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Return of “410” Sprint Cars for $3000 “Simon Yoder Memorial” headline Saturday’s “Steel Valley Thunder” program

By Mike Leone

August 9, 2017               

(Hartford, OH)…After two successful All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car events earlier this summer, the “410” Sprint Cars will make their third of four appearances during the 2017 88th anniversary season this Saturday night (August 12).   The weekly Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Junior Sprints for kids will round out the “Steel Valley Thunder” program presented by Thompson Fab.  Racing is set for 7 p.m.  Adult admission is just $ 10.

The “Simon Yoder Memorial” will feature a 30-lap $ 3,000 to-win, $ 250 to-start feature event for the “410” Sprint Cars (complete payoff posted below).  Drivers will draw for heat race starting positions.  The top six drivers from the heat races (provided two or three heat races are run) will compete in a six-lap dash paying $ 150 to-win with a complete payoff that will determine the first three rows of the feature.  The remainder of the lineup will be heads up from the heat races or B main finish.  There will be no entry or registration fees.  Standard local Sprint Car rules will be utilized.  Mufflers and tethers are not required. 

The “410” Sprint Cars have made two visits this season under the All Star Circuit of Champions sanction with Kyle Larson winning the Ohio Speedweek event on June 20 and Christopher Bell the “Lou Blaney Memorial”.  The “410s” will return on September 8-9 for the “Apple Festival Nationals” in another $ 3,000 to-win non-sanctioned event. 

With several tracks not running Sprint Cars on Saturday, the event has drawn interest from throughout the region.  Dave Blaney will look to add to his 28 career “410” Sprint Car wins at the track.  Leading the local contingent is Jack Sodeman, Jr.  The North Jackson, Ohio driver won the last two championships when the Sprints last ran weekly in 2009 and 2010.  Sodeman has 12 “410” wins at Sharon.  Dan Shetler, the 2008 track champion, has been fast throughout the region this year and is expected to compete along with locals such as A.J. Flick, Carl Bowser, Sye Lynch, Dan Kuriger, Brandon and Brent Matus, Michael Bauer, and many more. Central Pa. driver, Bradley Howard, who has competed with the All Stars for much of the last two years has stated his intention to compete. 

“We’ve had great success with our Sprint Car shows,” stated general manager Dave Willoughby.  “Last year we were unable on a couple tries to get our non-sanctioned 410 Sprint show in, but had a great turnout in 2015.  Looks like the weather should cooperate on Saturday, and this year we’ve added a second non-sanctioned show as part of the Apple Festival Nationals.  We have to thank all of the contributors that allowed us to raise the purse in memory of Simon Yoder, while keeping the general admission price at just $ 10.  We really hope both the fans and racers support this event so we can do more Sprint Car events in the future.” 

Yoder was a longtime Sprint Car fan and supporter of several drivers over the years until succumbing to cancer.  The following contributors have helped increase this payoff of this event: Jim Miller, Good Tire Service, BLR Trucking, Deems Logging, Bill Altman, Palmer Pools, Intense Fabrication, Don Book Trucking, Mitcheltree Bros. Logging & Lumber, Jake Yoder, and Nathan Exley. 

Thanks to the following who have contributed to the “410” Sprint Dash payoff: Brian & Janice Jewell, Lynn & Pat Lipko, Doug & Joletta Mays, Bill & Carrie Rose, Ron & Roberta Slater, Rick Robinson Automotive, Gary Rose, and Shelly Smoker.

The Stock Cars had last Saturday night off, while on July 29 Chris McGuire and Chris Schneider picked up wins for the Penn-Ohio Series events.  Only three regular weekly events have been completed this season for the Stocks.  McGuire won the season opener followed by Andy Buckley and Paul Davis won the last regular event clear back on June 10.  Davis has an 11-point lead on Andy Thompson in the Gibson Insurance Agency standings.  Mike Miller, Mike Clark, and Jamie Scharba are third through fifth.

The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds are coming off a big night where they had 29 cars in competition and received the highest pay structure.  Ironically three drivers have won two events in a season marred by rain including point leader Kole Holden along with Chas Wolbert and Rocky Kugel.  Wolbert is coming off the $ 800 make-up feature win from last Saturday night, while Holden meanwhile picked up a win Sunday at Eriez Speedway as he also leads the $ 3,000 to-win RUSH Weekly Series points.  Holden has an eight-point lead on Wolbert, while Chelsie Kriegisch, Shayne Izzo, and Kyle Martell complete the top five in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings with just three nights of point events remaining.

