All Star Sprints set to make their 1st of 3 2018 appearances Saturday; Econo Mods also part of the opener

By Mike Leone

May 2, 2018          

(Hartford, OH)…With the month of April now in the rearview mirror, Sharon Speedway is hoping better weather is now here to stay as the 2018 season is set to open on Saturday night (May 5) featuring Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars presented by Mobil 1 for the inaugural “Buckeye Cup”.  The Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods will battle for $ 500 to-win completing the event for Lincoln Electric Night.  Prior to racing, fans can meet and greet Sprint Car standout Rico Abreu at his apparel van from 4-4:45 p.m.  Warm-ups are scheduled for 6 p.m. followed by qualifying and racing.

Saturday’s $ 5,000 to-win “Buckeye Cup” will mark the first of three appearances by the All Stars and first of 10 races for the “410” Sprint Cars in 2018!  The All Stars will return for their traditional Tuesday stop during Ohio Speedweek on June 19 followed by the “Lou Blaney Memorial” on July 7.  Last year’s “Lou Blaney Memorial” was milestone All Star race #100 at the Hartford, Ohio oval!

Defending and six-time champion, Chad Kemenah, leads a stellar field of 2018 All Stars and several other invaders to town.  Kemenah, who owns five career Sharon wins, currently leads the points with one victory in 2018.  Aaron Reutzel is in his first season racing with the All Stars and is currently second in points.  The Texan already has a World of Outlaws win this season and nearly pulled off the $ 100,000 victory at Mansfield last Saturday night finishing a close runner-up for $ 20,000.  His co-owner, Josh Baughman, will make his season debut in the #17.

Veteran Jac Haudenschild has joined up with the All Stars in 2018 driving his own #3 entry.  “The Wild Child” currently is third in points and picked up the win on April 20 at Attica.  He has four career wins at Sharon.   Another veteran Sprint Car racer that’s joined with the All Stars in 2018 is Sharon Speedway’s own Dave Blaney.  The “Buckeye Bullet” sits fifth in points looking for his first Series win of 2018; however, did win a non-sanctioned race recently at Port Royal.  Blaney sits third on the all-time Sharon “410” Sprint Car win list with 28 career wins.      

Tim Shaffer made national news last weekend taking the $ 100,000 victory last Saturday night at Mansfield in addition to Friday’s preliminary $ 5,000 win.  Though not competing full-time with the All Stars in 2018, the Aliquippa, Pa. driver already has two Series wins.  Shaffer, who was once a Sharon regular early in his career, has four career wins at the track and is one of the favorites for Saturday’s “Buckeye Cup”.

Like Shaffer, Paul McMahan is another standout national Sprint Car racer that has split his time between the WoO and All Stars in 2018.  McMahan is planning on being at Sharon Saturday in the Pennsylvania-based, Tom Buch-owned #13.   

Young Parker Price-Miller and Carson Macedo are two of the future stars of Sprint Car racing.  PPM spent some time racing with the All Stars in years past before hitting the road with the WoO.  The Kokomo, Indiana is one of the new All Stars and is fourth in points in his first full season in the Destiny Motorsports #4.  Macedo is one of the many talented California Sprint Car drivers.  He’s currently seventh in All Star points and has been close to winning his first career Series race.  Like Shaffer, Macedo also picked up a $ 5,000 preliminary win last Friday at Mansfield.  Macedo drives the familiar #3G entry owned by former racers Joe Gaerte & Tim Norman.

Other All Star full-time racers expected to be on hand Saturday include Cale Conley, Caleb Helms, Carl Bowser, John Garvin, Jr., Jordan and Hunter Mackison, Brandon Spithaler, Tyler Esh, Ayrton Olsen, and Max McGhee. 

