BRP Mod Tour featured Saturday in Russ King Memorial; E-Mods, Stocks, Econos & Minis also in action
By Mike Leone
August 29, 2012
(Hartford, OH)…Labor Day Weekend racing action will be featured on Saturday (September 1) at Sharon Speedway as the BRP Mod Tour makes their only appearance of the season. Also in action will be Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Qualifying for the Modifieds will get underway at 6:30 p.m. followed by racing.
The Governor Insurance Big-Block Modifieds will battle in the 27th annual “Russ King Memorial” event presented by King Bros, a 40-lap affair with extra money on the line compared to a standard BRP event thanks to lap sponsors and other event sponsors.
There have been 13 different winners in the 26 prior events. The late Lou Blaney leads the all-time win list with five event victories. Bob Kraus, who was inducted into the Sharon Speedway Hall-of-Fame earlier this year, has three wins as do active racers Rex King and Jim Rasey. Two-time winners include Jim Weller, Jr., Kevin Bolland, and Ron Smoker, while John Braymer, Ralph Spithaler, Jr., Jeff Hoffman, Tommy Kristyak, Tom Winkle, and Lonny Riggs all have one win.
After being shutout of victory through 2004 in the race that honors his father, Rex King has picked up three of the event’s last seven victories. King has had a strong season at Sharon in 2012 with three wins and currently trails last week’s winner, Dave Murdick, by six markers.
Like King, Dave Murdick has also had a great season. Murdick won his sixth career BRP Tour event on August 18 at Mercer Raceway Park and trails New Yorker Brian Weaver by just two points in the BRP Tour title chase. Jeremiah Shingledecker, King, Kevin Hoffman, Joe Kubiniec, Rex King, Jr., Steve Feder, Chris Haines, and Mike Turner complete the top 10.
After a slow start for the second straight year, the Modified car count has picked up from mid-season on and a strong field is expected Saturday.
While Jack Young and Joel Watson have seemingly battled every night up front in the E-Mods, last Saturday was a different story. Both racers pitted early on and worked their way to respectable fifth (Watson) and sixth (Young) place finishes. Young is holding on to just a four-point lead entering Saturday night. Jeff Johnson ended a 15-month victory drought with his victory last week and is only six points out of the top 10 in points despite missing some events.
The Stock Car championship race is the closest amongst all of the divisions and features some of the most competitive racing at the track. Last week was a good example as just 1.8 seconds separated winner Shaun Hooks from sixth place Steve D’Apolito! After a poor heat race effort, an invert 10 benefited Steve Burns, who earned the pole for the feature, but was passed on the final lap by Hooks. Burns and D’Apolito entered the night tied in points, but Burns now holds a slim four-point lead in search of his first championship, while D’Apolito is looking for Sharon championship number five. Seventy-nine points is the margin between Burns and the seventh place driver of Brian Carothers.
The third year Econo Mod division in its first full season of weekly Saturday competition continues to produce new racers. A total of 36 different drivers have competed over the course of the season, but it’s division “veteran” Brandon Blackshear leading the way. Blackshear leads the points by 26 over Jim Dellinger, has the season’s most wins in the division at six, and also sits atop the division’s all-time win list at 11. The Econo Mod division is a cross between young racers and veteran racers that still want to keep active.
After seven straight weeks of not finishing better than third that included five finishes of seventh or worse, 2011 champion Bill Fuchs returned to form in the Mini Stocks with a win last Saturday night. Fuchs really cut into Jim Haefke, Jr’s point lead whacking it down to 35 heading into Saturday as the four-time 2012 winner isn’t about to give up on defending his championship just yet.
This week’s homemade kitchen special is country fried steak with mashed potatoes, and green beans for $6. Pits open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5. Qualifying for the Big-Block Modifieds will begin at 6:30 followed by racing. Grandstand admission is $13, while kids 13 and under are always free. Pit passes are $30.
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.