By Mike Leone

January 22, 2011

(Hartford, OH)…Despite having just one month to put together and promote the inaugural “Circle Track Showdown” Snowmobile Races, Saturday’s event at Sharon Speedway was a rousing success.  A hearty crowd nearly comparable to an auto race night, braved bitter cold conditions and watched some 100 competitors from all over Ohio and Pennsylvania provide thrills and spills on the fast, snow and ice-covered 3/8-mile oval. 

The day began with warm-up laps shortly after 11 a.m.  A total of 38 events were run amongst 15 different classes with the final checkered flag waving at 4 p.m.  The 21 heat races were three laps a piece, while the 17 features went five laps in distance.  Track conditions were very conducive to side-by-side racing as drivers used various different lines all over the speedway.  Many of the events went right down to the wire with last lap turn four passes in near photo finishes.  While several drivers did get upside down, in almost every case the driver got back on his sled and continued.  No injuries occurred. 

Rod Krupp was the only driver to win multiple features as he performed the feat in the 501-600cc and the 701-800cc liquid classes.  Two of the classes (601-700cc and the 701-800cc Liquid) were split into two features each due to the large turnout.  

Auto racing fans probably recognized the names of several of their Saturday night favorites.  Big-Block Modified stars Jim Rasey and Rob Curtis were both in competition along 2009 Modified rookie and asphalt racer Gene Kirila III.  Curtis was a heat and feature winner in the 401-500cc Fan division.  Northern Stock Car standout and 2010 Raceway 7 Champion Ken Zimmer piloted a sled as he was joined by two-time 2010 Mercer Raceway Park Stock Car winner Jeff Walters along with 2009 Sharon winner Steven Burns.  Mini Stock driver Ken Koby was also in action.

“This show certainly exceeded our expectations and was deemed a success by all accounts,” stated second year Sharon Speedway GM Dave Willoughby.  “When I got to the track this morning it was -2 degrees and it never did get any warmer than 15 degrees even with the sun out.  I can’t get over the size of the crowd that turned out!  I have to thank everyone for their support, and being patient and bearing with us for this inaugural event.  The competitors all had a great time and a lot of people said they wished they would have brought their sleds to compete.  We’ll definitely have more events in the future!”

Results by division with winner’s hometown and make & model of sled:

801-1000cc Liquid Stock Feature: 1. CHAD SCHULTZ (Cortland, OH – Arctic Cat Firecat)  2. John Wilson  3. Jim McCowin  4. Joe Powell  5. Bryan Hockenberry  6. Rod Krupp  7. Carl Lahti-DNS  8. Mark Preston-DNS.  (Heat winner: Schultz).

701-800cc Liquid Stock Feature: 1. ROD KRUPP (Wakeman, OH – Polaris XC)  2. Craig Saloom  3. Chad Schultz  4. Jim Rasey  5. Ed Luchey, Jr.  6. Mark Preston  7. Kevin Hines.  (Heat winners: Schultz, Krupp).

701-800cc Liquid Stock Consolation Feature: 1. PAUL ORLOWSKI (Erie, PA – Arctic Cat Firecat F7)  2. Joshua Knaff  3. Rick Coelho  4. Ken Zimmer-DNS  5. Ed Luchey, Jr.-DNS  6. Dwayne Thomas-DNS.

601-700cc Mod Feature: 1. JOE POWELL (Sharon, PA – Arctic Cat Sno- Pro 640)  2. Bill Germandnik.  (Heat winner: Powell).

601-700cc Liquid Stock Adult Feature: 1. RICH AUDOLSEK (Wakeman, OH – Arctic Cat ZR580)   2. Rod Krupp  3. Jake Miller  4. Bill Hanko  5. Jeff Walters  6. Rolf Krupp  7. Chad Magee  8. Carter Bidwell.  (Heat winners: Audolsek, Krupp, Bidwell).

601-700cc Liquid Stock Adult Consolation Feature: 1. DAVE PRICE (Austinburg, OH – Yamaha SRX)  2. Paul Orlowski  3. Jason Nemeth  4. Chad Sines  5. Lee Farley, Jr.  6. Rick Coelho  7. Autumn Cheney  8. Lee Luchette-DNS.

601-700cc Liquid Kids Feature: 1. JUSTIN RASEY (Warren, OH – Arctic Cat 700 ZR)  2. Colton Walters  3. Zack Doerr.  (Heat winner: Rasey).

501-600cc Liquid Adult Feature: 1. ROD KRUPP (Wakeman, OH – Polaris XC)  2. Rich Audolsek  3. Ken Koby  4. Bill Hanko  5. John Wilson  6. Ed Luchey, Sr.  7. Shawn Swogger  8. Bret Williams  9. Gene Kirila III-DNS.  (Heat winners: Luchey, Audolsek, Krupp).