Leading the local contingent is Jack Sodeman, Jr.  The North Jackson, Ohio driver won the “410” Sprint Car title the last two years the Sprints ran weekly at Sharon in 2009-2010.  He has 12 career Sharon wins.  Danny Holtgraver is a former Sharon and All Star regular.  The Pittsburgh driver has only run a limited schedule the last two years, but is planning on being at Sharon Saturday.  Holtgraver has five career wins and knows his way around the 3/8-mile.  Sye Lynch won the last “410” Sprint Car show run at Sharon last September as the $ 3,000 victory was his first ever.  The third generation racer’s father Ed, Jr. won 50 times at Sharon, which is the most all-time.    

Of course Rico Abreu and numerous other regional and local talent will be on hand Saturday night.

The Econo Mods will open their season for a $ 500 to-win special with the points chase getting underway.  The division has belonged to Steve Haefke over the past two seasons.  The Austintown, Ohio veteran has finished in the top two for an amazing 26 times in the last 29 races.  While winning the last two Summit Racing Equipment titles, Haefke has vaulted into the number two spot on the all-time win list with 15 and trails Brandon Blackshear now by just six.  The Econo Mod division debuted in 2010 part of the former bi-weekly Friday night program before moving to the weekly Saturday night lineup full-time two years later.

Pits open at 3 p.m. with the main grandstands at 4 on Saturday.  Drivers meeting will be at 5:30.  Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 25.  Patio seating upgrades are just $ 5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $ 20 over the cost of general admission.  These along with reserved seating can be purchased through the SharonSpeedway.com website and be clicking on “Buy Tickets” at the top through Thursday night at midnight.  As always, children under 14, parking, and camping is always FREE!  Pit passes are $ 35.  Pit passes for children 12 and under are $ 25.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

With last Saturday’s rain out, the first Menards “Super Series” event will now take place on Saturday, May 12 for the first ever appearance by the FAST “410” Sprint Car Series.  It will also be the season debut for the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars and HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.  The Econo Mods will also return.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 19 for the annual FREE “Fan Appreciation Night” with free grandstand admission for everyone. This will now be the opener for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds. The Stock Cars, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Econo Mods will also be on the card.

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 www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.

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Sharon Speedway

First Menards “Super Series” event Saturday featuring a $2000 to-win Modified Tour event for big blocks & more

By Mike Leone

April 25, 2018

(Hartford, OH)…After cold and wet weather forced last Friday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event to be postponed to July 2, Sharon Speedway is hoping to kickoff the 89th anniversary season this Saturday (April 28) with the first of 12 Menards “Super Series” events. The Modified Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply big blocks leads the way and will be joined by the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Junior Sprints for kids. Race time is 7 p.m.

The Modified Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply big blocks makes their first of six appearances during the 2018 season on Saturday night with all events featuring a $ 2,000 to-win payday. The Tour opened their season on April 14 at West Virginia’s Tyler County Speedway where Erick Rudolph ran his win streak to an amazing nine straight! The New York versatile driver has two career wins at Sharon both coming in 2016 including the last time the Mod Tour visited Sharon on September 17, 2016.

Rex King, Jr. leads the way for the Sharon regulars. The Bristolville, Ohio driver has won three of the last four titles and has upped his career win total to 23. His father Rex Sr. is a five-time track champion and leads the active drivers with 53 career wins. Jim Weller, Jr. has posted 36 career wins and three track titles. Other active top racers with career wins in parentheses including Kevin Bolland (22), Jim Rasey (19), Brian Swartzlander (14), Dave Murdick (9). Jeremiah Shingledecker is fresh off a runner-up finish at Tyler County and owns three wins at Sharon including last year’s prestigious “Lou Blaney Memorial” victory. For more information on The Mod Tour, check out their website at www.themodifiedtourinc.com.

After Mike Clark won three consecutive Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car titles (2013-2015), veteran Paul Davis not only put a stop to the streak in 2016 but repeated the feat in 2017. Davis is now up to 22 career Stock Car wins at the track, while Davis has 17; however, it’s still Steve D’Apolito leading the active win list. D’Apolito owns 32 career wins and four track championships at the Hartford, Ohio oval, and in recent years has been competing with a GM 604 crate engine. The Stock Cars should have strong fields of cars weekly getting tuned up for the $ 10,000 to-win Penn-Ohio “Steel Valley Pro Stock Nationals” on June 16.

