By Mike Leone

May 15, 2011

(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway is anxiously looking forward to its first special race event of the season, which is quickly drawing near on Saturday, May 28. The FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will make its first appearance of the season in the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend” and will be joined by a $1,000 to-win Ainsley 500 Heating & Cooling E-Mod event along with the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars and the Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks. It’ll also be Tori Martin’s “Racing for the Cure” American Cancer Society Benefit Night. Racing begins at 7. The rain date is Sunday, May 29.

The Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models have gotten off to an impressive start in their first season as a weekly division at Sharon. Touring stars Joe Martin, Robbie Blair, and Mike Pegher, Jr. have won all four events held to date with Martin winning the first two shows. Car counts have been stout with 30, 36, 32, and 31 cars.

The May 28 show will be the first of four Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Northeast Touring Series events held at Sharon in 2011. The Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card” Weekend will also encompass Lernerville Speedway’s show on Memorial Day. Both events will pay $1,500 to-win and have a separate point fund of $3,000 in cash and contingencies. The champion will receive $500 and positions two through five will also receive cash and contingencies. Drivers will draw a card at each event to add to their point finishes. The highest “Futures Cup” contender in points will receive a $100 bonus.

In addition to the increased payoffs and point fund, Sharon will also be the site of the Series’ first ever King of the Hill put on by Tori Martin, who is organizing the “Racing for the Cure” held in conjunction with the event. The top eight racers from the 2010 Touring points and the top eight finishers from the May 28 race that weren’t already eligible will make up the 16-driver tournament, which will pay a minimum of $500 to the winner.

Five Northeast Touring Series events have been held all-time at Sharon with five different winners including Pegher, Martin, Josh Holtgraver, Max Blair, and the late Gary Knollinger.

Bill Emig began his racing career as a car owner in 1969 with driver Jim Becker as his first driver. Throughout the years, Bob Krauss, Donnie Martin, John Buzzard. Jerry Lesnak, Butch Haefke, and Lou Gentile have all wheeled his famous Ford powered six-cylinder to hundreds of feature wins and multiple track championships. This year’s event will mark the significant 20th running of the Bill Emig Memorial.

“Although my father’s memorial race has been held at various venues throughout the years it’s very appropriate that it can be showcased this year at both Sharon and Lernerville Speedways,” expressed Emig’s daughter Vicki. “Sharon Speedway is the only track in the region that all seven of my father’s drivers raced at for him. His cars and drivers recorded many wins on both the dirt and asphalt- many dating back to the quarter-mile days.”

Like FASTRAK, the E-Mods have put on top-notch racing and excellent car counts. The Ainsley 500 Heating & Cooling E-Mods will race for a cool $1,000 with $100 to-start and should produce a great field of cars. To date, the E-Mods have averaged 29 cars per race. The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars and Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks will also battle in this exciting program.

“FASTRAK is now Vicki’s focus,” stated Sharon GM Dave Willoughby. “And she has always aligned this event with something that is important to her and her family. Hosting this event at Sharon where Bill’s cars and drivers are well remembered will be a wonderful way to kickoff the first of our four Northeast Touring events. Add in this special for E-Mods and all of the activities around this night and it should be a great night of racing!”

Tori Martin is a junior at Punxsutawney High School in Pennsylvania and is the sister of FASTRAK racer Joe Martin- a three-time Sharon winner. The Martins lost their grandfather to cancer on Christmas Day 2008 and Tori decided that she wanted to do a benefit event for cancer as her senior project.

Martin’s goal is to raise several thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society through various fundraising efforts. Drivers will have the opportunity to race “In Memory of” or “In Support of” a loved one for a minimum of $25 with the possibility of adding associate sponsors for $10. All of the heat races, last chance races, and features will have the ability to be sponsored for $50, $50, and $100 respectively.

There will be several raffle items donated from drivers in the top eight seeded in FASTRAK and the proceeds from the night’s benefit raffle will go to the American Cancer Society. Other drivers will also have the ability to donate items for the Chinese Auction. Tori is looking for things such as driver apparel and other merchandise. Fans will also be able that night to donate directly to the American Cancer Society. Several other activities are also in the works and will be released in the coming weeks.

“This event has great potential and I’m really looking forward to spending the night mixing the sport we all love with supporting the American Cancer Society,” said Tori Martin, creator of the Race for the Cure event. “My grandpa was one of my biggest supporters, and I know he would be so proud. More and more families are losing loved ones due to cancer, and I feel that with this event, it gives the opportunity for the racing community to reach out and make a difference.”

Donation and sponsorship forms for the racers are available under Drivers and Forms at or at the direct link of

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 and follow us on Twitter at


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