Weller continues strong season with 3rd Big-Block Mod win; Latta ends disappointing yr. with 1st in RUSH L.M.; Taylor is 9th different Mod winnerl Wagner, Double & Creech take Stocks, Econos & Minis
By Matt Wertz & Mike Leone
June 22, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…With summer officially here, summer-like conditions were finally present with sunny and hot weather on Saturday night at Sharon Speedway. It was Joy Global Night as a season-high 109 race cars filled the pit area for the 12th straight night of racing action!
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Jim Weller, Jr.-Governor Insurance DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Matt Latta-Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Jonathan Taylor-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Bryan Wagner-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Jeremy Double-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Travis Creech-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.
Jim Weller, Jr. certainly has to be happy he made the move to Troyer Chassis in 2013. The Hubbard, Ohio veteran took the lead from his outside pole starting position, and led the entire way in the 20-lap Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature. For Weller, who continues to lead the points, it was his season’s third win.
Weller pulled away early, but at the halfway point, fourth starting Rex King Jr. started reeling the leader in. On lap 13, King was on Weller’s bumper as Weller was trying to lap Carl Murdick. A yellow on lap 14 for newcomer Tom Winkle, who slowed on the outside of turns three and four, tightened up the field. Weller maintained his lead and pulled away again as the caution seemed to slow King’s momentum. Weller took his 26th career win in the Zip Motorsports-owned, Liberty Steel Products #31 by 2.241 seconds over King.
Jeremiah Shingledecker got by Dave Murdick and Jimmy Weller III in the final five laps to get third as Weller III faded. Murdick was fourth over the elder Rex King. New York’s Ricky Richner continued his consistent runs in sixth as Eric Gabany, Weller III, Tom Glenn and Tom Mattocks completed the top 10.
After a tremendous sophomore season, Matt Latta has really struggled this season in the RUSH Late Models, but on Saturday night the Conneaut Lake, Pa. racer turned his season around for the better earning his first win anywhere on the 2013 circuit.
An invert six for the 20-lap Barris Supply feature put Latta on the pole and he immediately pulled out to a comfortable lead. Max Blair started fifth in his first appearance of the season and he quickly went up to third trailing pole-sitter Bobby Whitling. Only one caution slowed action, on lap 11 for a spin by newcomer Jeremy Zufall in turn three. After the restart, Blair pressured Whitling for second, getting the spot on lap 13. Blair then set his sights on leader Latta, and caught him on the final lap, but Latta was too strong and held off the challenge for his third career win in the Tim Latta-owned, Ball Auto & Scrap/Fame RV Center/Maloney Tool & Mold/Springs Body Auto Shop-sponsored #21.
Blair trailed by just 0.507 of a second. Whitling maintained third over another first-timer in Matt Lux, who was teammates with point leader Dennis Lunger, Jr. Defending point champion Will Thomas III was fifth. Completing the top 10 were Rocky Kugel, Eric Wilson, Lauren Longbrake, Josh Double, and Lunger.
Jonathan Taylor became the amazing ninth different winner of the season in the competitive Modified division. The Saltsburg, Pa. racer’s first career Sharon win came in the 15-lap Summit Racing Equipment Modified feature.
Alan Dellinger took the early lead from his pole starting slot following an invert six start. A yellow on lap one was displayed when Evan Taylor stopped on turn two. A pair of #10’s in Wayne Tessean and Jeff Hassay brought out the second caution on lap four as they spun in turn four.
When racing resumed, leader Dellinger spun coming out of turn four after being hit by Joel Watson, causing Steve Dixon and Clayton Kennedy to get caught up in the melee. Watson was sent to the rear for rough driving. Andy Buckley inherited the lead at that point. Another yellow on the restart on turn two involved Jeff Johnson, Dixon and Brock Moskey.
On the next restart on lap five, Jonathan Taylor powered by Buckley on the outside to take control of the lead, who had worked his way up from his 10th starting position. Buckley retired to the pits under caution on lap 11. Taylor looked his strongest all season and remained in control the rest of the distance in his S&T Bank/Lias Tire/Integra Shocks-sponsored #5. The final caution with one lap to go set up a free-for-all for second position with Dwayne Clay getting the nod in his second start of the season. Third through fifth were Joe Gabrielson, Mike Kinney, and Scott Stiffler.
After a missing a week, Bryan Wagner returned to Sharon and was certainly glad he did as he captured his second win of the season. The 25-year-old New Castle, Pa. racer’s third career win came in the 15-lap Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car feature in his Whitling Family Foods/Michael Dorr Lawn Service/Schwartzmiller Ground Maintenance/Wilson Lumber/Cizmar Racing-sponsored #56.
Wagner took the early lead from his pole starting slot of another invert six lineup. Wagner led the entire distance in a race that and was slowed only once with a lap 11 caution for two-time winner Rod Laskey, who slowed on the frontstretch while running fourth.
It was three-wide for second on the restart between Shaun Hooks, Mike Clark and Tim Burns with Clark coming out on top. Point leader Clark, who started fourth, closed in on Wagner in the closing laps, but his challenge fell just short. Carothers was strong, moving up from his ninth starting position to claim fourth, just behind pole-sitter Hooks. Burns dropped to fifth.
Jeremy Double continued his dominance of the Econo Mods picking up his fifth victory of the year tying Scott Gilliland in the Mini Stocks as the top winner at the Speedway. The Bristolville, Ohio 17-year-old’s win was in the 15-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products. A record 27 Econo Mods were on hand!
