FASTRAK NE Late Model Tour returns Saturday; $2,000 on the line plus Sweeney Engine drawing
By Mike Leone
(Hartford, OH)…After a trip of special events for the Sprint Cars over the past few weeks, the FASTRAK Late Models presented by Barris Supply will return to the spotlight this Saturday night (July 21) at Sharon Speedway. The Northeast Touring Series will be featured along with the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.
Not only will the FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series be battling it out for $2,000 to-win, but Series sponsor Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC will be giving away a GM 604 engine to one of the lucky participants! The engine is valued at over $5,000! Last year, track regular Ben Black was the recipient of the engine, while George Kowatic won his first career Touring feature!
The Northeast Touring Series is having another banner season with great car counts. The Series averages 35 cars per show. Three-time champion, Max Blair of Centerville, Pa., is the Series point leader. Blair has set a single season Touring record in 2012 winning seven feature wins! Sharon point leader, Will Thomas III of Sharpsville, Pa., is the only other driver to repeat. Thomas, a three-time Sharon winner, has won two of the last six Touring events with a $2,000 victory at Expo Speedway and a win last Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park.
Other drivers winning Northeast Touring Series features this year include Mike Pegher, Jr., Ryan Montgomery, Joe Martin, Chad Ruhlman, and Matt Latta.
The Touring Series has been featured 11 times at Sharon over the past three seasons with seven different winners. Blair, who won the Bill Emig Memorial Night 1 on May 26, is a three-time winner, while Josh Holtgraver and Martin are the only other repeat winners. Other Touring winners at Sharon include Pegher, David Scott, the late Gary Knollinger, Kowatic, and Montgomery.
The Northeast Touring Series will be back at Sharon on August 18 for the $1,500 Manufacturers Night in addition to the $1,500 to-win Bill Emig Memorial Night 2 make-up feature. The final Tour stop for FASTRAK in 2012 will be on September 15 for the “Apple Festival Nationals”.
After having last Saturday night off, the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds will be back. Rex King is the current point leader by just three over Dave Murdick. The Modified car counts have picked up over the course of the season and the competitiveness is top notch. Over a dozen regulars per night have a shot at challenging for the win and even more on occasion. A season high 28 cars were on hand for the fourth annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” on July 10.
Joel Watson and Jack Young have been the fastest two Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods on a consistent weekly basis. Just four points separate the two Ohio standouts with Watson leading by four. Third place point man, Shawn Shingledecker finally broke into the winner’s circle last Saturday night, but stands 39 points back.
The HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods will be racing in a special format/rules, increased purse event. Drivers will hot lap/qualify in groups with the times setting up heat race lineups. The fastest four qualifiers will run a dash paying $100, $50, $25, $25 presented by Blackshear Racing Engines and The Milk Barn. The Econo Mod feature will pay $350 to-win. Saturday’s event will be topless with no spoilers or sail panels.
Despite five feature wins, five finishes of 10th or worse haven’t allowed Brandon Blackshear to have a commanding point lead. The Brookfield, Ohio driver leads Econo Mod rookie Jeremy Double by only 25 points.
Can anyone stop Jim Haefke, Jr.? The Austintown, Ohio second year racer has won five of the last eight Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock features and six for the season as he’s extended his point lead to 27 over defending champion Bill Fuchs, who has struggled with back-to-back DNF’s with his new race car.
The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars will have the night off.
“Saturday should be a great night,” stated third year GM Dave Willoughby. “Last year’s Sweeney Night was a big one, so hopefully a lot of racers will turn out for the chance to win the engine and compete in the $2,000 to-win feature. The early outlook is calling for good weather so hopefully a great show will be put on for the fans.”
Pits open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5. Race time is 7 p.m. Adult admission is $13 and pit passes are $30. Kids 13 and under are always free.
There will be an open practice on Wednesday, July 25. Pits open at 4 p.m. with practice until dark. Pit passes are $20. Grandstand admission is free.
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.