Weller wins 5th of yr in King Mem for BRP Mods; Schneider & Blackshear sweep weekend in Stocks & Econos; Dixon & Martin win #4 in Mods & RUSH Sportsman; #8 for Creech in Minis
By Mike Leone
September 13, 2014
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway wrapped up the “Apple Festival Nationals” Saturday with night two of the annual affair on another October-like night. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Jim Weller, Jr.-BRP Big-Block Modified Tour, Chris Schneider-Homak Penn-Ohio Stock Car Series, Steve Dixon-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Brandon Blackshear-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, Greg Martin-Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Travis Creech-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. The pits were packed with 126 cars as there have now been at least 111 cars for each of the past five weeks with an average of 135 cars per night!
It’s been quite a season for veteran racer Jim Weller, Jr., and on Saturday night it got even better. Weller out-dueled Jeremiah Shingledecker to win the 35-lap BRP Tour event for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds presented by King Bros. Redi Mix. The $2,000 victory was the Hubbard, Ohio driver’s third straight and came in the “Russ King Memorial”- his third victory in the event. His 31st career Sharon Big-Block Modified victory matched his car number. Weller’s last two wins have come in memorial events as he also won the $3,000 “Johnny Zdelar Memorial” on August 16!
Newcomer and New York invader Chris Hile led the opening lap before Shingledecker took charge on lap two. Weller moved into second on lap nine after a battle with Hile. Dave Murdick, who was contending for the BRP title, had a major setback when he collided with Brad Rapp on lap 17 racing for the fifth position. Murdick hit the infield tire and spun ending his night. Murdick was awarded the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply hard luck and will receive two complimentary pit passes for next Saturday.
When racing resumed, Weller and Shingledecker went at it swapping the lead. Weller would get by for good on lap 20 and then pulled away to win by 3.463 seconds in the Zip Motorsports-owned, Liberty Steel Products-sponsored #31. It was Weller’s 37th overall win at Sharon in his career. Shingledecker’s second matched his season’s best finish from April 26. New York invaders Chad Brachmann and Justin Wright were third and fourth. It was Brachmann’s first Sharon start of the season, while Wright seems to have taken a liking to Sharon as he finished second back on August 9.
Jim Rasey was fifth over Rex King, Jr., who unofficially claimed the BRP title. Hile, Ricky Richner, Rex King, and Rapp completed the top 10. Weller also set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 16.255 and earned $165 from King Sanitary Services over Tom Glenn, who earned $50 from C.T. Wolbert Trucking. Heat winners were King, Glenn, and King, Jr. over the 28-car field.
Chris Schneider capped off a career best weekend as he completed a $3,000 sweep of both nights of the Homak Penn-Ohio Stock Car Series Gibson Insurance Agency feature events. Schneider also unofficially captured the inaugural $3,000 championship making it a $6,000 weekend for the Springdale, Pa. veteran Stock Car racer! Series director Shaun Hooks raised an additional $2,450 for the weekend’s events from various sponsors, which was added to both nights’ feature purses that were originally to pay $700 to-win Friday night and $1,000 Saturday night.
Shaun Fawcett led the first nine laps before Bob McCann grabbed the lead on lap 10. The lead was short lived though as Schneider took over for the second straight night from McCann one lap later. Schneider then survived numerous cautions to beat McCann by just 0.981 at the finish in his #55. It was also a great weekend for the 64-year-old McCann, who turned in two runner-up finishes. Shane Applebee was a Sharon career best third over Ed Bolyard II and Chris Withers.
Completing the top 10 were Rusty Moore, Bob Schwartzmiller, Ryan Newman, Brett McDonald, and Bryan Wagner. Brian Carothers, Fawcett, and McCann won the heat races over the 27-car field. Jesse Brock was the lucky winner of the $1800 toolbox from Series sponsor Homak.
After losing a motor the night before, track point leader Steve Dixon returned to prominence in the Modifieds. The Smethport, Pa. driver held off Gary Eicher for the final 29 laps of the 30-lap Summit Racing Equipment feature for his season’s fourth win worth $1,000.
