Tight point races in place as month of June begins Saturday at Sharon for “Steel Valley Thunder”
By Mike Leone
June 4, 2014
(Hartford, OH)…After two straight sunny and warm Saturdays, it appears Sharon Speedway is in store for another one this Saturday night (June 7). The “Steel Valley Thunder” week six program as part of the 85th anniversary season will include the 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. Kids bike races will be held at intermission. Kids 3-12 will be eligible to compete on the frontstretch. Helmets are required.
Don’t forget coming up on Saturday, June 14 is the rescheduled FREE Fan Appreciation and Autograph Night. Fans will be admitted free of charge in the grandstands for general admission for a full six-division program. During intermission, all drivers will bring their cars onto the speedway for a meet and greet session.
Also not far away is Ohio Speedweek for the All Star Circuit of Champion Sprint Cars on Tuesday, June 24. The TUSA Mod Lites will also be on the program. Advance tickets are on sale, which admits the holder in one hour earlier than when the gates officially open at 4 p.m. for preferred seating.
Heading into Saturday night, the closest of the six divisions’ championship point races is the DIRTcar Big-Block Modified division where amazingly just one-point separates the top three drivers! Following his season’s second win, Jim Weller, Jr. is deadlocked in a tie with Rex King, while two-time winner Rex King, Jr. is just one-point out in third despite two feature wins. To say Jim Rasey is overdue for a win at Sharon is an understatement. It’s been over three years since Rasey’s last win on May 21, 2011, which was the 18th of his career. Rasey sits fourth in points just 14 out of first place, and has been fast with four top four finishes in five races with his worst finish being a ninth. Ricky Richner is fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply chase.
Will Thomas III has turned up the wick the last two weeks in the RUSH Late Models. The 2012 champion has charged to the front winning the last two features and has increased his point lead to 15 in the Barris Supply title chase over defending champion and two-time winner, Dennis Lunger, Jr. Russ Byler has been knocking on the door for his first career Late Model win with all top seven finishes in five starts including a trio of top fives. Jamie Wrightsman and Clay Ruffo are fourth and fifth.
Last Saturday night, Carl McKinney became the first driver outside of Joel Watson and Mike Kinney to win a Modified feature this season. Watson, the 2012 co-champion, though is atop the Summit Racing Equipment standings by 31 over defending champion Kinney and Steve Dixon, who has been a weekly competitor for the first time. McKinney is fourth in points ahead of 13-year-old Jacob Eucker in his first season in the class after moving up from the Econo Mods.
The Stock Cars are back Saturday night after a week off. Last time out, Shaun Hooks stopped Paul Davis and Mike Clark for his first win of the season. Clark, the defending champion, leads Davis by seven in championship race. Brian Carothers, Jamie Duncan, and Bryan Wagner complete the top five in the Gibson Insurance Agency points.
Jeremy Double has been consistent out front in the HTMA/Precise Racing Econo Mods that has yet to have a repeat winner. The defending champion has a comfortable 30-point lead despite only one victory to date. Amazingly just nine points separates positions two through six with Ty Rhoades over Brandon Blackshear, George Vestal IV, Brian Foley, Jr., and Steve Burns, Jr.
Even though defending champion Travis Creech has won four of the five features this season, his one DNF on a high car count night has kept consistent Bill Fuchs just five points back in the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Fuchs, the division all-time winner, is still searching for his first win of 2014. Third through fifth in the points are Jamie Maxwell, Scott Gilliland, and Jim Haefke, Jr.
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 6:30 and heat races slated for 7. Grandstand admission is $13 for those 14 and older. Kids 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $30. Parking is always free.
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.