FREMONT, Ohio — Forced to chase racelong leader and polesitter Ian Madsen for the first 26 circuits, it was a true test of patience and persistence for Cap Henry on Friday evening at Fremont Speedway.
But with a little help from slower traffic, Henry claimed his third Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory of the season on the opening night of the Jim and Joanne Ford Classic.
“This has been a real good year for us,” Henry explained. “My guys keep working on this thing and they keep making it better and better. This thing was a little bit of a handful at times, but I was confident in my team’s decision making. I’m just so proud of this whole race team. Nobody ever gives up. We can say we won another one at Fremont.”
Although a bridesmaid for over half of the non-stop, 35-lap program, Henry, who started third id, was in a position to pounce the entire distance, never allowing Madsen to stretch his legs on Fremont’s slick, yet tricky surface.
By lap 12, Madsen found himself amongst a gaggle of slower cars, ultimately giving Henry an opportunity to show his nose on lap 14. Despite missing the opportunity to overtake, Henry kept his focus, continuing on without allowing more than one lapped car to separate himself from the leader for the next 14 circuits.
Madsen’s reign at the top of the leaderboard would falter on lap 27, as a slower car would hold up the familiar No. 17 allowing Henry to capitalize. With the aforementioned lapped car forcing Madsen to enter turn one off of his preferred line at the bottom of the speedway, the door was open for Henry, eventually driving underneath Madsen before winning a drag race at the exit of turn two.
Forced to settle for fourth, Madsen would also get overtaken by Cole Duncan and Cory Eliason, who battled for much of the 35-lap contest, exchanging third and fourth on six occasions before settling into second and third, respectively. Shane Stewart, who started fourth, crossed the line fifth.
“As soon as we got into traffic, I knew I was going to have to search around to see what we could find to be better than Ian (Madsen),” Henry continued. “Turn two kind made the difference for us tonight. Ian was pretty committed to what he had to do, and we were able to get down and get a run.”
Although earning a podium finish, Rudeen Racing’s Cory Eliason still trails Aaron Reutzel, who finished eighth, by 64 markers entering the season finale on Saturday.
Feature (35 Laps): 1. 4-Cap Henry ; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan ; 3. 26-Cory Eliason ; 4. 17-Ian Madsen ; 5. 71-Shane Stewart ; 6. O9-Craig Mintz ; 7. 71H-Max Stambaugh ; 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 9. 3C-Cale Conley ; 10. 1-Nate Dussel ; 11. 11N-Christopher Bell ; 12. 8M-TJ Michael ; 13. 3J-Trey Jacobs ; 14. W20-Greg Wilson ; 15. 99-Skylar Gee ; 16. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 17. 16-DJ Foos ; 18. 13-Paul McMahan ; 19. 70-Cale Thomas ; 20. 35-Stuart Brubaker ; 21. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 22. 5-Byron Reed ; 23. 11-Zeb Wise ; 24. 22B-Ryan Broughton ; 25. 5R-Ryan Ruhl ; 26. 33W-Caleb Griffith  Lap Leaders: Ian Madsen (1-26), Cap Henry (27-35)