Griffith gets exciting FAST win at Fremont; Ryan navigates traffic for 305 victory

Fremont Speedway Tease
Brian Lay Bob Buffenbarger photo

By Brian Liskai

Fremont Speedway Tease

FREMONT, Ohio – Caleb Griffith had to be not only a talented 410 sprint car driver but a very smart one too Saturday night at Fremont Speedway. The Sandusky, Ohio Driver lost the lead to Craig Mintz, then retook it with nine laps to go, then lost it on the white flag lap to Byron Reed before regaining it on the final lap to score the win on Adkins Sanitation and Fence Night.


The victory will tighten up the point battle in the Kistler Racing Products FAST (Fremont Attica Sprint Title) Championship standings after three events. The season-long winner will take home $10,000.


“To have Craig Mintz pass you…Craig’s running the bottom and that’s their deal for sure. To pass him back I was like “whoa we got this deal going pretty good.’ Then I saw Byron (Reed) was third on the caution (with seven laps to go) and I thought he must be rolling pretty good. Then coming to the two or three to go I saw him underneath me…he got an awesome run off the bottom. So I was like ‘better pony up and get her to the curb and get off the corners so I can get down to the bottom and deal the corner getting in there,” said Griffith beside his Al Davis Carpet/McDonald’s Restaurants/JLH General Contractor/Shelluke’s Bar/Crown Battery/Fremont Fence/B&L Plumbing/Griff’s Engines/Erlin Trader/Ballville EZ Shop backed #40DD.


“I set up that last lap in the three and four end. I knew I really had to get off the corner and I had been kind of not pushing it…kind of lollygagging it off the corner because I didn’t want to get into the fence or anything like that. It’s pretty thin out there. I saw him and I knew I had to turn right and get it into the cushion and I did and drove her off,” continued Griffith of his fifth career Fremont win. “I have to thank Al and Bobby Davis, Marilyn, Vic, Barney and Bobby, Box 7, Kenny Meggit, Rod End Supply and all the sponsors who help out on this thing.”


And while the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint feature was exciting, the drivers in the Fremont Federal Credit Union didn’t disappoint. The last five laps in heavy lapped traffic had everyone holding their breath. In the end Jordan Ryan held off John Ivy and Nate Dussel to score his second career Fremont Victory.


“I heard someone coming from behind and I knew I had to get through that rut in three and four. It was getting slicker in three and four and I was barely making it through. I knew I had to get around those lapped cars…it was tough,” said Ryan beside his J&J Automotive/Griff’s Engines/Frosty Frog/Village Pizza House/Walton’s Cutting Crew backed #5. “I knew John Ivy and Nate Dussel would be coming around the top. I knew I had to be flawless and make no mistakes.


In a crash-filled feature for the AAA Ohio Auto Club Dirt Trucks, for the third week in a row a driver had a perfect night – setting a new track record, winning his heat and winning the feature. But, unlike the first two when it was Shawn Valenti, Daniel Roepke Jr. made the most of his first night of racing in 2014. The Woodville, Ohio driver was perfect on the night, taking the lead from Dustin Dinan on lap 14 and going on to score his ninth career Fremont victory.


“I don’t know what I was thinking taking the first two weeks off. We just started working on this thing this past week,” said Roepke beside his Village Inn/Village of Elmore/Vision Quest/Perkins Tree Service/Crown Battery backed #88.


Griffith and Brandon Wimmer would bring the 410 sprint feature to the green with Griffith gaining the advantage over Wimmer, Mintz, Duane Zablocki, Reed, Bryan Sebetto, Chris Andrews and Stuart Brubaker. Mintz would drive into second on lap two and with five laps recorded had closed quickly on Griffith. Mintz would drive under Griffith for the lead on lap six with Wimmer, Zablocki, Reed, Andrews and Sebetto in tow.


As the leaders prepared to race into lapped traffic on lap 9, Griffith closed. The caution would fly on lap 12 for a D.J. Foos spin. On the restart Mintz pulled away slightly over Griffith as Wimmer had his hands full with Reed with Andrews, Brian Lay, Zablocki and Sebetto in tow. Another caution would appear on lap 17 for a Matt Merrill spin. On the restart Mintz lead Griffith as Reed took the third position from Wimmer.


With 20 laps recorded Griffith had reeled in Mintz and on lap 21 Griffith would drive high in turns 3 and 4 to take the lead with Reed, Andrews and Lay rounding out the top five. Action would grind to a halt on lap 23 as Duane Zablocki would get together with Dean Jacobs as they collected Jody Keegan. No on was injured in the incident.


