Rex King Jr holds off father for 6th Big-Block Mod win; #4 for Dellinger & Double in RUSH LM & Econos; Kinney charges to 3rd Mod win; Davis & Creech keep winning in Stocks & Minis
By Mike Leone
September 20, 2014
(Hartford, OH)…After a successful two-day “Apple Festival Nationals” on September 12-13, Sharon Speedway was back in action on a beautiful Saturday night for the first “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly program since August 23. For the sixth straight night, over 100 race cars filled the pit area in the next to last program of the 85th anniversary season.
Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Rex King, Jr.-Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Alan Dellinger-Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, Mike Kinney-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Paul Davis-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Jeremy Double-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, Travis Creech-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks, and Brian Hardman-UTV Side-by-Sides.
It’s been a dream season for Rex King, Jr. The second generation racer already captured the Lernerville Speedway and BRP Modified Tour championships, and on Saturday night took one step closer to the sweep. King, Jr. led all 20 laps of the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature holding off his father for his division-leading sixth victory of the season.
“I saw the scoreboard and I knew he (King, Sr.) wasn’t going to pass me on the bottom,” explained the 23-year-old Bristolville, Ohio driver. “I knew the top was going to be it so I kept drifting up out of the corners so he couldn’t get me. Hopefully we can end the season good next week. I have thank all of my sponsors, the fans for coming out, and and my crew along with Johnny (Zdelar), who is with us upstairs. I have to dedicate this one to Stan Hover, Sr. who passed away. He was man I looked up to growing up in the racing world.”
King, Jr. used to the outside to power around pole-sitter Ricky Richner on the start, while Jim Rasey followed in second past Richner on lap three. The first caution slowed action with six laps scored when Brad Rapp slowed on the frontstretch. When racing resumed, seventh starting Jim Weller, Jr. moved into contention passing Richner on the bottom of turn four for third.
Rasey’s solid run ended when he slowed with a shower of sparks and driveline issues as he brought out the second caution with nine laps scored. Rasey was awarded two complimentary pit passes for next Saturday night from Hovis Auto & Truck Supply for the hard luck distinction. This moved Weller to second, who was looking for his fourth straight victory.
The elder King started in eighth and was moving forward. King drove around Richner in turns one and two for third on lap 12 then got a much needed caution with 13 laps completed when Rodney Beltz lost a wheel. Back under green, King used the outside to power past Weller for second. The remaining seven laps was a father-son duel, but it was “Cooter” holding on by just 0.376 of a second in the KMB Inc.-owned, Jim Brown Seed Sales/Bristol Disposal/Reese Services/Professional Heating Systems/Jet Inc/Cedar Steel/Mahan Welding & Fab/Schaeffer Oil/Cintas Uniform/Cleer Excavation-sponsored #165.
Weller was third over Richner. Jeremiah Shingledecker came from 12th to finish fifth and earned the hard charger- worth a free tire from Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic. Completing the top 10 were Jimmy Weller III, Kevin Hoffman from 13th, Tom Glenn, Bob Warren, and Tom Mattocks. Heat winners over the 18-car field were King, Jr. and Richner.
Alan Dellinger won the season opening event for the Barris Supply RUSH Late Models, but then was shutout of victory lane for three and half months; however, since then Dellinger has gone on a roll winning for the third time in the past five events to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes! Dellinger’s fourth victory of the season tied him for tops in the division with the last two years’ champions, Will Thomas III and Dennis Lunger, Jr. Dellinger stole a career first win away from race-long leader Ben Black in the final laps of the event.
“All you can do is just drive in there and when they slide up in the corner you let them know you’re there and hopefully if something happens you can get them,” explained the 50-year-old Hermitage, Pa. driver, who is on the $135 Bilstein “sealed” spec shocks. “He (Black) spun his tires coming off turn four and I drove up alongside of him and that’s what it takes. I’d like to say I hated to pass him, but not really! I’d like to see this as the shocks you have to run- it just saves everyone a bunch of money. They work just fine and we’re doing a good job.”
After a caution on the opening lap for Bobby Pifer III and Lon Emerick, the race went green-to-checkered. Black took off in the early lead over Bob Diver, Bobby Whitling, Eric Andrus, and sixth starting Dellinger. On lap two, Dellinger passed Andrus four fourth then closed in on Whitling on lap four.
