“Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing returns Saturday plus RUSH Late Models on Twin-State Night
By Mike Leone
July 14, 2015
(Hartford, OH)…After successful events including Ohio Speedweek, truck and tractor pulls, and the “Lou Blaney Memorial” the last three shows, Sharon Speedway looks forward to returning to weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” racing this Saturday night (July 18). On the card are 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. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.
Due to rain and recent special events, the last completed “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly program was nearly a month ago on June 20. Saturday’s promotion is Twin-State Auto Racing Club Night with FREE grandstand admission or half-off pit admission for card-carrying club members. Also, power wheels races for kids will be held at intermission. Saturday’s kitchen special is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and vegetable. The 50/50 and beer proceeds will benefit the Liberty Schools Backpack Program.
After getting rained out in their first three scheduled appearances, the RUSH Late Models are hoping the fourth time is a charm as they’ll join the “Steel Valley Thunder” program on Saturday in a Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC “Weekly Series” event. If 24 or more cars are present, Sharon will pay $1,000 to-win. There is no longer a required Hoosier Crate Racin’ USA D55 on the right rear. Former track champions Will Thomas III, Dennis Lunger, and Josh Double are expected to be in the field. Thomas leads the all-time win list with 13 victories over Lunger’s 11.
After the Kings won the first four DIRTcar Big-Block Modified racers, Brian Swartzlander and Jim Weller, Jr. have been the two to end their run. King, Jr. got off to a fast start winning three of the first four features and was leading last Saturday’s “Lou Blaney Memorial” until Weller got by late in the race for the $2,000 win. King, Jr. leads his father and one-time winner by just four points. Ricky Richner, Jim Rasey, and Weller are currently third through fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points.
Will Thomas will be doing double duty Saturday driving both his RUSH Late Model and Modifieds. In the Modifieds, he’s picked up two victories and has been consistent in the other events to lead the Summit Racing Equipment standings by 16 over former champion, Mike Kinney. Dwayne Clay, one-time winner Matt Lux, and Carl McKinney are through fifth in points.
On June 20, Nick Ritchey became the second driver this season to knock off New York star Greg Martin in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds with his first ever Sharon win. The victory closed Ritchey to within 25 points of Martin’s point lead in the Weller Hughes Developing & Contracting-sponsored division. One-time winner, Rocky Kugel, is third in points over teenagers Kole Holden and Kyle Martell. Holden, who won his first career feature last Sunday at Sportsman’s Speedway, currently leads the overall $3,000 to-win Bicknell Racing Products “Weekly Series” standings in addition to the “Futures Cup” points.
Late race heroics by defending two-time champion Mike Clark allowed him to pass Mike Miller in route to his season’s first win the last time the Stock Cars ran on June 20. Clark not only denied Miller of his first career win, but was able to extend his Gibson Insurance Agency point lead to just four over Miller. One-time winner Brian Carothers is third in points over Charlie Jasinski and Brian Mulichak. Other winners this year include opening night winner Chris Haines and Shaun Hooks, who have neither returned since week two.
Casey Bowers denied Jason Longwell of becoming the season’s fifth different winner in the Econo Mods with a late race pass for his second win on June 20. Bowers has always been consistent and now posting wins could make him the odds on favorite to win the title. Bowers’ lead though is just four over one-time winner Ryan Fraley in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products-sponsored division. Brian Foley, Jr., Keith Felicetty, and Jamie Scharba are through fifth in points in search of their first wins.
Bill Fuchs is already a two-time champion and leads the Mini Stock’s all-time win list. Fuchs will look to add his third win on Saturday and extend an already 19-point lead over Jamie Maxwell in the Deforest Used Parts standings. Michael DelliQuadri, Matt Rubright, and Joe Keney are third through fifth looking for their first wins. The Mini Stock car counts have been solid this year and already 38 different drivers have competed. The last three events have saw drivers tow in 100 miles and pick up victories in their first appearances including Doug Hensel, Andy Proper, and most recently Casey Butler in the Tuesday, June 23 $300 to-win special with Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
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.
Don’t forget coming up on Saturday, July 25 is the rescheduled FREE “Fan Appreciation Night” with drivers autographs!
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.