FRIDAY NIGHT THUNDER BACK IN ACTION WITH 9 WINNERS; ANDERSON & SCOVILLE END GRIFFIN’S SPRINT WIN STREAK; 1ST SHARON WIN FOR HAEFKE IN MICROS; CAREER 1ST FOR BERGER IN DWARFS
By Mike Leone
May 20, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…After suffering through six rainouts in the first seven Friday nights, Sharon Speedway was finally blessed with a beautiful Friday evening allowing the second “Friday Night Thunder” program to be completed. The nine feature show, which included three make-up features from May 6, was spun off in three and a half hours.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Adam Anderson & Jason Scoville-Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Alan Dellinger-Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, Alan Knepper-Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites, Todd Reusser & Jeff Haefke, Jr.-Micro Sprints, Matt Berger & Rod Jones-Uni-Tech Frame Straightening & Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars, and Rick Ament-Mini Late Models.
After winning the first four Outlaw Sprint Warrior races on the circuit, Guy Griffin’s win steak came to a halt on Friday night with two did not finishes. In the first Ti22 Performance 15 lapper, Adam Anderson wired the field, as he led all the way in the May 6 non-stop make-up event timed in 3:55.06 for his first career Sharon win.
“This is the same car we’ve had the last couple years,” revealed the 22-year-old Meadville, Pa. racer. “I’ve struggled pretty bad with it, but they opened up the rules with the shocks and the wings and we’ve been able to get a lot of help from Afco Shocks and Maxim because we’re now similar to what 95% of what their customers run so that’s helped.”
Anderson’s win came in the Sprint Car Detailing/Bonnell’s Collision Center/Schaeffer Oil Co./Shooter’s Showcase/Marcie’s Ice Cream-sponsored #5B. Pole-sitter Justin Whitesell was second over Dennis Wagner, Jimmy Morris III, and Griffin.
In the night’s regularly scheduled 15-lap feature for the Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Jason Scoville picked up the victory in his first night out passing Anderson on a late race restart. “I have to thank the whole Demyan Family for giving me a ride,” explained the 34-year-old Warren, Ohio driver. “I sold my car at the end of last year and they wanted me try this out for awhile. Joe Demyan’s son Dan is running the Sportsman Dwarf now and is eventually going to move up into this.”
Whitesell appeared to be headed for his first win as he led the first 12 laps, but coming down for the two-to-go signal, he slowed and then spun in turn two to bring out the caution. Anderson was handed the lead, but his bid for the sweep ended when Scoville jumped into the lead and led the final two laps for the victory in the Joe Demyan-owned #8D. Anderson was second and took over the point. Third through fifth were Morris, Whitesell, and Griffin. Scoville also won the heat race.
Alan Dellinger made it two-for-two in the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods driving what’s supposed to be his son Derek’s car. The win was Dellinger’s sixth overall of the 2011 season at Sharon. “The track was different tonight than it’s been all year and even last year,” stated the Hermitage, Pa. racer. “It’s a little tough tonight. I hated to give up on him (Derek) so I gave him another chance. He’s got a week and a half of school left and his grades are up to B’s and C’s so he must want to race!”
Jim Turley raced to the early lead from the pole position with Jamie Scharba and Junior Mechling in tow. Scharba got sideways on lap two allowing Mechling and ninth starting Dellinger to grab second and third. One lap later, Scharba spun and brought out the event’s only caution with three laps scored.
When racing resumed, Mechling overtook Turley for the lead. Dellinger then moved past Turley driving under the veteran in turns three and four on lap five. Dellinger caught up to Mechling and made the winning pass in turns three and four on lap seven when Mechling pushed high. Dellinger then cruised to the victory in his own unsponsored #119 for what was his fifth straight victory at Sharon, which included back-to-back wins in both the Saturday night E-Mod and Stock Car divisions.
Mechling and Turley were second and third respectively for the second time to Dellinger. Jeff Christy came from seventh to finish fourth over eighth starting Brad Blackshear. Larry Root won the heat race.
Alan Knepper became the third different Mod Lite winner in three races as led from green-to-checkered in the 15-lap Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lite feature. “I want to thank the track for what they could do tonight with all of the rain,” expressed the 18-year-old Somerset, Pa. driver. “I want to thank the Lord for all he’s done, my mom and dad, Evolution Race Cars, and all of the fans for coming out tonight. I hope we put on a good show.”
Knepper bolted past Anthony Gillespie on the start and quickly began to pull away. Tenth starting and April 15 winner, Jeff Teeters, raced his way to fifth on the opening lap. Teeters then passed Kenny Meadows for fourth then advanced to third on lap three past Lynn Knepper. One lap later, Teeters was second after making the pass of Gillespie.
