Final “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing program Saturday to decide top 10 point races; “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” Friday

By Mike Leone

August 26, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…A big weekend is in store at Sharon Speedway beginning on Friday night (August 28) with the “Summer Jam & BBQ Series IV” followed up by the final “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly program of the 2015 season featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Weller Hughes Contracting & Developing RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. In addition, there will be ATV and Side-by-Side races (if less than 10 feature only). Heat races gets underway at 7 p.m.

“Escape”, a “Journey” Tribute Band will headline the entertainment, which will get underway at 7 p.m. with “Ronnie V & Friends”. Gates open at 6 p.m. and entertainment will wrap up at 11. The food menu will include barbeque chicken dinner, barbeque country ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and hot sausage sandwiches. Admission is $ 5. Free camping is available for the entire weekend. Admission is just $ 5 on Friday and if you bring your wristband to Saturday’s race event you will receive $ 2 off the normal $ 10 admission.

Saturday’s race program will conclude the 2015 point championship races in all six weekly divisions. The top 10 drivers will receive cash and hardware at the awards banquet typically held the first Saturday in February at Yankee Lake (OH) Ballroom.  Saturday’s 50/50 raffle and beer proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. The Joedance Film Festival will be Saturday’s event sponsor.

One of the closest championship races is in the headline Big-Block Modified division where Rex King leads his son Rex, Jr. by 18 points. The elder King will be looking for his fifth championship at the speedway. The Bristolville, Ohio veteran won his first title back in 1985 then won when Sharon returned to weekly racing in 1996 followed up by back-to-back crowns in 2010 and 2011. His son “Cooter”, who won three of the first four races this season but has only won one race since, still has an outside shot at repeating, but pretty much needs a perfect night and something to go wrong for his father.

Ricky Richner has a five-point lead over Jim Weller, Jr. for the third spot. Currently completing the top 10 in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points are Jim Rasey, Tom Glenn, Carl Murdick, Rob Kristyak, Rick Regalski, Jr., and Garrett Krummert. Dave Murdick is on the outside looking in, three points out of 10th.

The closest championship battle is in the Modifieds where rookie open wheel racer Will Thomas III leads Mike Kinney by just two points! Thomas is coming off two championships in the past three seasons in the RUSH Late Models. Thomas won the season’s first two races in his Modified debut, but since has only won one race; meanwhile, Kinney, the 2013 champion, is still looking for his season’s first win. Can he pull off a win and the title on the final night!?

Dwayne Clay has a lock on the third spot in the Summit Racing Equipment points and has no chance of winning the title unless neither Thomas nor Kinney show. Veteran Stock Car racer, Paul Davis, leads Jeff Johnson by 10 in the race for fourth. Completing the top 10 are Jacob Eucker, Joel Watson, Joe Gabrielson, Scott Stiffler, and Matt Lux. J.J. Bametzrieder is on the outside looking in just two points out of 10th.

After competing eight times last year during their inaugural season, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds were added to the weekly card in 2015 at Sharon. The little brother to the big blocks, have increased their counts from 10-13 last year to 13-16 per night this season. Last Saturday night’s 16-car field was the highest ever at Sharon and matched the region high count set twice this year at Lernerville and Sportsman’s Speedways.

Greg Martin locked up the inaugural Weller Hughes Developing and Contracting title last Saturday night; however, the Wilson, New York driver was shutout of victory lane for the second straight race, which is the first time that’s happened over the two-year period. Martin leads the speedway with six wins and has yet to finish third in any feature over the two years.

Two-time winner, Nick Ritchey, is second in points and has a solid 31-point lead over Kole Holden. The improving Brandon Ritchey and Michael Ritchey and have moved into fourth and fifth in points. Two-time winner, Rocky Kugel, is sixth in points and still has a shot at fourth. Completing the top 10 are Kyle Martell, Chelsie Kriegisch, Will Schaffer, and Josh Deems. Outside looking in are Larry Kugel and Jerry Schaffer. The elder Kugel is just one-point behind Deems and has a shot at moving to ninth.

After a close battle for much of the season, Mike Clark distanced himself from Mike Miller in the Stock Cars. The Bristolville, Ohio driver simply needs to attempt to race and he’ll capture his third straight Gibson Insurance Agency title! The last time that feat was accomplished was in 1996-1998 by Rick Prosser, Jr. Clark and Brian Carothers are the only two drivers to repeat this year in the highly competitive division, which have seen five different drivers win their first career Sharon Stock features!

Miller has just a three-point advantage on Carothers for second. Brian Mulichak and Tony Bruno are fourth and fifth in points and pretty much have a lock on those positions. Completing the top 10 are Gary Robinson, Tim Deutsch, Troy DeZarn, Dan Fedorchak, and Jacob Billyk.

Ryan Fraley and Casey Bowers have battled all season long in the Econo Mods. Both drivers lead the division with three victories. A blown motor earlier in the season was costly for Bowers, which allowed Fraley to pull away. Bowers was chipping away at Fraley’s point lead in recent weeks and won his heat race last Saturday, but coming up light at the scales pretty much ruined his shot at the title. Fraley leads Bowers by 28 points.