Meanwhile up front, Black had his hands full with Diver as Diver really applied pressure on lap seven. Dellinger continued to move forward as he slipped under Whitling for third on lap eight. Three laps later he was battling Diver for second. The two raced side-by-side on lap 11 with Dellinger making the pass in turns three and four.
Dellinger then ran down Black and was on the leader on lap 15. Dellinger pulled alongside on laps 16 and 17 and made the winning pass with an inside move in turn four to lead the 17th circuit. Dellinger quickly pulled away, while Diver and eighth starting Thomas took second and third in the closing laps from Black. Dellinger took the checkered flag first by a margin of 1.946 seconds in the unsponsored Bob-Williams-owned #8 for his fifth career Sharon Crate Late Model win and amazing 164th overall at the Hartford, Ohio oval.
Diver, whose car won last Friday’s Sweeney Tour event driven by Russell King, was a personal season best second. Thomas’ third place finish clinched his second division title in the past three seasons. Black dropped to fourth for his best finish of the season. Whitling was fifth as Andrus, Josh Double, Bryan Salisbury, Jamie Wrightsman, and W.L. Stile completed the top 10. Heat winners over the 17-car field were Thomas and Lunger.
With point leader Steve Dixon starting on the pole and top winner Joel Watson not in competition, most figured Dixon’s #68 would be tough to beat in the Modifieds, but defending champion Mike Kinney had other ideas. Despite starting ninth, Kinney worked his way to the front and passed Dixon to win his third 20-lap Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored feature.
“All my family is here tonight- I wanted to win this bad,” expressed the happy 40-year-old Ashtabula, Ohio winner. “I snuck underneath Dixon and I think he was a little surprised too. I love racing against him. He’s always good. I have to thank Dave (Willoughby) and his crew. I was a little worried about the track in the heat race, but man it came alive in the feature- job well done! I have to thank my family for coming out, all my sponsors, and my crew- they’re awesome!”
Dixon took off in the lead and after two early cautions, pulled away at the halfway point while the battle was on for second with Paul Davis trying to hold off seventh starting Carl McKinney and Kinney. A caution for a spin by Amanda Stiffler with 12 laps scored was just what Kinney needed. On the ensuing restart, Kinney passed McKinney for third before a caution for a spin by Jeff Johnson. Under caution, Davis exited handing second to Kinney.
When green replaced yellow, Dixon jumped the cushion in turns one and two allowing Kinney to make the winning pass. Kinney would survive one more restart as his seventh career win came by 0.979 of a second in his FliNbiU Graphics/Watson Fabrication/TJ Racing Transmission/Close Racing Supply/Handi4u Home Improvements/Inter Group-sponsored #3.
Scott Stiffler, who started 14th, was able to pass Dixon on lap 16 to finish second and earned the $25 gift certificate from Summit Racing Equipment. Dixon dropped to third over McKinney and Russ Dunn. Sixth through 10th were Jacob Eucker, 19th starting Dwayne Clay, Clayton Kennedy, Mike Potosky, and Joe Gabrielson. Heat victors over the 20-car field were Potosky and Dunn.
Paul Davis won a wild 15-lap Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Car feature for his division-leading fifth of the season. Davis passed race-long leader Steve Burns, Jr. coming down for the white flag and held him off in the final lap to take over the point lead from Mike Clark with one event remaining.
“He (Burns) was getting loose the last couple laps and I figured one lap to go you might as well hang it out and see what happens,” stated the 54-year-old Fowler, Ohio veteran. “I wanted to race Mike (Clark) for the championship. I felt really bad he got wrecked down there. That’s not the way I wanted it to go.”
Third starting Burns made quite a move to slip under Charlie Jasinski and Mike Clark in turn one to lead the opening lap. Four cautions slowed action on laps three and four, one involving Mike Clark, who entered the night as the point leader. Davis started sixth and passed Jeff Broniszewski for second on lap eight. Burns’ car continued to get looser as the laps wore on as Davis closed in on lap 11. Davis was on the leader on lap 12 and two laps later drove around Burns to lead lap 14 with the white flag waving.
