By Brian Liskai
Fremont Speedway has long been known as “The Home of the All Stars.” The Sandusky County oval has hosted the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions 99 times during its 61 year history and is planning for a big celebration of the 100th and 101st visit Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27.
Saturday’s event is sponsored by Kear’s Speed Shop and will not only feature the UNOH All Stars but the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints and Fremont Fence Dirt Trucks. Sunday’s racing is sponsored by Bud Light and will pay the UNOH All Star feature winner $10,000! The 305 sprints and dirt trucks will also be in competition that night as well.
Fremont Speedway ALWAYS lives up to its moniker “The Track that Action Built,” especially when the UNOH All Star teams come calling. Who could forget the series’ last visit to Fremont Speedway for the Jim Ford Classic, a two-day affair in September 2011. Three time and defending All Star champion Tim Shaffer held off 2011 Fremont champion Bryan Sebetto on the first night with Sebetto banging wheels with Shaffer coming down for the $10,000 finale and edging the “Steel City Outlaw” by just .045 seconds for the biggest win of his career. Sebetto, who scored a win at Fremont on May 12, scored his first All Star win at the track in 2010.
Shaffer, who won his first UNOH All Star feature of 2012 on May 12 at Mercer Raceway Park, also took the $10,000 Ohio Sprint Speedweek finale at Fremont in 2011 and has 11 career wins at Fremont. The other two UNOH All Star events in 2011 at Fremont went to three time series champion Dale Blaney, who has 12 career wins at Fremont, and 2011 World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers.
Blaney, who has 86 career All Star wins, including two this season, leads the series’ national and Ohio Region points with Shaffer second and young chargers David Gravel third in the national and Danny Holtgraver third in the Ohio region standings. Former Fremont and All Star rookie of the year Cap Henry sits fourth in both the national and Ohio region points with Paul McMahan fifth in the national and two time series champion Greg Wilson fifth in the Ohio Region.
The double header weekend promises to be a barn-burner between the travelling UNOH All Stars and the tough weekly competitors of Fremont with some possible surprises dropping in. Fremont has held two 410 sprint events in 2012 with Oklahoma’s Shane Stewart and Sebetto claiming the victories. The track’s 2010 champion Craig Mintz has scored a win against the UNOH All Stars at Attica Raceway Park in 2012 and was passed on the last lap of another series event at Attica. The Memorial Day weekend event could draw the likes of Danny “The Dude” Lasoski who has three All Star victories in 2011 and many of the Western Pennsylvania contingent.
Fremont regular Phil “The Ohio Gas Man” Gressman has looked strong at Fremont so far, leading much of the race on May 12 before settling for second. Throw in three time track champion Byron Reed, who has 23 career wins at Fremont, and others like Chris Andrews (third on May 12), Lee Jacobs, Dean Jacobs, Brian Smith, Travis Philo, Brandon Martin, and others and it will be an exciting weekend.
Besides Blaney, Shaffer, Gravel, Holtgraver and Henry, the UNOH All Stars will also bring 2011 rookie of the year Pete Miller. The Pennsylvania native scored a non-sanctioned win recently at Lernerville Speedway.
Monday, May 28 is a rain date for the finale night only should it be needed.
Gates will open both nights at 4 p.m. with racing underway at 7 p.m.
For a list of the past UNOH All Star Circuit of Champion winners and more information on Fremont Speedway go to www.fremonohspeedway.com. For more information on the UNOH All Stars go to www.allstarsprint.com