ATTICA, Ohio – Byron Reed has been racing quite awhile now. But even a veteran can start doubting himself when he goes through a drought. Reed, a six time Attica Raceway Park champion, came into the Kistler Racing Products Presents the Mark Keegan Classic Championship Night winless in 2014.
That all changed Saturday as the Monclova, Ohio driver led all 30 laps to score his 30th career Attica win. Ironically, Reed is second on the track’s all-time win list to…Keegan.
“Probably part of the reason I’ve struggled so much this year. Qualifying the first half of the year and bad pill draws. Everyone is so close it’s sometimes hard to get buy guys who are in clean air. Mid-season there I was pretty frustrated. We started the year off with some of the same stuff we did last year and it just wasn’t working. We had to change some stuff and we’ve been pretty good the last month and we finally have a win to show for it,” said Reed.
“I have to thank my crew for staying with me and working hard. And my wife has to come to every race now because she drew the number two for the feature. My sons drew that one that got me in the back of the heat. So she has to draw now,” added Reed.
Castalia, Ohio’s Caleb Griffith, a former Attica 305 sprint champion, would come home second and would claim his first ever track championship in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 410 sprints. Griffith is only the ninth 410 sprint champion in the track’s 27 year history.
“Obviously I’m happy we won the track championship but it’s not the way I wanted to do it with Chris (Andrews) sitting in the infield and Craig (Mintz) getting hurt early in the year. But, the last five times we’ve been to the race track from the time we drop the trailer door to the time we roll out to the heat race it’s been a complete struggle. This is fantastic for the guys. Byron was a little bit better than us on the short run…we needed lapped traffic. That’s Byron’s first win this year. That shows you how competitive this deal is,” said Griffith.
Brian Lay and Reed would bring the field to green for the 410 sprint feature with Reed gaining the advantage over Lay, Christopher Bell, Griffith, Cap Henry, Gary Taylor and Brian Smith. Griffith would drive into third on lap three.
Reed would drive into heavy lapped traffic by the seventh circuit as Griffith picked up second. Griffith began closing on Reed as they worked through traffic with Bell, Lay, Henry, Taylor, Craig Mintz and Rob Chaney in pursuit.
The first caution would fly on lap 17 when Bell spun off of turns three and four while running third. On the restart and with a clear track Reed pulled away slightly from Griffith, Henry, Mintz, Lay, Taylor and Chaney.
All eyes were on Chris Andrews who had started 12th and needed a solid top eight finish to secure the track championship. He was up to ninth by lap 18.
The more laps under green that were run, Griffith was able to close on Reed. With seven laps remaining the running order was Reed, Griffith, Mintz, Henry, Lay, Taylor, Chaney and Andrews. However, Andrews would make contact with one of the infield tractor tire barriers on lap 27, bringing out the caution and ending his championship run.
The three lap shoot-out saw Reed drive to victory with Griffith just a car length back. Mintz, Chaney and Henry would round out the top five.