Take #3 for “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly opener Saturday; Complete show for Penn-Ohio Stock Series & 2016 “Apple Fest” make-up
TAKE #3 FOR “STEEL VALLEY THUNDER” WEEKLY OPENER SATURDAY AT SHARON; COMPLETE SHOW FOR PENN-OHIO STOCK SERIES & 2016 “APPLE FEST” MAKE-UP
By Mike Leone
May 10, 2017
(Hartford, OH)…After completing the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event back on April 21, Sharon Speedway was forced to postpone the scheduled “Steel Valley Thunder” kick-off each of the past two Saturday nights. Take #3 will happen this Saturday night (May 13) with racing getting underway at 7 p.m. featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series, HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds, and Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods. The 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” Penn-Ohio make-up feature will also be on the program. Admission remains at the very low $10.
The Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Series will open their 2017 season on Saturday night in their first of three appearances at the speedway in 2017. The Penn-Ohio Series will run a complete program highlighted by a 25-lap feature paying $1,000 to-win. The event will also be a Gibson Insurance Agency full point event for Sharon as Paul Davis is set to defend his championship. In addition, the September 17, 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” 25-lap, $2,000 to-win make-up feature will be run at the conclusion of the night. This will be a non-point event for both the Series and Sharon. The feature field is set; however, in the event qualified cars do not return, alternates from the B main will be used. No new cars will be permitted to run. For more information on the Penn-Ohio Series, check out their website at www.pennohioprostocks.com.
The Big-Block Modifieds have been a staple at the speedway since it went to dirt in 1981 and have been the track’s headlining division since 2011. Hovis Auto & Truck Supply is back once again as the divisional sponsor. Rex King, Jr. is coming off his second championship in the past three years; in fact, the Kings have won five of the last seven track championships including the last three! The elder King is the division’s top active winner with 51 victories. Other top active winners (wins in parentheses) that will look to add to their win totals this season include Jim Weller, Jr. (35), Kevin Bolland (22), King, Jr. (20), Jim Rasey (19), Brian Swartzlander (14), Rob Kristyak (11), Dave Murdick (9), Jimmy Weller III (5), and Rick Richner (3). One new driver that will be debuting in the division is Will Thomas III. Thomas won two track championships with the RUSH Late Models in three years and then added the E-Mod title in 2015 in his first year in that division.
The baby brother to the Big-Block Modifieds are the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds as HTMA/Precise Racing Products moves over to present the division. The RUSH Sportsman Mods are identical looking to the big blocks, but utilize GM 602 crate engines on RUSH 91 pump gas, sealed, spec Bilstein Shocks, and steel wheels. The RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will enter their fourth season competing at Sharon and third as a weekly division. Greg Martin was the inaugural 2015 champion, while Brandon Ritchey is the defending champion. Martin is the division’s all-time leading winner with 11 victories over Rocky Kugel’s 6. Kugel topped a 24-car field on April 21 at Lernerville Speedway in the division’s first race of 2017. Car counts have grown each year and that’s expected to continue in 2017. Last year, the average car count was nearly 23 per night.
The Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods got their season started on April 21 with the Lucas Oil Late Models in a non-point event that was won by Brandon Blackshear. The victory for Blackshear was his all-time leading and milestone 20th career win. Blackshear hasn’t won a track title though since 2012; in fact, the only driver with multiple championships in the division’s seven-year history is Jeremy Double with two. Steve Haefke is the defending champion. The Austintown, Ohio veteran failed to finish the feature at the opener ending a string of 17 straight top two finishes dating back to the 2015 season.
Drivers that not pre-register for the season and Econo Mods that didn’t compete on April 21, are encouraged to complete the annual registration form and bring the form completed with them to save time for all concerned. The registration is available at the following link http://www.sharonspeedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/RegistrationFormSharon2017-1.pdf.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:20, warm-ups at 6:40, and racing at 7. Grandstand admission is $10 for those 14 and over. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission. In order to reserve either of these ahead of time, call the office Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330-772-5481. As always, children under 13, parking, and camping is always 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.