Full 6-division “Steel Valley Thunder” program set for Saturday on Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night
By Mike Leone
June 7, 2016
(Hartford, OH)…For the first time this season, Sharon Speedway was able to complete back-to-back events without a rainout last Saturday night; nonetheless, Mother Nature has threatened now for seven straight weeks. Sharon will look to complete their third straight racing program this Saturday night (June 11) as a full six-division “Steel Valley Thunder” program is on tap featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, Summit Racing Equipment Modifieds, Lyden/Red Line Oil RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, HTMA/Precise Racing Products Econo Mods, and the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Race time is 7 p.m.
Saturday is Pittsburgh Circle Track Club Night with all card-carrying members admitted free into the grandstands or can receive $10 off a pit pass. Saturday’s kitchen special is loaded barbeque pork potato casserole. 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.
Despite failing to win a race this season, the Kings still find themselves atop the DIRTcar Big-Block Modified standings. Rex King, Jr., the 2014 Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Champion, leads his father, a five-time track champion, by nine points. Ironically, right behind the Kings in points is another father-son duo with Jimmy Weller III and Jim Weller, Jr. tied for third! Both racers have earned one feature win to date. Garrett Krummert completes the three-way tie for third spot in points. A big congratulations to Chris Haines, who won his first career Big-Block Modified feature last Saturday night in the track’s 600th all-time feature for the division!
The (E) Modified point race has really tightened up with three-time winner, Joel Watson, missing last Saturday night. Just three points separate the top three racers, who are all looking for their first wins. Jeff Johnson led early on in last Saturday’s feature before fading to fourth at the finish, but nonetheless has the Summit Racing Equipment point lead. Joe Gabrielson and Josh Ferry are tied for second. Ferry won the April 16 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up feature for the Econo Mods for his first career Sharon win, but now is in his first season of “open” Modified racing. Carl McKinney is fourth, while Watson dropped to fifth.
The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds have consistently brought strong fields of cars this year as 24 have been present in three of the four events with a record 25 on May 28. With that, the third year division, which is in its second year of weekly competition at the track, has run for the higher $500 to-win, $75 to-start payoff. Brandon Ritchey became the season’s first repeat winner anywhere on the circuit last Saturday night as he stole a first career win away from Tiffany Williams with two laps to go. Ritchey leads veteran Jerry Schaffer by 14 points in the Lyden/Red Line Oil standings. May 28 winner Kole Holden is third in points. Chas Wolbert, who is in his first season of Modified racing after running Mod Lites, is fourth ahead of Nick Ritchey.
The Stock Cars return after having the night off on June 4. Just three events have been completed to date this season including the non-point April 16 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up. Mike Miller, who battled for the championship last year down until the end before losing out to Mike Clark, has a 10-point lead on Andy Buckley, who set out to win his first track championship this year. Jamie Scharba and Paul Davis are tied for third with Andy Thompson fifth. Meanwhile, Mike Clark, who is in search of his unprecedented fourth straight Gibson Insurance Agency crown is back in ninth.
Fresh off his season’s first win to become the fourth different winner in as many Econo Mod features this year, Steve Haefke has raced out to a 15-point lead in the HTMA/Precise Racing Products standings over Josh Mueller, who is in search of his first career win. Feature winners this season, Brandon Blackshear and Butch Lambert, are third and fourth ahead of Wayne Daniels, who won his first heat race last Saturday night.
The Mini Stock division has been wide open this year with four different winners in as many races. Steve Walker II, one of those winners, has just a one-point lead in the Deforest Used Parts standings over the division’s all-time winner and three-time champion in Bill Fuchs, who surprisingly has yet to win a feature this season. Second year racers Matt Rubright and Michael DelliQuadri are third and fourth in points as Rubright is coming off his first career win. One-time winner, Joe Campbell, is fifth.
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.
Coming up on Tuesday, June 21 will be the first of two appearances by Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars. The Ohio Speedweek event will pay $5,000 to-win and will also include the Mini Stocks paying $300 to-win in a show-up point event. Tickets are on sale by visiting SharonSpeedway.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.