Keegan & Mintz Shine At Fremont
FREMONT, Ohio — To say Saturday was a special night at Fremont Speedway is…well…an understatement.
Mark Keegan found victory lane for the 60th time in his career. Craig Mintz sported a throwback wing and claimed his second 410 sprint car win of season. Shawn Valenti…well, was Shawn Valenti and scored his 7th win of the year in the dirt trucks.
Prior to the night’s racing, the sixth class was inducted into the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame in front of a packed grandstands. There was laughter, tears and a lot of pride on display for the 11 individuals and their family and friends.
Then there was the racing on Vision Quest Night. Not only were the stars of the Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprints in competition, but for the first time, 21 drivers came out of retirement to compete once again in the Legends Race behind the wheel of the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints.
And when the checkered flew Mark Keegan celebrated his 56th birthday in familiar territory – victory lane.
“This is just a reminder of why I stopped racing. Winning helps but they are too much work and I have too much work at my shop. I don’t have the time it takes to do it and do it right,” said Mark Keegan beside his Jon Wright’s Custom Chrome Plating/Midwest Auto Sales/Al Pro Heads/Fremont Fence/American Sprint Repair/Kistler Racing Products backed machine.
“But, I’d do this deal again next year….this was a lot of fun,” continued Keegan beside the familiar X car.
Eric Rankin finished second in the Legends race with Rodney Duncan, Kenny Jacobs and Charlie Fisher rounding out the top five.
In the 410 sprint car feature, the crowd was treated to a shoot out between Craig Mintz and Cole Duncan with the pair trading slide jobs lap after lap. When the checkered flew Mintz was standing in the Engine Pro Victory Lane for the second time this season and the seventh time in his career. And, as a tribute to the Van Ness Family who were inducted into the hall of fame earlier in the day, Mintz carried the family’s familiar Bullwinkle logo and Norm’s Texaco banner on his wing.
“That was a blast. Hats off to Cole Duncan. He showed me his nose and blew by me and I decided it was time to get up on the wheel and run that curb a little harder. It bit me a couple of times. Lapped traffic is tough here when there’s multiple grooves and they were running side by side. We got lucky enough that we picked the right lane at the right time,” said Mintz beside his GF1 Chassis/Damschroder Roofing/Real Geese Decoys/Kistler Engines/KS Sales and Service/Erie Shore Propane backed machine.
Not to be outdone, Valenti had to hold off a charging Dan Roepke Jr. to score the dirt truck win. Valenti also swept the weekend, taking the victory Friday at Attica. The Risingsun, Ohio driver now has 10 feature wins in 2014.