Busy Memorial Day Weeked on tap with doubleheader action; FASTRAK NE L.M. Tour & Open Stocks both days; UEMS E-Mods Sat & Big-Block Mod special Sun
By Mike Leone
May 22, 2012
(Hartford, OH)…With Mother Nature finally cooperating, Sharon Speedway has been blessed with three straight beautiful, sunny Saturdays during May after a rough April, which saw three cancellations in four weeks. Sharon Speedway and its fans and racers hope the great streak of recent weather will continue this weekend. First Sharon will host an open practice on Wednesday night (May 23) before two big days of racing action on Saturday and Sunday (May 26-27). Racing is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday and one hour earlier on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series, Open Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks will compete both days, while the United E-Mod Series will race on Saturday and the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds on Sunday. All divisions will be racing for extra money both days! Stay tuned for the $6 home-cooked meal special each night!
“We’re really looking forward to the weekend,” stated third year GM Dave Willoughby. “We’ve had some tremendous racing to date as the track has been real racey. We expect a great field of cars. Two-day shows are always fun for the fans and racers. We’re excited about hosting both days of the Bill Emig Memorial this year to make this a super weekend. Plus we invite everyone out to camp all weekend for free. Fans that come both days are offered a $3 discount on admission.”
The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series will be the featured attraction as part of the Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card” Weekend. The Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models will race for $1,500 to-win each night in addition to the “Wild Card Weekend” point fund that will pay the top five drivers from the weekend with the champion receiving $500. Also, extra money will be on the line each night with the John Buzzard Memorial “K&N Cold Air Induction” Dashes.
The FASTRAK Late Models have become wildly popular in the region. The division was added as one the two headlining divisions in 2011. Last season, Sharon averaged the highest weekly car count in the nation and the four Touring events averaged 40 cars per event!
The Touring Series has been featured nine times at Sharon over the past three seasons with seven different winners! Josh Holtgraver enters the weekend with victories each of the last two years during the Memorial Day Weekend event, while Series point leader Max Blair is the only other repeat winner. Other Touring winners at Sharon include Mike Pegher, Jr., David Scott, the late Gary Knollinger, George Kowatic, and Ryan Montgomery.
Sharon point leader, Will Thomas III of Sharpsville, Pa., is in his first full season of FASTRAK and has been off to a fast start with a pair of wins and a pair of runner-up finishes. Thomas is currently 14th in Touring points and will look to improve that standing with two races at his home track.
Last year, Robbie Blair was the $500 Bill Emig Memorial “Wild Card Weekend” Champion. The elder Blair made his first FASTRAK start on Sunday subbing for Joe Martin and is expected to debut his #W11 in FASTRAK competition this weekend.
The Open Stock Cars always put on a tremendous show at Sharon. This year, they have been added to the holiday weekend with extra loot up for grabs. Saturday’s winner will pocket $500, while Sunday’s victor will take home $750! There is no entry fee. Unfortunately the annual “Open Stock Car Shootout” that has traditionally been an early event on Sharon’s schedule was rained out and postponed to October 6.
Last season, Tim Burns won $2,100 at the first Open Stock Car event and $1,000 at the final one, while Shaun Hooks won the other “open” event. Ironically, neither driver was a regular last season, but have made Sharon Speedway home on Saturday nights as they both are competing for the championship.
The growing Econo Mod division is now up to 26 different cars this season after four nights of racing. There have been four different winners in four races. Brian Hathaway, who won his career first race on May 12, currently leads the points over one-time winner Brandon Blackshear. The Econo Mods will compete for $350 to-win each night.
The Mini Stocks are the final division that will race in both nights of action this weekend, and will battle for $200 each night. Defending champion Bill Fuchs became the division’s first repeat winner last Saturday night as he extended his point lead. Last Saturday featured a season-high car count of 16.
Known for featuring the top E-Mod talent in the region and big car counts, the United E-Mod Series will come to town on Saturday night for $1,000 to-win. UEMS is fresh off a big two-day weekend up north as Dave Hess, Jr. topped a 45-car field on Saturday at Stateline Speedway, while current point leader Dan Davies won at Eriez on Sunday night. Add to the fact that Sharon produces large weekly car counts, and a great field is expected Saturday night. Shawn Shingledecker is the current Sharon point leader.
Completing the weekend card and running on Sunday are the ground-pounding DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Rex King and Kevin Bolland, who finished one-two in the points in 2011, are again the dominant racers in 2012 splitting the four events to date at two-to-two. Sunday will feature a $1,500 to-win payout.
On Saturday, pits open at 4 p.m. with the grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. On Sunday, pits open at 3 p.m. with the grandstands at 4 and racing at 6. Adult admission is $13 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday. A two-day grandstand pass is available for $25. Students 13 and under are always free. Pit passes are $30 each day.
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 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.