RUSH Sportsman Mod Tour & MFG Night highlight Saturday’s “Steel Valley Thunder” program

By Mike Leone

June 22, 2016         

(Hartford, OH)…Finally Mother Nature blessed Sharon Speedway not only last Saturday, but also on Tuesday for  Ohio Sprint Speedweek with the first dry forecasts since the April 16 opener.  Sharon will now look to complete its sixth straight show this Saturday night (June 25) in an event highlighted by the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds in a Bicknell Racing Products Tour event for their “Manufacturers Night”.  The “Steel Valley Thunder” program will also include the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment 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.

Saturday’s kitchen special is a loaded chicken bowl. 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.  Summit Racing Equipment $ 25 gift cards will also be awarded.

The Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modified division will compete in their first of two Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series events this season. The third year division is in its second year of being part of the weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” program and car counts have been impressive all season long ranging from 21-25 cars with 31 different cars participating!  There have been five different winners in six races at Sharon this season.  Brandon Ritchey, the only repeat winner, has a two-point lead over Kole Holden.  Third through fifth are Jerry Schaffer, Chas Wolbert, and Nick Ritchey.

The Bicknell Tour features seven events this season throughout the western Pa. and eastern Ohio with a separate point fund in addition to the Weekly Series point fund that Sharon is part of. Adam Hilton won the Series’ opening event at Tri-City Raceway Park on Sunday.  Saturday will be the Series’ third annual “Manufacturers Night” presented by MSD Performance with it being the first time held at Sharon.  Well over $ 13,000 of prizes will be distributed to the RUSH racers.

As hard as it’s to believe, 2014 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply champion and four-time 2015 winner, Rex King, Jr., has still yet to win a feature this year at Sharon. Nonetheless, the Bristolville, Ohio racer has a fairly comfortable 20-point lead due to his consistency unlike his fellow competitors.  Jimmy Weller III and his father Jim, Jr. are currently second and third in points as each driver has a pair of victories.  Like his son “Cooter”, Rex King, the 2015 champion, is also looking for his season’s first win as he’s fourth in points over New York racer Rick Richner.

Joe Gabrielson ended a near two-year winless drought in the Modifieds last Saturday as his victory extended his Summit Racing Equipment point lead to 20 over Jeff Johnson. Rookie “open” Modified racer, Josh Ferry, is still third over three-time winner, Joel Watson, who missed a show.  After a disappointing nine cars on June 11, the Modified count doubled to 18 last Saturday.

Steve Haefke has certainly stepped up his program since late last year. In the last five Econo Mod races of 2015, Haefke has scored two wins and three runner-up finishes.  On Saturday night, Haefke won for the second time in the last three weeks and has finished in the top two at all six races in 2016; that means Haefke has a streak of 11 straight races with top two finishes!  Haefke has a 20-point lead on Brandon Blackshear in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings.  Brad Blackshear, who utilized just a GM 602 crate engine, is third behind his older brother.  Wayne Daniels and Chris Clay are fourth and fifth.

It was only a matter of time before Bill Fuchs returned to winning form. After being shutout this season, Fuchs won his first of the year, which also moved the defending three-time champion into the Deforest Used Parts point lead for the first this season.  On Tuesday, Andy Proper picked up the $ 300 special to become the sixth different winner in seven races!  Fuchs leads fellow Greenville, Pa. racer, Steve Walker II, by just two.  Matt Rubright, Joe Campbell, who is the division’s only repeat winner this season, and Logan Keney are third through fifth.

Pits open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Admission for those 14 and over is $ 10, while children 13 and under are free.  Pit passes are $ 30.  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

“Steel Valley Thunder” racing Saturday featuring Penn-Ohio Stocks for $1500 to-win; Ohio Sprint Speedweek coming Tuesday

By Mike Leone

June 15, 2016             

(Hartford, OH)…For the first time this season, Sharon Speedway was able to complete three straight events without a rainout last Saturday night; nonetheless, Mother Nature has threatened now for eight straight weeks.  That streak looks like it’ll come to an end Saturday (June 18) as beautiful weather is forecasted for the six-division “Steel Valley Thunder” program featuring the Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks in a $ 1,500 to-win event along with the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.  Race time is 7 p.m.

Ohio Speedweek logoIt’ll be a short turnaround then as Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket rolls into Sharon on Tuesday (June 21) featuring a $ 5,000 to-win event for Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions along with $ 300 to-win for the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Over 40 Sprints are expected.  Along with all of the top All Stars, Dave Blaney, Kyle Larson, Rico Abreu California’s Dominic Scelzi, central Pa. standout Danny Dietrich, and several Australian invaders are expected.  Warm-ups are scheduled for 6 p.m. followed by Sprint Car qualifying and racing.  Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale at SharonSpeedway.com.

Saturday will feature the second of five mini series events for the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series. Saturday’s feature will pay $ 1,500 to-win for the “Jim Hooks Memorial” presented by Wedge Motorsports, Robinson Automotive, Homak Manufacturing and the Penn-Ohio Series.  M&T Allison Construction is the major dash sponsor. The opening event saw 45 Stocks battle with Chris Schneider picking up the win. Andy Buckley, who love to win his season’s first on Saturday, leads the Sharon Gibson Insurance Agency points over Mike Miller, Bob McCann, Paul Davis, and last Saturday’s winner Mike Clark.

Jimmy Weller III picked up his second win in the past three weeks last Saturday in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Weller has ascended to second in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points as he looks to contend for his first championship. Atop the standings by 12 is Rex King, Jr., who still has yet to win a feature this year at Sharon like his father, who is third in points. Dave Murdick and Michael Maresca, Jr., a newcomer to Sharon, are tied for fourth.

