse also battling for the top spot. Clouse drive his machine into turn one hard on the last lap and made contact with Westfall who did a 360 spin but kept going while Clouse spun to set up a one lap restart finish with Westfall maintaining the lead. Westfall was able to hold off a last lap charge from Hewitt in his Buckeye Machine mount for his first ever win at Fremont Speedway.
"I just held it to the floor and kept spinning the wheels to keep rolling. It was tricky tonight. The track had a lot of character. I thought I was going to have to run the top and all of a sudden the bottom came in for me and we were good but Dallas got going on the top so I thought I'm better than him on the bottom in one and two but I have to get to the top down in three and four. That was a heck of a race. I appreciate Ray Marshall for giving me the opportunity to run for him," said Westfall. "We struggled for a little bit this season and crashed a car and got this new car and have been really good but haven't been able to hit our feature set-ups. Hopefully tonight this gets us going in the right direction."
 Not to be outdone, the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints was also a barn-burner. With five laps to go leader Alvin Roepke was having a hard time getting around a couple of lapped cars and that allowed John Ivy to close. Roepke spun trying to hold onto the lead and Ivy took over. A caution with four laps to go gave Bobby Clark a shot at Ivy but the defending Fremont track champion wasn't to be denied as he drove to his second victory of the year at "The Track That Action Built."
 The win — Ivy's fourth overall in 2019 - was his 58th career victory at Fremont, tying him with Jim Linder for fourth on the track's all-time win list. It also puts him back in the chase for the title of the KS Sales and Service AFCS presented by Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales. Ivy came into the night third in the series points and the victory was worth $1,000 thanks to the Pub 400.
 "I figured we were going to run second or third. Alvin was driving away from us and I saw lapped traffic and I thought 'get up on the thing and at least give it a whirl and see what happens.' We did some work on this thing today. Guy and my brother and the boys worked on it. We did a little bit of this and a little bit of that and hopefully we're in the right direction again," said Ivy beside his L&R Farms/C&N Supply/Rohr Lawn care/Sonny's Welding and Machine/Welty Financial Services/Atkinson Farms/Story Equipment backed machine.
 "Pretty cool to tie Jim Linder. He was always one of my heroes," Ivy added of his 58th career Fremont win, needing two more to catch Mark Keegan for third on the all-time win list. "Me and Mark raced back in the day and I got to race with Jim just a few times but I sat up in the grandstands and watched him a lot."
 Australian Andrew Scheuerle and Brian Lay led the field to green for the 30-lap Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints A-main with Scheuerle gaining the advantage over Henry, Lay, Dussel, Chris Andrews and Lee Jacobs.Chad Wilson stopped with three laps scored and on the ensuing restart Henry drove under Scheuerle for the lead.
 Dussel took second on lap six and began to close on Henry. Meanwhile a heck of a battle was going on for fifth involving Andrews, Jacobs and Buddy Kofoid. Kofoid spun on lap 10 just as the leaders were entering lapped traffic. When the green came back out the race would go to it's conclusion uninterrupted. Lay drove into third on the restart with Jacobs also getting around Scheuerle for fourth.
 At the half-way point Henry had built a 1.1 second lead over Dussel with Lay, Andrews, Jacobs and Cale Conley in tow. Henry's lead soon evaporated with 10 laps to go as he encountered heavy lapped traffic. Dussel took several looks inside of Henry as the pair raced through traffic. Lay got in on the fun with six laps to go.
 Henry made his winning move in turn three coming with just five laps remaining, splitting two lapped cars. He was able to drive to the win over Dussel, Lay, Andrews and Conley.
 Westfall and Carmen Perigo brought the field to green for the 25-lap BOSS feature with Perigo gaining the advantage over Cap Henry, Westfall, Clouse and Cody Gardner. Mike Miller spun with two laps scored and again a lap later.When the green reappeared Perigo pulled away as Westfall used the extreme low groove to take second while Henry and Clouse battled for third.
 Following a spun by Kody Swanson on lap six, Westfall used the restart to take several looks below Perigo for the lead, finally taking it on lap eight. Third running Henry took a nasty tumble in turn three on lap nine and walked away unscathed. That moved Hewitt to the third position with Clouse, Gardner and Steve Irwin in tow.
 Westfall continued to use the bottom lane when the green came back out with Hewitt driving under Perigo for second on lap 11 with Close taking third two circuits later. Hewitt found the top side of turns three and four to his liking and drove into the lead on lap 14. Westfall continued to drive under Hewitt lap after lap but couldn't get the pass accomplished.
 Westfall moved to the high line in turns three and four but the bottom of turns one and two and stayed within a car length of the leader and was able to take the lead as they took the white flag. Entering turn one on the last lap third place running Clouse gave it one last shot and drove into turn one hard under Westfall and Hewitt, making contact with Westfall who spun but kept going while Clouse sat facing the wrong direction to bring out the caution.
That handed Westfall the lead and when the green and white flew together Hewitt tried one last ditch run across the top of turns one and two but couldn't make the pass. Westfall held Hewitt off the final two corners and took the win with Gardner, Perigo and Irwin rounding out the top five.
 Tyler Street and Bobby Clark brought the field to green for the 25-lap 305 A-main with Clark taking the lead over Ivy, Street, Roepke, Jamie Miller and Kyle Peters. Ivy immediately pressured Clark with Roepke joining the fun on lap three. The three car battle for the lead saw Roepke take the top spot on lap six but Clark battled back and regained the lead on lap seven with Roepke returning the favor a circuit later.
Roepke utilized the low line to maintain the lead over Clark, Ivy Street and Miller. But when heavy lapped traffic came into play just past the half way point, Ivy used the high line to take second and closed quickly on Roepke. Roepke would not move off the bottom and when he came to two lapped cars running the same line, Ivy raced to his outside.
 With five laps to go Ivy took the outside line as Roepke struggled with the lapped cars. Ivy took the lead and Roepke spun. On the ensuing restart a Brandon Moore spin kept the field close. When the green game out for the last time, Ivy had to fend off a serious challenge from Clark as Street, Miller, Shawn Valenti and Peters gave chase.
 Ivy was able to pull away the final three circuits for the win over Clark, Street, Miller and Valenti.
 Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, July 27 on Baumann Auto Group Night with the AFCS 410 sprints battling for $4,000 to win. The AFCS 305 sprints and dirt trucks will also be in action.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FremontSpeedway or on Twitter https://twitter.com/FremontSpeedway.


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