Stile wins 1st ever FASTRAK race in $2K NE Tour race; Career 1st in Big-Block Mods for Frankhouser; Young holds off Watson in E-Mods; #6 for Blackshear in Econos; 1st for Wrightsman in Minis
By Mike Leone
July 21, 2012
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway hosted the second annual Sweeney Chevrolet Night on a beautiful Saturday evening. Celebrating with wins in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Sammy Stile-Sweeney Chevrolet GM Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series, Mark Frankhouser-Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Jack Young-Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, Brandon Blackshear-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Jamie Wrightsman-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.
Ironically the night’s two biggest winners weren’t even planning on being at Sharon when they woke up Saturday morning; however, heavy rains on Friday forced Hesston and Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway to cancel their events and sent Sammy Stile and Paul Jablonski to Sharon. The duo would end up winning the feature and the Sweeney 604 engine giveaway respectively!
The rookie Jablonski, of Carnegie, Pa., made his first ever Tour start and first ever Sharon appearance in his Classic Landscape, Inc. #3. Jablonski was the final car to arrive at the speedway as he just barely made the pill draw, and received just one chance at the engine because he wasn’t a FASTRAK Weekly or Touring Series member. Jablonski’s ticket was selected in victory lane and he took home the new engine valued at over $5,000!
Stile was planning on racing his Super Late Model at Hesston’s event, but after the cancelation decided to make his first FASTRAK start since finishing runner-up back on April 1 at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in the “Super Nationals I” event. The move paid off as Stile passed Dan Angelicchio on a lap 17 restart and held off a furious charge by 10th starting Matt Latta to become the Series’ eighth different winner of the season! The 30-lap victory was worth $2,000 as Stile has now earned $3,500 in just two FASTRAK starts!
“It was fun,” acknowledged the 41-year-old Charleroi, Pa. Late Model star. “I was heading to Hesston, but they rained out at noon. This car has been sitting since the first show. I had it ready and we decided to bring it up. Things just fell into place. These guys are all tough. This is a great facility and nice crowd! This is my first time being here since 1995 when I ran on the old half-mile. I just spent $2,000 for tires on my Super Late so this helps out. This car is for sale and complete- they can race it tomorrow.”
By virtue of his K&N Dash win, Angelicchio earned the pole position for the feature and sped off into the lead. Chad Ruhlman passed Josh Double for second with Stile advancing from sixth to fourth after one lap, but John Over would slap the fence bringing out the caution with one lap scored. Over was selected as The Brake Man “Tough Brake of the Night”.
When racing resumed, Double and Stile moved past Ruhlman for second and third respectively. Latta was quickly on the charge and took over fourth with a three-wide move on lap three. The event was slowed with four laps completed for a spin by Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr. Back under green, Stile raced ahead of Double for second. Latta moved one spot closer to the front getting by Double on lap six for the third spot. After seven green flag laps, the caution was displayed for a spin by Chad Wright.
When green replaced yellow, it was side-by-side for the lead, but Angelicchio was able to hold on. Ruhlman, who fell out of the top five, was able to get back to fifth on lap 12 taking the position from Andrew Satterlee. Angelicchio and Stile were able to distance themselves from the field, while the battle for third was hot and heavy with Latta trying to hold off Double and Ruhlman.
Mike Pegher, Jr. had moved from 22nd into eighth, but his fine run ended with a flat tire with 16 laps in the books. This time, Stile got a great restart and used the cushion and momentum off the top side of the speedway to power past Angelicchio out of turn two. Angelicchio then slipped high in turn four allowing Latta to grab second. Ruhlman drove under and past Angelicchio for third on lap 20. Fifteenth starting Max Blair moved into the top five for the first time on lap 22 as he passed Double.
Lap 23 saw Stile slip high, which allowed Latta to close in. Lapped traffic came into play for the first time of the event on lap 28 during the long green flag run. Latta was able to pull even with Stile, but Stile crossed the line as the leader before Wayne Robertson brought out the event’s final caution.
Stile was barely able to hold off Latta on the restart and final two laps in his #2s to become the Series’ 34th different all-time winner in 88 events run! “He (Angelicchio) crowded me pretty good up high on the first restart so I tried to keep pace with him,” explained Stile. “My temperature was starting to heat up. “I kept looking down and missing my marks. I figured I was going to give the race away, but I got it cooled down on the last caution and just stood on it!”
