Doubleheader weekend on tap; “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” Friday featuring “Thunderstruck” followed by “Steel Valley Thunder” racing Saturday including $1000 to-win Penn-Ohio Stocks

By Mike Leone

August 16, 2016                  

(Hartford, OH)…After two rainouts in the past three weeks, Sharon Speedway hopes to get back on track this weekend.  Another doubleheader of events is on tap featuring “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” IV on Friday night (August 20) followed by “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Saturday night.  The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars in a Penn-Ohio Mini Series event, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks are part of the program on Mark Thomas Ford Night.  Race time is 7 p.m.

thunderstruckThe weekend action kicks off Friday with the fourth and final installment of “Summer Jam & BBQ Series”. Friday’s entertainment will include “Thunderstruck”- an “AC/DC” tribute band, which will perform from 8-11 p.m.  Enjoy a great menu of barbeque items.  Admission is $ 5.  Gates open at 7 p.m.

Saturday marks the first of only three remaining “Steel Valley Thunder” point events for the 87th anniversary season; and in fact, only two nights of points remain for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds and Stock Cars, who are both off on September 10.

The Penn-Ohio Mini Series returns on Saturday night for another $ 1,000 to-win special. Chris Schneider won the opening event over a 45-car field.  Sharon point leader, Paul Davis, has won the last two shows pocketing $ 2,500!  A third straight win Penn-Ohio win Saturday would all but clinch the Fowler, Ohio driver’s first career track championship and keep him ahead of the Penn-Ohio Mini Series points.

Jacob Billyk has been fast over the last two season running weekly at Sharon and at the last event on August 6 when he finally put 15 solid, fast laps together to earn his first career win in the Stock Cars holding off a strong field of challengers. Billyk finds himself fifth in points.  Davis has a 32-point lead as Mike Miller, Andy Buckley, and Mike Clark are second through fourth in points, but time is running out for  those three racers.  In fact, Clark trails by 61 points in his bid for an unprecedented four straight Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car titles.  And with last Saturday rain out, Clark will be unable to keep his championship streak alive as long as Davis shows up to compete at the next two point events.

After having to wait until July 2 to score his first DIRTcar Big-Block Modified win of the season, Rex King, Jr. is fresh off his second win the last time the big blocks raced on August 6. That victory was milestone win number 20 of his career and that’s the same number of points the Bristolville, Ohio racer leads fellow second generation racer, Jimmy Weller III, by.  Rex King, Dave Murdick, and Rick Richner are third through fifth in points.  Murdick is the only one of that trio that has a feature win this season.

Carl McKinney returned to victory lane for the first time in over two years on August 6 and remained in the Summit Racing Equipment Modified championship hunt. Though McKinney is 44 points behind leader Job Gabrielson in fifth, he’s only four points from the third position.  Gabrielson currently has an 11-point lead over Jeff Johnson, who is still searching for his season’s first win.  Despite missing two events this season, Joel Watson is still third in points by one over Scott Stiffler.

Chas Wolbert became just the second driver joining Brandon Ritchey to repeat this season in the Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Ritchey has just a five-point lead on RUSH’s 2015 “Futures Cup” champion, Kole Holden, who has a victory this season.  One-time winner, Kyle Martell, is only 14 points out of the lead in third.  Wolbert is still alive 20 points back in fourth ahead of one-time winner, Brian Schaffer.

The last two events have featured season high car counts for the Econo Mods; in fact, the 20 cars on August 6 was the highest in nearly two years dating back to the 2014 “Apple Festival Nationals” special. Even with the additional cars, Steve Haefke has still proven to be the guy to beat.  Haefke won his second straight 15-lap feature last Saturday night and fifth in the last seven events!   Even more impressive is Haefke’s run of 15 straight top two finishes dating back to last season, which will get tougher to continue as he can start no better than 12th this Saturday night.  If Haefke wins a third straight, he’ll be relegated to the tail the following week.  Haefke has opened up a commanding 52-point lead over Brandon Blackshear with four nights of points remaining in the division.  Brad Blackshear is third in points utilizing a GM 602 crate engine.  Wayne Daniels and Kyle Miller are fourth and fifth in points.

In 2010, Steve Walker II won the only Mini Stock feature of his career in route to the inaugural championship on the Friday night program. Fast forward six seasons and the Greenville, Pa. driver is having quite a year as he’s been victorious three times and has a 29-point lead over standouts Joe Campbell and Bill Fuchs.  Second year racer, Matt Rubright, is fourth in the Deforest Used Parts points over Logan Keney.

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again award a pair of complimentary pit passes 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.  Thanks to an anonymous donor, a $ 50 bonus will be posted to the driver that finishes fifth in the Big-Block Modified, RUSH Sportsman Modified, and Stock Car features.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5. Heat races begin at 7 p.m.  Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 10.  Pit passes are $ 30.  Children $ 13 and under along with parking and camping are free.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Remember, the “410” Sprint Cars have been added to the September 10 “Steel Valley Thunder” program that will also include the Big-Block Modifieds, (E) Modifieds, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks in their final night of points. Grandstand admission for this event will be $ 13 for those 14 and over.

