Sharon set to kickoff 86th anniversary season on 4/25; New format announced, admission reduced to $10, new surface & more
By Mike Leone
February 13, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway is gearing up for the 2015 racing season, which is fast approaching. The Speedway has announced Saturday, April 25 as the 86th anniversary season opener. Racers and fans alike will notice many changes for the upcoming season featuring a brand new racing surface as 111 tri-axle loads of clay was brought in, an all-new racing format, reduced weekly admission prices to $10, elimination of driver registration fees, and a new computerized concession.
Sharon will have an all-new weekly racing format. In lieu of heat races, group qualifying will be run to set the line-up for the now extended distance features for the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (30 laps), Modifieds (30 laps), RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, (20 laps) Stock Cars (20 laps), and Econo Mods (20 laps). Following group qualifying, the fast qualifier will draw a pill of 0, 4, 6 or 8 to determine the feature invert. The remainder of the field will be lined up heads-up on time. A last chance B main will be run to fill the field if more than a full field of cars is present. The Mini Stocks will continue under the previous heat race and 12-lap feature format.
“We’re always looking at different ways to improve our program for both the racers and fans,” stated GM Dave Willoughby. “We feel the new surface will provide better racing, and the racers have given a very positive feedback on the new format. The $10 admission price should give incentive for more fans to not only attend the races, but return more frequently. Eliminating the annual registration fee will be a welcome addition to the racers and especially those that just want to come in and race for a single event.”
The “410” Sprint Cars and RUSH Late Models have been an important part of the Speedway’s program over the years. Both divisions will make several appearances for the coming 2015 season. The Sprints will be featured on at least four occasions with regular events on Saturday, May 30 and Saturday, August 15. The All Star Circuit of Champions will make two stops, one for the traditional Ohio Speedweek event on Tuesday, June 23 with $5,000 on the line, and for the first time ever for “Lou Blaney Memorial” on July 11. That event will pay a record $10,000 to-win for the seventh annual event!
Sharon will be working with Wayne County Speedway to give the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Models a weekly home on Saturdays in 2015. Sharon will pick up the class for Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly and Touring events on numerous occasions when Wayne County isn’t running the class. A complete schedule will be posted soon.
All five of the returning weekly divisions will see their presenting sponsor return. Hovis Auto & Truck Supply is back for the second straight year to present the headlining DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. The ground-pounders will have BRP Tour events on Saturday, July 11 for the “Lou Blaney Memorial” and during the “Apple Festival Nationals” in September for the “Russ King Memorial”. Rex King, Jr. is the defending champion.
The (E) Modified division will be presented by Summit Racing Equipment once again. It’s the fifth straight year Summit has been a presenting sponsor at the Speedway as they were the 2011-2012 Econo Mod divisional sponsor. The Modifieds have been elevated to position two on the track’s totem pole and will now offer $1,000 to-win, $100 to-start if 24 or more cars are present every Saturday night! And of course once again, any non-qualifiers will receive a free pit pass in addition to tow money. Steve Dixon is the defending champion.
After the “410” Sprint Cars were dropped from the weekly schedule following the 2010 season, Gibson Insurance Agency has been the divisional sponsor of the Stock Cars ever since. That trend will continue in 2015. The Stock Cars will have a more liberal, open rules package for the coming season including 10″ tires that will hopefully attract new competitors to the Speedway. Mike Clark will look to make it three championships in a row this season.
The Econo Mods, which debuted in 2010 and ran bi-weekly on the Friday night program through 2011, will now begin its fourth straight year as being part of the weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” program. Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic (HTMA)/Precise Racing Products will continue to back the division as they have done so since 2012. Jeremy Double has won the past two championships, but will be moving up to the Modified division in 2015.
The Mini Stock division had a resurgence in 2014 and that trend is expected to continue to 2015. Deforest Used Parts returns for the fourth straight year to present the division. Travis Creech has dominated action the past two seasons winning the title in his rookie season in 2013 and finished runner-up in 2014 to the division’s all-time winner, Bill Fuchs. Creech will be moving up to the Econo Mods for the new year.
Joining the “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly program on Saturday nights will be the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. In 2014, the RUSH Mods competed on eight occasions with four different winners. In the first year of their existence, 10-13 cars were on hand every night. That count is expected to rise with the division added weekly as several new competitors will be joining the ranks.
Sharon is part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series and “Futures Cup” program. A Sweeney Tour event is expected to be run during the “Apple Festival Nationals”. Any business interested in becoming the divisional sponsor of the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds is urged to call the office at 330-772-5481. The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds are New York-style center-steer cars mandating the $3,250 GM 602 crate engine, $135 Bilstein sealed spec shocks, spec Hoosier Tires on steel wheels.
Coming on Saturday, July 4, Sharon will host a first ever USA-East Truck and Tractor pull put on by Full Pull Productions, Inc.
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.