Sharon set to kickoff regular season Saturday night with “Steel Valley Thunder” opener plus power wheel races for kids

By Mike Leone

April 27, 2016                         

(Hartford, OH)…After a successful 2016 opener with the “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up on April 16 and a disappointing rain out for last Friday’s Lucas Oil Late Model event, Sharon Speedway is looking forward to returning to racing action this Saturday night (April 30) with the “Steel Valley Thunder” kickoff 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.  Saturday’s program, which will get underway at 7 p.m., is being presented by Warren Diesel Performance.

During intermission, power wheel races will be held for kids.  Once again this season, 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.

The DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds have been a staple at the speedway since it went to dirt in 1981 and have been the track’s headlining division since 2011.  Hovis Auto & Truck Supply is back once again as the divisional sponsor.  Defending champion, Rex King, will look to break the tie of five championships with the late Lou Blaney, to become the division’s top titlist.  King will also look to add to his 51 wins at the speedway, which is second all-time.  King trails Blaney by 70 wins in that department, but has 30 more wins than the next active driver, Kevin Bolland.

King will have staunch weekly competition this season from his son Rex Jr., Jim and Jimmy Weller, Bolland, Rick Richner, Dave Murdick, Garrett Krummert, Jim Rasey, Michael Maresca, Rob Kristyak, and many more plus drivers like Brian Swartzlander and Jeremiah Shingledecker that make periodic appearances.  New York’s Erick Rudolph topped a 34-car field on April 16 for The Mod Tour event.

Summit Racing Equipment will again present the Modified division, which has provided stout competition and quality racing in recent years.  Joel Watson got off to a fast start winning the $ 2,000 make-up on April 16 for his 22nd career win at the speedway.  Behind Watson on the win list in positions third through sixth are Jeff Johnson, Scott Stiffler, Russ Dunn, and Jeff Sharp.  All of those racers are expected to contend for victories on a weekly basis, but the driver they’ll be shooting to dethrone from the championship is Will Thomas III.  Thomas won the title last year in his first year of running Modifieds after successfully transitioning from the asphalt to the dirt with the RUSH Late Models.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds have begun their third year of existence and second year as a weekly division at the speedway.  Lyden/Red Line Oil is on board as the divisional sponsor this season.  A record car count of 24 turned out for the April 16 make-up, and with several other racers still not in competition the division could be racing for the 24-car payoff of $ 500 to-win, $ 75 to-start many times this year.  Any driver that would fail to qualify for the feature would not only receive tow money, but also a free pit pass for the following week!  Defending champion, Greg Martin, won the opener, but is not expected to race weekly in 2016 opening the door for a bevy of contenders.  Sharon is also part of RUSH’s Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series program that pays the top 15 members in points with $ 3,000 going to the champion!

The Stock Car division has had a resurgence of late, and with that Sharon will offer $ 500 to-win weekly or $ 700 to-win and a higher total payoff if there are 24 or more cars!  Rob Shook opened the season on April 16 winning his first ever at the speedway for his biggest career payday taking the $ 2,000.  Mike Clark will begin his title defense in the Gibson Insurance Agency division Saturday as he tries for an unprecedented fourth straight crown, which would tie Steve D’Apolito for most in the division.  D’Apolito may have something to say about that as he sits third on the division’s all-time win list, and is the most active winningest driver at 32 victories.  D’Apolito campaigns a GM 604 crate engine and will also try and win RUSH’s $ 1,000 Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series title.  The Stocks will also have a mini series featuring five races for the Penn-Ohio Series paying a minimum of $ 1,000 to-win!

The HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mod division begins its seventh year of competition at Sharon since in debuted in 2010 in the old Friday night bi-weekly program.  During that period, the division has produced five different champions with only Jeremy Double repeating in 2013-2014.  Josh Ferry began the season winning the April 16 show for his first career win as became the 25th driver to win a feature in the division’s history.  Ryan Fraley is the defending champion.

The Mini Stocks always produced some exciting and wild racing.  When not being overtaken by outside invaders, Bill Fuchs has been the man to beat in the Deforest Used Parts-sponsored division.  The Greenville, Pa. Mini Stock veteran has won three of the last five division titles and has won a division-leading 27 features!  Fuchs has won 22% of the Mini Stock features run since 2009.  Brian Felmlee picked up the special event April 16 make-up win for his second career win.

On Saturday, pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7.  Grandstand admission is $ 10 for those 14 and over.  As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE!  Pit passes are $ 30.  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

Lucas Oil Late Models set for Sharon debut Friday; Fans to see star-studded field of racers battle for $10,000 along with RUSH Tour opener making for a Late Model doubleheader

By Mike Leone

April 19, 2016                         

(Hartford, OH)…After a successful 87th anniversary season opener on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway, the stage is finally set for the inaugural appearance by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series this Friday night (April 22).  The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH (Crate) Late Model Touring Series will also be part of this long-awaited Late Model doubleheader program, which is being presented by Barris Truck Service of West Middlesex, Pa.  Barris Truck Service features medium and heavy duty truck repair and heavy duty towing.  Performance Bodies with their MD3 brand is an associate sponsor of the event.

