Career 1st win a big one for Steve Feder in $2000 Russ King Memorial BRP Mod Tour; Buckley & Root cop career 1st E-Mod & Econo Mod wins; Stocks & Minis to Burns & Wrightsman
By Mike Leone
September 1, 2012
(Hartford, OH)…Despite thunderstorms from mid-afternoon through the night not far from Sharon Speedway, somehow it remained dry over Hartford, Ohio all but a few sprinkles during the Modified feature and a brief shower during the Stock Car feature to allow the 27th annual Russ King Memorial presented by King Bros. to be completed.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Steve Feder -Governor Insurance Agency BRP DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Tour, Andy Buckley-Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, Tim Burns-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Larry Root-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Jamie Wrightsman-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.
Steve Feder has been so close to victory on multiple occasions at Lernerville Speedway, but just hasn’t been able to seal the deal. On Saturday night, Feder made just his third start of the season at Sharon, but made it count with an impressive performance passing Mike Turner then holding off a big charge by Rex King for his first career win. The 35-lap BRP Tour victory was worth $2,000 as he became the 14th different winner of the Russ King Memorial.
“I’m ecstatic,” expressed the 29-year-old Butler, Pa. racer. “This is just amazing- it’s been a long time coming. I couldn’t ask for anything more to be part of the group of guys that have won this race. I just wanted it to stay green because I didn’t think they could catch me and those restarts always scare me. I got a little nervous there that one time. That tire in turn two comes up on you quick. I knew he (King) was coming fast and was going to be the guy right there. I saw him on the board. I just had to keep on the bottom.”
With the BRP Tour’s handicap lineup system, Turner took off in the early lead with Chris Haines following. Feder started fourth and passed Eric Gabany for third on the opening lap then raced by Haines for second on lap three. Feder had the bottom working for him as he pulled alongside of Turner on lap six, but Turner had the momentum off the top to keep leading.
Meanwhile behind the battle for the lead, Joe Kubiniec was on the move. The New Yorker started sixth and passed Gabany for fourth on lap four and then drove under and by Haines for third on lap seven. Ninth and 10th starting Brad Rapp and Jeremiah Shingledecker moved into the top five on laps 9 and 10 respectively with passes of Haines.
Back up front, Feder continued to pressure Turner and finally made the winning pass stick off turn four on lap 11. As the race continued caution-free, Feder caught lapped traffic on lap 13 and then pulled away from the field. By lap 14, the battle was on for second. Rapp got by Kubiniec and then disposed of Turner for second on the 16th circuit. Kubiniec followed one lap later to reclaim third.
Feder had a straightaway lead when the event’s first caution was displayed for Shingledecker and Turner, who slowed. The caution was a big break for King, who had worked his way into the top five from his eighth starting spot. When racing resumed, King got by Kubiniec for third. Shawn Fleeger brought out the second and final caution of the race when he spun with 20 laps scored.
When green replaced yellow, King and Rapp put on a torrid battle for runner-up. Finally on lap 24, King performed a slider in turn four to gain the runner-up position. King would get close to Feder over the final 10 laps, but Feder drove a near flawless race to hold on by 0.637 seconds for what will be an unforgettable first career win in his Johnson’s Auto Service/Steve’s Autobody/JNJ Motorsports Media/Zerowraps.com-sponsored #45. Feder became the season’s eighth different winner.
Behind Feder and King, the battle was hot and heavy for third. After starting third, Gabany had dropped back to as far as 10th at one point in the event until he started making his way back to the front running the outside line in his “358” small-block. On lap 28, he passed Dave Murdick to move back into the top five. One lap later, Gabany advanced to fourth past Kubiniec then made his final pass to finish third getting by Rapp on lap 30.
Murdick, the Sharon point leader, quietly finished fourth after starting 11th over Kevin Hoffman. After running up front, Kubiniec and Rapp faded to sixth and seventh respectively at the finish. BRP Tour point leader Brian Weaver was eighth as Haines and Shingledecker rounded out the top 10. Murdick set fast time over the 24-car field with a lap of 16.308 to earn the pole for heat race number one, which he won. Hoffman and Weaver won the other two heat races.
Feder started a trend in the Modified divisions Saturday as he was the first of three drivers to win their first ever in the division. Andy Buckley was the next in the E-Mods. The western Pa. standout Stock Car racer has struggled in recent years since making the move to the E-Mods, but persistence paid off as he wired the field leading all 15 laps somehow holding off the great Joel Watson for the popular win in the 15-lap Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods. Buckley became the eighth different winner of the season in the division.
