AFTER WEEK OFF, SHARON BACK IN ACTION THIS WEEKEND WITH A DOUBLEHEADER; 1ST EVER APPEARANCE BY 358 MODS FRIDAY & RETURN OF “STEEL VALLEY THUNDER” ON SATURDAY
By Mike Leone
July 6, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…After a week off, Sharon Speedway will return to action with three races in five days! It all begins on Friday with another installment of “Friday Night Thunder” at 7:30 p.m. featuring six divisions of racing and then on Saturday night it’s “Steel Valley Thunder” at 7 p.m. with five different divisions in action, and followed by with the Lou Blaney Memorial on Tuesday, July 12. The third annual Lou Blaney Memorial event will feature the Midwest All Star Sprints and Big Block Modifieds presented Tom’s Sewer & Drain. It’ll be Alzheimer’s Awareness Night.
A new twist will take place on Friday as the “358” Modifieds make their first ever appearance at Sharon! This popular division has been part of the weekly programs at Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday nights and Sportsman’s Speedway on Sunday nights for several years. The division features many top runners that frequently challenge the big blocks on any given night like Lonny Riggs, Frank Guidace, Jeff Schaffer, Jimmy Holden, Eric Gabany, Mike Stine, Rick Hall, Kyle Fink, Ron Eperthener, Jr., and others.
In addition to the Modifieds making their maiden voyage to Sharon, also in action will be the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, Joe’s Radiator & Uni-Tech Frame Straightening Mod Lites, Micro Sprints, Uni-Tech Frame Straightening & Joe’s Radiator Sportsman Dwarf Cars, and the Mini Late Models. The Outlaw Sprint Warriors will no longer be part of the program due to car counts ranging between five and seven all season long.
The success of the Econo Mods just keeps growing. A record 16 cars have been in the pits for the last two shows with 18 different cars competing this season. Junior Mechling (Warren, OH) has opened up a 31-point lead over Jim Turley, who is also expected to compete in the “358” Modified division.
Alan Knepper (Somerset, PA) has picked up his game in the Mod Lites with three victories in the last three races as he leads early point leader and one-time winner Jeff Teeters. Another three-time winner is Todd Reusser in the Micro Sprints. The Minerva, Ohio veteran leads D.J. Furney by just 10 points.
It’s been a dream season for Matt Berger. The Hanoverton, Ohio driver entered the season without ever winning a feature, but now has two to his credit and leads the points by 19 over teammate Steve Mix, Jr. In the Mini Late Models, two-time winner Rick Ament holds down a 15-point lead on Max Wilkinson.
Gates open at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and race time is set for 7:30. Adults are $10, students 9-13 are $5, and children eight and under are free. Pit passes are $25. There are no registration fees for the remainder of the season.
Then on Saturday, “Steel Valley Thunder” is back! The night will be presented by Boundary Systems & Greenville Savings Bank. It’s “Heroes Night” as all emergency service personnel will be admitted free into the grandstands by showing valid ID!
The Governor Insurance Big-Block Modifieds return after a two-week hiatus in their last tune-up before Tuesday’s $2,000 to-win event as part of the Lou Blaney Memorial. Rex King and Jim Rasey have been the guys to beat to date winning five features together as they sit one-two in points with 22 separating the duo.
The FASTRAK Late Models have produced competitive racing all season long with eight different winners in 10 races with a total of 75 different drivers competing! Josh Double has just a four-point lead on one-time winner John Volpe. The Bristolville, Ohio racer would love to become the first Ohio driver to score a FASTRAK victory as Buckeye State racers are currently 0-18.
Like FASTRAK, the E-Mod car counts have been strong with full fields of cars almost every night as 71 different drivers have been in competition! Alan Dellinger of Hermitage, Pa. owns three victories this season in the division and eight overall at the track as he leads the E-Mod points by 17 over the consistent Mike Kinney with Carl McKinney just four more point back.
Steve D’Apolito continues to lead the way in the Stock Cars. The Boardman, Ohio racer is in search of his fourth Sharon title and also won last year’s crown at Mercer. D’Apolito has yet to finish worse than sixth in any heat or feature this season to go along with two wins as he leads early point leader Mike Clark by 17 points. Despite being down slightly in car count, each week there are some 10 different racers that can win the feature!
The Mini Stocks have belonged to Bill Fuchs in 2011. The Greenville, Pa. racer leads the way amongst all racers at the track with seven victories including 12 top 3s in 12 starts! Fuchs has a commanding 86-point lead over Randy Sprouse. Fuchs has also moved within one victory of Mike Scharba’s all-time mark of 11 victories.
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.
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. There are no registration fees for the remainder of the season.
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!
“After a week off, it’ll be good to be back to racing,” stated second year GM Dave Willoughby. “Right now the weather is looking good for all three of our nights. We’ve had a lot of requests from the 358 Modifieds so we wanted to give them a shot on our Friday night program. If the support is there, we’ll continue to run them. Our Steel Valley Thunder program has produced great racing night in and night out. Of course the Lou Blaney Memorial is one of the most anticipated events we do and we’re glad that Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne have again announced their participation in this event along with our own Dave Blaney.”
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.