Davis held off a final last lap charge by Burns to win his 17th career feature in the Stock Cars and 20th overall at the Speedway in his Hover Racing/GCM Enterprises/Don Williams Excavating/Advance Auto Parts/Tub’s Automotive-sponsored #3 by 0.409 of a second. Burns brought the Jamie Duncan #67J home a season best second. Broniszewski was third over Jasinski. Twelfth starting Mark Hopkins was a season best fifth and earned a $25 gift certificate from Summit Racing Equipment for being the hard charger. Jamie Scharba and Burns won the heat races.
In the best race of the night, defending champion Jeremy Double charged from the ninth starting spot to pass both Casey Bowers and Josh Mueller on the final lap for his fourth win of the season in the 15-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods. Double stole a potential career first win away from Mueller to clinch his second straight championship.
“There was a big cushion up there and that’s where they weren’t- you can’t pass them following them,” explained the 18-year-old Bristolville, Ohio driver. “Casey (Bowers) kept showing him (Mueller) his nose on the bottom so I’m guessing that’s where he thought it was fast. Coming through the pack, you can run different lines and you know what will work and what won’t work. When you get out front you don’t always know where someone else is running.”
Butch Lambert led the first six laps before the event’s first and only caution when Haley Lapcevich went up in smoke on the frontstretch. Much like Dixon in the Mods, Lambert jumped the cushion on the restart allowing Mueller and Bowers by for the top two spots. Double moved into third past Lambert on lap 11.
Mueller and Bowers battled side-by-side for the lead on lap 13, while Double closed in. Bowers was trying to end a winless drought that dated back over two years to the 2012 “Apple Festival Nationals” when he swept both nights in his first two starts at the Speedway. On the final lap, Bowers tried to get under Mueller in turn one, while Double went to the outside and drove around both for the winning pass.
Double took the checkered flag first by 0.362 of a second over Bowers, who got by Mueller for second. Double also earned the $25 gift certificate from Summit Racing Equipment for being the race’s hard charger. His 13th career win came in his Cortland Auto Repair/Wedge Motorsports/Thomas Heating & Cooling/King Bros/Russ King Racing/Mahan Welding & Fab/Pioneer Sports & Supply-sponsored #83.
Early leaders Mueller and Lambert dropped to third and fourth respectively at the finish. Josh Ferry was fifth. Keith Felicetty finished 12th and earned a $50 gift certificate from Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC/Pace Performance for being the highest finishing eligible GM 602 crate engine. Ferry and Bowers won heat races over the 17-car field.
Division kingpin Travis Creech passed invaders Pete Blazczak and Bobby Siegel to win his track-leading ninth feature of the season in the 12-lap Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. “I don’t think I have anything left to prove in these cars,” stated the 26-year-old Niles, Ohio winner, who is hoping to move up in 2015. “I love it when we get all these cars. I message people on Facebook every week to tell them to come. The more cars, the more fun it is!”
Siegel and Blazczak started on the front as it was Blazczak leading the first five laps before Siegel took over. Creech started back in seventh and had taken third on lap three when he passed both Tim McAninch and Nick Groves. On lap seven, Creech moved past Blazczak for second. The top four of Siegel, Creech, Blazczak and point leader Bill Fuchs distanced themselves from the field before a caution for newcomer Shane Shook, who slowed with seven laps scored.
Back under green, Creech made the winning pass of Siegel and survived one more caution for the sophomore racer’s 15th career win in the Elite Coleman/JLB Trucking/CLR Electric-sponsored #75T. Siegel, who finished fourth last Friday in his first start, was second. Fuchs, who started ninth, passed Blazczak on lap nine to finish third. Blazczak dropped to fourth over 11th starting Jim Haefke, Jr. Topping the heats over the 22-car field were Siegel, Blazczak, and Jeff Hughes.
The UTV Side-by-Sides made their return appearance after competing in the “Circle Track Showdown” back on January 25. Sixth starting Brian Hardman took the lead on lap two from Chad Cowger and was never challenged in the eight-lap non-stop event. Stock Car racer Tim Burns started fifth and passed Ed Mueller on lap six to finish second. Mueller, who won the heat race and the inaugural event in January, was third. Seven vehicles were on hand.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. REX KING, JR. (165) 2. Rex King (65) 3. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 4. Ricky Richner (26) 5. Jeremiah Shingledecker (37MD) 6. Jimmy Weller III (23) 7. Kevin Hoffman (00H) 8. Tom Glenn (83T) 9. Bob Warren (96B) 10. Tom Mattocks (69) 11. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13) 12. Carl Murdick (6) 13. Mark Frankhouser (03) 14. Shawn Kozar (3K) 15. Rodney Beltz (64) 16. Jim Rasey (32) 17. Brad Rapp (11R) 18. Dave Reges (27R).
