Return of “Steel Valley Thunder” Saturday plus Kids Bike Races on YSU Night

By Mike Leone

August 22, 2013

(Hartford, OH)…After a pair of successful special race events and a Charlie Daniels concert over the past week, Sharon Speedway will get back to its weekly attraction- “Steel Valley Thunder” this Saturday night, August 24. On the card will be the Governor Insurance Agency 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 will also be in competition. Race time is 7 p.m.

Saturday’s promotion is Youngstown State University (YSU) Night. All current students with an ID will be admitted free for general admission, while alumni will receive $ 3 off! Kids bike races will be held at intermission. Kids 3-12 will be eligible to compete on the frontstretch during intermission. Helmets are required. Once again Saturday night, one lucky boy and girl under the age of 14 will win a bicycle or scooter thanks to King Bros. and Sharon Speedway. Saturday’s kitchen special is chicken gravy over mashed.

The DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds have featured increased car counts this year and are coming off a big field of 39 at Tuesday night’s “Lou Blaney Memorial”. Dave Murdick will enter the weekend on fire winner of three straight on the circuit, and it wasn’t just three regular events. Murdick received a $ 1,000 bonus for winning last Friday night at Lernerville Speedway, followed that up with a $ 1,500 BRP Tour win Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park, and did one step more winning Tuesday’s $ 2,000 BRP Tour feature.

Murdick also was going for the lead on August 10 at Sharon when he clipped the fence ending his night. The defending champion though sits fourth in points with just a few nights remaining. Jim Weller, Jr. leads the Governor Insurance Agency points by 26 over Rex King. Ironically both of those racers’ cars are in the process of being repaired after both got upside down on Tuesday night. Rex King, Jr. is third in points 48 behind Weller.

Dennis Lunger, Jr. has held onto the Barris Supply RUSH Late Model point lead since his victory on opening night back on April 6. Lunger’s lead had begun to shrink, but stopped the bleeding with his season’s fourth win on August 10. Lunger has a 30-point lead on defending champion Will Thomas III, who would be much closer had he not missed opening night. Ironically, 2011 champion Josh Double is third in points, but is 50 back and is quickly running out of time. “Futures Cup” point leader, Eric Wilson, is fourth ahead of Late Model rookie Jamie Wrightsman.

The Modifieds haven’t run since August 10 when Scott Stiffler became the amazing 11th different winner of the season! Mike Kinney has really been hooked up of late and surging to the front no matter where he’s starts. The Ashtabula, Ohio driver has finished in the top 10 in every point night this season, which has allowed him to race out to a big 50-point lead over Joe Gabrielson. Alan Dellinger, Jeff Johnson, and Jeff Hassay complete the top five in points. A total of 69 different drivers have competed to date this season in the Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division!

It’s hard to believe that only a couple years ago Mike Clark had been winless in his 15 plus year racing career. The Bristolville, Ohio racer won a pair of races in both 2011 and 2012 and stepped it up even more this season. Clark leads the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car division with three wins and currently leads defending champion Tim Burns by 31 in the point race. Clark is one of the five point leaders that have never won a championship at Sharon.

The Econo Mods are coming down to a three-boy race between Jeremy Double, Ryan Fraley, and Jacob Eucker. The trio has won 14 of the 15 features this year despite their combined ages totaling only 53 years of age! Double (six wins) leads last week’s winner Fraley (four wins) by just 15 points and 12-year-old Eucker (four wins) by only 23. Consistent rookie Ty Rhoades and one-time winner Steve Burns, Jr. are fourth and fifth in points and are the only two racers that are challengers on a weekly basis.

After getting crashed last week, Scott Gilliland’s point lead shrunk to just 14 over rookie Travis Creech in the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Creech looked like he was headed to victory and cut the lead even more, but his right rear wheel broke ending his night. Defending champion, Jim Haefke, Jr., went on for his season’s second win as he keeps his championship hopes alive in third place.

Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5and racing at 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $ 13, while children under 14 are always free. Pit passes are $ 25. Parking and camping is always free.

A reminder that there will be no racing over Labor Day Weekend at Sharon Speedway.

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

Charlie Daniels Band set to Perform Wednesday; Huckin Fillbillys opening act

By Mike Leone

August 11, 2013

(Hartford, OH)…After a successful free Fan Appreciation Night that packed the grandstands on Saturday night, Sharon Speedway is set to host a totally different event this Wednesday night, August 14 when the Charlie Daniels Band will perform live at the Speedway. The Huckin Fillbillys will be the opening act. The event is presented by Hovis Auto & Truck Supply. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the show set to begin at 8.

It will be the first concert in many, many years at the Hartford, Ohio facility and will be the first time that the legendary 76-year-old fiddler will perform at the Speedway. Daniels is a Grammy Award winner with gold and platinum albums in addition to awards from the Country Music Association (CMA), Academy of Country Music (ACM), TNN/Music City News Awards, and the Gospel Music Association (GMA).

Daniels has spent 55 years in the music business and 40 years touring with the Charlie Daniels Band. He first found success on rock radio and the pop charts with ’70s songs like “Uneasy Rider,” “The South’s Gonna Do It”, and “Long-Haired Country Boy.”

In 1979, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” made him a household name, as the tale of a fiddle duel with Satan topped the country charts, peaked at No. 3 on the pop charts and won Daniels a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.

“We’re always looking at ways to make the facility be useful in addition to auto racing,” explained General Manager Dave Willoughby. “We’ve worked hard to be able to host a concert and look forward to Charlie Daniels performing on Wednesday night. The weather is looking great and hopefully people support this show.”

