SHARON OUTLASTS ANOTHER RAINY FRIDAY NIGHT THUNDER; FELIX BECOMES 4TH DIFFERENT SPRINT WINNER; CANTER & BLACKSHEAR ARE NEW ECONO MOD WINNERS; REPEAT WINS FOR KNEPPER, MARCUCCI, REUSSER & BERGER
By Mike Leone
June 10, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…It was the typical Friday night at Sharon Speedway with rainy and threatening weather throughout the day. Sharon waited out morning and early afternoon showers to be blessed with a beautiful late afternoon, but storms developed early evening and took a direct aim at Sharon Speedway. After a two and a half hour rain delay, racing got underway just after 10 p.m. and the entire program including the two make-up features was run off in two hours! All feature winner interviews were skipped due to the lateness of the show.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Rob Felix, Jr.-Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Todd Canter & Brandon Blackshear-Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, Alan Knepper & Mark Marcucci-Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites, Todd Reusser-Micro Sprints, and Matt Berger-Uni-Tech Frame Straightening & Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars.
Though short in numbers, the Outlaw Sprint Warrior division produced its fourth different winner in four races on Friday night when Rob Felix, Jr. of Pittsburgh, Pa. captured the 15-lap Ti22 Performance feature event. Felix overtook pole-sitter Justin Whitesell on the start with opening night winner Guy Griffin moving to second. Griffin caught Whitesell on lap five and was all over the leader beginning on lap six.
Griffin hounded Felix and decided to make a move on lap nine as he dove low in turn three. Griffin raced wheel-to-wheel with Felix, but got in a little too hard and lost his momentum, which allowed Felix to pull away. Griffin ran out of laps catching back up to Felix as Felix took the checkered flag first in the non-stop event timed in 3:56.82 in his #21. Griffin was second and took back the point lead. Whitesell dropped from the event on lap 16 moving Jimmy Morris to third for the second straight race. Adam Anderson was fourth with Whitesell credited for fifth. Griffin won the heat race.
In the May 6 make-up feature for the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, Todd Canter picked up his season’s first win in the 15-lap event. The 33-year-old Warren, Ohio racer took off in the lead and it was a lead he would never relinquish. A caution with two laps to go was all that slowed Canter’s run to his second career win in the Underwood’s Towing/Alliance Transmission/DeForest Rolloff Service-sponsored #88.
Eighteen-year-old Corey Skully passed Larry Root on lap two to finish a career best second. Brandon Blackshear came from eighth to finish third after passing Junior Mechling for the spot on lap 14. Mechling was fourth with Jim Turley completing the top five.
Moving on to the night’s regularly scheduled 15-lap affair for the Econo Mods, Brandon Blackshear became the division’s newest winner. Skully set the early pace in the lead hoping to improve on his runner-up from earlier in the night with Brad Blackshear, Mechling, and Canter in tow.
Brad Blackshear slipped high on lap four allowing Mechling, Canter, and Brandon Blackshear to take positions two through four. Brandon Blackshear snuck under Canter for third on lap five before a pair of cautions for separate spins by Canter and Brad Blackshear slowed action. When racing resumed, Mechling grabbed the lead from Skully. Skully’s run ended when he slowed on lap seven allowing Brandon Blackshear to take second with Turley third.
Blackshear pressured Mechling on lap 10 getting under the leader. The duo raced side-by-side for three laps before Blackshear drove by on the backstretch as the two made contact. Blackshear went on for his first career win in the Jamie Scharba-owned, Hilltop Pizza/Blackshear Racing Engines-sponsored #1BS. Point leader Mechling held on his third runner-up in four races. Turley was third for the third time in four races. Brad Blackshear and Canter came back from their early spins to finish fourth and fifth respectively. Mechling and Canter won the heat races.
Alan Knepper of Somerset, Pa. made it two wins in a row picking up the 15-lap Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lite make-up feature from May 6. Knepper raced past pole-sitter Brandon Fluharty when racing got underway with fourth starting Mark Marcucci trailing. Kenny Meadows was able to move from sixth to third all on the first lap.
It was a three-car race for the duration, but Marcucci and Meadows were unable to make the move on Knepper in the non-stop affair. The 18-year-old’s victory came in his Kneppers Repair/TSM Enhanced Shocks/EMD Wraps/Bilstein Shocks/Evolution Race Cars-sponsored #20. Marcucci edged Meadows for second. Jeff Teeters was fourth with Fluharty dropping to fifth.
In the night’s regularly scheduled 15 lapper for the Mod Lites, Mark Marcucci of West Middlesex, Pa. returned to victory lane for the first time since his opening night STAR’s Series victory back on April 2. The 22-year-old started fourth and followed outside pole-sitter Angie Grzelak to the front. Marcucci slid under Grzelak in turn one on lap two for the lead. After winning two straight features, Knepper had to start 12th, but didn’t take long to move forward as he passed Meadows, Todd Rhoads, and Grzelak all on lap three for second. Meadows was able to get by Grzelak for third.
A caution on lap five slowed action and bunched up the field; however, the last 10 laps would go green-to-checkered as Marcucci put his father’s D&M Excavating/Ernie’s Transmission/Harper & Huston Masonry-sponsored #8M in victory lane. Meadows and Knepper really went at it for second, but on lap 13 Meadows got sideways in turn four nearly spinning out allowing Grzelak to race by. Knepper, who took over the point lead, was second over a strong run by Grzelak. Meadows dropped to fourth over a season best run by Rhoads. Heat winners were Meadows and Jeff Teeters.
