By Mike Leone
July 17, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway is hoping Mother Nature cuts some slack this Saturday (July 20) as a huge tripleheader is on the docket! After completing 12 straight events, a race hasn’t been completed at the Hartford, Ohio oval since June 22 as three rainouts and an off night this past Saturday has halted action.
The rescheduled Sweeney Chevrolet Night will feature the NDRL’s ULMS Super Late Models, Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Series with the GM 604 engine giveaway, and the UEMS Modifieds. Also on the card will be the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks racing for extra money. Race time is 7 p.m.
The United Late Model Series (ULMS) will be making their third of four scheduled appearances of 2013 in another $ 3,000 to-win show. Back on April 20, “The Juice” Davey Johnson shattered the track record in route to the $ 3,000 ULMS payday. Johnson’s victory was the 27th of his career, which is second all-time to the great Jim Bickerstaff.
Somehow, Sharon was able to beats the odds on June 12 with rain literally everywhere but at the Speedway as Mike Knight won the first race of his career Sharon. In the 2012 season finale last October, Keith Barbara went down in the record books as the season’s only Super Late Model show and first ever ULMS event at the speedway!
The two-time winning Knight is the Series current point leader by 60 over Matt Urban with Russell King, Dave Hess, Jr., and Boom Briggs completing the top five. Ron Davies, another two-time winner, is sixth in points with four-time winner Robbie Blair seventh. Besides Johnson, other winners include Tim McCreadie and most recently Alex Ferree last Saturday at Pittsburgh.
The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series returns for their third of five visits during the 2013 season. The event was originally scheduled for July 6, but was rained out and now instead of being leg two of the “Cross the Borders” Speedweek will be the fifth and finale. Saturday is a big one with $ 2,000 on the line to the winner of the 30-lap feature plus will determine the $ 1,000 to-win Speedweek champion, and 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 10 of its 26 scheduled events this season with eight different winners! Mike Pegher, Jr. is the only racer to repeat with three victories while Rick Singleton, Ryan Montgomery, Bryce Davis, Josh Double, Max Blair, Kyle Lukon, and most recently Russell King last Sunday at Expo Speedway all have single victories.
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 Sweeney Tour standings by five over Singleton with May 26 Sharon Tour winner and current Speedweek point leader Montgomery climbing to third in points and just 12 from the top spot. Joe Martin and Chad Ruhlman are fourth and fifth and will be in the hunt for their first Tour wins of the season. 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, winners Matt Latta Eric Wilson, Rocky Kugel, along with several others.
The competition and quality of Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds competing week in and week out has been second to none with nine different winners! Jonathan Taylor was the most recent winner at the last event on June 22. The ante and competition level will increase Saturday when the United E-Mod Series makes their third of four appearances during the 2013 season.
Randy Hall and Dave Hess, Jr. nailed down victories in the Series’ first two stops at Sharon. Steve Dixon won a trio of Modified events last weekend including two of his four for the season under the UEMS banner. The Smethport, Pa. driver has a 34-point lead over Hall with former Sharon champion Carl McKinney third followed by Vic Vena and Joel Watson. Sharon was never one of Dixon’s favorite tracks when he ran Crate Late Models, but he was close on two occasions last month with a pair of runner-ups in Modified competition.
The Stock Cars will be competing for a $ 500 top prize in the division’s regular rules package. 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.
An increased purse of $ 200 to-win will be on the line again for the Mini Stocks on Saturday night, but 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.
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 pasta with meatballs.
Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5. Group qualifying for all three of the headlining divisions will get underway at approximately 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 $ 35. 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.