By Mike Leone
May 14, 2014
(Hartford, OH)…After all of the forecasted rain stayed well south and east of Sharon Speedway last Saturday night, Sharon hopes for dry conditions again this Saturday (May 17) for Fan Appreciation & Autograph Night. The “Steel Valley Thunder” week four program as part of the 85th anniversary season will include the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply 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 Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.
Back by popular demand is FREE general admission night! Last year’s promotion in August drew a huge crowd and officials are hoping the same for this Saturday night. Fan Appreciation Night will also include an on-track autograph session during intermission featuring the cars and stars from all six of the competing divisions. This is a great once-per-year opportunity for fans to get an up close look at the mighty machines and meet their heroes with photo and autograph opportunities.
It took defending champion Jim Weller, Jr. to stop the King Family’s back-to-back wins to start the season. Weller got past Rex King at the start and held him off for his 27th career DIRTcar Big-Block Modified win. The points are tight as Rex Sr. leads Weller by three and just one-point back is Rex Jr., who is looking for his first track championship. Jim Rasey has had a consistent start to his season and trails the top spot by 15 with Jimmy Weller III rounding out the top five in Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points.
The RUSH Late Models doubled in count last Saturday from week two despite a few regulars missing, but it was still defending champion Dennis Lunger, Jr. showing he’s boss coming from 11th for his second win in three races this season. Lunger leads 2012 Barris Supply champion Will Thomas III by just three markers. Russ Byler has been off to a strong start in his first full season driving for Terry Hoover and sits third in points over second year Late Model racer Jamie Wrightsman and “Futures Cup” driver Clay Ruffo.
Can anyone stop the Northeast Ohio friends of Joel Watson and Mike Kinney in the Modifieds? Watson is off to a fast start winning the first two shows and finishing second last Saturday after starting 12th. Kinney meanwhile is the defending Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division champion and was able to hold off Watson for his season’s first win last Saturday night. Watson has a 21-point lead on Kinney, while Steve Dixon, Carl McKinney, and Econo Mod graduate Jacob Eucker complete the top five.
It’s been all Mike Clark and Paul Davis in the Stock Cars. Clark has two feature wins to Davis’ one, but Davis has yet to finish worse than second in any heat or feature after three events and trails the defending champion by just one point in the Gibson Insurance Agency-sponsored division. Third through fifth is pretty tight in the point race between Jamie Duncan, Brian Carothers, and Bryan Wagner.
Tim Deutsch made a successful season debut last Saturday night to become the third different winner in as many Econo Mod events. Defending champion and opening night Jeremy Double has raced out to a pretty commanding 25-point lead in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings. George Vestal IV, Tyler Rhoades, and Brian Foley, Jr. are all separated by just one-point as they look for their first career wins at the speedway. Jason Longwell is fifth.
The Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock Championship chase is the closest of all of the six divisions as just six points separates the top four drivers! Bill Fuchs last won a championship in 2011 and the division’s all-time winner has been shutout of victory lane this season, but does lead the points by just two over two-time winner Travis Creech. Last week’s winner, Scott Gilliland, trails by four, while Jamie Maxwell sits fourth, just sits points from the top spot in search of his first career win. Second year racer Pat Drennan is fifth.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again award six complimentary pit passes for the following week; a pair going to the hard luck driver in DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, a pair 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. Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance will award $ 50, $ 25, and $ 25 certificates to the top three GM 602 crates in the Econo Mods that have been purchased through them or have secondary seals.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:30 and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission is of course FREE. Pit passes are $ 30.
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.