3RD LOU BLANEY MEMORIAL DRAWING NEAR ON TUESDAY; ALZHEIMER’S BENEFIT TO FEATURE TONY STEWART, KASEY KAHNE & DAVE BLANEY IN SPRINTS; BIG-BLOCK MODS ALSO TO COMPETE
By Mike Leone
July 7, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…The excitement and anticipation for the Lou Blaney Memorial continues to build. Now just days away on Tuesday, July 12, this third annual event at Sharon Speedway will be an Alzheimer’s Association Benefit Night featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup stars Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dave Blaney competing in the Sprint Car division. The Governor Insurance Agency Big-Block Modifieds will also be in action. Tom’s Sewer & Septic Service is the presenting sponsor. Race time is set for 7 p.m.
Friends of Lou Blaney will again attend the race to help celebrate the life and accomplishments of the Hall of Fame driver, who won more than 600 feature victories during a five-decade career. The legend has at least 121 Modified wins and another 11 documented in a Sprint Car at Sharon alone. Blaney passed away in 2009 after battling Alzheimer’s.
Several well-known drivers have already stated they will be there such as Blackie Watt, Dick Bailey, Dale Johnson, Johnny Beaber, Dave Lundy, Andy Lutz, and many others. There will be six restored cars on hand including one of Lou’s old cars.
WFMJ TV 21 personality Mike Ackelson will host a question and answer session featuring Stewart, Kahne, and Blaney at approximately 5:30 p.m. This will take place in the Fan Zone and will be open for all media and fans who wish to attend. Individual interview requests by media will not be granted.
The Alzheimer’s Association will be on hand for the event, which is a fundraiser to raise money for the advancement of research: to provide and enhance care and support for all affected. Bricks will be sold at the cost of $75 for 4×8’s and $100 for 8×8’s for the FANWALK called “Walk to End Alzheimer’s”. This is more than a NASCAR night as Stewart and Kahne will be participating to support the benefit. Sharon Speedway appreciates their loyalty and commitment to help with this fundraiser.
The Sprint Cars will be under the Midwest All Star banner running for $3,000 to-win, $300 to-start, while Sharon’s ground-pounding big blocks will be running for one of their season’s biggest purses with $2,000 to-win, $200-start. An “open tire rule” will be in effect for the Modifieds with any 92” circumference tire permitted.
All of the region’s top Sprint Car and Big-Block Modified racers will be on hand for this rich payday and to honor a Lou Blaney, who had tremendous success in both divisions. Past Lou Blaney Memorial Sprint Car winners include Tony Stewart (2009) and Mike Lutz (2010), while the Big-Block Modifieds have been captured by Jack Johnson (2009) and Jim Rasey (2010).
Dale Blaney, who won the Ohio Speedweek event at Sharon for the All Star Sprints on June 22, would love to capture his first win in this event. Dale owns 13 career Sharon checkered flags, while older brother Dave is a 29-time Sharon winner with 27 of those wins coming in the Sprint Car class. Kahne, who has wins all over the country, still has yet to capture a Sharon victory. Kahne qualified for the feature at the June 22 event and is hoping to improve on his 17th place finish.
The hot off the presses third annual Lou Blaney Memorial t-shirt will be on sale featuring all of the Blaneys including the youngest and newest patriarch of the family, Ryan Blaney.
Advance tickets are on sale, which will admit ticket holders into the grandstands one hour earlier before tickets go on sale and the gates opening at 4 p.m. An order form is available by going to Sharonspeedway.com and clicking on the Fans link and then the Tickets link or by going directly to http://www.sharonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Lou-Blaney-Memorial-Ticket-Order-Form-2011.pdf. You can also call the track office at 330-772-5481. Adult admission is $20. Students 9-13 are $8. Children eight and under are free. Pit passes are $35.
Gates will open one hour earlier than normal. Pit gates will open at 3 p.m. and those that have advance tickets will be admitted into the grandstands. Warm-ups will begin at 6:15 p.m. followed by Sprint Car qualifying at 6:30 and racing at 7. A rain has not been announced; however, it will not be on Wednesday due to the Brad Doty Classic taking place the next day and commitments by the NASCAR drivers.
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.