The four “J’s” are atop the Summit Racing Equipment Modified standings as Joe Gabrielson leads Josh Ferry, Jeff Johnson, and Joel Watson. Gabrielson, Ferry, and Johnson have had speed and in contention to win this season, but all will look for their season’s first win on Saturday. Three-time feature winner, Joel Watson, had his perfect streak end last Saturday and is fourth due to missing the June 4 program. Last Saturday’s winner, Scott Stiffler, is fifth.

Brandon Ritchey is the only driver to repeat thus far in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Ritchey has just a three-point lead over Kole Holden and six points over Jerry Schaffer. Chad Wolbert, who is in his first year of racing full size cars, and Nick Ritchey are fourth and fifth in Lyden/Red Line Oil points. Car counts have been strong this year ranging between 23-25 cars for all five events to date with still some new cars expected to debut soon.

Joe Campbell came all the way from the 14th starting spot last Saturday night to steal a win and became the first repeat winner in the Mini Stocks this season. Steve Walker II has built up a 12-point lead on three-time champion and the division’s all-time winner, Bill Fuchs, who is still searching for his season’s first win. Matt Rubright, Campbell, and Michael DelliQuadri are third through fifth in points.

On Saturday, 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.

Pits open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Admission for those 14 and over is $ 10, while children 13 and under are free.  Pit passes are $ 30.

On Tuesday, pits open at 3 p.m. with grandstands at 4, Sprint engine starts at 5:45 followed by warm-ups, qualifying for the Sprints, and racing. General admission tickets are $ 25 for those 14 and under.  Children 13 and under are free.  Pit passes are $ 35.  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

Full 6-division “Steel Valley Thunder” program set for Saturday on Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night

By Mike Leone

June 7, 2016

(Hartford, OH)…For the first time this season, Sharon Speedway was able to complete back-to-back events without a rainout last Saturday night; nonetheless, Mother Nature has threatened now for seven straight weeks.  Sharon will look to complete their third straight racing program this Saturday night (June 11) as a full six-division “Steel Valley Thunder” program is on tap 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.

Saturday is Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night with all card-carrying members admitted free into the grandstands or can receive $ 10 off a pit pass. Saturday’s kitchen special is loaded barbeque pork potato casserole.  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.

Despite failing to win a race this season, the Kings still find themselves atop the DIRTcar Big-Block Modified standings. Rex King, Jr., the 2014 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Champion, leads his father, a five-time track champion, by nine points.  Ironically, right behind the Kings in points is another father-son duo with Jimmy Weller III and Jim Weller, Jr. tied for third!  Both racers have earned one feature win to date.  Garrett Krummert completes the three-way tie for third spot in points.  A big congratulations to Chris Haines, who won his first career Big-Block Modified feature last Saturday night in the track’s 600th all-time feature for the division!

The (E) Modified point race has really tightened up with three-time winner, Joel Watson, missing last Saturday night. Just three points separate the top three racers, who are all looking for their first wins.  Jeff Johnson led early on in last Saturday’s feature before fading to fourth at the finish, but nonetheless has the Summit Racing Equipment point lead.  Joe Gabrielson and Josh Ferry are tied for second.  Ferry won the April 16 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up feature for the Econo Mods for his first career Sharon win, but now is in his first season of  “open” Modified racing.  Carl McKinney is fourth, while Watson dropped to fifth.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds have consistently brought strong fields of cars this year as 24 have been present in three of the four events with a record 25 on May 28. With that, the third year division, which is in its second year of weekly competition at the track, has run for the higher $ 500 to-win, $ 75 to-start payoff.  Brandon Ritchey became the season’s first repeat winner anywhere on the circuit last Saturday night as he stole a first career win away from Tiffany Williams with two laps to go.  Ritchey leads veteran Jerry Schaffer by 14 points in the Lyden/Red Line Oil standings.  May 28 winner Kole Holden is third in points.  Chas Wolbert, who is in his first season of Modified racing after running Mod Lites, is fourth ahead of Nick Ritchey.

The Stock Cars return after having the night off on June 4. Just three events have been completed to date this season including the non-point April 16 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up.  Mike Miller, who battled for the championship last year down until the end before losing out to Mike Clark, has a 10-point lead on Andy Buckley, who set out to win his first track championship this year.  Jamie Scharba and Paul Davis are tied for third with Andy Thompson fifth.  Meanwhile, Mike Clark, who is in search of his unprecedented fourth straight Gibson Insurance Agency crown is back in ninth.

Fresh off his season’s first win to become the fourth different winner in as many Econo Mod features this year, Steve Haefke has raced out to a 15-point lead in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings over Josh Mueller, who is in search of his first career win. Feature winners this season, Brandon Blackshear and Butch Lambert, are third and fourth ahead of Wayne Daniels, who won his first heat race last Saturday night.

The Mini Stock division has been wide open this year with four different winners in as many races. Steve Walker II, one of those winners, has just a one-point lead in the Deforest Used Parts standings over the division’s all-time winner and three-time champion in Bill Fuchs, who surprisingly has yet to win a feature this season.  Second year racers Matt Rubright and Michael DelliQuadri are third and fourth in points as Rubright is coming off his first career win.  One-time winner, Joe Campbell, is fifth.

On Saturday, pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Admission for those 14 and over is $ 10, while children 13 and under are free.  Parking and camping are free.  Pit passes are $ 30.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Coming up on Tuesday, June 21 will be the first of two appearances by Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars. The Ohio Speedweek event will pay $ 5,000 to-win and will also include the Mini Stocks paying $ 300 to-win in a show-up point event.  Tickets are on sale by visiting 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 www.twitter.com/sharonspdwy.

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Sharon Speedway

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