6-DIVISION PROGRAM FEATURING BIG-BLOCK MODS & FASTRAK LATE MODELS HEADLINES SATURDAY’S PROGRAM ALONG WITH FASTER PASTOR NIGHT
By Mike Leone
August 17, 2011
(Hartford, OH)…After the Late Model doubleheader last weekend, the “Steel Valley Thunder” programs returns to Sharon Speedway this Saturday night, August 20 presented by Lincoln Electric. The six-division program will include the Governor Insurance Agency Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models, Ainsley 500 Heating & Cooling E-Mods, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and the Presidential Lawn Care Mini Stocks. It’s also Faster Pastor Night. Race time is set for 7 p.m.
After a week off from Sharon, the Big-Block Modifieds return to the lineup. The King Family has dominated action at Sharon this season winning six features with Rex, Sr. at four and Rex, Jr. at two. The elder King, who is the defending champion, now leads Kevin Bolland by 50 and two-time winner Jim Rasey by 54. Rex, Jr. sits fourth.
Last Saturday the FASTRAK Late Models made up their July 23 rained out program and ran a new complete program. George Kowatic picked up his career first Sharon win and first ever Northeast Touring Series victory in the make-up portion. Kowatic became the 11th different winner of the season in a division that’s averaged nearly 30 cars per night with 86 different drivers competing! Mike Pegher, Jr. won the regular event for the second straight week and third time this season. Only Pegher (three), Joe Martin (three), and John Volpe (two) have won more than one time.
The point race has been close all year. Volpe and Double have switched the lead back and forth numerous times this season. Volpe of Lakewood, New York is up just one on one-time winner Josh Double of nearby Bristolville, Ohio with just three nights of points remaining. Rocky Kugel, who finished third in last week’s regular program and won the non-qualifier race as part of the make-up program is third and would love to win his first race Saturday.
The E-Mod car count, competition, and different winners nearly rivals FASTRAK. Only on one occasion have there been less than 22 cars present. Mike Kinney and Carl McKinney have been so consistent all season long so it’s no surprise the duo are one-two in points with just six points separating Kinney over McKinney. Kinney of Ashtabula, Ohio has one victory and been in the top five each of the last five nights and 11 of 14 times this season. Even though McKinney of Mars, Pa. hasn’t found victory lane, he’s finished in the top eight all 14 races!
Steve D’Apolito is closing in on his fourth track championship in the Stock Cars, but still has a lot of work to do as he sits just 15 up on Mike Clark, who is having a career year. D’Apolito of Boardman, Ohio has yet to finish worse than sixth in any heat or feature, while Clark has won the first two races of his career this year after 15 years winless. Ironically, Clark is the third Bristolville, Ohio driver battling for the championship with King leading the Mods and Double one back in the FASTRAK Late Models.
The Econo Mods were part of the discontinued bi-weekly “Friday Night Thunder” program until being moved over to the Saturday night program in August. The second year two-barrel division continues to grow with 22 different cars in competition this year with record car counts the last three events of 16, 17, and 17. Veteran Junior Mechling has a comfortable 64-point lead over another veteran in Jim Turley and just has to finish 12th or better the next three nights to take the championship. The Warren, Ohio driver has amazingly finished third each of the past six weeks and hasn’t finished worse than fourth in any of the 10 races this season!
After winning eight of the first 13 features, Bill Fuchs has hit somewhat of a slump the last four weeks in the Mini Stocks. The Greenville, Pa. racer had some engine woes on July 16 and 30, could only muster a fourth on August 6, and got passed last Saturday by new winner Jamie Wrightsman. Fuchs has a 104-point lead on Lucas Sprouse and pretty much has to only show up in the final three events to claim his first ever track championship. In fact, if Fuchs can finish fourth or better Saturday night he’ll clinch the title.
The Mini Stocks will also be used for the annual Faster Pastor Night where area pastors compete on the speedway for bragging rights.
“We’ve had some really great racing this season,” acknowledged second year GM Dave Willoughby. “The point races are going down to the wire in the FASTRAK, E-Mods, and Stock Cars so that always adds to the excitement. Saturday’s weather is looking really good so with the season starting to wind down, we invite you out to take in a great night of racing!”
The new boy’s and girl’s bike giveaway program presented by King Bros. Feed Supply & Redi Mix will continue. 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.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with the grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Adult admission is $13 and family passes are $32. Students 9-13 are $5 and children 8 and under are free. Pit passes are $25. There are no driver registration fees for the remainder of the season.
There will be an open practice session next Wednesday from 5 p.m. until dark. Gates open at 4 p.m. Pit admission is $20 and the grandstands are free. All cars are welcome.
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.