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

Doubleheader weekend in store with “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” on Friday followed by “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Saturday

By Mike Leone

June 1, 2016                

(Hartford, OH)…After losing four of the last five weeks to rain, Sharon Speedway was able to defeat Mother Nature last Saturday night, but just like on May 7, rain still hit the speedway, but didn’t delay the action.  Sharon  is hoping for better weather for this weekend’s doubleheader.  Friday (June 3) will be another “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” featuring “Broken Road”, while Saturday night will be “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Selinick Transmission Night featuring 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.  The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars have the night off.  Race time is 7 p.m.

“Broken Road,” a “Rascal Flatts” tribute band, will make their first appearance at Sharon on Friday night featured in the second installment of “Summer Jam & BBQ Series.  “Broken Road” brings the fun and excitement of “Rascal Flatts” as these seasoned performers have the look and sound of “Rascal Flatts” by performing all their biggest hits with a few surprises thrown in.  Lead vocalist Walt Wise has performed nationally and internationally at places such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Caesars Palace, Harrahs, the US Air Force & Navy, etc.  A barbeque menu will be available throughout the night.  Free camping is available for the entire weekend.  Gates will open at 7 p.m. with “Broken Road” playing from 7-11.  Admission is $ 10.

On Saturday, fans will have a chance to register for four tickets that will be given away to the July 2 Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, and Old Dominion concert that will be held July 2 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

Saturday’s kitchen special is chicken salad. 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.

Jimmy Weller III joined his father last Saturday night as the two “Steel Valley Thunder” DIRTcar Big-Block Modified winners, while Erick Rudolph won “Russ King Memorial” Modified Tour event back on April 16. Rex King and Rex King, Jr., who have won four of the last six track championships, are winless to date; however are atop the standings with Rex leading “Cooter” by two points.  Weller, Jr., last week’s runner-up finisher Garrett Krummert, and Weller III are currently third through fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply standings.
It’s no surprise Joel Watson is on top of the Summit Racing Equipment Modified standings. The Conneaut, Ohio driver is the only repeat winner this year at Sharon, and not only that but he remains undefeated!  Watson won the $ 2,000 non-point “Apple Festival Nationals”  make-up on April 16 then won the two “Steel Valley Thunder” programs in May.  Watson has a 17-point lead over Mike Potosky.  Jeff Johnson, Josh Ferry, and Joe Gabrielson are third through fifth.  Ferry, who won the Econo Mod portion of the “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up, is in his first full season of “open” E-Mod racing.

After setting records with 24 cars at the first two RUSH Sportsman Modified events, the Lyden/Red Line Oil-sponsored division did one better last Saturday with 25 cars on hand. That set a new region car count record for the third year division!  After defending champion Greg Martin won the “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up, Brandon Ritchey and now Kole Holden have become the newest winners at the speedway with their first career wins.  Ritchey leads veteran racer Jerry Schaffer by seven points, while his cousin Nick Ritchey sits third.  Holden, who leads the $ 3,000 to-win RUSH Weekly Series points, is fourth ahead of Mod Lite graduate Chas Wolbert.  Look for several other drivers to find victory lane in the coming weeks in the ultra-competitive division.

The 16 Econo Mods on hand last Saturday was a season high and it was a familiar face in victory lane as Brandon Blackshear upped his all-time division-leading win total to 18. Blackshear is subbing for Steve Burns, Jr., who severely broke his leg during the offseason and is expected to miss much of the year.  Blackshear has risen to second in points, two behind Steve Haefke, who is in search of his season’s first win.  May 7 winner, Butch Lambert, is third in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points ahead of Josh Mueller and rookie Zach Myers.

Like all of the divisions except the Modifieds, the Mini Stocks have featured three different winners in three races with Brian Felmlee, Steve Walker II, and Joe Campbell victorious. One driver that has been shutout of victory lane is Bill Fuchs.  The Greenville, Pa. three-time champion, who owns an all-time leading 27 career wins, though still leads the Deforest Used Parts standings by two over Walker.  Michael DelliQuadri, Matt Rubright, and Greg Geibel are all looking for their first career wins and sit third through fifth in points.

