Brandon Wimmer piloting the...
Brandon Wimmer piloting the Rick Ferkel-owned No. 0 car and Chris Andrews (15c) race for position coming off Turn 4 in a F.A.S.T. Series race at Attica Raceway Park.
It takes courage, heart, and a well thought out plan by some very motivated people to launch a new racing series in this day and age. For the Ohio-based Fremont Attica Sprint Title (F.A.S.T.) it would seem that the ingredients not only are there, but clicking on all cylinders. Moving into its second year of competition in 2010, the series has brought Ohio 410 Winged Sprint Car race fans a new height of competition while delivering racers new rewards without ever really leaving their own backyard.
Based in Northern Ohio, Attica Raceway Park which races on Friday nights and Fremont Speedway (Saturday night) are only 30 miles away from each other. Both tracks carry a tradition of exceptional competition, recognized throughout the Sprint Car community. Both tracks run 410 Winged Sprint Cars weekly and many of the same drivers run at both tracks, making the car count jump well into the 40s. Just making the feature at either one of these venues is a chore week in and week out. Both tracks boast capacity crowds and hordes of race fans each night. Fans are known to come early and lay their blankets down on their favorite viewing spots, then come back in the evening to pay their hard-earned wages to watch some of the best Sprint Car racing around. With such a market for Sprint Car racing already established, why not join forces and make it even better?
What is F.A.S.T.? The F.A.S.T. Championship Series is an independently established point fund that is not affiliated with any racing series and is not directly affiliated with either track, although both tracks support the concept and acknowledge the promotion as an effort to work together to strengthen 410 Sprint Car racing in Northern Ohio.
F.A.S.T. is a collaboration of front man Bryan Autullo and his two co-founders, Scott Porter and Chris Kettman. "They have both been instrumental in the planning and implementation of this idea," noted Autullo. "Scott and Chris do a great deal to help make things happen. Helping with the day to day operations, the race day operations, and the overall organization of the entire operation, it's definitely a team effort.
"We feel that Central Pennsylvania is a good model for what it takes to have a successful local Sprint Car racing program. The fans embrace it and support it, while the talent is at a top notch. We have all the elements here in Northern Ohio, but until last season there wasn't anyone willing to tie it all together and promote the idea that we have something really special of our own right here in our own backyard. You hear about Central Pennsylvania. You hear about Knoxville. Nobody was talking about Northern Ohio."
The trio set out to change that way of thinking. "I think we started the ball rolling. I hope it continues to grow," says Autullo. "The fans in this area support it, and the sponsors continue to increase their involvement. We have a concept that works and now other regions have looked at the formula for success and have started to implement this idea in their own backyards. I think it is vital to maintaining a healthy level of support at the ticket window to be able to give the fans something extra to cheer for week in and week out."
Basically, the initial concept has been around for years before Autullo picked it up and ran with it. "I talked about it with promoters over the years, but at the time it didn't seem like a concept that would work due to conflicting personalities at the local tracks. Each of the two tracks had its own way of doing things. It wasn't until John Bores took over at Attica and Rich Farmer took over at Fremont that all the planets lined up," explains Autullo.
The 410 Sprint Car power-to-weight...
The 410 Sprint Car power-to-weight ratio is shown here as F.A.S.T. Series Champion Craig Mintz (09) lifts the front end as he makes a pass on Brandon Wimmer (0) at Attica on the front stretch.
Mark Keegan (X) and Cap Henry...
Mark Keegan (X) and Cap Henry (04) split another contender in a three-wide race off Turn 4 in a F.A.S.T. event at Attica. The fans come in droves to see this kind of racing every week and it has become the norm at both the Attica and Fremont racetracks in northern Ohio every weekend.
Byron Reed (5) and Mike Linder...
Byron Reed (5) and Mike Linder (312) hard on the gas as weekly contenders at both Fremont and Attica. They both think highly of the F.A.S.T. Series.