The 2009 F.A.S.T. Series Champion, Craig Mintz, enjoys a victory at Attica. Mintz will be
When we talk about 410 Sprint Car racing in Ohio, the Linder name is sure to come up. Second generation driver, and 2005 and 2006 Fremont Track Champion, Mike Linder has been around a long time and Sprint Car racing runs thick through his veins. Mike realizes the impact of the newly formed F.A.S.T. series. "The series has benefited the local race teams as well as the local race fan by providing better paying shows, thus keeping the better teams that are from the area, in the area," notes Linder. "They both (Attica and Fremont) are great places to bring your family, race your car economically, and both provide great racing for the fans. The point fund at the end of the year is awesome, and the opportunity to be better because you're racing against better drivers."
Coming from a traditional family run operation, with eight 410 Sprint Car track titles, three at Fremont and five at Attica, Byron Reed knows a thing or two about competition and the efforts it takes to be successful. "We are a family operation and we also have a business that takes up a lot of our time. My wife and I also have two boys who are involved in a lot of activities. Earlier in my career I did travel a little bit but now we are pretty content to stick with Attica and Fremont and the F.A.S.T. series," says Reed. "The competition level in the F.A.S.T. series is extremely tough. Everyone fields high-quality, competitive equipment and comes to the track prepared. In addition to the regulars, our area is also a popular stop for a lot of the traveling drivers to run when their series is off."
Reed was second in points not only in the F.A.S.T. series in 2009, but also at Attica and Fremont in the weekly points battle. "To finish First in 2010 will take consistency, no DNFs, many Top 5s, and a few wins. Attica and Fremont are great tracks to race at because the tracks are always well prepared, the show is run efficiently, and the competition level is always good. I think the F.A.S.T. series is great for our area. It brings more exposure to us and the extra cash at the end of the year is a handsome reward for the year's work," says Reed.
What about F.A.S.T.'s future? "I had several conversations with Guy Webb of the All Stars Circuit of Champions when we started this organization," says Autullo. "He was not happy about what we were doing because he was looking at it the wrong way. He looked at F.A.S.T. as a group that was trying to take over his territory. That couldn't be further from the truth. I have said all along that what we are doing is enhancing his product. The All Stars are based in Northern Ohio. If this area fades and becomes weak, what has he got to work with? If the tracks are dropping shows and losing cars, how does that benefit anyone?
"We are not here to replace the All Stars. We are here to make Northern Ohio Sprint Car racing stronger than it has ever been to where it rivals Central Pennsylvania. That is our goal. If we can come close to that level of intensity, then we have accomplished what we set out to do. The All Stars will benefit from what we are doing and I think Mr. Webb has come to that realization after our first season was in the books.
"On the flip side, we are not really affected by what the All Stars do. We averaged about 30 cars when the All Stars were out of the area in 2009, so there really wasn't much of an impact on what we do when those All Star teams leave the porch," concludes Autullo.