By T.J. Buffenbarger
Mason, MI – (Saturday April 29th, 2011) – Tom Fedewa led only the last lap to win Friday night’s season opening Sprint Car feature at Spartan Speedway. Fedewa was in third going into turn three on the final circuit when leader Chris Hettinger and second place Taylor Ferns ended up boxed up in traffic. Fedewa raced to the outside to claim the victory driving his father’s Sassy Grass Lawn Care sponsored Beast Chassis.
“I’m kind of partial to running the top (at Spartan) because everyone has the tendency of wanting to run the bottom,” said Fedewa. “I could see that if I could around the top of (Ferns), that was probably my only opportunity. The track was oiled down and I really wanted to run the top because the leaders were on the bottom. I committed myself to the high line; they both went to the bottom, and the traffic worked in my favor tonight.”
Tyler Underwood and Ferns started on the front row of the 25-lap main event. Underwood led early while Hettinger moved past Ferns for second. Ferns then had to contend with Gary Sherman for several laps before retaining the third position
Hettinger quickly closed in on Underwood to challenge for the lead. On lap four Hettinger got a run under Underwood into turn three, racing side by side before Hettinger pulled away one lap later. Underwood and Ferns kept pace before Hettinger made a daring three wide maneuver in slower traffic and opened up a sizeable lead before the caution appeared on lap nine for fluid on the track that collected rookie Kyle Feeney and Tom Patterson in turn two. Both cars restarted.
The caution appeared again without getting a lap in when Matt Kinzinger spun into the wall in turn two. Kinzinger had to retire from the event.
Hettinger continued to pull away while Fedewa moved up from seventh starting spot. Fedewa was fourth during the restart and quickly moved into third around Underwood. Hettinger, Ferns, and Fedewa opened up a sizeable advantage over the rest of the field. With five laps to go Fedewa started putting heat on Ferns, allowing Hettinger to pull away.
Coming to the white flag Hettinger led into turn one, but slower traffic racing side by side loomed ahead. Hettinger attempted the same three abreast move he used earlier in the feature, but the gap closed. Hettinger and Ferns both had to check up while Fedewa raced to the outside to move from third to first and around the slower cars on the final corner to take the victory. Ferns claimed second with Hettinger crossing the finish line in third. Underwood and Sherman rounded out the top five.
Heat races for the 19 car field were won by Hettinger, Fedewa, and defending Spartan Speedway sprint car champion Tom Heeney.