Latta, who recently won his first career Tour event at Eriez Speedway, just missed out on another $2,000 victory, but his runner-up was worth $1,000 as he recorded his sixth straight top 10 Tour finish. Ruhlman’s third place coupled with Pegher’s DNF moved him back to second in the Series’ points. Angelicchio dropped to fourth over Blair.
Sharon point leader and last week’s Mercer Raceway Park winner, Will Thomas III, came home sixth with Shane Weaver, Satterlee, Butch Lambert, and 14-year-old Lauren Longbrake, who started 24th, completed the top 10.
Second year racer, Bobby Pifer, led all 10 laps of the non-stop non-qualifier event for his first ever checkered flag. The victory was worth $175 for the Pierpont, Ohio 42-year-old racer as he became the 23rd different winner in 29 non-qualifier races held all-time!
Pifer raced into the lead past Ben Black, who won last year’s Sweeney 604 engine giveaway. John Wyer of Cambridge, Ohio was making his first ever Series start. Wyer qualified for the feature through his heat, but came up light at the scales and missed out on transferring for the feature through his B main. Wyer started fifth in the non-qualifier and was up to fourth after the first lap. Wyer then passed Randy Wyant for third on lap two and Black for second with an inside move on lap four.
Wyer ran down Pifer on lap seven. Wyer was all over Pifer in the final three laps and pulled even on the final lap, but Pifer was able to hold on in his Charlie’s Auto Parts/Main Ave. Insurance-sponsored #6P. Black was third over Wyant, Clay Ruffo, and Bob Diver.
Satterlee, Bobby Whitling, Thomas, Sammy Stile, and Double were heat race victors over the season-high 42-car field. The B mains were won by Andrew Wylie and Pegher.
Mark Frankhouser drove the race of his life holding off staunch challenges by the track’s top two point men in Dave Murdick and Rex King for his first career Big-Block Modified win in the 20-lap Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar feature. Frankhouser became the season’s seventh different winner and 80th in the history of the division.
“I thought I gave it away on that last restart, but you don’t make the same mistake twice,” acknowledged the 43-year-old Altoona, Pa. racer. “A couple weeks ago my dad had us try a different setup. It wasn’t quite right, but it was better. This week he decided he wanted to tweak on that and I said it would never work. Well we’ll probably be running that setup on this car now! I have to thank my dad and my wife, who puts up with me every week for doing this, and a couple other guys on my crew.”
Frankhouser started sixth, but was up to fourth after one lap before Rick Ryder, who was running second, slowed to bring out the first caution. On the ensuing restart, Frankhouser blew into the lead past Jeff Monoskey and Carl Murdick, while ninth starting Dave Murdick passed Rex King for third.
Dave and Rex both drove around Carl in turn two for second and third respectively on lap four. The duo made contact on lap six with Rex getting by for second. The two standouts continued to battle, racing side-by-side trading slide jobs until a caution for Jim Weller, Jr. with 12 laps completed. Dave was able to get around Rex for second when racing resumed.
Dave challenged Frankhouser trying every move to get by. Dave even pulled alongside Frankhouser on lap 17, but Frankhouser maintained the lead. Just when it appeared Frankhouser was headed to victory, Rex King, Jr. couldn’t make it off the track forcing a one-lap shootout. Frankhouser used the outside to keep his momentum on the restart as he powered around the cushion and won the drag race down the frontstretch for the popular win in his father Irvin-owned, Franky’s Performance-sponsored #03.
Dave was second over Rex as the two are now tied for the point lead! Rob Curtis came from 14th to finish fourth in his second straight start. After starting 10th and going to the back, Weller rebounded to finish fifth. Sixth through 10th were Dean Pearson, Tom Mattocks, Bob Warren, Carl Murdick, and Don Brown. Pearson and King, Jr. won the heat races.
It was another Joel Watson-Jack Young shootout in the E-Mods, but this time it was Young prevailing. Young led all 15 laps holding off fifth starting and five-time winner Watson for his third win of the season in the 15-lap Summit Racing Equipment feature. Young pulled within three points of Watson in the championship race!
