By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio – At the end of the 2015 racing season Brian Lay briefly contemplated hanging up the helmet. But the Genoa, Ohio driver decided to give it another shot and it has paid off in 2016. Lay led all 30 laps at Fremont Speedway on Kistler Racing Products Championship Night to score his first 410 sprint feature win of the season at “The Track That Action Built.”
By virtue of his third place finish in feature, Wooster, Ohio’s Broc Martin claimed the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint track title, the first of his career at the track.
Lay, who arrived at the track after attending a friends wedding, had to withstand a late race restart and held off a charging Jody Keegan to claim his third career victory at Fremont Speedway. He also had to pick his way through heavy lapped traffic and admitted he started the race with 26 tear-offs and was down to his last one when the checkers fell.
“After the year we had last year, just to be standing on the front stretch here is an accomplishment. I want to thank my Uncle Kenny, my dad, my cousin Rick, Pauly..Jeff’s not here with us tonight but this one means a lot. I want to thank Paul Kistler and all the fans for sticking it out for us,” Lay said beside his Robert Mucha Law; Seagate Sandblasting; Varga Farms; American Quality Stripping; Dave Story Equipment; Wood County Collision backed #45.
“I have to thank one of my sponsors, Varga Farms, he got married tonight and I was in his wedding…I was the sixth guy standing in line. I peeled off my tuxedo to race and this is the best way I can repay him when I get back to the party,” added Lay from the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
For Martin, the track championship is a dream come true.
“I have to be honest. After the heat race I was a little flustered. Then Rich (Farmer, track promoter) told my guys we had to take the green in the feature for the championship and that took a huge weight off my back. I was still a little nervous. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous to fire a race car as I was tonight. Once the green flew I knew I was going to go for it. We had a good car but just came up a little short. There’s ton of guys on that trophy and it means a lot. I come from the WayneCounty area but Fremont is pretty much like a home to me now and people have accepted that. Realistically, this is for all my guys, Matt (Root), Lane (Cecil) and all our sponsors, Rick who’s here tonight…but mostly this is for my parents (Jim and Traci Martin). They put a lot of time into this. It means a ton when I can come out and finish something off like this. I’m going to cherish this. No matter what happens my name is going to be on that list forever,” Martin said.
Bradner, Ohio’s Nate Dussel has been so close to winning a track championship in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints for several years. He finally accomplished that goal Saturday, holding off a charging Matt Foos to score his fourth win of the year and the 21st of his career at Fremont Speedway to earn his first ever track title.
“I saw Paul (Weaver) was up to seventh in 10 laps (started 13th), it was just Paul being Paul, you know he’s going to be in the mix. One of us had to start in the back tonight and unfortunately for him it was him. We’ve been there and done that. There’s never been a time when I’ve looked at my crew guys on a green and I’m going down the back stretch and I see all of them screaming and yelling. I knew there was someone about to pass me and all of a sudden I could hear Foos (Matt). I thought it was Weaver. I just ran it in real hard and kind of made it tight on some lapped cars. This is awesome. Thanks to Rich Farmer. Who would have thought the race track would be this beautiful. I’d be lying if I said I was hoping it wouldn’t rain out. This is sweet as hell,” said Dussel beside his Berrier Custom Fabrication; Al Davis Carpet and Laminate; Gressman Powersports; Foster Fabrication; Real Geese; Industrial Machinery Movers; Kistler Racing Products backed #1.
The championship for the Burmeister Trophies Dirt Trucks would also come down to the final laps of the feature. When the checkers flew it was Fostoria, Ohio’s Shawn Valenti standing in the Engine Pro Victory lane for the 7th time of the season while Keith Sorg’s third place run was good enough to garner him his first ever Fremont Speedway championship. The victory was the 32nd of his career at Fremont Speedway and ties Valenti with hall of famer Wally Heminger for 13th on the track’s all-time win list.
“First off I want to thank Rich Farmer for sticking this one out. There are promoters who would have pulled the plug on this one early. It’s a great season. I have to thank Craig Miller Trucking, Dave Story Equipment, Gressman Powersports, Burns Petroleum, Conrad Transport, Best Performance Motorsports, JP Enterprises, Real Geese Decoys…just very thankful,” Valenti said.
“It didn’t handle all that great but I made what I could out of it and it got us the championship. This is awesome when you consider the history of this track. It doesn’t get any better than this in your home town,” said Sorg.
Lay and Duane Zablocki brought the field to green for the 30-lap 410 sprint feature with Lay gaining the advantage. Lay set a blistering pace, encountering lapped traffic by the fifth circuit as Zablocki was trying to hold off Jack Sodeman Jr., Jody Keegan, Stuart Brubaker, Martin and Max Stambaugh.
Lay picked his way through traffic and built a 4.5 second lead at the half-way point with Keegan, Zablocki and Martin giving chase. Lay found heavy lapped traffic by lap 18 and that allowed Keegan to close with Martin taking third. The only caution of the event fell on lap 20 for Todd Heller who coasted to a stop. When the green came back out, Lay now had his hands full with Keegan with Martin and 14th place starter Dean Jacobs in tow with Tyler Gunn and Zablocki battling for fifth.
