Sharon hopes to return to action Saturday night with a full racing program plus kids power wheel races
By Mike Leone
May 13, 2015
(Hartford, OH)…After a successful 2015 opener on May 2, Mother Nature decided to intervene last Saturday night at Sharon Speedway washing out the Mothers Day Celebration program. Well over 70 cars were in the pits with a line out to Route 305 when the event was forced to be cancelled. Rain checks from last week are good for Saturday night and all regular events throughout 2015.
Sharon will look to try again for week number two of the 86th anniversary season this Saturday night (May 16) with a full program of “Steel Valley Thunder” action featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Weller Hughes Contracting & Developing RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Group qualifying begins at 7 p.m.
Kids will be able to participate in the first Power Wheels races of the season during intermission. This week’s kitchen special is baked chicken with parsley potatoes and vegetable. Beer and 50/50 raffle proceeds will benefit the Northeast Ohio Adoption Services.
The DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds had the highest car count on opening night with 22 cars in the pits. Defending track and Lou Blaney Memorial “Drive to be a Champion” titlist, Rex King, Jr. wasted little time showing he’s going to be force to repeat with his opening night win. Brian Swartzlander and Dave Murdick looked to be contenders until dropping from the event late with overheating problems. The return of Kevin Bolland is expected in the coming weeks.
Not many times does a newcomer to a division win a feature out the box, but Will Thomas did it on the May 2 opener in the Modifieds and pocketed the $700 increased payout. Modifieds are reminded that, 24 cars or more will result in $1,000 to-win and an increased payoff! It was a rough night for defending track champion, Steve Dixon, who crashed in qualifying ending his night. Past champions Mike Kinney and Joel Watson were right there in second and third.
It was good to see a record 15 RUSH Sportsman Modifieds on hand for their first race as being a weekly division. The class attracted between 10 and 13 on a limited schedule in their inaugural 2014 season. Several other new racers are expected in the coming weeks like 14-year-old Jeremy Weaver, Justin Shea, Joe Plesniak, Jim Bryce, Jerry Schaffer, last year’s inaugural winner Jordan Eck, Josh Chaney, Michael Miller, and more. It was a familiar face in victory lane though as Greg Martin won his fifth career race at the track. Martin, who travels three and a half hours to race, has yet to finish worse than second in his nine starts at the speedway.
The Econo Mod division was very competitive in 2014 and with standouts Jeremy Double and Brandon Blackshear the latest to move up to the Modifieds, look for more new winners in 2015. Butch Lambert started the trend off winning the opener for his first career Sharon win. Lambert has been a veteran racer in the Stock Cars, Modifieds, and RUSH Late Models over the years, but had never been able to win at the Hartford, Ohio oval.
The Mini Stocks brought out a solid field of 17 cars on May 2 missing their car count bonus payoff by one car. It’s always good to see Pete Blazczak make the hour and a half tow up from Gibsonia, Pa., and it proved successful as he captured the victory. Blazczak stated in victory lane he expects to be a weekly competitor at Sharon in 2015. He was able to beat two-time champion and the division’s all-time winner, Bill Fuchs. Look for some new Mini Stock winners as well with 16-time 2013-2014 winner, Travis Creech, moving up to the Stock Cars.
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, Econo Mod, and Mini Stock divisions.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, and group qualifying slated for 7. Admission for those 14 and over is $10. Pit passes are $30. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always FREE! Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.
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.