“This is going to be a close one,” acknowledged the 44-year-old Thompson, Ohio veteran when asked about points. “Me and that 92 (Watson) can’t get apart- anywhere we go we can’t get apart. I’m loving every minute of this! The car was good. When you have a car that good it takes the worry away from you. You have 10 cars that can win every night here so you have to take them when you can get them right now.”
After a caution on the first lap, Young took off into the lead with Joe Gabrielson and Watson up to second and third. Young began to pull away as the laps ticked off caution-free, Young caught lapped traffic on lap eight as he had a straightaway lead. The battle was hot and heavy for fourth as seven cars went at it. It was three-wide for the spot on laps 10 and 11 before a caution for a spin by Clayton Kennedy slowed action with 11 laps recorded.
Back under green flag racing, Watson powered by Gabrielson for second. Watson and Young went at it over the final four laps, but Young held on for his fourth career win in the division and eighth overall at the track in the Hamilton Young Motorsports-owned, Hamilton Excavating/MMS Kids/Annabelle’s Diner/NuLife Resources-sponsored #67.
Scott Stiffler came all the way from 19th to finish third over Shawn Shingledecker and Carl McKinney. Heat victors over the 23-car field were Mike Kinney, Ronnie Kahler, and McKinney.
The Econo Mods went topless, but the results were the same as Brandon Blackshear tied Mini Stock racer Jim Haefke, Jr. as the speedway’s top winner with his sixth victory in the 15-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature.
“We had to wait a little bit for that right rear tire to come in,” explained the 21-year-old Brookfield, Ohio driver. “Tubby (Tessean) is away on vacation this week so we had to weigh it out. We were a little under the gun, but we won! That was some of the best racing all year. It was a great race there with Diver and Double and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get them. Diver went to the bottom and stuck Double up and gave me a lane on the top, and I got right around them.”
Blackshear started sixth, but was halfway to the front after one lap. Blackshear passed Jeremy Double on lap five for second. Bob Diver was making just his second start in the division and led the first eight laps until a caution was displayed. On the ensuing restart, Blackshear took command and went on for his division leading 11th career win all-time in the Tub’s Automotive/Blackshear Racing Engines #10.
Diver settled for second over Jim Dellinger, ninth starting Steve Burns, Jr., and Larry Root. Heat winners were Root, Diver, and Jace Ferringer over the 21-car field. Jeremy Double set fast time with a lap of 18.759 and won the $100 Blackshear Racing Engines & Milk Barn-sponsored Dash. Diver received $50 for finishing second with Blackshear and Brian Hathaway picking up $25 for third and fourth respectively.
Jerry Batcher led all 12 laps of the Mini Stock feature for his apparent second win, but was disqualified in post-race tech handing the victory to Jamie Wrightsman for the first time this season in the Deforest Used Parts event.
Wrightsman started fourth and passed Ray Gregory and Ray Kennedy for runner-up. Wrightsman was all over Batcher throughout the affair, which was slowed four times for cautions. Wrightsman’s third career win came in the King Bros. Concrete/Russ King Racing/Primetime Plumbing & Heating/Cornwell Tools/M.S. Farms/GPMS/Quality Auto Body-sponsored #21J.
Rob McElhaney came from eighth to finish second in his first appearance of the season. Pete Blazczak advanced from 18th to finish third. Brandon Cornelius was fourth in his first ever start ahead of Leo Hanlon, who made his second straight start. A season high 19 cars were on hand as point leader Jim Haefke, Jr. and Christi Brugmann captured the heat races.