Once he got his momentum back Lay pulled away the remaining eight laps for the win. Keegan, Martin, Jacobs and Zablocki rounded out the top five.
Seth Schneider bolted into the lead of the 25-lap 305 sprint feature with Dussel, Dan McCarron and Kyle Capodice giving chase. Dussel would drive under Schneider for the lead on lap two. The leaders encountered heavy lapped traffic by the sixth lap with Dussel leading Schneider, McCarron, Matt Foos from 12th and Capodice.
The race ground to a halt on lap 10 when Jamie Miller went for a wild ride on the front stretch. He was uninjured but done for the night. On the restart Dussel led Foos, Capodice, McCarron and a closing Paul Weaver who started 13th. With 10 laps to go Dussel had pulled away slightly while Schneider battled with Foos for second and Weaver moving into fourth. Foos, in his rookie year of sprint car racing, grabbed second on lap 16 and ate away at Dussel’s lead.
With five laps to go Foos was all over Dussel’s rear bumper as they raced through lapped traffic with Weaver closing as well. Dussel would get aggressive with lapped cars and drove to the victory over Foos, Weaver, Schneider and Steve Rando.
The opening laps of the dirt truck feature were marred with several cautions. Gene Potridge led the opening lap with Kent Brewer leading the second. Valenti grabbed the lead on the third circuit over Brewer, Jim Holcomb, Jeff Ward and Dustin Keegan.
From lap 10 to the finish the race stayed caution free and it got very entertaining. While Valenti built a decent lead, Holcomb, Keegan, Sorg and Ward battled for second. With seven laps to go Valenti continued to lead with Keegan and Sorg racing door to door, lap after lap, for second.
Valenti would pull away for the win with Keegan taking second followed by Sorg, Ward and Cory McCaughey.
Fremont Speedway will be back in action Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17 for the 9th Annual Jim Ford Classic (JFC). It will be the largest combined purse in the history of the JFC with the 410 sprints battling for $5,000 to win, $500 to start the A-main each night.
On All Pro Cylinder Heads Night, Friday, Sept. 16, it will be the championship night for the Kistler Racing Products FAST Championship Series presented by KS Sales and Service for the 410 sprints and the JLH General Contractor 305 FAST Series presented by Engine Pro. It is also the track championship night for the McCullough Industries 602 Late Models. The 305 sprints will be battling for $2,000 to win and $305 to start the A-main.
Saturday’s Jim Ford Classic events begin at 9:30 a.m. with the 5th Annual Kick-It tournament featuring 10 local teams. There will also be a silent auction with many awesome racing and non-racing items up for bid. There will be a live auction at 12:30 p.m. followed by the 2017 Fremont Speedway Queens and Little Miss contest in the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame at 1 p.m. The racing action on JLH General Contractor Night begins with gates opening at 4 p.m. JLH has several cash rewards for fans and race teams throughout the night.
On Saturday, the 305 sprint teams will all compete in a feature as the field is split in two. The dirt trucks will also see a purse increase.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Kistler Racing Products Season Championship Night
Denotes starting position – [*]
410 Sprints – FortBallPizzaPalace
