It had been 18 years since Dan Fredrickson went to victory lane at the World Series of Asphalt, beating Jimmy Cope on Night #4 back in 2002. Since that time, the Minnesota driver has become one of the premier drivers in the upper Midwest, scoring two ARCA Midwest Tour championships and winning four Oktoberfest main events. He had made three trips south since then, mustering a best finish of third in 2018.
Fredrickson ended that drought Wednesday night after an eventful World Series to date. He kicked off the week with a wrecked race car Friday night, then followed it up with blowing a motor the next night. After back-to-back 10th-place runs Sunday and Tuesday, he salvaged his week in a big way.
After debating leaving New Smyrna Speedway earlier in the week, he joined fellow Minnesotan Nick Panitzke as a winner on Wednesday night.
“We’ve been through a lot, we’re just a private-tier team doing this with our money and a couple great sponsors, and me and a couple other guys down here. We got caught up in somebody else’s wreck the first night and destroyed the front of the car,” Fredrickson said on the NBC Trackpass broadcast. “We thought about leaving but stayed here and fixed it. The next night we had motor problems, had to buy a new motor from Jeff Fultz at Fury Chassis. He sold it and Cody Glick brought it down for me. We put it in yesterday and kind of got it running for yesterday’s race, but we got it hauling a– now.”
He spent most of the race chasing current SLM points leader Derek Griffith, but a caution with 10 laps to go gave him new life in the 35-lapper. Fredrickson did what not many other drivers have been able to do at New Smyrna, using the inside lane to his advantage. After a three-lap battle that saw both drivers make miraculous saves after contact, Fredrickson pulled ahead of the New Hampshire driver for good.
“I crowded him up going into one a little bit there, I had to dispose of him. He’s a good racer, I ran in there half a groove high and the next thing I know he was pressing on my quarter panel. He crossed me over, he did an awesome job. I hope the crowd liked it because I felt like it was exciting.”
Griffith fell back to fourth in the waning laps of the feature, keeping a hold on his points lead after his closest competitors struggled. He gave his thoughts on how the final laps played out, ultimately chalking it up to hard racing.
“He stayed pretty even with me and I don’t think he really left me any room there in one and two, but I crossed him over off four and he just kind of ran right over the nose a lap later. I thought I was on the bottom enough to leave him plenty of room to go up and he parked it on the bottom and clean up the right front. It’s just tough racing for the win, just kind of hoped for a little more room. I know I would’ve left room for sure but oh well, it’s racing. We’re not here to finish second so I get it.”
Wimmer Motorsports teammates Connor Mosack and Jesse Love snuck by Griffith to finish on the podium. Former New Smyrna PLM track champion Daniel Dye rounded out the top-five.
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-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
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