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Pace Performance FASTRAK Northeast Late Model Touring Series Race #15 (30 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. SAMMY STILE (2S) 2. Matt Latta (Bidwell B1D) 3. Chad Ruhlman (Suppa 4s) 4. Dan Angelicchio (14) 5. Max Blair (111) 6. Will Thomas III (9) 7. Andrew Satterlee (2) 8. Shane Weaver (Ruffner 325x) 9. Butch Lambert (27) 10. Lauren Longbrake (27) 11. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 12. Tommy Schirnhofer, Jr.(8s) 13. Justin Tatlow (Kratts 81) 14. Brad Kling (Powell 100) 15. Brian Booher (Hoover 00H) 16. Eric Wilson (27W) 17. Wayne Robertson (Knapp 20) 18. Josh Double (38) 19. Bobby Rohrer (11) 20. Mike Pegher, Jr. (Geisler 1c) 21. Bobby Whitling (7W) 22. Chad Wright (6) 23. Joe Martin (55) 24. Andrew Wylie (84) 25. Ryan Montgomery (12) 26. John Over (K2).
FASTRAK Non-Qualifier (10 laps, $175 to-win): 1. Bobby Pifer (6P) 2. John Wyer (16) 3. Ben Black (27B) 4. Randy Wyant (11T) 5. Clay Ruffo (14R) 6. Bob Diver (23) 7. Paul Jablonski (3) 8. Jeremy Adamik (7) 9. W.L. Stile (2$) 10. Jason Stanke (44) 11. Josh Holtgraver (00)-DNS 12. Rusty Cade (47)-DNS 13. Jason Knowles (4)-DNS 14. Junior Peters (00)-DNS 15. Jason Longwell (114)-DNS 16. Tom Copeland (98)-DNS.
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. MARK FRANKHOUSER (03) 2. Dave Murdick (61) 3. Rex King (65) 4. Rob Curtis (McElhaney 6 7/8) 5. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 6. Dean Pearson (8J) 7. Tom Mattocks (69) 8. Bob Warren (96B) 9. Carl Murdick (6) 10. Don Brown (71B) 11. Rex King, Jr. (165) 12. Bob Monoskey (22) 13. Rick Ryder (Snider 189) 14. Troy Willoughby (83W) 15. Dave Reges (27R)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods (15 laps): 1. JACK YOUNG (Hamilton 67) 2. Joel Watson (92) 3. Scott Stiffler (14) 4. Shawn Shingledecker (54s) 5. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 6. Mike Kinney (3) 7. Steve Haefke (73) 8. Clayton Kennedy (9) 9. Ronnie Kahler (7R) 10. Jim Turley (117) 11. Chris Myers (Beck 357) 12. Bruce Powell (35) 13. Trevor Herr (32) 14. Joe Gabrielson (58) 15. Howard Fraley (217) 16. Paul Phillips (11SS) 17. Mike Monreal (071) 18. Bud Watson (White 53) 19. Gary Sullivan (47s) 20. Jeff Hassay (10) 21. Dale Monreal (7) 22. Wayne Brugmann (79)-DNS 23. Brian Douglas (214)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Topless Econo Mods (15 laps, $350 to-win): 1. BRAD BLACKSHEAR (10) 2. Bob Diver (23) 3. Jim Dellinger (Turley 1) 4. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 5. Larry Root (22x) 6. Junior Mechling (89) 7. Dennis Dellinger, Jr. (Turley 17) 8. Jeff Mundell (11) 9. Amanda Stiffler (14) 10. Jace Ferringer (02) 11. George Vestal IV (4) 12. Jeremy Double (83) 13. Ryan Fraley (12SS) 14. Brian Hathaway (93) 15. Clay Ruffo (14R) 16. Kevin Robinson (24R) 17. Keith Felicetty (Mechling 98) 18. Kevin Sevacko (76) 19. Brad Blackshear (19)-DNS 20. Derek Dellinger (119)-DNS 21. Bob Williams (8)-DNS.
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. JAMIE WRIGHTSMAN (21J) 2. Rob McElhaney (7R) 3. Pete Blazczak (77) 4. Brandon Cornelius (c11) 5. Leo Hanlon (1R) 6. Gina Thompson (Webber 25) 7. Jim Wrightsman (12J) 8. Josh Seippel (17S) 9. Ray Kennedy (18) 10. Steve Walker II (4M) 11. Jimmy Davis (32) 12. Ray Gregory (Doyle 37) 13. Bill Fuchs (10) 14. Christi Brugmann (77) 15. Ken Koby II (22) 16. Jeff Little (42) 17. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 18. Jerry Batcher (7)-DSQ 19. Jake Monreal (32M)-DNS.
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.