Back-to-back Mod wins for Feder; Lunger wins 1st ever at Sharon in FASTRAK LM; Watson wins E-Mods & ties for championship; Clark & Double win #2 in Stocks & Econo Mods; Win #5 for Fuchs in Minis
By Mike Leone
September 29, 2012
(Hartford, OH)…In a month that featured two rainouts and two others that could easily have been rained out, Sharon Speedway was able to beat the rain that came in after the completion of the final “Steel Valley Thunder” event of 2012 on Saturday night. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane on championship night were Steve Feder-Governor Insurance DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Dennis Lunger, Jr.-Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models, Joel Watson-Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods, Mike Clark-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Jeremy Double-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Bill Fuchs-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.
Steve Feder should consider calling Sharon Speedway home on Saturday nights in 2013. After a popular first career win in the $2,000 “Russ King Memorial” on September 1, Feder returned to Sharon on Saturday night and led all 20 laps for his second straight DIRTcar Big-Block Modified victory! Feder earned $1,100 in the Governor Insurance Agency Event in just his fourth appearance of the season.
Feder passed veteran Dean Pearson, who was said to be competing in his last event, for the lead on the opening lap. New York “358” racer Ricky Richner was making his first ever appearance and was impressive. Richner started seventh, but made his way to fourth after one lap. Richner passed Rob Curtis for third on lap three then disposed of Pearson for second on lap nine.
Only one caution slowed the event on the opening lap for a spin by Jimmy Weller III as Richner wasn’t able to mount a challenge on Feder. The 29-year-old Butler, Pa. resident raced on to the victory in his Johnson’s Auto Service/Steve’s Autobody/JNJ Motorsports Media/Zerowraps.com-sponsored #45 by 1.217 seconds over Richner.
Rex King passed Curtis on lap six for fourth then got by Pearson on lap 12 for third. King would run out of time as his championship hopes were dashed by another solid effort by Dave Murdick, who trailed him across the finish line for fourth. It was Murdick’s second career Sharon championship as the Butler, Pa. driver also took top honors in 2008. Rex King, Jr. was also able to get by Pearson to round out the top five.
Pearson dropped to sixth barely edging out Curtis. Skip Moore, Mark Frankhouser, and Tom Mattocks completed the top 10. Heat winners were Moore and Murdick over the 17-car field.
Dennis Lunger, Jr. charged from the 11th starting spot to steal a first career Sharon win away from Brian Booher with a last lap pass to capture his first career victory at the track in the 20-lap Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Model feature.
Booher was one of the all-time best Stock Car races at Mercer Raceway Park. When the FASTRAK Late Models replaced the Stock Cars in 2008 at Mercer, Booher won two features and just missed the inaugural title. But since then Booher won just one more time on June 26, 2010. When Mercer and Sharon made the switch of Sprint Cars and FASTRAK Late Models in 2011, Booher became a Sharon Speedway regular for the first time in his career. On Saturday night, Booher turned in a great performance, but came up 0.492 seconds shy.
Just one caution slowed the event, which came on the opening lap. Lunger was up to fourth after one lap, took third from Rusty Cade on lap seven, and then passed Eric Wilson for second on lap 15. Lunger ran down Booher without the help of a caution and made the winning pass in turn one on the final lap. The 44-year-old Conneaut, Ohio veteran of Stock Cars, E-Mods, and Super Late Models went on for the win in the Rueben Schwartz-owned, Schwartz Trucking/JR Lumber/Shetler Construction/Bidwell Trenching-sponsored #71L.
Booher’s runner-up was his best ever at Sharon. After struggling all season through the month of July with only a pair of 10th place finishes to show for, Wilson nailed down his third top three finish in the past five races in addition to a seventh place finish. Last year’s champion, Josh Double, was fourth over Matt Latta. After running in the top three for the first six laps. Cade faded to sixth for his best career Sharon finish.
After getting caught up in the opening lap skirmish, Will Thomas III came from the back to finish seventh, which earned him the championship by 18 points over Latta in his first full season of dirt track competition. George Kowatic, Bud Watson, and newcomer Jeremy Zufall were seventh through tenth. Watson and Double were heat race victors over the 20-car field.
It was only fitting that Joel Watson and Jack Young would tie for the E-Mod Championship. The duo battled night in and night out racing to the front together and seemingly finishing near each other just about every night. Saturday night, Watson started 10th and Young 11th in the 15-lap Summit Racing Equipment feature. As usual, they made their way to the front together, but it was Watson getting the furthest taking his season’s fifth win, while Young would settle third.
