Weller III joins his father as 2016 Sharon Big-Block Mod winners; 3 in a row for Watson in Mods; 1st wins for McCann, Holden, Blackshear & Campbell
By Mike Leone
May 28, 2016
(Hartford, OH)…After two straight rain outs and four of the last five, Sharon Speedway was able to defeat Mother Nature for just the third time this season. Off and on showers fell throughout the early afternoon, but it didn’t delay the action as 111 cars filled the pit area for the second “Steel Valley Thunder” program of the 87th anniversary season. Celebrating in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply victory lane were Jimmy Weller III-Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Joel Watson-Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Kole Holden-Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Bob McCann-Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Brandon Blackshear-HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and Joe Campbell-Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks.
After just missing out on a victory one week ago at Lernerville Speedway by losing the lead on the final lap to Mat Williamson, Jimmy Weller III redeemed himself picking up his season’s first win on the region’s DIRTcar Big-Block Modified circuit. Weller’s win came in the 20-lap Hovis Auto & Truck Supply feature event that saw him join his father Jim, Jr. as “Steel Valley Thunder” feature winners this season.
Weller’s Hughes Construction/Integrated Metal Products/Speed Energy Drink/Genmak-Steel/Geneva Liberty/Liberty Steel Industries-sponsored #23 held off defending track champion, Rex King, for his third career Big-Block Mod win at Sharon. The 30-year-old Hubbard, Ohio driver also owns one career “410” Sprint Car win. Garrett Krummert was third over Rex King, Jr., Dave Murdick, Weller, Jr., Skip Moore, Rick Regalski, Jr., and Rob Kristyak. Heat wins went to Kevin Bolland and Jimmy Weller.
Joel Watson continues to be the driver to beat in the Modifieds. Watson’s Northwest Restoration/Zimmer’s Service Center/Close Racing Supply #92 took the lead on lap five and went on for his third straight win as he remains undefeated in 2016 in the Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored division! The 37-year-old Conneaut, Ohio racer has now upped his all-time win total to 24 in his career at Sharon, which is second all-time. Shawn Shingledecker turned in one of his best performances in a long time taking second. Jeff Johnson, Matt Lux, Carl McKinney, Josh Ferry, Jacob Eucker, Jeff Sharp, newcomer Percy McDonald, and Bob Williamson completed the top 10. Heat wins went to Mike Potosky and Watson.
Last year’s RUSH Sportsman Modified “Futures Cup” Champion captured his first career Sharon Speedway win in the 15-lap Lyden/Red Line Oil feature event. Holden was victorious last season at Sportsman’s Speedway, won the season opening event at Lernerville Speedway this season, and can now add Sharon to his win list. The 17-year-old Tiona, Pa. racer became the third different winner in as many events this season at Sharon as he beat out cousins Brandon and Nick Ritchey in the Dana Holden-owned, D&H Oil/D&D Oil-sponsored #2. At the last event on May 7, Brandon Ritchey won his first career Sharon race.
The 25-car field broke the third year division’s highest previous count of 24 set in the first two races of the season. Veteran Jerry Schaffer edged out teenager Kyle Martell for fourth. Completing the top 10 were Brian Schaffer, Justin Shea, Chas Wolbert, Larry Kugel, and Chelsie Kriegisch. Heat winners were Martell, Brandon Ritchey, and Steve Slater.
Veteran Bob McCann finally captured his elusive first career Stock Car win at Sharon. The 66-year-old New Castle, Pa. standout owns eight career (E) Modified wins at the track plus wins and championship in various divisions all throughout western Pa. and eastern Ohio. McCann’s win in the 15-lap Gibson Insurance Agency feature was worth $700. A field of 26 cars were on hand meaning they received the 24 or more car pay structure. McCann’s win came in the Gregg Fornataro-owned, Gregg’s Body Works-sponsored #USA1. Paul Davis crossed the line in second over Mike Miller. Mike Clark, who is looking for an unprecedented fourth straight championship, was fourth over Curt Bish. Bish, Andy Buckley, and newcomer Brandon Groters were the three heat race winners.
Subbing for the injured Steve Burns, Jr. this season, Brandon Blackshear copped his first victory in the 15-lap HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods. The 25-year-old Brookfield, Ohio driver now has 18 career wins in the division, which is tops all-time. The win came in the Steve Burns, Sr.-owned #70B over Steve Haefke, Brad Blackshear, Josh Mueller, and a career best finish by Zach Myers. Brad Blackshear and May 7 winner, Butch Lambert, won the heat races.
And like all of the divisions except the Modifieds, Joe Campbell became the season’s third different Mini Stock winner in as many races. The 32-year-old Austintown, Ohio driver’s third career win came in the 12-lap Deforest Used Parts feature in his Custom Metal Works of Austintown/DCS Truck & Trailer Repair/Statton-Borowski Funeral Home/Henry’s Dynatorium/McGuire’s Coney Island/Tub’s Automotive/Utsinger’s Towing/Superior Auto Body-sponsored #40c. The division’s all-time winner and defending three-time champion, Bill Fuchs, was second over May 7 winner Steve Walker II. Logan Keney and Michael DelliQuadri were fourth and fifth. Heat victors were Campbell and Fuchs.
Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds (20 laps): 1. JIMMY WELLER III (23) 2. Rex King (65) 3. Garrett Krummert (29) 4. Rex King, Jr. (165) 5. Dave Murdick (61) 6. Jim Weller, Jr. (31) 7. Skip Moore (17M) 8. Rick Regalski, Jr. (13) 9. Rob Kristyak (00) 10. Chris Haines (35H) 11. Shawn Kozar (3K) 12. Michael Maresca, Jr. (7) 13. Tom Mattocks (69) 14. Kevin Bolland (777) 15. Rick Richner (26) 16. Jim Rasey (32)-DNS.
Summit Racing Equipment (E) Modifieds (20 laps): 1. JOEL WATSON (92) 2. Shawn Shingledecker (54s) 3. Jeff Johnson (27) 4. Matt Lux (21) 5. Carl McKinney (Hendrickson 6M) 6. Josh Ferry (33) 7. Jacob Eucker (64) 8. Jeff Sharp (Coy 54) 9. Percy McDonald (38) 10. Bob Williamson (93) 11. Amanda Stiffler (14A) 12. Joe Gabrielson (58) 13. Mike Potosky (m20) 14. Casey Bowers (20) 15. Jeff Hassay (10) 16. Russ Dunn (White 53)-DNS.
Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds (15 laps, $500 to-win): 1. KOLE HOLDEN (2) 2. Brandon Ritchey (17) 3. Nick Ritchey (77N) 4. Jerry Schaffer (14) 5. Kyle Martell (8) 6. Brian Schaffer (41) 7. Justin Shea (14s) 8. Chas Wolbert (c3) 9. Larry Kugel (0) 10. Chelsie Kriegisch (10) 11. Steve Slater (35) 12. Josh Deems (9D) 13. Tiffany Williams (58) 14. Josh Seippel (84) 15. Michael Sparks (Smith 3G) 16. Jonathan Myers (11) 17. Will Schaffer (4) 18. Jessica Kriegisch (63) 19. Amelia Clay (12) 20. Michael Kristyak (404) 21. Jeremy Weaver (35W) 22. Blaze Myers (43JR) 23. Jessica Shea (24s)-DNS 24. Calvin Clay (21)-DNS 25. Jordan Ehrenberg (JD57)-DNS.
Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars (15 laps, $700 to-win): 1. BOB MCCANN (Fornataro USA1) 2. Paul Davis (3) 3. Mike Miller (T6) 4. Mike Clark (7) 5. Curt Bish (Tarr 29) 6. Jamie Scharba (11S) 7. Andy Thompson (5) 8. Jacob Billyk (4) 9. Andy Buckley (965) 10. Jamie Duncan (67J) 11. Shaun Fawcett (224) 12. Ed Bolyard (Patrick 05) 13. Tony “Spaghetti” (Bruno 97) 14. Brandon Groters (22) 15. Brian Mulichak (36D) 16. Jamie Maxwell (6) 17. Hunter Exley (23H) 18. Troy DeZarn (21D) 19. Gary Robinson (44R) 20. Rod Laskey (Haines 35H) 21. Dan Fedorchak (67) 22. Shane Smith (299) 23. Chris Haines (Laskey 1R)-DNS 24. Brent Coleman (01)-DNS 25. Neil Tristani (73)-DNS 26. Mike Kerr (25K)-DNS.
HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods (15 laps): 1. BRANDON BLACKSHEAR (Burns 70B) 2. Steve Haefke (41) 3. Brad Blackshear (19) 4. Josh Mueller (01) 5. Zach Myers (1M) 6. Gary Miller, Jr. (1M) 7. Chris Clay (99) 8. Buzz Seitz (1) 9. Wayne Daniels (4) 10. Tyler Frankenberry (38) 11. Haley Lapcevich (77) 12. Butch Lambert (Hendrickson 19) 13. Brian Lacey (51) 14. Dan McEwen (44) 15. Kyle Miller (15) 16. Kevin Robinson (34R).
Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks (12 laps): 1. JOE CAMPBELL (40C) 2. Bill Fuchs (10) 3. Steve Walker II (4M) 4. Logan Keney (16) 5. Michael DelliQuadri (77D) 6. Matt Rubright (X) 7. Will Aley (Maxwell 6) 8. Roger Wigton (9) 9. Jim Haefke, Jr. (421) 10. Josh Ehrenberg (571) 11. Greg Geibel (13G) 12. Riley Ballentine (145R).
This weekend will be a doubleheader kicking off with the second “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” on Friday night featuring “Broken Road” – a “Rascal Flats Tribute Band. Gates open at 6 p.m. with entertainment from 7-11 p.m. Admission is $10. Then on Saturday night, five divisions will be in competition on Selinick Transmission Night including the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, (E) Modifieds, RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks. The Stock Cars will have the night off. Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Adult admission is just $10.
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.