Todd Reusser’s domination of the Micro Sprint division continued as he raced to his third win in four tries this season. The Minerva, Ohio veteran of the division has yet to finish worse than third in any heat race or feature this year in the Jeff Haefke-owned #70.
Reusser led every lap and was never challenged in the non-stop 15-lap event winning by 4.39 seconds over pole-sitter D.J. Furney. Reusser also leads Furney by 16 points in the championship race. Tim Eakin, Sr. passed Dalton Daniels on lap seven to finish third for his first top 10 of the season. Jeff Haefke, Jr. came from ninth to finish fourth with Daniels dropping to fifth. Topping the heats races were Reusser and Haefke.
Matt Berger entered the 2011 season without ever winning a feature, but things have certainly been on the upswing of late as the 33-year-old Hanoverton, Ohio driver picked up his second win in the last three races and continues to lead the points. In his season debut in the division, Kenny Meadows jumped to the initial lead with Steve Mix, Jr. and sixth starting Berger taking second and third.
Mix and Berger overtook Meadows for the top two spots on lap two and one lap later Berger powered by his teammate for the lead. It was a three-car race for the lead with Berger trying to hold off Mix and Meadows. A caution for Bill Johnson slowed action setting up a one-lap shootout. Berger was able to survive the last lap challenge of Mix for the victory. Tiffany Williams was able to get by Meadows on the final lap to finish third for the second straight race. Meadows dropped to fourth ahead of heat race winner Joe Grzelak, Jr.
Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors (15 laps): 1. ROB FELIX, JR. (21) 2. Guy Griffin (11) 3. Jimmy Morris III (16) 4. Adam Anderson (5B) 5. Justin Whitesell (17).
Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods May 6 make-up (15 laps): 1. TODD CANTER (88) 2. Corey Skully (Haefke 21) 3. Brandon Blackshear (Scharba 1BS) 4. Junior Mechling (89) 5. Jim Turley (117) 6. Brad Blackshear (119) 7. Larry Root (22x) 8. Jeff Christy (Berry 91) 9. Charles Campbell, Jr. (99) 10. Kevin Robinson (24R) 11. Craig Scherrbaum (Welch 07c)-DNS 12. J.B. Dellinger (1)-DNS 13. Alan Dellinger (119)-DNS 14. Josh Haffa (5)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. BRANDON BLACKSHEAR (Scharba 1BS) 2. Junior Mechling (89) 3. Jim Turley (117) 4. Brad Blackshear (19) 5. Todd Canter (88) 6. Derek Dellinger (119) 7. Larry Root (22x) 8. Charles Campbell, Jr. (99) 9. Amanda Stiffler (14) 10. Corey Skully (Haefke 21) 11. Kevin Robinson (24R)-DNS 12. Jeff Christy (Berry 91)-DNS.
Joe’s Radiator/Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites May 6 make-up (15 laps): 1. ALAN KNEPPER (20) 2. Mark Marcucci (8M) 3. Kenny Meadows (Teague 10T) 4. Jeff Teeters (23) 5. Brandon Fluharty (25) 6. George Englert (11x) 7. Lynn Knepper (10) 8. Angie Grzelak (57) 9. Chris Logan (21) 10. Chas Wolbert (Williams 00) 11. Breyton Santee (9) 12. Andy Feil (08) 13. Dustin Salvino (32J)-DNS 14. Darin Gallagher (12)-DNS.
Joe’s Radiator/Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites (15 laps): 1. MARK MARCUCCI (8M) 2. Alan Knepper (20) 3. Angie Grzelak (57) 4. Kenny Meadows (Teague 10T) 5. Todd Rhoads (23R) 6. Jeff Teeters (23) 7. Lynn Knepper (10) 8. Brandon Fluharty (25) 9. George Englert (11x) 10. Andy Feil (08) 11. Breyton Santee (9) 12. Chris Logan (21) 13. Chas Wolbert (Williams 00) 14. Glenn Teeter (88) 15. Darin Gallagher (12)-DNS 16. Kolton Rudzik (94)-DNS.
Micro Sprints (15 laps): 1. TODD REUSSER (Haefke 70) 2. D.J. Furney (Watson 12) 3. Tim Eakin, Sr. (3) 4. Jeff Haefke, Jr. (29) 5. Dalton Daniels (23) 6. Mike Borawiec, Jr. (1) 7. Ryan Fredericks (22R) 8. Dave Hawkins (27) 9. Brandon Hawkins (27H) 10. Will Fleming III (79W) 11. Brett Brunkenhoefer (47JR) 12. David Fleming (79D).
Uni-Tech Frame Straightening/Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars (15 laps): 1. MATT BERGER (322) 2. Steve Mix, Jr. (85) 3. Tiffany Williams (Smith 58) 4. Kenny Meadows (21) 5. Joe Grzelak, Jr. (888) 6. Kevin Sevacko (76) 7. Bill Johnson (7) 8. Brian Webber (777)-DNS 9. Daniel Demyan (8D).
Sharon will be back in action tonight (June 11) 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, June 17 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.