By Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher

Still late, still don’t have adequate money, you should be used to this by now. The Speedweek hangover has been cured with a weekend of racing action throughout Ohio. 

Cap Loves Friday Night Racing: For the third Friday in a row, Cap Henry won at the end of the night. He kicked off Ohio Speedweek with a win at Attica, and followed it up with a win at Millstream a week later. After a couple of lead changes, and some battles throughout the feature, Henry found himself back in victory lane Friday night at Attica in AFCS action. Henry took the lead from Stuart Brubaker and fended off attacks from Trey Jacobs, Cale Thomas, and Kasey Jedrzejek to get his fifth win of the year. Cap is getting himself back into the points chase at Attica, he’s now only eight points back of Cale Thomas with nine races remaining at Attica in 2024. 

Sabo Breaks Through at Fremont: Saturday Night at Fremont was another AFCS barnburner, coming down to the last few laps. Sabo jumped to the lead on the start and managed the race from there, but Cap Henry would make things interesting once he got into second place. It seemed like every time Henry would get close to Sabo, or even make a pass on Sabo, the yellow flag would come out and put Sabo back in clean air. After a late restart, Sabo and Henry would end up sliding each other for the lead for a few laps coming to the white flag. They were side-by-side on the last lap. Henry went low into turns three and four, Sabo didn’t give an inch. Sabo was looking for his first win of the season, Henry looking to sweep the AFCS weekend. They made contact in turn four, sending Sabo for a 360, and Henry tumbling. Sabo would be given his spot back, as it was deemed the caution came out for Henry before Sabo did his 360. Sabo, despite a collapsed front wing and damaged top wing, held off Cale Thomas for one lap and scored the win. Thomas tried to make his case, a case he could make, but at the end of the night, it was Sabo in victory lane. 

Spithaler tops Wayne County: In other Saturday night action, it was Brandon Spithaler hauling East and topping the Wayne County field. Spithaler took the lead on lap 30 and didn’t look back, leading the last 22 laps and taking the win over defending track champion Tyler Gunn and Jordan Ryan. It sounds like there was also some scoring controversy here as well. I can’t speak for anything though, as I wasn’t there. shrugs . 

Clark Wins at Atomic: It may have been a small field at Atomic on Saturday night, but, 410 racing is 410 racing, and the fans were treated to that. Justin Clark, former national 305 champion notched his first 410 win of the year over locals Ryan Myers and Bryan Nuckles. Clark took the lead early, and set sail to the win, winning by 3.5 seconds over Myers. A good momentum builder for the up-and-coming 410 racer. 

Thomas is Consistent: After Speedweek and the week after, Cale Thomas may not lead the state in wins or top fives, but he does lead the state in top ten finishes with 20. There have only been 38 races in Ohio in total, and that includes the nights where multiple tracks are racing. There have been 25 nights in Ohio where there was a completed 410 race, and Thomas has been in the top ten 80% of those nights. That’s the kind of consistency that wins championships. Cap Henry, Zane DeVault, and Zeth Sabo are the only drivers somewhat close to Thomas in wins, top fives, and top tens, but Thomas’ consistency is what makes him head-and-shoulders above the rest of the competition. 

Speedweek Hangover?: After averaging 37 cars through the nine nights of Ohio Speedweek, only 46 cars competed in Ohio on Saturday night between Fremont, Atomic, and Wayne County. Granted, some cars were pulled to Indiana for the Maverick Mayhem weekend, and some went OVSCA racing south of Ohio, but you have to wonder how much of a toll nine races in nine nights took on some teams. In all, I think most teams that we saw in action during Speedweek were in action either in Ohio, Indiana or West Virginia. Some teams only raced Friday at Attica and took Saturday off. Nine races in nine nights is grueling, but I don’t think it kept a lot of teams out of competition this past weekend. 

Jedrzejek Shines: Youngster Kasey Jedrzejek had himself a night on Friday at Attica. The driver of the Ed Neumiester 11N finished second in the 410 feature, his best career finish in a 410. Jedrzejek was up front most of the race, going between second and fifth during the back-half of the feature. Jedrzejek made multiple stabs at leader Cap Henry, but couldn’t get the stars to align. Jedrzejek certainly has a bright future in this sport, and I don’t think it will be long before he’s in victory lane with the 410. 

Quick Hits:

Logan Riehl won his first career Fremont feature Saturday night. Riehl probably thought he won it twice after a miscommunication on how many laps were left after a late caution. Riehl took the checkered flag after a late restart, but it was determined that it was supposed to be a green-white-checkered finish, not a green-and-white together restart. So they redid the restart, and thankfully, Riehl won after the redo. 

Jamie Miller and Rusty Schlenk also won at Attica on Friday night. That made five wins for each of them at ARP this season. 

A lot of people are impatient with Fremont. Admittedly, I was after the Speedweek rainout debacle. But, we have to realize that even though Farmer’s have previous experience, they’re still less than ten shows into their new tenure, with a lot of new moving parts. They’re trying new things, and they take time to implement, and learn. Give them time, it’ll work out. 

It may have been 95 degrees, sunny, and windy all week, but the track conditions at Attica and Fremont were dang good, considering the conditions. Kudos to the track prep teams there. 

Fremont has the best shredded chicken sandwiches. If you don’t know what a shredded chicken sandwich is, or don’t like them, please reevaluate what you’re doing with your life. 

It was recently announced that the FAST Series dates at Pennsboro that were canceled are being made up at Wayne County on Friday July 5th and Saturday July 6th. It isn’t often we see two weekly 410 tracks in Ohio race on the same night. I’ll be interested to see who goes where. I doubt it impacts either count too much, but time will tell.