By Mike Leone
August 7, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway was finally blessed with a beautiful day last Saturday as a season high 110 cars and great crowd turned out; that trend is expected to continue this Saturday night, August 10. The Governor Insurance DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks will be on the card. Race time is set for 7 p.m.
Saturday is the long-awaited “Fan Appreciation Night” featuring FREE general admission for the first time ever! Fans can come and watch the exiting racing action in the six weekly divisions plus it’s autograph night on the speedway during intermission. This will be a great opportunity for fans to meet their favorite racing stars, see the cars up close and personal, and obtain autographs and photos. Many of the racers will have giveaways and items free of charge for the fans.
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. Saturday’s kitchen special is stuffed shells.
The championship chase is around 2/3rds complete with two months to go. Five of the six division leaders are in search of their first crowns. One driver that isn’t is in the headlining DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Jim Weller, Jr. has had a tremendous season with three victories as he currently leads the points by 25 over Rex King, Jr. and 27 over the elder Rex King. The veteran Hubbard, Ohio racer has only one finish outside of the top five and that was back on May 11. Weller was the 2000 champion on the old half-mile and then won the third season on the 3/8-mile track in 2004. Dave Murdick and New Yorker Ricky Richner complete the top five in points. Last Saturday night, a solid field of 19 cars was on hand in the Governor Insurance Agency-sponsored divisions.
Dennis Lunger, Jr. started the 2013 season off hot winning two of the first three Barris Supply RUSH Late Model races and picking up from his first career win at the speedway in the 2012 season finale; however, Lunger’s lead has slowly shrunk down to 27 over defending champion Will Thomas III. Thomas got behind the eight-ball missing opening night, but has won three of the last six weekly events! Josh Double, Eric Wilson, and Matt Latta are third through fifth in points. Late Model rookie Jamie Wrightsman had his best career finish in the division last Saturday night in fourth and is currently sixth in the standings.
Mike Kinney had another great night last Saturday charging from the 12th starting spot to a solid runner-up finish in the Summit Racing Equipment Modified feature. The Ashtabula, Ohio driver has extended his point lead to a pretty comfortable 40-point margin. The most points one can garner in a night is 40. Gabrielson though only leads Alan Dellinger by five and Jeff Johnson by seven. Jeff Hassay completes the top five.
The Stock Car count has grown the second half of the season and the competition has been solid all year. Last Saturday, Brian Carothers became the seventh different winner. Gibson Insurance Agency point leader, Mike Clark, suffered his first finish outside the top 10 as his point lead shrunk to 22 over defending champion Tim Burns. Amazingly Burns has yet to win a feature this year despite eight top five finishes. Carothers is third in points over Paul Davis and Bryan Wagner.
Jeremy Double captured his track-leading sixth feature win of the season last Saturday night and propelled himself into the HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mod point lead. The 17-year-old has a 16-point advantage on Ryan Fraley, who started the season off hot with 10 straight top five finishes including three victories. Twelve-year-old Jacob Eucker is third. Rookie Ty Rhoades is prime for his first career win as he’s spun off seven straight top five finishes! Steve Burns, Jr. rounds out the top five.
Scott Gilliland jumped out to a big point lead in the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks via five wins in the first nine races, but since has cooled off. Since his last win on June 1, the Warren, Ohio racer has mustered only a pair of third place finishes in addition to finishes of seventh, eighth, and ninth, which has allowed his competitors to close the gap. Rookie Travis Creech is 35 points back in second with 2011 champion Bill Fuchs third and 2012 champion Jim Haefke, Jr. fourth.
Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5. Racing begins at 7. Pit passes are $ 25. Parking and camping is always free.
Don’t forget, coming up next Wednesday (August 14) will be the “Charlie Daniels Band” performing at the speedway along with the Huckin Fillybillys. Advance tickets are $ 33 or $ 37 at the gate. Advance tickets can be purchased online, at the speedway office, or at Yankee Lake Carryout.
The Lou Blaney Memorial Alzheimer’s Association Benefit Event is nearing on Tuesday, August 20 featuring the “410” Sprint Cars for $ 5,000 to-win plus the BRP Big-Block Modifieds Tour for $ 2,000 to-win. It’s NASCAR Night with Kyle Larson and Dave Blaney competing in Sprint Cars. This will be a time trial event for the Sprint Cars.
For more information on these events and to buy advance tickets, go to www.sharonspeedway.com.
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.