Fans are reminded that coolers will not be permitted for this event. Alcohol will be sold at the event. Advance tickets are $ 33 or $ 37 at the gate. Parking will be $ 5. For advance tickets go to www.brownpapertickets.com or call 1-800-838-3006. Advance tickets can also be purchased at Yankee Lake (OH) Carryout.

Coming up Saturday (August 17), the BOSS non-wing Sprint Cars Series will be on hand joined by the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series in the $ 2,000 to-win “Gary Knollinger Memorial”. Also on the card will be the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.

The Lou Blaney Memorial Alzheimer’s Association Benefit Event is nearing on Tuesday, August 20 featuring the “410” Sprint Cars for $ 5,000 to-win plus the BRP Big-Block Modifieds Tour for $ 2,000 to-win. It’s NASCAR Night with Kyle Larson and Dave Blaney competing in Sprint Cars; however, unfortunately, Kasey Kahne will be unable to participate due to the fact that Sprint Car racing has been eliminated from his racing plans nor will Tony Stewart be able to compete due his recent injury. Sharon Speedway thanks Kasey and Tony for their great support of this event over the years.

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

“Fan Appreciation Night” to feature FREE general admission Saturday! Full “Steel Valley Thunder” program & autograph night on tap

By Mike Leone

August 7, 2013

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway was finally blessed with a beautiful day last Saturday as a season high 110 cars and great crowd turned out; that trend is expected to continue this Saturday night, August 10. The Governor Insurance 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 the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks will be on the card. Race time is set for 7 p.m.

Saturday is the long-awaited “Fan Appreciation Night” featuring FREE general admission for the first time ever! Fans can come and watch the exiting racing action in the six weekly divisions plus it’s autograph night on the speedway during intermission. This will be a great opportunity for fans to meet their favorite racing stars, see the cars up close and personal, and obtain autographs and photos. Many of the racers will have giveaways and items free of charge for the fans.

Once again Saturday night, one lucky boy and girl under the age of 14 will win a bicycle or scooter thanks to King Bros. and Sharon Speedway. This promotion will continue throughout the 2013 season. Saturday’s kitchen special is stuffed shells.

The championship chase is around 2/3rds complete with two months to go. Five of the six division leaders are in search of their first crowns. One driver that isn’t is in the headlining DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Jim Weller, Jr. has had a tremendous season with three victories as he currently leads the points by 25 over Rex King, Jr. and 27 over the elder Rex King. The veteran Hubbard, Ohio racer has only one finish outside of the top five and that was back on May 11. Weller was the 2000 champion on the old half-mile and then won the third season on the 3/8-mile track in 2004. Dave Murdick and New Yorker Ricky Richner complete the top five in points. Last Saturday night, a solid field of 19 cars was on hand in the Governor Insurance Agency-sponsored divisions.

Dennis Lunger, Jr. started the 2013 season off hot winning two of the first three Barris Supply RUSH Late Model races and picking up from his first career win at the speedway in the 2012 season finale; however, Lunger’s lead has slowly shrunk down to 27 over defending champion Will Thomas III. Thomas got behind the eight-ball missing opening night, but has won three of the last six weekly events! Josh Double, Eric Wilson, and Matt Latta are third through fifth in points. Late Model rookie Jamie Wrightsman had his best career finish in the division last Saturday night in fourth and is currently sixth in the standings.

Mike Kinney had another great night last Saturday charging from the 12th starting spot to a solid runner-up finish in the Summit Racing Equipment Modified feature. The Ashtabula, Ohio driver has extended his point lead to a pretty comfortable 40-point margin. The most points one can garner in a night is 40. Gabrielson though only leads Alan Dellinger by five and Jeff Johnson by seven. Jeff Hassay completes the top five.

The Stock Car count has grown the second half of the season and the competition has been solid all year. Last Saturday, Brian Carothers became the seventh different winner. Gibson Insurance Agency point leader, Mike Clark, suffered his first finish outside the top 10 as his point lead shrunk to 22 over defending champion Tim Burns. Amazingly Burns has yet to win a feature this year despite eight top five finishes. Carothers is third in points over Paul Davis and Bryan Wagner.

Jeremy Double captured his track-leading sixth feature win of the season last Saturday night and propelled himself into the HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mod point lead. The 17-year-old has a 16-point advantage on Ryan Fraley, who started the season off hot with 10 straight top five finishes including three victories. Twelve-year-old Jacob Eucker is third. Rookie Ty Rhoades is prime for his first career win as he’s spun off seven straight top five finishes! Steve Burns, Jr. rounds out the top five.

Scott Gilliland jumped out to a big point lead in the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks via five wins in the first nine races, but since has cooled off. Since his last win on June 1, the Warren, Ohio racer has mustered only a pair of third place finishes in addition to finishes of seventh, eighth, and ninth, which has allowed his competitors to close the gap. Rookie Travis Creech is 35 points back in second with 2011 champion Bill Fuchs third and 2012 champion Jim Haefke, Jr. fourth.

Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5. Racing begins at 7. Pit passes are $ 25. Parking and camping is always free.

Don’t forget, coming up next Wednesday (August 14) will be the “Charlie Daniels Band” performing at the speedway along with the Huckin Fillybillys. Advance tickets are $ 33 or $ 37 at the gate. Advance tickets can be purchased online, at the speedway office, or at Yankee Lake Carryout.

The Lou Blaney Memorial Alzheimer’s Association Benefit Event is nearing on Tuesday, August 20 featuring the “410” Sprint Cars for $ 5,000 to-win plus the BRP Big-Block Modifieds Tour for $ 2,000 to-win. It’s NASCAR Night with Kyle Larson and Dave Blaney competing in Sprint Cars. This will be a time trial event for the Sprint Cars.

For more information on these events and to buy advance tickets, go to www.sharonspeedway.com.

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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