Shingledecker wins 1st in Big-Block Mods; Thomas & Davis remain hot in RUSH LM & Stocks; #3 for Watson in Mods; Eucker & Gilliland keep on winning in Econos & Minis
By Mike Leone
September 7, 2013
(Hartford, OH)…After a week off, Sharon Speedway has hit the final stretch run of the 2013 season as the month of September kicked off on Saturday night. Mother Nature toyed with the Speedway with sprinkles and light showers throughout the evening, but the program was able to be completed with only a brief delay. A season high 113 cars filled the pit area.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane on Warehouse Sales Night were Jeremiah Shingledecker-Governor Insurance DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Will Thomas III-Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Joel Watson-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Paul Davis-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Jacob Eucker-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Scott Gilliland-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. A pair of bikes was given away to two lucky children thanks to King Bros. and Sharon Speedway.
Jeremiah Shingledecker has only competed at Sharon on a part-time basis this season in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Shingledecker had previously recorded a trio of runner-ups and a pair of third place finishes this year, but just hadn’t been able to crack victory lane. That changed on Saturday night when Shingledecker powered to victory holding off point leader Jim Weller, Jr. in the 20-lap Governor Insurance Agency feature.
“Where are all of those cautions when I’m starting in the back,” joked the 36-year-old Polk, Pa. racer. “The car hooked up really good. We’ve been trying some different stuff. We want to go down to Charlotte (World Finals) this year and I thought in order to do that we need to get faster than what we’ve been this year. It seems to be working. I almost took the high side, but I hadn’t been challenged so I thought ‘I better stay down here’. I have to thank the whole crew. My wife is in Indonesia this week so it’s just Rick and Chanda. She’s going to be pretty bummed she wasn’t here, but she’s on an airplane on the way home.”
Rob Kristyak took off in the lead, while Shingledecker went from his fifth starting spot into second place after one lap! Several cautions slowed the event in the first three laps. Weller started seventh, but was on the move passing Tom Mattocks for third on a lap four restart with Dave Murdick following in fourth. After a multi-car accident with five laps scored, Weller drove under Kristyak for second in turn four.
While Shingledecker continued to lead and Weller was trying to track down the leader, the battle was on for third with Kristyak trying to fend off Murdick and Kevin Hoffman at the halfway point. Murdick was able to get by Kristyak for third on lap 14 and then one lap later Kristyak got too high in turn three and smacked the fence ending his run and necessitating the event’s final caution.
Weller had one more shot at Shingledecker, but Shingledecker was too strong in his Car*Mate Trailers/Bilstein Shocks #37MD Bicknell taking the win by 1.316 seconds over Weller. The victory was just the second of Shingledecker’s career at Sharon with his other triumph coming on June 16, 2012. Murdick was third. Rex King, Jr. passed Hoffman on lap 16 to finish fourth, but now trails Weller by 48 points. Ricky Richner got by Hoffman on lap 18 to finish fifth for his seventh top five of the season for the New York racer, who is calling Sharon his Saturday night home for the first time in his career.
Hoffman dropped to sixth. Carl Murdick, Kevin Green, Tommy Marshall III and Rusty Johns all had their season best efforts in seventh through tenth. Randy Chrysler, King, and Weller captured the heat races over the 23-car field, which was the highest for any regular show this season.
Ever since the month of August hit, Will Thomas III has been on fire in the RUSH Late Models. The defending champion won his second straight 20-lap Barris Supply feature and third in the past five weeks holding off point leader Dennis Lunger, Jr. With his ninth career victory, Thomas becomes the division’s all-time winner!
“Dennis has had a really good year and has been consistent,” acknowledged the 37-year-old Sharpsville, Pa. winner. “We missed opening night then we missed show-up points when I got hurt. We like racing at Sharon Speedway. It’s a great facility and has a great surface. For us to run last tonight and have the surface we did, I think it says a lot about the facility. We need to win one of these Tour races at our home track so we’re going to try our best next week.”
