FREE general admission & autographs part of Saturday’s “Fan Appreciation Night” Full “Steel Valley Thunder” show plus RUSH Late Models
By Mike Leone
June 10, 2015
(Hartford, OH)…Sharon Speedway will look to make it four straight completed events this Saturday night, June 13. Saturday is FREE “Fan Appreciation Night” and is week number five of the 86th anniversary season featuring 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, Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks along with an appearance by the RUSH Late Models. Group qualifying begins at 7 p.m.
There aren’t many FREE things in life, but Saturday night at Sharon is one of those as all fans will be admitted at no charge into the grandstands to witness this exciting night of racing along with the annual on-track autograph night, which will be held on the frontstretch from 6:30-7 p.m. before the racing due to the extra division on the card. This will be the third straight FREE “Fan Appreciation” Night.
Also, Morgan McGowan, a 17-year-old from Hubbard, Ohio will return to sing in the pavilion behind the grandstands shortly after the gates open at 5 p.m. until race time. Lynda Couch will sign the national anthem. St. Jude is the charity of choice for Saturday’s 50-/50 benefit raffle and beer proceeds.
And the beat continues…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., is flying out of the gates in 2015 winning three of the first four features to lead the points over his father Rex, Sr., who has one victory and trails by just five points. The big blocks are coming off a season high 23-car field and have yet to have less than 19 cars this season. Third through fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points are Jim Rasey, Ricky Richner, and Jim Weller, Jr., who are all hungry for a victory.
After being rained out on May 9, the RUSH Late Models will try again to make their first of several appearances scheduled throughout the 2015 season. Saturday’s race is part of the Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC Weekly Series. Sharon’s payoff from past seasons will be used; however, if 24 or more cars are present the feature will pay $1,000 to-win! With the new surface, Sharon has eliminated the mandatory Hoosier Crate Racin’ 55 right rear rule tire. Will Thomas III has been the champion two of the last three years and has scored 13 career wins; Josh Double was the inaugural champion in 2011, while Dennis Lunger, Jr. captured the championship in 2013. All three racers are expected to be on hand.
Oddly enough after three Modified events, it’s two drivers that weren’t even in the class last year winning all three events. Will Thomas III won the first two shows and finished fourth last Saturday after coming from the tail after pitting with a flat tire to lead the Summit Racing Equipment points by 13. Last week it was Matt Lux taking his fifth career win as he’s worked his way up to fourth in points behind Dwayne Clay and Mike Kinney. Currently Carl McKinney is fifth in points.
After coming up short in week three to Rocky Kugel after starting 12th, Greg Martin returned to victory lane for the third time in four tries in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Once again 15 cars were on hand matching the record of the new weekly division that also accumulates points for member racers in the Bicknell Racing Products Weekly Series points.
Martin, who travels down three and half hours from Wilson, NY, has opened up a 28-point lead in the Weller Hughes Developing & Contracting standings over Nick Ritchey, who won his first career race Sunday at Sportsman’s Speedway. Third through fifth in points are Kyle Martell, Kugel, and Bicknell RUSH Weekly Series point leader Kole Holden.
The Stock Cars were back after a week off and it was Brian Carothers defeating defending two-time champion Mike Clark to become the third different winner in three events. Ironically opening night winner, Chris Haines, and week two winner, Shaun Hooks, weren’t in the field that included a season high 19 cars. Clark has taken over the point lead by one from Mike Miller, who finished third on Saturday night. Carothers, Jesse Brock, and Charlie Jasinski complete the first five.
The Econo Mods is one of the most competitive and equal divisions at the track as Casey Bowers became the fourth different winner in as many races last Saturday night. Week three winner, Ryan Fraley, has just a one-point lead on Bowers in search of his first championship. Keith Felicetty, Brian Foley, Jr., and Jamie Scharba are third through fifth in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points and look to be the next new winner.
Doug Hensel invaded Sharon last Saturday night and became the third different Mini Stock winner in four races. The 18-car field allowed Hensel to earn the $150 increased purse as all other feature starting racers earned a bonus as well. Bill Fuchs is the only driver to repeat this year and that puts the defending two-time champion atop the standings by 14 over Jamie Maxwell, who continues to look for his first career win. Michael DelliQuadri, Matt Rubright, and Joe Keney are third through fifth in the Deforest Used Parts points in their first full season of racing at Sharon.
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. 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.