After a fifth place finish in his season debut on September 15 with the United E-Mod Series, Evan Taylor returned and set the pace for the first 10 laps. Watson passed his good friend Mike Kinney on lap nine and inherited second when Shawn Shingledecker crashed on a restart with nine laps completed. Watson made his winning move on Taylor on lap 11 and the 33-year-old Conneaut, Ohio standout rolled on to his 11th career in his Northwest Restoration/Zimmer’s Service Center/Racecar Fabrication/Hoosier Tire-sponsored #92.
Taylor was 1.079 seconds back for a career best Sharon finish in second. Young was third over Kinney and Dellinger. Sixth through 10th were Dan Davies, 22nd starting Jeff Johnson, Clayton Kennedy, Dave Atkinson, and newcomer J.E. Stalder. Topping the heats over the big field of 27 cars were Dellinger, Kennedy, and Joe Gabrielson.
Last year Mike Clark came up 20 points shy of Steve D’Apolito in the Stock Car championship race as he captured the first two wins of his career. The 2012 season certainly didn’t get off to the start that Clark had hoped for as he was shutout of victory lane until August 18. But on Saturday night, Clark led all 15 laps of the Gibson Insurance Agency feature for his second win in the past four regular shows.
In the championship race, two straight blown engines in the final two point events during the heat races allowed Tim Burns to cruise to his first Sharon title and deny D’Apolito of his fifth. The 46-year-old Clark of Bristolville, Ohio used the outside to pass Paul Davis on the start and held off Davis throughout the duration include a trio of restarts to win by 0.889 seconds in his NAPA/Paris Café/Wedge Motorsports-sponsored #7.
Rod Laskey started third and finished in the “show” position to beat out D’Apolito for second in points. Shaun Hooks came from eighth to finish fourth over Brian Carothers. Burns and Laskey won the heat races over 18-car field.
Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Double took advantage of problems by veteran leaders Bob Williams and Larry Root to claim his second Econo Mod main event win. Double led only three laps and held off Todd Canter in the 15-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products event.
Bob Williams raced out to the early lead. Canter came from fourth to second on lap one. Root, who won his first race in several years on September 1, looked strong. Root started seventh and was up to third after the opening lap. Root and fifth starting Double passed Canter for second and third respectively on lap six. Williams looked like he was primed for his first win in many years, but slowed with engine woes on lap 13 and collected third place running Brandon Blackshear.
This handed the lead to Root, who wouldn’t even lead a lap as he broke on the restart. When the dust settled, Double was on the point and led the rest of the way to take the checkered flag first by 1.658 seconds over Canter in his Cortland Auto Repair/Wedge Motorsports-sponsored #83. In the championship race though, Double came up 13 points shy to Blackshear, who won his first championship.
Steve Haefke drove the Corey Skully #21 to a third place finish. Jace Ferringer was fourth over a career best finish by Keith Mechling, who is in his first full season of racing driving the second Junior Mechling entry. George Vestal IV and Blackshear were heat race winners over the 18-car field.
Five wins and a runner-up in points would be a career season for most racers, but it wasn’t quite what Bill Fuchs had hoped for one year after winning a track high 10 features in route to his first career track championship. On Saturday night, Fuchs did what he had to do leading all 12 laps of the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock feature, but came up 20 points shy of Jim Haefke, Jr. in his bid to repeat.
The victory was the all-time division leading 18th of the 37-year-old Greenville, Pa. driver’s career in his RTW Industrial Contracting/Hittles Auto Supply/Chatfield Well Drilling/Kreider Tire/McCray & Haag Automotive/Headliners & Stilettos Gentlemen’s Club/Veados Mini Mart-sponsored #10. Shane Smith made his first career Sharon start a good one finishing second after passing Steve Walker II on lap five.
After not making his racing debut until July 14, Jimmy Davis was third for the third time in just eight starts to go along with a fourth and fifth place finish. Walker dropped to fourth over eight-time winner Haefke. Fuchs and Ken Koby II copped heat races over the 18-car field. It was Koby’s fifth heat race win in his last six starts despite never winning a feature.
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. STEVE FEDER (45) 2. Ricky Richner (26) 3. Rex King (65) 4. Dave Murdick (61) 5. Rex King, Jr. (165) 6. Dean Pearson (8J) 7. Rob Curtis (McElhaney 6 7/8) 8. Skip Moore (17M) 9. Mark Frankhouser (03) 10. Tom Mattocks (69) 11. Jimmy Weller III (31W) 12. Dave Reges (27R) 13. Jeff Monoskey (22) 14. Bob Warren (96B) 15. Don Brown (71B) 16. Jim Weller, Jr. (31)-DNS 17. Carl Murdick (6)-DNS.
