“Steel Valley Thunder” 6-division racing up next on Food Drive Night at Saturday

By Mike Leone

June 26, 2013

(Hartford, OH)…After completing 12 straight events, Sharon Speedway wasn’t so lucky Tuesday as thunderstorms washed out the Ohio Sprint Speedweek event.  Sharon hopes for better weather this Saturday, June 29 as a full program of “Steel Valley Thunder” is on tap.  Though Saturdays haven’t featured the most wonderful weather, Sharon hasn’t had a Saturday cancelled since April 13.

The weekly six-division program of 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 be on the card.  Racing begins at 7 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to receive $ 3 off grandstand admission.  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 wings and wedges.

Sharon is coming off a season high 109 cars in the pit area last Saturday night.  This Saturday pretty much marks the mid-point of the season with three months down and three to go.  Other than the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, none of the current point leaders have ever won a championship!

Speaking of the big blocks, current point leader Jim Weller, Jr. hasn’t sat at the head table at the awards banquet since 2004!  The Hubbard, Ohio veteran is having one of his best seasons in a long time with three victories.  Outside of a 15th place DNF on May 11, Weller hasn’t finished worse than fifth and in fact has eight top three finishes in 10 starts this season!

Weller, who was also the 2000 champion on the old half-mile track, currently has 26 career wins, which is fourth all-time and second on the active list behind Rex King.  Weller ironically leads King by 21 in the standings and 30 over Rex King, Jr.  Dave Murdick and Ricky Richner round out the top five in points.

Outside of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring events, last Saturday featured the highest weekly car count of the season for the Barris Supply RUSH Late Models and a new winner!  Matt Latta ended a disappointing season with his first victory of the year.  Despite his struggles, Latta is third in points just six behind last year’s champion Will Thomas III.

Atop the standings by 39 is three-time winner Dennis Lunger, Jr., who never won a feature before at Sharon until last season’s final race!  Lunger, of Albion, Pa., is the only non-Ohio driver currently leading the points at the speedway.

Seems like every week we’re talking about a new Modified winner and that continued last Saturday night when semi-regular Jonathan Taylor picked up the 15-lap Summit Racing Equipment victory.  Not only was it Taylor’s first win of the season as he became the division’s ninth different winner, but the first of his career at the Harford, Ohio oval.

Mike Kinney of Ashtabula, Ohio is having the best season of his career with a pair of victories as he leads Joe Gabrielson by 18 markers.  It’s a pretty tight point race as Jeff Johnson and early season point leader Alan Dellinger sit third and fourth 28 and 31 points behind respectively.

After missing three of the past four Stock Car events, Bryan Wagner returned to Sharon last Saturday night and won his second of the season and third of his career.  Luckily for Wagner two of the nights he missed were non-point events.  Though he’s dropped to sixth in points, Wagner is only three points out of fourth and 18 from third.

Continuing to lead the Gibson Insurance Agency points is Mike Clark.  The Bristolville, Ohio driver has won two features in each of the past three seasons.  Clark leads defending champion Tim Burns by 20.  Clark’s worst finish is a ninth back on April 27 and in fact has finished in the top four in every event this season outside of the ninth.

Jeremy Double, Ryan Fraley, and Jacob Eucker continue to take turns at winning features in the Econo Mods.  It was Double’s turn last Saturday as he won his fifth of the year to tie Scott Gilliland for most at the track.  Steve Burns, Jr. is the only victor outside of those three this season.  Fraley is hanging on to a three-point lead over Double and 38 over Eucker.  Rookie Tyler Rhoades has strung together six straight top five finishes after averaging a 10th place finish in his first six starts.

It’s becoming apparent the Mini Stock Championship chase is going to come down to Scott Gilliland and rookie Travis Creech.  Gilliland, a five-time winner, leads Creech, a four-time winner, by a shrinking margin of 36.  Bill Fuchs, the 2011 champion, and Jim Haefke, Jr., the 2012, champion are a distant third and fourth in the Deforest Used Parts points.

Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5 and heat races slated for 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.

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

Advance tickets on sale for Tuesday, August 20 Lou Blaney Memorial

The fifth annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” is coming up on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 featuring the “410″ Sprint Cars for $ 5,000 to-win plus the BRP Big-Block Modified Tour for $ 2,000 to-win!

NASCAR racers Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne & Dave Blaney will compete in Sprint Cars for this Alzheimer’s Association benefit event.

