King & lunger fly to 3rd Big-Block Mod & RUSH L.M. wins; #2 for Kinney in Mods; Laskey repeats in Stocks; 12 y.o. Eucker steaks 3rd Econo Mod win; Creech again in Minis
By Mike Leone
June 15, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…After a beautiful start, clouds increased by Saturday evening and showers rolled in from the west, but only sprinkles fell at Sharon Speedway allowing for the 11th straight racing program to be completed. Varis Vein Institute with locations in Howland and Brookfield, Ohio was the night’s presenting sponsor. It was also Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night. Sharon celebrated Father’s Day as all fathers were admitted for just $7. 102 race cars filled the pit area.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Rex King.-Governor Insurance DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Dennis Lunger, Jr.-Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Mike Kinney-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Rod Laskey-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Jacob Eucker-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Travis Creech-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. A pair of bikes were given away to two lucky children thanks to King Bros. and Sharon Speedway.
In what looked like nearly a carbon copy of one week ago, Rex King held off a hard charging Jeremiah Shingledecker for the second straight week to capture his third DIRTcar Big-Block Modified win of the season in the 20-lap Governor Insurance Agency feature. “I had Johnny and Ken on the backstretch having a fit telling me to go low,” explained the veteran Bristolville, Ohio standout. “I figured I better go low and it worked out. I have to thank all of my sponsors, everyone at Sharon Speedway, and the fans- they’re great.”
It was a mad scramble on the opening lap with everyone trying to make an early move for track position. Tom Glenn took command at the start with fifth starting Ricky Richner finding his way past several competitors for second. King, who started sixth and was still sixth after lap one, made a hard charge to pass Eric Gabany, Shingledecker, and Bob Warren for third on lap two.
Lap three saw Richner power into the lead with King following as they dropped Glenn back to third. One lap later, Shingledecker made the pass for third. King wasted little time charging by Richner on lap four for the lead. Shingledecker then went at it with Richner. The duo raced side-by-side for three laps until Shingledecker slid under and past the New Yorker in turn two on lap seven
King had opened up a half-straightaway lead by the time Shingledecker got to second. A pair of cautions slowed action with eight and nine laps completed. In between, Rex King, Jr. and Jim Weller, Jr. were able to advance to fourth and fifth respectively past Gabany.
The last 11 laps went green-to-checkered. After King got away on the start, Shingledecker reeled the leader in on lap 13 and was right on King’s bumper on lap 15. Like one week ago, Shingledecker tried every move possible, but he had to settle for second. King’s margin of victory was 1.616 seconds for his 45th career win in the KMB Inc.-owned, GS Engine Power/Midway Garage Door/University Hospital-sponsored #65.
Shingledecker has now finished second or third in each of his last three starts. Richner’s third was his best of the season. King, Jr. and Weller traded fourth and fifth back and forth several times with King, Jr. winning out. Sixth through 10th were Gabany, Dave Murdick, Glenn, Jimmy Weller III and Rob Kristyak. Murdick and Weller, Jr. won the heat races.
After ending 2012 in victory lane and starting 2013 off with a bang winning two of the first three features, Dennis Lunger, Jr. hit somewhat of a slump, but Lunger was back at it Saturday night and returned to glory for his third 20-lap Barris Supply RUSH Late Model win.
“This is the other car that I won with early in the year and we haven’t raced it since,” revealed the 45-year-old Albion, Pa. driver. “We blew the other one up last week as I’m sure most people saw. We thought we’d give this one a shot and this one is good! I think I’m going to stay with this one for awhile. I was hoping for a couple wins here this year, but this is three now so I’m hoping for six and pass Will (Thomas). He’s a good buddy of mine and I just saw he took over second on the all-time win list here. My goal is to pass him so us two old guys can sit down there and joke about it.”
After a strong sophomore season, Matt Latta has really struggled to date this season. Following a sixth place effort Friday night in the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Touring Series event at McKean County Raceway, Latta bolted to the early lead. Latta set the pace for the first five circuits before a caution for a spin by Brian Booher after contact from Clay Ruffo.
Lunger started third and passed Josh Double on lap one for second. The caution was just what Lunger needed as on the ensuing restart, Lunger took command. Lunger would survive two more cautions as he took the checkered flag first by 1.902 seconds in the Schwartz Construction-owned, Schwartz Trucking/Choices Restaurant/English Tire/State Farm Insurance Chris Brecht-sponsored #71L. Lunger now has a commanding 49-point lead over defending champion Will Thomas III.
Latta’s second was clearly his best finish of the season as his prior best was a pair of fifth place finishes. The third position saw four different racers in Double, Rocky Kugel, Eric Wilson, and Thomas at one point lay claim to the spot, but in the end it was “Futures Cup” teenager Wilson getting the nod over Thomas, Double, and Kugel. Seventh through 10th were Jamie Wrightsman, Ruffo, Mike Anderson, and Booher. Heats were captured by Lunger and Thomas.
