FREMONT, Ohio – Rusty Schlenk has been in a bit of a slump lately, but he used the return of the Sunoco American Late Model Series to Fremont Speedway Saturday to break his winless streak.
After a spirited battle involving Ryan Missler, Schlenk and John Henry throughout the first half of the race, Schlenk took command on lap 18 and survived several cautions to score the victory.
“We had a whole lot of attitude out there with that race track. I like a track like this. There was some patchy spots with moisture and slick every where else. You really had to pick your way through it. I like these tracks that put the driver in control. The car was pretty good every where tonight. I really think I could have gone to the top in one and two but man it was pretty treacherous up there. The crew told me to go to the bottom and I didn’t want to make them mad so I finished off on the bottom. I have to thank all these guys behind me. They busted their butts…we’ve been racing since Wednesday. This is the first win in about a month and I’m glad to get that monkey off our backs. I have to thank Tyler Borck of Buckeye Concrete Coatings for fielding this car for me, CJ Rayburn Cars and everyone else that helps out,” said Schlenk.
In the 30 lap ALMS feature, Ryan Markham and Kent Brewer brought the field to green but Brewer would spin, collecting five other cars. When the green flew on a complete restart Ryan Missler grabbed the lead over Markham, Ky Harper and Schlenk.
Following a lap three caution, Missler continued to lead Markham, Schlenk, Harper, Jon Henry, Ken Hahn and Lauren Longbrake. Just as the leaders were going to enter heavy lapped traffic the caution came out on lap eight.
When the green waved the battle for the lead was on between Missler, Markham and Schlenk. Another caution with 11 laps complete kept everyone glued to Missler’s rear bumper. Markham would spin with a flat tire on lap 13, setting up another duel between Missler and Schlenk.
The pair battled side by side over the next couple of laps before Schlenk took the lead on lap 18. Henry would steal second from Missler on lap 19. With 10 laps to go Missler spun, giving third to Harper. However, debris from Harper’s machine on lap 22 sent him to the tail.
Schlenk would pull away when the green flew with Henry comfortably in second with a fantastic battle going on for third involving Hahn, Longbrake and Markham who had charged back to the front. Schlenk drove to the win over Henry, Markham, Longbrake, and 18th place starter John Brooks.
John Ivy held off a late race charge from Nate Dussel to claim his second win of the year in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints. Ivy now has 54 career Fremont wins, placing him in a tie for fifth on the track’s all-time win list with hall-of-famer Herbie Robinson.
Shawn Valenti just keeps rolling in the Burmeister Trophy Dirt Trucks. He took the lead on the third lap and drove to his fifth victory of the year at Fremont and seventh overall (two wins at Attica Raceway Park). Valenti now has 37 career wins at Fremont, placing him 11th on the all-time win list at the track.