Advance tickets are on sale, which will admit ticket holders one-hour earlier admission at 3 PM for preferred seating by clicking here

Sharon Speedway

Sharon to celebrate Father’s Day with $7 admission for dads as “Steel Valley Thunder” racing is feature Saturday night

By Mike Leone

June 13, 2013

(Hartford, OH)…Week after week, Sharon Speedway seemingly takes on Mother Nature and continues to win out completing the racing events.  After a dreary Saturday last weekend and somehow completing Wednesday’s Pay It Forward “Summer Bash” against the forecast odds, Sharon will look to complete the 11th straight racing event of the season this Saturday night (June 15)!

Good weather for once is predicted for Saturday’s “Steel Valley Thunder” featuring 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 the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.  Racing begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday is a Father’s Day Celebration as all dads will receive general admission for just $ 7, which is a savings of $ 6!  It’s also Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night as all card carrying members will receive free grandstand admission and $ 13 off pit admission!  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.

Jim Weller, Jr. is having his best season in quite some time in the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds.  Outside of a 15th place finish on May 11, the veteran Hubbard, Ohio racer hasn’t finished worse than the third position in seven other starts!  Besides his two wins, Weller broke the track record on four consecutive laps in his heat race last Saturday!

Weller has raced out to an 18-point lead over Rex King, Jr. and 27 over the elder King.  Both Kings also have a pair of victories.  One-time winner, Dave Murdick, is fourth in points over Ricky Richner as the consistent New Yorker continues to search for his first ever Sharon win.

Action has really heated up in the Barris Supply RUSH Late Models.  After a slow start, defending champion Will Thomas III has come alive with a pair of victories, but it’s still Dennis Lunger, Jr., who won two of the season’s first three races, leading the points.  Quite a rivalry is brewing between the teenager Eric Wilson, who won on June 1, and Lunger and Thomas.  Matt Latta, who has had a disappointing third season, is fourth in points.  RUSH racers continue to add important Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series points to their tally and also qualify for the Pace Performance “Summer Chase”, which starts in July.

Mike Kinney and Dave Hess, Jr. recently became the newest Modified winners of 2013.  Kinney held off Steve Dixon to win Saturday night’s feature, while Hess drove to the $ 2,000 UEMS-sanctioned victory on Wednesday night.  Hess became the eighth different winner in 10 races in the ultra-competitive Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division.  There have been 60 different Modifieds that have competed this season!

Kinney sits atop the standings by 13 over Alan Dellinger and Joe Gabrielson in his quest for his first championship.  After a strong start, Dellinger has cooled off in recent weeks, while Gabrielson has been very consistent and recorded his first win on June 1 since the passing of his father Bill.

Without a doubt, Mike Clark is having quite a season.  Like Weller, Clark has only one finish outside the top three this year!  The Bristolville, Ohio driver is full speed ahead in search of his first championship.  After going winless for some 15 years, Clark has won two feature events each of the past three seasons.  Clark sits 18 points ahead of last year’s champion Tim Burns.  Paul Davis, Bryan Wagner, and Jamie Scharba are third through fifth in the standings.

Jeremy Double, Ryan Fraley, and Jacob Eucker are clearly the class of the Econo Mod field.  The trio has account for nine of the 10 feature event victories this season with only Steve Burns, Jr. being able to crack into victory lane.  Double’s fourth win on Wednesday night was a big one as it pulled him to within 12 of Fraley’s point lead.  It also gave him the most wins in the division this season and second most at the Speedway!  While 12-year-old Eucker holds down the third spot, Burns is of course fourth, while impressive rookie Ty Rhoades rounds out the top five.

Jim Haefke, Jr. regained his winning form of 2012 capturing his season’s first win in the Mini Stocks last Saturday.  Haefke though still has a lot of work to do as he sits fourth in the Deforest Used Parts standings 70 points behind the Speedway’s top winner, Scott Gilliland. Gilliland’s five victories have helped him post a 36-point lead over 2011 champion Bill Fuchs, while rookie Travis Creech keeps himself in the thick of things just five more points back.

Pits open at 4 p.m. Saturday with grandstands at 5 and heat races slated for 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.

Don’t forget that coming up on Tuesday, June 25 will be the first of four Sprint Car shows in 2013 at Sharon!  The first event will be an All Star Circuit of Champions-sanctioned event as part of Ohio Speedweek with the winner pocketing $ 5,000.  The Econo Mods ($ 350 to-win) and Mini Stocks ($ 200 to-win) will be part of the program in points-paying events.  Gates open at 4 p.m. for both of these programs.

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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