The 27’s of Ben Black and Eric Wilson battled hard the first three laps with Black continuing to lead until a caution. Wilson was docked two spots for not allowing Black to set the pace and start the race, which moved sixth starting Thomas to second and Lunger to third. Back under green flag conditions, Thomas made the winning move on the bottom of turn four.
Black didn’t back down as he stayed with Thomas running the outside on lap five; Thomas though had enough to continue to lead. Lunger would get by Black with an inside move in turn two on lap seven with Wilson making the identical move one lap later for third. The event’s final caution was displayed with 12 laps scored for a slowing Rocky Kugel.
When green replaced yellow for the final eight-lap run to the finish, Thomas chose the bottom for the restart and Lunger kept pace running the top. Lunger just couldn’t make the pass stick as Thomas was too strong taking the checkered flag by 1.379 seconds for his season’s fifth win in his Colonial Metal Products/Barris Supply/All Star Motorstate/Sweet Mfg. Quarter Master/King Sanitary-sponsored #9.
Wilson’s third place allowed him to maintain his “Futures Cup” point lead in the region. Josh Double came from seventh to place fourth. Black’s fifth place matched his best finish of the season from opening night back on April 6. Jeremy Adamik was sixth in his season debut over Jamie Wrightsman. Wendell Pinckney was eighth his first start of the season ahead of Dave Shagla, Jr., who made his first ever visit. Lon Emerick completed the top 10. Heat winners were Kugel and Double.
Joel Watson wasn’t even planning on being at Sharon on Saturday night, but after the UEMS event was rained out at Eriez Speedway, Watson towed south to Sharon and made it in time for his heat race. Watson came from the back of his heat to third then charged from the ninth starting spot in the feature to garner his season’s third victory of the season in the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds.
“It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve won here,” stated the 34-year-old Conneaut, Ohio winner. “We’ve been a little off our game here and haven’t been able to figure it out, but I think we found our hot rod. I think we nailed it right at the right now with $2,000 to-win next week. I have to thank all of my guys for working on the car, my wife for coming to the track tonight, and all of my sponsors for making this all possible.”
The event was plagued by cautions as four of them slowed action in the first lap. Jeff Johnson led the opening lap with Watson up fifth. Under caution, last event’s winner Joe Gabrielson exited with a flat tire. When racing resumed, Watson passed both Dwayne Clay and point leader Mike Kinney for second. Watson then made the winning move one lap later getting by Johnson to lead lap three. Kinney followed past Johnson in second on lap four.
Watson survived several restarts with his good friend and point leader Kinney alongside to capture his 14th career win, but first since winning back-to-back events on May 4 and May 11 in his Northwest Restoration/Zimmer’s Service Center/Racecar Fabrication/955 Automotive/Evergreen Lake Park/Hoosier Tire-sponsored #92. Kinney came up 1.103 seconds behind, but extended his point lead to 57 over Gabrielson.
Johnson and Clay finished third and fourth. Bruce Powell had a solid run in fifth after starting 10th for his season’s best finish. Completing the top 10 were Alan Dellinger, Brian Douglas, newcomer Ron Seeley, Gabrielson, and Jeff Hassay. Heat victors were Johnson, Dellinger, and Kinney over the 24-car field.
Paul Davis started the season off strong winning two of the first four Stock Car features then hit a mid-season slump with only a fifth place finish to show over the course of the next eight events. Davis is now finishing the year off how he started as he won his second straight Gibson Insurance Agency feature and 11th of his career on Saturday night.
“When Brian gave me the outside I was pretty confident I could get him going down into (turn) one,” explained the 53-year-old Fowler, Ohio driver. “I was working the outside and was coming. When that lapped car spun out, I thought ‘ok as long as he takes the inside I’ll be good’. The track is in really good shape. I really like it how it is now. I can work the top or bottom. The old man is having fun, and old guys rule!”
Brian Carothers took off in the lead over Bob McCann and Jamie Duncan. Davis started in sixth and was up to third after two laps when got by Duncan as point leader Clark followed in fourth. The battle was hot and heavy for positions two through five. Clark passed Davis for third on lap three. Then on lap five, it was three-wide for runner-up with Davis moving to second and Clark also getting by McCann.
