Sharon hoping for improving weather Saturday for another installment of “Steel Valley Thunder”
By Mike Leone
April 30, 2014
(Hartford, OH)…As the calendar flips to May, Sharon Speedway is hoping for improving weather conditions this Saturday (May 3) for the third installment of “Steel Valley Thunder”. Very chilly weather has been present for the first two weeks and daily rain has dominated the weather leading up to this Saturday’s program of Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.
The DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds have had two winners, but for the second straight year it’s been one family winning the first two events as Rex King, Sr. and Rex, Jr. have dominated the headlines. Jr. has a one-point lead in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply standings heading into Saturday. Defending champion, Jim Weller, Jr., is only six points out of the top spot, while Jim Rasey and Jimmy Weller III completed the top five. Weller III competed in his first NASCAR Nationwide event last Friday night before returning home to Sharon to compete.
After coming up just shy the week prior, Dennis Lunger, Jr. returned to victory lane in the RUSH Late Models. The defending Barris Supply champion is tied with 2012 champion Will Thomas III, who is looking for his season’s first win. Will recently lost his father Bill, who owned and sponsored race cars for years for the likes of Ralph Quarterson and Lou Blaney. Opening night winner, Alan Dellinger, is third in points over “Futures RUSH Cup” racers Clay Ruffo and Russ Byler- the new driver of Terry Hoover’s #00H.
It’s no surprise Joel Watson is leading the Modified points. The Conneaut, Ohio driver is a perfect two-for-two in Summit Racing Equipment feature wins and has a heat win and a runner-up as he’s just one-point shy of a perfect score after two weeks. Steve Dixon, who is planning on primarily being a Sharon regular for the first time, is nine points back. Scott Stiffler is 20 points behind in third, but leads Carl McKinney and 13-year-old Jacob Eucker by just two points and has just a four-point advantage on defending champion Mike Kinney.
Paul Davis and Mike Clark have alternated wins and runner-up finishes after two weeks in the Stock Cars, but it’s Davis with the early two-point advantage in the Gibson Insurance Agency standings. Clark looks strong early on in his attempt to repeat his championship. Bryan Carothers, Jamie Duncan, and Bryan Wagner are third through fifth in points- 13, 14, and 15 points back respectively.
The Econo Mod car count quickly rose from 12 on opening night to 20 last Saturday night. Opening night winner and defending champion, Jeremy Double, has jumped out to a 15-point lead over surprising Brian Foley, Jr., who has been much improved this season. Just four points separate positions two through five in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings. George Vestal IV currently holds down the third spot, while Ty Rhoades and Jason Longwell are tied for fourth.
Of the six divisions, only Travis Creech has a perfect point score after two weeks thanks to two feature wins and two companion heat race victories in the Mini Stocks. The Niles, Ohio defending champion has a seven-point lead on 2011 champion Bill Fuchs, who will look to add to his all-time division-leading 22 wins on Saturday night. Jamie Maxwell, Tim McAninch, and Scott Gilliland are three through five respectively in the Deforest Used Parts standings.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will again award six complimentary pit passes for the following week; a pair going to the hard luck driver in DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, a pair to a lucky driver in the division that competes first, and a pair to a lucky fan. Summit Racing Equipment will award $25 gift cards to the hard charger in the Modified, Stock Car, and Econo Mod divisions. Sweeney Chevrolet/Pace Performance will award $50, $25, and $25 certificates to the top three GM 602 crates in the Econo Mods that have been purchased through them or have secondary seals.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:20 followed by warm-ups for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and are over is $13, while children under 14 are always free. Pit passes are $30.
Don’t forget coming up in two weeks on Saturday, May 18 is Fan Appreciation Night with FREE general admission!
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 @SharonSpdwy.