By Mike Leone
August 16, 2016
(Hartford, OH)…After two rainouts in the past three weeks, Sharon Speedway hopes to get back on track this weekend. Another doubleheader of events is on tap featuring “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” IV on Friday night (August 20) followed by “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Saturday night. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars in a Penn-Ohio Mini Series event, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks are part of the program on Mark Thomas Ford Night. Race time is 7 p.m.
The weekend action kicks off Friday with the fourth and final installment of “Summer Jam & BBQ Series”. Friday’s entertainment will include “Thunderstruck”- an “AC/DC” tribute band, which will perform from 8-11 p.m. Enjoy a great menu of barbeque items. Admission is $ 5. Gates open at 7 p.m.
Saturday marks the first of only three remaining “Steel Valley Thunder” point events for the 87th anniversary season; and in fact, only two nights of points remain for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds and Stock Cars, who are both off on September 10.
The Penn-Ohio Mini Series returns on Saturday night for another $ 1,000 to-win special. Chris Schneider won the opening event over a 45-car field. Sharon point leader, Paul Davis, has won the last two shows pocketing $ 2,500! A third straight win Penn-Ohio win Saturday would all but clinch the Fowler, Ohio driver’s first career track championship and keep him ahead of the Penn-Ohio Mini Series points.
Jacob Billyk has been fast over the last two season running weekly at Sharon and at the last event on August 6 when he finally put 15 solid, fast laps together to earn his first career win in the Stock Cars holding off a strong field of challengers. Billyk finds himself fifth in points. Davis has a 32-point lead as Mike Miller, Andy Buckley, and Mike Clark are second through fourth in points, but time is running out for those three racers. In fact, Clark trails by 61 points in his bid for an unprecedented four straight Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car titles. And with last Saturday rain out, Clark will be unable to keep his championship streak alive as long as Davis shows up to compete at the next two point events.
After having to wait until July 2 to score his first DIRTcar Big-Block Modified win of the season, Rex King, Jr. is fresh off his second win the last time the big blocks raced on August 6. That victory was milestone win number 20 of his career and that’s the same number of points the Bristolville, Ohio racer leads fellow second generation racer, Jimmy Weller III, by. Rex King, Dave Murdick, and Rick Richner are third through fifth in points. Murdick is the only one of that trio that has a feature win this season.
Carl McKinney returned to victory lane for the first time in over two years on August 6 and remained in the Summit Racing Equipment Modified championship hunt. Though McKinney is 44 points behind leader Job Gabrielson in fifth, he’s only four points from the third position. Gabrielson currently has an 11-point lead over Jeff Johnson, who is still searching for his season’s first win. Despite missing two events this season, Joel Watson is still third in points by one over Scott Stiffler.
Chas Wolbert became just the second driver joining Brandon Ritchey to repeat this season in the Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Ritchey has just a five-point lead on RUSH’s 2015 “Futures Cup” champion, Kole Holden, who has a victory this season. One-time winner, Kyle Martell, is only 14 points out of the lead in third. Wolbert is still alive 20 points back in fourth ahead of one-time winner, Brian Schaffer.
The last two events have featured season high car counts for the Econo Mods; in fact, the 20 cars on August 6 was the highest in nearly two years dating back to the 2014 “Apple Festival Nationals” special. Even with the additional cars, Steve Haefke has still proven to be the guy to beat. Haefke won his second straight 15-lap feature last Saturday night and fifth in the last seven events! Even more impressive is Haefke’s run of 15 straight top two finishes dating back to last season, which will get tougher to continue as he can start no better than 12th this Saturday night. If Haefke wins a third straight, he’ll be relegated to the tail the following week. Haefke has opened up a commanding 52-point lead over Brandon Blackshear with four nights of points remaining in the division. Brad Blackshear is third in points utilizing a GM 602 crate engine. Wayne Daniels and Kyle Miller are fourth and fifth in points.
In 2010, Steve Walker II won the only Mini Stock feature of his career in route to the inaugural championship on the Friday night program. Fast forward six seasons and the Greenville, Pa. driver is having quite a year as he’s been victorious three times and has a 29-point lead over standouts Joe Campbell and Bill Fuchs. Second year racer, Matt Rubright, is fourth in the Deforest Used Parts points over Logan Keney.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again award a pair of complimentary pit passes to a lucky driver in the division that competes first and a pair to a lucky fan. Summit Racing Equipment will award $ 25 gift cards to the hard charger in the Modified, Stock Car, and Econo Mod divisions. Thanks to an anonymous donor, a $ 50 bonus will be posted to the driver that finishes fifth in the Big-Block Modified, RUSH Sportsman Modified, and Stock Car features.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5. Heat races begin at 7 p.m. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 10. Pit passes are $ 30. Children $ 13 and under along with parking and camping are free. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.
Remember, the “410” Sprint Cars have been added to the September 10 “Steel Valley Thunder” program that will also include the Big-Block Modifieds, (E) Modifieds, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks in their final night of points. Grandstand admission for this event will be $ 13 for those 14 and over.
Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located on Custer-Orangeville Road in Hartford, Ohio near the intersection of Routes 7 & 305. For more information, check out the website at www.sharonspeedway.com or call 330-772-5481. Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sharonspeedway and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.