Sharon looks to resume “Steel Valley Thunder” Action Saturday as UTV Side-by-Sides join action
By Mike Leone
June 16, 2015
(Hartford, OH)…After losing four of the first eight scheduled racing events, Sharon Speedway is hoping for dry weather this Saturday night (June 20). Week number five of the 86thanniversary 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, Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks along with an appearance by the UTV Side-by-Sides. Group qualifying begins at 7 p.m.
It’ll be a busy few days at Sharon as the Ohio Speedweek for Tony Stewart’s new All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars comes to town on Tuesday evening (June 23). Warm-ups begin at approximately 6:15 followed by time trials and racing. The Mini Stocks will also be on the card racing for $300 to-win, $50 to-start with show-up points being awarded. Adult admission is $20 with pit passes $35.
Saturday’s promotion is the Father’s Day Celebration. The first 200 fathers will receive a can of Pepsi or Mt. Dew. Saturday’s kitchen special is a barbeque county rib dinner with fries and coleslaw. St. Jude is the charity of choice for Saturday’s 50-/50 benefit raffle and beer proceeds.
The UTV Side-by-Sides will be making their fourth visit to the Speedway on Saturday night. The SxS have raced at each of the last two “Circle Track Showdowns” during the winter as well as competed during their first race night last August. Back on January 24, a record 16 SxS turned out. All competitors must buy a pit pass and register. A reminder that helmets are required, and passengers are not permitted.
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., has flown 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 on June 6 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.
The Modifieds have completed just three events due to being off on May 23; and 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 at the last event after coming from the tail after pitting with a flat tire to lead the Summit Racing Equipment points by 13. On June 6 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 at the last event 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.
On June 6, Brian Carothers defeated 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 on June 6. 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 at the last Mini Stock event and became the third different 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. Adult admission is just $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.