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Tight point races in place as month of June begins Saturday at Sharon for “Steel Valley Thunder”

By Mike Leone

June 4, 2014

(Hartford, OH)…After two straight sunny and warm Saturdays, it appears Sharon Speedway is in store for another one this Saturday night (June 7). The “Steel Valley Thunder” week six program as part of the 85th anniversary season will include the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m. Kids bike races will be held at intermission. Kids 3-12 will be eligible to compete on the frontstretch. Helmets are required.

Don’t forget coming up on Saturday, June 14 is the rescheduled FREE Fan Appreciation and Autograph Night. Fans will be admitted free of charge in the grandstands for general admission for a full six-division program. During intermission, all drivers will bring their cars onto the speedway for a meet and greet session.

Also not far away is Ohio Speedweek for the All Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars on Tuesday, June 24. The TUSA Mod Lites will also be on the program. Advance tickets are on sale, which admits the holder in one hour earlier than when the gates officially open at 4 p.m. for preferred seating.

Heading into Saturday night, the closest of the six divisions’ championship point races is the DIRTcar Big-Block Modified division where amazingly just one-point separates the top three drivers! Following his season’s second win, Jim Weller, Jr. is deadlocked in a tie with Rex King, while two-time winner Rex King, Jr. is just one-point out in third despite two feature wins. To say Jim Rasey is overdue for a win at Sharon is an understatement. It’s been over three years since Rasey’s last win on May 21, 2011, which was the 18th of his career. Rasey sits fourth in points just 14 out of first place, and has been fast with four top four finishes in five races with his worst finish being a ninth. Ricky Richner is fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply chase.

Will Thomas III has turned up the wick the last two weeks in the RUSH Late Models. The 2012 champion has charged to the front winning the last two features and has increased his point lead to 15 in the Barris Supply title chase over defending champion and two-time winner, Dennis Lunger, Jr. Russ Byler has been knocking on the door for his first career Late Model win with all top seven finishes in five starts including a trio of top fives. Jamie Wrightsman and Clay Ruffo are fourth and fifth.

Last Saturday night, Carl McKinney became the first driver outside of Joel Watson and Mike Kinney to win a Modified feature this season. Watson, the 2012 co-champion, though is atop the Summit Racing Equipment standings by 31 over defending champion Kinney and Steve Dixon, who has been a weekly competitor for the first time. McKinney is fourth in points ahead of 13-year-old Jacob Eucker in his first season in the class after moving up from the Econo Mods.

The Stock Cars are back Saturday night after a week off. Last time out, Shaun Hooks stopped Paul Davis and Mike Clark for his first win of the season. Clark, the defending champion, leads Davis by seven in championship race. Brian Carothers, Jamie Duncan, and Bryan Wagner complete the top five in the Gibson Insurance Agency points.

Jeremy Double has been consistent out front in the HTMA/Precise Racing Econo Mods that has yet to have a repeat winner. The defending champion has a comfortable 30-point lead despite only one victory to date. Amazingly just nine points separates positions two through six with Ty Rhoades over Brandon Blackshear, George Vestal IV, Brian Foley, Jr., and Steve Burns, Jr.

Even though defending champion Travis Creech has won four of the five features this season, his one DNF on a high car count night has kept consistent Bill Fuchs just five points back in the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Fuchs, the division all-time winner, is still searching for his first win of 2014. Third through fifth in the points are Jamie Maxwell, Scott Gilliland, and Jim Haefke, Jr.

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, and Econo Mod divisions. Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance will award $ 50, $ 25, and $ 25 certificates to the top three GM 602 crates in the Econo Mods that have been purchased through them or have secondary seals.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:30 and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission is $ 13 for those 14 and older. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $ 30. Parking is always free.

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 @SharonSpdwy.

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Sharon Speedway

Sharon to close out month of May Saturday with “Steel Valley Thunder” plus RUSH Sportsman Mods

By Mike Leone

May 28, 2014

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway was finally blessed with sunny and warm conditions last Saturday for the first time this season and is hopeful that trend continues for this Saturday night (May 31). The “Steel Valley Thunder” week five program as part of the 85th anniversary season will include another special appearance by RUSH Sportsman Modifieds along with the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m. The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars will have the night off.

The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will be back for the second time this season. The inaugural event on April 26 was won by Jordan Eck. Since then the Sportsman Mods have competed at both Lernerville and Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway with New York racer Adam Hilton victorious both times. Hilton finished third at the Sharon opener and currently leads the points. Former Sharon Big-Block Modified racer Ken Moy, Jr. is excited to make his debut in the class on Saturday.

Outside of a win by defending champion Jim Weller, Jr., the Kings have controlled DIRTcar Big-Block Modified competition to date winning three of the four features and holding down the top two spots in points. Two-time winner Rex King, Jr. has a slim two-point lead over his father in search of his first track championship. Weller though is only four points out of the top spot in third. Consistent Jim Rasey is the only non-King or Weller in the top five in fourth, and trails the young King by just 11. Jimmy Weller III is fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points.

The car count has been on the rise in the RUSH Late Models each of the past two events with several new competitors making their way to the speedway. In fact, 26 different teams have participated to date, but it’s still defending champion Dennis Lunger, Jr. holding down the top spot in the Barris Supply points by one over 2012 champion Will Thomas III, who won his first feature of 2013 last Saturday night. Russ Byler has been impressive in his first full season in a Late Model after taking over the wheel of Terry Hoover’s #00H late last year and is in third in points. Sophomore Late Model racer Jamie Wrightsman is fourth ahead of “Futures Cup” driver Clay Ruffo.

