LOU BLANEY MEMORIAL TO NOW PAY RECORD $5,000 TO-WIN FOR SPRINTS JULY 10; NASCAR’S STEWART, KAHNE & BLANEY TO COMPETE; $10K IN CONTINGENCIES
By Mike Leone
June 5, 2012
(Hartford, OH)…One of the region’s most popular and highly-anticipated racing events has just gotten bigger! Sharon Speedway is proud to announce the fourth annual Lou Blaney Memorial will now pay a record $5,000 to-win for the “410” Sprints on Tuesday, July 10! The year’s event presented by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will again benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and feature NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, and Dave Blaney racing Sprint Cars.
In addition, Kate Blaney is proud to announce that over $10,000 has been gathered in product contingency awards for the Sprint Car racers! The Sprint feature will pay $300 to-start. The Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modified will once again pay $2,000 to-win, $200 to-start rather than the previously announced $1,500 to-win purse.
Tony Stewart, fresh off his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, was the event’s inaugural Sprint Car winner in 2009 and finished fifth and ninth in the 2010 and 2011 Lou Blaney Memorial events respectively. His popular 2009 victory marked his first career “410” winged feature win! Stewart will look to regain his winning form on July 10 when he climbs behind the wheel of his #14 Sprint Car.
Kahne meanwhile, winner of 13 career NASCAR Sprint Cup events, is looking to earn his career first win at the Hartford, Ohio. Kahne has competed in all three prior Lou Blaney Memorials with finishes of sixth, seventh, and twelfth respectively.
Dave Blaney, winner of 27 Sprint Car features at Sharon in addition to two Modified mains, would certainly love to add his name as a winner to this prestigious event, as would his brother Dale. The youngest of Lou’s sons has 13 career Sprint Car feature wins at Sharon including last year’s Ohio All Star Speedweek event.
Besides Stewart’s 2009 victory, local racer Mike Lutz and Texan Sam Hafertepe, Jr. have captured $3,000 Lou Blaney Memorial victories on the Sprint Car side. There has yet to be a repeat winner in the Big-Block Modifieds with New York legend Jack Johnson taking the 2009 race, while local Ohio drivers Jim Rasey and Rob Kristyak stole the thunder the past two seasons.
The event will be one of just three for the Sprint Cars at Sharon in 2012. The All Star Sprint Cars will make a visit for Ohio Speedweek on Tuesday, June 26 and the BOSS Wingless Sprint Series will make their inaugural stop on Saturday, July 14.
The DIRTcar Modified portion of the event will be part of the “Drive to be a Champion” Series, which looks at Modified racers best 10 finishes of the season. There will be an extra incentive with 10 bonus points for all competing racers.
Friends of Lou Blaney will again attend the Memorial Event 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.
Grandstands open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7. Grandstand tickets are $20. Children 13 and under are free. Tickets are on sale by calling the office at 330-772-5481 or by going to the website. The direct link to the order form is www.sharonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Lou-Blaney-Mem-2012-Ticket-Form.pdf. Advance ticket holders will be granted admission one hour earlier at 3 p.m. for preferred seating.
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.