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“Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing returns Saturday plus RUSH Late Models on Twin-State Night

By Mike Leone

July 14, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…After successful events including Ohio Speedweek, truck and tractor pulls, and the “Lou Blaney Memorial” the last three shows, Sharon Speedway looks forward to returning to weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” racing this Saturday night (July 18). On the card are 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, Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks, along with an appearance by the RUSH Late Models. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.

Due to rain and recent special events, the last completed “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly program was nearly a month ago on June 20. Saturday’s promotion is Twin-State Auto Racing Club Night with FREE grandstand admission or half-off pit admission for card-carrying club members. Also, power wheels races for kids will be held at intermission. Saturday’s kitchen special is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and vegetable. The 50/50 and beer proceeds will benefit the Liberty Schools Backpack Program.

After getting rained out in their first three scheduled appearances, the RUSH Late Models are hoping the fourth time is a charm as they’ll join the “Steel Valley Thunder” program on Saturday in a Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC “Weekly Series” event. If 24 or more cars are present, Sharon will pay $ 1,000 to-win. There is no longer a required Hoosier Crate Racin’ USA D55 on the right rear. Former track champions Will Thomas III, Dennis Lunger, and Josh Double are expected to be in the field. Thomas leads the all-time win list with 13 victories over Lunger’s 11.

After the Kings won the first four DIRTcar Big-Block Modified racers, Brian Swartzlander and Jim Weller, Jr. have been the two to end their run. King, Jr. got off to a fast start winning three of the first four features and was leading last Saturday’s “Lou Blaney Memorial” until Weller got by late in the race for the $ 2,000 win. King, Jr. leads his father and one-time winner by just four points. Ricky Richner, Jim Rasey, and Weller are currently third through fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points.

Will Thomas will be doing double duty Saturday driving both his RUSH Late Model and Modifieds. In the Modifieds, he’s picked up two victories and has been consistent in the other events to lead the Summit Racing Equipment standings by 16 over former champion, Mike Kinney. Dwayne Clay, one-time winner Matt Lux, and Carl McKinney are through fifth in points.

On June 20, Nick Ritchey became the second driver this season to knock off New York star Greg Martin in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds with his first ever Sharon win. The victory closed Ritchey to within 25 points of Martin’s point lead in the Weller Hughes Developing & Contracting-sponsored division. One-time winner, Rocky Kugel, is third in points over teenagers Kole Holden and Kyle Martell. Holden, who won his first career feature last Sunday at Sportsman’s Speedway, currently leads the overall $ 3,000 to-win Bicknell Racing Products “Weekly Series” standings in addition to the “Futures Cup” points.

Late race heroics by defending two-time champion Mike Clark allowed him to pass Mike Miller in route to his season’s first win the last time the Stock Cars ran on June 20. Clark not only denied Miller of his first career win, but was able to extend his Gibson Insurance Agency point lead to just four over Miller. One-time winner Brian Carothers is third in points over Charlie Jasinski and Brian Mulichak. Other winners this year include opening night winner Chris Haines and Shaun Hooks, who have neither returned since week two.

Casey Bowers denied Jason Longwell of becoming the season’s fifth different winner in the Econo Mods with a late race pass for his second win on June 20. Bowers has always been consistent and now posting wins could make him the odds on favorite to win the title. Bowers’ lead though is just four over one-time winner Ryan Fraley in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products-sponsored division. Brian Foley, Jr., Keith Felicetty, and Jamie Scharba are through fifth in points in search of their first wins.

Bill Fuchs is already a two-time champion and leads the Mini Stock’s all-time win list. Fuchs will look to add his third win on Saturday and extend an already 19-point lead over Jamie Maxwell in the Deforest Used Parts standings. Michael DelliQuadri, Matt Rubright, and Joe Keney are third through fifth looking for their first wins. The Mini Stock car counts have been solid this year and already 38 different drivers have competed. The last three events have saw drivers tow in 100 miles and pick up victories in their first appearances including Doug Hensel, Andy Proper, and most recently Casey Butler in the Tuesday, June 23 $ 300 to-win special with Ohio Sprint Speedweek.

