BUSY WEEKEND ON TAP WITH DOUBLEHEADER ACTION; “FRIDAY NIGHT THUNDER” PLUS 3 MAKE-UP FEATURES & “STEEL VALLEY THUNDER” SATURDAY
By Mike Leone
May 11, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway is set for another doubleheader weekend of racing action this Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14. On tap is another installment of “Friday Night Thunder” at 7:30 p.m. and “Steel Valley Thunder” on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Saturday’s rain date is Sunday at 5:30.
Wet conditions have wrecked havoc on Friday nights. The last Friday without a chance of rain was clear back on March 18 before the season even started. To date, the only “Friday Night Thunder” program completed thus far was a month ago on April 15 when the show was finished up before rain hit after midnight. After six tries, there still has yet to be a weekend where both shows were completed.
After outlasting an hour an half of rain last Friday afternoon and early evening, skies cleared and it looked like the program would go off without a hitch with a promising forecast; however, a strong thunderstorm developed around Cleveland and took a direct hit right before the first feature hit the speedway.
Those six rained out features will now need to be made up beginning this week with the Uni-Tech Frame Straightening & Joe’ Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars, Micro Sprints, and Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors. Following the completion of those 15-lap features, Friday’s regular scheduled program will begin including those divisions along with the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites, and the Mini Late Models. The other three features will be made up at the next event.
After the April 15 program and last week’s heat races, current point leaders are Guy Griffin-Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Junior Mechling-Econo Mods, Jeff Teeters-Mod Lites, Todd Reusser-Micro Sprints, Joe Grzelak, Jr.-Sportsman Dwarf Cars, and Rick Ament-Mini Late Models.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and race time is set for 7:30 this year to allow for more time for fans racers to travel to Sharon Speedway. Adults are $10, students 9-13 are $5, and children eight and under are free. Pit passes are $25.
Though the weather hasn’t been wonderful by any means on Saturday nights, Sharon has lucked out completing six of the first scheduled seven events. Saturday’s racing card will include the Governor Insurance Agency Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models, Ainsley 500 Heating & Cooling E-Mods, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and the Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks and will be presented by Trumbull County Business College. Saturday night will be Ashtabula County School Night.
Last Saturday saw three different rounds of light showers in the late afternoon and early evening, but unlike the night prior, skies cleared and it stayed dry for the rest of the night. For the second straight week, over 100 cars filled the pit area for the five-division program.
Rex King has established himself as the driver to beat in the Big-Block Modified division thus far after four nights with a pair of victories to go along with a second and a third place finish. The Bristolville, Ohio veteran leads another longtime Modified racer in the standings in Dean Pearson by 20 points.
The FASTRAK Late Models have continued to impress fans and observers with excellent car counts and great racing. All four shows have drawn 30+ cars with an amazing 56 different competitors! Mike Pegher, Jr. showed you can pass in the division coming from 11th to take the victory as the Wexford, Pa. driver continued the shutout streak of Ohio drivers at the eastern Ohio oval in 12 events run all-time.
Though he’s yet to win a FASTRAK feature ever at Sharon, former Super Late Model standout Mike Blose is the division’s point leader with four top nine finishes in four starts including a runner-up on April 30. The New Bethlehem, Pa. resident leads Ohio teen Josh Double by just three points.
Like FASTRAK, the E-Mods have put a quality product on the track each and every week with some of the best racing in any of the divisions. The E-Mods have averaged 29 cars per night with a total of 54 different racers already! Joel Watson and Alan Dellinger have put on some tremendous battles week in and week out. Dellinger has won the last two features, while Watson, who won opening night, has yet to finish worse than third in any heat or feature this season! Those numbers have helped to propel Watson (Conneaut, OH) to what would be a considered a “commanding” 27-point lead over Mike Kinney after just four races. Dellinger sits third in points just three behind Kinney.
Those that weren’t there last Saturday night or didn’t stick around for the Stock Car feature missed a whale of an ending! Dellinger made a three-wide move in lapped traffic to steal the win away from Jamie Duncan on the last lap for his second straight score. Duncan came across the finish sideways after contact with the lapped car of Al Herman. Duncan’s runner-up finish did break the tie with him and Mike Clark as the Brookfield, Ohio took over sole possession of the point lead by three over Clark.
Bill Fuchs has posted statistics much like Joel Watson in the Mini Stocks. The Greenville, Pa. racer, who won the opening night non-point special, was back in victory lane last Saturday night as he’s yet to finish worse than third in any heat or feature this season. Not surprisingly, Fuchs sits atop the standings by 17 over Lucas Sprouse, who looked like he was headed to his first win of the season until a late race caution.
The new boys and girls bike giveaway program presented by King Bros. Feed Supply & Redi Mix will begin Saturday night. Kids 4-14 can sign up until intermission. If either Rex King, Sr. or Jr. wins the feature, a new bike will be presented to a lucky boy and girl the following Saturday.
On Saturday, pits open at 4 p.m. with the grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Adult admission is $13. Students 9-13 are $5. Kids eight and under are free. The family pass is $32 for mom, dad, and four kids 13 and under. Pit passes are $25. The rain date is Sunday with racing at 5:30 p.m.
Remember, if you bring your rain stub from Friday night to Saturday’s race, you’ll receive a $3 discount on Saturday’s admission!
Coming up on Saturday, May 21 is Armed Forces Night as all veterans of war and those currently serving will be admitted free of charge for the “Steel Valley Thunder” program. One week later, the first special race event of the season hits the track with the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series making their first of four stops in the Bill Emig Memorial “Wildcard Weekend” for $1,500 to-win. Also featured on this night will be the E-Mods racing for $1,000 to-win, $100 to-start. The Stock Cars and Mini Stocks will also be on the racing card. This is also Tori Martin’s “Racing for the Cure” American Cancer Society Benefit Night.
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.