The LOLMDS boasts a star-studded lineup of racers that will be in competition battling in the $ 10,000 to-win “Steel Valley 50” led by defending champion and current point leader Jonathan Davenport of Mount Airy, North Carolina, who leads the Series with six victories this season. Two-time Series champion, Scott Bloomquist, is currently second in the standings with two wins.

Jared Landers is third followed by Darrell Lanigan and Brandon Sheppard. Sixth through 11th in points are Dennis Erb Jr., Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Owens, Earl Pearson Jr., Don O’Neal, and Steve Francis.  Colton Flinner of Allison Park, Pa. leads the Lucas’ Rookie of the Year standings.  Other 2016 LOLMDS winners include Josh Richards with three and Mason Zeigler and Chris Madden with one with each.

While many of the above racers have not competed at Sharon, one driver that has is Lanigan, who won the last national Late Model race at Sharon back in 2010. Several local and regional talented Late Model racers will be on hand trying to dethrone some of the best Super Late Model racers in the world like Rochester Mills, Pennsylvania driver Gregg Satterlee, who already has wins this season at Williams Grove and Port Royal Speedways.  Another of those is Max Blair, who will actually be doing double duty competing with both the LOLMDS and the RUSH Crate Late Models.  Other local standouts expected include last Friday night’s Lernerville winner Russell King and 2015 ULMS Super Late Model Champion Jared Miley.

“We’ve tried for five or six years to get a Lucas Oil event at Sharon,” acknowledged seventh year General Manager Dave Willoughby. “Lucas Oil is committed to a 50-event slate each year and the success of their events has tracks renewing year in and year out.  This date came open and even though it’s not on our typical Saturday night program we couldn’t pass up the opportunity as Lucas Oil will be heading to Hagerstown Speedway the following night.  Other than some events two hours or more away in Ohio, this will be the only local appearance the Series makes until October at Pittsburgh.  Interest has been very high so hopefully we get good weather and the fans support this event so it becomes an annual tradition.”

The tire rule for the event is Hoosier Rib 1300 (no white dots) or Hoosier 1325 for left rear and fronts, and Hoosier 01 (1300 rubber) or Hoosier 04 (1425 rubber) for right rear. For more information on Lucas Oil, check out their website at www.lucasdirt.com.

The Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series will also be part of the program highlighted by a 30-lap feature paying $ 2,000 to-win. It’ll be the Series’ opening event of the 2016 season after actually completing the 2015 season last Saturday with the “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up that saw Matt Latta win his first career RUSH Tour event.

Defending Series Champion Max Blair along with past crate champions like Alan Dellinger, Mike Pegher, Jr., and Ryan Montgomery are expected along with former Sharon Champions Will Thomas III, Dennis Lunger, Jr., and Josh Double. The event is expected to draw competitors from all over Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York along with the Mid-Atlantic and Ontario, Canada.  RUSH will return in a Touring Series event on September 16-17 as part of the “Apple Festival Nationals”.

Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale through Thursday at noon for $ 28 by going to www.sharonspeedway.com and clicking on ‘buy tickets’ at the top left of the page.  Day of event general admission adult tickets are $ 25, while pit passes are $ 40.  Children 13 and under are free for general admission.  Advanced ticket holders will be able to get into the grandstands at 4 p.m. for preferred seating before the grandstand gates open at 5 p.m.  Warm-ups begin at 6:15 for RUSH followed by group qualifying for both series with racing to follow.

There will be no racing on Saturday night (April 23). The 87th anniversary season at Sharon continues on Saturday, April 30 with the “Steel Valley Thunder” kick-off 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.

The Barris Family has been heavily involved in racing over the years. Barris Supply was the presenting sponsor of the RUSH Late Models for several years through their last season of weekly racing in 2014.  See Barris Supply for all your Cub Cadet needs.  Barris Supply is located at 3500 Sharon Rd., West Middlesex, PA 16159.  Contact them at 724-528-2560 or www.barrissupply.com.

