“Steel Valley Thunder” racing returns to Sharon Saturday plus kids bike races
By Mike Leone
June 4, 2015
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway was one of the only tracks in the region to beat Mother Nature last Saturday with the ULMS Super Late Model event; now with better weather predicted for this Saturday (June 6), Sharon will try to make it three in a row during this wet spring. Week number four of the 86th anniversary season will feature a full “Steel Valley Thunder” program including 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.
Saturday’s event will also include the first kids’ bike races of the year at intermission. There will be a sign-up area before the races. Helmets are required. The 50/50 raffle and beer proceeds will benefit Charity Warren Family Mission. This week’s kitchen special is chicken pot pie.
Who will be the first driver other than a King to win a DIRTcar Big-Block Modified feature at Sharon in 2015!? Defending champion, Rex King, Jr., got off to a fast start winning the first two events, but his bid for three in a row ended when he finished runner-up last Saturday to his father, who won his milestone 50th career Sharon feature and 100th overall! Rex, Jr. has just a three-point lead over his father heading into Saturday night. Jim Weller, Jr., Ricky Richner, and Jim Rasey are third through fifth in points. Last Saturday also marked the return of Kevin Bolland, who finished sixth, after nearly a three-year absence since winning the 2012 “Lou Blaney Memorial”.
Ironically in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Rocky Kugel stopped Greg Martin’s bid for three-in-a-row. Like King, Jr., Martin raced from the 12th starting spot to a runner-up finish. For Kugel, it was his second career Sharon win. Martin, who makes the three and a half hour tow down from Wilson, New York, currently has a 16-point lead over teenager Kyle Martell. Kugel, Nick Ritchey, and Chelsie Kriegisch complete the top five in the Weller Hughes Contracting & Developing-sponsored division.
After a week off, the Modified division will return to action this Saturday night. The Mods brought a 24-car field the last time they ran on May 23 meaning the payoff was increased to $1,000 to-win, $700 for second, and an increase on back through position 12 over the already $100 to-start Summit Racing Equipment feature! Two-time RUSH Late Model Champion, Will Thomas III, has been a surprise out of the gate winning the first two features and leading the points by nine over Mike Kinney. Third through fifth are Dwayne Clay, Mike Potosky, and Matt Lux, who has returned to the division after running Super Late Models for many years and sitting out recent seasons.
Like the Mods, the Stock Cars are also back on the schedule for Saturday night after a week off. The Stocks pulled in a solid 18-car field back on May 23 as Shaun Hooks and Steve D’Apolito swept the top two positions in their 2015 debuts. Mike Miller is a surprise atop the standings. Miller has become consistently faster in recent years looking for his first career win. Miller has a two-point lead on defending two-time Gibson Insurance Agency Champion Mike Clark. Chris Haines, Jesse Brock, and Charlie Jasinski complete the top five.
The Econo Mods have produced three different winners in three races. Opening night saw Butch Lambert win his first ever at the track, while Mike Hillman captured his first career win on week two. Last Saturday, Ryan Fraley won his first of the season and took over the point lead. Fraley leads the always consistent Casey Bowers by four in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings. Keith Felicetty, Hillman, and Jamie Scharba, who led the first 18 laps last Saturday, round out the top five.
The Mini Stocks have brought in between 16-18 cars each of the first three weeks. Mini Stocks are reminded they race for $150 to-win, $40 to-start when there’s 18 or more cars compared to $100 to-win, $30 to-start for 17 or less. Defending two-time champion Bill Fuchs looks like he’s in championship form again winning two of the first three races to open up a 23-point point lead over opening night winner Pete Blazczak. Jamie Maxwell, Michael DelliQuadri, and Matt Rubright are third through fifth in the Deforest Used Parts standings.
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.