As long as Bowers attempts to race, he won’t finish worse than second in points. Keith Felicetty has a solid lock on third in his best career season. Jamie Scharba, Wayne Daniels, Steve Haefke, Chris Clay, Brad Blackshear, Brian Foley, Jr., and Butch Lambert are currently fourth through 10th in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points.

Like Greg Martin, Bill Fuchs was able to clinch his championship last Saturday in the Mini Stocks. Fuchs though did it in grand style by winning the feature! Fuchs’ fourth win of the season was his all-time leading 27th of his career in the division. The Greenville, Pa. driver, who was able to defend his 2014 title, also leads the division with three championships!

Rookie Matt Rubright has a 17-point advantage on Jamie Maxwell in the battle for second in points. Both drivers are in search of their first career wins. Jim Haefke, Jr., Michael DelliQuadri, Joe Campbell, Joe Keney, Tim McAninch, Logan Keney, and Pat Drennan currently complete the top 10 in Deforest Used Parts standings. No one outside of the top 10 has a shot at breaking in.

Summit Racing Equipment will award $ 25 gift cards to the hard charger in the Modified, Stock Car, Econo Mod, and Mini Stock divisions.

Pits open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5, and heat races are slated for 7. Grandstand admission is $ 10 for those 14 and other. Pit passes are $ 30. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE! Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Sharon will be off over Labor Day Weekend then will conclude the 86th anniversary season with the two-day “Apple Festival Nationals” on Friday and Saturday, September 11-12. Friday will feature complete shows for the Mod Lites and Sportsman Dwarf Cars along with heat races for the RUSH Late Models, Modifieds, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Stock Cars, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks. Saturday will be a complete show for The Mod Tour big blocks along with last chance B mains and features for Friday’s divisions (excluding Mod Lites and Dwarfs).

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 Late Models return Saturday along with Big-Block Mods, RUSH Mods, Stocks, Econos & Minis

By Mike Leone

August 20, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…With great weather predicted, Sharon Speedway will look to complete its eighth straight event this Saturday (August 22) as the RUSH Late Models return for their next to last visit of the 86th anniversary season. Joining the Late Models will be the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Weller Hughes Developing & Contracting RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. The (E) Modifieds will have the night off. Heat races get underway at 7 p.m.

Saturday is Preston Ford Corporate Night. Kids bike races will be held during intermission. Helmets are required and kids must sign up with their parents prior to competing. The kitchen special is lasagna. All 50/50 raffle and beer proceeds will benefit the local food banks.

After getting rained out in their first three scheduled appearances this season, the RUSH Late Models did get their July 18 event in as two-time champion Will Thomas III beat David Scott’s sons, Wyatt and Kyle, who were amongst the 18-car field. Saturday is another Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC “Weekly Series” event for the Late Models. If 24 or more cars are present, Sharon will pay $ 1,000 to-win otherwise the weekly payoff from the past will be used. There is no longer a required Hoosier Crate Racin’ USA D55 on the right rear. 2013 track champion Dennis Lunger, Jr. along with inaugural 2011 champion, Josh Double, are expected to be in the field along with several other top racers like Alan Dellinger, Matt Latta, Bobby Whitling, and others. Thomas leads the all-time win list with 14 victories over Lunger’s 11.

Just two more nights of points remain for the weekly divisions. After the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds had last Saturday off, they return this Saturday night. Rex King will try and maintain his 18-point lead over his son and defending champion, Rex King, Jr. The Kings have accounted for six victories this season with King, Jr. leading the way at four. Jim Weller, Jr., Ricky Richner, and Jim Rasey, who is looking for his first win in over four years, complete the top five in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply point standings.

Like their big brother, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will also be back in action this Saturday after having August 15 off. Nick Ritchey put a halt Greg Martin’s three race win streak as he won his second Weller Hughes Developing & Contracting feature on August 8. Martin, of Wilson, NY, has a commanding 47-point lead on Ritchey, and if he can finish 14th or better in the feature the next two events he’ll win the title no matter what Ritchey does. Martin could clinch the title Saturday night if he wins both the heat race and feature. Kole Holden has a comfortable cushion for the third position in points, while fourth through seventh is very tight as just 20 points separate Chelsie Kriegisch, Michael Kristyak, Brandon Ritchey, and Kyle Martell.

Brian Carothers joined Mike Cark last Saturday as the only repeat winners in the highly competitive Stock Car division in 2015. Carothers has overtaken one-time winner, Mike Miller, for the second spot in the Gibson Insurance Agency points, but trails Clark by 38. Clark, of Bristolville, Ohio, has a pretty commanding 38-point lead in search of his third consecutive track championship. Miller has dropped to third in points over Brian Mulichak and Tony “Spaghetti” Bruno. After blowing up two open motors, 32-time winner and four-time track champion, Steve D’Apolito, is expected to have his GM 604 crate motor ready for competition Saturday.

Opening night winner Butch Lambert became just the third driver to score multiple wins last Saturday in the Econo Mods joining the top two HTMA/Precise Racing Products point drivers of Casey Bowers and Ryan Fraley. Both drivers have three wins, but Fraley leads by 22 points with two events remaining. Consistent Keith Felicetty has a pretty solid lock on the third position over Jamie Scharba and Wayne Daniels.

