FREE general admission & autograph night on tap Saturday with a full “Steel Valley Thunder” program

By Mike Leone

June 10, 2014

(Hartford, OH)…Great summer weather has blessed Sharon Speedway each of the past three race nights and it appears that trend will continue for this Saturday night’s (June 14) rescheduled FREE Fan Appreciation & Autograph Night! The “Steel Valley Thunder” week seven 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.

Back by popular demand is FREE general admission night! Last year’s promotion in August drew a huge crowd and officials are hoping the same for this Saturday night. Fan Appreciation Night was originally scheduled for May 17, but rain forced the event to be rescheduled to this Saturday night’s “Father’s Day Celebration. The event will also include an on-track autograph session during intermission featuring the cars and stars from all six of the competing divisions. This is a great once-per-year opportunity for fans to get an up close look at the mighty machines and meet their heroes with photo and autograph opportunities.

Can someone stop the Kings or Jim Weller in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds!? If not, one of the three racers will be the first to win three Hovis Auto & Truck Supply features and most likely take over or maintain the points lead. The crazy, close competition has featured Rex King, his son Rex, Jr. and Jim Weller, Jr. alternate victories this season with each winning two. The elder King leads his son by just two points, while Weller is only three points out of the top spot! Jim Rasey suffered his first DNF of the season and lost ground in the championship chase as he sits fourth 34 points back. New York’s Ricky Richner, who is a regular for the second straight year, is fifth.

The same sort of question is being asked in the RUSH Late Models, but it’s been one driver that’s dominated action each of the past three events. Will Thomas III is the first driver in the history of the division to win three straight features! An unprecedented fourth straight win is going to be tough as he’s going to be relegated to last place due to his three straight wins. The 2012 champion leads Russ Byler by 34 points. Byler is due for his first career Late Model win as he’s recorded a pair of second place finishes and has yet to finish worse than seventh this season. Dennis Lunger, Jr. and Jamie Wrightsman are tied for third over Clay Ruffo in the Barris Supply standings. Three new visitors on Saturday night brought the total to 31 different racers this year.

Joel Watson is one of two racers at the Speedway that have already picked up four feature wins! The Conneaut, Ohio driver has soared up the all-time Modified win list in recent years as he’s now tied for second with Jeff Johnson at 18 wins! Watson has a commanding 47-point lead over Steve Dixon, who is still searching for his first win of the season. One-time winner and defending champion, Mike Kinney, is third. Russ Dunn and Johnson round out the top five of the Summit Racing Equipment point race.

Defending champion Mike Clark is starting to show his muscle and take a stronghold on the Stock Cars once again. The Bristolville, Ohio driver is coming off his season’s third feature win and has increased his point lead to 14 over one-time winner Paul Davis. Last year, Clark doubled his career win total with four feature wins and is already just one win always from matching that. Third through fifth in points are Jamie Duncan, Brian Carothers, and Bryan Wagner.

A lot of scrambling has taken place in the Econo Mod division thus far this year. Casey Bowers was less than one lap away from becoming the fifth different winner in as many events last Saturday night, but instead Steve Burns, Jr. stole the win away to become the first repeat winner. Ty Rhoades was presented a plaque from Walt Wimer at intermission as the 2013 Western PA Rookie of the Year as a co-winner with Travis Creech. Though Rhoades’ sophomore season of racing hasn’t been as good as last year, he finds himself atop the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings. Rhoades would love to garner his first career win and extend his point lead this Saturday night. Brandon Blackshear trails Rhoades by seven points with Jeremy Double, Burns, and George Vestal IV completing the top five. Amazingly just 26 points separates the top eight drivers in points!

Bill Fuchs had to be thinking ‘finally’! The Mini Stock all-time division winner picked up his first win last Saturday night since the “Apple Festival Nationals” last September. Fuchs has knocked on the door all season long. In fact, the Greenville, Pa. racer has yet to finish worse than fourth in any of the six features to date this season! That consistency has kept him only one-point behind defending champion and four-time winner, Travis Creech, in the Deforest Used Parts standings. Jamie Maxwell, Scott Gilliland, and Jim Haefke, Jr. are third through 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 of course FREE. Pit passes are $ 30.

Don’t forget coming up on Tuesday, June 24 is the Ohio Speedweek for the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars in a $ 5,000 to-win event along with the TUSA Mod Lites. Advance tickets are on sale, which admits the holder grandstand access one-hour early at 3 p.m. Tickets go on sale at 4 p.m.

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

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

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