Tyler Frankenberry was able to end Steve Haefke’s run of five straight wins in the Econo Mods.  Frankenberry led all 20 laps of the Summit Racing Equipment feature event for his first career win.  Haefke meanwhile had charged from 23rd to third as he appeared ready to content for a sixth straight win before spinning out.  The defending champion has just a seven-point lead over Brandon Blackshear, who has one win this season.  Zach Myers, Kyle Miller, and Mike Hillman are third through fifth in points.

After getting rained out on July 1, the Junior Sprints for kids will try and complete their second show of the season.  Jordan Simmons won the first event, while Mike Lutz, Jr. won their debut at the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals”.  The Junior Sprints will also compete on Friday night, September 8 for the 2017 “Apple Festival Nationals”.

“410” Sprint Car Feature Payoff: 1. $ 3,000  2. $ 1,000  3. $ 800  4. $ 600  5. $ 550  6. $ 475  7. $ 425  8. $ 400  9. $ 350  10. $ 300  11. $ 280  12. $ 260  13-24. $ 250.  $ 100 non-qualifier/tow.

“410” Sprint Car Dash Payoff: 1. $ 150  2. $ 125  3. $ 100  4. $ 75  5. $ 50  6. $ 50.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, Sprint Car warm-ups at 6:40, and racing at 7.  Grandstand admission is $ 10 for those 14 and over.  Patio seating upgrades are just $ 5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $ 20 over the cost of general admission.  In order to reserve either of these ahead of time, call the office Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330-772-5481.  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

4 divisions of Modifieds in 5 feature events highlight Saturday’s “Steel Valley Thunder” program

By Mike Leone

August 2, 2017       

(Hartford, OH)…After finally breaking through last Saturday night with the first “Steel Valley Thunder” program in seven weeks, Sharon Speedway looks to make it two in a row this Saturday night (August 5) for an all Modified program for the “Bill Kirila Memorial”.  The weekly Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods will be joined by a special appearance by the E-Mods in a $ 1,000 to-win event presented by A&MP Electric.  The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will also run their $ 800 to-win 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up feature.  Racing is set for 7 p.m.  Adult admission is just $ 10.

The headlining Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds have led the way at Sharon this year completing seven events. Last Saturday night, Rex King, Jr. evened the score with his father Rex, Sr. by virtue of his second win of the season.  King, Jr. has opened up a 19-point lead on Jim Weller, Jr. as he looks for his third title in four season.  Weller, who has one win, was the last driver other than a King to win a Sharon Championship, which occurred in 2013.  Other winners this season include Jeremiah Shingledecker on July 8 for the “Lou Blaney Memorial” and Peter Britten on July 20 for the Super DIRTcar Series event.  Veterans Dave Murdick, Jim Rasey, and King are through fifth in points. 

The E-Mods will be making one of their special appearances this Saturday night. Saturday’s program will pay $ 1,000 to-win win thanks to A&MP Electric.  Back on May 20, Joel Watson won his 27th career feature at Sharon.  Also that night, Jacob Hawkins won the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up E-Mod feature for the Renegades of Dirt.  On June 3, Carl McKinney reached double figures with his 10th career Sharon win.  Unfortunately their July 22 scheduled event was rained out.  Drivers will be permitted to use any 8? tire.  There are no entry or registration fees.

It’ll be a big night for the HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds as they not only race in a complete program, but will also try and finally complete their 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” $ 800 to-win make-up feature that has been rained out several times. The make-up feature field is already set with no new cars permitted to run.  The make-up feature will be a non-point Sharon and RUSH Tour event; however, will allow drivers to accumulate RUSH Weekly Series points towards their best 12 finishes.  Chas Wolbert won his season’s first at Sharon last Saturday night stopping Kole Holden’s two straight win streak.  Holden is the current point leader by 12 over Wolbert.  Chelsie Kriegisch, Shayne Izzo, and Kyle Martell are third through fifth in points.

The Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods wrap up the four division Modified program on Saturday night. Can anyone stop Steve Haefke is the question!?  Haefke won from the tail last Saturday night for his fifth straight win!  If he wants to keep that streak intact he’ll have to do it from the tail once again this Saturday night.  Haefke entered the season with 17 straight top two finishes before struggling in the opening two events won by Brandon Blackshear and Zach Myers before reeling off five straight wins giving him 22 top two finishes in the past 24 races dating back to 2015!  Blackshear trails Haefke by 17 points as Myers, Kyle Miller, and Mike Hillman complete the top five in points.  

