2 nights of action this week; Return of Super DIRTcar Big-Block Mods on Thursday; “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing on Saturday
By Mike Leone
July 17, 2017
(Hartford, OH)…After a weekend off, Sharon Speedway will get right back at it with two events planned for later this week (July 20 & 22). The Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series invades Sharon on Thursday night along with the Mini Stocks. Then on Saturday, “Steel Valley Thunder” weekly racing returns for the first time since June 10 featuring the Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series, E-Mods, and the Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods. Racing begins at 7 p.m. both Thursday and Saturday night.
Thursday’s visit by the Super DIRTcar Series, the premier traveling Big-Block Modified tour in the world, marks their second appearance in as many years. Last year’s stop saw Jimmy Phelps top a 52-car field in their first race in the western Pa./eastern Ohio region since 2006 when they appeared at Lernerville Speedway. The “Buckeye Ground-Pounder 100” will again be the region’s only appearance and will pay $6,000 to-win for the 100 lapper! Prior to last year’s event, the last time Sharon hosted a major Big-Block Modified event that attracted the Northeast’s best was back in 1983 when Alan Johnson won a CRC Super DIRT Syracuse Qualifying Series event.
The Super DIRTcar Series will be coming off a two-day event at western Ohio’s Eldora Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sharon will again be an easy stop on the way home for the traveling stars that convened at Eldora. Larry Wight will head to Eldora with the Series point lead and one victory. Two-time winner, Billy Decker, is second in points followed by Brett Hearn, who is still looking for his first win of the season. Stewart Friesen has two wins and is fourth over Tim Fuller. Completing the top 10 in points are Max McLaughlin, Jimmy Phelps, Pat Ward, Matt Sheppard, and recent DIRT Hall of Fame inductee, Alan Johnson. For more information on the Super DIRTcar Series, check out their website at www.superdirtcarseries.com.
The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds have been a weekly attraction at Sharon since 1981. The late Lou Blaney leads the all-time win list with 121 victories over active racer Rex King, who has upped his total to 53 thanks to a pair of wins in 2017. Jeremiah Shingledecker is coming off his first win in three years by capturing the $2,000 “Lou Blaney Memorial” victory. Other winners this season include point leader Rex King, Jr. and Jim Weller, Jr.
The Mini Stocks will also be on the card Thursday racing for $300 to-win. No registration or entry fee will be charged. Though they aren’t part of the weekly program in 2017, the Mini Stocks have run in three events with 2016 champion, Steve Walker II, victorious twice along with Bill Fuchs, the division’s all-time winner.
After a successful ninth annual “Lou Blaney Memorial” on July 8 and being off last Saturday for the Trumbull County Fair, weekly “Steel Valley Thunder” racing returns to Sharon on Saturday night for the first time in six weeks! It’ll be Twin-State Auto Racing Club Night with FREE general admission for card-carrying members or discounted $20 pit passes. Kids power wheels races will be held at intermission.
While the Big-Block Modifieds will be back for their second race in three days, Saturday’s event will be highlighted by an appearance by the Penn-Ohio Pro Stock Championship Series. They will not only compete in a entire program, but also their $2,000 to-win 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up feature that has been rained out several times. A big field of 50 Stocks were on hand back on May 13 for the Penn-Ohio event before the rains came and washed out the program. Defending champion, Paul Davis, kick started his season at the last event for the Stock Cars on June 10 taking the victory and point leader. Chris McGuire and Andy Buckley have also been victorious this season in the only other events completed for the Stocks.
Like the Mini Stocks, the E-Mods aren’t a weekly fixture as part of the “Steel Valley Thunder” programs in 2017. They made their only appearance on May 20 when Joel Watson won his 27th career feature at Sharon. Also that night, Jacob Hawkins won the 2016 “Apple Festival Nationals” make-up E-Mod feature for the Renegades of Dirt. Drivers will be permitted to use any 8″ tire. The 2016 weekly payoff will be utilized. There are no entry or registration fees.
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.
Pit gates open at 3 p.m. on Thursday and 4 p.m. on Saturday. Grandstands open at 4 p.m. on Thursday and 5 on Saturday. Warm-ups begin at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday. Admission for those 14 and over is $20 on Thursday and $10 on Saturday, while children 13 and under are free. Reserved and advanced tickets are on sale for Thursday by going to SharonSpeedway.com and clicking on the “Buy Tickets” link at the top of the homepage. Patio seating upgrades are just $5 and fan suite seating upgrades are just $20 over the cost of general admission each night. Pit passes are $35 on Thursday and $30 on Saturday. 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.