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FREE general admission & autographs part of Saturday’s “Fan Appreciation Night” Full “Steel Valley Thunder” show plus RUSH Late Models

By Mike Leone

June 10, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway will look to make it four straight completed events this Saturday night, June 13.  Saturday is FREE “Fan Appreciation Night” and is week number five of the 86th anniversary season featuring a full “Steel Valley Thunder” program including 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.  Group qualifying begins at 7 p.m.

There aren’t many FREE things in life, but Saturday night at Sharon is one of those as all fans will be admitted at no charge into the grandstands to witness this exciting night of racing along with the annual on-track autograph night, which will be held on the frontstretch from 6:30-7 p.m. before the racing due to the extra division on the card.  This will be the third straight FREE “Fan Appreciation” Night.

Also, Morgan McGowan, a 17-year-old from Hubbard, Ohio will return to sing in the pavilion behind the grandstands shortly after the gates open at 5 p.m. until race time.  Lynda Couch will sign the national anthem.  St. Jude is the charity of choice for Saturday’s 50-/50 benefit raffle and beer proceeds.

And the beat continues…who will be the first driver other than a King to win a DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature at Sharon in 2015!?  Defending champion, Rex King, Jr., is flying out of the gates in 2015 winning three of the first four features to lead the points over his father Rex, Sr., who has one victory and trails by just five points.  The big blocks are coming off a season high 23-car field and have yet to have less than 19 cars this season.  Third through fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points are Jim Rasey, Ricky Richner, and Jim Weller, Jr., who are all hungry for a victory.

After being rained out on May 9, the RUSH Late Models will try again to make their first of several appearances scheduled throughout the 2015 season.  Saturday’s race is part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series.  Sharon’s payoff from past seasons will be used; however, if 24 or more cars are present the feature will pay $ 1,000 to-win!  With the new surface, Sharon has eliminated the mandatory Hoosier Crate Racin’ 55 right rear rule tire.  Will Thomas III has been the champion two of the last three years and has scored 13 career wins; Josh Double was the inaugural champion in 2011, while Dennis Lunger, Jr. captured the championship in 2013.  All three racers are expected to be on hand.

Oddly enough after three Modified events, it’s two drivers that weren’t even in the class last year winning all three events.  Will Thomas III won the first two shows and finished fourth last Saturday after coming from the tail after pitting with a flat tire to lead the Summit Racing Equipment points by 13.  Last week it was Matt Lux taking his fifth career win as he’s worked his way up to fourth in points behind Dwayne Clay and Mike Kinney.  Currently Carl McKinney is fifth in points.

After coming up short in week three to Rocky Kugel after starting 12th, Greg Martin returned to victory lane for the third time in four tries in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds.  Once again 15 cars were on hand matching the record of the new weekly division that also accumulates points for member racers in the Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series points.

Martin, who travels down three and half hours from Wilson, NY, has opened up a 28-point lead in the Weller Hughes Developing & Contracting standings over Nick Ritchey, who won his first career race Sunday at Sportsman’s Speedway.  Third through fifth in points are Kyle Martell, Kugel, and Bicknell RUSH Weekly Series point leader Kole Holden.

The Stock Cars were back after a week off and it was Brian Carothers defeating defending two-time champion Mike Clark to become the third different winner in three events.  Ironically opening night winner, Chris Haines, and week two winner, Shaun Hooks, weren’t in the field that included a season high 19 cars.  Clark has taken over the point lead by one from Mike Miller, who finished third on Saturday night.  Carothers, Jesse Brock, and Charlie Jasinski complete the first five.

The Econo Mods is one of the most competitive and equal divisions at the track as Casey Bowers became the fourth different winner in as many races last Saturday night.  Week three winner, Ryan Fraley, has just a one-point lead on Bowers in search of his first championship.  Keith Felicetty, Brian Foley, Jr., and Jamie Scharba are third through fifth in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points and look to be the next new winner.

Doug Hensel invaded Sharon last Saturday night and became the third different Mini Stock winner in four races.  The 18-car field allowed Hensel to earn the $ 150 increased purse as all other feature starting racers earned a bonus as well.  Bill Fuchs is the only driver to repeat this year and that puts the defending two-time champion atop the standings by 14 over Jamie Maxwell, who continues to look for his first career win.  Michael DelliQuadri, Matt Rubright, and Joe Keney are third through fifth in the Deforest Used Parts points in their first full season of racing at Sharon.