1.83M-Broc Martin, 12.627; 2.33M-Max Stambaugh, 12.681; 3.23-DJ Foos, 12.683; 4.7-Shawn Valenti, 12.714; 5.60-Jody Keegan, 12.718; 6.23JR-Jack Sodeman, 12.724; 7.16-Stuart Brubaker, 12.821; 8.9Z-Duane Zablocki, 12.902; 9.45L-Brian Lay, 12.970; 10.5-Byron Reed, 13.043; 11.8J-Jess Stiger, 13.101; 12.14H-Todd Heller, 13.136; 13.68G-Tyler Gunn, 13.177; 14.38-Dean Jacobs, 13.233; 15.2+-Brian Smith, 13.417; 16.4-Tracy Hines, 13.538; 17.33W-Matt Westfall, 13.661; 18.51-Roger Campbell, 13.668; 19.38J-Trey Jacobs, 13.932; 20.1K-Joey Pendergrass, 99.740; 21.12X-Lou Scudere, 99.960;
Heat 1 (8 Laps)
- 16-Stuart Brubaker ; 2. 5-Byron Reed ; 3. 7-Shawn Valenti ; 4. 68G-Tyler Gunn ; 5. 83M-Broc Martin ; 6. 4-Tracy Hines ; 7. 38J-Trey Jacobs
Heat 2 (8 Laps)
- 9Z-Duane Zablocki ; 2. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 3. 8J-Jess Stiger ; 4. 60-Jody Keegan ; 5. 38-Dean Jacobs ; 6. 33W-Matt Westfall ; 7. 1K-Joey Pendergrass
Heat 3 (8 Laps)
- 45L-Brian Lay ; 2. 23JR-Jack Sodeman ; 3. 23-DJ Foos ; 4. 14H-Todd Heller ; 5. 51-Roger Campbell ; 6. 2+-Brian Smith ; 7. 12X-Lou Scudere
A-Main 1 (0 Laps)
- 45L-Brian Lay ; 2. 60-Jody Keegan ; 3. 83M-Broc Martin ; 4. 38-Dean Jacobs ; 5. 9Z-Duane Zablocki ; 6. 68G-Tyler Gunn ; 7. 23-DJ Foos ; 8. 33M-Max Stambaugh ; 9. 33W-Matt Westfall ; 10. 8J-Jess Stiger ; 11. 5-Byron Reed ; 12. 7-Shawn Valenti ; 13. 4-Tracy Hines ; 14. 51-Roger Campbell ; 15. 1K-Joey Pendergrass ; 16. 23JR-Jack Sodeman ; 17. 16-Stuart Brubaker ; 18. 14H-Todd Heller ; 19. 12X-Lou Scudere ; 20. 38J-Trey Jacobs ; 21. 2+-Brian Smith
Hard Charger: 38-Dean Jacobs +10
305 Sprints – Fremont Federal Credit Union
Heat 1 – (8 Laps)
- 66-Jamie Miller ; 2. 99-Alvin Roepke ; 3. 2F-Matt Foos ; 4. 1X-Dustin Dinan ; 5. 1W-Paul Weaver ; 6. 25-Jason Keckler ; 7. 77I-John Ivy ; 8. 9R-Dustin Rall
Heat 2 – (8 Laps)
- 36-Seth Schneider ; 2. 1-Nate Dussel ; 3. 2-Ricky Peterson ; 4. 20I-Dustin Stroup ; 5. 19R-Steve Rando ; 6. 47-Matt Lucius ; 7. 2L-Landon Lalonde
Heat 3 – (8 Laps)
- 97-Kyle Peters ; 2. 12-Kyle Capodice ; 3. 1XX-Jordan Ryan ; 4. 22M-Dan McCarron ; 5. 7M-Brandon Moore ; 6. 75-Jerry Dahms
A-Main 1 – (0 Laps)
- 1-Nate Dussel ; 2. 2F-Matt Foos ; 3. 1W-Paul Weaver ; 4. 36-Seth Schneider ; 5. 19R-Steve Rando ; 6. 20I-Dustin Stroup ; 7. 12-Kyle Capodice ; 8. 99-Alvin Roepke ; 9. 22M-Dan McCarron ; 10. 1XX-Jordan Ryan ; 11. 1X-Dustin Dinan ; 12. 25-Jason Keckler ; 13. 97-Kyle Peters ; 14. 77I-John Ivy ; 15. 9R-Dustin Rall ; 16. 2L-Landon Lalonde ; 17. 2-Ricky Peterson ; 18. 47-Matt Lucius ; 19. 75-Jerry Dahms ; 20. 66-Jamie Miller ; 21. 7M-Brandon Moore
Hard Charger: 2F-Matt Foos +10
Dirt Trucks – Burmeister Trophy
Heat 1 (8 Laps)
- 4s-Keith Sorg ; 2. 33-Jeff Ward ; 3. 5Jr-Kyle Farmer ; 4. 99-Gene Potridge ; 5. 0K-Cody Benyak ; 6. 26-Kyle Lagrou ; 7. 721-John Martis ; 8. 2-Brian Sorg
Heat 2 (8 Laps)
- 7B-Shawn Valenti ; 2. 16-Jim Holcomb ; 3. 8KB-Kent Brewer ; 4. 37-Eric DeVanna ; 5. 7f-Dana Frey ; 6. 23M-Brian Mitten ; 7. 51W-Thomas Anderson
Heat 3 (8 Laps)
- 36M-Cory Mccaughey ; 2. 17x-Dustin Keegan ; 3. 5s-Brad Stuckey ; 4. 9-Curt Inks ; 5. 13-Len benyak ; 6. 1H-Zeth Sabo
A-Main 1 (15 Laps)
- 7B-Shawn Valenti ; 2. 17x-Dustin Keegan ; 3. 4s-Keith Sorg ; 4. 33-Jeff Ward ; 5. 36M-Cory Mccaughey ; 6. 16-Jim Holcomb ; 7. 9-Curt Inks ; 8. 99-Gene Potridge ; 9. 7f-Dana Frey ; 10. 37-Eric DeVanna ; 11. 23M-Brian Mitten ; 12. 0K-Cody Benyak ; 13. 26-Kyle Lagrou ; 14. 51W-Thomas Anderson ; 15. 5s-Brad Stuckey ; 16. 13-Len benyak ; 17. 8KB-Kent Brewer ; 18. 1H-Zeth Sabo ; 19. 2-Brian Sorg ; 20. 5Jr-Kyle Farmer
Hard Charger: 17x-Dustin Keegan +10