“I couldn’t even look at Joel (Watson) because he made me nervous,” revealed the 43-year-old Stoneboro, Pa. resident. “I saw him a couple times on the inside, but he races super clean. I knew this was my race to lose. These things are like trying to drive a dinosaur with neck jerks. They’re very fast with a lot of movement under you. When you get on the gas, something is going to happen. You just sit their flat in the Stock Cars and do your thing. My two little boys are here tonight and they never come to Sharon. I packed them in the hauler and they’re going to get their pictures taken.”
Buckley started alongside Clayton Kennedy as he blasted around the highline into the lead. Watson started eighth, but was quickly on the prowl moving into the top five after one lap. On lap four, Watson put a slider on Shawn Shingledecker in turns one and two for third then one lap later in turn four did a slider on Jack Young for third.
Tim Deutsch was driving the Jim White #53 and brought out the first caution with five laps scored. Watson advanced past Kennedy on the restart for second. Watson caught Buckley on lap seven and the two ran side-by-side on lap eight before the event’s second and final caution for a spin by Vince Crisanti with eight laps recorded. The final seven laps saw Watson throw everything but the kitchen sink at Buckley, but Buckley was great getting off turns two and four as he powered to just his third career Sharon win by a margin of 1.089 seconds in his Temple Portable Crushing-sponsored #965.
As usual, Young stuck right with Watson at the finish as he was able to get by Kennedy on lap 10 to finish third. Young has a slight four-point advantage on Watson in the championship race. Pole-sitter Kennedy dropped to fourth over Joe Gabrielson. Sixth through 10th were Shingledecker, Howard Fraley, Joe Crawford, Russell King in the second Hamilton #67 entry, and Deutsch. Shingledecker and Gabrielson won the heat races.
Larry Root had two career Stock Car wins to his credit at Sharon entering Saturday. The veteran racer made the move to the two-barrel Econo Mods last season and finished fourth in points. Two weeks ago, Root finished a season best second and on Saturday was able to improve that by one position to capture the 15-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature to become the season’s eighth different winner.
“The new tires helped,” stated the 56-year-old West Farmington, Ohio driver. “I have to thank my mom, my wife, my pit crew, and all my sponsors. I had (Alan) Dellinger and the Burns boys helping me in the pits so it was a good night. They helped me set the car up and it was good tonight.”
Brian Foley, Jr. took off in the lead, while Root passed both Bob Williams and Keith Felicetty on lap one for second. Root made the winning move on lap three when he passed Foley as the two made contact in turn two. Root would then withstand five cautions for the victory in his Quality Auto Body/Wedge Motorsports/Dave’s Towing-sponsored #22x.
Jeremy Double had a good run to finish second after starting eighth, which moved him back into second place in the point standings in his first year in the division. Brandon Blackshear came from ninth to finish third. Blackshear was running second and challenging Root for the lead, but jumped a restart and was docked two positions.
Williams matched his season’s best finish in fourth with his third top five. North Carolina resident, Steve Haefke (Jr.), brought his car home for the weekend and finished fifth in his first start of the season. Haefke became the 37th different driver to compete this year in the growing division! Steve Burns, Jr. and Blackshear won the heats over the 18-car field.
Everything played perfectly into Tim Burns’ hands on Saturday night. Burns finished second in his heat and got the invert four drawn, he then went on to lead all 15 laps of the Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car feature for his third win of the season. That, coupled with a ninth place finish by Steve D’Apolito, who had to drive Charlie Jasinski’s #5J after blowing his motor following his heat win, pushed Burns to a 16-point advantage in the championship race.
The event was marred by an uncharacteristic six cautions including a red flag for about a 30-minute rain delay. Not much change took place up front. Pole-sitter Brian Carothers and fourth starting Steve Burns, Jr. battled for second and took their turns challenging Tim Burns, but Tim was too much in his Hittles Auto Supply/Wedge Motorsports-sponsored #66 for his seventh career win.
Carothers got by Burns for good on lap 11 following the rain delay for his season’s best finish in second. It’s been a much better season for Carothers, who recorded his seventh top five of the season, after received the dreaded Hard Luck Award last season. Steve Burns made his second start of the season in his former ride, his father’s #70B, and was third. Paul Davis was fourth. Gary Robinson made his fourth start of the season and has improved every night. He was 17th in his first start, 15th in his second race, seventh last week, and cracked the top five on Saturday night. Winning heats over the 18-car field were Robinson and D’Apolito.