Bill Fuchs just missed out on his third feature win of the year after coming up just shy to Andy Proper’s second victory last Saturday in the Mini Stocks. Fuchs though of Greenville, Pa. can clinch his second straight and fourth Deforest Used Parts championship by simply finishing seventh or better in Saturday’s feature. Rookie Matt Rubright is 62 points behind Fuchs, but has a 25-point lead on Jamie Maxwell, who is still searching for his first career win. Jim Haefke, Jr. is a distant fourth in points over Michael DelliQuadri, who was second in points earlier in the year.

Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again 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. Summit Racing Equipment will award $ 25 gift cards to the hard charger in the Modified, Stock Car, Econo Mod, and Mini Stock divisions.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, and heat races are slated for 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is just $ 10. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE! Pit passes are $ 30. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Sharon will have another “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” next Friday night (August 28) featuring “Escape” a Journey Tribute Band along with “Ronnie V & Friends”. Gates open at 6 p.m. with entertainment from 7-11. Admission is just $ 5. Saturday the 29th will be the final “Steel Valley Thunder” program of the season featuring the six weekly divisions plus ATV & Side-by-Side races. Admission is $ 10 for the racing and just $ 8 if you bring your band from Friday night.

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 return Saturday for their final 2015 appearance along with Mods, Stocks, Econo Mods & Mini Stocks

By Mike Leone

August 11, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway will look to complete its seventh straight event this Saturday night (August 15) as the “410” Sprint Cars return for their third and final visit of the 86th anniversary season.  Joining the Sprints will be the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.  The DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have the night off.  Heat races get underway at 7 p.m.

Saturday is Lincoln Electric Night.  All 50/50 and beer proceeds will benefit the local fire and EMS.  Saturday’s kitchen special is cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Coming off two successful All Star Circuit of Champions events in June and July for Ohio Speedweek and the “Lou Blaney Memorial” won by Dale Blaney and Sheldon Haudenschild, the “410” Sprint Cars will appear Saturday in a 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.

One of the top local Sprint Car drivers looking forward to returning to Sharon is Jack Sodeman, Jr.  The North Jackson, Ohio racer won back-to-back titles when the Sprints ran weekly at Sharon in 2009 and 2010 and owns 12 career wins at the Hartford, Ohio oval.

Several other top local talent like defending Mercer Champion Eric Williams, recent two-time 2015 Lernerville winners A.J. Flick and Dan Kuriger, past Speedweek winner Brandon Matus and his father Brent, former Lernerville Champions Brandon Spithaler and Carl Bowser, Mercer winner Adam Kekich, and others are expected.

The Modified feature race last Saturday between Dan Davies and Mike Kinney was one of the best races of the season with Davies capturing his first career win at the track.  Kinney, the 2013 champion, has his sights set on his second track championship as he’s closed the gap to eight behind leader Will Thomas III in the Summit Racing Equipment standings.  Kinney is still looking for his season’s first win, while Thomas already has three checkered flags.  Dwayne Clay is third in points over Paul Davis and Joel Watson, who has fell 124 points back in fifth after missing last week due to building a new car.

Curt J. Bish invaded Sharon last Saturday night for just his second appearance of the season and won for the company he works for, SMS Technical Services’ corporate night.   Bish became the seventh different Stock Car winner in the eight events run this season.  Atop the standings is Mike Clark, the division’s only repeat winner.  Clark leads Mike Miller by 34 points in the Gibson Insurance Agency standings in hopes of his third straight title.  Third through fifth in points are Brian Carothers, Brian Mulichak, and Tony “Spaghetti” Bruno.  Sixth place point man, Gary Robinson, nearly became another winner back on August 1 before Clark made a late race pass for the win.  The Stock Car count has been higher this season than in recent years.

While the Econo Mod car count has been lower than usual this season, the racing up front has been tremendous.  In fact, each of the past three weeks at least four drivers have been in a pack battling for the win, side-by-side to the finish.  Steve Haefke ended a four-year winless drought picking up the victory and stopping Casey Bowers and Ryan Fraley from winning their fourth feature events.  Fraley leads Bowers by 22 as it appears those two will battle for their first HTMA/Precise Racing Products Championship.  Keith Felicetty has a very consistent career best season and is third in points over Jamie Scharba and Wayne Daniels.

Joe Campbell won his season’s first last Saturday in the Mini Stocks, but Bill Fuchs is well on his way to his third straight championship.  Fuchs leads the division with three victories and has the biggest point lead at the Speedway at 51 over rookie racer Matt Rubright in the Deforest Used Parts standings.  Jamie Maxwell moved up to third in points over Michael DelliQuadri, who missed last Saturday night.  Tim McAninch is fifth.  Fuchs is the only driver in the top seven in points that has won a feature this season!  Forty-four different Mini Stock drivers have participated this season.

“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 NQ/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, Econo Mod, and Mini Stock divisions.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, and heat races are slated for 7.  Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is just $ 10.  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

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