501-600cc Liquid Adult Consolation Feature: 1. ROLF KRUPP (Wakeman, OH – Arctic Cat Snow Pro)  2. Tyler Ochs  3. Greg Marvin  4. Eric Marvin  5. Jeff Cann  6. Justin Farmwald  7. Paul Kirik  8. Robert McClellan  9. Eric Babcock  10. Mark Burns-DNS.

501-600cc Liquid Kids Feature: 1. ZACK DOERR (Thompson, OH – Ski-Doo Formula SS)  2. Colton Walters  3. Jacob Rasey  4. Adam Slater-DNS.  (Heat winner: Doerr).

401-500cc Fan Feature: 1. ROB CURTIS (Greenville, PA – Polaris Pro X 440)  2. Craig Saloom  3. Matt Latta  4. Brett Slater  5. Gene Kirila III.  (Heat winner: Curtis). 

401-500cc Liquid Feature: 1. JEFF KRAYNAK  (Plain City, OH – 1979 Ski-Doo Sno Pro)  2. Lee Luchette  3. Bill Hanko  4. Rolf Krupp  5. Rob Curtis  6. Carter Bidwell  7. Vinny Civitarese  8. Nicholas Evangelista  9. Benjamin Moser  10. Dwayne Thomas-DNS.  (Heat winners: Kraynak & Thomas).

441cc+ Leaf Mod Vintage Feature: 1. TYLER OCHS (Lucinda, PA – Yamaha Vmax 540)  2. Scott Graybill.  (Heat winner: Ochs)

441cc+ Leaf Stock Vintage Feature: 1. JAMES SIMPSON, JR. (Vienna, OH – Yamaha Excite 440)  2. Shawn Evangelista  3. Ben Ary-DNS.  (Heat winner: Ary).

341-440cc Leaf Vintage Feature:  1. JAKE MILLER (Kane, PA – Arctic Cat)  2. Jason Rager  3. Chad Shultz  4. Steven Burns  5. Tim Gillung  6. Charles Mattes  7. Greg Thomas  8. Bill Baxter-DNS.  (Heat winners: Rager & Miller)

0-340cc Leaf Vintage Feature: 1. JOHN O’BRIEN (Masury, OH – 1978 Arctic Cat F/A 3000)  2. Tyler Romian  3. Dave Price  4. ?  5. Bill Rice  6. James Simpson.  (Heat winner: Romian).

0-340cc I.F.S. Vintage Feature: 1. GREG O’DAY (Atlantic, PA – Polaris 340)  2. Jeff Kraynak.  (Heat winner: Kraynak).

Stayed tuned for more information on Sharon Speedway in the coming weeks.  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 or call 330-772-5481.  Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at


Comments (5)

  • Greg O’Day Reply

    In the standings how did I get 2nd in vintage IFS 0-340 class when I took first and got a trophy?
    I know there was a mess up on who raced in the V-340 IFS class because I was put into the Vintage Leaf class and that when I won the feature. Just wondering if this was printed wrong?
    Thanks for haveing this event and I can speek for all the racer’s and fan’s that we all hope you have this again.
    Thanks Greg O’Day

    January 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm
    • sharon Reply

      Sorry about that Greg. I fixed the press release. There was some confusion in a couple of the classes with the numbering as that’s something we certainly will fix for next time. Thank you for your support and we’ll certainly have more in the future.

      January 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm
  • John Willetts Reply

    I’m 67 yrs old, and had never been to a local race like this. The spectator/competetor draw was great. As with all things, a little better organizing will help, and comes with experience. My son and I raced grass drags over this tri state area, and I don’t think there were very many races with more attendance than yesterdays crowd. I don’t know how the gate profit was, but I hope it was solid enough to do this again, soon. It’s a shame you can’t have snow drags too? Food for thought? Anyway, good job. Keep it up!

    January 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm
  • dan duvall Reply

    SNOWMOBILE RACES WERE AWESOME!!!! this must happen again this year!!! it needs to be a regular event every weekend or every other weekend once a month… something! attendence and entries will only increase!

    January 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm
  • Gary Hines Reply

    What an awesome event.Could not believe the crowds.To Dave Willoughby,track Promoter,thanks for having the vision and making it happen.Also to all the volunteers from the Ohio State Snowmobile Association,as well as the safety crews ,Thanks for the help.Now we know what Ohio winters are made for RACING !! Keep up the great work.

    January 24, 2011 at 1:33 am

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Saturday winners before the rain were Erick Rudolph-Mod Tour & Will Thomas-RUSH Late Models! The remaider of the features will be made up in spring 2017