This would be the 87th year for the Barbara Fritchie Classic at the Frederick, Maryland Fairgrounds, and the third year for Matthew racing there. The day is usually spent chasing Jared Mees around and this year looked like it might be the same thing again. A new player in the mix this time around was Sammy Halbert and the three riders put on a great show for the fans all day as they were together in almost all of their scratch heats, heats, dash and the mains. Each one took turns winning races during the day. Matt won the dash and his 750 heat and started from the pole for the 750 main.
The 450 start was a little crazy and just as I could see the bikes coming into Turn 1, I saw Matt almost get off over the bars, save it, and come out of Turn 2 in about 8th place. He had been hit pretty hard in the midst of the pack and almost went down. He quickly made his way up to third and about halfway actually came flying into Turn 1 in the lead. It was short lived, however, as he spun off in Turn 2 and Sammy and Jared swept past. They would stay in that order and Matt recovered to finish the 450 in third. Not exactly what he wanted after winning it last year, but it was good, fun racing.
The 750 main was the last race of the day and Jared would not make the main after having bike trouble earlier in the day and no spare 750 to ride. Dan Gedeon won this race two years ago and was on the gas once again and won his heats. Matt had passed Sammy in the heat race to take the win, but the track changed throughout the day and became harder and dryer as races went on. Matt didn’t have a bad start, but it was not a hole shot either. He tried all kinds of lines, including the pretty scary hay bale line and he even dropped low towards the end. Matt seemed to catch the leaders but he never got close enough to try and pass.
Congratulations to Dan who won the 750 Main for the second time in three years and is a really great guy. All in all, Matt walked away with two thirds, a Dash win and an extra $92 for setting pole in the 750 class. Not a bad day’s accomplishments.
Thanks to the people who make the effort every year to put this race on. There were many more fans this year and the weather was perfect.
It was strange to jump in Matt’s van and get home the same night as the race, but we were only six hours from home. This gave us an extra day to clean bikes and unload and unwind from the event. We now have a couple of weeks off and will put it to good use.