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 group qualifying slated for 7. Adult admission is just $ 10. Pit passes are $ 30. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE! Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Don’t forget coming up on Saturday, July 25 is the rescheduled FREE “Fan Appreciation Night” with drivers autographs!

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

“Lou Blaney Memorial” to feature All Stars Sprints for the 1st time w/ $10,000 on the line Saturday; BRP Mod Tour & several activities to benefit Alzheimer’s Assoc also on tap

By Mike Leone

July 8, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Hartford, OH)…After a successful Ohio Speedweek event with the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars two weeks ago, Tony Stewart’s new group will return to Sharon Speedway this Saturday (July 11) for the seventh annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” along with the BRP Modified Tour presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. Activities to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association will begin at 1:30 p.m. leading up to warm-ups at 6:15.

Saturday’s “Lou Blaney Memorial” will be the richest payoff in the history of the event as a record $ 10,000 will be on the line for the feature winner, and for the first time the event will be under the All Stars’ sanction! In addition, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser will compete in the event for the first time ever in the famed #11 owned by Stewart. There will also be an autograph session with Kinser from 5-5:40.

There has yet to be a repeat winner in the six prior “Lou Blaney Memorial” Sprint Car events! Tony Stewart won the inaugural event in 2009. Mike Lutz was the first local winner taking the 2010 version for Jim Chappel. Texan Sam Hafertepe, Jr. won in 2011, while Californian Brad Sweet, who now races with the World of Outlaws, was victorious in 2012. Jack Sodeman, Jr. became the second local driver to win the prestigious event in 2013, while Dave Blaney won his father’s memorial for the first time last year.

All of the All Stars’ racers are still chasing point leader Dale Blaney. The hometown favorite was a winner at Sharon for the Ohio Speedweek event, which was one of his Series leading seven victories. Blaney owns 14 career wins now at the track he grew up racing at and the site of his first two career wins. Dale’s brother Dave Blaney will be looking to repeat his victory at last year’s “Lou Blaney Memorial. The elder Blaney, a former World of Outlaw champion, has 28 career wins at Sharon.

Blaney has a 147-point lead on Cody Darrah. Chad Kemenah is third in the standings. Greg Wilson and Sheldon Haudenschild really heated up of late and have moved into fourth and fifth in points. Completing the top 10 are Tim Shaffer, Danny Holtgraver, Ryan Smith, Parker Price-Miller, and Caleb Helms.

Several top local talent like Sharon’s all-time leading feature winner Ed Lynch, Jr., two-time track champion Jack Sodeman, Jr., defending Mercer Champion Eric Williams, recent Lernerville winner A.J. Flick, former Ohio Speedweek Sharon winner Brandon Matus, former Lernerville Champion and BOSS non-wing racer Brandon Spithaler, Mercer winner Adam Kekich, and others are expected.

The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds will round out the show in a BRP Tour-sanctioned event paying $ 2,000 to-win. Rex King is the current BRP Tour point leader after two events by one over his son Rex, Jr., who leads the Sharon points with three victories.

There has yet to be a repeat “Lou Blaney Memorial” winner in the Modifieds either! New York legend Jack Johnson captured the 2009 race, while local Ohio drivers Jim Rasey and Rob Kristyak stole the thunder in 2010 and 2011. Kevin Bolland won the prestigious event in 2012 and fellow western Pa. racer Dave Murdick joined him in 2013. Last year, King, Jr. won the event part of his dream season. The locals have won five straight “Lou Blaney Memorials”…will an outsider end that trend or will we get a seventh different winner!?

Friends of Lou Blaney will again attend the Memorial Event to help celebrate the life and accomplishments of the Hall of Fame driver, who won more than 600 feature victories during a five-decade career. The legend has at least 121 Modified wins and another 11 documented in a Sprint Car at Sharon alone. Blaney passed away in 2009 after battling Alzheimer’s.

