For the 1st time since 2013, and for the 11th time during his legendary career, Monclova, Ohio’s Byron Reed was a main event winner with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, this time keeping back Craig Mintz and DJ Foos at Attica Raceway Park to officially kick-off Memorial Day weekend.
Reed, who began 5th on the feature grid, did not take the lead of the 40-lap program until lap 28, but swapped positions with Craig Mintz and Chris Andrews on multiple occasions until solidifying his place at the top of the running order. As an added note, it was Reed’s 1st Arctic Cat All Star win at Attica Raceway Park since June 18, 2010, as well as his 5th overall.
“That’s what I love about Attica,” Reed said in win lane. “Especially when you get into these 40-lap races. I’m not sure I was the best car here tonight, but you just keep battling and battling and battling. Sometimes, things just go your way.”
Reed worked his way forward immediately, crossing under the flagstand for the 1st time 4th in the running order, ultimately moving ahead to take 3rd on the following circuit. Three cautions before hitting double-digits on the lap counter kept the field stacked, allowing Reed and Craig Mintz, who was making his 1st debut of the 2017 season, to run nose-to-tail with run leader Chris Andrews. Reed and Mintz continued to apply pressure on Andrews for the next 20 circuits, eventually intensifying as the trio of frontrunners reached the back of the field.
Despite Andrews scored as the leader during each of the initial takeover attempts, nearly a half-dozen lead changes would occur between laps 24 and 27, with Reed eventually coming out on top to officially lead lap 28. A final caution on lap 31 would stack the field one final time, but clean air and an open run track proved to be too beneficial Reed.
Mintz chased the familiar Crown Battery-backed No. 5 to the final checkers, followed by DJ Foos, Broc Martin and Stuart Brubaker. Andrews, who out in Front the 1st 27 circuits before battling the remaining distance inside the top-three, slowed due to low fuel issues just before the finish and settled for seventh.
“I don’t know, but if nobody had fun watching that, then you have to find a different sport,” Craig Mintz explained, driver of the Ed Neumeister-owned No. 11N. “That was a great time tonight. Byron, Chris, DJ those guys are all so much fun to run with and you can trust those guys. It’s fun, clean racing. When we all got into lap traffic, that was the most fun. That was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I can’t thank Ed Neumeister enough for this opportunity. That whole crew really busted their butts tonight.”
“When you have the momentum, you do not want to let off,” Byron Reed explained when discussing racing through traffic. “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘my ass cheeks were starting to pucker.’ Things were getting pretty tight. I didn’t want to back off because I knew that was my chance there was a small hole in traffic and I had to take it.”
Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions competition will continue on Sun. evening, May 28, with the inaugural Memorial Classic at Mansfield Motor Speedway in Mansfield, Ohio. The state-of-the-art complex, recently transitioning back to a dirt facility for the 1st time since asphalt covered the half-mile in 1999, will host the Tony Stewart-owned organization for the 1st time since 1988 the 1st and only Arctic Cat All Star appearance during the 2017 season. “The Mouse” Kenny Jacobs was the all-time leading Arctic Cat All Star winner at Mansfield Motor Speedway, earning three main event victories between 1984 and 1988.
Mansfield Motor Speedway will open pit gates at 2 p.m. on Sun. afternoon, May 28. Spectator gates will swing open at 4 p.m., followed by hot laps and qualifying time trials at 6, sharp. Those seeking additional information should visit Mansfield Motor Speedway live on the Web at www.mansfieldmotorspeedway.com.
All Star Circuit of Champions