Mike Kinney has never been a big winner in the Modified division throughout the circuit, but Kinney could certainly be considered one of the most consistent racers that’s always near the front when the checkered flag waves. Kinney would like to change that and become more of a winner on a consistent basis and he’s well on his way. Kinney won last Saturday for his first win of the season, finished fourth in Wednesday’s UEMS event, and did it again on Saturday night winning the 15-lap Summit Racing Equipment feature.
“I want to thank Dave (Willoughby) and the crew here at Sharon,” expressed the 39-year-old Ashtabula, Ohio racer. “This is one the greatest tracks I’ve raced on. It’s always smooth. Thank God we always beat the weather so that’s great. My crew and I worked real hard the last couple days to make sure we got here and everything was right. They make this all happen and I can’t thank those guys enough.”
Jeff Hassay used his pole position start to take the early lead over newcomer Jackson Humanic. A five-car accident on lap two took out the third place car of Dwayne Clay. When racing resumed, seventh starting Jeff Johnson and sixth starting Kinney both disposed of Humanic for second and third respectively. Kinney drove under and past Johnson in turn four on lap four for second.
A caution for a spin by Bob Diver bunched up the field with three laps scored. On the ensuing restart, Kinney powered around Hassay in turns one and two for the lead. It was a lead that Kinney would never relinquish as the final 12 laps went non-stop. Kinney’s Racecar Fabricating/TJ Racing Transmission/Close Racing Supply/Arp’s Automotive/Flinbiu Graphics/Hoosier Tire-sponsored #3 won by 2.910 seconds over Johnson for his fourth career win.
Johnson, who finished second, trails by Kinney by 16 in the standings. Hassay’s third improved on his prior best finish of fifth back on opening night. Joe Gabrielson, who started eighth, passed Humanic on lap five to finish fourth. Rocky Kugel had a great run in fifth after starting 14th in just his second start in Randy Beck’s #357. Sixth through 10th were Humanic, Alan Dellinger, Mike Monreal, Ed Wilson, and Trevor Herr. Heat winners were Gabrielson and Johnson.
After competing for the Stock Car Championship last year for Bob Sloss, Rod Laskey has only made four starts this season- one for Sloss and three in his own car. Laskey though has made them count as he won his second of the season on Saturday night in the 15-lap Gibson Insurance to go along with a runner-up and a fourth place finish.
“The car wasn’t right in the heat race,” acknowledged the 37-year-old Oil City, Pa. driver. “It kept laying down in the middle of the turn. We tried to adjust the floats after the heat race. It’s better, but it’s still not right. It has a lot more in it. This is a 358 motor on pump gas. It has 10:1 compression. I’m trying to get away from the high dollar fuel. I love this place and this is the surface I love. I have to thank my mom and dad. It’s Father’s Day Weekend and this one is for dad.”
After two multi-car melees without a lap being scored, action settled down and 12 laps were run caution-free. Laskey moved to the front row after Jamie Scharba and Ron Yarab, Jr. were in involved in the second tangle. Laskey took charge immediately and only the caution with two laps to go slowed his dominating performance over Brian Carothers.
Laskey still pulled away in the two-lap shootout to win by 1.490 seconds Randy’s Auto Sales/Anderson Physical Therapy/The Works/Les Frickshun #1R. Carothers struggled after the caution as defending champion Tim Burns, 10th starting Bob McCann, and point leader Mike Clark all got by to finish second through fourth respectively. Carothers faded to fifth. Clark and Burns copped the heat races over the regular season high of 18 cars.
Twelve-year-old Jacob Eucker out-dueled teenager Jeremy Double to win a caution-filled 15-lap Econo Mod feature. The two youngsters went at it as they have several times this year with Eucker getting by on a late restart to capture his third HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature! “I know Jeremy likes the bottom and I just tried to hold him off described,” the Hartford, Ohio winner. “The cautions really didn’t bother me. I’d like to thank all of my sponsors.
Eucker charged ahead of Kevin Robinson on the start for the early lead. Eucker held the top spot for the first five laps before sixth starting Double went under and past Eucker in turn four for the lead on the sixth circuit. Numerous cautions slowed action between laps seven through 13. Double continued to keep Eucker at bay until lap 12 when Eucker retook the lead.
The two went at it over the final laps, but Eucker had just enough to hold on over Double by just 0.134 of a second in the Matt Eucker-owned, Tom’s Sewer & Drain/Ohio Commerce Center/Dr. John Eucker/Damon Race Engines/Altitude Adjustment/Danski Dyno & Performance/Close Racing Supply-sponsored #64. Jace Ferringer was a season best third. Jodi Woodworth, Sr. came from 11th to place third for his best finish as well. Rookie Ty Rhoades continues to be consistent finishing fifth for his fifth straight top five! Heat winners were Burns, point leader Ryan Fraley, and Rhoades.
Rookie Travis Creech came out on top of a wild Mini Stock feature for his third win of the year in the 12-lap Deforest Used Parts main. “I didn’t know what was going on behind me,” expressed the 25-yeard-old Niles, Ohio resident. “The car stated missing after lap three. I figured the 77-car was going to get me because I was done, but then it cleared up and started running again. I just tried to hold down the outside. Once it gets on the outside it’s hard to beat.”