The 34-year-old driver’s sixth career win came in the Tim Engles-owned, Engles Trucking/Backyard Bodies/Close Racing Supply-sponsored #68 by just 0.724 of a second over Eicher. Like McCann in the Stock Cars, Eicher also completed a great weekend with a pair of runner-up finishes in his first starts of 2014 at the Speedway. Scott Stiffler was third. After breaking in warm-ups on Friday night, Dan Davies came back on Saturday night to finish fourth over Russ Dunn.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jacob Eucker, Bruce Powell, Jeff Johnson, Mike Kinney, and Clayton Kennedy. Friday night’s winner Joel Watson started the night off good setting fast time with a lap of 16.997 to earn a $50 gift certificate from Wedge Motorsports; however, his shot at the weekend sweep ended when he broke on lap four of the feature.
After a slow start and somewhat of a mid-season slump, Brandon Blackshear has turned up the heat in the Econo Mods. The Brookfield, Ohio racer completed the weekend sweep of the HTMA/Precise Racing Products-sponsored division for his third win in the past four events. Blackshear’s division-leading fifth win of the season was worth $500- the most of the season.
The two Joshs of Josh Mueller and Josh Ferry led the laps early before Blackshear took over from Ferry on lap 13 following a restart for a flat tire by point leader Jeremy Double. Blackshear though would have to hold off the Raceway 7 champion for the final 12 laps in his Tubs Automotive/Clay Bros. Trucking/Deforest Used Parts/Intense Fabricating/Blackshear Racing Engines-sponsored #10. Blackshear all-time division-leading 16th career win came by just 0.917 of a second over Ferry, who had a great weekend with two top three finishes. The icing on the cake for Ferry then was when he was selected for two complimentary pit passes for next Saturday compliments of Hovis Auto & Truck Supply!
Casey Bowers, who continues to search for his first win since sweeping the 2012 “Apple Festival Nationals” was third ahead of Ryan Fraley, who set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 17.881 to earn a $50 gift certificate from Wedge Motorsports. Alan Atkinson was fifth. Keith Felicetty was the highest eligible GM 602 crate engine and earned the $50 gift certificate from Sweeney/Pace Performance for the second straight night.
Greg Martin has sure taken a liking to Sharon Speedway. The Wilson, New York driver won for the third time in the past four races and fifth time of the year in just seven tries in the new RUSH Sportsman Modified division. Martin’s sixth win overall on the circuit propelled him into the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series point lead for the first time since early in the season.
After coming up just shy on Friday night in second from the 10th starting spot, Martin dominated Saturday’s feature. Martin took control from Jeremy Zufall on lap three and drove off to win by 3.805 seconds over Zufall in his Jeffrey Machine/NYDKS Go-Kart Series/Atwell Eye Care/Foster Tire/Triple-D Towing/Regional Haulage-sponsored #4. It was the division’s third straight non-stop feature and was timed in a record 4:37.352. Martin also set a new one-lap track record in his heat race with a lap of 17.360!
Friday night’s winner Adam Hilton was third. Larry Kugel was fourth for the second straight night. Chad Reitz rounded out the top five subbing for Andy Paden. Mod Lite driver Josh Deems was the latest driver to join the growing division as he finished eighth in his first ever race in a full-size car.
In a reversal of Friday night’s top two Mini Stock feature finish, division kingpin Travis Creech beat Wayne County Speedway invader Doug Hensel. It was the Niles, Ohio driver’s track-leading eighth victory of the season and came in the $200 to-win 12-lap Deforest Used Parts feature.
Creech has now won two of the last three features after going over two months without a win. Creech has more than doubled last year’s six-win total in his rookie season as he’s quickly climbed the all-time win list chart with 14 career victories in his Elite Coleman/JLB Trucking-sponsored #75T. Pete Blazczak was third over Adam Reseigh, who was competing in his first ever Sharon races this weekend, and Tyler Fulton. Twenty cars were on hand as there has now been at least 19 cars in the last five events with an average of nearly 23 cars after counts in the low to mid-teens for much of the season.
BRP Tour “Russ King Memorial” Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds (35 laps, $2,000 to-win): 1. JIM WELLER, JR. (31) 2. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 3. Chad Brachmann (3) 4. Justin Wright (19W) 5. Jim Rasey (32) 6. Rex King, Jr. (165) 7. Chris Hile (5H) 8. Ricky Richner (26) 9. Rex King (65) 10. Brad Rapp (11R) 11. Jimmy Weller III (23) 12. Kevin Hoffman (00) 13. Katelyn Kane (5K) 14. Kyle Fink (66F) 15. Rodney Beltz (64) 16. Mark Frankhouser (03) 17. Carl Murdick (6) 18. Bob Warren (96B) 19. Shawn Fleeger (88) 20. Steve Barr (25B) 21. Shawn Kozar (3K) 22. Tom Mattocks (69) 23. Tom Glenn (83T) 24. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13) 25. Dave Murdick (61) 26. Dave Reges (27R) 27. Chris Haines (35H)-DNS 28. Justin Rasey (21)-DNS.