Barris Supply RUSH Late Models (20 laps): 1. ALAN DELLINGER (Williams 8) 2. Bob Diver (23) 3. Will Thomas III (9) 4. Ben Black (27B) 5. Bobby Whitling (7W) 6. Eric Andrus (54) 7. Josh Double (38) 8. Bryan Salisbury (126) 9. Jamie Wrightsman (21J) 10. W.L. Stile (1W) 11. Garrett Mott (43x) 12. Bobby Pifer III (6P) 13. Mike Anderson (72) 14. Russ Byler (00H) 15. Dennis Lunger, Jr. (Schwartz 71L) 16. Lon Emerick (3) 17. Joe Long (71)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment (E) Modifieds (20 laps): 1. MIKE KINNEY (3) 2. Scott Stiffler (14) 3. Steve Dixon (Engles 68) 4. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 5. Russ Dunn (White 53) 6. Jacob Eucker (64) 7. Dwayne Clay (007) 8. Clayton Kennedy (9) 9. Mike Potosky (m20) 11. Jesse Gould (2G) 12. Amanda Stiffler (14A) 13. Jeff Hassay (10) 14. Ed Wilson (33) 15. Joe DeFazio (1) 16. Paul Phillips (44) 17. Paul Davis (3D) 18. Jeff Johnson (27) 19. Brian Hutchko (57) 20. Jamie Duncan (67J).
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps): 1. PAUL DAVIS (3) 2. Steve Burns, Jr. (Duncan 67J) 3. Jeff Broniszewski (08) 4. Charlie Jasinski (5J) 5. Mark Hopkins (69H) 6. Brian Mulichak (36D) 7. Tony Bruno (97) 8. Dave Myers (Burns 70B) 9. Mike Clark (7) 10. Jamie Scharba (Kerr 25K) 11. Dan Fedorchak (Bruno x7) 12. Bryan Wagner (56) 13. Gary Robinson (44R) 14. Jeff Kravec (5K)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. JEREMY DOUBLE (83) 2. Casey Bowers (20) 3. Josh Mueller (01) 4. Butch Lambert (Hendrickson 19) 5. Josh Ferry (33) 6. Mike Hillman (29) 7. Steve Haefke (41) 8. George Vestal IV (4) 9. Ty Rhoades (12R) 10. Alan Atkinson (32) 11. Bob Diver (23) 12. Keith Felicetty (98) 13. Jeff Mundell (11) 14. Brian Foley, Jr. (16JSR) 15. Adam Babcock (67) 16. Junior Mechling (89) 17. Haley Lapcevich (77).
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. TRAVIS CREECH (75T) 2. Bobby Siegel (91) 3. Bill Fuchs (10) 4. Pete Blazczak (77) 5. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 6. Logan Keney (16) 7. Pat Drennan (Sirrine 24) 8. Jamie Maxwell (6) 9. Robert Wagner (35) 10. Matt Cwynar (21) 11. Greg Schmied (97) 12. Jeff Hughes (22) 13. Shane Shook (17s) 14. Robert Workman (76) 15. Jaret Sams (33s) 16. Rick Wilson, Jr. (55) 17. Joe Campbell (40c) 18. Scott Gill (11) 19. Geof Pinch (36) 20. Tim McAninch (43) 21. Nick Groves (65) 22. Michael DelliQuadri (8)-DNS.
UTV Side-by-Sides (8 laps): 1. BRIAN HARDMAN (26) 2. Tim Burns (66) 3. Ed Mueller (88) 4. Chad Cowger (48) 5. Doug Keyser (11) 6. Dan Huffman (33) 7. Aaron Srbinovich (474).
This Saturday, September 27 will be the final event of the season with a full “Steel Valley Thunder” program in addition to another appearance by the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Pits open at 4 p.m. Grandstands open at 5 p.m. Racing 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.