Sharon looks to resume “Steel Valley Thunder” racing Saturday for the “Bill Kirila Memorial”
By Mike Leone
August 2, 2016
(Hartford, OH)…After a run of 10 consecutive race events being completed, Mother Nature reared her ugly head last Saturday at Sharon Speedway raining out the “Fan Appreciation Night” unfortunately for the second time this season. Sharon will look to resume racing this Saturday night (August 6) as Thompson Fabricating presents the annual “Bill Kirila Memorial” with a full night of “Steel Valley Thunder” racing 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.
Mr. Kirila was one of the owners of Sharon with his brother Ron along with the Blaney and Weller Families when the track changed ownership in 2002. Kirila of Brookfield, Ohio passed away after an extended illness on June 23, 2006 at the age of 68. He was a graduate of Brookfield Ohio School and went on to become the Vice President of Kirila Contractors.
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.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply DIRTcar Modifieds had a busy week the last time they were in competition with two events. The Super DIRTcar Series event on July 21 attracted 51 cars and was won by Jimmy Phelps, while two days later Dave Murdick ended his near three-year winless drought winning the weekly program. Atop the standings is Rex King, Jr. by 16 over three-time winner, Jimmy Weller III. Rex King is third over Dave Murdick, who jumped two spots in points. Rick Richner, who is looking for his first win, is fifth in points.
Like the big blocks, the (E) Modifieds also participated twice at Sharon the week before last with David Stremme victorious in the inaugural appearance of the Renegades on Dirt Series on July 21 followed up by Scott Stiffler’s second win of the season two days later. Despite missing a race, five-time winner, Joel Watson, has moved to within 10 points of Joe Gabrielson’s Summit Racing Equipment championship point lead. Jeff Johnson, Stiffler, and Carl McKinney are third through fifth in points.
Will there be another new RUSH Sportsman Modified winner!? That question will be answered on Saturday night as Brian Schaffer became the latest driver to score his first career win on July 23. Schaffer became the eighth different winner in nine Lyden/Red Line Oil features this year! Brandon Ritchey is the only driver that has repeated this season and is atop the standings by 17 over Kole Holden. Schaffer is third in points and leads the $3,000 to-win Bicknell Racing Products RUSH Weekly Series standings as he also has victories at Lernerville and Thunder Mountain Speedways. Kyle Martell and Chas Wolbert are fourth and fifth in points, each earning their first career wins this season in the division.
Two seasons ago Paul Davis lost the Stock Car championship tiebreaker to Mike Clark. This year, Davis is bound and determined to stop Mike Clark from a four consecutive Gibson Insurance Agency crown. Davis has won three of the last four races pocketing $3,000 and has opened up a 21-point advantage on Mike Miller, who battled for the title last year. Andy Buckley, who just came up shy of his first win last Saturday, is third in points over Clark and veteran Bob McCann. Clark has a lot of work to do with just five nights of points remaining.
Can anyone stop Steve Haefke!? The Austintown, Ohio racer is having a career best season winning four of the last six Econo Mod features, but even more impressive is the fact that he has a streak of 14 straight races where he has yet to finish worse than runner-up! It’s now been over a year since Haefke hasn’t placed in the top two clear back on July 25, 2015. Haefke has raced out to a 32-point lead over Brandon Blackshear. Brandon’s younger brother, Brad, is third utilizing a GM 602 crate engine. Wayne Daniels and rookie Kyle Miller are fourth and fifth in points.
Steve Walker II already ended a six-year winless drought in the Mini Stocks earlier this season winning a pair of feature events. Now the Greenville driver will try and win his first championship since the inaugural 2010 season. Walker leads three-time champion, Bill Fuchs by 32. Fuchs, the division’s all-time winner, has just one victory this season. Despite winning four features including last Saturday, Joe Campbell, has had an up and down season as he’s currently third in points over Matt Rubright and Logan Keney.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m. on Saturday, grandstands at 5 with racing at 7. Grandstand admission for those 14 and over is $10. Pit passes are $30. Children $13 and under along with parking and camping are free. Sharon has a no carry-in cooler policy.
Coming up on Saturday, August 13, the “410” Sprint Cars will make their third and final visit of the season in a non-sanctioned event paying $1,500 to-win, $200 to-start or $2,000 to-win, $225 to-start if there are 24 or more cars. The Modifieds, Stock Cars, Econo Mods, and Mini Stocks will also be in action on Lincoln Electric & Quail Hollow Night, while the DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds and RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have the night off. Regular admission prices will be in effect.
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.