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. Pit passes are $ 30.  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

“Steel Valley Thunder” racing returns to Sharon Saturday plus kids bike races

By Mike Leone

June 4, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway was one of the only tracks in the region to beat Mother Nature last Saturday with the ULMS Super Late Model event; now with better weather predicted for this Saturday (June 6), Sharon will try to make it three in a row during this wet spring.  Week number four of the 86th anniversary season will feature a full “Steel Valley Thunder” program including 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 the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.  Group qualifying begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s event will also include the first kids’ bike races of the year at intermission.  There will be a sign-up area before the races.  Helmets are required.  The 50/50 raffle and beer proceeds will benefit Charity Warren Family Mission.  This week’s kitchen special is chicken pot pie.

Who will be the first driver other than a King to win a DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature at Sharon in 2015!?  Defending champion, Rex King, Jr., got off to a fast start winning the first two events, but his bid for three in a row ended when he finished runner-up last Saturday to his father, who won his milestone 50th career Sharon feature and 100th overall!  Rex, Jr. has just a three-point lead over his father heading into Saturday night.  Jim Weller, Jr., Ricky Richner, and Jim Rasey are third through fifth in points.  Last Saturday also marked the return of Kevin Bolland, who finished sixth, after nearly a three-year absence since winning the 2012 “Lou Blaney Memorial”.

Ironically in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Rocky Kugel stopped Greg Martin’s bid for three-in-a-row.  Like King, Jr., Martin raced from the 12th starting spot to a runner-up finish.  For Kugel, it was his second career Sharon win.  Martin, who makes the three and a half hour tow down from Wilson, New York, currently has a 16-point lead over teenager Kyle Martell.  Kugel, Nick Ritchey, and Chelsie Kriegisch complete the top five in the Weller Hughes Contracting & Developing-sponsored division.

After a week off, the Modified division will return to action this Saturday night.  The Mods brought a 24-car field the last time they ran on May 23 meaning the payoff was increased to $ 1,000 to-win, $ 700 for second, and an increase on back through position 12 over the already $ 100 to-start Summit Racing Equipment feature!  Two-time RUSH Late Model Champion, Will Thomas III, has been a surprise out of the gate winning the first two features and leading the points by nine over Mike Kinney.  Third through fifth are Dwayne Clay, Mike Potosky, and Matt Lux, who has returned to the division after running Super Late Models for many years and sitting out recent seasons.

Like the Mods, the Stock Cars are also back on the schedule for Saturday night after a week off.  The Stocks pulled in a solid 18-car field back on May 23 as Shaun Hooks and Steve D’Apolito swept the top two positions in their 2015 debuts.  Mike Miller is a surprise atop the standings.  Miller has become consistently faster in recent years looking for his first career win.  Miller has a two-point lead on defending two-time Gibson Insurance Agency Champion Mike Clark.  Chris Haines, Jesse Brock, and Charlie Jasinski complete the top five.

The Econo Mods have produced three different winners in three races.  Opening night saw Butch Lambert win his first ever at the track, while Mike Hillman captured his first career win on week two.  Last Saturday, Ryan Fraley won his first of the season and took over the point lead.  Fraley leads the always consistent Casey Bowers by four in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings.  Keith Felicetty, Hillman, and Jamie Scharba, who led the first 18 laps last Saturday, round out the top five.

The Mini Stocks have brought in between 16-18 cars each of the first three weeks.  Mini Stocks are reminded they race for $ 150 to-win, $ 40 to-start when there’s 18 or more cars compared to $ 100 to-win, $ 30 to-start for 17 or less.  Defending two-time champion Bill Fuchs looks like he’s in championship form again winning two of the first three races to open up a 23-point point lead over opening night winner Pete Blazczak.  Jamie Maxwell, Michael DelliQuadri, and Matt Rubright are third through fifth in the Deforest Used Parts standings.

