FREMONT, Ohio — Zeth Sabo grew up working around Fremont Speedway. On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Fremont native had his dreams come true — a sprint car victory at “The Track That Action Built” on O’Reilly Auto Parts Night.
Sabo, in his first full season of 410 sprint car racing, has finished in the runner-up position three times at Fremont this year. Bad luck and mechanical issues have also plagued the young racer. On Saturday, it all came together as he led all 30 laps for his first career victory at his home town track aboard the Rich Farmer-owned No. 29.
“I really don’t know what to say right now. I can’t thank my guys enough. Farmer and everybody who makes this deal possible. This is like a huge relief. I thought I heard someone so I drove it harder and harder. I finally just slowed down and hit my marks good and I knew we would be okay,” Sabo said, standing beside his Fremont Auto Parts, NAPA, Limo Scene Limo Services, Kiser Sound, Valvoline, Level Utilities and Linder Speed Equipment backed machine.
In the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprints, three time track champion Paul Weaver took the lead with just five laps to go from race-long leader TJ Michael and drove to his sixth win of the season at Fremont. The current point leader now has 70 career victories at the track, putting him third on the all-time win list.
“Throughout the night we were talking in the stands quite a bit and he (Michael) was listening because he was pretty tough to get around. When you come up on lapped cars you have to move around…it just takes a split second and you get passed,” Weaver said.
Jamie Miller charged into the lead from his seventh starting spot on lap 10 and survived a last lap restart to score his fifth Burmeister Dirt Truck victory of the year at Fremont. It’s Miller’s 36th career win at the track, moving him into a tie with Byron Reed and Bobby Clark for 12th on the all-time win list.
“This truck is really damn good. I have to thank Scott Gressman this week and Joe Bradford. They ripped the motor out of this thing and got it freshened up this week and put it back in last night and here we are today. Once I quit screwing around, running the bottom and moved up into the middle, the thing rolled through there pretty good and I drove around everybody,” Miller said of his Fostoria Mod Shop backed No. 4M.
In the 30-lap Fort Ball Pizza Palace 410 Sprint feature, a tumble by Jonah Aumend at the start necessitated a complete restart. Sabo bolted into the lead over Conner Morrell, Cap Henry, Trey McGranahan and Boston Mead.
Henry grabbed second a lap later but could not catch Sabo.
Just as the leaders were entering lapped traffic, a caution flew on lap seven. On the restart, Sabo pulled away from Henry with McGranahan locked in a battle with Morrell and Byron Reed for third. Once again, just as Sabo drove into lapped traffic, another caution flew.
And once again on the restart Sabo pulled away from Henry with Reed, DJ Foos and Craig Mintz in pursuit.
Sabo built his lead to nearly two seconds as he encountered heavy lapped traffic with five laps to go. Sabo sliced his way through and drove away to the win over Henry, Foos, Mintz and Reed.
After a spin and a crash to start the Fremont Federal Credit Union 305 Sprint A-main, TJ Michael bolted into the lead over Jimmy McGrath, Weaver, Mike Keegan and Jamie Miller. Weaver took second a lap later, but McGrath battled back to retake second on lap five as Michael pulled away slightly just as a caution came out.
Michael drove away again when the green flew over Weaver, McGrath, Keegan and Shawn Valenti. As Michael was entering heavy lapped traffic, the caution gave him a clear track with 13 laps to go.
This time on the restart, Weaver hung right with Michael and the pair had a great battle until Weaver was able to take the lead with just five laps to go. Weaver pulled away for the win over Michael, McGrath, Valenti and Steve Rando.
Dave Gumby Jr. grabbed the early lead of the Burmeister Trophy Dirt Truck feature over Cory McCaughey, Shawn Valenti, Jeff Babcock, Dan Hennig and Chuck Roelle. Valenti moved into second on lap two and stayed close to Gumby as Babcock and McCaughey applied pressure to the lead duo.
Gumby had an engine issue on lap eight as his mount went up in flames, handing the lead to Valenti over Babcock, McCaughey, Hennig and Miller. Miller drove into third a lap later and took second on lap nine.
Miller drove to the outside of Valenti to take the lead at the halfway point.
Miller seemed to have the race in hand until a caution flew with two laps to go. On the restart, Valenti drove to Miller’s inside as they raced side-by-side to the white flag. Miller hit his marks perfectly and drove to the win as Babcock got around Valenti for second with Hennig and Jim Holcomb rounding out the top five.
410 Sprint Feature (30 Laps)
1. 29-Zeth Sabo ; 2. 29X-Cap Henry ; 3. 16-DJ Foos ; 4. 09-Craig Mintz ; 5. 5-Byron Reed ; 6. 27-Trey McGranahan ; 7. 7T-Troy Vaccaro ; 8. 2L-Landon Lalonde ; 9. 28M-Conner Morrell ; 10. 3V-Chris Verda ; 11. 42-Boston Mead ; 12. X-Mike Keegan ; 13. 12G-Corbin Gurley ; 14. 49I-John Ivy ; 15. 75-Jerry Dahms ; 16. 28-Gray Leadbetter ; 17. 8-Olivia Shelbo ; 18. 1-Chance Holley ; 19. 7-Dylan Kingan ; 20. 6J-Jonah Aumend ; 21. 312-Duane Zablocki