RUSH Sportsman Mod Tour double features & their MFG Night highlight “Steel Valley Thunder” racing on Saturday night
By Mike Leone
June 22, 2017
(Hartford, OH)…After a tremendous Ohio Sprint Speedweek event on Tuesday, Sharon Speedway is ready to return to weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” racing this Saturday night (June 24). The weather looks great once again as the 88th anniversary season rolls on featuring the weekly HTMA/Precise Racing RUSH Sportsman Modifieds in Bicknell Tour doubleheader plus their annual “Manufacturers Night”. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, and Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods will also be on the card. Race time is 7 p.m. Grandstand admission remains at $10.
It’ll be a big night for RUSH Sportsman Modifieds as they’ll compete in a Bicknell Racing Products Touring Series event for $600 and at the conclusion of the night will run the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up feature, which will pay $800 to-win. The feature field is set for the make-up feature, which is a non-point race. For the second straight year, Sharon will host RUSH’s “Manufacturers Night” as over $19,000 to date has been posted by the Series for giveaways for all competing RUSH drivers.
The RUSH Sportsman Modified division continues to grow. Earlier this season, an all-time division record 30 cars were on hand to compete. Saturday’s program is expected to draw a large field of cars. Kyle Martell won the Series’ opening Bicknell Tour event on June 9 at Thunder Mountain Speedway. Defending Bicknell Tour Champions are Larry Kugel and Brian Schaffer. Kole Holden enters the night as Sharon’s point leader winning the last two weekly races, and also was victorious last Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway when Sharon was closed. Rocky Kugel also has a win this season at Sharon.
The ground-pounding Big-Block Modifieds are the big brother to the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds and will also be in action on Saturday night. One-time winner and defending champion, Rex King, Jr., enters the night as the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply point leader by just six points over the consistent Dave Murdick, who will be looking for his season’s first win. Jim Weller, Jr. is only another three points back of Murdick, and owns a feature win this season. Two-time winner, Rex King, is fourth in points ahead of 2016 “Lou Blaney Memorial” winner, Jim Rasey. Will Thomas III, who has championships at Sharon in the RUSH Late Models and E-Mods, has been struggling in his first season of Big-Block Modified racing. He sits 10th in points and is hoping for a good run on Saturday.
Defending champion, Paul Davis, kick started his season at the last event for the Stock Cars on June 10 taking the victory. Andy Thompson is a Sharon regular for the first time in many years and has been very fast and consistent all year as he trails Davis by just 11 points in the Gibson Insurance Agency championship race. Mike Miller has been in the championship hunt the last few years and sits third in points. Three-time champion, Mike Clark, is fourth as he looks for his first win of the season. Jamie Scharba is fifth. Chris McGuire and Andy Buckley have also been victorious this season.
After a slow start in the first two Econo Mod events which ended his run of 17 straight top two finishes, Steve Haefke has been on a roll. The veteran Austintown, Ohio driver has won the last four events including the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up non-point feature. Despite his success, one-time winner, Zach Myers, trails Haefke by only one-point. Myers will have an opportunity to take over the point lead as Haefke will have his work cut out starting last in the feature due to his three straight wins in weekly competition. Brandon Blackshear, Mike Hillman, and Kyle Miller are third through fifth in the Summit Racing Equipment points.
Pits open at 4 p.m. with grandstands at 5, drivers meeting at 6:30, 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.
Coming up next Saturday, July 1 will be another “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly show plus Junior Sprints on Lincoln Electric Night. The “Lou Blaney Memorial” will take place on Saturday, July 8 with a return appearance by the All Star Sprint Cars along with the Big-Block Modifieds. On Thursday, July 20, the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series will be back for the second straight year in a $6,000 to-win event plus the Mini Stocks.
Sharon Speedway is owned by the Blaney, Weller, and Kirila Families and is a 3/8-mile dirt track located at 3241 Custer-Orangeville Road, Hartford, OH 44424 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.