Cole Duncan in victory lane at Fremont Speedway. (Chad Warner photo)

Last-Lap Pass Lifts Duncan In Fremont Speedweek Round

FREMONT, Ohio — Leading the only lap that mattered, Cole Duncan put FloRacing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 fans on their feet Saturday night at Fremont Speedway with a last-lap pass of Danny Dietrich, winning round two of Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Hercules Tires.

The last-ditch effort not only secured a $6,000 payday for Duncan, the pilot of the Helms Construction/Ohio Heating/No. 22c sprint car, but it was also his fifth-career victory in the series.

Impressively, Duncan’s Fremont performance also gave him Hercules Tires Hard Charger honors, as his march to victory came from eighth on the grid.

“That was one hell of a race,” an elated Duncan said in victory lane after passing his father, Rodney, on the all-time All Star wins list. “I look up to my dad a lot and to pass him in the win column, in this fashion, is pretty cool. These All Star wins are tough to come by. This is a really tough field of cars and I’m not sure it’s been this tough since my dad raced with the series in the late 90s and early 2000s. As soon as I got the wing back, I knew we were going to be good tonight.

“I just want to thank all of the fans for coming out. This is one heck of a crowd.”

Despite starting eighth on the 40-lap grid, Duncan proved his winning potential right from the drop of the initial green, powering his way to fifth by lap six before utilizing a pair of back-to-back lap nine cautions to climb his way to third.

Justin Peck raced just ahead of Duncan in second with Dietrich holding down the fort at the front of the field.

The main event’s final caution appeared on lap 13 setting up what would ultimately turn into a long-winded, 27-lap battle for the top three positions.

For Duncan, it was all about patience, as well as perseverance, working every inch of Fremont Speedway’s wide and slick surface to keep pace with Dietrich and Peck, even as the front runners weaved through traffic which appeared for the first time on lap 20.

Lap after lap, Duncan hounded Peck for second, soon relying on a slingshot move to get by the Buch Motorsports entry, doing so through turns three and four while leaning on a thin and quickly fading cushion.

Duncan’s lap-31 move on Peck would come into play one more time before the conclusion of the 40-lapper, but not until the last 50 yards.

All over Dietrich at the white flag, Duncan set up his winning move at the exit of turn two, powering down the backstretch before returning to the turn three cushion. Dietrich did his best to block at the exit of turn four, but Duncan found his way through, narrowly escaping contact with Dietrich and the turn four wall.

“I’ve never had that much patience in my life,” an exhausted Duncan noted. “I knew I had a run off of two on Danny, and I knew Peck was making the bottom work in three but I was better on the top. I figured if I showed Danny my nose, he was going to block that line, so I said ‘screw it’ and hung it out on top. He raced me clean though coming off of the corner. I don’t think you could have put a piece of paper between our wheels and my wheels and the wall.”

“He was coming,” Dietrich said. “I tried to lean on him a little bit to hopefully get him to check up so I could beat him back to the line. Cole is always good here. It’s just a tough one to swallow after leading that many laps. Thank all of you fans for coming out. We love coming to Ohio. Ohio puts on the best racing, in my opinion.”

The finish:

Feature (40 Laps): 1. 22C-Cole Duncan [8]; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich [1]; 3. 13-Justin Peck [3]; 4. 5T-Travis Philo [5]; 5. 4-Cap Henry [7]; 6. 10-Zeb Wise [2]; 7. 35-Stuart Brubaker [4]; 8. 26-Cory Eliason [6]; 9. 101-Lachlan McHugh [11]; 10. 24-Rico Abreu [9]; 11. 7BC-Tyler Courtney [18]; 12. 28-Tim Shaffer [15]; 13. 5-Paul McMahan [13]; 14. 55V-CJ Leary [20]; 15. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [17]; 16. 49X-Cale Thomas [19]; 17. 1-Nate Dussel [24]; 18. 16-DJ Foos [10]; 19. 11-Ian Madsen [25]; 20. W20-Greg Wilson [21]; 21. O7-Skylar Gee [16]; 22. 5R-Byron Reed [23]; 23. 27S-John Ivy [22]; 24. 18T-Tanner Holmes [14]; 25. 19-Brandon Spithaler [12]; 26. 17B-Bill Balog [26]

Lap Leaders: Danny Dietrich (1-39), Cole Duncan (40)


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