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. Admission for those 14 and over is $ 10.  Pit passes are $ 30.  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

“Summer Jam & BBQ Series” Friday night followed by the return of the ULMS Super Late Models & more Saturday

By Mike Leone

May 27, 2015

(Hartford, OH)…After getting week number two in last Saturday night after losing three of the first four events to Mother Nature, Sharon Speedway will roll into this weekend with a doubleheader of events on tap.  Friday night will feature the first “Summer Jam & BBQ Series, while racing returns on Saturday night featuring the ULMS Super Late Models, Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Weller Hughes Contracting & Developing RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.  Racing begins at 7 p.m.

Friday’s event will be the first of four “Summer Jam & BBQ Series”.  Gates will open at 6 p.m. for the 9 p.m. performance by “Key West”- a Jimmy Buffet Tribute band in the new pavilion located behind the main grandstands.  Food and spirits will be available all night long.  Admission is $ 5.  Free camping is available all weekend.

After a two-year absence, the Super Late Models will be back at Sharon in a ULMS-sanctioned event paying $ 2,000 to win. Group hot lap qualifying will set the heat race line-ups, which will determine the starting line-up for the 25-lap Zimmer’s Service Center feature. Late Model racers are reminded Sharon uses the red AMB transponders. There will be limited rentals available.

Past ULMS winners at Sharon are Davey Johnson, Keith Barbara, Mike Knight, and Boom Briggs, who now follows the World of Outlaw tour and has contacted ULMS in regards to this event. Johnson owns 27 career wins at Sharon, which is second all-time on the win list.

Barbara, former Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway champion, Michael Davis, along with West Virginia racer, Corey Conley have also confirmed they will venture to the Hartford, Ohio oval. John Lobb of Frewsburg, NY won the season opening ULMS event is the current point leader over Jared Miley of South Park, PA. Greg Oakes, John Volpe, Chad Valone and defending champion Jason Dupont are less than eight points behind Lobb. Other expected racers are local hot shoe, Russ King who will be looking to grab his second career ULMS win along with Clay Ruffo of Mercer and other outsiders as well.

Can anyone stop Rex King, Jr.!? The defending champion has gone two-for-two to open up the 2015 season in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds after coming off a career best season in 2014. The Bristolville, Ohio driver will be unable to start any better than 12th on Saturday night due to his two straight wins. One driver that might have something to say is Kevin Bolland, who has confirmed he’ll return to racing Saturday after two years off. Bolland owns 21 career victories at Sharon. The elder Rex King has been sitting at 49 wins looking for that milestone 50th. He’s currently six points back in points of his son, while New York’s Ricky Richner is third.

Another driver coming off two straight wins is Greg Martin in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. The Wilson, New York driver has taken a liking to the Hartford, Ohio oval scoring six wins and four runner-up finishes in 10 appearances over the past two seasons! Martin will not only chase after the Sharon crown, but the $ 3,000 to-win Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Weekly Series Championship. Ohio’s Kyle Martell, a 15-year-old has recorded two runner-up finishes to Martin, and trails him by just six in Sharon’s points. Nick Ritchey, Chelsie Kriegisch, and Rocky Kugel are sitting in a three-way tie for third place in points.

It was stated in season previews that the Econo Mod division would be wide open with new winners expected and that’s held true after two events. Opening night saw Butch Lambert capture his first career win; Lambert though was one of several top drivers that got caught up in an opening lap accident last Saturday night. When all was said in done and done, just five drivers finished the event with four of them never having won a feature. Taking the win was the much improved Mike Hillman, who now leads the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points by three over Saturday’s runner-up finisher, Brian Foley, Jr.

Defending two-time champion Bill Fuchs is looking strong once again in the Mini Stocks. The Greenville, Pa. driver won his 24th feature of his career last Saturday night, which leads the division all-time, and has jumped out to an eight-point leader over opening night winner, Pete Blazczak, who looks to contend for the Deforest Used Parts title for the first time.

The Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds and the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars will have the night off, but will return to action on Saturday, June 6 for a full “Steel Valley Thunder” program.

Saturday’s kitchen special is meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetable. The raffle and beer proceeds charity will be local police and fire departments.

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 Econo Mod and Mini Stock divisions.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, warm-ups for Super Late Models at approximately 6:40 with racing getting underway at 7.  Admission for those 14 and over is $ 15.  Pit passes are $ 30.  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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