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:30, and racing at 7. Grandstand admission is $ 10 for those 14 and over.  Patio seating upgrades are just $ 5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $ 20 over the cost of general admission.  In order to reserve either of these ahead of time, call the office Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330-772-5481.  As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE!  Pit passes are $ 30.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

Coming on Saturday, August 12 will be the “Simon Yoder Memorial” for “410” Sprint Cars paying $ 3,000 to-win, $ 250 to-start!  There will also be a dash for cash paying $ 150 to-win down six spots to set the first three rows of the feature.  The Stock Cars, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Econo Mods, and Junior Sprints for kids will also be on the program presented by Thompson Fab.

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

After 7 weeks, Sharon looks to resume “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing on Saturday night; Penn-Ohio Stocks featured with complete program & $2000 to-win make-up

By Mike Leone

July 25, 2017          

(Hartford, OH)…After several Saturdays of rain, nights off, and special events, Sharon Speedway is hoping Mother Nature will allow “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing to resume this Saturday night (July 29).  The last completed “Steel Valley Thunder” event was back on June 10.  Saturday’s program presented by C&R Tire will be highlighted by the rescheduled Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series event and their make-up feature along with the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods.  Racing begins at 7 p.m.

The Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series has been rained out twice this year so Saturday night will be take #3.  They will not only compete in an entire program for $ 1,000 to-win, but also their $ 2,000 to-win 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up feature that has been rained out several times.  A big field of 50 Stocks were on hand back on May 13 for the Penn-Ohio event before the rains came and washed out the program.  They were rained out again last Saturday night.  Rusty Martz is the current Penn-Ohio point leader over Rusty Moore, Randy Wyant, William Hurrelbrink, and Brian Rhed. 

Defending track champion, Paul Davis, kick started his season at the last event for the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars on June 10 taking the victory and point lead.  Chris McGuire and Andy Buckley have also been victorious this season in the only other events completed for the Stocks.

The headlining Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds have led the way at Sharon this year completing six events.  The most two recent ones were special events where Peter Britten topped a 38-car field on July 20 for his first career Super DIRTcar Series win worth $ 6,000, and Jeremiah Shingledecker ended a long winless drought taking the $ 2,000 “Lou Blaney Memorial” win back on July 8.  The only repeat winner at Sharon this year is veteran Rex King, who won on May 20 and June 10.  His son Rex, Jr. captured the May 27 event win, and has a 13-point lead on Jim Weller, Jr., who won the other event on June 3.

Like the Stocks, the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds have amazingly only completed three events to date this season.  Kole Holden has won the last two races to take over the HTMA/Precise Racing Products point lead by 16 over Shayne Izzo, a newcomer to Sharon in 2017.  The Tiona, Pa. driver was RUSH’s 2015 “Futures Cup” Champion.  Holden also sits atop RUSH’s Weekly Series Championship points throughout the region, which pays $ 3,000 to-win.  Rocky Kugel won the opening Sharon race this season and is coming off recent wins at Lernerville and Expo Speedways. 

After a slow start in the first two Econo Mod events which ended his run of 17 straight top two finishes, Steve Haefke has been on a roll.  The veteran Austintown, Ohio driver has won the last four events including the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up non-point feature.  Despite his success, one-time winner, Zach Myers, trails Haefke by only one-point.  Myers will have an opportunity to take over the point lead as Haefke will have his work cut out starting last in the feature due to his three straight wins in weekly competition.  Brandon Blackshear, Mike Hillman, and Kyle Miller are third through fifth in the Summit Racing Equipment points.

Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5.  Admission for those 14 is $ 10, while children 13 and under are always free.  Patio seating upgrades are just $ 5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $ 20 over the cost of general admission each night.  Pit passes are $ 30.  Parking and camping are free.  Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.

BREAKING NEWS: The August 12 “410” Sprint Car event will now be the Simon Yoder Memorial and will pay $ 3,000 to-win, $ 250 to-start!  There will also be a dash for cash.  Thanks to the following contributors: Jim Miller, Good Tire Service, BLR Trucking, Deems Logging, Bill Altman, Palmer Pools, Interstate Fabrication, Jake Yoder, and Nathan Exley.  Yoder was a huge Sprint Car fan, who passed away from cancer.

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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