Steel Valley Thunder on Saturday’s docket as point races heat up; Gold Rush for the kids

Steel Valley Thunder on Saturday’s docket as point races heat up; Gold Rush for the kids

By Mike Leone

July 25, 2012

(Hartford, OH)…After several special events over the past month, Sharon Speedway will get back to basics on Saturday night (July 28) as another installment of “Steel Valley Thunder” will take place. The six-division weekly program will include the Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.

Saturday’s program will be presented by Joy Mining & Machining. There will be a Gold Rush for the kids on the frontstretch during intermission. Also, Saturday’s kitchen special is cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, and vegetable for $6.

The DIRTcar Big-Block Modified division has been very competitive this season. Mark Frankhouser became the newest winner when he somehow held off the staunch challenges of Dave Murdick and Rex King to earn his first career win in the division. Murdick and King enter Saturday night tied atop the standings! Even with seven drivers already victorious this season, a host of other top runners are still looking for their season’s first wins like Jim Rasey, Jim Weller, Dean Pearson, Rob Kristyak, Del Rougeux, Kevin Hoffman, and others.

The FASTRAK Late Models have done one better than the Modifieds with eight different winners! Sammy Stile was the latest last Saturday night with his first ever win in the division picking up the $2,000 Northeast Touring win. Only point leader Will Thomas has been able to win multiple events at three. Thomas has a 32-point lead on Matt Latta, who won his first career feature earlier this season. After a late start, defending track champion Josh Double has worked his way to third in points, and was the last regular show winner. Seventy-four different FASTRAK drivers have competed this season!

It’s been a career year for Jack Young in the E-Mods at Sharon. Young entered 2012 with only one E-Mod win at the track, which came back in the late 90s to go along with four Stock Car wins. Last Saturday, Young held off one of the region’s best in Joel Watson for his third win of 2012! Young has pulled to within three points of Watson heading into Saturday night. The E-Mods continue to draw full fields or more of cars week after week.

The Stock Cars have only competed once this month so these racers will be anxious to get back on the speedway Saturday. Steve D’Apolito was the winner on July 14 when the Stock Cars ran for his first win of the season as he looks to continue to cut into Tim Burns’ point lead. Burns has just a 12-point lead on the four-time champion entering Saturday night. Rod Laskey is 12 more points back in third and Mike Clark, who finished runner-up in 2011, is another 12 back.

It’s been the Blackshear show in the Econo Mods with Brandon Blackshear winning six features and brother Brad another two. Even going topless didn’t derail Brandon from his division-high 11th career win. Jim Dellinger and Jeremy Double, who also have feature wins, are 40 and 41 points back respectively. A strong field of 21 cars was on hand last Saturday, just one shy of the record 22 that were on hand earlier this season. A total of 32 different drivers have competed this year in season number three for the division, but first as a weekly division.

After low counts for much of the season, it was good to see a season high 19 Mini Stocks on hand last Saturday night and a new winner to boot. Jamie Wrightsman was declared the winner after Jerry Batcher didn’t pass post-race tech inspection. Jim Haefke, Jr. currently leads defending champion Bill Fuchs by 27 points. It was a rough night for Fuchs, who got upside down in his heat, then taken out in the feature.

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.

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 or call 330-772-5481. Become a fan of Sharon Speedway on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at


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