On the restart Griffith would pull away as Mintz and Reed battled for second with Andrew and Lay in pursuit. Using the extreme bottom, Reed finally took second on lap 26 as he quickly closed the gap to Griffith. With two to go, Reed was racing to Griffith’s inside and as they flew out of turn four to the white flag the pair was side by side. Griffith diamonded off the corner in turns one and two on the final lap, slowing Reed’s momentum. The pair raced side by side down the back stretch with Griffith up top. The high side momentum would propel Griffith to the win over Reed, Andrews who got around Mintz on the last lap with Lay rounding out the top five.


The 25-lap 305 sprint feature saw Tony Beaber and Tyler Gunn bring the field to green but Ryan French would bounce into the soft wall in turn four to necessitate a complete restart. When the green flew again Beaber and Gunn and Ivy raced three wide for the lead with Bobby Clark and Ryan ready to pounce. Beaber would lead lap two by a nose over Ivy with Gunn, Ryan, Clark, Alvin Roepke and Steve Rando in pursuit.


Ivy would drive into the lea don lap three as the caution flew for a Dan Hammond spin. When the green flew again, Ivy led Beaber, Gunn, Ryan, Clark, Roepke, Dustin Dinan and Rando. Ryan would grab second on lap five with Roepke powering into third on lap seven. But, Roepke would clip an infield tractor tire in turn one and spin, collecting Beaber who tumbled hard in turn two. No one was injured and Roepke was able to rejoin the rear of the field.


The green reappeared with Ivy leading Ryan, Dinan, a closing Nate Dussel, Gunn, Clark, Rando, Jason Keckler and Paul Weaver. Clark would move into the fifth on lap 12 as the caution flew for Brandon Moore. On the restart Dussel would drive into third. With 10 laps to go, Ryan was applying pressure to Ivy with Dussel, Dinan, Rando and Clark ready to make a move. Ryan would drive under Ivy for the lead on lap 16 and began to pull away.


However, heavy lapped traffic – often racing two and three wide right in front of the leaders – allowed Ivy and Dussel to close on Ryan, with Dinan, Rando and Clark making up ground. Ryan was finally able to get around a lapped car with four to go, only to encounter more lapped machines racing side by side. Ivy and Dussel raced to Ryan’s outside as the youngster tried to move the lapped cars. Ryan was able to get through the dense traffic and take the win over Ivy, Dussel, Dinan and Clark.


Art Ball and Bob Dible brought the dirt truck field to the green for their 20-lap feature but a caution for debris would bring about a complete restart. On the next attempt Ball would hold a light advantage over Dible, Dustin Keegan, Brian Melnek and Roepke before the caution would fly with one lap in when Ben Good and Eric Devanna got together on the front stretch. On the restart Dible would take the lead over Ball, Keegan, Melnek, Roepke, Keith Sorg, Matt Foos and Dana Fry. Brad Keckler would spin to bring out caution on lap five as Dible night went up in smoke, handing the lead Keegan.


Another lap and a caution when Keckler spun again with Brandon Leighton also stopping. On the restart Keegan lead Ball, Roepke, Melnek, Valenti and Foos. Roepke would take second on lap 9 but the action would come to halt on lap 10 when Curt Inks flipped his truck. He was uninjured.


On the green Keegan and Roepke battled hard for the top spot with Kent Brewer, Ball, Valenti and Jeff Ward in pursuit. Roepke would drive under Keegan for the lad on lap 14 as Valenti took third from Brewer. As Roepke pulled away, Keegan and Valenti were locked in a great fight for second. Roepke would take the win over Valenti, Keegan, Brewer and Ward.


Fremont Speedway will be back in action Saturday, May 3 as Smith Family Foods Presents the Mike Hensel Memorial featuring the Buckeye Machine Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS). The non-wing sprints will be vying for $5,000 to win with the 305 sprints and vintage cars also on the racing card.


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Fremont Speedway – 4/26/2014

Adkins Fence & Sanitation Night


Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints (21 Cars)

[#]-Starting Position


Qualifying – Fricker’s Restaurant/Callie’s Performance

1. O9-Craig Mintz, 12.460; 2. 5T-Travis Philo, 12.497; 3. 9Z-Duane Zablocki, 12.547; 4. 40DD-Caleb Griffith, 12.556; 5. 24H-Brandon Wimmer, 12.564; 6. 9-Dean Jacobs, 12.618; 7. 33M-Bryan Sebetto, 12.736; 8. 16-Chris Andrews, 12.739; 9. 5R-Byron Reed, 12.746; 10. 35-Stuart Brubaker, 12.749; 11. 60-Jody Keegan, 12.835; 12. 45L-Brian Lay, 12.843; 13. 312-Mike Linder, 12.858; 14. 2+-Brian Smith, 12.961; 15. 55-Brad Bowman, 13.031; 16. 53-DJ Foos, 13.051; 17. 6M-Max Stambaugh, 13.244; 18. 14H-Todd Heller, 13.262; 19. O7X-Dain Naida, 13.359; 20. 46AU-Stuart Williams, 13.365; 21. 39M-Matt Merrill, 13.726