A straight-up start pole Double on pole, he led the entire way in a caution-filled feature that was nearly timed out. On the restart on lap 13, Double and Ryan Fraley were side-by-side for the lead with Double holding on and going on for the win by just 0.513 of a second in his Cortland Auto Repair/Wedge Motorsports/Thomas Heating & Cooling/King Bros./Russ King Racing-sponsored #83. Third through fifth were Jace Ferringer, rookie Ty Rhoades and Casey Bowers.
Rookie Travis Creech is having a year any veteran would certainly enjoy. The 25-year-old Niles, Ohio driver’s fourth win of the season came in the 12-lap Deforest Used Parts feature. Gilliland took the early lead from the straight-up start. Creech, who started sixth, wasted no time going to the front, getting the lead on lap four. One caution flew on lap eight, as defending champion Jim Haefke, Jr. slowed on the back stretch. Creech remained in command on the restart and went on for the win in his May’s Towing/Elite Coleman Sales-sponsored #75T to the win. Ray Gregory and Gilliland waged a lively battle for second with Gregory winning out. Jim Clay, Jr. was fourth over Steve Walker II.
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. JIM WELLER, JR. (31) 2. Rex King, Jr. (165) 3. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 4. Dave Murdick (61) 5. Rex King (65) 6. Ricky Richner (26) 7. Eric Gabany (3E) 8. Jimmy Weller III (23) 9. Tom Glenn (83T) 10. Tom Mattocks (69) 11. Bob Warren (96B) 12. Rob Kristyak (00) 13. Carl Murdick (6) 14. Don Brown (71B) 15. Tom Winkle (28) 16. Kevin Green (74) 17. Rick Regalski (13)-DNS 18. Tom Marshall III (Hinkle 77)-DNS 19. Rick Ryder (Snider 189)-DNS.
Barris Supply RUSH Late Models (20 laps): 1. MATT LATTA (21) 2. Max Blair (111) 3. Bobby Whitling (7W) 4. Matt Lux (Schwartz 71) 5. Will Thomas III (9) 6. Rocky Kugel (21KRT) 7. Eric Wilson (27) 8. Lauren Longbrake (27) 9. Josh Double (38) 10. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 11. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 12. Jeremy Zufall (20) 13. Clay Ruffo (14R) 14. Brian Booher (Hoover 00H) 15. Lon Emerick (3) 16. Bobby Pifer III (6P)-DNS 17. Ben Black (27B)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment (E) Modifieds (15 laps): 1. JONATHAN TAYLOR (5) 2. Dwayne Clay (007) 3. Joe Gabrielson (58) 4. Mike Kinney (3) 5. Scott Stiffler (14) 6. Steve Dixon (Engles 68) 7. Alan Dellinger (White 53) 8. Wayne Tessean (10) 9. Joel Watson (92) 10. Jeff Hassay (10) 11. Trevor Herr (33) 12. Amanda Stiffler (14A) 13. Andy Buckley (965) 14. Evan Taylor (7) 15. Jeff Johnson (27) 16. Clayton Kennedy (9) 17. Brock Moskey (3M) 18. Rocky Kugel (Beck 357) 19. Gary Sullivan (47s).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. BRYAN WAGNER (56) 2. Mike Clark (7) 3. Shaun Hooks (Fornataro USA1) 4. Brian Carothers (02c) 5. Tim Burns (66) 6. Jeff Buccella (Davis 915) 7. Jamie Scharba (00S) 8. Tim Boozel (Sloss 4HS) 9. Mark Hopkins (69H) 10. Jamie Gibbs (98) 11. Paul Davis (3) 12. Rod Laskey (1R) 13. Mike Kerr (25K) 14. Bob Sloss (44s) 15. Jesse Brock (22B) 16. Brent Coleman (01)-DNS 17. T. Emery (17)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. JEREMY DOUBLE (83) 2. Ryan Fraley (12) 3. Jace Ferringer (02) 4. Ty Rhoades (12R) 5. Casey Bowers (20) 6. Mike Hillman (29) 7. Larry Root (22X) 8. Jason Stanke (44) 9. Brian Foley, Jr. (16JSR) 10. Keith Felicetty (98) 11. George Vestal IV (4) 12. Jacob Eucker (64) 13. Alan Atkinson (30Too) 14. Josh Ferry (33) 15. Derek Dellinger (19) 16. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 17. Gina Thompson (25) 18. Jason Longwell (7S) 19. Brian Hathaway (93) 20. Jeff Mundell (11) 21. Bob Williams (8) 22. Steve Samuelson (80JR) 23. Ron Westover (13) 24. Kevin Robinson (24R). DNQ: Gene Crouch (44), Adam Babcock (67), Junior Mechling (89).
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. TRAVIS CREECH (75T) 2. Ray Gregory (82R) 3. Scott Gilliland (27) 4. Jim Clay, Jr. (84J) 5. Steve Walker II (4M) 6. Pat Drennan (24) 7. Geof Pinch (36) 8. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 9. Greg Schmied (97) 10. Bill Fuchs (10)-DNS.
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 for $350 to-win and the Mini Stocks for $200 to-win. Qualifying for the Sprints will get underway at 6:30 p.m. Then on Saturday (June 29) is another “Steel Valley Thunder” six-division program.
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.