From Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio – Tim Shaffer won another 410 sprint car race.
That in itself wasn’t a big surprise at Fremont Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 18 during the second night of the Jim Ford Classic presented by Ludwig Propane.
But, what will have race fans talking for many years to come was the charge by 27-year-old Brandon Martin. The Attica, Ohio driver, who started the night upside down during his qualification run, stormed from 24th starting spot – dead last – to challenge Shaffer the final five laps for the $10,000 payday.
Shaffer took the lead from Craig Mintz on the 27th circuit of the 50-lap affair and went on to score his 15 victory of the year with the O’Reilly Auto Parts All Star Circuit of Champions. Shaffer, who has scored 20 overall victories in 2010, remains unbeaten since claiming the Knoxville Nationals crown, scoring four wins in a row. He moved into a tie for 13th on the series’ all-time win list with Rickey Hood with 34 victories.
Meanwhile, Martin, a former All Star touring driver, left fans shaking their heads in amazement. His incredible story began in Kistler Engines qualifications. He slipped off the ledge of turn two and smashed into the track’s softwalls, flipping violently. His crew, including Guy Meyers and Jim Havens, rolled up their sleeves and repaired his machine in time to come out last in time trials where he posted the 31st quickest time of the 35 cars signed in.
Martin then proceeded to drive from eighth starting spot in his heat to a fourth place finish, earning the 24th starting spot in the A-main. He would use the entire width of the one-third mile track to steadily work his way to the front, and when he drove around Greg Wilson for third on lap 39, he had everyone’s attention. Martin would take second from Mintz on lap 46 and quickly closed on Shaffer in lapped traffic. Just as Martin pulled in on the rear bumper of Shaffer, Dean Jacobs and Kyle Sauder would tangle exiting turn four on the 47th circuit, bringing out the caution.
On the restart Shaffer, who wrapped up his second straight $50,000 All Star championship the previous night at “The Track That Action Built,” would have two lapped machines between himself and crowd-favorite Martin. On the restart, All Star officials called the field back, warning one of the lapped machines to maintain his speed. On the second attempt on the restart, the field was again called back and one of the back-markers was moved to the tail, leaving only one lapped car between Shaffer and Martin. It didn’t matter, as Shaffer continued his phenomenal summer, driving away to the win while Martin finished second and Mintz third.
“I saw on that last yellow that he (Martin) was in second and I knew he started in the back so I figured I’d better get with it,” said Shaffer beside his Aaron Call, Janet Holbrook owned machine. “We earned that one. It was one of those deals where I didn’t feel that good. I was probably trying too hard at times and too easy at times. Just to be up her for #20…it’s just incredible.”
“I don’t know what it is…but it’s so fun running up front. This is a dream come true. I couldn’t have ever imagined winning 20 races in one year,” continued Shaffer beside his Kistler Engines, Kistler Racing Products, J&J Auto Racing, JRC Transportation back #83. “We are having all the lucks and breaks and we’re taking advantage of it.”
“I don’t know what to say. We tried our best tonight. I wanted desperately to race Tim…he’s damn good right now. We kept it on the track most of the night in the feature…that sure beats qualifying,” said Martin in the Engine Pro Victory Lane.
“We’ve been struggling with this car all year…it’s just so hard to get it going early on. I tried running it like I did last night and it obviously didn’t work. I was frustrated…we’ve struggled all year qualifying no matter where we go with this thing. But once again Guy and all my guys got this thing going pretty good towards the end of the night so I knew it was going to be good in the feature. I’m extremely happy right now,” explained Martin beside his Burns Electric, Martin Trucking and Excavating, Oak Ridge Festival, Sacsteder and Worland Insurance backed #11.
“I knew the first lap I had a pretty good hot rod. We weren’t terrible in the heat race…you just have to keep your head up and watch for other cars and go where they’re not and I’m not going to follow anybody,” continued Martin. “I looked at scoreboard and I saw there were 18 laps to go…I just wanted to race Tim so bad. Last night we had a real good car with Stan (Cortad, owner of the #9x Martin drove on Friday). We were going to run second or third last night but we lost brakes on the first lap so I couldn’t slow down then the driveline broke. We were going to have a really good weekend, but after tonight it still turned out alright. I love passing cars.”
