by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher
It was an absolutely gorgeous late-April day for the back-half of the AFCS opening weekend at Fremont Speedway. Twenty-nine of the AFCS 410’s made the call to help open up Fremont Speedway for the 2022 season. The AFCS 305’s and Dirt Trucks were also in action. Cole Macedo won the Friday night at Attica Raceway Park, and was looking to sweep the weekend in the Ray Brooks Racing 18. Tricky track conditions and 28 other drivers were bound and determined to stop the sweep.
It was Greg Wilson and Dan McCarron who led the field to green in the 30 lap, $4,000-to-win feature event. Wilson rocketed out to a big lead on the start, with McCarron, Harli White, Kyle Capodice, and Trey Jacobs in tow. Wilson had a two second lead over McCarron by lap three, but that was erased when Zane DeVault found himself spinning in turn one.
On the ensuing restart, White made her way by McCarron for second and set her sights on Wilson. Wilson had a 1.117 second lead on lap five, which dwindled to .811 seconds on lap six, and was cut further to .593 seconds on lap seven. On lap eight, White was all over Wilson’s bumper for the lead. White made a move for the lead, but Wilson was able to hold on. It all fell apart for White on the next lap, as she lost control in turns one and two and went for a spin, sending her to the back of the field.
“I’ve done this long enough that I felt like I was cruising until somebody got me on the top,” Greg Wilson said. “Early in the race, I was being patient trying not to wear myself out.”
Meanwhile, Cole Macedo, who started seventh, found himself in second for this restart. Macedo was all over Wilson in turns one and two, and slid Wilson for the lead in turns three and four. Macedo didn’t hold onto the lead for long, as Wilson fought back and got the lead back on lap 10, right before the red flag came out for Tyler Street.
The lap 10 restart saw Macedo fly by Wilson on the top to claim the top spot. The track would reach out and grab Macedo on the next lap, though. Macedo bobbled in turns one and two, allowing Wilson to get on his tail down the backstretch, and Macedo bobbled again in turns three and four, falling to fifth before collecting himself. This put Wilson back in the pilots seat, where he would control the field and take a commanding 2.432 second lead by lap 14.
Another yellow came out for Harli White, as turns one and two got her again. This put Nate Dussel and Macedo back on Wilson’s bumper. Wilson had a 1.469 second lead over Dussel, but on lap 19, Dussel mistepped, which gave second back to Macedo. With ten circuits left, Wilson had a decently comfortable lead of 2.623 seconds. But, Macedo was looking for the weekend sweep and starting cutting into Wilson’s lead. With six laps left, Wilson’s lead was down to .744 seconds as he worked his way through traffic.
Macedo reached Wilson’s bumper with two laps remaining, but Wilson was able to hold on and deny Macedo of the sweep.
“Not really my style much these days,” Wilson said about the cowboy up track conditions. “I had to be like in that movie ‘For the Love of The Game’ and tighten the belts down a little extra and go for it. Cole Macedo is turning into one hell of a racer, and this track tonight is like what you would see in California. I told Andy [Potter] before the race that good Lord willing, as long as I can hold on for 30 laps, pace myself and I expected Cole to be coming. When Cole showed me the top, I moved up, and Andy had the race car really really good,” continued Wilson.
For Cole Macedo, it was a race that could’ve been, but he isn’t hanging his head about a solid runner-up finish:
“It was typical Fremont, you never know what you’re going to get. I thought it was a really good surface, and obviously I’m biased because I like this kind of stuff. I feel like it put on a good race. I fell back to fifth, got back to second, got to the lead, fell back to sixth, got back to second, I got rolling early and got to second pretty quick and saw that there was only ten laps down. I knew I had to hit my marks. I got the lead, went in, and I did not hit my mark and I don’t know how this thing didn’t flip. I feel like that got me to the lead– driving that hard. I don’t have very many regrets, but I wish once I got to the lead, that I would’ve driven a little less hard and focused more on hitting my marks”
“I’ve been lucky enough to race with guys like Donny Schatz for a long time, and Don, he makes no mistakes,” said Wilson. “I felt like by watching the races that the guy that makes the least amount of mistakes on a race track as technical as this one was, would win the race, and fortunately we came out on top,” said the race winner.
This was Wilson’s 14th career win at Fremont, and his second at the track since teaming up with Seeling Motorsports.