“Armed Forces Night” Saturday with a full “Steel Valley Thunder” racing program

By Mike Leone

June 28, 2016

(Hartford, OH)…After a terrible start weather wise to the season, Mother Nature has finally blessed Sharon Speedway with good weather and that trend is expected to continue this Saturday night (July 2).  With the second half of the 87th anniversary season set to get underway, Sharon will look to complete its seventh straight event.  The “Steel Valley Thunder” program for “Armed Forces Night” will feature 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’s promotion is “Armed Forces Night” as all veterans and active service personnel will be admitted free into the grandstands for general admission. Saturday’s kitchen special is hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes and a vegetable..  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 Wellers have been on a tear this season in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Jimmy Weller III entered 2016 with two career Big-Block Modified wins at the track and has already captured three checkered flags including last Saturday night, while his father Jim, Jr. has added a pair of victories.  Nonetheless, both are still chasing consistent Rex King, Jr., who is out in front of the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply championship chase.  King, Jr., who has yet to win a feature this year at Sharon, has a 13-point lead on Weller III and 28 points on Weller, Jr.  Rex King and Rick Richner are fourth and fifth in points as both racers are always fighting for their first wins of the season as well.

Joel Watson has now won four of the six Modified features he’s entered this year; however, one of those was the non-point make-up and missing one night has kept him from leading the Summit Racing Equipment points. It’s certainly good to have your first name start with a ‘J’ as Joe Gabrielson leads Jeff Johnson by 25, while Joel Watson and Josh Ferry complete the top four in points.  Oddly enough eight of the top 18 in points have their first names start with a ‘J’.  One-time winner, Scott Stiffler, is fifth in points.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds continue to churn out new winners and strong car counts. Chas Wolbert became the sixth different driver in seven Lyden/Red Line Oil races to capture feature wins after winning last Saturday’s Bicknell Tour event for his first career win.  Only point leader Brandon Ritchey has repeated as he has a 14-point lead on one-time winner, Kole Holden.  Wolbert is up to third in points with Nick Ritchey and Jerry Schaffer searching for their first wins.  The car count has ranged from 21 to last Saturday night’s record of 26.

After coming up just shy to Mike Clark two years ago, Paul Davis is bound and determined to win a Stock Car championship. Davis won the $ 1,500 Penn-Ohio race on June 18 for his biggest career win and backed it up winning from ninth.  Davis has lots of pressure behind him with Mike Miller trailing by eight points and Andy Buckley nine.  Miller battled hard with Clark last season only to come up shy, while Buckley’s goal is stop Clark from a fourth straight title.  Bob McCann and Clark, who each have a victory, are fourth and fifth in the Gibson Insurance Agency points.

Steve Haefke has definitely become the driver to beat in the Econo Mods. He has an amazing string of 12 straight top two finishes dating back to last season!  He’s won three of the last four features, which means he can start no better than 12th Saturday night due to two straight wins.  In the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points race, Haefke has opened up 21-point lead on Brandon Blackshear.  Brad Blackshear, Wayne Daniels, and Chris Clay complete the top five.

In 2010, back in the old Friday night bi-weekly racing program, Steve Walker II won a feature event in route to the Mini Stock championship. Walker went six years without a win or a championship, but here in 2016 the Greenville, Pa. driver has two feature wins and sits atop the Deforest Used Parts points.  Walker has just a slim four-point lead on Bill Fuchs, while Joe Campbell, Matt Rubright, and Logan Keney round out the top five.

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.

Coming up next Saturday, July 9 will be the “Lou Blaney Memorial” presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet featuring Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars racing for $ 10,000 to-win along with The Mod Tour for big blocks battling for $ 2,000 to-win. Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale through 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

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

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