For Mintz, Fremont Speedway’s 2010 track champion, who led from lap 8 to lap 26, his third place run was still rewarding.
“This is nothing new for me for this race. We lead 45 laps about three years ago and lost it. Tim and that team are great…they’re just in a whole other league at the moment. I got a lesson in lapped traffic. You just have to run them in there and make them get out of the way. I tried showing them noses and it just didn’t work. I saw Tim do it and after he got by I learned how to do it but it was way too late,” said Mintz beside his Design Graphics Group, KS Sales and Service, Erie Shore Propane, Real Geese, Bobby’s Truck and Bus Repair backed #20x.
“We’ll take an eighth and a third for the weekend and be happy. Any time you can run in the top 10 with the All Stars at Fremont it good,” added Mintz.
Bradner, Ohio’s Nate Dussel led all 25 laps to score the $1,000 payday in the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint feature. It was his second victory of the year at Fremont and his fifth career win at the track.
Dussel, the pole-sitter, surprised the field on the initial start, not taking off immediately exiting turn four. So, the field was regrouped and on the second attempt, Dussel would blast into the lead and never looked back.
“Since they started this restart deal (the pole-sitter sets the start of the race anywhere between two pylons exiting turn four and half-way down the front stretch) everyone always takes off in turn four. So I thought I’ll wait and see if he (Jake Trevino, outside front row starter) wants to take off and I know on the second start he’s going to be a little more hesitant so I did the complete opposite and got a big lead,” explained Dussel beside his Berrier Fabrication, Dussel Welding, Kistler Racing Products backed #1.
“This car was locked down. My brother (Mike) and I debated on what we were going to do before the feature and finally we came to a conclusion and I think we hit it alright,” said Dussel. “I have to thank Bill Berrier… every week we have something for him to do and he never complains about it he just does it. I have to thank Scott Gressman he’s our engine builder and he’ll do anything for you. I have to thank Dave over at Kistlers, my uncle John and my brothers and Bobby…they gave me a hell of a race car tonight.”
At the start of the 50-lap 410 feature, pole-sitter Dale Blaney grabbed the lead but the caution would fly for Bob Felmlee who nearly caused a pile-up on the back stretch when his car suffered a flat tire. On the second attempt for the start, outside front row starter David Gravel spun in turn two. On the third attempt, Blaney would again take the lead with Brandon Wimmer, Kevin Lee, Mintz, Shaffer and Mark Keegan giving chase.
Mintz would drive into second on lap three while Shaffer moved into fourth behind Wimmer. Disaster struck for Blaney after completing lap 7, as his car would lose power, bringing out another caution and handing the lead to Mintz. With a clear track ahead, Mintz would pull away slightly from Wimmer, who had his hands full with Shaffer. By lap 12, all eyes were on Martin, who had marched his way from the tail up to eighth.
With 14 laps in, the caution would fly when Sheldon Haudenschild and Bryan Sebetto would tangle. That would necessitate a red flag fuel stop with the running order Mintz, Wimmer, Shaffer, Kyle Sauder, Greg Wilson, Keegan and Martin.
On the ensuing restart, Shaffer would blast around Wimmer and seemed content to follow Mintz for the time being. Meanwhile, Wimmer, who suffered a broken right rear shock, was in a heated battle for third with Sauder, Wilson, Keegan and Martin. At the half-way point, Shaffer began to pick up his pace, closing on Mintz as they raced into lapped traffic. Shaffer would dive low in turn two and drive around a lapped machine and Mintz for the lead a lap later. Wimmer, Wilson, Martin and 17th place starter Byron Reed were locked in a great battle for third.
With 19 laps to go, Mintz had worked his way through traffic and closed on Shaffer while Wilson took third from Wimmer. The caution would again fly on lap 34 for a Haudenschild spin with Shaffer leading Mintz followed by a lapped car, then Wilson, Martin, Wimmer and Reed. With a clear track ahead, Shaffer would pull away slightly on the restart with Mintz comfortably in second while Wilson and Martin were locked in a heated debate for third.
Martin would bring the capacity crowd to their feet on lap 39 as he drive around Wilson for third and closed on Mintz and Shaffer. With four laps to go, Martin would take second and moved right on the rear bumper of Shaffer. Just as Martin appeared to be ready to race side-by-side for the lead, Dean Jacobs and Sauder would tangle exiting turn four, bringing out the caution. With two lapped machines between himself and Martin, Shaffer would drive away on the restart. Martin ran out of laps and would settle for second followed by Mintz, Wilson and Reed.
