Night 2 of rescheduled 2015 “Apple Festival Nat’s” to open season Saturday featuring “Russ King Memorial” for Big-Block Mod Tour along w/ RUSH LM & Mod Tour, Stocks, Mods, Econos & Minis; Open practice Friday night

Night 2 of rescheduled 2015 “Apple Festival Nat’s” to open season Saturday featuring “Russ King Memorial” for Big-Block Mod Tour along w/ RUSH LM & Mod Tour, Stocks, Mods, Econos & Minis; Open practice Friday night

Night 2 of rescheduled 2015 “Apple Festival Nat’s” to open season Saturday featuring “Russ King Memorial” for Big-Block Mod Tour along w/ RUSH LM & Mod Tour, Stocks, Mods, Econos & Minis; Open practice Friday night

By Mike Leone

April 12, 2016                 

(Hartford, OH)…With great weather predicted, Sharon Speedway will kick-off the 2016 season this weekend with an open practice on Friday evening (April 15) followed by the rescheduled night two of the 2015 “Apple Festival Nationals” on Saturday evening. Night one was completed back on September 11, but late afternoon rain washed out the scheduled night two on September 12 and then inclement weather on October 3 forced the postponement to this spring.  Practice is from 5-9 p.m. Friday with racing on Saturday starting at 6 p.m.

The Mod Tour for the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds will run a complete show on Saturday, while the Sweeney RUSH Late Model Tour, Bicknell RUSH Sportsman Modified Tour, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars for the Penn-Ohio Series, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks will finish their program that has already included heat races that were completed on September 11.

Cars that didn’t compete on September 11 are permitted to race in all of the divisions. New cars will draw pills to determine their starting order behind the qualified cars.  Qualified cars that will have a driver change on Saturday will force that car to start behind all of the qualified cars, but ahead of any new cars.  Two B mains are scheduled for the Stock Cars.  If the amount of new cars exceeds a full field for any of the other divisions, a last chance B main will be run.

The Mod Tour will run in their first of three races scheduled in 2016 at Sharon. Saturday will be the “Russ King Memorial” in a complete show paying $2,000 to-win.  Rex King, Jr. won the Tour’s only appearance in 2015 in the “Lou Blaney Memorial”.  King, Jr. came up short to his father on repeating his Hovis Auto & Truck Supply championship, but has already started 2016 victorious winning the Mod Tour opener at Mercer Raceway Park.

To date, there have been 29 “Russ King Memorial” events run with 15 different winners. The late Lou Blaney leads the win list at five.  The top active racers include King, Jim Rasey, and 2014 winner Jim Weller, Jr. with three wins each, which is tied for second with the retired hall of fame racer Bob Kraus.  Steve Feder and Ricky Richner scored upset wins in 2012 and 2013 for their first career wins at the speedway.  One of the biggest upsets took place in 2008 when the “358” small-block of Lonny Riggs won his first career Sharon feature!

Back on September 11, Max Blair set fast in $100 Bobby Lake Motorsports “Shock the Clock” Qualifying for the Sweeney RUSH Late Models in their Tour event with a lap of 16.419. Blair, Will Thomas III, and Steve Lowery earned $25 for their Bobby Lake Motorsports heat race wins.  Charlie Duncan won the K&N Dash and earned the pole for the 30-lap, $2,000 to-win feature. Twenty-two cars were in the pits.

The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars had the biggest field of cars with 47 in the pit area for the Penn-Ohio Series event. Heat wins went to Shaun Hooks, Andy Buckley, Rusty Moore, Tim Bish, and Steve D’Apolito.  Moore also won the $500 to-win “Jim Hooks Memorial” Dash event.  The 25-lap feature will pay $2,000 to-win Saturday.

Mike Kinney and Joel Watson won the two heat races for the Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds. Just 12 cars were on hand for the $2,000 to-win event. Track champion Greg Martin and 2015 RUSH Sportsman Modified Tour champion Larry Kugel were Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modified heat race winners over the 13-car field.  $800 will be on the line to-win.

Track champion, Ryan Fraley, and two-time winner, Steve Haefke, copped the two heat races for the 17 Econo Mods. Their HTMA/Precise Racing Products feature on Saturday will pay $700 to-win.  2014 track champion, Travis Creech, and two-time 2015 winner, Pete Blazczak, captured the Mini Stock heat race wins over the 14-car field.  Their 15-lap Deforest Used Parts feature on Saturday will pay $500 to-win.

King Motor Sports joined forces with Jones Performance, Moore’s Auto Body, Bicknell Chassis, and McCool Graphics to manufacturer the race simulator. The goal is to have one in every children’s hospital in the country as they are getting their IV therapy.  In 2015, the Jacob Lewis Memorial Fund developed a new program.  If an organization or business does a charity event with the proceeds being donated to the Hope Racer project in excess of $3,000 that organization will receive a  car with their logo as the design and get to choose what children’s hospital  receives the simulator.  There will be a Chinese Auction plus the Mod Tour drivers will be doing a helmet collection during the redraw and 100% of the money collected goes to fund the Hope Racer Project.

On Friday, pits open at 4 p.m. with practice from 5-9 p.m. Pit passes are $20, while grandstand admission is free.  On Saturday, pits open at 3 p.m. with grandstands at 4.  Warm-ups will get underway at approximately 5:30 p.m. followed by racing at 6.

For those without rain checks or two-day passes, Saturday grandstand admission is $15 for those 14 and other and pit passes are $35. 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.

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