The top three of Carothers, Davis, and Clark pulled away from the pack as the laps ticked off caution-free. The event’s first and only caution was displayed for a spin by Jason Stanke with 13 laps recorded. This set up a two-lap shootout to the finish. Davis went to the outside and made the winning pass off turn four with the white flag waving.
Davis pulled away on the final lap to win by 0.402 of a second in his Advance Auto Parts/Hover Racing/Don Williams Excavating/GSM Enterprises/Tub’s Automotive-sponsored #3. McCann was able to pass Clark on the final restart to finish third. Clark was fourth as he nears his first ever track championship. Gary Robinson was fifth after starting 14th. Heat victories went to Clark and Davis.
Jacob Eucker was declared the winner of the Econo Mod feature after the 30-minute time limit expired for the first time this season. It was the 12-year-old phenom’s fifth victory of the season as he came out on top over point leader and seven-time winner Jeremy Double in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature. “The track was real good,” said the Hartford, Ohio pre-teen. “The bottom was good, but I was able to pass (Jace) Ferringer and Junior (Mechling) on the top. Double is fast and smooth and he will race you clean.”
Eucker started fifth, but quickly had the lead on lap two from Junior Mechling. Sixth starting Jason Longwell made his way to second on lap three when he got by Mechling and Jace Ferringer. Double started back in 10th and was fourth after two laps, passed Ferringer for third on lap three then got by Longwell for runner-up on lap four.
A series of five cautions slowed action between laps five and nine and would end the event due to the time limit. The victory came 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/Lee’s Excavating-sponsored #64.
Double was second and has a 21-point lead over Eucker. Tim Deutsch passed Longwell on lap eight to finish third. Longwell dropped to fourth over Rusty Wheeler. Deutsch, Jamie Scharba, and Wheeler were heat race winners over the 25-car field.
Point leader Scott Gilliland led wire-to-wire in the 12-lap non-stop Deforest Used Parts Mini Stock feature. Gilliland’s seventh win of the season matched Double’s win total for tops at the Speedway in 2013. “We needed this one,” exclaimed the 46-year-old Warren, Ohio driver. “Travis (Creech) has been kicking our butt the last few weeks. We had an unfortunate incident and the car was wrecked over there (turn three). I have to thank my dad and William. They threw this car back together. Last week we were terrible. We had an electrical problem and had a busted strut in the front, but we put it all back together and she ran good tonight! May the best man win. I just hope it comes down to clean racing and no equipment failures.”
Gilliland started second and had the lead from Steve Walker II on lap one. Bill Fuchs started fifth and worked his way to second past Walker on lap four. Fuchs was a half-straightaway behind Gilliland when he made his way to second. Fuchs closed slightly in the final laps, but it wasn’t enough as Gilliland recorded his 11th career win in his Lawn Wizard/NRC Management/VP&R/Inventive Sign & Design-sponsored #27. Travis Creech was third after starting seventh as Tim McAninch and Walker rounded out the top five. Heat winners were newcomer Alex Siekkinen and Christi Brugmann.
Governor Insurance Agency DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. JEREMIAH SHINGLEDECKER (37MD) 2. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 3. Dave Murdick (61) 4. Rex King, Jr. (165) 5. Ricky Richner (26) 6. Kevin Hoffman (17H) 7. Carl Murdick (6) 8. Kevin Green (74) 9. Tommy Marshall III (Hinkle 77) 10. Rusty Johns (03) 11. Don Brown (71B) 12. Rob Kristyak (00) 13. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13) 14. Tom Mattocks (69) 15. Ken Moy, Jr. (34) 16. Ralph McBride (R13) 17. Rick Ryder (Snider 189) 18. Randy Chrysler (21K) 19. Bob Warren (96B) 20. Rodney Beltz (64) 21. Tom Glenn (83T) 22. Erik Martin (29E) 23. Troy Senchak (00).