One race after getting stopped by his good friend Mike Kinney, Joel Watson was back in victory lane last Saturday night for the third time in four races in the Modifieds. The Conneaut, Ohio speedster was able to extend his point lead to 34 over a tie between Kinney and Steve Dixon in the Summit Racing Equipment points. After a stellar 2013 in the Econo Mods, 13-year-old Jacob Eucker is coming off an impressive runner-up finish and is only five points behind Kinney and Dixon in fourth. Carl McKinney and Russ Dunn are tied for fifth.

The Econo Mods had last Saturday night off due to the TUSA Mod Lite special. They’ll return this Saturday anxious to compete again as they haven’t run since May 10. There’s yet to be a repeat winner as Jeremy Double, Steve Burns, Jr., and Tim Deutsch have all been victorious. Double, the defending champion, has a pretty comfortable 24-point advantage on George Vestal IV in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products point standings. Only seven points separate positions two through six with Ty Rhoades, Brian Foley, Jr., Jason Longwell, and Burns filling out those positions.

The Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock is another hotly contested championship chase. Defending champion Travis Creech has picked up where he left off from his rookie season winning three of the first four features; however, his DNF the other night has allowed Bill Fuchs to remain just one-point back. Fuchs, the division’s all-time winner and 2011 champion, has been held winless to date this season. Scott Gilliland, the division’s only other winner, is third over Jamie Maxwell and rookie Joe Campbell.

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, and Econo Mod divisions. Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance will award $ 50, $ 25, and $ 25 certificates to the top three GM 602 crates in the Econo Mods that have been purchased through them or have secondary seals.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:20 and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission is $ 13 for those 14 and older. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $ 30. Parking is always free.

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 @SharonSpdwy.

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Sharon Speedway

Sharon to kickoff Memorial Day Weekend with “Steel Valley Thunder”; National TUSA Mod Lite event part of the program

By Mike Leone

May 20, 2014

(Hartford, OH)…After wet and cold conditions dominated last week forcing Sharon Speedway to postpone last Saturday’s free general admission and autograph night to June 14, officials are hopeful for better weather this Saturday night (May 24). The “Steel Valley Thunder” week four program as part of the 85th anniversary season will include a special appearance by TUSA Mod Lites along with the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m. The HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods will have the night off.

After a several year absence, the Mod Lites will return on Saturday night in a National TUSA-sanctioned event with $ 1,500 to-win on the line! A strong field is expected with both nearby Mercer Raceway Park and Deerfield Speedway dropping the division from their respective programs this Saturday night and no racing taking place at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex. Saturday’s event is part of the “Big 4” Hoosier Tire Mod Lite Racing Series Tour. For more information, check out www.t-usa.org.

It took defending champion Jim Weller, Jr. to stop the King Family’s back-to-back wins to start the season. Weller got past Rex King at the start of the May 10 event and held him off for his 27th career DIRTcar Big-Block Modified win. The points are tight as Rex Sr. leads Weller by three and just one-point back is Rex Jr., who is looking for his first track championship. Jim Rasey has had a consistent start to his season and trails the top spot by 15 with Jimmy Weller III rounding out the top five in Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points.

The RUSH Late Models doubled in count on May 10 from week two despite a few regulars missing, but it was still defending champion Dennis Lunger, Jr. showing he’s boss coming from 11th for his second win in three races this season. Lunger leads 2012 Barris Supply champion Will Thomas III by just three markers. Russ Byler has been off to a strong start in his first full season driving for Terry Hoover and sits third in points over second year Late Model racer Jamie Wrightsman and “Futures Cup” driver Clay Ruffo.

Can anyone stop the Northeast Ohio friends of Joel Watson and Mike Kinney in the Modifieds? Watson is off to a fast start winning the first two shows and finishing second last time out after starting 12th. Kinney meanwhile is the defending Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division champion and was able to hold off Watson for his season’s first win last Saturday night. Watson has a 21-point lead on Kinney, while Steve Dixon, Carl McKinney, and Econo Mod graduate Jacob Eucker complete the top five.

It’s been all Mike Clark and Paul Davis in the Stock Cars. Clark has two feature wins to Davis’ one, but Davis has yet to finish worse than second in any heat or feature after three events and trails the defending champion by just one point in the Gibson Insurance Agency-sponsored division. Third through fifth is pretty tight in the point race between Jamie Duncan, Brian Carothers, and Bryan Wagner.

The Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock Championship chase is the closest of all of the six divisions as just six points separates the top four drivers! Bill Fuchs last won a championship in 2011 and the division’s all-time winner has been shutout of victory lane this season, but does lead the points by just two over two-time winner Travis Creech. Last week’s winner, Scott Gilliland, trails by four, while Jamie Maxwell sits fourth, just sits points from the top spot in search of his first career win. Second year racer Pat Drennan is fifth.

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, and Econo Mod divisions. Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance will award $ 50, $ 25, and $ 25 certificates to the top three GM 602 crates in the Econo Mods that have been purchased through them or have secondary seals.

Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:30 and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission is $ 13 for those 14 and older. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $ 30. Parking is always free.

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 @SharonSpdwy.

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Sharon Speedway


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