Sharon’s inaugural Lucas Oil Late Model show w/ star-studded field drawing near on 4/22; RUSH Tour opener also part of LM doubleheader
By Mike Leone
March 29, 2016
The 87th anniversary season at Sharon Speedway is sure to be one of the biggest in history, and one of the most anticipated events ever scheduled is quickly drawing near on Friday, April 22 with the inaugural appearance by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Dirt Late Model Touring Series will also be part of the program, which is being presented by Barris Truck Service of West Middlesex, Pa. Barris Truck Service features medium and heavy duty truck repair and heavy duty towing. Performance Bodies with their MD3 brand is an associate sponsor of the event.
The LOLMDS boasts 12 full-time competitors that will be battling in the $10,000 to-win “Steel Valley 50” led by defending champion and current point leader Jonathan Davenport of Mount Airy, North Carolina. Davenport’s unreal 2015 season saw him win five crown-jewel events and over $600,000! Jimmy Owens (three) and Scott Bloomquist (two) own five Series championships amongst themselves as neither the “Newport Nightmare” nor “Black Sunshine” needs any introduction to Late Model fans.
“The Real Deal” Don O’Neal, Jr. and Darrell Lanigan are teammates in 2016 driving for Clint Bowyer. O’Neal was the Series’ 2014 champion, while Lanigan moves over from the World of Outlaws, where he was a three-time champion. Lanigan won the last national Super Late Model event at Sharon held in 2010- a WoO event.
Earl Pearson, Jr. has been a regular with the LOLMDS since its inception in 2005. In fact, Pearson won the first four Series titles after capturing the 2004 Xtreme Dirt Car Championship. The Jacksonville, FL driver owns victories in prestigious Dirt Late Model events such as the “Dirt Track World Championship”, “World 100”, and “Hillbilly 100”.
Another driver making his first run at a Lucas Oil Championship is fan favorite Tim McCreadie. T-MAC is a versatile racer from Watertown, New York. The son of the legendary racer, Bob McCreadie, cut his teeth in the tough Modified ranks in the Northeast. In 2006, McCreadie won the WoO Late Model crown in addition to the “Chili Bowl Nationals” for Midget Cars.
Steve Francis is back for his sixth straight year chasing Lucas Oil Series points. Brandon Sheppard is coming off his first season of racing full-time with LOLMDS where he finished sixth in points and captured the Series’ rookie-of-the-year honors, but this year has stepped into the Ohio-based Best Performance Motorsports ride.
Other full-time regulars include Jared Landers, Dennis Erb, Jr., and Eddie Carrier, Jr. The LOLMDS has a little local flavor this year as Allison Park, Pennsylvania’s Colton Flinner is planning on competing in many of the Series events going after the rookie-of the-year title. Colton, who has a lot of Crate Late Model success, is the nephew of 16-time Sharon Limited Late Model winner, John Flinner, who went on to a successful Super Late Model career in western Pennsylvania. Many of the top regional Late Model stars and other heavy hitters are also expected. Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. has dropped their Super Late Models for this night.
“We’ve tried for five or six years to get a Lucas Oil event at Sharon,” acknowledged seventh year General Manager Dave Willoughby. “Lucas Oil is committed to a 50-event slate each year and the success of their events has tracks renewing year in and year out. This date came open and even though it’s not on our typical Saturday night program we couldn’t pass up the opportunity as Lucas Oil will be heading to Hagerstown Speedway the following night. Other than some events two hours or more away in Ohio, this will be the only local appearance the Series makes until October at Pittsburgh. Interest has been very high so hopefully we get good weather and the fans support this event so it becomes an annual tradition.”
The tire rule for the event is Hoosier Rib 1300 (no white dots) or Hoosier 1325 for left rear and fronts, and Hoosier 01 (1300 rubber) or Hoosier 04 (1425 rubber) for right rear. For more information on Lucas Oil, check out their website at www.lucasdirt.com.
The Sweeney RUSH Late Model Touring Series will also be part of the program highlighted by a 30-lap feature paying $2,000 to-win. It’ll be the Series’ opening event of the 2016 season. Defending Series Champion Max Blair along with past crate champions like Alan Dellinger, Mike Pegher, Jr., and Ryan Montgomery are expected along with former Sharon Champions Will Thomas III and Dennis Lunger, Jr. The event is expected to draw competitors from all over Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Ontario, Canada. RUSH will return in a Touring Series event on September 16-17 as part of the “Apple Festival Nationals”.
Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale for $28 by going to www.sharonspeedway.com and clicking on ‘buy tickets’ at the top left of the page. Day of event general admission adult tickets are $25, while pit passes are $40. Children 13 and under are free for general admission. Advanced ticket holders will be able to get into the grandstands at 4 p.m. for preferred seating before the grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. Warm-ups begin at 6:15 followed by group qualifying for both series with racing to follow.
The 87th anniversary season at Sharon will begin one week prior with an open practice on April 15 followed by the twice rained out night two of the “Apple Festival Nationals” from 2015 on Saturday, April 16. Weekly racing will get underway with “Steel Valley Thunder” on Saturday, April 30.
The Barris Family has been heavily involved in racing over the years. Barris Supply was the presenting sponsor of the RUSH Late Models for several years through their last season of weekly racing in 2014. See Barris Supply for all your Cub Cadet needs. Barris Supply is located at 3500 Sharon Rd., West Middlesex, PA 16159. Contact them at 724-528-2560 or www.barrissupply.com.
Performance Bodies has been in business for over 35 years can provide your race team with the same quality products, great service and FAST delivery, that they provide thousands of other race teams throughout the country. Performance Bodies is also sells the MD3 noses for all types of race cars. With a warehouse stocked full of high quality, race-proven parts and a great team to provide you with their world famous same day shipping, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed! All orders received will ship the same business day. For more information, check out www.performancebodies.com or www.md3dirt.com.
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.