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

“410” Sprint Cars featured Saturday at Sharon; General admission just $10

“410” SPRINT CARS FEATURED SATURDAY AT SHARON; GENERAL ADMISSION JUST $ 10

By Mike Leone

August 9, 2016            

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway will welcome back the “410” Sprint Cars this Saturday night (August 13) as the 87th anniversary season rolls on. The Winged Sprint Cars will be joined on Lincoln Electric/Quail Hollow Night by the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks all for just $ 10 grandstand admission.  Race time is 7 p.m.  The Big-Block Modifieds and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds have the night off.

Coming off two successful Arctic Car All Star Circuit of Champions events in June and July for Ohio Speedweek and the “Lou Blaney Memorial” won by the late Bryan Clauson and Danny Holtgraver, the “410” Sprint Cars will appear Saturday in a non-sanctioned, regular event paying $ 1,500 to-win, $ 200 to-start for the 25-lap feature. If 24 or more cars are present, the payoff will increase to $ 2,000 to-win, $ 225 to-start.  The complete payoff is posted below.  The national “410” Hoosier Tire rule will be in effect.  Mufflers are not required.  Drivers will draw pills for the heat race line-ups with an invert up to eight for the feature lineup.  There are no registration, membership or entry fees.

Last year, Jimmy Seger won this event for his first career Sharon victory and his first since returning to racing following a terrifying accident in 2014 at Williams Grove Speedway. Seger was a teammate on this night to Jack Sodeman, Jr.  Sodeman has been red hot on the circuit this year scoring seven victories including four at Mercer Raceway Park and three at Lernerville Speedway.  He also leads the points at both tracks over A.J. Flick.  Sodeman, of North Jackson, Ohio, won the last two track championships at Sharon when the Sprints competed regularly in 2009 and 2010 and owns 12 career wins at the track.

Dan Shetler, who won the 2008 title, is coming off a strong weekend in which he finished second at Lernerville and fifth at Mercer. Gary Edwards, who competed at both of the earlier Sprint shows  this year, is the only other active racer who owns a championship at Sharon.  Edwards won the 2000 title on the old half-mile track.  The now retired Ed Lynch, Jr. leads the all-time win list with 50 victories.  Ed’s son Sye is a weekly competitor at Lernerville.

Carl McKinney returned to victory lane for the first time in over two years on Saturday and remained in the Summit Racing Equipment Modified championship hunt. Though McKinney is 44 points behind leader Job Gabrielson in fifth, he’s only four points from the third position.  Joe Gabrielson currently has an 11-point lead over Jeff Johnson, who is still searching for his season’s first win.

Jacob Billyk has been fast over the last two season running weekly at Sharon and last Saturday night finally put 15 solid, fast laps together to earn his first career win in the Stock Cars holding off a strong field of challengers. Billyk finds himself fifth in points.  Atop the standings is last week’s runner-up finisher, Paul Davis, who is inching closer to his first Sharon championship.  Davis has a 32-point lead with just three nights of points remaining.  Mike Miller, Andy Buckley, and Mike Clark are second through fourth in points, but time is running out for  those three racers.  In fact, Clark trails by 61 points in his bid for an unprecedented four straight Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car titles.

The last two events have featured season high car counts for the Econo Mods; in fact, last Saturday night’s 20 cars was the highest in nearly two years dating back to the 2014 “Apple Festival Nationals” special.  Even with the additional cars, Steve Haefke has still proven to be the guy to beat.  Haefke won his second straight 15-lap feature last Saturday night and fifth in the last seven events!   Even more impressive is Haefke’s run of 15 straight top two finishes dating back to last season, which will get tougher to continue as he can start no better than 12th this Saturday night.  If Haefke wins a third straight, he’ll be relegated to the tail the following week.  Haefke has opened up a commanding 52-point lead over Brandon Blackshear with four nights of points remaining in the division.  Brad Blackshear is third in points utilizing a GM 602 crate engine.  Wayne Daniels and Kyle Miller are fourth and fifth in points.

In 2010, Steve Walker II won the only Mini Stock feature of his career in route to the inaugural championship on the Friday night program. Fast forward six seasons and the Greenville, Pa. driver is having quite a year as he’s been victorious three times and has a 29-point lead over standouts Joe Campbell and Bill Fuchs.  Second year racer, Matt Rubright, is fourth in the Deforest Used Parts points over Logan Keney.

“410” Sprint Car Payoff for less than 24 cars: 1. $ 1,500 2. $ 900  3. $ 725  4. $ 600  5. $ 550  6. $ 475  7. $ 425  8. $ 350  9. $ 325  10. $ 275  11. $ 250  12. $ 225  13-24. $ 200.  $ 100 Tow.

“410” Sprint Car Payoff for 24 or more cars: 1. $ 2,000 2. $ 1,000  3. $ 725  4. $ 600  5. $ 550  6. $ 475  7. $ 425  8. $ 350  9. $ 325  10. $ 275  11. $ 250  12. $ 230  13-24. $ 225.  $ 100 NQ/Tow.

