By Mike Leone
July 3, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…After completing 12 straight events, Sharon Speedway suffered through a pair of rainout last week first with the Ohio All Star Sprint Speedweek on Tuesday then lost its first “Steel Valley Thunder” on Saturday since April 13. Sharon is hoping for better weather for this Saturday’s (July 6) “Off with the Tops” special event.
Sweeney Chevrolet Night will feature the non-wing Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS) and the topless Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series. One lucky RUSH racer will win a GM 604 engine valued at over $ 5,500 thanks to Sweeney and Pace Performance! The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks will also be in competition. Race time is 7 p.m.
The first installment of “Off with the Tops” is a unique pairing of the BOSS Sprints with the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series. Beings BOSS runs without wings, RUSH will go without their roof’s in this two-day topless event with Lernerville Speedway on Friday night. BOSS and RUSH will be back at it at Sharon on Saturday, August 17.
BOSS is in its third year of competition and has grown in popularity and in both quantity and quality of competition. Last year, former track champion Jack Sodeman, Jr. went down in the record books as the very first winner of a non-wing Sprint Car race on the new 3/8-mile track.
This year, five of the 14 events have been completed with five different winners and at least a full field of cars or more at each event! Robert Ballou won the opening race at Fremont, while winged racer Sheldon Haudenschild won his first career non-wing race at Wayne County, local Brandon Spithaler captured the victory at home track- Mercer Raceway Park, Joss Moffatt won at Lawrenceburg, and Tony Beaber was the most recent winner at Pittsburgh.
Gibsonburg, Ohio’s Tony Beaber is the Series’ current point leader. Tony is the son of the great Johnny Beaber, who has also been racing with BOSS and is currently 11th in points! Evans City, Pennsylvania’s Brandon Spithaler is a close second over western Ohio’s Mike Miller. Indiana racer Dustin Smith is fourth over Ohio driver Kirk Jeffries. For more information, check out www.buckeyesprints.com.
The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series returns for their third of five visits during the 2013 season. Saturday is a big one with $ 2,000 on the line to the winner of the 30-lap feature! It’s also round two of the five-night “Cross the Borders” Speedweek, and of course to top it off, one lucky RUSH racer will leave with a brand new GM 604 engine valued at over $ 5,500 thanks to Sweeney and Pace Performance! A random draw will be held for all competing racers.
The Sweeney Tour has completed six of its 26 scheduled events this season. Rick Singleton won the inaugural event at Hagerstown, but of late Mike Pegher, Jr. as been the dominant one. Pegher won Sharon’s May 25 event then went on to sweep both days at Hagerstown and Roaring Knob on June 21-22. In between, Ryan Montgomery and Bryce Davis picked up their first Tour wins at Sharon on May 26 and McKean on June 14 respectively.
While only show-up points will be awarded in Sharon’s points, points will be on the line in five other RUSH championship series including Sweeney Touring, Sweeney Weekly, Pace Performance “Summer Chase”, the “Futures Cup, and finally the “Cross the Borders” Speedweek!
Pegher sits atop the standings over Singleton, Elliott, Montgomery and Joe Martin. Sixth place point man John Over is leading the $ 5,000 to-win Sweeney Weekly Series points. Seventh in points is Canadian Jorden Peters, who has made several Sharon appearances this season and is also second in the “Futures Cup” points. Eighth through 10th are Butch Lambert, New York’s Chad Ruhlman, and Maryland’s Matt Glanden. For more information, check out www.rushracingseries.com.
Sharon’s regulars will be chomping at the bit to fend off the invaders like current point leader and three-time winner, Dennis Lunger, Jr., defending champion Will Thomas III, 2011 champion Josh Double along with winners Matt Latta and Eric Wilson, along with several others.
After missing three of the past four Stock Car events, Bryan Wagner returned to Sharon on June 22 and won his second of the season and third of his career. Luckily for Wagner two of the nights he missed were non-point events. Though he’s dropped to sixth in points, Wagner is only three points out of fourth and 18 from third.
Continuing to lead the Gibson Insurance Agency points is Mike Clark. The Bristolville, Ohio driver has won two features in each of the past three seasons. Clark leads defending champion Tim Burns by 20. Clark’s worst finish is a ninth back on April 27 and in fact has finished in the top four in every event this season outside of the ninth.
It’s becoming apparent the Mini Stock Championship chase is going to come down to Scott Gilliland and rookie Travis Creech. Gilliland, a five-time winner, leads Creech, a four-time winner, by a shrinking margin of 36. Bill Fuchs, the 2011 champion, and Jim Haefke, Jr., the 2012, champion are a distant third and fourth in the Deforest Used Parts points.
Saturday’s promotion is Armed Forces Night with free admission for those active duty members in uniform. 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. This promotion will continue throughout the 2013 season. The kitchen special is crispy chicken salad.
Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5. Group qualifying for the RUSH Late Models will be at 6:30 p.m. with racing at 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 15, while children under 14 are always free. Pit passes are $ 30. Parking and camping is always free.
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.