TWO ROUNDS OF EXCITEMENT THIS WEEKEND WITH “FRIDAY NIGHT THUNDER” & SATURDAY’S “STEEL VALLEY THUNDER”
By Mike Leone
June 15, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…After battling Mother Nature tooth and nail last weekend, Sharon Speedway officials hope this weekend will bring dry weather to allow for a doubleheader weekend of racing excitement. It all begins with “Friday Night Thunder” at 7:30 p.m. featuring five divisions of racing and then on Saturday night it’s “Steel Valley Thunder” at 7 p.m. Saturday’s rain date is Sunday at 5:30.
Last Friday night, two bouts of rain hit the speedway just before racing action was scheduled to get underway forcing a two and a half hour delay to the program. Once started, the program, which included two make-up features from May 6, was run off in two hours!
Friday’s racing card will feature the Ti22 Performance Outlaw Sprint Warriors, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites, Micro Sprints, and the Uni-Tech Frame Straightening & Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars.
Though low in numbers, the Outlaw Sprint Warriors have featured four different winners in as many races with defending Limited Sprint champion Guy Griffin at the top of the point ladder by just two over Adam Anderson. The Econo Mods saw Todd Canter and Brandon Blackshear add their names to the win last Friday; however, it’s Junior Mechling atop of the standings despite not winning a feature.
Alan Knepper, Mark Marcucci, and Jeff Teeters have clearly established themselves as the drivers to beat in the Mod Lites as the threesome have won all five races and sit in the top three positions with only nine points separating themselves. Despite winning three of the four features, Minerva, Ohio’s Todd Reusser holds down just a 16-point lead on fellow Ohio Micro Sprint veteran D.J. Furney. Matt Berger, who entered the 2011 season never winning a feature now has two to his credit, and also leads the championship chase by nine over his teammate Steve Mix, Jr.
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.
Switching to Saturday night’s program, fans will again get to see 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 on Dreves Insurance Night.
Saturday is also the popular Twin-State Auto Racing Fan Club Night with all members receiving free admission into the grandstands! The new boy’s and girl’s bike giveaway program presented by King Bros. Feed Supply & Redi Mix will continue 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.
Last Saturday saw three first time winners with Chad Wright-FASTRAK Late Models, Mike Kinney-E-Mods, and Mike Clark-Stock Cars along with Rob Kristyak ending his slump by winning his first feature of the season in the Big-Block Modifieds. Mike Scharba also made the headlines in the Mini Stocks when he put a halt to Bill Fuchs’ record four-race win streak!
Three-time Big-Block Modified winner Rex King has a pretty comfortable lead of 30 points on Jim Rasey, while Kevin Bolland sits another six points behind. Ironman Alan Dellinger, who competes in three divisions on Saturday night, leads only the E-Mod points as he still stands 13 points above Mike Kinney.
While teenager Chad Wright scored the first ever win for the “Futures Cup” class of 2011, it’s another teenager in Josh Double of Bristolville, Ohio leading the points. Double has just a seven-point lead on John Volpe and is still hoping to become the first Ohio driver to win a FASTRAK feature at the Hartford, Ohio oval. Ohio drivers are 0-14 with wins coming by Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia racers to date.
Mike Clark and Steve D’Apolito have put up nearly identical numbers as neither racer has finished outside the top six in any heat or feature point race this year. Ironically, both drivers also have posted their first wins in the prior two weeks, but it’s Boardman, Ohio’s D’Apolito leading Clark by just seven points.
Despite ending his four-race win streak last Saturday, Greenville’s Bill Fuchs still finished runner-up and has a commanding 67-point lead over one-time winner Randy Sprouse.
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. Remember, if you bring your rain stub from Friday night to Saturday’s race, you’ll receive a $3 grandstand discount on Saturday’s admission or $10 off for those that had pit passes!
”I really have to thank the fans and racers last week for sticking with us and having patience during the two and half hour rain delays both Friday and Saturday,” expressed second year GM Dave Willoughby. “It sure would be nice to have two days without having to worry about it raining and just to be able to enjoy the great racing the drivers have been putting on between the raindrops this season! We invite all of the great members from Twin-State Auto Racing Club out on Saturday to enjoy a night of racing as our guests. ”
Coming next Wednesday, June 22 will be the season’s first appearance by the 410 Sprint Cars as Ohio Speedweek makes a stop at Sharon featuring the All Star Circuit of Champions in a $5,000 to-win event. One of the drivers on hand competing will be NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne! Kahne will also be signing autographs at some point during the night. The Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks will also be on the card racing for $300 to-win. Advance tickets are on sale, which will allow ticket holders into the facility and hour earlier at 4 p.m. for preferred seating. Forms are available on the website at www.sharonspeedway.com.
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.