Doubleheader weekend in store with “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” on Friday followed by “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Saturday
By Mike Leone
June 1, 2016
(Hartford, OH)…After losing four of the last five weeks to rain, Sharon Speedway was able to defeat Mother Nature last Saturday night, but just like on May 7, rain still hit the speedway, but didn’t delay the action. Sharon is hoping for better weather for this weekend’s doubleheader. Friday (June 3) will be another “Summer Jam & BBQ Series” featuring “Broken Road”, while Saturday night will be “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Selinick Transmission Night featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. The Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars have the night off. Race time is 7 p.m.
“Broken Road,” a “Rascal Flatts” tribute band, will make their first appearance at Sharon on Friday night featured in the second installment of “Summer Jam & BBQ Series. “Broken Road” brings the fun and excitement of “Rascal Flatts” as these seasoned performers have the look and sound of “Rascal Flatts” by performing all their biggest hits with a few surprises thrown in. Lead vocalist Walt Wise has performed nationally and internationally at places such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Caesars Palace, Harrahs, the US Air Force & Navy, etc. A barbeque menu will be available throughout the night. Free camping is available for the entire weekend. Gates will open at 7 p.m. with “Broken Road” playing from 7-11. Admission is $10.
On Saturday, fans will have a chance to register for four tickets that will be given away to the July 2 Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, and Old Dominion concert that will be held July 2 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Saturday’s kitchen special is chicken salad. Hovis Auto & Truck Supply will 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. Thanks to an anonymous donor, an extra $50 will be awarded to position five at all “Steel Valley Thunder” events for the Big-Block Mods, RUSH Sportsman Mods, and Stock Cars.
Jimmy Weller III joined his father last Saturday night as the two “Steel Valley Thunder” DIRTcar Big-Block Modified winners, while Erick Rudolph won “Russ King Memorial” Modified Tour event back on April 16. Rex King and Rex King, Jr., who have won four of the last six track championships, are winless to date; however are atop the standings with Rex leading “Cooter” by two points. Weller, Jr., last week’s runner-up finisher Garrett Krummert, and Weller III are currently third through fifth in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply standings.
It’s no surprise Joel Watson is on top of the Summit Racing Equipment Modified standings. The Conneaut, Ohio driver is the only repeat winner this year at Sharon, and not only that but he remains undefeated! Watson won the $2,000 non-point “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up on April 16 then won the two “Steel Valley Thunder” programs in May. Watson has a 17-point lead over Mike Potosky. Jeff Johnson, Josh Ferry, and Joe Gabrielson are third through fifth. Ferry, who won the Econo Mod portion of the “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up, is in his first full season of “open” E-Mod racing.
After setting records with 24 cars at the first two RUSH Sportsman Modified events, the Lyden/Red Line Oil-sponsored division did one better last Saturday with 25 cars on hand. That set a new region car count record for the third year division! After defending champion Greg Martin won the “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up, Brandon Ritchey and now Kole Holden have become the newest winners at the speedway with their first career wins. Ritchey leads veteran racer Jerry Schaffer by seven points, while his cousin Nick Ritchey sits third. Holden, who leads the $3,000 to-win RUSH Weekly Series points, is fourth ahead of Mod Lite graduate Chas Wolbert. Look for several other drivers to find victory lane in the coming weeks in the ultra-competitive division.
The 16 Econo Mods on hand last Saturday was a season high and it was a familiar face in victory lane as Brandon Blackshear upped his all-time division-leading win total to 18. Blackshear is subbing for Steve Burns, Jr., who severely broke his leg during the offseason and is expected to miss much of the year. Blackshear has risen to second in points, two behind Steve Haefke, who is in search of his season’s first win. May 7 winner, Butch Lambert, is third in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products points ahead of Josh Mueller and rookie Zach Myers.
Like all of the divisions except the Modifieds, the Mini Stocks have featured three different winners in three races with Brian Felmlee, Steve Walker II, and Joe Campbell victorious. One driver that has been shutout of victory lane is Bill Fuchs. The Greenville, Pa. three-time champion, who owns an all-time leading 27 career wins, though still leads the Deforest Used Parts standings by two over Walker. Michael DelliQuadri, Matt Rubright, and Greg Geibel are all looking for their first career wins and sit third through fifth in points.
On Saturday, pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Admission for those 14 and over is $10, while children 13 and under are free. Parking and camping are free. Pit passes are $30. 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.