“Steel Valley Thunder” racing Saturday featuring Penn-Ohio Stocks for $1500 to-win; Ohio Sprint Speedweek coming Tuesday
By Mike Leone
June 15, 2016
(Hartford, OH)…For the first time this season, Sharon Speedway was able to complete three straight events without a rainout last Saturday night; nonetheless, Mother Nature has threatened now for eight straight weeks. That streak looks like it’ll come to an end Saturday (June 18) as beautiful weather is forecasted for the six-division “Steel Valley Thunder” program featuring the Penn-Ohio Pro Stocks in a $1,500 to-win event along with 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. Race time is 7 p.m.
It’ll be a short turnaround then as Ohio Sprint Speedweek presented by Cometic Gasket rolls into Sharon on Tuesday (June 21) featuring a $5,000 to-win event for Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions along with $300 to-win for the Deforest Used Parts Mini Stocks. Over 40 Sprints are expected. Along with all of the top All Stars, Dave Blaney, Kyle Larson, Rico Abreu California’s Dominic Scelzi, central Pa. standout Danny Dietrich, and several Australian invaders are expected. Warm-ups are scheduled for 6 p.m. followed by Sprint Car qualifying and racing. Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale at SharonSpeedway.com.
Saturday will feature the second of five mini series events for the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series. Saturday’s feature will pay $1,500 to-win for the “Jim Hooks Memorial” presented by Wedge Motorsports, Robinson Automotive, Homak Manufacturing and the Penn-Ohio Series. M&T Allison Construction is the major dash sponsor. The opening event saw 45 Stocks battle with Chris Schneider picking up the win. Andy Buckley, who love to win his season’s first on Saturday, leads the Sharon Gibson Insurance Agency points over Mike Miller, Bob McCann, Paul Davis, and last Saturday’s winner Mike Clark.
Jimmy Weller III picked up his second win in the past three weeks last Saturday in the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Weller has ascended to second in the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply points as he looks to contend for his first championship. Atop the standings by 12 is Rex King, Jr., who still has yet to win a feature this year at Sharon like his father, who is third in points. Dave Murdick and Michael Maresca, Jr., a newcomer to Sharon, are tied for fourth.
The four “J’s” are atop the Summit Racing Equipment Modified standings as Joe Gabrielson leads Josh Ferry, Jeff Johnson, and Joel Watson. Gabrielson, Ferry, and Johnson have had speed and in contention to win this season, but all will look for their season’s first win on Saturday. Three-time feature winner, Joel Watson, had his perfect streak end last Saturday and is fourth due to missing the June 4 program. Last Saturday’s winner, Scott Stiffler, is fifth.
Brandon Ritchey is the only driver to repeat thus far in the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds. Ritchey has just a three-point lead over Kole Holden and six points over Jerry Schaffer. Chad Wolbert, who is in his first year of racing full size cars, and Nick Ritchey are fourth and fifth in Lyden/Red Line Oil points. Car counts have been strong this year ranging between 23-25 cars for all five events to date with still some new cars expected to debut soon.
Joe Campbell came all the way from the 14th starting spot last Saturday night to steal a win and became the first repeat winner in the Mini Stocks this season. Steve Walker II has built up a 12-point lead on three-time champion and the division’s all-time winner, Bill Fuchs, who is still searching for his season’s first win. Matt Rubright, Campbell, and Michael DelliQuadri are third through fifth in points.
On Saturday, 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.
Pits open at 4 p.m. on Saturday with grandstands at 5 and racing at 7. Admission for those 14 and over is $10, while children 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $30.
On Tuesday, pits open at 3 p.m. with grandstands at 4, Sprint engine starts at 5:45 followed by warm-ups, qualifying for the Sprints, and racing. General admission tickets are $25 for those 14 and under. Children 13 and under are free. Pit passes are $35. Parking and camping are 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.