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.

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 racing Saturday night; Full night of racing plus power wheels races for kids

By Mike Leone

May 25, 2016

(Hartford, OH)…After losing two straight Saturday nights of racing and four of the last five weeks, Sharon Speedway is hoping for better weather this Saturday night (May 28).  It’ll be a full night of “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Hunter Truck Sales Night 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.

For the next two Saturdays, fans will have a chance to register for four tickets that will be given away to the July 2 Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, and Old Dominion concert that will be held July 2 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The winner will be drawn on June 4.

Power wheels races will be held for children at intermission. Saturday’s kitchen special is cream chicken over mashed potatoes.  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.

Jim Weller, Jr. looked like he was on a mission at the last completed event on May 7 as he raced from sixth past early leader Rex King, Jr., who has been the driver to beat in recent seasons, to capture the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature. You can always figure on Weller to win a couple races per year and he quickly got the first one out of the way and in doing so captured his milestone 40th career overall victory at Sharon.  It was his 34th career Big-Block Modified win at the track, which is fourth all-time and second amongst active racers behind the elder Rex King’s 51 scores. Weller hasn’t competed for the point title since 2013, the last year someone other than a King won it.

Joel Watson has certainly been the perennial favorite in the Modified division in recent years as he’s climbed the ladder on the all-time win list to second. Watson has a long ways to go catch Alan Dellinger’s mark of 87 wins; however, Watson has been fast out of the gate going two-for-two winning the $ 2,000 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up on April 16 and repeating on May 7.  The Conneaut, Ohio driver now has 23 victories in the division.  Scott Stiffler is not far down the line with 17 wins and it looked like he might add his 18th until dropping from the event in the lead.  Mike Potosky was an impressive second place.

Year three of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds has seen tremendous growth. After competing on a limited basis in 2014, the class joined the “Steel Valley Thunder” program last year and was attracting about 15 cars per night.  Both Lyden/Red Line Oil races this year have featured 24 cars as a total of 26 different ones have already competed with several others still expected out in the coming weeks.  Even though defending champion Greg Martin won the make-up feature on April 16, Martin will not be a regular this season leaving the door wide open as was the case May 7.  Kyle Martell and Justin Shea were battling for their first career win until Martell caught an infield tire late in the race taking out both drivers.  That gave the lead to Brandon Ritchey, who went on for his first career win worth $ 500 due to the full field of cars!

The Stock Cars also pulled a big number of competitors at the last event as 45 filled the pit area for the opener of the five-race Penn-Ohio Mini Series. While Rob Shook won his first career race at Sharon for the $ 2,000 Penn-Ohio make-up on April 16, Chris Schneider added $ 1,000 to his bank account winning his fourth career Sharon race last Saturday night.  The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars will be running for a minimum of $ 500 weekly this year as long as there are at least 14 cars and if there 24 or more, the ante will be upped to $ 700!  Mike Clark is going after his unprecedented fourth straight division title.

Butch Lambert has found a nice home in the Econo Mod division recently after years of running Stock Cars, E-Mods, and RUSH Late Models. Lambert is a teammate with Modified racer Carl McKinney driving for Mike Hendrickson.  Lambert now has three victories in the division and could be the guy to beat for the HTMA/Precise Racing Products title if he chooses to go after it.  Lambert passed Steve Haefke for the win on May 7.

Two Greenville, Pa. drivers went at it in the Mini Stocks at their last show as Steve Walker II nosed out the division’s all-time winner, Bill Fuchs. The victory for Walker ended a six-year winless drought.  Ironically back in 2010 when Walker last won, he captured the point title.  It won’t be easy though to dethrone Fuchs, who owns three Deforest Used Parts championships and 27 victories.

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.

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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