By the halfway point, Knepper had opened up a half-straightaway lead, while a six-car race ensued for second. Unfortunately for those competitors, the race went non-stop as Knepper was never challenged for the victory, which came in the Kneppers Repair/TSM Enhanced Shocks/EMD Wraps/Billstein Shocks/Evolution Race Cars-sponsored #20. Point leader Teeters held off Gillespie, opening night winner and eighth starting Mark Marcucci, and Lynn Knepper in a furious battle. Gillespie and Alan Knepper were heat race winners.
In the May 6 make-up feature, Todd Reusser made it two-for-two in the Micro Sprints passing his teammate Jeff Haefke, Jr. for the victory “I have to thank Jeff for giving me room,” explained the Minerva, Ohio racer. “He could have pinched me numerous times, but he’s a great teammate.”
Haefke advanced from the fourth starting spot to the lead on the opening lap, while Reusser came from seventh to second. Reusser temporarily lost runner-up on lap two to Ryan Fredericks, but regained the position back one lap later. Reusser would make the winning move on lap six driving under Haefke in turn four before the event’s first and only caution with six laps scored. The final nine laps went non-stop with Reusser picking up the victory in the J&M Machine-sponsored #70. Haefke, Fredericks, Dave Hawkins, and D.J. Furney rounded out the top five.
In the night’s regularly scheduled 15-lap feature, Haefke wasn’t about to give this one up. Haefke overtook Furney on the initial lap and survived a last lap scare through lapped traffic holding off newcomer Sean McAndrew for his career first Sharon win. “The car felt good all night,” stated the 16-year-old Austintown, Ohio driver. “I don’t know what it is about this place- I just really like this track, and tonight everything really seemed to come together really good.”
Reusser would start 10th in this race, but flew all the way up to second after lap one with McAndrew in tow. Reusser and McAndrew put on quite the battle for second swapping the position back and forth with McAndrew getting by for good on lap five. McAndrew caught Haefke and was all over the teenager on lap seven.
Haefke though was able to run a consistent line around the 3/8-mile track and did an excellent job on the final lap dealing with lapped traffic as he was able to take the checkered by one car-length in his father’s #29. McAndrew edged point leader Reusser with Furney, and newcomer Chris Kennedy, who made the long tow from Manchester, Pennsylvania, completing the top five. Furney and Reusser won the heat races over the season-high 14-car field.
For the second straight race, the Sportsman Dwarf Cars produced a career first winner. On opening night it was Joe Grzelak, Jr. performing the feat and on Friday night, Matt Berger did the honors in the May 6 Uni-Tech Frame Straightening & Joe’s Radiator make-up feature.
“I was hoping I didn’t cut him off (Steve Mix),” expressed the 33-year-old Hanoverton, Ohio racer. “I need a ride home! I drove here, but it’s his trailer. If it wasn’t for him I know I wouldn’t be here. This is just great!”
Grzelak’s bid for a repeat victory ended in a hurry when he got upside down on the first lap. He was okay, but done for the night. Steve Mix took the early lead with Levi Walters and Bill Johnson in second and third. Berger started sixth and passed Johnson for third on lap three and Walters for runner-up on lap six.
Berger closed on Mix on lap seven before the race’s second and final caution with seven laps completed. On the restart, Berger struggled to get into third gear losing second to Johnson. Berger though didn’t give up passing Johnson back on lap 11. Berger ran Mix down on lap 13 and on lap 14 ducked low to make the winning pass. Berger went on to the victory in his #322. Mix held second over Walters, Johnson, and Tiffany Williams.
Rod Jones rebounded from an early race spin and came back through the field to win the night’s regularly scheduled 15-lap Sportsman Dwarf Car feature. “I needed a caution bad,” stated the West Middlesex, Pa. racer. “I couldn’t find my groove in this for awhile. We had to make a lot of changes. The shifting pattern in this is backwards from what I’m used to. On the original start I missed a shift and thought I was going to get run over. This car is plain awesome. We ripped the front end off in the heat race- literally threw the frontend back on. It was a little squirrely, but it’s glued!”
Like the first feature, Mix raced to the early lead setting the pace for the first three laps before a caution for Jones’ spin with three laps scored. Mix was slow on the restart allowing Johnson, Williams, Todd Walker, and Berger by. Williams got high on lap six allowing Berger to claim second with Jones all the way up third.
A caution for a spin by Walters with 12 laps completed was just what Jones needed. On the ensuing restart, Jones and Williams passed Berger for second and third. Jones then made the winning pass when Johnson slid high in turn two on lap 13. Driving the Todd Lawrence-owned, Quality 1st Pressure Washing/Stitch-n-Tyme-sponsored #965, Jones went on for his first ever win in the division and became the third different winner in as many races. Johnson held second over Williams, Berger, and Walker. Williams and Johnson won the heat races over the season-high 13-car field.