Performance Bodies has been in business for over 35 years can provide your race team with the same quality products, great service and FAST delivery, that they provide thousands of other race teams throughout the country. Performance Bodies is also sells the MD3 noses for all types of race cars. With a warehouse stocked full of high quality, race-proven parts and a great team to provide you with their world famous same day shipping, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed! All orders received will ship the same business day. For more information, check out www.performancebodies.com or www.md3dirt.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

Night 2 of rescheduled 2015 “Apple Festival Nat’s” to open season Saturday featuring “Russ King Memorial” for Big-Block Mod Tour along w/ RUSH LM & Mod Tour, Stocks, Mods, Econos & Minis; Open practice Friday night

By Mike Leone

April 12, 2016                 

(Hartford, OH)…With great weather predicted, Sharon Speedway will kick-off the 2016 season this weekend with an open practice on Friday evening (April 15) followed by the rescheduled night two of the 2015 “Apple Festival Nationals” on Saturday evening. Night one was completed back on September 11, but late afternoon rain washed out the scheduled night two on September 12 and then inclement weather on October 3 forced the postponement to this spring.  Practice is from 5-9 p.m. Friday with racing on Saturday starting at 6 p.m.

The Mod Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds will run a complete show on Saturday, while the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour, Bicknell RUSH Sportsman Modified Tour, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars for the Penn-Ohio Series, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks will finish their program that has already included heat races that were completed on September 11.

Cars that didn’t compete on September 11 are permitted to race in all of the divisions. New cars will draw pills to determine their starting order behind the qualified cars.  Qualified cars that will have a driver change on Saturday will force that car to start behind all of the qualified cars, but ahead of any new cars.  Two B mains are scheduled for the Stock Cars.  If the amount of new cars exceeds a full field for any of the other divisions, a last chance B main will be run.

The Mod Tour will run in their first of three races scheduled in 2016 at Sharon. Saturday will be the “Russ King Memorial” in a complete show paying $ 2,000 to-win.  Rex King, Jr. won the Tour’s only appearance in 2015 in the “Lou Blaney Memorial”.  King, Jr. came up short to his father on repeating his Hovis Auto & Truck Supply championship, but has already started 2016 victorious winning the Mod Tour opener at Mercer Raceway Park.

To date, there have been 29 “Russ King Memorial” events run with 15 different winners. The late Lou Blaney leads the win list at five.  The top active racers include King, Jim Rasey, and 2014 winner Jim Weller, Jr. with three wins each, which is tied for second with the retired hall of fame racer Bob Kraus.  Steve Feder and Ricky Richner scored upset wins in 2012 and 2013 for their first career wins at the speedway.  One of the biggest upsets took place in 2008 when the “358” small-block of Lonny Riggs won his first career Sharon feature!

Back on September 11, Max Blair set fast in $ 100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying for the Sweeney RUSH Late Models in their Tour event with a lap of 16.419. Blair, Will Thomas III, and Steve Lowery earned $ 25 for their Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race wins.  Charlie Duncan won the K&N Dash and earned the pole for the 30-lap, $ 2,000 to-win feature. Twenty-two cars were in the pits.

The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars had the biggest field of cars with 47 in the pit area for the Penn-Ohio Series event. Heat wins went to Shaun Hooks, Andy Buckley, Rusty Moore, Tim Bish, and Steve D’Apolito.  Moore also won the $ 500 to-win “Jim Hooks Memorial” Dash event.  The 25-lap feature will pay $ 2,000 to-win Saturday.

Mike Kinney and Joel Watson won the two heat races for the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds. Just 12 cars were on hand for the $ 2,000 to-win event. Track champion Greg Martin and 2015 RUSH Sportsman Modified Tour champion Larry Kugel were Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modified heat race winners over the 13-car field.  $ 800 will be on the line to-win.

Track champion, Ryan Fraley, and two-time winner, Steve Haefke, copped the two heat races for the 17 Econo Mods. Their HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature on Saturday will pay $ 700 to-win.  2014 track champion, Travis Creech, and two-time 2015 winner, Pete Blazczak, captured the Mini Stock heat race wins over the 14-car field.  Their 15-lap Deforest Used Parts feature on Saturday will pay $ 500 to-win.

King Motor Sports joined forces with Jones Performance, Moore’s Auto Body, Bicknell Chassis, and McCool Graphics to manufacturer the race simulator. The goal is to have one in every children’s hospital in the country as they are getting their IV therapy.  In 2015, the Jacob Lewis Memorial Fund developed a new program.  If an organization or business does a charity event with the proceeds being donated to the Hope Racer project in excess of $ 3,000 that organization will receive a  car with their logo as the design and get to choose what children’s hospital  receives the simulator.  There will be a Chinese Auction plus the Mod Tour drivers will be doing a helmet collection during the redraw and 100% of the money collected goes to fund the Hope Racer Project.

On Friday, pits open at 4 p.m. with practice from 5-9 p.m. Pit passes are $ 20, while grandstand admission is free.  On Saturday, pits open at 3 p.m. with grandstands at 4.  Warm-ups will get underway at approximately 5:30 p.m. followed by racing at 6.

For those without rain checks or two-day passes, Saturday grandstand admission is $ 15 for those 14 and other and pit passes are $ 35. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always 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

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