By Mike Leone

May 25, 2011

(Hartford, OH)…It took eight tries before Sharon Speedway was able to complete a doubleheader weekend, but now Sharon will hope to make it two weekends in a row as “Friday Night Thunder” returns along with the Bill Emig Memorial on Saturday featuring the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series, E-Mods for $1,000 to-win plus increased payoffs for the Stock Cars, and Mini Stocks.

It’s also the American Cancer Society Benefit Event put on by Tori Martin. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 on Saturday. Saturday’s rain date is Sunday at 5:30. Fans are reminded that there will be free camping on the grounds all weekend and people can stay on the grounds until Tuesday morning.

Friday’s program will begin with the May 6 make-up features for the Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and the Mini Late Models. Those three divisions will of course be in competition then for the May 27 program along with the Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Micro Sprints, and the Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Sportsman Dwarf Cars.

Current point leaders are Adam Anderson-Sprints, Junior Mechling-Econo Mods, Jeff Teeters-Mod Lites, Todd Reusser-Micro Sprints, Matt Berger-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.

The first special race event of 2011 hits the speedway as part of the Memorial Day Weekend doubleheader on Saturday! Race fans in the grandstands will see no increase in admission as regular pricing will be in effect; and in fact, those that bring their stubs from Friday night will receive $3 off!

The Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models will headline Saturday’s program in their 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. The champion will receive $500 and positions two through five will also receive cash, while other positions will receive 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 in 2011 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 amongst a $1,000 purse.

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

In the five Weekly Series races held this season at Sharon, Martin has led the way winning three of the features to hold down a five-point lead over Josh Double. Other winners this season include Robbie Blair and Pegher. Car counts have averaged nearly 32 cars per race. One driver that has yet to win at Sharon this year is Max Blair. The 21-year-old is the defending two-time National Weekly & Touring Series champion. The younger Blair is fresh off his first Touring Series win on Sunday at Canada’s Humberstone Speedway and again has the early point lead.

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 Ainsley 500 Heating & Cooling E-Mods have put on top-notch racing and excellent car counts. The E-Mods will race for a cool $1,000 with $100 to-start and should produce a great field of cars like has been the case on a weekly basis. Other than the season opener, which drew 23 cars, there have been between 27-33 cars every night!

Alan Dellinger took over the point lead last Saturday night from Joel Watson, who was competing elsewhere in a special event. The Hermitage, Pa. driver currently leads Watson by 13 points. There has already been a total of 68 different cars compete in five races!

The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars and Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks will also battle in this exciting program. On Wednesday it was announced both divisions too will also race for extra dollars! The Stock Cars will compete for $500 to-win, while the Mini Stocks will race for $200! Steve D’Apolito is currently tied with Mike Clark for the Stock Car point. Bill Fuchs of Greenville, Pa. has opened up a commanding 32-point lead after his season’s third win last Saturday night.

“Saturday should be a tremendous night of racing,” stated second-year GM Dave Willoughby. “The FASTRAK and E-Mod car counts and quality of racing has been strong all year and Saturday’s event should raise the bar up even more! We’re happy to be part of the Bill Emig Memorial Wild Card Weekend and be able to host our first American Cancer Society Night thanks to the efforts of Tori Martin. Throw in the King of the Hill for FASTRAK and extra money on the line for the Stocks and Mini Stocks and it should be a heck of a night!”

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.

“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…-Forms-2011.pdf

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 $30.

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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Congrats to Dave Blaney-All Star Sprints & Mike Maresca-Mod Tour big blocks on their Lou Blaney Memorial victories!