In the 25-lap 305 sprint feature, Dussel would grab the initial lead over Stuart Brubaker, Trevino, Brad Bowman and Paige Polyak. Dustin Stroup would spin on lap three, allowing Brubaker and Trevino to restart right on Dussel’s rear bumper. But, Dussel’s car was just too strong as he pulled away.
Dussel would encounter lapped traffic by the 14th circuit, but Brubaker could not close as Trevino was locked in a great battle for third with Bobby Clark and Bowman. Bowman’s run would end with two laps to go as he slowed to a stop in turn three. On the restart Dussel had a lapped machine separating him from Brubaker and Trevino and he used it to pull away for the win. Brubaker, Trevino, Clark and John Ivy would round out the top five.
Fremont Speedway Promoter Rich Farmer and the entire staff would like to thank all of the fans, business partners and race teams for their support during the 2010 season and look forward to the 60th year of racing at “The Track That Action Built” in 2011.
For more information on Fremont Speedway go to www.fremontohspeedway.com
Fremont Speedway – 9/18/2010
Ludwig Propane Night
O’Reilly Auto Parts All Star Circuit of Champions (35 Cars)
Qualifying – Kistler Engines
1. 83-Tim Shaffer, 13.004; 2. 3J-Kevin Lee, 13.016; 3. 89G-David Gravel, 13.113; 4. 2-Dale Blaney, 13.132; 5. 27-Scott Euler, 13.153; 6. 7K-Kyle Sauder, 13.160; 7. 45-Rob Chaney, 13.191; 8. O-Brandon Wimmer, 13.202; 9. 20X-Craig Mintz, 13.267; 10. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild, 13.346; 11. 60-Jody Keegan, 13.349; 12. X-Mark Keegan, 13.448; 13. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.462; 14. 6F-Bob Felmlee, 13.473; 15. 14H-Todd Heller, 13.477; 16. 4M-Jamie Miller, 13.501; 17. O4-Cap Henry, 13.510; 18. 24H-Lee Jacobs, 13.517; 19. 5R-Byron Reed, 13.524; 20. 53-Phil Gressman, 13.559; 21. 16-Bryan Sebetto, 13.599; 22. 97-Dean Jacobs, 13.633; 23. 7C-Tim Hunter, 13.638; 24. 312-Mike Linder, 13.646; 25. 47-Caleb Helms, 13.662; 26. 6-Bill Rose, 13.699; 27. 28V-Shawn Valenti, 13.715; 28. 12-Jarred Ridge, 13.718; 29. 1X-Matt Linder, 13.837; 30. 2+-Brian Smith, 13.863; 31. 11M-Brandon Martin, 13.913; 32. 40-Mark Imler, 14.353; 33. 26W-Cody White, 14.400; 34. 91-Aaron Middaugh, 14.583; 35. 26-Ryan French, 15.139
MSD Ignitions Heat 1 – Heat 1 (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 16-Bryan Sebetto; 2. O4-Cap Henry; 3. W20-Greg Wilson; 4. 83-Tim Shaffer; 5. 20X-Craig Mintz; 6. 47-Caleb Helms; 7. 1X-Matt Linder; 8. 26W-Cody White; 9. 27-Scott Euler
Kear’s Speed Shop Heat 2 – Bell Racing Products (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 24H-Lee Jacobs; 2. 97-Dean Jacobs; 3. 6F-Bob Felmlee; 4. 3J-Kevin Lee; 5. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild; 6. 7K-Kyle Sauder; 7. 6-Bill Rose; 8. 2+-Brian Smith; 9. 91-Aaron Middaugh
All Pro Cylinder Heads Heat 3 – Heat 3 (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 5R-Byron Reed; 2. 7C-Tim Hunter; 3. 89G-David Gravel; 4. 11M-Brandon Martin; 5. 14H-Todd Heller; 6. 28V-Shawn Valenti; 7. 45-Rob Chaney; 8. 60-Jody Keegan; 9. 26-Ryan French