Barris Supply FASTRAK Late Models (20 laps): 1. DENNIS LUNGER, JR. (Schwartz 71L) 2. Brian Booher (Hoover 00H) 3. Eric Wilson (27W) 4. Josh Double (38) 5. Matt Latta (Bidwell B1D) 6. Rusty Cade (47) 7. Will Thomas III (9) 8. George Kowatic (5) 9. Bud Watson (Copeland 98) 10. Jeremy Zufall (20) 11. Russ Dunn (47) 12. Billy Henry, Jr. (McGee 21*) 13. Clay Ruffo (14R) 14. Ben Black (27B) 15. Dereck Frank (16) 16. Bob Diver (23) 17. Wendell Pinckney (11) 18. Brad Blackshear (19) 19. Michael Mitchell (19) 20. Lonnie Emerick (3)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment E-Mods (15 laps): 1. JOEL WATSON (92) 2. Evan Taylor (7) 3. Jack Young (Hamilton 67) 4. Mike Kinney (3) 5. Alan Dellinger (Petsko 00) 6. Dan Davies (71D) 7. Jeff Johnson (27) 8. Clayton Kennedy (9) 9. Dave Atkinson (Sullivan 47) 10. J.E. Stalder (17JE) 11. John Boardman (79.2) 12. Joe Gabrielson (58) 13. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 14. Jeff Hassay (10) 15. Mike Monreal (071) 16. Bob Williamson (93) 17. Steve Rex (27R) 18. Shawn Shingledecker (54s) 19. Jonathan Taylor (5) 20. Steve Dixon (Engles 68) 21. Dwayne Clay (007) 22. Ed Wilson (33) 23. Bud Watson (White 53) 24. Eric Pangrazio (14)-DNS 25. Dale Monreal (7)-DNS 26. Keith Hamilton (67K)-DNS 27. Jim Turley (117)-DNS.
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. MIKE CLARK (7) 2. Paul Davis (3) 3. Rod Laskey (Sloss 44s) 4. Shaun Hook (Janovick 65) 5. Brian Carothers (02c) 6. Tim Burns (66) 7. Jamie Scharba (00s) 8. Charlie Jasinski (5J) 9. Ron Yarab, Jr. (Burns 70B) 10. Tim Boozel (Sloss 4HS) 11. Jesse Brock (22B) 12. Bob Pollock (70X) 13. Dan McEwen (44M) 14. Walt Yourema, Jr. (*22) 15. Jamie Gibbs (98) 16. Jamie Duncan (67J) 17. Gary Robinson (44R) 18. Steve D’Apolito (84)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. JEREMY DOUBLE (83) 2. Todd Canter (Nastasi 99) 3. Steve Haefke (Skully 21) 4. Jace Ferringer (02) 5. Keith Felicetty (Mechling 98) 6. Jeff Christy (Berry 91) 7. Junior Mechling (89) 8. George Vestal IV (4) 9. Jeff Webber (25) 10. Kevin Robinson (24R) 11. Dennis Dellinger, Jr. (Turley 17) 12. Brian Lacey (51) 13. Larry Root (22x) 14. Bob Williams (8) 15. Brandon Blackshear (10) 16. Bryan Crouch (44C) 17. Derek Dellinger (119) 18. Brian Foley, Jr. (16JSR)-DNS.
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. BILL FUCHS (10) 2. Shane Smith (299) 3. Jimmy Davis (32) 4. Steve Walker II (4M) 5. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 6. Mike Hillman (29) 7. Jim Wrightsman (12J) 8. Marty Warren (93) 9. Logan Keney (15K) 10. Ray Gregory (Doyle 37) 11. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 12. Ken Koby II (11) 13. Gina Thompson (Webber 25) 14. Jake Monreal (32)-DNS 15. Christi Brugmann (Monreal 19)-DNS 16. Mitch Stokes (6M)-DNS 17. Rob McElhaney (7R)-DNS 18. Ray Kennedy (18)-DNS.
The season finale will be this Saturday, October 6 featuring the United Late Model Series for $3,000 to-win in the only appearance by the “Supers” in 2012, Open Stock Cars for $1,500 to-win, Econo Mods for $350 to-win, and Mini Stocks for $200. Qualifying for the Stocks will get underway at 6 p.m.
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.