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again award a pair of complimentary pit passes 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.  Thanks to an anonymous donor, a $ 50 bonus will be posted to the driver that finishes fifth in the Stock Car feature.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5. Sprint engine starts will be at 6:30 p.m. following by warm-ups for the Sprints only.  Heat races begin at 7 p.m.  Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 10.  Pit passes are $ 30.  Children $ 13 and under along with parking and camping are free.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

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

Sharon looks to resume “Steel Valley Thunder” racing Saturday for the “Bill Kirila Memorial”

By Mike Leone

August 2, 2016                     

(Hartford, OH)…After a run of 10 consecutive race events being completed, Mother Nature reared her ugly head last Saturday at Sharon Speedway raining out the “Fan Appreciation Night” unfortunately for the second time this season.  Sharon will look to resume racing this Saturday night (August 6) as Thompson Fabricating presents the annual “Bill Kirila Memorial” with a full night of “Steel Valley Thunder” racing featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.  Race time is 7 p.m.

Mr. Kirila was one of the owners of Sharon with his brother Ron along with the Blaney and Weller Families when the track changed ownership in 2002. Kirila of Brookfield, Ohio passed away after an extended illness on June 23, 2006 at the age of 68.  He was a graduate of Brookfield Ohio School and went on to become the Vice President of Kirila Contractors.

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will 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. Thanks to an anonymous donor, an extra $ 50 will be awarded to position five at all “Steel Valley Thunder” events for the Big-Block Mods, RUSH Sportsman Mods, and Stock Cars.

The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Modifieds had a busy week the last time they were in competition with two events. The Super DIRTcar Series event on July 21  attracted 51 cars and was won by Jimmy Phelps, while two days later Dave Murdick ended his near three-year winless drought winning the weekly program.  Atop the standings is Rex King, Jr. by 16 over three-time winner, Jimmy Weller III.  Rex King is third over Dave Murdick, who jumped two spots in points.  Rick Richner, who is looking for his first win, is fifth in points.

Like the big blocks, the (E) Modifieds also participated twice at Sharon the week before last with David Stremme victorious in the inaugural appearance of the Renegades on Dirt Series on July 21 followed up by Scott Stiffler’s second win of the season two days later. Despite missing a race, five-time winner, Joel Watson, has moved to within 10 points of Joe Gabrielson’s Summit Racing Equipment championship point lead.  Jeff Johnson, Stiffler, and Carl McKinney are third through fifth in points.

Will there be another new RUSH Sportsman Modified winner!? That question will be answered on Saturday night as Brian Schaffer became the latest driver to score his first career win on July 23.  Schaffer became the eighth different winner in nine Lyden/Red Line Oil features this year!  Brandon Ritchey is the only driver that has repeated this season and is atop the standings by 17 over Kole Holden.  Schaffer is third in points and leads the $ 3,000 to-win Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Weekly Series standings as he also has victories at Lernerville and Thunder Mountain Speedways.  Kyle Martell and Chas Wolbert are fourth and fifth in points, each earning their first career wins this season in the division.

Two seasons ago Paul Davis lost the Stock Car championship tiebreaker to Mike Clark. This year, Davis is bound and determined to stop Mike Clark from a four consecutive Gibson Insurance Agency crown.  Davis has won three of the last four races pocketing $ 3,000 and has opened up a 21-point advantage on Mike Miller, who battled for the title last year.  Andy Buckley, who just came up shy of his first win last Saturday, is third in points over Clark and veteran Bob McCann.  Clark has a lot of work to do with just five nights of points remaining.

Can anyone stop Steve Haefke!? The Austintown, Ohio racer is having a career best season winning four of the last six Econo Mod features, but even more impressive is the fact that he has a streak of 14 straight races where he has yet to finish worse than runner-up!  It’s now been over a year since Haefke hasn’t placed in the top two clear back on July 25, 2015.  Haefke has raced out to a 32-point lead over Brandon Blackshear.  Brandon’s younger brother, Brad, is third utilizing a GM 602 crate engine.  Wayne Daniels and rookie Kyle Miller are fourth and fifth in points.

Steve Walker II already ended a six-year winless drought in the Mini Stocks earlier this season winning a pair of feature events. Now the Greenville driver will try and win his first championship since the inaugural 2010 season.  Walker leads three-time champion, Bill Fuchs by 32.  Fuchs, the division’s all-time winner, has just one victory this season.  Despite winning four features including last Saturday, Joe Campbell, has had an up and down season as he’s currently third in points over Matt Rubright and Logan Keney.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. on Saturday, grandstands at 5 with racing at 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 10.  Pit passes are $ 30.  Children $ 13 and under along with parking and camping are free.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Coming up on Saturday, August 13, the “410” Sprint Cars will make their third and final visit of the season in a non-sanctioned event paying $ 1,500 to-win, $ 200 to-start or $ 2,000 to-win, $ 225 to-start if there are 24 or more cars. The Modifieds, Stock Cars, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks will also be in action on Lincoln Electric & Quail Hollow Night, while the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have the night off.  Regular admission prices will be in effect.

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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