Outerwears Performance Products Heat 4 – Heat 4 (10 Laps – Top 5 Transfer)
1. 53-Phil Gressman; 2. X-Mark Keegan; 3. 312-Mike Linder; 4. O-Brandon Wimmer; 5. 2-Dale Blaney; 6. 4M-Jamie Miller; 7. 12-Jarred Ridge; 8. 40-Mark Imler
B-Main – (12 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 7K-Kyle Sauder; 2. 27-Scott Euler; 3. 60-Jody Keegan; 4. 28V-Shawn Valenti; 5. 4M-Jamie Miller; 6. 6-Bill Rose; 7. 1X-Matt Linder; 8. 2+-Brian Smith; 9. 12-Jarred Ridge; 10. 40-Mark Imler; 11. 91-Aaron Middaugh; 12. 26W-Cody White; 13. 26-Ryan French; 14. 47-Caleb Helms
A-Main – (50 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 83-Tim Shaffer; 2. 11M-Brandon Martin; 3. 20X-Craig Mintz; 4. W20-Greg Wilson; 5. 5R-Byron Reed; 6. 3J-Kevin Lee; 7. 2-Dale Blaney; 8. O-Brandon Wimmer; 9. 89G-David Gravel; 10. 14H-Todd Heller; 11. 53-Phil Gressman; 12. 28V-Shawn Valenti; 13. 312-Mike Linder; 14. 7C-Tim Hunter; 15. 27-Scott Euler; 16. 60-Jody Keegan; 17. 6F-Bob Felmlee; 18. O4-Cap Henry; 19. X-Mark Keegan; 20. 97-Dean Jacobs; 21. 7K-Kyle Sauder; 22. 24H-Lee Jacobs; 23. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild; 24. 16-Bryan Sebetto
Hard Charger: 11M-Brandon Martin[+22]
Fremont Federal Credit Union – 305 Sprints (30 Cars)
Heat 1 – Heat 1 (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 51-Brad Bowman; 2. 40-Bobby Clark; 3. 55-Benny Bowman; 4. 10S-Roger Shammo; 5. 9-Jimmy Colvin; 6. M28-Josh Muntz; 7. 2N-Brian Neeb; 8. 22D-Dan Hammond
Heat 2 – Bell Racing Products (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 35-Stuart Brubaker; 2. 94-John Ivy; 3. 48-Mike Burkin; 4. 53-Dustin Dinan; 5. 12-Brett Lane; 6. 8J-Jess Stiger; 7. 5-Jordon Ryan; 8. 72C-Ross Moore
Heat 3 – Heat 3 (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 80-Jake Trevino; 2. 25-Jason Keckler; 3. 8K-Zack Kramer; 4. 19R-Steve Rando; 5. 83X-Nate Reeser; 6. 24X-Jimmy Mc Grath Jr.; 7. 39M-Matt Merrill
Heat 4 – Heat 4 (8 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 10X-Dustin Stroup; 2. 27-Paige Polyak; 3. 1-Nate Dussel; 4. 71-Bill Kraylek; 5. 1M-Mike Moore; 6. 67M-Matt Ferrell
B-Main – (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer)
1. 67M-Matt Ferrell; 2. 9-Jimmy Colvin; 3. 83X-Nate Reeser; 4. M28-Josh Muntz; 5. 12-Brett Lane; 6. 8J-Jess Stiger; 7. 39M-Matt Merrill; 8. 1M-Mike Moore; 9. 5-Jordon Ryan; 10. 72C-Ross Moore; 11. 24X-Jimmy Mc Grath Jr.; 12. 2N-Brian Neeb
A-Main – (25 Laps) [#]-Starting Position
1. 1-Nate Dussel; 2. 35-Stuart Brubaker; 3. 80-Jake Trevino; 4. 40-Bobby Clark; 5. 94-John Ivy; 6. 25-Jason Keckler; 7. 67M-Matt Ferrell; 8. 9-Jimmy Colvin; 9. 27-Paige Polyak; 10. 8K-Zack Kramer; 11. 48-Mike Burkin; 12. 19R-Steve Rando; 13. 10S-Roger Shammo; 14. 83X-Nate Reeser; 15. 55-Benny Bowman; 16. 53-Dustin Dinan; 17. M28-Josh Muntz; 18. 71-Bill Kraylek; 19. 51-Brad Bowman; 20. 10X-Dustin Stroup
Hard Charger: 67M-Matt Ferrell[+10]