DOUBLEHEADER RACING THIS WEEKEND PLUS PULLING EVENT SUNDAY AT SHARON; “FRIDAY NIGHT THUNDER” FEATURING 358 MODS & FASTRAK NE LM TOUR SATURDAY PLUS ENGINE GIVEAWAY
By Mike Leone
July 20, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…It’s been a busy stretch with some exciting racing action in recent weeks at Sharon Speedway and that’ll continue with an upcoming weekend jam-packed with motorsports action featuring three events! Racing will take place on Friday and Saturday night followed by the Northwest Truck & Tractor Pull on Sunday. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 7 on Saturday, and the pulling event at 2 p.m.
Saturday’s event will be highlighted by the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series ($2,000 to-win) along with the Governor Insurance Agency Big-Block Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and the Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks. It’s Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Night as one lucky FASTRAK driver will receive a brand new GM 604 engine.
The weekend will kick off on Friday with another installment of “Friday Night Thunder” featuring the 358 Modifieds, 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 “358” Modifieds ran their first ever race at the last “Friday Night Thunder” program and treated the fans to some great side-by-side racing with a lot of passing. Kyle Fink won his first ever race away from Sportsman’s Speedway and will look to make it two-in-a-row on Friday night!
Junior Mechling is still looking for his season’s first win, but he continues to lead the points in the Econo Mods by 43 over Jim Turley. The Econo Mod car count has been strong for much of the season as there have been a total of 19 different cars in action for the second-year division with a high of 16 cars hit on two different occasions.
D.J. Furney is another point leader in search of his first win. Furney sits atop the Micro Sprints by 27 over Ryan Fredericks, who is also winless, and 28 up on two-time winner Jeff Haefke, Jr. Thanks to three wins, Alan Knepper is leading the way in the Mod Lites by 19 over Jeff Teeters. Matt Berger holds down a 34-point lead on teammate Steve Mix, Jr. in the Sportsman Dwarf Cars, and two-time winner Rick Ament leads David Innes by 22 in the 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.
On Saturday, the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will return for their third of four appearances in 2011. Not only will $2,000 await the feature winner, but a brand new GM 604 engine will be given away to one lucky competing driver on Saturday night thanks to Series sponsor Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC!
Drivers participating will receive between one and three chances apiece to win the engine. Each driver that attempts to compete will receive one chance, drivers who are FASTRAK Weekly Series members will receive a second chance, and those that are Touring Series members will receive another chance.
Max Blair leads the charge into Sharon as he currently leads Mike Pegher, Jr. by 31 markers in search of his third Northeast Touring Series championship in four years. Blair’s worst Touring finish this season was a sixth at Sharon back on May 28! Pegher has been pretty consistent as well finishing in the top eight in all feature except a 22nd place finish at Raceway 7 on July 1.
Earlier this season, Josh Holtgraver topped a Sharon record 41 cars to win the $1,500 Bill Emig Memorial as both of his Touring wins have now come at Sharon over Memorial Day Weekend, and last month Max Blair captured the prestigious Gary Knollinger Memorial and earned $2,825!
Seven Northeast Touring Series events have been held all-time at Sharon with five different winners. Besides Holtgraver’s two wins, Blair also has a pair, while Mike Pegher, Jr., Joe Martin, and the late Gary Knollinger have been victorious.
Sharon is in its first season of running FASTRAK weekly and have drawn some of the highest car counts in the nation (averaging 28 cars per night) along with some stellar competition. In 11 races run this season, there have been eight different winners! Only Joe Martin and John Volpe have been able to repeat! Other 2011 Sharon winners include Robbie Blair, Mike Pegher, Jr., Holtgraver, Chad Wright, Tom Snyder, Jr., Max Blair, and Josh Double. Volpe has a 13-point lead on Double. A total of 80 different drivers have competed already this season!
For the first time this season, the Big-Block Modifieds will join the FASTRAK Touring Series and there will be no increase in admission at neither the front nor back gate. Dean Pearson snagged his second career win last Saturday night holding off Kevin Bolland and Rex King. In the points race, King is up 30 on Bolland.
The Stock Car championship battle has closed up as Mike Clark has gained points on three-time champion Steve D’Apolito each of the past two weeks. Clark has won his first two races of his 15-year career and has cut D’Apolito’s point lead down to just eight heading into Saturday night. D’Apolito has finished in the top six of every heat and feature he’s entered this season.
While D’Apolito’s top streak is on, Bill Fuch’s perfect run of top three finishes in every heat and feature this season ended last Saturday after a smokey end to his night. Fuchs, an eight-time winner, still has a commanding 98-point lead on Randy Sprouse and 102 points on Lucas 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, and once again there will be no registration fee for new cars 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!
Sunday’s Northwest PA Truck and Tractor Pullers Association event will begin at 2 p.m. with a weigh-in at 1. Competing divisions include the Performance Street 4×4 Trucks, 2.6 Diesel 4×4 Trucks, Limited Modified 4×4 Trucks, Street Legal Semi, Single Engine Modified Tractor, Hot Farm Tractor, and V-8 Antique Tractor* Pure Street Stock Gas. For more information, check out their website at www.nwpapullers.com.
“We’re really looking forward to this weekend,” stated second year GM Dave Willoughby. “Our last Friday night show was probably the best one of the season! We’re always excited to bring in the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series and add in the engine giveaway and it should be a great night with the Big-Block Mods added in as well Saturday. Then we invite you on Sunday afternoon to complete your motorsports weekend at Sharon Speedway!”
There will be an open practice at the speedway next Wednesday, July 27. Pits open at 4 p.m. with practice 5 until dark.
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.