After finishing second for five straight events and seven times in the first 10 races, Jamie Wrightsman finally picked up his first win of the season on July 21. On Saturday night, Wrightsman won for the second time in five races as he made his winning move coming down for the white flag in the 12-lap Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock feature.
Rob McElhaney jumped out to the early lead as Wrightsman went from sixth to second in the first lap. Bill Fuchs passed Ray Gregory on lap two for third. On lap five, it was a four-car race for the lead with McElhaney trying to hold off Wrightsman, Fuchs, and Gregory. Lap seven was a wild one as McElhaney slipped high allowing Wrightsman to pull even. Fuchs got a run around the outside to nose ahead for second, but made contact with Wrightsman in turn one, which ended his night. It was the only caution of the event.
McElhaney was trying for his first win of the year, but slipped high in turn four on lap 11 allowing Wrightsman to again pull even and would go on for his fourth career win in his King Bros. Concrete/Russ King Racing/Primetime Plumbing & Heating/Cornwell Tools/M.S. Farms/GPMS/Quality Auto Body-sponsored #21J. Ironically, McElhaney finished runner-up to Wrightsman on July 21 as well. Gregory was third over Steve Walker II and Ken Koby II. Heats were won by Koby and point leader Jim Haefke, Jr. After not winning any all season, Koby has now recorded three straight heat race wins!
Russ King Memorial Governor Insurance Agency BRP DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Tour (35 laps, $2,000): 1. STEVE FEDER (45) 2. Rex King (65) 3. Eric Gabany (3E) 4. Dave Murdick (61) 5. Kevin Hoffman (17H) 6. Joe Kubiniec (19) 7. Brad Rapp (11R) 8. Brian Weaver (Dieffenbach 1a) 9. Chris Haines (35H) 10. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 11. Rex King, Jr. (165) 12. Jim Rasey (32) 13. Skip Moore (17M) 14. Mark Frankhouser (03) 15. Rick Ryder (Snider 189) 16. Troy Willoughby (83W) 17. Shawn Fleeger (88) 18. Duane Botelho (16) 19. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 20. Jeremy Paup (X) 21. Tom Mattocks (69) 22. Mike Turner (96) 23. Carl Murdick (6) 24. Jeff Monoskey (22).
Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods (15 laps): 1. ANDY BUCKLEY (965) 2. Joel Watson (92) 3. Jack Young (Hamilton 67) 4. Clayton Kennedy (9) 5. Joe Gabrielson (58) 6. Shawn Shingledecker (54s) 7. Howard Fraley (217) 8. Joe Crawford (25) 9. Russell King (Hamilton 67K) 10. Tim Deutsch (White 53) 11. Bruce Powell (35) 12. Jim Turley (117) 13. Chris Myers (Beck 357) 14. Denny Benjamin (01) 15. Vince Crisanti (221) 16. Gary Sullivan (47s).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. TIM BURNS (66) 2. Brian Carothers (02c) 3. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 4. Paul Davis (3) 5. Gary Robinson (44R) 6. Rod Laskey (Sloss 44s) 7. Shaun Hooks (Janovick 65) 8. Jeff Buccella (Davis 915) 9. Steve D’Apolito (Jasinski 5J) 10. Jamie Duncan (67J) 11. Mike Hudzik (31H) 12. Pat Adams 13. Jesse Brock (22B) 14. Jamie Scharba (00S) 15. Jason Stanke (44) 16. Walt Yourema, Jr. (*22) 17. Charlie Jasinski (D’Apolito 84)-DNS 18. Mike Clark (7)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. LARRY ROOT (22x) 2. Jeremy Double (10) 3. Brandon Blackshear (10) 4. Bob Williams (8) 5. Steve Haefke, Jr. (19) 6. Keith Felicetty (Mechling 98) 7. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 8. Jeff Christy (Berry 91) 9. Jeff Mundell (11) 10. Kevin Robinson (24R) 11. Amanda Stiffler (14) 12. Corey Skully (21) 13. Junior Mechling (89) 14. George Vestal IV (4) 15. Dennis Dellinger (Turley 17) 16. Brian Foley, Jr. (16JSR) 17. Jim Dellinger (Turley 1) 18. Derek Dellinger (119)-DNS.
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. JAMIE WRIGHTSMAN (21J) 2. Rob McElhaney (7R) 3. Ray Gregory (Doyle 37) 4. Steve Walker II (4M) 5. Ken Koby II (11) 6. Mike Hillman (29) 7. Bill Fuchs (10) 8. Ray Kennedy (18) 9. Jim Wrightsman (12J) 10. Jason Baker (Fuchs 1B) 11. Gina Thompson (25) 12. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421).
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.