The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds championship points race will begin both for Sharon along with the $ 3,000 to-win RUSH Weekly Series Championship. The RUSH Mods will begin their fifth season of competition at Sharon and fourth as a weekly division. Car counts have grown each year with an average count of 24 last year. Only on one night in each of the last two seasons has there been less than 20 cars. Greg Martin, Brandon Ritchey, and Kole Holden are past track champions. Top racers Alan Dellinger, Garrett Krummert, and Rob Kristyak will be new weekly competitors in 2018 along with several other newcomers like Tony Tatgenhorst, who raced at Sharon in Mod Lites, RUSH Late Models, and E-Mods.

The Econo Mod division has belonged to Steve Haefke over the past two seasons. The Austintown, Ohio veteran has finished in the top two for an amazing 26 times in the last 29 races. While winning the last two Summit Racing Equipment titles, Haefke has vaulted into the number two spot on the all-time win list with 15 and trails Brandon Blackshear now by just six. The Econo Mod division debuted in 2010 part of the former bi-weekly Friday night program before moving to the weekly Saturday night lineup full-time two years later.

For all regular events, Sharon will continue to offer a higher purse structure if 24 or more cars are on hand for any of the weekly divisions and a non-qualifier if there are 32 or more cars.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with the main grandstands at 5. Pill cutoff is 6:20 p.m. with warm-ups around 6:30 and racing at 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 13. Seniors 62 and over are $ 10. Patio seating upgrades are just $ 5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $ 20 over the cost of general admission. In order to reserve either of these ahead of time, call the office Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330-772-5481. As always, children under 14, parking, and camping is always FREE! Pit passes are $ 30. Pit passes for children 12 and under are $ 20. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Coming up on Saturday, May 5 is the first of three appearances by Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars paying $ 5,000 to-win. The Econo Mods are also on the card. Reserved tickets, patio seats, and fan suite seating is available on our website by clicking “Buy Tickets” at the top.

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 www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.

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Sharon Speedway

Wet & cold weather postpones April 20 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series invasion to Monday, July 2

By Mike Leone

April 19, 2018

(Hartford, OH)…The 89th anniversary season opener at Sharon Speedway will have to wait one more week as wet and unseasonably cold weather has forced Friday’s (April 20) Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and RUSH Sportsman Modified event to be postponed until Monday, July 2. All pre-sale tickets will be good for the make-up date.

The postponement to July 2 will set up a busy swing for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series with four straight nights of racing in the Buckeye State starting with Portsmouth on Saturday, June 30 followed by Mansfield on Sunday, Sharon on Monday, and Muskingum on Tuesday.

“We couldn’t catch a break with the weather,” stated Sharon GM Dave Willoughby. “It’s been a very wet and cold March and April. We needed some dry weather this week, but unfortunately it’s been cold with and rain and snow. That coupled with Friday’s high temperature only in the mid 40s and dropping into the 30s during race time just isn’t conducive. We’re thankful to have an opportunity to bring Lucas Oil back in the summer during the Fourth of July week, and have optimal racing conditions. This will now create a mini Ohio Speedweek for Late Models that hopefully fans and racers can make plans for.”

Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Director, Rick Schwallie said: “We’ve worked closely with the management at Sharon Speedway all week. We believe postponing the event is the best-case scenario for all involved. It’s not in anyone’s best interest to fight the weather. We look forward to an exciting weekend in July.”

Sharon will now turn its focus to Saturday, April 28 when the gates will swing open for the first time in 2018 as Menards presents the first “Super Series” event featuring The Modified Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply big blocks paying $ 2,000 to-win. The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Junior Sprints for kids will also be on the card. Race time is 7 p.m.

Coming up on Saturday, May 5 will be the first of three appearances by Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil One. The Econo Mods are also on the card. Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale through our website.

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 www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.

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Sharon Speedway

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