By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio – Not many tracks can boost they have been around 61 years. But, Fremont Speedway – The Track That Action Built – will do just that when it throws open the gates for the 2012 race season opener on Saturday, April 14.
The Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints, Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints and Fremont Fence Dirt Trucks will be in competition.
The 61st season of racing will have fans on the edge of their seats as there are many stories being played. Who will wear the 2012 track crowns? Defending 410 sprint champion Bryan Sebetto has moved his seat to the Hammer #24h while former Attica champion Chris Andrews has filled the seat of the Burmeister #16. Throw in the fourth year for the 2011 Kistler Racing Products Fremont Attica Sprint Title (FAST) and its $10,000 champion’s pay, and you get the attention of sprint teams throughout Ohio including three-time Fremont champion and 2010 FAST champion Byron Reed, 2011 Fremont and FAST rookie of the year Brad Haudenschild in his new Grove Motorsports #70; 2010 Fremont and 2009 FAST champion Craig Mintz and others who have stepped up their racing programs for 2012 like Phil Gressman, Brad Bowman, Todd Heller, Dean Jacobs, Jody Keegan, two time track champion Mike Linder, Brian Smith, Duane Zablocki and 2011 305 sprint champion Stuart Brubaker who has moved into a 410 sprint.
Who will replace Brubaker as the 305 sprint champion? Will it be two-time champion Paul Weaver or 2011 Attica champion Nate Dussel? Could D.J. Foos take the title or will it be Dustin Dinan, Jason Keckler or Jimmy Colvin? Then, there’s former 410 sprint track champion John Ivy who has landed a ride in Kenny and Karen Clark’s #8k, veterans like Alvin Roepke and Jamie Miller and a crop of youngsters led by 2011 Fremont Rookie of the Year Jordan Ryan, Josh Muntz, Dustin Stroup, and a host of rookie drivers.
In the dirt trucks, 73-year-old Art Ball shows no signs of slowing down as he prepares to defend his 2011 track title. But, four-time track champion Steve Sabo, 2011 Attica champion Bob Dible and former track champion Cory Ward will not make it easy for Ball. Nor will the youngsters like 2011 rookie of the year Daniel Roepke or Jimmy McGrath, Dan Hennig, Kent Brewer, Art Howey Jr., Brad Mitten or Alex Wiechman.
Adding to the season’s excitement will be six appearances – including three shows paying $10,000 to win – of the Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions, the BOSS non-wing sprints, and several races of the new front-wheel drive, four-cylinder division and a “run-what-ya-brung” finale and you have all the ingredients of a fun-filled summer!
“We have had tremendous support from the fans and teams over the years and the business community continues to step up and support us,” said Fremont Speedway Promoter Rich Farmer. “Callies Performance Products will give the 410 sprint fast qualifier $100 for each regular night’s show (Callie’s Quick Qualifier Award) and a $1,000 bonus for who ever turns the fast qualifying lap for the entire season. Our 410 sprint rookie of the year will also get $1,000 this year and we have increased the dirt truck purse. We will also have other special events planned this year as well for both the teams and fans.”
One of those special events will be a promotion from Vision Quest and the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame for children 10 years of age and under. During each of three weeks, free t-shirts will be handed out to the first 100 kids 10 years of age and under who come through the gates. The shirts will have a special logo on the front and line on the back for the kids to get race driver autographs. At a special event, the youngster with the most autographs will receive a special prize.
Gates will open on Pepsi Night, April 14, at 4 p.m. with racing to get underway at 7 p.m.
For ticket prices and more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com