Barris Supply RUSH Late Models (20 laps): 1. WILL THOMAS III (9) 2. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 3. Eric Wilson (27W) 4. Josh Double (38) 5. Ben Black (27B) 6. Jeremy Adamik (7J) 7. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 8. Wendell Pickney (11) 9. Dave Shagla, Jr. (6) 10. Lon Emerick (3) 11. Russ Byler (Hoover 00H) 12. Rocky Kugel (21KRT).
Summit Racing Equipment (E) Modifieds (15 laps): 1. JOEL WATSON (92) 2. Mike Kinney (3) 3. Jeff Johnson (27) 4. Dwayne Clay (007) 5. Bruce Powell (35) 6. Alan Dellinger (White 53) 7. Brian Douglas (214) 8. Ron Seeley (82s) 9. Joe Gabrielson (58) 10. Jeff Hassay (10) 11. Shawn Shingledecker (54s) 12. Steve Rex (27R) 13. Bob Williamson (93) 14. Chuck Recker, Jr. (17R) 15. Mike Monreal (71M) 16. Wayne Brugmann (79) 17. Arlan Coy (56) 18. Bud Watson (2BW) 19. Trevor Herr (32) 20. Bret McCarthy (Robinson 34R) 21. Andy Buckley (965) 22. Rocky Kugel (Beck 357) 23. Gary Sullivan (47s) 24. Bill Yohe (13).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. PAUL DAVIS (3) 2. Brian Carothers (02c) 3. Bob McCann (Fornataro USA 1) 4. Mike Clark (7) 5. Gary Robinson (44R) 6. Jeff Broniszewski (08) 7. Brent Coleman (01) 8. Ron Yarab, Jr. (Burns 70B) 9. Jason Stanke (44) 10. Brian Mulichak (36D) 11. Ron Kennedy (43) 12. Jamie Duncan (67J) 13. Randy Miller (46M) 14. Mike Lesky (5L) 15. Charlie Jasinski (5J)-DNS 16. Jamie Scharba (Kerr 25K)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (9 of 15 laps): 1. JACOB EUCKER (64) 2. Jeremy Double (83) 3. Tim Deutsch (8) 4. Jason Longwell (7s) 5. Rusty Wheeler (Woodworth 6) 6. Jace Ferringer (02) 7. Jamie Scharba (Petsko 00s) 8. Ty Rhoades (12R) 9. Steve Haefke (41) 10. Alan Atkinson (30Too) 11. Steve Burns, Jr. (70B) 12. Jodi Woodworth, Jr. (07) 13. Brian Foley, Jr. (16JSR) 14. George Vestal IV (4) 15. Derek Dellinger (19) 16. Adam Babcock (67) 17. Junior Mechling (89) 18. Pat Adams (39) 19. Keith Felicetty (98) 20. Josh Ferry (33) 21. Jason Stanke (44) 22. Brian Hathaway (93) 23. Kevin Robinson (24R) 24. Ryan Fraley (12)-DSQ (unsportsmanlike conduct) 25. Larry Root (22x)-DNS.
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. SCOTT GILLILAND (27) 2. Bill Fuchs (10) 3. Travis Creech (75T) 4. Tim McAninch (43) 5. Steve Walker II (4M) 6. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 7. Jimmy Davis (Coryea 32) 8. Christi Brugmann (19) 9. Geof Pinch (36) 10. Jamie Maxwell (6M) 11. Alex Siekkinen (Wheeler 44) 12. Jake Monreal (32M)-DNS 13. Pat Drennan (24)-DNS.
Racing will return for the two-day “Apple Festival Nationals” on Friday and Saturday, September 13-14 featuring all weekly divisions. Qualifying and heat races will be held on Friday with the feature events for the BRP Modified Tour ($2,000 to-win), Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series ($2,000 to-win), UEMS Modifieds ($2,000 to-win), Open Stock Cars ($1,500 to-win), Econo Mods ($500 to-win), and Mini Stocks ($300 to-win) on Saturday night. Race time is 7 p.m. both nights. There will be live entertainment and a bonfire after each night. Free camping is permitted beginning on Thursday.
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.