Homak Penn-Ohio Stock Car Series (25 laps, $1,500 to-win): 1. CHRIS SCHNEIDER (55) 2. Bob McCann (USA1) 3. Shane Applebee (419) 4. Ed Bolyard II (Patrick 05) 5. Chris Withers (21W) 6. Rusty Moore (17M) 7. Bob Schwartzmiller (28s) 8. Ryan Newman (12) 9. Brett McDonald (25) 10. Bryan Wagner (56) 11. Tim Burns (66) 12. Gary Robinson (44R) 13. Jeff Broniszewski (08) 14. Shaun Fawcett (224) 15. Rusty Martz (16M) 16. Shaun Hooks (68) 17. Steve Burns, Jr. (67J) 18. Dan Fedorchak (Bruno x7) 19. Jesse Brock (22B) 20. Brian Carothers (02c) 21. Bobby Heim (92) 22. Jamie Scharba (Kerr 25K) 23. Mike Clark (7) 24. Curt Bish (29) 25. Dan McEwen (44) 26. Dave Myers (Burns 70B)-DNS 27. Mark Hopkins (69H)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment (E) Modifieds (30 laps, $1,000 to-win): 1. STEVE DIXON (Engles 68) 2. Gary Eicher (14) 3. Scott Stiffler (14) 4. Dan Davies (71D) 5. Russ Dunn (White 53) 6. Jacob Eucker (64) 7. Bruce Powell (35) 8. Jeff Johnson (27) 9. Mike Kinney (3) 10. Clayton Kennedy (9) 11. Michael McGee (11M) 12. Steve Rex (27R) 13. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 14. Paul Davis (3D) 15. Jamie Duncan (67J) 16. Shawn Shingledecker (54s) 17. Amanda Stiffler (14A) 18. Jeff Hassay (10) 19. John Boyd (1B) 20. Brian Douglas (214) 21. John Boardman (79.2) 22. Mike Potosky (M20) 23. Dwayne Clay (007) 24. Joe Gabrielson (58) 25. Joel Watson (92).
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (25 laps, $500 to-win): 1. BRANDON BLACKSHEAR (10) 2. JOSH FERRY (33) 3. Casey Bowers (20) 4. Ryan Fraley (12) 5. Alan Atkinson (32) 6. Ty Rhoades (12R) 7. Butch Lambert (Hendrickson 19) 8. Mike Hillman (29) 9. George Vestal IV (4) 10. Todd Canter (Mechling 89) 11. Keith Felicetty (98) 12. Bob Burk (12C) 13. Kevin Sergeff (17s) 14. Adam Babcock (67) 15. Jeremy Double (83) 16. Josh Mueller (01).
Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds (15 laps): 1. GREG MARTIN (4) 2. Jeremy Zufall (20) 3. Adam Hilton (3A) 4. Larry Kugel (0) 5. Chad Reitz (Paden 24) 6. Ken Moy, Jr. (34) 7. Chelsie Kriegisch (Schaffer 4c) 8. Josh Deems (9D) 9. Michael Kristyak (404) 10. Will Schaffer (4W).
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps, $200 to-win): 1. TRAVIS CREECH (75T) 2. Doug Hensel (18) 3. Pete Blazczak (77) 4. Adam Reseigh (2) 5. Tyler Fulton (09) 6. Michael Delliquadri (8) 7. Shane Smith (299) 8. Jeff Hughes (22) 9. Adam Kerr (55K) 10. Scott Gill (11) 11. Jim Haefke, Jr. 12. Logan Keney (16) 13. Casey Harmon (09) 14. Brian McGarvie (60) 15. Ray Kennedy (18) 16. Rick Wilson, Jr. (55) 17. Steve Walker II (4M) 18. Geof Pinch (36)-DNS 19. Pat Drennan (Sirrine 24)-DNS 20. Leea Coryea (00C)-DNS.
Sharon Speedway will be back in action this Saturday, September 20 for “Steel Valley Thunder” featuring 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. Also, there will be races for Side-by-Sides. Helmets are required; no passengers. Pits open at 4 p.m. Grandstands open at 5 p.m. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
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.