2-DAY “APPLE FESTIVAL NATIONALS” FRI & SAT AT SHARON; BRP MOD TOUR, RUSH LM TOUR, UEMS MODS, OPEN STOCKS & MORE!
By Mike Leone
September 10, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway is set for its traditional “Apple Festival Nationals” weekend this Friday and Saturday (September 13-14). Qualifying and heat races will be held on Friday night with last chance B mains and features on Saturday night for the BRP Big-Block Modified Tour, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Tour, UEMS Modifieds, Open Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. The Vintage Auto Racing Club (VARC) will also compete this weekend.
Race time is 7 p.m. both nights. All divisions with the exception of the Mini Stocks will group qualify on Friday night. Live entertainment and a bonfire will be held after the races each night; Friday night will feature Dakota Rock and then “Fast Freddie” from 93.3 The Wolf on Saturday night. Breakfast will be available on Saturday morning from 8-10 a.m. Free camping is permitted all weekend beginning on Thursday. Once again Saturday night, one lucky boy and girl under the age of 14 will win a bicycle or scooter thanks to King Bros. and Sharon Speedway.
After a big field of 39 cars for the $ 2,000 to-win “Lou Blaney Memorial” last month, the BRP Modified Tour for the Governor Insurance Agency big blocks will return in the 28th annual “Russ King Memorial”. The ante will be upped as $ 3,000 will await Saturday’s feature winner!
New York racer Chad Brachmann leads the BRP Tour invasion. Brachmann finished runner-up to Series point leader Dave Murdick in the “Lou Blaney Memorial” in his only appearance this season. Kevin Hoffman, Brad Rapp, and Saturday’s Sharon winner Jeremiah Shingledecker round out the top five in BRP Tour points. Jim Weller, Jr. has had a stellar season as he nears his third Sharon title and has a 48-point lead on Rex King, Jr., who has yet to win the event run in his grandfather’s memory.
There have been 14 different winners in the 27 “Russ King Memorials” run. The late Lou Blaney is the event’s all-time winner with five victories. Jim Rasey, Rex King, and the retired Bob Kraus are tied for second with three wins apiece. Other active racers with victories include Weller (2 wins), Tom Winkle, Lonny Riggs, and Steve Feder.
The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series will make their fifth and final visit of the season in a $ 2,000 to-win event. West Virginia 16-year-old Ryan Montgomery has been impressive this season at Sharon winning the second leg of the $ 1,500 to-win “Bill Emig Memorial” and then most recently won the $ 2,000 to-win “Gary Knollinger Memorial”. Other Tour winners this year include Series point leader Mike Pegher, Jr. and Max Blair. Montgomery trails Pegher by just 20 points with seven events remaining.
In Barris Supply weekly action at Sharon, Will Thomas III enters the weekend a winner of two straight and would love to win his first ever Tour win at his home track. Thomas, the defending champion, leads the division with five victories, but trails four-time winner Dennis Lunger, Jr. Lunger has never won a championship nor a RUSH Tour event, but is currently fourth in the Sweeney Weekly Series Championship.
Sharon will hold “Futures Cup” Trifecta Race #2 for the Series on Friday night. Earlier this season, Canadian Jorden Peters was the victor at Pittsburgh; however, it’s Sharon regular Eric Wilson leading the standings over 12-year-old Michael Lake, who recently became the Tour’s 10th different winner of the season with an improbable $ 2,000 win on Labor Day at Roaring Knob. Clay Ruffo, another Sharon regular, is currently fourth in points.
The UEMS Modifieds return to Sharon this weekend for their fourth and final visit of 2013. Like the RUSH Late Models, the UEMS gang will be going after $ 2,000 to-win! In three prior events there have been three different winners with Randy Hall, Dave Hess, Jr., and Steve Dixon garnering wins. Dixon of Smethport, Pa. heads up the points in his second season behind the wheel of Tim Engles’ #68.
Dixon, who also won at Sharon on August 3, is one of an amazing 11 different winners in the competitive Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division! After another solid runner-up last Saturday, Mike Kinney is drawing closer to capturing his first championship as he has a 57-point lead on two-time winner Joe Gabrielson.
The Stock Cars will be running under “open rules” in their biggest event of the season. $ 1,500 will await Saturday’s main event winner and many of the region’s heavy hitters are expected. Earlier this season, Rod Laskey topped the only “open rules” event and earned $ 750. The Stock Car counts have been much improved this season including 23 cars for a regular event on August 24.
While all of the other divisions will receive show-up points only, due to the “open rules,” no points will be awarded for the Stock Cars. Mike Clark leads the Speedway’s Gibson Insurance Agency-sponsored points by 65 over Brian Carothers as he nears his first track championship.
The Econo Mods have been around full fields or more all season long as 44 different drivers have participated in the growing division. This weekend will be the fourth year division’s biggest event with $ 500 awaiting Saturday’s winner! Youngsters Jeremy Double and Jacob Eucker have put on fantastic races night in and night out. Double leads the win chart seven to five and the point standings by 21.
And as the going trend continues, the Mini Stocks will also be battling in their season’s biggest event as $ 300 will be posted to Saturday’s feature winner. A strong field of Minis is expected with no other racing for the division taking place in the region. Note: aluminum wheels will be permitted for the weekend. Scott Gilliland is the fifth of the six current point leaders at the track looking for his first championship. The Warren, Ohio racer, who is coming off his seventh win of the season, leads rookie Travis Creech by 13.
For both days, pits open at 4 p.m., grandstands at 5 with racing at 7. Racers are permitted to stay in the pits overnight on Friday. Two-day passes will be on sale for $ 22 for the grandstands and $ 55 for the pits; otherwise grandstand admission is $ 13 on Friday and $ 15 on Saturday and pit admission is $ 30 on Friday and $ 35 on Saturday.
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 @SharonSpdwy.