Byron Reed Ends 4-Year All Star Drought

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Byron Reed (5) races under Craig Mintz Friday night at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park. (Paul Arch photo)

ATTICA, Ohio — Byron Reed earned his first Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory since 2013 Friday night at Attica Raceway Park.

It was his 11th career victory with the series.

Reed, who started fifth on the feature grid, did not take command of the 40-lap program until lap 28, but swapped positions with Craig Mintz and Chris Andrews on multiple occasions until solidifying his place at the top of the running order.

“That’s what I love about Attica,” Reed explained. “Especially when you get into these 40-lap races. I’m not sure I was the best car here tonight, but you just keep battling and battling and battling. Sometimes, things just go your way.”

Reed worked his way forward immediately, crossing under the flag stand for the first time fourth in the running order, ultimately moving ahead to take third on the following circuit.

Three cautions before hitting double-digits on the lap counter kept the field stacked, allowing Reed and Craig Mintz, who was making his first start of the 2017 season, to race nose-to-tail with race leader Chris Andrews. Reed and Mintz continued to apply pressure on Andrews for the next 20 circuits, eventually intensifying as the trio of frontrunners reached the back of the field.

Despite Andrews scored as the leader during each of the initial takeover attempts, nearly a half-dozen lead changes would occur between laps 24 and 27, with Reed eventually coming out on top to officially lead lap 28. A final caution flag on lap 31 would stack the field one final time, but clean air and an open race track proved to be too beneficial Reed.

Mintz chased the familiar Crown Battery-backed No. 5 to the final checkers, followed by D.J. Foos, Broc Martin and Stuart Brubaker.

“I don’t know, but if nobody had fun watching that, then you need to find a different sport,” Mintz explained. “That was a great time tonight. Byron, Chris, D.J.; those guys are all so much fun to race with and you can trust those guys. It’s fun, clean racing. When we all got into lap traffic, that was the most fun. That was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I can’t thank Ed Neumeister enough for this opportunity. That whole crew really busted their butts tonight.”

“When you have the momentum, you do not want to let off,” Reed said. “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘my ass cheeks were starting to pucker.’ Things were getting pretty tight. I didn’t want to back off because I knew that was my chance; there was a small hole in traffic and I had to take it.”

Reigning All Star champion Chad Kemenah and Travis Philo were each parked for the night and sent home after an on-track altercation between the two during a heat race.

Jamie Miller won the 305 sprint car feature, while Ryan Markham topped the late model main event.

The finish:

Byron Reed, Craig Mintz, D.J. Foos, Broc Martin, Stuart Brubaker, Caleb Helms, Chris Andrews, Jordan Ryan, Lee Jacobs, Andrew Palker, Ryan Smith, Tyler Gunn, Brian Smith, Brady Bacon, Shawn Valenti, Max Stambaugh, Brian Lay, Caleb Armstrong, Jody Keegan, Adam Kekich, Tyler Esh, Hunter Mackison, Roger Campbell, Kory Crabtree, Brandon Spithaler, Parker Price-Miller.