Rick Ament made it a perfect two-for-two in the Mini Late Models. “I love these cars,” expressed the 37-year-old Vandergrift, Pa. racer. “I’m hooked and I think I’m getting one. There are a couple more of these cars sold. I think we’ll have 10-15 by the end of the year. I had to search around the track tonight as it was a little choppy, but I like this place.”
Chris Frank led the first two laps of the 15-lap feature before David Innes made the pas for the lead. Ament started fourth and disposed of Frank for second on lap four. Ament made the winning move driving around Innes off turn two on lap six. Ament was never challenged over the final nine laps in the Rick Peterman-owned #67. Jeremy Adamik, another former Mod Lite driver, was second in his first start. Frank was third ahead of Innes, Max Wilkinson, and Levi Spinneweber. Ament also won the heat race.
Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors 5/6/11 Make-Up (15 laps): 1. ADAM ANDERSON (5B) 2. Justin Whitesell (17) 3. Dennis Wagner (38) 4. Jimmy Morris III (16) 5. Guy Griffin (11) 6. Rob Felix, Jr. (21)-DNS.
Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (15 laps): 1. JASON SCOVILLE (Demyan 8D) 2. Adam Anderson (5B) 3. Jimmy Morris III (16) 4. Justin Whitesell (17) 5. Guy Griffin (11) 6. Dennis Wagner (38)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. ALAN DELLINGER (119) 2. Junior Mechling (89) 3. Jim Turley (117) 4. Jeff Christy (Berry 91) 5. Brad Blackshear (19) 6. Kevin Robinson (24R) 7. Charles Campbell, Jr. (99) 8. Larry Root (22x) 9. Jamie Scharba (1BS).
Joe’s Radiator/Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites (15 laps): 1. ALAN KNEPPER (20) 2. Jeff Teeters (23) 3. Anthony Gillespie (Williams 20) 4. Mark Marcucci (8M) 5. Lynn Knepper (10) 6. Kenny Meadows (Teague 10T) 7. Rod Jones (Grzelak 57) 8. Todd Rhoads (23R) 9. Andy Feil (08) 10. Breyton Santee (9) 11. Chris Logan (21) 12. Josh Walker (44) 13. Brandon Fluharty (25).
Micro Sprints 5/6/11 Make-Up (15 laps): 1. TODD REUSSER (Haefke 70) 2. Jeff Haefke, Jr. (29) 3. Ryan Fredericks (22R) 4. Dave Hawkins (27) 5. D.J. Furney (Watson 12) 6. Dalton Daniels (23) 7. Brandon Hawkins (27H) 8. Scott Hawkins (37) 9. Dave Fleming (79D) 10. Will Fleming (79W) 11. Tim Eakin, Sr. (3) 12. Brett Brunkenhoefer (47JR) 13. Mike Borawiec, Jr. (1)-DNS.
Micro Sprints (15 laps): 1. JEFF HAEFKE, JR. (29) 2. Sean McAndrew (15) 3. Todd Reusser (Haefke 70) 4. D.J. Furney (Watson 12) 5. Chris Kennedy (2s) 6. Ryan Fredericks (22R) 7. Dave Hawkins (27) 8. Scott Hawkins (37) 9. Brandon Hawkins (27H) 10. Dave Fleming (79D) 11. Will Fleming (79W) 12. Brett Brunkenhoefer (47JR) 13. Dalton Daniels (23) 14. Tim Eakin, Sr. (3).
Uni-Tech Frame Straightening/Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars 5/6/11 Make-Up (15 laps): 1. MATT BERGER (322) 2. Steve Mix (85) 3. Levi Walters (88) 4. Bill Johnson (7) 5. Tiffany Williams (Smith 58) 6. Brian Webber (777) 7. Monte Lawrence, Jr. (96) 8. Joe Grzelak, Jr. (888) 9. Kyle Frederic (41)-DNS.
Uni-Tech Frame Straightening/Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars (15 laps): 1. ROD JONES (Lawrence 965) 2. Bill Johnson (7) 3. Tiffany Williams (Smith 58) 4. Matt Berger (322) 5. Todd Walker (22) 6. Levi Walters (88) 7. Brian Webber (777) 8. Dan Demyan (8D) 9. Steve Mix (85) Kevin Sevacko (76) 10. Kevin Sevacko (76) 11. Ed Harris (Jones 45)-DNS 12. Joe Grzelak, Jr. (888)-DNS 13. Monte Lawrence, Jr. (96)-DNS.
Mini Late Models (15 laps): 1. RICK AMENT (Peterman 67) 2. Chris Frank (49) 3. Jeremy Adamik (7) 4. David Innes (18) 5. Max Wilkinson (21) 6. Levi Spinneweber (11).
Sharon will be back in action tonight (May 21) with 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 with racing at 7 p.m. Then next Friday night, May 27 will be another “Friday Night Thunder” program featuring the six same divisions with racing starting at 7:30 p.m.
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.