FREMONT, Ohio – The Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame Inductions and second annual Race of Legends was an emotional, fun and exciting night.
Not only was all the pomp and circumstance great, but the night’s racing was worthy of the speedway’s moniker “The Track That Action Built” on Vision Quest Night.
Sandusky, Ohio’s Chris Andrews, who moved to the Mintz Racing team this year in the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints, had struggled as of late. After coming out of the blocks with a win at Fremont on April 18, things hadn’t gone according to plan. But, a new chassis and great communication turned things around Saturday.
Andrews became the third different feature leader of the race on lap 21 and sliced his way through traffic to claim his second win of the season. It was his ninth career win at Fremont.
“It’s been a pretty rough few weeks for us. We got a new GF1 car and it’s rocking and rolling pretty good. Steven and Michael (Linder) have this thing locked down and Andrew (Barman)…they gave me an awesome car. Les Mintz (car owner)…he’s got some patience. We haven’t been running too good here lately and I appreciate everything he’s done for me. Sonnebogen, Real Geese, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters…hates off to them,” said Andrews.
“I started to move around…the middle of the race track was actually pretty good surprisingly. Frankie Kerr was back there helping us…he was there yelling at me for everything I did wrong, but it worked,” added Andrews.
The win keeps Andrews in the hunt for the Kistler Racing Products Fremont Attica Sprint Title (FAST) Championship Series Presented by KS Sales and Service title and its $10,000 payday. But, two time FAST Champion Byron Reed would storm from his 15th starting spot to a third place finish to maintain the point lead.
The day started with the seventh annual Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame induction ceremonies where 11 individuals were enshrined. Later, 16 drivers – a few who were just inducted into the hall of fame and others who haven’t drive a sprint car in decades, competed in 305 sprint cars in the second annual Race of Legends.
The 25-laps went green to checker and in the end, David Harrison, whose late father Daryl is in the hall of fame, would hold off hall-of-famer and inaugural Race of Legends winner Mark Keegan for the popular and emotional win.
“I couldn’t do anything without the Lord’s help on this thing. He’s blessed me here today. I got some people here I want to dedicate this race to. Alex Burkett, my father (Daryl) and Mike Holman. They’ve been very special people in my life. It’s great to come here and win a race in front of all these awesome people at Fremont Speedway. This is my favorite track in the world to be at,” said Harrison.
Daniel Roepke Jr. would make his first start of the season at Fremont a good one in the AAA Ohio Auto Club Dirt Trucks. The Woodville, Ohio driver would drive under Matt Foos on late in the race and then would survive a couple of late race cautions to score his 10th career win.
“I was playing him (Foos) a little bit I knew he was going to slip up sooner or later so when he did I took a chance. After that caution he started showing his nose a little bit so I had to make sure he couldn’t get up under me again. I have to thank Alvin at Vision Quest for sponsoring the show, Crown Battery and everyone….my dad especially and Adam,” said Roepke.
Tim Sabo is a member of the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame. The Toledo, Ohio driver jumped at the opportunity to continue racing this year when the track started the McCullough Industries 602 Late Model Division. After several near wins, he put it all together Saturday to lead all 15 laps to score his 26th career Fremont win.
“This is fantastic. A lot of those people that went into the hall of fame are good friends of mine and I grew up watching them,” said Tim Sabo. “We’ve been so close this year…feels great to finally get it done.”
In the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint feature, Dean Jacobs and Australian Jamie Veal would bring the field to green. Jacobs would grab the lead with Veal challenging while Andrews, Todd Heller, Stuart Brubaker and T.J. Michael in tow. Kody Kinser and Dain Naida would bring out the feature’s only caution after a lap was complete.
On the restart Jacobs and Veal would battle for the lead while Heller and Andrews were locked in a similar tussle for third. Jacobs would start to pull away slightly from Veal with Heller doing the same over Andrews for third.
With 12 laps scored, Veal had closed on Jacobs while Heller and Andrews resumed their battle for third with Brubaker, Brock Martin, Reed, Caleb Griffith and Brian Smith in pursuit. On lap 14 as the leaders prepared to enter lapped traffic, Veal would drive around Jacobs for the lead with Andrews grabbing third a circuit later.
Lapped traffic would come into play on lap 16 with Veal leading Jacobs, a closing Andrews, Heller, Brubaker, Reed and Griffith. Andrews would vault into second on lap 17 and methodically closed the game on Veal. Meanwhile Brubaker would drive into third on lap 20.
With 10 laps to go the top five were nose to tail as they entered heavy lapped traffic. Andrews would use two lapped cars that were side-by-side to drive into the lead on lap 21 as Brubaker would use the same to grab second on lap 22. Meanwhile Reed was making up a lot of ground as he drove into fourth on lap 23.
Andrews would pick his way trough the traffic over the final seven laps for the win while Brubaker, Reed – who took third on lap 26 – Veal and Heller would round out the top five.