Heat 1 – American Power Sports (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 35-Stuart Brubaker[3] ; 2. 40DD-Caleb Griffith[5] ; 3. 33M-Bryan Sebetto[4] ; 4. O9-Craig Mintz[6] ; 5. 312-Mike Linder[2] ; 6. O7X-Dain Naida[7]


Heat 2 – Kistler Racing Products (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 2+-Brian Smith[2] ; 2. 6M-Max Stambaugh[1] ; 3. 16-Chris Andrews[4] ; 4. 24H-Brandon Wimmer[5] ; 5. 60-Jody Keegan[3] ; 6. 5T-Travis Philo[6] ; 7. 46AU-Stuart Williams[7]


Heat 3 – Hoosier Racing Tires (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 45L-Brian Lay[3] ; 2. 14H-Todd Heller[1] ; 3. 55-Brad Bowman[2] ; 4. 5R-Byron Reed[4] ; 5. 9Z-Duane Zablocki[6] ; 6. 39M-Matt Merrill[7] ; 7. 9-Dean Jacobs[5]


Dash – Borer Glass & Mirror (6 Laps, finishing order determined first 6 starting positions of A-feature

1. 40DD-Caleb Griffith[2] ; 2. 24H-Brandon Wimmer[1] ; 3. 9Z-Duane Zablocki[3] ; 4. O9-Craig Mintz[4] ; 5. 33M-Bryan Sebetto[5] ; 6. 16-Chris Andrews[6]


A-Main –  (30 Laps)

1. 40DD-Caleb Griffith[1]; 2. 5R-Byron Reed[7]; 3. 16-Chris Andrews[6]; 4. O9-Craig Mintz[4]; 5. 45L-Brian Lay[10]; 6. 24H-Brandon Wimmer[2]; 7. 33M-Bryan Sebetto[5]; 8. 35-Stuart Brubaker[8]; 9. 5T-Travis Philo[11]; 10. 312-Mike Linder[13]; 11. 46AU-Stuart Williams[20]; 12. 2+-Brian Smith[14]; 13. 55-Brad Bowman[15]; 14. 53-DJ Foos[16]; 15. O7X-Dain Naida[19]; 16. 14H-Todd Heller[18]; 17. 9Z-Duane Zablocki[3]; 18. 9-Dean Jacobs[12]; 19. 60-Jody Keegan[9]; 20. 39M-Matt Merrill[21]; 21. 6M-Max Stambaugh[17]


Hard Charger: 46AU-Stuart Williams[+9]


Fremont Federal Credit Untion 305 Sprints (22 Cars)

[#]-Starting Position


Qualifying – Callie’s Performance

1. 7A-Alvin Roepke, 13.466; 2. 25-Jason Keckler, 13.498; 3. 19R-Steve Rando, 13.521; 4. 5R-Jordan Ryan, 13.550; 5. 8I-John Ivy, 13.568; 6. 8-Bobby Clark, 13.574; 7. 68G-Tyler Gunn, 13.600; 8. 39-Tony Beaber, 13.664; 9. 1W-Paul Weaver, 13.712; 10. 10-Josh Harrison, 13.855; 11. 36-Seth Schneider, 13.885; 12. 6-Dustin Dinan, 13.926; 13. 1-Nate Dussel, 13.964; 14. 7M-Brandon Moore, 14.048; 15. 3J-Trey Jacobs, 14.190; 16. 22D-Dan Hammond, 14.192; 17. 32-Ryan French, 14.276; 18. 11G-Luke Griffith, 14.316; 19. 22M-Dan McCarron, 14.331; 20. 8M-T.J Michael, 14.378; 21. 48-Mike Burkin, 14.597; 22. 12-Kyle Capodice, 99.000


Heat 1 – American Power Sports (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 1-Nate Dussel[2] ; 2. 68G-Tyler Gunn[4] ; 3. 5R-Jordan Ryan[5] ; 4. 7A-Alvin Roepke[6] ; 5. 10-Josh Harrison[3] ; 6. 12-Kyle Capodice[8] ; 7. 22D-Dan Hammond[1] ; 8. 22M-Dan McCarron[7]


Heat 2 – Kistler Racing Products (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 25-Jason Keckler[6] ; 2. 32-Ryan French[1] ; 3. 8I-John Ivy[5] ; 4. 36-Seth Schneider[3] ; 5. 39-Tony Beaber[4] ; 6. 8M-T.J Michael[7] ; 7. 7M-Brandon Moore[2]