Racing won’t be the only attraction at Sharon on Saturday. Both grandstand and pit gates will open at noon for the festivities, which get underway at 1:00 p.m. with a corn hole tournament. Also beginning at 1:30, kids can enjoy sack and running races, ball throwing contests, and more. A dunk tank will be setup as fans can try and dunk the Blaney girls to raise money for Alzheimer’s Association. Money can be earned by the top competitors. There will be a limited concession menu open in the main grandstand area beginning at noon.

At 4 p.m. fans can enjoy dinner with the Blaneys along with friends and family. The cost is $ 13 with proceeds benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. You must call Kate Blaney at 330-240-8975 for a reservation.

A silent auction of many, varied baskets will be available for everyone to bid on and then a live auction of wonderful race memorabilia and sports related items will be sold off to the highest bidder. The silent auction will be all afternoon with the live auction beginning around 5 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. There is a complete list of live auction items listed on the Lou Blaney Memorial Facebook page as well as Sharon’s website at www.sharonspeedway.com.

2014 Ms. Motorsports runner-up and 2014 Miss Area Auto Racing News, Lainey Reinard, who is the 2015 Miss Dirt Dog will be on hand.

A drivers meeting is tentatively scheduled for 5:45 p.m. with Sprint engine starts at 6, warm-ups at 6:15 with qualifying at approximately 6:30 and racing to follow. Adult admission is $ 22. 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

1st ever Full Pull Productions USA-EAST Truck & Tractor Pull Saturday at Sharon

By Rick Feicht & Mike Leone

June 30, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…It is going to be a very different Fourth of July this Saturday at Sharon Speedway. The historic speedway will host it first-ever USA-EAST Sanctioned Regional tractor and truck and semi truck pull. Gates open at 5 p.m. with pulling getting underway at 7. The event is being presented by W.I. Miller & Sons, Witmer’s Feed & Grain, Coolspring Corn Maze, Hunter Truck Repair & Equipment, Western Reserve Co Op, and Cope Equipment.

The highlight of the evening will be the appearance of the world famous Big Rigs Pulling Series modified semi trucks. The recent Big Rigs Series event at the Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio drew a tremendous field of high-powered modified semi trucks and a huge crowd of excited fans with Saturday’s pull at Sharon expected to do the same. The Sanders’ Team from Ravenna, Ohio has been very competitive thus far in 2015 having won both of the pulls – one with “Silver Bullet 2” and the other with “A Rood Awakening” – both Mack modified semi trucks.

Three other USA-EAST sanctioned divisions Saturday include the Limited Pro Stock and Super Farm Tractors with a large array of local talent to wet the appetites of the Trumbull County Ohio fans. Gary Rice from Farmdale is a top performer with his IH 966 named “Milk Money”, while John Deere fans from the area can cheer for the Swartz’s Farm’s “Daddys Dream” a Super Farm Tractor that is co-driven by Tyler and Sam Swartz from Cortland. And also from central Trumbull County is John Kachurik with another good running International named “Strugglin”.

Two different divisions of four-wheel drive trucks are also schedule for this super event: Super Street GAS 4×4 and Super Street (2.6) Diesel 4×4. All of the classes competing will be running for valuable points in the 2015 USA-EAST regional series. USA-EAST Pulling is conducted exclusively by Full Pull Productions, Inc. For more information on Full Pull, check out their website at www.fullpullproductions.com.

Adult admission is $ 15. Pit passes are $ 25. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE! Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy. Saturday’s beer and 50/50 raffle proceeds will benefit local fire and police.

Sharon will return to racing on Saturday, July 11 with the seventh annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” featuring Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars for $ 10,000 to-win plus the BRP Modified Tour for $ 2,000 to-win.

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 and 305. The track takes its name from the fact that it is just across the PA/OH line from Sharon, Pennsylvania. For more information check out the website at www.sharonspeedway.com or contact the track at 330-772-5481.

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Sharon Speedway


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