Creech started fifth and was up to third after one lap. Creech passed Steve Walker II for runner-up on lap two then went after leader Dylan Goodman. The newcomer Goodman led the first four laps until Creech made the winning pass on a restart on lap five. Creech went unchallenged in his May’s Towing/Elite Coleman Sales-sponsored #75T to the win.
Tim McAninch inherited second on lap seven when Scott Gilliland got into Goodman. McAninch held down the second spot to the finish for his best finish. Point leader Gilliland came from the tail to finish third over newcomer Dale Fraschetti and 12th starting Jim Haefke, Jr. Bill Fuchs got upside down, but he was okay. Heat wins were collected by Gilliland and McAninch over the season-high 17-car field.
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. REX KING (65) 2. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 3. Ricky Richner (26) 4. Rex King, Jr. (165) 5. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 6. Eric Gabany (3E) 7. Dave Murdick (61) 8. Tom Glenn (83T) 9. Jimmy Weller III (23) 10. Rob Kristyak (00) 11. Carl Murdick (6) 12. Don Brown (71B) 13. Rusty Johns (03) 14. Bob Warren (96B) 15. Dave Reges (27R) 16. Rick Ryder (Snider 189) 17. Brian Bailes (11B)-DNS.
Barris Supply RUSH Late Models (20 laps): 1. DENNIS LUNGER, JR. (Schwartz 71L) 2. Matt Latta (21) 3. Eric Wilson (27W) 4. Will Thomas III (9) 5. Josh Double (38) 6. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 7. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 8. Clay Ruffo (14R) 9. Mike Anderson (72) 10. Brian Booher (Hoover 00H) 11. Ben Black (27B).
Summit Racing Equipment (E) Modifieds (15 laps): 1. MIKE KINNEY (3) 2. Jeff Johnson (27) 3. Jeff Hassay (10) 4. Joe Gabrielson (58) 5. Rocky Kugel (Beck 357) 6. Jackson Humanic (17) 7. Alan Dellinger (White 53) 8. Mike Monreal (71M) 9. Ed Wilson (33) 10. Trevor Herr (32) 11. Bob Williamson (93) 12. Wayne Brugmann (79) 13. Bob Diver (23) 14. Brock Moskey (3M) 15. Dwayne Clay.
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. ROD LASKEY (1R) 2. Tim Burns (66) 3. Bob McCann (Fornataro USA1) 4. Mike Clark (7) 5. Brian Carothers (02c) 6. Paul Davis (3) 7. Jeff Buccella (Davis 915) 8. Jamie Scharba (00s) 9. Charlie Jasinski (5J) 10. Bob Sloss (44s) 11. Jason Stanke (44) 12. Brent Coleman (01) 13. Ron Yarab, Jr. (Burns 70B) 14. Bruce Redman (27) 15. Tony Bruno (97) 16. Jamie Duncan (67J) 17. Bob Pollock (70X) 18. Jesse Brock (22B).
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. JACOB EUCKER (64) 2. Jeremy Double (83) 3. Jace Ferringer (02) 4. Jodi Woodworth, Sr. (6) 5. Ty Rhoades (12R) 6. Tony Hyde (12) 7. Ryan Fraley (12) 8. Casey Bowers (20) 9. Kevin Robinson (24R) 10. Alan Atkinson (30Too) 11. Larry Root (22x) 12. Junior Mechling (89) 13. Jason Stanke (44) 14. Steve Samuelson (80JR) 15. Adam Babcock (67) 16. Keith Felicetty (98) 17. George Vestal IV (4) 18. Jodi Woodworth, Jr. (07) 19. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 20. Gina Thompson (Webber 25) 21. Mike Hillman (29) 22. Derek Dellinger (19) 23. Kevin Sergeff (17s) 24. Brian Hathaway (93)-DNS.
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. TRAVIS CREECH (75T) 2. Tim McAninch (43) 3. Scott Gilliland (27) 4. Dale Fraschetti (23) 5. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 6. Ray Gregory (82R) 7. Jim Clay, Jr. (84J) 8. Jake Monreal (32M) 9. Patrick Drennan (24) 10. Logan Keney (17L) 11. Dylan Goodman (77) 12. Steve Walker II (4M) 13. Christi Brugmann (19) 14. Bill Fuchs (10) 15. Brian Shay (3J) 16. Jeff Little (42) 17. Cale Sousa (10).
It’ll be a busy stretch for Sharon Speedway as on Wednesday there will be an open practice from 4:30 p.m. to dark. Next Saturday, June 22 is another “Steel Valley Thunder” program featuring the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, RUSH Late Models, Modifieds, Stock Cars, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m. Then coming up on Tuesday, June 25 is Ohio Sprint Speedweek for the All Stars with $5,000 on the line along with the Econo Mods and Mini Stocks.
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.