Heat 3 – Hoosier Racing Tires (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 6-Dustin Dinan[3] ; 2. 8-Bobby Clark[5] ; 3. 1W-Paul Weaver[4] ; 4. 19R-Steve Rando[6] ; 5. 11G-Luke Griffith[1] ; 6. 3J-Trey Jacobs[2] ; 7. 48-Mike Burkin[7]


A-Main –  (25 Laps)

1. 5R-Jordan Ryan[5]; 2. 8I-John Ivy[4]; 3. 1-Nate Dussel[13]; 4. 6-Dustin Dinan[12]; 5. 8-Bobby Clark[3]; 6. 19R-Steve Rando[6]; 7. 25-Jason Keckler[7]; 8. 1W-Paul Weaver[9]; 9. 68G-Tyler Gunn[2]; 10. 8M-T.J Michael[20]; 11. 36-Seth Schneider[11]; 12. 11G-Luke Griffith[15]; 13. 7A-Alvin Roepke[8]; 14. 12-Kyle Capodice[22]; 15. 3J-Trey Jacobs[17]; 16. 10-Josh Harrison[10]; 17. 48-Mike Burkin[21]; 18. 7M-Brandon Moore[16]; 19. 22M-Dan McCarron[19]; 20. 22D-Dan Hammond[18]; 21. 39-Tony Beaber[1]; 22. 32-Ryan French[14]

Hard Charger: 1-Nate Dussel[+10]



AAA Auto Club Dirt Trucks (22 Trucks)

[#]-Starting Position


Qualifying – Callie’s Performance

1. 88-Dan Roepke Jr., 17.672; 2. 7B-Shawn Valenti, 17.860; 3. 45-Brian Melnek Jr., 18.202; 4. 2-Matt Foos, 18.276; 5. D1-Dustin Keegan, 18.308; 6. 36M-Cory McCaughey, 18.332; 7. 7-Dana Frey, 18.336; 8. 17-Bob Dible, 18.355; 9. O1-Art Ball, 18.415; 10. 4S-Keith Sorg, 18.423; 11. 3X-Brad Keckler, 18.465; 12. 8KB-Kent Brewer, 18.554; 13. 18W-Cory Ward, 18.561; 14. 33-Jeff Ward, 18.680; 15. 79-Andrew Lutman, 18.859; 16. 115-Ben Good, 18.864; 17. 37-Eric Devanna, 18.909; 18. 10-Roger Inks, 19.032; 19. 85S-Bradley Stuckey, 19.192; 20. 22-Brandon Leighton, 19.800; 21. 3-Andy Earnhart, 21.506; 22. 9-Curt Inks, 99.000


Heat 1 – American Power Sports (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 88-Dan Roepke Jr.[6] ; 2. 18W-Cory Ward[2] ; 3. 2-Matt Foos[5] ; 4. 7-Dana Frey[4] ; 5. 4S-Keith Sorg[3] ; 6. 85S-Bradley Stuckey[7] ; 7. 9-Curt Inks[8] ; 8. 115-Ben Good[1]


Heat 2 – Kistler Racing Products (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 7B-Shawn Valenti[6] ; 2. 33-Jeff Ward[2] ; 3. D1-Dustin Keegan[5] ; 4. 17-Bob Dible[4] ; 5. 37-Eric Devanna[1] ; 6. 3X-Brad Keckler[3] ; 7. 22-Brandon Leighton[7]


Heat 3 – Hoosier Racing Tires (8 Laps – Top 5 finishers transfer to the A-feature)

1. 8KB-Kent Brewer[3] ; 2. O1-Art Ball[4] ; 3. 45-Brian Melnek Jr.[6] ; 4. 3-Andy Earnhart[7] ; 5. 79-Andrew Lutman[2] ; 6. 36M-Cory McCaughey[5] ; 7. 10-Roger Inks[1]


A-Main –  (20 Laps)

1. 88-Dan Roepke Jr.[8]; 2. 7B-Shawn Valenti[7]; 3. D1-Dustin Keegan[4]; 4. 8KB-Kent Brewer[10]; 5. 33-Jeff Ward[12]; 6. O1-Art Ball[1]; 7. 7-Dana Frey[3]; 8. 36M-Cory McCaughey[16]; 9. 22-Brandon Leighton[20]; 10. 3-Andy Earnhart[15]; 11. 45-Brian Melnek Jr.[6]; 12. 4S-Keith Sorg[9]; 13. 9-Curt Inks[21]; 14. 37-Eric Devanna[14]; 15. 85S-Bradley Stuckey[19]; 16. 2-Matt Foos[5]; 17. 3X-Brad Keckler[17]; 18. 17-Bob Dible[2]; 19. 115-Ben Good[18]; 20. 79-Andrew Lutman[13]; 21. 18W-Cory Ward[11]

Hard Charger: 22-Brandon Leighton[+11]


©2014 – Results Provided by: Computer Man Inc. Fremont, OH